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View Full Version : MBA Fan Noise Insane. Probably Gonna Return It.




blairh
Sep 4, 2009, 01:52 PM
hey guys,

sadly i think i'm forced to return my 3 day old mba. rev b, hdd.

i was willing to accept the "chirping issue" coming from my hd that was deemed "normal" by a series of Mac Genius'. However, the fans are kicking in very loudly when I watch a Youtube video's in standard def or a trailer at the Apple trailers site. The last time I watch a Youtube video (with mail, firefox, and tweetdeck open), my fan went to 6204 rpm's via istat pro. I can't have handle my fans revving up when I'm doing such basic tasks like watching a video on youtube. (Photo of Istat Pro attached) .

Curious to know if current MBA owners have the same experience with Youtube use, etc. Really a shame because I love this screen and the light weight is amazing.



GoCubsGo
Sep 4, 2009, 01:55 PM
Rev B HDD model. Fans will run when watching YouTube for a period of time but they're quiet. No chirping from HDD either (that is NOT ok). Perfect MBAir here, your issues aren't normal as far as I'm concerned. Maybe your Air is hotter when you watch Hot Hungry Beach Chicks.

guydude193
Sep 4, 2009, 01:56 PM
I'm assuming that you have Snow Leopard installed? Snow Leopard is appearing to run hotter than Leopard did at most tasks.

blairh
Sep 4, 2009, 02:01 PM
I do not have snow leopard installed.

Jessica: that was hilarious. the video is actually from Ijustine, and she's feeding birds in it. (side note: i hate Ijustine, but she's pretty). Also, my chirping was cleared by the Mac Genius' yesterday, so I'm **** out of luck in that regard if I plan on getting that taken care of. They said it's normal, so be it.

Jessica, also, when you watch Youtube videos, at what rpm's does your MBA run? The fans are fairly quiet but loud enough to really bother me.

caonimadebi
Sep 4, 2009, 02:51 PM
I think the 1.6Ghz processor is actually an ideal clock speed for the MBA enclosure. I upgraded to the 2.13Ghz and now it's hot like crazy and fan constantly turned all the way up (this is true even before upgrading to SL). I miss the 1.6Ghz (However I do admit that the 2.13 is noticeably faster).

Scott6666
Sep 4, 2009, 05:18 PM
Jeez, there must be a million threads in the Air section talking about heat, fan noise, coolbook, etc.

Known issue. The Air is going to blow at 6200 when you watch videos (and as well on a variety of other tasks). If you don't like fans, don't keep the Air.

Do a search. You'll get weeks of reading material.

pvmacguy
Sep 4, 2009, 05:27 PM
I just finished watching an hour long youtube video on this revA and the fan didnt spool up for me to hear once. :confused:

entatlrg
Sep 4, 2009, 05:27 PM
I'm assuming that you have Snow Leopard installed? Snow Leopard is appearing to run hotter than Leopard did at most tasks.

Yes, that's unfortunate too ... all the speculation here before the SL release was going to help make the MBA run slower and quieter, but not on my MBA either ....

entatlrg
Sep 4, 2009, 05:31 PM
The heat and fan was what made me decide to buy the 13" MBP with 256ssd, I couldn't be happier, as a 'main' computer it's better imo, not much heaver in a bag and not much thicker with the same footprint.

I still use my Air, but only as a "netbook" ... surfing the web, replying to emails, but if I'm going to watch a few video's or for sure if I'm going to be watching a movie I bring my 13" MBP ... 'it does more with less effort' and I like the 256 ssd, ample storage and super fast ... oh how I LOVE my 13" MBP :)

GoCubsGo
Sep 4, 2009, 05:34 PM
I do not have snow leopard installed.

Jessica: that was hilarious. the video is actually from Ijustine, and she's feeding birds in it. (side note: i hate Ijustine, but she's pretty). Also, my chirping was cleared by the Mac Genius' yesterday, so I'm **** out of luck in that regard if I plan on getting that taken care of. They said it's normal, so be it.

Jessica, also, when you watch Youtube videos, at what rpm's does your MBA run? The fans are fairly quiet but loud enough to really bother me.6200 RPM give or take and the noise is less than audible to me. My hearing is just fine fwiw. Do you have audio of your fans?


