Does the New M2 MacBook Air Have an Overheating Problem?

The M2 MacBook Air, announced in June 2022, marked the introduction of the M2 chip in the MacBook Air lineup. The design was revealed to be different from the previous MacBook Air models, more closely resembling the MacBook Pro.

The new MacBook Air is thinner than its predecessors, and while it has received positive reception, there have been reports of users complaining that their MacBook Air is suffering from overheating and throttled performance. Let’s take a look at why this has been happening and what you can do to avoid it.

The Anatomy of the M2 MacBook Air: Why Does It Overheat?

There are many great reasons to buy a M2 MacBook Air; it’s incredibly fast, providing you don’t perform overly intensive tasks, and it has a sleek and thin design. That thin design comes partly from the fact that there are no fans inside (which also makes it thinner than the MacBook Pro).

The absence of any built-in fans means that there’s no way to cool the system when it heats up. This inability of the MacBook Air to cool itself is what leads to throttled performance. There’s no way for you to know when the Mac starts overheating until you start experiencing a drop in the performance.

There are two essential cooling components in a laptop that the M2 MacBook Air lacks:

  • A heat spreader: a device that’s used to dissipate heat from the processor to another large surface.
  • A heat sink: a cooling device that uses fans to disperse heat.

Another problem is that, according to the below YouTube video by iFixit, the 256GB MacBook Air only has one NAND chip (due to chip supply shortage) which negatively impacts the performance of the system. If you want faster performance, you have no choice but to buy the 512GB model, which is twice as fast precisely because it uses two NAND chips.

How Can You Avoid Overheating Your M2 MacBook Air?

If your MacBook Air is constantly overheating, then you’re probably not the intended user for it. The MacBook Air is the most affordable product in Apple’s lineup of laptops, and it’s meant to be used for basic tasks such as browsing social media, watching Netflix, and using productivity apps.

If you don’t plan to use your MacBook Air for editing raw media files and playing high-fidelity games, then it’s perfect for you, and it’s unlikely that you’ll run into any problem. But it’s not the best substitute for the MacBook Pro because you can’t perform resource-intensive tasks on it.

With that being said, there are some solutions. Installing a thermal pad in your MacBook Air is an effective and cheap way to stop your system from overheating. Thermal pads are thermally conductive sheets that are placed between the CPU parts to keep them from heating. Tests by 9to5Mac have shown that the M2 MacBook Air performs much better with thermal pads installed in it.

The problem with this solution is that you risk voiding your warranty if you open your laptop, and you could end up damaging its parts if you do something wrong. There are plenty of YouTube tutorials that will teach you how to do it, but we suggest having it done by a professional.

Another solution is to invest in a laptop cooling pad and a stand, which will help your system breathe better. A laptop cooling pad might not be portable, but you’ll be fine as long as you don’t intend to push the MacBook to its limits when on the go.

Is the M2 MacBook Air Still Worth It?

The M2 MacBook Air is an incredible piece of hardware. Seeing as how it’s the most affordable laptop in Apple’s lineup of laptops, it’s clear the number of people who buy it will keep increasing. It’s all the more perplexing, then, why Apple would choose not to include a proper cooling system in the M2 MacBook Air.

Despite all the issues, the M2 MacBook Air is a great laptop that’s perfect for people who want to just browse the web and watch Netflix on it.

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