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MacBook Pro (Unibody) Fan Conversion

Joined
May 27, 2012
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These are horizontal fans, air is drawn in from top and bottom, and forced out the side of the fan. If you read my thread "Cube Scratch Build" (in my Signature), you can see how such a fan could be used.

These are PWM fans so speed controlled by the motherboard. The only downside to these fan are LOUD when it speeds up, but on minimum RPM's it is silent. Many motherboards allow the configuration of the maximum fan speeds so this issue can be reduced.

I can confirm that this conversion works for the MacBook Pro 15" and 17" Unibody, Right Hand Side Fans. The 15" and 17" pinouts are the same. I haven't seen the 13" fan, but no reason to think it would be any different. The Left hand side fan is probably similar but again cannot confirm

The main issue when connecting this, is that it is 5V fan, not the normal 12V. However this didn't really pose a problem in the end, as all signal (except for 5V) can be derived from the standard fan header. Here is the connection diagram for the fan.
Screenshot 31:03:13 9:56 PM.jpg

The 5V pin can be be wired to any pin on your motherboard (eg USB) or a 5v source directly from the main PSU. This also applies to the GND signal, but the Control and Sense signal must come from the fan header
 
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Do you know what happens when you give less than 5V to the fan? Does it simply spin slower?
 
Joined
May 27, 2012
Messages
775
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DQ77KB
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i7-3770S
Graphics
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iOS
Do you know what happens when you give less than 5V to the fan? Does it simply spin slower?
i haven't tried. Why would you to do this?
 
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Thanks for the write up and the picture of these fans Kiwi.

I am researching for my NUC build and I see that the MBP fans here are the same brand and voltage as the 4 wire board controlled NUC item, but the NUC unit is a 1.1 Watt unit instead of the MBP one (for 17") being 2.1 W.

I may just have to get hold of one of these units and try it as a means for aiding airflow through my Mac Mini cased conversion and compare to the NUC unit.

With the brand of fan being the same, although pinout has of course been changed by Apple (!), I am hoping I'll be lucky and the fan control of the NUC will work the PWM of the MBP fan correctly.

Edit1: From a search of eBay it looks like the 15" MBP fans are the 1.1W unit

Edit2: The NUC spec.s say the processor fan header can supply a maximum of .25A (and the MBP unit can draw up to 0.42A) so if I try this I may need to use a USB power feed pin to connect the 5V line to.
 
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