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Modded M3 MacBook Air Outperforms MacBook Pro

The recently launched M3 MacBook Air, known for its impressive speed, suffers from overheating issues, often reaching temperatures as high as 114 degrees Celsius — and this overheating leads to significant performance throttling.

However, recent experimentation by YouTuber MaxTech has uncovered a solution: modifications (pricey ones) that significantly enhance the laptop’s performance. By incorporating a DHCR cooling dock from SVALT along with thermal pads, MaxTech managed to improve the M3 MacBook Air’s performance by nearly 50% in certain scenarios, surpassing even the pricier and cooler M3 MacBook Pro.

The DHCR cooling dock is specifically designed to hold and cool a MacBook simultaneously. It utilizes a “direct heatsink coupling” method, positioning the laptop vertically with the lid closed to ensure surface contact with the area where the M3 chip is located. The dock’s cooling mechanism works by cooling the outer chassis, thereby maintaining a cool environment for the M3 chip inside.

MaxTech’s experiments revealed substantial enhancements in sustained performance with the SVALT cooling dock. For instance, in the 3DMark Wildlife benchmark, the dock nearly doubled the MacBook Air’s performance, achieving 7,309 points in clamshell mode (compared to 4,198 points without the dock).

The dock is carved from solid aluminum to transfer heat away from the MacBook’s processor. (Image: Svalt)

Furthermore, MaxTech managed to bridge the performance gap between the M3 MacBook Air and the MacBook Pro by using thermal pads in conjunction with the cooling dock, achieving a sustained performance of 8,062 points, slightly surpassing the MacBook Pro under similar test conditions.

These findings underscore the disparities between the cooling solutions of the MacBook Air and MacBook Pro, despite sharing identical specifications such as the M3 chip — While the MacBook Air’s fanless cooling system results in lower sustained performance, modifications offer a viable solution.

Users can opt for thermal pads alone to regain most of the lost performance or invest in SVALT’s DHCR cooling dock for a more comprehensive cooling solution (especially if the MacBook Air serves as a desktop replacement), however, the dock’s price tag of $279 may deter some potential users.

Filed in Apple >Computers. Read more about .

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