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View Full Version : Tired of heat and limited battery time




nph
Jun 7, 2010, 08:25 AM
I have a rev B MBA, which is gorgeous but I have found myself using it less than any other Laptop I've ever had and it is simply due to two reasons:
- Heat, pretty much anything except simple browsing raise the heat
- Battery time, simply lousy (including charge time)

Have had it for a while, 14 months, but at this point I have started looking at the 13 and 15 inch versions as replacements down the road.
I thought it would make a great compliment to the imac but due to the limitations above I use it less and less.

If only they had added a fraction of an inch of thickness to allow better heat handling and more battery...!



DiamondGCoupe
Jun 7, 2010, 10:19 AM
Just get a new MBP, 1.5pds twice the battery life etc.. I'm about to do the same.

flynz4
Jun 7, 2010, 11:23 AM
I get about 4 hours on mine in real use. Even on long international flights, that usually exceeds the amount that I want to work or otherwise use my laptop. This is even more true now that I carry an iPad around, which I find is the ideal in-flight device for entertainment.

Most other times other than flights, I charge it often enough that I seldom go below 50% battery life.

I do not find the heat to be worse than other laptops I own. Clearly my 15" MBP puts out more heat.

/Jim

nph
Jun 7, 2010, 09:34 PM
My beef with the heat issue is that I cant have it on my lap with the vents on the bottom. Unless it is sitting on a hard material I have to have a tray or cooling thing under it, which is what I hated about my first gen MBP.
Above all I want a cool laptop and a good display with decent battery time. Speed is secondary!
If I look at the temp even having a game (Civ IV) in the background that just displays the intro page, (new game, load game etc) and Mail at the same time is enough to get the temp so that the bottom gets uncomfortable!

I have found myself not using it unless I know I will do something with very little power utilization. Browsing some jpegs I took with my camera or light browsing. Before I bought it I envisioned myself carrying it around everywhere doing everything except encoding that the imac (which the wife primarily use) would do in the background. The long recharge time for the battery doesn't really help...

Previously I was a big supporter of the MBA but lately I have looked at my usage and come to the conclusion that the light weight is not sufficient to compensate for the drawbacks. I love the screen though and SSD.
But it is tough to love the whole package including the limitations...

halledise
Jun 8, 2010, 01:22 AM
My beef with the heat issue is that I cant have it on my lap with the vents on the bottom. Unless it is sitting on a hard material I have to have a tray or cooling thing under it, which is what I hated about my first gen MBP.
Above all I want a cool laptop and a good display with decent battery time. Speed is secondary!
If I look at the temp even having a game (Civ IV) in the background that just displays the intro page, (new game, load game etc) and Mail at the same time is enough to get the temp so that the bottom gets uncomfortable!

I have found myself not using it unless I know I will do something with very little power utilization. Browsing some jpegs I took with my camera or light browsing. Before I bought it I envisioned myself carrying it around everywhere doing everything except encoding that the imac (which the wife primarily use) would do in the background. The long recharge time for the battery doesn't really help...

Previously I was a big supporter of the MBA but lately I have looked at my usage and come to the conclusion that the light weight is not sufficient to compensate for the drawbacks. I love the screen though and SSD.
But it is tough to love the whole package including the limitations...

hmmm, I see your point.
That said, 'a thing of beauty is a joy forever' - not sure who came up with that one but they had a salient point too.

my RevC with SSD does warm up after a while, but it's nothing on a flight or on the bed to slip a book or magazine underneath.
by quitting a couple of hungry apps the heat soon dissapates - even too many Safari tabs open at the same time can heat it up.

shoot I've been to the Apple Shop when in town to play with the new MBP offerings - and probably will again tomorrow when I head up there - but I lift those things up and cute though they look, the are still thumpingly heavy and ungainly when I'm so used to my Air.
I come away shaking my head and lovingly fondling the Air again.

I'm going to persevere thru June 27 and if nothing there, then at least until October to see if a new refreshed or redesigned Air hits the market by then.
If not, then it'll be a double-the-weight 13" or 15" MBPro for me too.

live in hope in the meantime :D

nph
Jun 8, 2010, 10:16 PM
Would replacing the thermal paste with Arctic Silver 5 help maybe?
Or would it just make the enclosure even hotter...?

nkelly007
Jun 11, 2010, 07:47 AM
Would replacing the thermal paste with Arctic Silver 5 help maybe?
Or would it just make the enclosure even hotter...?

I dont recommend this option. I did this and cannot say it had the massive reduction in running temp that most say they got. Ive also installed Coolbook and dont agree this helps either (there is also an argument to be had about long term electrical damage caused by undervolting circuitry)

The flaw in design is defintely around the exhaust fan which blows out the underside of the body. I find raising the laptop with a book, or a cooling pad is the most effective method to running lower temperatures (install smcfancontrol to monitor fan speed and CPU temps).

Im a big fan of Apple products, but cant say i agree with the air's design ethos. In hindsight i would have purchased a 13" MB at half the price and twice the power with negligible weight difference. IM also tired of balancing need around having one USB port and the lack of a dedicated ethernet port.

I cant see Apple running production of the Air for much longer with the iPad out now which to me fills the gap that the air created.

halledise
Jun 11, 2010, 06:11 PM
I cant see Apple running production of the Air for much longer with the iPad out now which to me fills the gap that the air created.

ha ha, no pun intended I'm sure.
(we need more of a gap for the air in the Air to escape(

I mildy disagree though that the iPad can ever replace the Air, and I also feel that Apple will no way EOL the Air as it has too large a following and they wouldn't bow out of the burgeoning ultra-light fully-fledged notebook market - twould be admitting defeat in a way and one thing I've learned in my years with Macs is that Apple are innovators and not quitters.

I'd say that Apple are awaiting the evolution/development/release of the right combo of ULV processor, graphics thingy (discrete or dedicated), cooling system, etc, before stunning us all with a specced up RevD Air that'll once again blow the sox off all competitors (hopefully!)

possibly a revised form factor, but I doubt it.

Scottsdale will weigh in shortly I'm sure - if he's still awake after the World Cup Soccer opener that is,

tsubikiddo
Jun 12, 2010, 04:55 AM
Would replacing the thermal paste with Arctic Silver 5 help maybe?
Or would it just make the enclosure even hotter...?

Yes, it will.
I re-applied the thermal paste on both the CPU and the nVidia 9400M
and the temperature dropped considerably in both idle and under load

The stock thermal paste was simply excessive, my MBA was idling at 45C and the fan was spinning at ~35xxrpm, easily reaching 72C and 6200rpm
With AS5, I have 42C idle and hovering ~65C, 4000rpm with EyeTV, Fx3, Mail, Word running

It definitely helps, but just be careful when you open this beauty

At this stage, battery endurance is the deal-breaker for me

skate71290
Jun 12, 2010, 08:14 AM
I don't mind the Battery Life, well because i think it is still better than most Windows laptops and for the size it's good, but i have the REV A (@ 1.6GHZ) the heat is a serious issue, because once it starts to overheat, the laptop crawls to a standstill, after which i have to restart it and then carry on like normal, albeit at a slower speed! annoying!

nph
Jun 12, 2010, 10:16 AM
Have you tried Civ IV, what does that do to your temp?
I mean just having the main menu scene up, not actually playing.
(Single game, multiplayer etc). That one has a little background graphic going and it makes my MBA sweat...!

timinac
Jun 15, 2010, 08:53 PM
I would love to have an iPad 3G to replace the 15" PB G4 I have taken to Europe the last two summers before I leave again the end of June. I am an online college instructor, and Safari on the iPad just will not do the things I need it to. I have to have OSX. I have been eagerly waiting since the MBP updates for a MBA update, but it is getting to decision time. It's whether to buy a refurbished 2.13GHz Air with SSD/9400M (can't justify paying for new with an update needed), or stick with the G4 one more trip and continue waiting.

What kind of heat are you talking about relatively speaking? I tried an 1.86GHz Air with 9400M graphics at Best Buy yesterday, ran the HD version of last week's Jobs presentation (full screen I think) while also running a movie trailer in iTunes and did not notice any significant heat build up, at least not in comparison to my hot plate G4 anyway. Much of my computer use when not doing class work is web surfing and checking email from my recliner, so heat and fan usage/noise is an issue for me.

flynz4
Jun 15, 2010, 09:12 PM
I would love to have an iPad 3G to replace the 15" PB G4 I have taken to Europe the last two summers before I leave again the end of June. I am an online college instructor, and Safari on the iPad just will not do the things I need it to. I have to have OSX. I have been eagerly waiting since the MBP updates for a MBA update, but it is getting to decision time. It's whether to buy a refurbished 2.13GHz Air with SSD/9400M (can't justify paying for new with an update needed), or stick with the G4 one more trip and continue waiting.