Jeez, there must be a million threads in the Air section talking about heat, fan noise, coolbook, etc.

Known issue. The Air is going to blow at 6200 when you watch videos (and as well on a variety of other tasks). If you don't like fans, don't keep the Air.

Do a search. You'll get weeks of reading material.
Hey calm down buddy! His fans running is normal, his fans running to a point where it would be considered annoying noise is not.

Yes, that's unfortunate too ... all the speculation here before the SL release was going to help make the MBA run slower and quieter, but not on my MBA either ....

That does suck because I literally just finished setting up so I could install SL on my Air.

Scottsdale
Sep 4, 2009, 09:10 PM
What is the clock speed on it? You have to remember the HDD is running at 4200 rpm. Video can be pretty demanding if you're using the CPU.

The MBA to me needs the higher clock speed and SSD for intensive tasks. If it's a secondary computer for you, just watch videos on your primary Mac.

blairh
Sep 4, 2009, 09:17 PM
I returned the MBA and got the 13" MBP instead. I don't have audio of the fans during Youtube with the MBA, but it was simply too irritating for me to accept. I'm relieved to no longer hear chirping or hear the fans rev up as I play a video or movie trailer. Something also needs to be said for this battery which lasts longer on the MBP vs the MBA. I'll miss the amazing light weight of the MBA, and I do prefer the screen because it does not pick up as much glare without that glass panel. But the pro's outweighed the con's for me in regards to the MBP. Fingers crossed.

stoconnell
Sep 5, 2009, 12:48 AM
I returned the MBA and got the 13" MBP instead. I don't have audio of the fans during Youtube with the MBA, but it was simply too irritating for me to accept. I'm relieved to no longer hear chirping or hear the fans rev up as I play a video or movie trailer. Something also needs to be said for this battery which lasts longer on the MBP vs the MBA. I'll miss the amazing light weight of the MBA, and I do prefer the screen because it does not pick up as much glare without that glass panel. But the pro's outweighed the con's for me in regards to the MBP. Fingers crossed.

Enjoy your new machine. I do wish they'd extend the "anti-glare" option to the 13" MBP. The fan (singular) does kick up when watching videos and given the anemic audio from the speaker, it can drown it out; however, if you use headphones, it does mitigate the problem.

Jobsian
Sep 5, 2009, 04:34 AM
I'd like to know what CPU you were running too.

Also to existing MBA 1.86/2.13 GHz owners - can you watch HD youtube videos without it being choppy/ fans blaring?

Scottsdale
Sep 5, 2009, 06:50 AM
I'd like to know what CPU you were running too.

Also to existing MBA 1.86/2.13 GHz owners - can you watch HD youtube videos without it being choppy/ fans blaring?

Absolutely. I did on rev B 1.86/SSD (stolen) and do on rev C 2.13/SSD. I wonder how often an Internet connection might be culprit.

I don't know what specs an HD YouTube video require, but I do know iTunes recommends 2 GHz.

I think people need to go with the high-end model if they want performance to not suffer. It's a bargain now compared to what it used to cost.

Honestly if someone cannot afford the SSD 1.86 rev B at $1349 they shouldn't buy an MBA. And the rev C 1.86/HDD shouldn't be considered as for $150 less can get the rev B 1.86/SSD.

I don't understand why people are complaining. In life, you get what you pay for. The sweet spot of MBA is with 1.86/2.13 and SSD. It's a bargain compared to what it used to cost.

I wonder why all the complaints then always notice the cheapskates. Seriously people are still buying rev A which makes no sense. They're buying 1.6 GHz with HDD and expecting the performance all of us with 2.13 GHz and SSD get. Life isn't that way.

The MBA is more affordable than ever, but that doesn't mean the cheapest model is going to perform like a MBP. The SSD is how the MBA makes up for the lack of power in all of the other components.

I see this time and time again in threads with MBA complainers. "I bought an MBA and it's slow and sounds like a helicopter with fans blowing all the time." The complainers complain because they don't read why some of us brag about our MBAs - SSD is required! And don't go cheap on CPU either.

