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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

SVALT D Performance Cooling Dock with MacBook Pro 15-inch Retina display close up

If you have any questions not covered here, then please contact us.

What laptop models does it work with?

The SVALT Cooling Dock’s innovative leaning clamshell configuration with adjustable retention pad helps to accommodate a wide variety of laptops and devices.

See Laptop Compatibility to learn more.

How can I tell if my laptop is throttling?

If you are experiencing slow performance or you hear your laptop’s internal fans running at maximum speed then there’s a high probability your laptop is throttling performance and in need of supplemental cooling. When the computer is throttling the peak Turbo Boost or multi-core processor speeds will drop, which causes performance to slow and temperatures to decrease. Processor speed throttling is a normal occurrence with laptops as they have smaller and often underpowered cooling systems that are unable to keep up with heavy workloads, such as gaming, video editing, photo editing, and 3D rendering.

The SVALT Cooling Dock has been specifically designed to reduce or eliminate throttling and unlock your laptop's maximum performance potential. A powerful desktop sized fan drives cooling air onto the CPU/GPU processors to reduce or eliminate throttling and unlock your laptop's performance potential. The SVALT Cooling Dock’s two pound aluminum cradle acts as a massive heat sink located right next to the heat generating CPU/GPU to deliver passive cooling.

See Laptop Throttling to learn more.

Will it make my laptop faster?

The SVALT Cooling Dock is a supplemental cooling system that increases the cooling capacity and cooling reserves of a laptop’s built-in cooling system. Since most laptop’s have a comparatively small built-in cooling systems, these systems can struggle to keep up with the heat generated by CPU and/or GPU processors running at or near maximum speed for an extended period of time. When developing photos, editing videos, rendering models, playing video games or running other high-demand applications a laptop’s built-in cooling system can fail to keep up, leading to internal fans spinning at max, heat building up throughout the system, potentially degrading component reliability, processor throttling and slow performance.

The SVALT Cooling Dock has been specially designed with multiple patents to turbo charge the laptop’s built-in cooling system, help avoid a laptop meltdown, overcome heat induced throttling and maintain peak performance while under heavy and sustained workloads. As a result, a SVALT workstation will be more powerful and faster than a laptop that is throttling. In addition, the SVALT Cooling Dock closed-screen clamshell configuration increases workstation productivity by allowing all of the laptop’s power to be used by the processors and all of the laptop’s graphic resources to be dedicated to driving multiple full-sized and high-resolution displays. The external displays, along with the ability to use any keyboard and other input device of your choosing, will help to improve ergonomics and productivity.

The SVALT D2 High-Performance Cooling Dock includes a more powerful and intelligent cooling system that uses an external temperature sensor to monitor laptop temperatures and automatically adjust speed from 900 to 3600 RPM, keeping things quiet when supplemental cooling is not required and then increasing cooling power as temperatures rise. You can choose from three automatic cooling modes based on your preferred balance between audio and cooling performance. At anytime one of two Turbo cooling modes can be activated for instant cooling power. A custom fixed speed mode allows for any speed from 900 to 3600 RPM to be locked in for ultimate user control.

See Performance By Design to learn more.

Why use the laptop with the screen closed?

Laptops are essential for handling professional applications and for providing the flexibility to maintain productivity throughout the workday, from meeting at the office to working in the field to working at home. Laptops have become so powerful that many have replaced dedicated desktop computers for even the most intensive computing workloads. However, when professionals, creatives, gamers and others rely on laptops to provide maximum performance and productivity for hours at a time, the laptop’s mobile ergonomics, screen, keyboard, power management and cooling system can fall short. The SVALT Cooling Dock was created to transform laptops into more ergonomic, productive, powerful and professional desktop workstations with the following advantages:
  • Turbo charge the laptop’s comparatively small cooling system to help reduce processor throttling and improve performance when running high-demand applications for extended periods of time.
  • Disable the laptop’s built-in screen to preserve screen life.
  • Disable the laptop’s built-in screen to free up system power and avoid performance throttling induced by a limited power supply.
  • Disable the laptop’s built-in screen to help optimize graphics performance for driving multiple full-sized and high-resolution external displays.
  • Place two or more identical external displays side-by-side to provide a cleaner digital desktop setup.
  • Use two or more large external displays located at eye level to avoid looking down and help improve workstation ergonomics.
  • Use separate keyboard, trackpad, trackball, mouse or drawing device of your choice to help improve workstation ergonomics and productivity.
  • Regain valuable desktop space and help to create a more clean, open and modern workspace.
See Laptop Clamshell Setup to learn more.

Will it help preserve laptop life?

Computers can generate a significant amount of heat, and depending on a number of factors, that heat can reduce hardware life and reliability, so as a general rule, hardware life and reliability can be increased by reducing hardware’s exposure to high temperatures. Clamshell mode uses an external monitor that disables and preserves the built-in display. Clamshell mode also uses an external power supply so does not go through additional battery cycles.

