apple, notebook, ultraportable, macbook air, m2, apple silicon, macbook air 2022

The new M2-powered MacBook Air is largely a great device. It's thin, light, powerful, and has remarkable battery life. It's unquestionably the MacBook that most people should buy.

But it's not perfect. Because it doesn't have a fan, it's not great at maintaining performance for sustained workloads.

Fortunately, there's a way to improve its performance. The chassis is pretty packed so there's no way you can add active cooling of any sort. However, users have found that you can improve its performance slightly by adding a thin thermal pad to the M2 chip.

The thermal pad creates a conduction path between the M2 chip and the bottom of the MacBook Air, effectively turning the base of the MacBook Air into a large radiator.

The mod itself is straightforward. It involves just removing four screws from the bottom of the MacBook Air and then adding a 1mm thick thermal pad of the right size above the chip. Just take care not to damage other components as you do so.

apple, notebook, ultraportable, macbook air, m2, apple silicon, macbook air 2022

The gains are fairly significant. Throttling is less dramatic and users who did the mod saw performance gains that were as high as 12%, particularly after sustained workloads.

While this seems like a pretty great modification to do to your MacBook Air it does have some drawbacks.

The biggest concern is heat. The bottom of the notebook will now feel hotter and this can make it uncomfortable to use on your lap. The extra heat could also put additional stress on other components such as the SSD and batteries. And lastly, there's always the risk of damaging other components when you take things apart.

If you need better performance for sustained workloads, you are going to be better off buying the updated 13-inch MacBook Pro or just going all out for the very excellent 14 and 16-inch MacBook Pro.

Source: 9to5 Mac

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