How hot can the fanless M1 MacBook Air get? – Thermal testing with gaming, 4K monitors, and rendering

YouTube channel ‘Created Labs’ recently performed several extreme tests on the fanless M1 MacBook Air to determine how hot the machine can get when performing different tasks. The temperatures were monitored through a TGPro and a FLIR thermal imaging camera.

For the tests, the YouTuber rendered some 8K R3D footage shot in RAW via DaVinci Resolve, rendered After Effects compilations, performed blender rendering, had a gaming session, and multitasked with a 4K monitor.

How hot can the fanless m1 MacBook Air get? – Thermal testing with gaming, 4K monitors, rendering give an answer

The test cycle conducted by Created Labs examines and compares how the heat develops and how long it lasts in different scenarios like gaming, rendering, multi-tasking on 4K monitors, and more.

Here are all the values recorded from the tests:

  • 31 degrees Celsius when rendering
  • 47 degrees Celsius after 40 minutes of rendering in DaVinci
  • 35 degrees Celsius after 30 minutes render in After Effects
  • 45 degrees Celsius after 30 minutes in blender
  • 50 degrees Celsius after 1 hour of gaming
  • 38 degrees Celsius after 1-hour of multi-tasking on 4K monitors

The machine cooled down to its normal temperature in about one minute after each test.

The two record values were achieved after an hour of gaming and 40 minutes of rendering in DaVinci. The thermometer recorded 50 or 47 degrees. One minute after the end of the test, the temperature of the machine had already dropped to 31 degrees.

The M1 MacBook Air stayed significantly cooler after 30 minutes of rendering in After Effects (35 degrees) or in multitasking with an external 4K display (38 degrees). So, if gaming is important to a user, they should go for the M1 MacBook Pro, which contains a fan. Other than that, the fanless M1 MacBook Air handles tasks incredibly well.

An important thing to note is that the temperature of the machine is different from the chip itself. M1 cores can reach temperatures of up to 100 degrees according to the internal measurement data, so it is not that different from Intel processors.

CreatedLabs also performed another temperature test with an M1 MacBook Air recently. The YouTuber wanted to see if the machine could “easily” export a video under the intense heat from the Australian sun. You can read about the results of that test here.

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Mobile gaming editor for iThinkDifferent