MODDED M1 MacBook Air – 6 Months Later!



A few months ago, I did a simple thermal mod on my base model M1 MacBook Air. I’ve been using this modded MacBook every day since then, and in this video I discuss my findings. I talk about battery life and the heat effect, performance gains, complexity and cost, and if it will void your warranty.

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Original M1 MacBook Air mod video:
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00:00 Introduction
00:31 Sponsor
01:01 Background Information
01:45 Issues with Heat?
03:21 Will It Effect The Battery?
04:25 Performance Gains
05:20 Cost and Complexity of the Mod
06:07 Why Didn’t Apple Design it this way?
07:02 Should You Mod Your MacBook?

#m1macbook #thermalmod #createdtech

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23 comments

  1. Check out Ekster using this link: https://ekster.com/CreatedLabs

  2. is gaming on my macbook pro 2020 m1 bad and can it reduce it lifespan or damage it ??

  3. I wonder if you can cut the thermal pads in half. Then you only get a partial benefit without the disadvantages? I wanna do it myself but I'm scared they could tell or that I'd forget it's there and send it for apple care I spent 180$ on

  4. According to a website I saw 45c vs 35c will make your battery wear 30% faster. So 2 years of one cycle each day if we do 1000 total cycles vs 2.7 years

    But the original is still hotter than 35c. I assume it's only 15%? It's just a guess. And that's for EVERY CYCLE not just some of those cycles

  5. For the cooling pad. I wish you checked the battery etc temperature with the cooling pad instead of performance

  6. Some say the display also heats up which sounds dangerous. Have you measured that?

    Also do you still have this mod and use the air? Is it showing any signs of wear?

  7. I wanna custom make a CNC machine or cut version of the bottom panel that has holes etc but also doesn't let the heat transfer to near the battery and keeps in in the top have of the bottom panel. I sadly am broke and a college student so I have no free time.

    but it'd be so cool if you could also design the bottom panel a bit like a heatsink

  8. Did you remove the square pad that’s attached to the backplate and replaced it with the thick thermo pad or did you keep the pad in place?

  9. If you use a laptop cooling pad you won't just be increasing heatsink thermal mass, you'd have air blowing onto the bottom cover and taking away the heat that goes there.

    As for why Apple does not do this: it's not even just liability for injury, if it was just liability you can just write a warning on the device that it is not a literal LAPtop. What actually stops Apple – and many others, like why Dell would flip the motherboard on gaming notebooks so it just radiates upward through gaps in the keyboard or why Lenovo puts a lot of ventilation over the heatsinks past the fan intakes – is because there are actually US federal regulations on surface temperatures on electronics. Essentially, you can't even use thermal pads on a desktop PC to use the chassis as a heatsink. Yes, there are passive cooling PC cases, but those do not typically get sold as a complete computer and even when they do the market is very, very small, so statistically, that reduces the likelihood that anyone buying them doesn't understand how that works.

    So yeah. I'm less concerned that Apple does not do this and more miffed that Dell/Alienware gaming notebooks have the motherboard flipped. It doesn't help as much for cooling the CPU and GPU, it just heats the keyboard deck more, and if you're using the gaming notebook's built in keyboard you're probably not at home and not using a laptop cooling pad under it either. Won't be a problem if you're not gaming on it outside your home, but if you live in a hot enough climate just using these in a place without A/C is enough to make the keyboard deck uncomfortable (even if it's within federal guidelines).

  10. I wanna buy a cooling mat/pad alongside this so that when Im doing heavy work at home it doesn't heat the other components and cools the battery etc

  11. Is it just the basemodel? I have 16gb 512gb

  12. Correct me if I'm wrong, but it doesn't generate more heat with the mod. It just displaces the same amount to the chassis…

  13. 吉吉翰 Gigi Han

    Please do this mod for M2 MBA, TQVM.

  14. I can see a fan attached to the bottom not working well but what about a large block of aluminum and another thermal pad? I bought everything to try it. Perhaps I will

  15. This is good to know! My thermal pads are coming in on Tuesday and I’m pumped to get better performance!

    Lowkey kind nervous about the long term effects… I’ve turned my MacBook Air into my primary editing machine. 😅😅😅

  16. Im running some Docker containers on the Macbook Air, figured the sweet spot is probably only to cover the CPU .. not gaming so unless I do some ML figuring the 1.5mm pad is probably overkill for me right? WRT The battery I think without modding there is probably more thermal stress on the battery – although it might not be throttling back when it gets hot .. its still removing more heat via the chassis instead of trapping it inside. (IMHO as a mechanical engineer)

  17. Is it still worth it for daily light use? Office, web browsing etc.

  18. People have to get a basic understanding, that Li-on and Li-po batteries heat up when discharged, more so if discharged more rapidly. If your Mac throttles down itself because of thermal management, this means the battery starts do discharge slower = this leads to lower temperatures of. the battery itself. When you keep discharging it at higher loads and the thermals manage to keep the temps down and processor up -> battery will heat more because of this more so than the higher temperature chassis.

  19. I’m confused with your recommendation. You said if I’m gonna use it extensively, don’t mod it. But if I’m not gonna use the Mac extensively, why try to cool it down?

  20. Hi, I wonder how the mod m1 mba doing after 1 year plus…. maybe you can make the video of it, it would be interesting. Because people still love m1 macbook air until now. you will help a lot and convince a lot of people who don't have that much money. Thanks if you want to make the video again.

  21. F apple propietary bullshit

  22. Pinoy Btc Analysis

    Try to put a magnetic shark mobile cooler will it work?