The MBA is a bargain over what it used to cost but it's still not a bargain. You have to spend the money to get the performance we all brag about...

mrgossett
Sep 5, 2009, 09:13 AM
I can watch YouTube videos on my 1.86 SSD MBA (Snow Leopard) with little or no increase in fan speed, and they play very smoothly. The one time I noticed my fan at 6200 was right after the SL install, and I'm sure that was Spotlight indexing. And I wouldn't have known it was running that fast if I hadn't checked iStat. At 6200 rpm, I can barely hear the fan on mine, and my hearing is fine. I'm in fan heaven on the MBA compared to my Blackbook, which sounded like a mini-hurricane in my lap when it revved up.

nph
Sep 5, 2009, 09:53 AM
Does it get hot?

Scott6666
Sep 5, 2009, 09:55 AM
6200 RPM give or take and the noise is less than audible to me. My hearing is just fine fwiw. Do you have audio of your fans?

Hey calm down buddy! His fans running is normal, his fans running to a point where it would be considered annoying noise is not.


I wasn't un-calm at all, just amazed that he couldn't find a ton of info on the boards already. I almost put in "not a dig" into the post but took it out figuring what I wrote was not too flame like.

It's kind of fascinating how statements get interpreted on these boards. I think people impute a lot more emotion into responses than perhaps the author intended and then the back and forth begins.

It seems like the Air, particularly the lines and the fans, provoke a lot of emotion out of the posters. I had a first day of issue air and then went to a MBP. The fans at 6200 did bother me; alot! I am sometimes tempted to try an air again but I see enough comments about the fans that I always end up staying put.

Anyway, I'm glad the OP swapped out. I think he'll be happier.

caonimadebi
Sep 5, 2009, 10:14 AM
the OP's problem has nothing to do with the lower-spec on his Macbook Air. The 1.6Ghz processor should actually HELP him with the heat/fan issue, as I have found the 2.13Ghz to be significantly warmer.
As for HD video on the 1.6Ghz rev B, I used to watch 720p MKV video with VLC without a problem. The video will stutter if I run any other app that requires any video, i.e. skype video. I have never tested 1080 videos. The performance gap between the 1.6 and 1.86/2.13 models isn't all it's hyped up to be in this forum.
1.6 video stutters when more than one video program is running, and 2.13 stutters when I'm trying to encode with Handbrake (not even with the more demanding H264) and watch a Hulu video in 480-line. Handbrake encoding would grind to a halt (3-5 fps) and hulu video would nearly stop. Bandwidth isn't a problem as I'm getting 16Mbps through cable. This was a video multi-task that my mid-2007 iMac (with the lowly 2Ghz, and 2400HD graphics) could handle without a problem.
People who thinks this is a performance machine need to get real. It's as big a performance as you can get for a 17W processor with non-existent heat sink and integrated graphics.

blairh
Sep 5, 2009, 05:46 PM
I just want to echo what Scott6666 said: "The fans at 6200 did bother me; alot!".

That was my big gripe. I'm trying to enjoy a youtube video, and I hear the machine start revving. I look at my Istat, and sure enough I'm soon going at 6200 rpm's. If that happens to your MBA and it doesn't bother you, that's great, but the fan noise at that level is very loud to me. It's very distracting, and I simply could not ignore it.

Scottsdale
Sep 5, 2009, 06:10 PM
I just want to echo what Scott6666 said: "The fans at 6200 did bother me; alot!".

That was my big gripe. I'm trying to enjoy a youtube video, and I hear the machine start revving. I look at my Istat, and sure enough I'm soon going at 6200 rpm's. If that happens to your MBA and it doesn't bother you, that's great, but the fan noise at that level is very loud to me. It's very distracting, and I simply could not ignore it.

You went with the cheap ultraportable version. To make the MBA more like a full notebook you have to do the CPU and SSD upgrades.

You got exactly what you paid for. Let's face it if you paid more money you would have got an MBA with 2.13 GHz and SSD. Instead you paid a little but expected the performance of the high-end MBA.

Many people have been happy with the same MBA you bought because their expectations were lower. People come on here and read about the great performance of the rev C 2.13 GHz SL9600 CPU paired with an SSD and want that experience but aren't going to get it by going the cheap route.

