The new Mac Pro is a bit of a beast. Computers like that obviously generate a lot of heat. Popular Mechanics spoke to the Apple engineers tasked with keeping such a powerful device cool.

Most high-grade PCs and displays cool things off with big fans or pump-driven water systems. But if you’ve used a Mac in the past decade, near-silent operation is a non-negotiable requirement for Apple laptops. That means Apple engineers have to find creative ways to exploit the laws of thermodynamics. Among those engineers is Chris Ligtenberg, Senior Director of Product Design. His name is on dozens of the company’s patents, but he’s especially interested in how air moves. (He’s also a pilot. “I fly a Beechcraft Turbo Bonanza, B36TC,” he says. Before that, he had a Piper straight-tail Lance, PA32R-300). Ligtenberg’s group built the Pro’s fan system—three axial fans in the front, with a blower in the back. Since most off-the-shelf fans would be too loud, Apple designs them internally.

 

Check It Out: How Thermodynamics Help Keep the Mac Pro Cool

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