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axu539
Oct 10, 2011, 12:25 PM
I have an 11" 2011 MBA, and lately, it's been getting really hot. All I have open right now is Safari and Activity Monitor, and iStat Menus is giving me 82 C, which I'm fairly sure isn't normal for idling temperatures. I started seeing this issue about a week ago, after I installed a Lion update. Activity Monitor is showing no runaway processes, and I'm only at about 1% usage right now (processor). Could a software update actually cause such a drastic increase in temperatures without increasing any process load?

Edit: I'd like to add that a restart usually fixes the issue temporarily. I've also done many SMC and PRAM resets, which also only show temporary effects.



GGJstudios
Oct 10, 2011, 12:34 PM
The Intel processors used in Macs are designed to automatically shut down to prevent damage if they truly overheat (around 100C/212F - 105C/221F, depending on your processor). iStat Pro (http://www.islayer.com/apps/istatpro/) will give you accurate readings of your temps, among other things.

Unless there is a rare defect in your Mac, your temps are well within the normal operating range, considering the workload you're putting on it. Websites with Flash content, games and other multimedia apps will put higher demand on the CPU/GPU, generating more heat. This is normal. If you're constantly putting high demands on your system, such as gaming or other multimedia tasks, expect temps to rise and fans to spin up accordingly. It's just your Mac doing its job to maintain temps within the normal range.

Your fans are always on when your Mac is on, spinning at a minimum of 2000 rpm (for MBPs) or 1800 rpm (for MBAs, MBs and minis). They will spin faster as needed to keep temps at a safe level. If they're spinning up without increased heat, try resetting the SMC (http://support.apple.com/kb/ht3964). PRAM/NVRAM has nothing to do with these issues, so resetting it will not help. Also, make sure you don't block the vents, which are located at the rear, near the hinge.

Learn about the fans in your Mac (http://support.apple.com/kb/HT4543)
Apple Portables: Operating temperature (http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1778)

Many times people think their computer is at idle, when there is really something running in the background. When you launch Activity Monitor, be sure to change "My Processes" at the top to "All Processes". Then look to see what apps may be placing high demands on your CPU/GPU.

axu539
Oct 10, 2011, 12:38 PM
The Intel processors used in Macs are designed to automatically shut down to prevent damage if they truly overheat (around 100C/212F - 105C/221F, depending on your processor). iStat Pro (http://www.islayer.com/apps/istatpro/) will give you accurate readings of your temps, among other things.

Unless there is a rare defect in your Mac, your temps are well within the normal operating range, considering the workload you're putting on it. Websites with Flash content, games and other multimedia apps will put higher demand on the CPU/GPU, generating more heat. This is normal. If you're constantly putting high demands on your system, such as gaming or other multimedia tasks, expect temps to rise and fans to spin up accordingly. It's just your Mac doing its job to maintain temps within the normal range.

Your fans are always on when your Mac is on, spinning at a minimum of 2000 rpm (for MBPs) or 1800 rpm (for MBAs, MBs and minis). They will spin faster as needed to keep temps at a safe level. If they're spinning up without increased heat, try resetting the SMC (http://support.apple.com/kb/ht3964). PRAM/NVRAM has nothing to do with these issues, so resetting it will not help. Also, make sure you don't block the vents, which are located at the rear, near the hinge.

Learn about the fans in your Mac (http://support.apple.com/kb/HT4543)
Apple Portables: Operating temperature (http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1778)

Many times people think their computer is at idle, when there is really something running in the background. When you launch Activity Monitor, be sure to change "My Processes" at the top to "All Processes". Then look to see what apps may be placing high demands on your CPU/GPU.

Thanks for the response. The reason I'm concerned was that "All Processes" was giving me only WindowServer (using 6.5%) at the highest point. My fans were sitting around 2000 RPM, yet the temperatures were north of 80 C, which is what I used to get only when the machine was under load. The only page I had open on Safari earlier was MacRumors Forums, also. Any ideas?

GGJstudios
Oct 10, 2011, 12:42 PM
Thanks for the response. The reason I'm concerned was that "All Processes" was giving me only WindowServer (using 6.5%) at the highest point. My fans were sitting around 2000 RPM, yet the temperatures were north of 80 C, which is what I used to get only when the machine was under load. The only page I had open on Safari earlier was MacRumors Forums, also. Any ideas?
Your fans won't always spin up when your temps go up. Temps need to be sustained at a higher temp before the fans will spin faster. Your Mac knows when it needs to spin up fans to keep temps within the safe operating range, as your temps are.