You bought a Mac that's got the component makeup of a standard ultraportable. You could have saved yourself a whole lot of hassle by reading what you're paying for and learning what a 2.13 GHz CPU and SSD can do for a little more money.

I just don't get the ripping on the MBA. If you want the exemplary performance don't take the price shortcut and cheaper model!

buildingsteam
Sep 5, 2009, 06:20 PM
The performance gap between the 1.6 and 1.86/2.13 models isn't all it's hyped up to be in this forum.

People who thinks this is a performance machine need to get real. It's as big a performance as you can get for a 17W processor with non-existent heat sink and integrated graphics.

I agree with this. Fans winding up after a few minutes of Flash video, Skype, whatever seems to be normal operation on any model. It's annoying but part of the deal. I'd actually like to see video evidence of an MBA that doesn't do this.

As for video performance (stutter, etc) I haven't noticed much difference between Rev. A HDD and Rev. B SSD.

blairh
Sep 5, 2009, 08:32 PM
Scottsdale, I'm really starting to question what you are trying to do here. You continue to trump the performance of a SSD MBA and tell me essentially to "get real, you got what you paid for, you should have done your homework beforehand".

First of all, I did not exactly go "the cheap route". I found a great deal on a Rev B, but the Rev B retails for $1100 at Macmall as I type this (and that's the cheapest online price on the web). Yes, that is cheaper than the models you continue to talk up, but not exactly the "cheap route".

On top of that, It appears that several members have said that the fans rev up on all the MBA models once video applications are being used like Youtube. Including the last post on this thread. I'm not sure if that is true, but I'm definitely not paying a luxury price just so I can avoid fans blaring like crazy for basic applications like Youtube.

I don't need to "lower my expectations". I honestly never imagined that the MBA would get so hot so quickly doing something simple, in my mind, which is watching vids on Youtube. I'm not ripping on the MBA, I've only expressed my dissatisfaction that this computer has its fans go on so quickly. My tone in all my posts has never been "ripping" but rather expressing surprise and disappointment.

I will say it one last time: I did not expect the performance of a high end MBA. I honestly thought throwing Youtube at my MBA would not cause it to make noise. The fact is that it did, I returned it and got a MBP, and now I'm happy.

I would appreciate it if you would stop replying to every thread I respond to essentially saying the same thing over and over again.

Scottsdale
Sep 5, 2009, 10:10 PM
Scottsdale, I'm really starting to question what you are trying to do here. You continue to trump the performance of a SSD MBA and tell me essentially to "get real, you got what you paid for, you should have done your homework beforehand".

First of all, I did not exactly go "the cheap route". I found a great deal on a Rev B, but the Rev B retails for $1100 at Macmall as I type this (and that's the cheapest online price on the web). Yes, that is cheaper than the models you continue to talk up, but not exactly the "cheap route".

On top of that, It appears that several members have said that the fans rev up on all the MBA models once video applications are being used like Youtube. Including the last post on this thread. I'm not sure if that is true, but I'm definitely not paying a luxury price just so I can avoid fans blaring like crazy for basic applications like Youtube.

I don't need to "lower my expectations". I honestly never imagined that the MBA would get so hot so quickly doing something simple, in my mind, which is watching vids on Youtube. I'm not ripping on the MBA, I've only expressed my dissatisfaction that this computer has its fans go on so quickly. My tone in all my posts has never been "ripping" but rather expressing surprise and disappointment.

I will say it one last time: I did not expect the performance of a high end MBA. I honestly thought throwing Youtube at my MBA would not cause it to make noise. The fact is that it did, I returned it and got a MBP, and now I'm happy.

I would appreciate it if you would stop replying to every thread I respond to essentially saying the same thing over and over again.

LMAO... I keep replying to your posts because they're the same thing on every thread, and I honestly don't believe you get it!

I definitely challenge anyone who says the rev B/C 1.86/2.13 SSD MBAs have fans blowing loudly all the time. I do everything from output HD video to a 24" LED ACD to watch YouTube to opening flash pages and etc etc. The fans rarely ever are even noticeable.

