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[Libreboot] MacBook 2,1: reduce CPU temperature

From: Marcel Maci
Subject: [Libreboot] MacBook 2,1: reduce CPU temperature
Date: Thu, 18 Aug 2016 12:16:30 +0200

Hi all,

Just in case somebody is interested in flashing Libreboot on a Macbook 2,1, I'd 
like to share my experience here: 
As you know, the MacBook gets quite hot (event hotter with Libreboot). You can 
adjust the fan settings (as described here:, but this is 
not a good solution. The basic problem with the MacBook is that it has no 
opening (air inlet) for the fan (it takes hot air from the inside which is not 
effective at all). On the Trisquel forum 
( I read about a 
guy who cut a hole in the bottom part of the MacBook (just where the fan is). 
He reports that CPU temperatures can be 10-20 degrees lower. So I decided to 
apply this solution myself by thrilling a series of smaller holes (instead of 
one big hole) into the body of the MacBook. I can confirm that this lowers the 
CPU temperatures in a very efficient way:
- before the modification cpu temperatures were always around 65-70 degrees 
even when I was working normally (i.e. without heavy cpu load) and the fan was 
constantly on and turning on full speed (6200 rpm)
- now the temperatures are constantly around 55-65 degres and the fan only 
kicks in from time to time and doesn't get over 4500-5000 rpm normally (only 
with HD videos the fan spins at max speed and cpu temperatures get up to 75 or 
eventually 80 degrees).
I'm really happy with this solution. Make sure to be careful when drilling the 
holes (especially cleaning up the small metal pieces that the thrilling 
produces) and smoothenig the interior with sand paper. Do it from the inside 
and with the fan removed (see photos).
Be sure to install a newer kernel (I'm using 4.2 - with 3.13 the touchpad was 
just UNUSABLE!), reconfigure the keyboard and you will get one of the best 
Libreboot-experiences in my opinion!

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