Mac mini 2018 - Thermal management / Cooling solutions
 
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hornedfrog
(@hornedfrog)
Trusted Member
Joined: 2 years ago
 
Posted by: Baupfhor

I went ahead and added Thermal Grizzly liquid metal to my i7. I ran both CinebenchR15 and Blender (BMW) and screen recorded before and after. I used Intel Power Gadget to monitor temps and clock speed.  Peak temps were a few degrees cooler but nothing to OMG about, however, it did allow it to turbo boost a couple hundred MHz higher for longer resulting in a higher cinebench score and faster blender render times. I also saw a 200 point increase in Geekbench 3 breaking 5000/27000. All runs were with Mac fan control set to auto 50c fan ramp up. 
Cinebench before 1219cb @3.6ghz 97-100c
Cinebench after 1255 @ 3.8ghz 90-97c
Blender before 5:50 95-97c @ 3.5-3.6 ghz
Blender after 5:23 95-97c @ 3.8-3.9 ghz
Geekbench 3 before 4880/25497
Geekbench 3 after 5066/27383
Geekbench 4 before 5501/22279
Geekbench 4 after 5809/26632

Thank you!  Was this a difficult project?   What are the average temperatures Now?

Mac mini 2018/i7/1TB/32GB RAM
Sonnet Breakaway Box 650W. Sapphire Vega 64 - (21275-03-20G card)
OWC Thunderbolt 3 14 port hub
AKiTiO Node Duo, 1 x Patriot Scorch M.2 512G SSD PCI-E 3.0 x 2 drive.


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Baupfhor
(@baupfhor)
Active Member
Joined: 2 years ago
 
Posted by: hornedfrog
Posted by: Baupfhor

I went ahead and added Thermal Grizzly liquid metal to my i7. I ran both CinebenchR15 and Blender (BMW) and screen recorded before and after. I used Intel Power Gadget to monitor temps and clock speed.  Peak temps were a few degrees cooler but nothing to OMG about, however, it did allow it to turbo boost a couple hundred MHz higher for longer resulting in a higher cinebench score and faster blender render times. I also saw a 200 point increase in Geekbench 3 breaking 5000/27000. All runs were with Mac fan control set to auto 50c fan ramp up. 
Cinebench before 1219cb @3.6ghz 97-100c
Cinebench after 1255 @ 3.8ghz 90-97c
Blender before 5:50 95-97c @ 3.5-3.6 ghz
Blender after 5:23 95-97c @ 3.8-3.9 ghz
Geekbench 3 before 4880/25497
Geekbench 3 after 5066/27383
Geekbench 4 before 5501/22279
Geekbench 4 after 5809/26632

Thank you!  Was this a difficult project?   What are the average temperatures Now?

Not too difficult but I’m used to tearing things apart. Average temps are still 90-97c under full load, just slightly higher boost clock speed. Idle temp still 40-41c with fan speed at 1700. The benchmarks show a noticeable performance gain, but Apple still
allows it to run up to 100c.

2018 Mac Mini i7 16gb 256gb 10gbe - Akitio Node w/ Corsair SF450 psu and Sapphire RX Vega 64.


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hornedfrog
(@hornedfrog)
Trusted Member
Joined: 2 years ago
 
Posted by: Baupfhor
Posted by: hornedfrog
Posted by: Baupfhor

I went ahead and added Thermal Grizzly liquid metal to my i7. I ran both CinebenchR15 and Blender (BMW) and screen recorded before and after. I used Intel Power Gadget to monitor temps and clock speed.  Peak temps were a few degrees cooler but nothing to OMG about, however, it did allow it to turbo boost a couple hundred MHz higher for longer resulting in a higher cinebench score and faster blender render times. I also saw a 200 point increase in Geekbench 3 breaking 5000/27000. All runs were with Mac fan control set to auto 50c fan ramp up. 
Cinebench before 1219cb @3.6ghz 97-100c
Cinebench after 1255 @ 3.8ghz 90-97c
Blender before 5:50 95-97c @ 3.5-3.6 ghz
Blender after 5:23 95-97c @ 3.8-3.9 ghz
Geekbench 3 before 4880/25497
Geekbench 3 after 5066/27383
Geekbench 4 before 5501/22279
Geekbench 4 after 5809/26632

Thank you!  Was this a difficult project?   What are the average temperatures Now?

Not too difficult but I’m used to tearing things apart. Average temps are still 90-97c under full load, just slightly higher boost clock speed. Idle temp still 40-41c with fan speed at 1700. The benchmarks show a noticeable performance gain, but Apple still
allows it to run up to 100c.

Thank you,   I will give it a go.  I have some Prolimatech PK3.   It is probably not as strong as the liquid metal but must be better than the stock compound.

Mac mini 2018/i7/1TB/32GB RAM
Sonnet Breakaway Box 650W. Sapphire Vega 64 - (21275-03-20G card)
OWC Thunderbolt 3 14 port hub
AKiTiO Node Duo, 1 x Patriot Scorch M.2 512G SSD PCI-E 3.0 x 2 drive.


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Sebastian Krampe
(@megaseppl)
Eminent Member
Joined: 2 years ago
 

Hi there,


I have had 3 temperature problems with my Mac mini:



1. High temperature in Sleep mode

2. High temperature in idle / normal work

3. High temperature in heavy load.



1.For the first problem I found two reasons: My sleep mode was not working correctly. Because of the missing pulsing LED I was not realizing that the Mac was still running even though external Disks did not spin, Monitors went off etc. But the Mac was still consuming almost 20 Watts, but without a spinning fan. That result in a case top temperature of more than 46°C. More than on heavy load where the fan is blowing most of the heat away.