Now I have used a 1.6 GHz HDD original MBA which sounded like a helicopter. I have also used rev B MBAs with 1.6 GHz and HDDs and the fans have been very loud for video playback. But NEVER on mine with 2.13/SSD doing the same things and more. Rarely ever on my B 1.86/SSD.

I also have heard fans go absolutely nuts on a 2.4 GHz MBP with 7200 rpm
HDD. I have a UMB with 2.4 GHz and 5400 rpm HDD - it gets loud watching HD video on YouTube too/even Flash can set it off!

People doing various things with Skype, open FireFox windows with Flash, and a video going could get the fan going on rev B/C with SSD. But it takes more than one HD video. Or if one blocks the vents it could make some noise.

The point is a 4200 rpm HDD on a system running a 1.6 GHz MBA with intensive processes going causes far more fan noise than the exact same apps on an MBA with 2.13/SSD.

Bottom line, you get what you pay for! I really don't believe you understand that.

So as long as you keep spreading the nonsense about the problem being an MBA and you're off to a Pro and your problems are gone. I don't agree or believe it. I think you're picking on the MBA because it doesn't act like a full Mac notebook, but it cannot be super without super components. And a 1.6 GHz CPU and 4200 rpm HDD isn't super no matter how you slice it. The MBA needs the SSD and any Mac requires a 1.86/2.13 GHz CPU to run Flash and HD video well.

Scott6666
Sep 5, 2009, 10:17 PM
I look at my Istat, and sure enough I'm soon going at 6200 rpm's. If that happens to your MBA and it doesn't bother you, that's great, but the fan noise at that level is very loud to me. It's very distracting, and I simply could not ignore it.

LOL. I remember getting to the point where I spent as much time looking at iStat to see what the fans were doing as I did doing anything real.

I even had screen caps of the fans/heat readings throughout the day. I just finally deleted them out of my iPhoto a few weeks ago.

Ahh, takes me back....

buildingsteam
Sep 5, 2009, 10:20 PM
I definitely challenge anyone who says the rev B/C 1.86/2.13 SSD MBAs have fans blowing loudly all the time. I do everything from output HD video to a 24" LED ACD to watch YouTube to opening flash pages and etc etc. The fans rarely ever are even noticeable.

This is probably pointless, but I want to know more details. Are you saying that with your MBA on the AC adapter, outputting to the ACD, playing Flash or HD video for five minutes or more, the fans stay at 2500 RPM? Or are you simply saying that you don't notice them, which basically means nothing. Mine go up to 6200 RPM when I watch Flash video, especially when on the AC adapter, charging an iPod, with an external display, and then go down again when I am finished. Not the same for you?

blairh
Sep 5, 2009, 11:44 PM
Scottsdale:

The problem is not me "not getting it", but rather you insisting on essentially replying to every thread from the MBA arena that I'm a part of and saying this: "you should have spent a little more money and got the SSD, you can't expect great performance if you don't pay for it, you should have done your homework beforehand".

Here is the issue: I'm not bashing the MBA. My whole point with ALL of this, that you apparently cannot or will not understand, is that I am disappointed that the MBA could not handle me playing Youtube videos without its fans revving to 6200 rpm's. That is all I'm saying. I'm disappointed. I said that in a few other threads when appropriate. I'm not going around "bashing" the MBA. And still you continue to follow me on threads and repeat THE EXACT SAME THING. I get it. The SSD MBA's would avoid the issue I was having. I. Get. It.

What I don't understand is your need or desire to continue to essentially say the same thing to me. Again, I get it. You were wrong to accuse me of a) bashing the MBA. b) needing to "do my homework" c) expecting top performance out of my Rev B HHD.

When it really comes down to it, I didn't think my MBA would make any fan noise while watching Youtube videos. SD or HD. And yet it did. And that was not going to be fine by me. So I moved on. I never said "the problem was it being a MBA". The problem clearly was the model I was using (Rev B HDD).

