Apple Engineers Go Into Design Of Mac Pro’s Innovative Cooling System Recently, Chris Ligtenberg, Senior Product Design Director of Apple, and John Ternus, the company’s VP of Hardware Engineering, sat down for an interview with Popular Mechanics and discussed the unique design of Mac Pro and Pro Display XDR in terms of cooling efficiency.
According to Chris Ligtenberg, his team is responsible for designing the Mac Pro’s cooling fan unit, a structure consisting of three axial fans and a turbo fan, and the team has redesigned the interior of the fan to reduce the noise when the fan is running. While Ternus says that they did a ton of analysis goes into figuring out how to optimize for that:
“Years ago, we started redistributing the blades ,” he says. “They’re still dynamically balanced, but they’re actually randomized in terms of their BPF [blade pass frequency]. So you don’t get huge harmonics that tend to be super annoying.”
“You can have something at a certain SPL [sound pressure level] that sounds really good, but you can have something that’s actually at a lower SPL that grates on your nerves and sounds really awful,” says John Ternus, VP of Hardware Engineering at Apple and head of the Pro and Pro Display’s development. “We want to get really great performance where, you either can’t hear it, or if you can hear it, it’s kind of a pleasant noise. A ton of analysis goes into figuring out how to optimize for that.”
In addition to the design of the internal thermal dissipation structure, the iconic cheese gretter design of Mac Pro is also helpful in helping cooling the machine. This grid design is based on the natural state of the molecular crystal structure. The three-dimensional interlocking spherical grid expands the surface area, maximizing airflow and structural strength.
Take the Mac Pro as an example. The case enclosure made of three pieces of aluminum metal can seal the internal space of the fuselage. Together with the fan, turbine and internal ducts, it forms some unique air pressure bands to maximize the heat dissipation capacity of the entire system. Compared to the previous Power Mac G5, the cheese gretter-like design has increased the Mac Pro’s airflow by “approximately 20%”, claimed John Ternus.
The Pro Display XDR uses the same design to more than double the air contact area of the fuselage, allowing more air to pass through, and also acting as a passive heat sink for the radiator. Pro Display XDR comes with fans for specific components, but the round-hole grid-style design keeps the huge LED panel cool enough.
For more details, head over to Popular Mechanics.