After 2 hours of measuring the energy consumption I found the reasons:

- The USB-C hub did not let the Mac sleep.

- Same for Power Nap.


Only if I removed the hub AND disabled Power Nap the temps got normal.



2. While normal work (no CPU heavy apps like Browsing, Twitch stream etc.) the Mac mini got really warm. Up to 70° for the CPU. Components like WiFi or SSD were quite hot too. As a solution I built the Glory Blow Hole: A hole inside the table with a 14cm 5V USB fan, controlled by PWM.



If you read Glory Blow Hole, please do it with Morgan Freemans voice in your mind... but with German accent!



 


On a wooden panel with a hole I've placed a 14cm dust filter, then a Noctua 5V PWM fan, controlled by a Noctua PWM controller. All USB powered. The PWM controller will be replaced by a smarter solution wich will be controlled by my home automation later. At presence it goes on/off automatically when the Mac is in use. In future the speed will get adjusted dependent on the temperature of the CPU.


 Above the fan another panel which will later be glued on the table.


This is the final view. Almost not visible...





... except if you lift Kenobi, my Mac Mini. I have added door isolation foam where the Mac is floating on.





View from below. You can see the Mac mini without its plastic cap.



Results: 
The most dramatic improvements can be seen in short. high workloads. Cinebench got an improvement of up to 11 percetanges:




Before: 1130, after 1259.


On long workloads the improvement is much less: At a ~50 minutes test render in Cinema 4D it saved about 2 minutes. But hey, it's something!

Components like WiFi or SSD are way cooler than before.



I have no Geekbench results from before my Glory Blow Hole was implemented, but I did not expect higher than normal results - because Geekbench does not produce much heat. So my second fan is not really helping here.
The Multicore results where as expected in normal range. But the Single Core results seem to be the third highes results ever recorded with a Mac mini in Geekbench (and second highest device):

https://browser.geekbench.com/v4/cpu/11172775 


And because the Mac mini in general has the fastest Single Core performance of all current Macs, it seems that my Mac Mini ist the second fastest Mac on the planet right now! ;)





3. 
I wanted to improve the heavy load temperatures further (beside my Glory Blow Hole that seemed already to help here) by replacing the Thermal compound. So I cleaned the CPU and heatsink and put Artic MX-2 on it. But honestly that was a waste of time: It did not improve the temperatures or the clock speed at all. Maybe I'll have to wait a little...sometimes it needs time till thermal paste works optimal.



Total work for the Glory Blow Hole took about 3 hours including the time to find the right fan (silent, USB, PWM) and its controller.

So, as a summary I think giving the Mac Mini cool air is more important than changing the thermal compound. This might be different on other Mac minis of course. But it should not be the first thing you try if you want to improve performance. 

Maybe this is a inspiration for some of you. Smile

Mac mini 2018 i7, Razer Core X with PowerColor Red Devil 5700 XT


jangoloti, WillyC, mojomojo and 9 people liked
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itsage
(@itsage)
Illustrious Member Admin
Joined: 4 years ago
 

@megaseppl This is very cool! 2018 Mac mini owners with the i7 should pay a visit to your Glory Blow Hole.  😀

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2020 13" MacBook Pro [10th,4C,G] + RTX 2080 Ti @ 32Gbps-TB3 (AORUS Gaming Box) + Win10 2004 [build link]  


Juan C. Yunis, Shirokiya, hornedfrog and 1 people liked
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Pierre-Emmanuel Pardon
(@pierre-emmanuel_pardon)
Active Member
Joined: 3 years ago
 

Hi,

New setup :

Capture d’écran 2018 12 08 à 10.32.26

Working like a charm !

Old hardware: MacBookPro11,5 (15 Retina, i7 4980HQ) dGPU R9 M370X + TB2/TB3 adapter + Razer Core v2 + GTX 1070 Ti

New hardware: Mac mini (2018, i7 8700B, 32 GB RAM, 1 TB SSD)+ Razer Core v2 eGPU + SAPPHIRE Radeon RX Vega 64 + Samsung C27HG70 display
New software: macOS 10.14.2 (18C54), Windows 10 to be tried !


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Juan C. Yunis
(@juan_c_yunis)
Reputable Member
Joined: 3 years ago
 

we have about the same configuration except for the 1TB SSD, i went with 512GB. How is it working for you with the VEGA 64 in Mac?

2018 Mac Mini Core i7 8700B 32GB RAM 512GB SSD + Razer Core X + AMD Radeon VII


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waterchill
(@waterchill)
Active Member
Joined: 2 years ago
 

I have upgraded my MacMini to 32GB and reapplied new thermal paste to AS5. Under full load (Prime 95) it is now about 10 degrees cooler as before.

MacPro 6,1 12C/64GB/1TB 2xD500
MacMini 2018/i7/1TB/32GB eGPU Vega64/Sonnet650


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hornedfrog
(@hornedfrog)
Trusted Member
Joined: 2 years ago
 

10 degrees Celsius!?

Mac mini 2018/i7/1TB/32GB RAM
Sonnet Breakaway Box 650W. Sapphire Vega 64 - (21275-03-20G card)
OWC Thunderbolt 3 14 port hub
AKiTiO Node Duo, 1 x Patriot Scorch M.2 512G SSD PCI-E 3.0 x 2 drive.


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waterchill
(@waterchill)
Active Member
Joined: 2 years ago
 

Exactly. I have some pictures but actually cannot upload. The thermal paste situation is exactly same bad as 10 years ago. too much and too bad 🙁 always the same sh...

MacPro 6,1 12C/64GB/1TB 2xD500
MacMini 2018/i7/1TB/32GB eGPU Vega64/Sonnet650


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