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Old September 30th, 2006, 07:51 AM   #1
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POWERBOOK Owners... What cooling device do you use?

Hi,

I was wondering for those of you who use the powerbook laptops to edit video on, what methods, devices/tools do you use to keep your laptop cool, mine usually starts to get very hot....

Also is their anyway to check if the internal fans are working?

Regards
Ismail
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Old September 30th, 2006, 03:25 PM   #2
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Hi Ismail,
I edit on a Powerbook G4 (1.25 Ghz). I have my p-book sitting on a coolpad (an old one I used on my old pb 1400 years ago.) It keeps the Mac slightly elevated and slightly tilted forward letting some airflow on the underside of the machine. I noticed that it still gets really really hot when the processor is under a lot of strain, so I found a nice little quiet desk fan that I placed next to the Mac. I almost always have it on and facing the side of the Mac (pointed low) so that it keeps a steady airflow moving across the unit all the time. The caveat is that the fan needs to be cleaned about every week or so since it begins to accumulate airborne dust that I don't want it to send into my Mac or between the keyboard keys.

The trick is to find just the right fan that is both small, and relatively quiet so that it is not distracting or annoying.

I use the istat nano widget to monitor my system, including the internal heat. I noticed that ever since I began using the fan on the side, the internal temperature almost always remains at or near the usual temperature of idle mode. Very nice. I suspect that this may help lengthen the lifespan of the internal works in areas where excessive heat would otherwise cause speeder component break-down.

As far as determining if your internal fans are working......depending upon the model you are using, at least for the last few years, Powerbooks have used an internal fan cooling system that defaults to variable necessity. (I think I am remembering this correctly) ie: The fan kicks in and powers up only to the degree that the system determines its need. At the very least, the fan should kick in when the internal heat reaches a specific temperature range. (I think this can be tweaked somewhere, but I cannot remember where - Perhaps in Energy Settings or something...you may have to consult your manual).

Typically, it is easiest to test if your fans will kick in by firing up some applications that are especially processor intensive or graphics heavy....like a 3D game or something that requires the processor and graphics card to work overtime to keep up. As these components begin toiling away, they will generate more heat that will require a response from the cooling system. If you are computing in an otherwise very quiet environment, you should be able to hear the fans firing up inside your Powerbook.

Hope this helps.
-Jon
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Old September 30th, 2006, 04:49 PM   #3
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Thanks Jonathon,

Thats a pretty neat idea, i came across those cooling systems which are placed under your laptop and it has built in fans which are powered through your usb port?

I've download the widget, a pretty cool piece of tool

Just wanted to know if they where beneficial and if so any reccomendations?

Thanks alot for your help

peace out
Ismail
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Old September 30th, 2006, 09:47 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ismail Aslam
Thanks Jonathon,

Thats a pretty neat idea, i came across those cooling systems which are placed under your laptop and it has built in fans which are powered through your usb port?

I've download the widget, a pretty cool piece of tool

Just wanted to know if they where beneficial and if so any reccomendations?

Thanks alot for your help

peace out
Ismail
A few years ago I bought a plexiglas base with fans in it for my old Powerbook and it kept the computer cooler although wih a noticable addition of noise to the work environment. iStat wasn't available at the time since 10.4 had yet to come out so I tested the efficency of the fans with a flat thermometer on the outside of the computer. The only drawback is that the cooler can't be comfortably put on the lap. The fans will catch on your clothes or worse. Unfortunately the manufacturer of the base seems to have gone out of business.

Now my MacBook Pro tends to stay cooler then the PowerBook except during heavy computation sessions. I went to Amazon and found a couple of USB powered fan coolers. The one I bought, the NotePal by Cooler Master, isn't ideal but it does the job with a quick alteration. Made of brushed metal, it kept the MacBook Pro cooler and the fans are very quiet but once again heavy computation caused a lesser but still noticable rise in temperature on the flat part of the notebook directly where your left hand rests. iStat isn't able to check temperatures in Intel Macs. I realized that the NotePal didn't give enough room for the fans to fully move the air about the underside of the notebook. I bought some 1/4" plastic self stick feet and stuck them to the tray of the cooler. Now I hardly can feel a temperature rise on the front of the notebook. One more drawback, the cooler blocks the front loading DVD drive which could be a big problem.
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Old October 1st, 2006, 10:41 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ismail Aslam
Also is their anyway to check if the internal fans are working?
Other than the whine as they kick in, or even that jump from low to high once you start doing H.264 compression?

When I hear the fans dip down, I know my export or render is complete. :)

With my 1.33 GHz 17" PowerBook, I don't use any form of secondary cooling, and yes the powerbook gets very warm, but not too hot to handle. It's been going for a couple of years as my primary edit station all over the world, and there are pock-marks and a patina of use over the wrist-rest area, plus the additional abuse from my 2 year old (who managed to smear the trackpad with some food-based greasy stuff that's taken 2 weeks to recover from - oh yes, and there's been a load of coins thrust through the DVD slot which required a lot of jiggling and shaking to remove).

Used on the lap, away from mains power, it has got hot - but again not too hot to handle (thanks to Gap and Levis perhaps) but certainly nowhere near the incendury levels of some batteries. I'd be upset if a laptop required more air conditioning than I did.

The only issue I have with the heat is that after about half a day, if I insert a DVD, I can't eject the disk as it hits the door on the way out (even if I hold the plastic facia up), but I get better reliability with an external USB burner anyway.

Maybe the 17" is a special case?
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Old October 8th, 2006, 03:00 PM   #6
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Powerbook / Macbook Cooling

For my 17 inch Macbook I use a $20 cooling device by Bytecc. Lets me edit all weekend, runs silent, powered by existing usb and is made solid. The slant on it is perfect angle and gives you wrist a break.

Check it out at : http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16834999336

Hope this helps.
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