Apple's MacBook Pro line of notebook computers has been plagued with heat issues. The MacBook Pro is basically a desktop computer crammed into a small aluminum enclosure, with two underwhelming rear fans. If you plan on doing any serious work that requires the CPU or graphics card you will want to look in to purchasing a laptop cooling device. This guide will take you through the steps of purchasing the right notebook cooler for you.

Things You Will Need

Ability to shop online.

Step 1

Notebook Cooler Pad Find out the dimensions of your computer to ensure that the cooling pad's fans align properly with the hottest areas of your MacBook Pro. Your computer will be either a 13", 15", or 17" model.

Step 2

Decide what features you want your notebook cooling pad to have. Such features include the number of fans, fan rpm, power source, and the materials that the pad is constructed of. Now I'll go into these features in a little bit more detail:

Number of Fans - Laptop cooling pads generally have from one to four fans, but usually two. The amount of fans you need is mainly determined by the size of your computer and your noise preferences. Smaller Macs (13 inchers) require smaller cooling devices, and you could probably get away with a pad with only one fan. Larger MacBook Pros (MBP) require two fans minimum to successfully remove enough heat. And obviously, more fans equals more noise so you might want to take that in to consideration.

Fan RPM - The fan's speed, or RPM, is directly related to the cooling pad's heat removal capacity and noise production. Faster fans will take away more heat, but will also be noisier. Some higher end notebook coolers feature variable fan control, which allows you to determine how fast you want the fans to rotate.

Power Source - The device's power source is another important feature to look at. The majority of laptop coolers on the market are USB powered, which can be more convenient than AC plugin coolers, but they also take up one of the MacBook Pro's precious USB slots. If you buy a USB powered notebook cooling pad then you'll want to look into one that also doubles as a USB hub to prevent you from losing a USB slot.

Material - Finally, you'll want to look into purchasing a quality notebook cooler that will last. I would forgoe purchasing a plastic model, and splurge on a cooler constructed of some sort of metal... usually aluminum. The metal housing will help conduct heat and radiate it away from your machine.

Step 3

Now that you know what to look for, all you need to do is know where to look. MacBook Pro cooling pads can be found in most computer and electronics stores, but for the best selection you'll want to look online.

Tips & Warnings

The notebook cooling pad purchasing tips contained within this guide can be applied to any laptop computer, not just the MacBook Pro!