This mod boosts the M2 MacBook Air sustained performance


The 2022 MacBook Air, which hit stores last week, not only features a brand new design but also Apple’s latest M2 chip. And although M2 is faster than M1 and also maintains efficiency, MacBook Air has no internal fan – which can make the laptop quite hot when running heavy workflows. However, there’s a cheap mod that can increase the sustained performance of the M2 MacBook Air.

YouTuber Max Tech, who has already shared multiple videos of the 2022 MacBook Air’s internal components, decided to apply a cheap mod to his laptop to test whether it would result in more performance. Although Apple Silicon chips can run smoothly without an advanced cooling system, they still get quite hot depending on the tasks the user is working with.

And when it comes to the new M2 MacBook Air, iFixit has already shown that the machine relies exclusively on thermal paste and graphite tape to dissipate heat from internal components. So Max Tech has found a “solution” to improve the heat dissipation of the new MacBook.

Better performance with a $15 thermal pad

As shown in one of his latest videos, Max has removed the bottom cover of the laptop to add a $15 thermal pad above the logic board, where the M2 chip is located. The thermal pad is able to quickly transfer the heat from the chip and logic board to the surface of the MacBook. As a result, the Mac is supposed to run even cooler, resulting in more sustained performance.

And it turns out, it really works. In one of his tests, the YouTuber exported 50 images of 42 megapixels each using Adobe Lightroom. The unmodified laptop took 2 minutes and 55 seconds to complete this task, while the MacBook with the thermal pad took only 1 minute and 56 seconds.

The modified M2 MacBook Air also scored higher in benchmark tests, which confirms that the better cooling system helps the machine run with better performance. While the original MacBook begins to lose sustained performance after running heavy tasks for four to five minutes, the modified laptop takes almost 10 minutes to reduce performance due to internal temperature.

During the tests, the unmodified M2 MacBook Air reached a temperature of 108°C, while the modified MacBook reached 97°C as its maximum temperature.

Should M2 MacBook Air owners be worried about this?

Actually, no. As mentioned before, these scenarios consider heavy workflows over long periods of time. If you’re not planning on doing things like rendering long, high-resolution videos every day, this is probably not a problem for you.

The M2 chip is efficient enough to run most tasks like web browsing, streaming, and even basic photo and video editing without facing thermal throttling issues – which is the process that limits the speed of the processor to reduce the temperature of the components. It’s also worth noting that modifying your MacBook will end up voiding Apple’s 1-year warranty.

Even so, it’s still interesting to see that having a better cooling system actually helps the computer perform better. Not surprisingly, Apple sells the M2 MacBook Pro with an internal fan for longer sustained performance. Would you modify your M2 MacBook Air with a thermal pad? Let us know in the comments below.

Prices for the new MacBook Air start at $1,199 in the United States. Be sure to take a look at Amazon for special offers on MacBooks. You can also buy thermal pads for your laptop right here.

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