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Extra cooling for Mac mini, an idea  

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Leovinus
(@leovinus)
Eminent Member
Joined: 5 months ago
 

I've been thinking about ways to improve the cooling of my mini. The simplest way I can think of is to add a laptop cooler underneath it. But I thought I could do it better for cheaper by building it myself.

My sketch is this:

Screenshot 2020 09 25 at 14.10.21

Very simple really.

  • Buy a Noctua F-12, which is focused on pressure
  • Use two tall wooden slats on two sides, and two smaller ones for the fan to rest on in an H configuration. Also holds the structure together
    • For extra airflow the taller slats can be halved in heigh towards the middle (still covering the fan) so as to let more air in on one or both sides.
  • Use dark fancy wood and let it stick out a bit from the Mac mini for aesthetic reasons

Then I'll just buy a controller (I can do some school-grade wood shop, not soldering for lack of skill an equipment) that plugs into a USB port and I should be good to go.

My main question is if the higher pressure will meaningfully hurt the internal fan?

Rocking a Mac mini 2018/2020 i7-8700B 6C/12T with 32Gb RAM, and a PowerColor 5700 XT humming along in its Razer Core X.

 
2018 Mac Mini [8th,6C,B] + RX 5700 XT @ 32Gbps-TB3 (Razer Core X) + macOS 10.15.5 [build link]  


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Eightarmedpet
(@eightarmedpet)
Noble Member Moderator
Joined: 4 years ago

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Leovinus
(@leovinus)
Eminent Member
Joined: 5 months ago
 

@eightarmedpet, Hehe, yea I've seen that thread. Which is why I'm doing this. But I don't think I've ever seen an answer to wether or not the internal fan runs any risk. Aside from the fact that turbulent air at mismatched RPM's can make cooling perform worse. The Noctua NF-12 is designed to smooth out airflow however, so my hope is that the increased pressure and smoother air column will avoid that problem.

And yes, veneered wood would be amazing I think. Best thing about building this is that I can just modify it to my hearts content. I can make a mockup with crappy wood and a final product with beautiful veneered hardwood.

Funny thing is that intend to keep my Saitech aluminium hub as a base. Basically making the fan and slat modification be sandwished between the mini and the base. Aesthetically I think it might work very well. Rounded aluminium corners top and bottom, contrasting thin wood veneer making the mini float in between. Should look alright. Though I think the gap can't be allowed to be taller than the mini. That would probably look weird.

 

Rocking a Mac mini 2018/2020 i7-8700B 6C/12T with 32Gb RAM, and a PowerColor 5700 XT humming along in its Razer Core X.

 
2018 Mac Mini [8th,6C,B] + RX 5700 XT @ 32Gbps-TB3 (Razer Core X) + macOS 10.15.5 [build link]  


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