Lastly, I've watched several HD and SD videos on Youtube tonight on my MBP and the fans haven't made a sound. I'm happy with what I have now. Please stop repeating yourself here and in other threads.

ayeying
Sep 6, 2009, 12:37 AM
Here is the issue: I'm not bashing the MBA. My whole point with ALL of this, that you apparently cannot or will not understand, is that I am disappointed that the MBA could not handle me playing Youtube videos without its fans revving to 6200 rpm's. That is all I'm saying. I'm disappointed. I said that in a few other threads when appropriate. I'm not going around "bashing" the MBA. And still you continue to follow me on threads and repeat THE EXACT SAME THING. I get it. The SSD MBA's would avoid the issue I was having. I. Get. It.

While I do agree with you that Scottsdale is going overboard in bashing you personally, I do want to know one thing.

Flash for OS X is a dead killer. It takes up a lot of CPU cycles for and it just makes the system hot. MBA being so thin and small and limited capability for thermo control, it's not uncommon for the fans to rev up to 6200rpm. The MBP you have is less noticeable because of its massive (by comparison to the MBA) heatsink and larger fan.

I don't care what choice you make or how you make them. As long as you're happy, then I'm happy for you.

Scottsdale: Stop bashing on the HDD vs SSD. It's not relevant in this case. The OP is talking about heat, not speed. Just stop it.

phatcat
Sep 6, 2009, 10:27 AM
My fans also jump to 6200 whenever watching youtube. I recently did a clean install to snow leopard and there was no difference. Even though the fans jump that high, they're barely audible. I can hear them but only in a silent room.

IMO returning your air due to the fan noise is a little silly.

Scott6666
Sep 6, 2009, 11:05 AM
IMO returning your air due to the fan noise is a little silly.

Why do you feel that way? You are totally oblivious to fan noise?

Jimmie22
Sep 6, 2009, 11:29 AM
My fans also jump to 6200 whenever watching youtube. I recently did a clean install to snow leopard and there was no difference. Even though the fans jump that high, they're barely audible. I can hear them but only in a silent room.

IMO returning your air due to the fan noise is a little silly.

I agree that the fan is not really noticable unless I am in a completely quiet room. Did your former MBA make fan noise above this nearly silent level?

fehhkk
Sep 6, 2009, 11:44 AM
I think I'd more concerned about your battery health being 94% with just 4 charge cycles :confused:

duky
Sep 6, 2009, 02:35 PM
I definitely challenge anyone who says the rev B/C 1.86/2.13 SSD MBAs have fans blowing loudly all the time.

I have a 2.13 SSD MBA and the fans do blow loudly quite a bit. It's not even necessarily when I'm doing anything taxing. I noticed this a lot more in the beginning because I paid attention more but it eventually just stopped bothering me. It really depends how quiet your work area is. I often listen to music or am watching when on my laptop these days hence I don't notice the fans. Having said that, I will rarely use my laptop in a quiet place and not notice the fans--they're just not a dealbreaker (the first few days it seemed like they might be). In fact, last night I was watching an MKV file off my Air connected to the TV and it was breathing loudly for about 30 minutes until it started having slowed framerates and I realized the file was 7GB. Popped it into my girlfriend's unibody MacBook and her laptop treated the file fine. I've never heard her (or my old unibody 2,4GHz) MacBook fans go as loud as my MBA--given the placement of the vents on the MBA you just have to expect it and this is something I didn't realize in the beginning and hence was shocked/very very disappointed; you learn ways of avoiding it though through interesting placement that allows the computer to breathe better..

blairh
Sep 6, 2009, 03:21 PM
I use my laptop a lot in my bedroom before bed, watching movies, etc. It's a very quiet room setting so fan noise is definitely an issue with me if they are indeed revving strong. I would describe the fan noise I was hearing on my MBA at 6200 rpm's as "very loud". Not a "quiet fan noise". It wasn't as if I could just block it out and continue watching a film, etc. It was loud. To say it was "silly" that I returned it for this reason is actually "silly" in itself.

Thanks for explaining the limitations of the MBA in terms of why it was making said noise. It's disappointing, but I've moved on. Contrary to what Scottsdale kept ranting on about, it appears owners of SSD MBA's do indeed deal with a lot of fan noise at times. Lastly, my MBP with full brightness, bluetooth off, mail & firefox & tweetdeck open gets 4 hrs & 20 mins in a full charge. With the same settings on a MBA I was getting 2 hrs & 30 mins. That's close to two hours extra of battery life. I'm very happy in that regard.