The performance of any laptop depends, among other things, on efficient cooling. And even the best passive-cooled ultrabooks can still deliver more power with certain upgrades. For example, the American startup Frore Systems in San Jose has its own view on such performance improvements not only for ultrabooks but also for other gadgets. And as an example, they gave a custom MacBook Air.
The Verge was able to test the company’s developments.
The demonstrated MacBook Air 15 has three built-in AirJet Mini coolers and a custom “plate”. Compared to the original set, this cooling allowed the laptop not to lose performance after several consecutive tests of the game Shadow of the Tomb Raider (where MBA is still not capable of record FPS, which does not reach above 30 frames), and to maintain performance in Cinebench R23 after 30 minutes of rendering a 3D image.
Active cooling, of course, helped the chassis to heat up less: when a regular Mac would heat up to over 42°C, the augmented chassis stayed at 38°C.
However, it should be noted that since the MacBook Air did not include such additions, it had to lose its speakers, keyboard connector, and Wi-Fi connection to install all the necessary components. Moreover, due to the upgrades, it also gained 0.3 mm in thickness.
At the same time, Frore’s head of development Prabhu Satyamurthy notes that laptops could be even thinner if they used smaller keyboard profiles (which ended up with previous generations of MacBooks, I think everyone remembers) and OLED screens (insiders say that Apple is already working on such models, while Samsung already offers AMOLED displays in the Galaxy Book).
It is also unknown how such coolers would affect battery life. Since this is a custom solution that was not intended by the manufacturer, its integration does not allow for full optimization of all processes. The test showed power consumption of 5 watts during operation. The developers noted that without a load, the consumption would drop to 0.1-0.2 watts.
However, piezoelectric cooling remains quite quiet. According to TheVerge journalist Sean Hollister, he had to lean over the laptop to hear the cooling work. And, as experienced MacBook Pro users know, Apple’s standard CO is easy to hear when the system is under load.
The AirJet Mini is currently in mass production with larger and smaller versions. The first computer with such cooling will be the Zotac Zbox PI430AJ Pico mini-PC. Frore Systems is also experimenting with other devices and has experience with webcams, doorbells, LED lamps, and also assumes that such a cooler can be placed in a Steam Deck.
Addition: YouTube-канал Linus Tech Tips also had the opportunity to try out the AirJet Mini, installing the cooling himself according to the instructions from Frere Systems: