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View Full Version : 2 year old MacBook Air: CPU idles at 56.8C / 132.8 F !??




john-
Jun 6, 2010, 11:13 AM
hey guys,

this one's really been bugging me a lot for a few weeks now. and it doesn't seem to get any better all by itself.

my 2 year old macbbok air (revision a) can't seem to cool down any more. after booting, it idles at said temperature, and the least action makes it even hotter. fans are practically always on at their max speed.

what could be the matter with that? is there anything software-related that i can do? or do i have to send it to apple? and as a bonus question, is apple care gonna cover this?

hope somebody can help.
thank you so much.



gnasher729
Jun 6, 2010, 11:39 AM
hey guys,

this one's really been bugging me a lot for a few weeks now. and it doesn't seem to get any better all by itself.

my 2 year old macbbok air (revision a) can't seem to cool down any more. after booting, it idles at said temperature, and the least action makes it even hotter. fans are practically always on at their max speed.

what could be the matter with that? is there anything software-related that i can do? or do i have to send it to apple? and as a bonus question, is apple care gonna cover this?

hope somebody can help.
thank you so much.

Start "Activity Monitor" (in the Utilities folder within the Applications folder), make sure the main window is visible (Command-1 shows it), choose "All processes" in the pop-up menu at the top of the window, and sort on the "%CPU" column. That will show you everything that uses your CPU. When your MBA is idle, there should be not much CPU use; on my MacBook "Activity Monitor" itself is at the top of the list with about one percent. If anything stands out in that list, then that is the problem - some process that uses CPU time when it shouldn't; there is probably some way to help you if that is the case and you tell is what is using the CPU. If your total CPU use is less than 10 percent and your MBA is still hot then it's something else.

john-
Jun 6, 2010, 11:57 AM
Start "Activity Monitor" (in the Utilities folder within the Applications folder), make sure the main window is visible (Command-1 shows it), choose "All processes" in the pop-up menu at the top of the window, and sort on the "%CPU" column. That will show you everything that uses your CPU. When your MBA is idle, there should be not much CPU use; on my MacBook "Activity Monitor" itself is at the top of the list with about one percent. If anything stands out in that list, then that is the problem - some process that uses CPU time when it shouldn't; there is probably some way to help you if that is the case and you tell is what is using the CPU. If your total CPU use is less than 10 percent and your MBA is still hot then it's something else.


thanks for the reply. but there is really no process that's causing the heat. activity monitor itself is indeed at the top of the list and there's hardly anything else that's consuming cpu time.

it's really weird. when i leave it completely alone for a while, the fans go off. but just starting google chrome and writing this brings up the heat and the fan is fully kicking in.

could it be something with the thermal paste being old or the whole thing being dusty inside after two years? i'm reluctant to open the machine as i still got apple care.


edit: it might be useful to add that i also use istat very carefully - and while the temperature is in regions as stated above, the load average is just something like 0.30 0.30 0.30...

gnasher729
Jun 6, 2010, 02:09 PM
thanks for the reply. but there is really no process that's causing the heat. activity monitor itself is indeed at the top of the list and there's hardly anything else that's consuming cpu time.

it's really weird. when i leave it completely alone for a while, the fans go off. but just starting google chrome and writing this brings up the heat and the fan is fully kicking in.

could it be something with the thermal paste being old or the whole thing being dusty inside after two years? i'm reluctant to open the machine as i still got apple care.


edit: it might be useful to add that i also use istat very carefully - and while the temperature is in regions as stated above, the load average is just something like 0.30 0.30 0.30...

I think it might be time to take it to a store and let Apple have a look at it. Unless you have some Flash adverts running which are notorious for using your CPUs. There is one on this page while I'm typing.

robabz
Jun 6, 2010, 03:36 PM
Two issues that greatly effect the macbook air's temp are the external air temp and if anything is occluding the exhaust holes.

I found that after a firmware update my MBA started running hot. The program coolbook has greatly helped! It is a $10 program (the free version only allows you to see the settings, not to change them). The website for this is : http://www.coolbook.se/CoolBook.html

My settings are shown in the attached PDF's. They have cooled my MBA by about 20F, and extended my usable battery by about 30 minutes.

john-
Jun 6, 2010, 03:48 PM
i actually do possess coolbook already, but i wasn't too that it actually did anything for me. but i'll try again with your settings and report back.

also, admittedly summer is near and the external air isn't exactly freezing but still, i don't think that my experience with the macbook can be regarded as normal behavior.

so since it is not a flash issue either, i will take it to apple if coolbook doesn't make much of a change.

fuzion
Jun 11, 2010, 09:37 AM
i actually do possess coolbook already, but i wasn't too that it actually did anything for me. but i'll try again with your settings and report back.

also, admittedly summer is near and the external air isn't exactly freezing but still, i don't think that my experience with the macbook can be regarded as normal behavior.

so since it is not a flash issue either, i will take it to apple if coolbook doesn't make much of a change.

The fans inside are tiny, and the ventilation paths can easily get clogged with dust and debris over time.. if yours is 2 years old it's quite possible you've got dust built up to the point where cooling has been affected; get a can of air and try to clean it / blow it out. :)

xparaparafreakx
Jun 19, 2010, 09:04 PM
Its time to open it up. Clean the fans with a simple spray. If you want awesome temps, open it up and change the thermal paste to AS 5. Clean the vents every 4-6 months.

Ace134blue
Jun 19, 2010, 10:04 PM
Its time to open it up. Clean the fans with a simple spray. If you want awesome temps, open it up and change the thermal paste to AS 5. Clean the vents every 4-6 months.

Enought of the as5 reccomendations. Thats a 10 year old tim. There are so many ones that are much better... Arctic cooling mx-3 is a good example or promilatechs pk-1. Dont forget that as5 is electrically conductive so if it gets on a trace on the mobo you can say bye bye macbook.

xparaparafreakx
Jun 20, 2010, 12:44 PM
Enought of the as5 reccomendations. Thats a 10 year old tim. There are so many ones that are much better... Arctic cooling mx-3 is a good example or promilatechs pk-1. Dont forget that as5 is electrically conductive so if it gets on a trace on the mobo you can say bye bye macbook.

Well I was just going with what I mostly see around here. Guess next week ill try mx-3 or pk-1 during my repaste.

Ace134blue
Jun 20, 2010, 04:42 PM
Well I was just going with what I mostly see around here. Guess next week ill try mx-3 or pk-1 during my repaste.

Thats good. As5 is still good but its soo old and there are tims out there that are much better.

PowerGamerX
Jun 20, 2010, 04:50 PM
That's about how much my PowerBook idles at. MacBook Air tends to run just as hot, it's a little uncomfortable at first but then you get used to the fact that your system just runs hot. Still haven't gotten the Air to my PowerBooks record of somewhere around 250. I guess it's supposed to shut off by then, but it still made it there.