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I code mostly in Matlab, simulating various simple fluid dynamics models.

One particular simulation has the potential to become sort of complex, though I believe the set of coupled equations will still be pretty simple / greatly simplified.

Is a 2021 MacBook Air sufficient for simulations?

My 10-year-old MacBook Pro runs Matlab code perfectly fine, but it's so old now that soon I won't be able to use new versions of Matlab, etc.

My concern about the MacBook Air is that it doesn't have a fan, so I wonder if its processor chip will be damaged during high-demand simulations.

My gut feeling is to stick with what has worked well, and pay up for a new MacBook Pro.

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  • $\begingroup$ Is it for fluid dynamics in 3D? For 2D even an old laptop should be fine. $\endgroup$ Jan 1, 2022 at 23:23
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    $\begingroup$ Re "I wonder if its processor chip will be damaged during high-demand simulations." That is highly unlikely, as modern computers have multiple temperature sensors that will shut down the hardware if specified temperature limits are exceeded. Typically these limits are around 90°C for current hardware. It is also quite possible that processor clocks will be throttled before the thermal limit is reached to reduce power consumption, which would lower application performance. You can use a monitoring tool to continuously observe for yourself. $\endgroup$
    – njuffa
    Jan 2, 2022 at 0:07

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