Overheating Issue in MacBook Pro Fixed Drilling 60 Holes in Casing to Increase Airflow

drilll-holes-in-macbook-pro

An iFixit programmer has published an interesting story that details how he fixed his overheating MacBook Pro by drilling holes in the laptop’s body to increase the airflow.

The 60 holes were drilled in the bottom case, underneath the two fans (as seen in the image above). The holes helped decrease the internal temperature of the MacBook Pro from an average of 90 degrees Celsius to an average of 40 degrees Celsius.

“That is, we pulled out a drill. With a 1/16” bit, we drilled holes in the bottom case, under the fans (we figured out where the blades of the fan were exposed based on the dust pattern stuck to the inside of the bottom case). The speed holes worked: The boot chime rang. The screen glowed. The fans blew.”

The idea to drill holes only came after trying a number of methods of fixing the dead MacBook, including baking the logic board in an oven. While baking the logic board provided some temporary relief, the fix didn’t last for a long period of time.

“Instead, I cracked open the back of my laptop, disconnected all eleven connectors and three heat sinks from the logic board, and turned the oven up to 340º F. I put my $900 part on a cookie sheet and baked it for seven nerveracking minutes.

After it cooled, I reapplied thermal paste, put it all back together, and cheered when it booted. It ran great for the next eight months. Temperatures averaged in the 60s and 70s C—although recently, they began creeping up again.”

The programmer’s computer has been running without any overheating issues for the past 15 days, however, it is still too early to tell if this fix will last in the long term.

The full story on how a programmer saved his MacBook Pro with a drill can be found on iFixit’s blog.

A software engineer with a passion for creation and innovation using technology. To learn more about me, check out my personal website, which contains links to my projects. Email: nick@iphoneincanada.ca

  • Chrome262

    I don’t have the issues, with mine, and its the old retina with two GPUs so not sure what the problem with this one, the hole thing is cool though

  • Cheis

    This is been done before. Is useless, more dust more chances of getting wet.
    Just used smc fan control and speed up your fans ,change the termal paste or clean the dust from the fan grills.

  • hub2

    >>> “Just used smc fan control and speed up your fans ,change the termal paste or clean the dust from the fan grills. ”

    I wonder why the author didn’t think to do that. Oh wait…

    “I enabled smcFanControl, a program that lets me run my fans at the max speed of 6200 rpm all the time”

    Done

    “After it cooled, I reapplied thermal paste, put it all back together”

    Done

    “I blew out the inside of my laptop with compressed air”

    Done.

    The holes are ugly, no doubt about it, but there’s no more chance of it “getting wet” compared to normal unless he puts it directly on a water-soaked table. And clearly the holes are where the fan is blowing *against*, air is not being drawn in from them.