A YouTuber improved performance on the MacBook Air M2 using a trick that costs just $15

MacBook Pro and MacBook Air with M2 processors are just hitting the market, but those in the market for a new Apple laptop are put in a quandary by the new models. The MacBook Pro comes with an outdated design and several drawbacks, but includes an active cooler that provides sustained superior performance, while the new MacBook Air with M2 comes with a new screen, better keyboard, MagSafe and a superior webcam, but no active cooling. YouTuber Max Yuriev of MaxTech claims to have fixed the Air’s shortcomings by using a “trick” for more efficient cooling that costs just $15.

MacBook Air M2 with improved cooling can outperform even the MacBook Pro M2

Disassembling the MacBook Air M2 showed that Apple didn’t include any “serious” cooling in this computer’s case, even leaving a pretty big gap. Without a radiator or fan to take the heat, the laptop, while quiet, can reach temperature limits in just a few minutes of complex tasks like video editing. Of course, this laptop isn’t intended for those use cases, but the M2 processor has proven that it’s more than capable of doing that.

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After testing, YouTuber Max Yuriev decided to take apart the MacBook Air M2 laptop and try a simple and cheap solution to improve the cooling of this laptop. It turns out that simply applying heat transfer pads over the area where the computer’s motherboard is housed is enough to transfer the heat released by the processor to the laptop’s bottom cover. This way, the processor is better cooled and can sustain high performance for longer.

macbook air m2 pads

In fact, in some tests, the modified MacBook Air performs even better than the actively cooled MacBook Pro, even without a fan and without making any noise. Of course, this modification is a bit risky. For one thing, it will void the warranty, as the laptop’s lid must be removed. Then the excess heat produced by the laptop will be transferred to the outside. So if you use your laptop often on your lap, it could raise the level of thermal discomfort.

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Unfortunately, this solution isn’t one that can solve all of MacBook Air’s heat issues in highly demanding applications. Even though in CPU performance tests, the M2 seems to have enough cooling to not significantly decrease performance after 2-3 minutes, in GPU tests, after about half an hour, the chip starts to drop power to keep the temperature down. So the MacBook Air, even with heat transfer pads, still doesn’t suddenly become a laptop suitable for gaming.

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