Tuesday, April 26, 2011

I vacuumed my MacBook

Lately, I've been looking a lot at the temperatures inside my various computers and what influences them.
I was surprised to find that removing what looked like a minimal amount of dust from my Dell E520 reduced both CPU and GPU temperatures by about 10ºC.
So, today, I took the plastic bottom off my unibody MacBook 6,1 (eight small screws requiring a Philips #00 screwdriver. A set of six very small, but sturdy, screwdrivers including the #00 cost me €10).
Once again, there was very little, if any, visible dust inside the machine. Of course, just removing this back cover does not expose very much to be cleaned although the CPU fan is visible.
Nevertheless, I spent about 5 minutes vacuuming using the finely pointed suction cup to maximize airflow at the point of suction.
Put everything back together and let it run for about 30 minutes.
After this I found the "idle" temperature was much reduced, from about 43ºC to 37-38ºC. Additionally, whereas before I had seen the CPU temperature rise to 67ºC, now in 12 hours of work, the highest temperature I saw was 56ºC.
Clearly, based on these experiences, a little vacuuming every few months might prolong your computers life.

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