See Laptop Throttling to learn more.

Can I use USB power from my laptop?

The SVALT Cooling Dock has been designed to unlock maximum laptop performance when used at the office. USB power can drive a smaller 6-volt fan, but it cannot drive the larger, more powerful and more efficient 12-volt fan used in the SVALT Cooling Dock. Using USB power has another disadvantage, as the power must be pulled from laptop’s system and this has the potential to generate additional internal heat, as well as using power that otherwise could have been used by the computer system for improved performance. Laptops with the top-end CPU and GPU configurations often require more power than the external power supply can provide when running at maximum speed, which requires supplemental power to be pulled from the battery and can lead to processor performance throttling. Disabling the built-in screen frees up more power for the processors so that the system can maintain maximum speed. The SVALT Cooling Dock is about maintaining maximum performance so robbing the system for USB fan power would be counter productive. Finally, the SVALT Cooling Dock has been designed as a solid piece of desktop furnishing for your laptop, not as light-duty accessory for mobile use.

See Innovative By Design to learn more.

How does it provide laptop stability?

The SVALT Cooling Dock’s substantial two pound aluminum dock with non-skid feet create a stable and elegant support for your premium laptop, while the innovative leaning support configuration provides easy laptop operation. With the laptop securely in the dock and connected to external displays, keyboard, mouse and power, the laptop screen can be easily opened to quickly power on the laptop. This avoids dropping the laptop when attempting to enable clamshell mode operation by picking up the laptop, opening the screen, pressing the power button, and then quickly closing the screen. The upright leaning position with the dock’s compact form also helps to regain valuable desktop space and create a more clean, open and modern workspace.

See Innovative By Design to learn more.

What’s different between the D1 and D2 models?

The SVALT Cooling Dock comes in two model configurations, the D1 and D2. The SVALT D1 Performance Cooling Dock model includes a fixed speed cooling system that offers simplicity of operation with a balance of cooling and audio performance. The more powerful, advanced and customizable SVALT D2 High-Performance Cooling Dock model includes an intelligent temperature based variable speed cooling system with black fan. The SVALT D2 is the culmination of years of development. It adds technology to the performance of the D1 while staying true to the fundamental design goal of creating a simple product of substance, a raw physical object that communicate value simply by holding the product in your hand. The SVALT D2’s technology provides simple set-it-and-forget-it operation that intelligently delivers silent to overwhelming cooling power. An external sensor measures laptop temperatures and automatically adjusts fan speeds from 0 to 3600 RPM over the course of the workday. The cooling system runs in auto mode by default, but at any time Turbo mode can be activated for an immediate blast of extra cooling power, or a number of advanced and customizable cooling modes can be selected for even more user control.

See the Features tab on the SVALT D1 and SVALT D2 product pages to learn more.

Does dust need to be cleaned?

As with any air cooled computer it is recommended that you inspect your laptop for dust and remove dust build up on a regular basis. Dust accumulation with or without supplemental cooling will vary depending on operational hours and the amount of dust in the environment. A MacBook Pro with 15-Inch Retina Display laptop was opened to inspect for dust after approximately 4,000 hours of operation with a SVALT Cooling Dock in an environment considered to be dustier than a typical professional office. Only a slight amount of dust was found, and a quick blow from a hand pump blower easily removed the dust that had lightly accumulated around the internal fan, at the air intake and adjacent fan blades. The same laptop with same SVALT Cooling Dock setup was found to have virtually zero dust accumulation after approximately 2,000 hours of operation. If you attempt to clean dust from your laptop then take care and seek professional services as required. iFixit is a great resource with Mac laptop repair guides and repair tools, such as P5 Pentalobe Screwdriver, anti-static wrist strap and mat, dust blower, as well as a guide to electrostatic discharge.

Why do you manufacture locally?

SVALT is based in Portland, Oregon, USA because it is a city in the heart of the Pacific Northwest that combines our two favorite things, close proximity to wilderness and robust design culture. We manufacture locally because it allows for immediate in-person communications with the diverse group of people involved with part supply, part manufacturing, product assembly, and beyond. This results in a manufacturing process that helps to ensure that products are made to SVALT’s exacting standards, and ensure that people and the environment are treated with respect in a lawful, humane, non-discriminatory and sustainable manner. Ultimately, this is a project of passion, and it is our goal to share and inspire passion from Portland to the rest of the world.

See Quality By Design to learn more.

Where else can I buy SVALT products?

You can checkout and purchase the SVALT D2 High-Performance Cooling Dock (silver aluminum + black fan) in-person through Made Here PDX at their downtown Portland, OR (40 NW 10th Ave Portland, OR 97209) retail location next to Powell’s City of Books. SVALT also sells through Amazon, where the D2 (silver aluminum + black fan) and D1 (silver aluminum + red fan) Cooling Docks are available.


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