Macbook Air gets hot near its processor and gets sluggish for a while, whenever I make "heavy" tasks at the same time. I wonder if a fan under its base would make any difference since mac has no ventilation. In any case, would it help at all?

Edit: I consider the cases when the speed of the internal fan is quite normal but the area near the processor gets hot, since I can understand whenever fan speed is high, producing all that noise (e.g. when installing an OS).


It could help if you see kernel_task soaking CPU cycles.

From https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT203184

Activity Monitor may show that a process named kernel_task is using a large percentage of your CPU, and during this time you may notice a lot of fan activity. This process helps manage temperature by making the CPU less available to processes that are using the CPU intensely. In other words, kernel_task responds to conditions that cause your CPU to become too hot. When the temperature decreases, kernel_task automatically reduces its activity.

So if your case is more than 10°F / 5°C warmer than the ambient temperature and you are seeing high CPU/kernel task usage, cooling the bottom case or increasing airflow significantly might actually speed up your Air.

  • 1
    I guess a fan would be always useful, under any circumstances (see edit). – thanasissdr May 9 '15 at 1:12
  • @thanasissdr Yes - also, if the machine is used in a dusty area, carefully removing the bottom case and dusting out the heat pipe and blower area if needed can make a big difference in noise level. See support.apple.com/en-us/HT202450 for details on screw removal and tightening order. – bmike May 9 '15 at 1:15

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