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2.26 or 2.4 GHz / White plastic unibody enclosure

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Unibody MacBook: Where does the air go in and out?

My white Unibody MacBook Model A1342 (late 2009) runs pretty hot (up to 90° C).

I bought and tried several notebook coolers but none of them was able to distinctly cool down my MB. That's why I want to build one myself.

However, to make it as efficient as possible I'd like to know, where does the cooling air go in and where does it come out? The information online are contradictory: Some say the air goes in at the back. Some say right in front of the screen. And yet others say the air gets sucked in through the keyboard.

My guess is:

IN: right in front of the screen down at the hinge

OUT: I'm pretty sure at the back (underneath the screen)

If anyone can provide me with a definite answer, please do so. It'll be much appreciated. Thanks!

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Thank you, sirs!

Thanks for the link to the notepal NB-Cooler, but I tried quite a few of those underneath-ventilation-things, and none of them seemed to help much, so I've kind of given up trying to cool it from underneath.

Having cleaned a couple of keyboards in the past I think it's weird that the MB provides itself with (not so :D ) fresh air over the keyboard.

On the other side that's good news! Because now I can just get a regular 200mm desktop-fan and a 12V power supply, connect the two and simply put the fan on the keyboard: The airflow should increase while the temperature drops. I almost always use my external keyboard anyway, so I don't need to be able to use the built in keyboard.

I'd like that! If interested I'll keep you updated on the results.

Again, thanks a lot!


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The only vent specifically designed for air passage is between the display hinge and unibody case and that's for pushing the air out since it's forced.

As for the air that reaches the fans it enters through every other opening in the computer (Side speakers, keyboard, and especially the USB side ports) cause the fans just pull any close stationary air.

For cooling a macbook though.. pretty sure you've tried a bunch of methods, but with internal hardware there's almost no option really, macbooks notoriously just heat up.

Extra: More like a recommendation but "Cooler Master Notepal U2 Notebook Cooler with Two Fans R9-NBC-8PBK-GP." I got the 19" for my 15" macbook. It has three MOVABLE 80mm fans on grid which I placed under the upper left side of my laptop (while facing the keyboard because that's where all the heat is coming from) drops temp by at least 10 for me. If there were holes placed on the underside it would almost double, but that's messing with the casing so...

Lastly there's Mac rumors, BUT I HAVE NOT tried this myself, others did and it's like setting changes kinda...

Sorry the answer is long, good luck!

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The hinge

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Don't build a cooler system. I have had the same problem (same model) where I was playing 'Minecraft' or 'Skyrim' and the laptop would go up to 80° - 90°C

I didn't pay much attention to it in the beginning, but when the bottom started to melt, I found that something had to be done.

After getting a free repair kit for the bottom from apple. (Only for these models macbook) I looked into SMCfan control.

It's an app where you can set different profiles for fan speeds. I have 4 at the moment, the default which runs at 2865rpm, 'Movie & TV' running at 3129rpm, 'Higher RPM' running at 4025rpm and a 'Gaming' setup which runs at 4500rpm.

I try to keep the temps under 75°C which is what I believe to be the maximum acceptable temperature before any damage can be done to you bottom case.

Hope this helps

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