What kind of heat are you talking about relatively speaking? I tried an 1.86GHz Air with 9400M graphics at Best Buy yesterday, ran the HD version of last week's Jobs presentation (full screen I think) while also running a movie trailer in iTunes and did not notice any significant heat build up, at least not in comparison to my hot plate G4 anyway. Much of my computer use when not doing class work is web surfing and checking email from my recliner, so heat and fan usage/noise is an issue for me.
I have the Rev C 2.13 w/SSD and my fan seldom comes on... of if it does, it is just idling. I do not think it gets hotter than any of my previous laptops... in fact I think it is cooler.

/Jim

Ace134blue
Jun 16, 2010, 03:28 AM
Would replacing the thermal paste with Arctic Silver 5 help maybe?
Or would it just make the enclosure even hotter...?

I WOULD do this. Differences will always vary with computers. If its too hot to touch it for a few seconds than its a good bet that applying as5 to your cpu and gpu will shave off 5-30 degrees depending on how the original TIM was applied

wrkactjob
Jun 16, 2010, 04:59 AM
All these heat issues are for the non SSD airs right?

tsubikiddo
Jun 16, 2010, 05:51 AM
All these heat issues are for the non SSD airs right?

Nah, SSD Airs are not excluded;)
the problem is not due to the HDDs, it's the CPU & GPU

wrkactjob
Jun 16, 2010, 06:12 AM
Ah ok is that normal? Always thought SSD's ran cool as cucumbers? Even the MBA's I have tried in Apple stores that are on the go all day seem cool to the touch?

Scottsdale
Jun 16, 2010, 09:49 AM
Ah ok is that normal? Always thought SSD's ran cool as cucumbers? Even the MBA's I have tried in Apple stores that are on the go all day seem cool to the touch?

I just don't get all of the noise and heat complaints. I have used other Mac notebooks that are far hotter to the touch. The only time the MBA gets hot is with blocking the vents or extreme Flash. But even that is rapidly improving as the GPU should be getting more of the workload with h.264. The MBA just keeps getting better with updates to OS X. 10.6.3 was great. Allowing third-party app providers to have h.264 API access was what Macs needed. Maybe a lot of people complaining aren't upgrading their software and giving the MBA the best software possible? Now, I do remember my original MBA feeling like a hot plate, so maybe these are the people complaining all the time? With a Merom CPU and Intel 3100, it lacks the capabilities of the v 2,1 MBAs...

Spacekatgal
Jun 16, 2010, 10:32 AM
I also don't get these complaints. The whole of a heatsink is to draw it away from the CPU. If the computer gets hot, just deal - it's protecting the chip.

You can't increase the battery without increasing the weight. It's the central compromise of the MBA. If it's not a compromise you can make, go with the iPad or the 13 inch MBP.

timinac
Jun 16, 2010, 12:36 PM
Thanks for the replies and reassurance. Placed my order and, although I've had 5 1/2 good years out of my PB G4, I'm looking forward to the next chapter. Now if it just had wireless 3G to administer my online class during long tour bus transits! :)

Spacekatgal
Jun 16, 2010, 12:37 PM
Thanks for the replies and reassurance. Placed my order and, although I've had 5 1/2 good years out of my PB G4, I'm looking forward to the next chapter. Now if it just had wireless 3G to administer my online class during long tour bus transits! :)

Jailbreak. MyWi. It works pretty well.

Bri

timinac
Jun 16, 2010, 12:57 PM
Jailbreak. MyWi. It works pretty well.

Bri

Alas, no AT&T coverage in my area, so I can't even buy an iPhone. I would love the new one for my trip!

Spacekatgal
Jun 16, 2010, 02:13 PM
Alas, no AT&T coverage in my area, so I can't even buy an iPhone. I would love the new one for my trip!

Wow. What college town doesn't have 3G? I went to the University of Mississippi, and even we have iPhones. Wow. They need to get on the ball - they're missing out.

Ace134blue
Jun 16, 2010, 02:32 PM
I just don't get all of the noise and heat complaints. I have used other Mac notebooks that are far hotter to the touch. The only time the MBA gets hot is with blocking the vents or extreme Flash. But even that is rapidly improving as the GPU should be getting more of the workload with h.264. The MBA just keeps getting better with updates to OS X. 10.6.3 was great. Allowing third-party app providers to have h.264 API access was what Macs needed. Maybe a lot of people complaining aren't upgrading their software and giving the MBA the best software possible? Now, I do remember my original MBA feeling like a hot plate, so maybe these are the people complaining all the time? With a Merom CPU and Intel 3100, it lacks the capabilities of the v 2,1 MBAs...

Software doesn't always fix a hardware problem. If apple slapped a big ol blob of tim than yeah the heat transfer will be poor. Sure the cpu is "safe" at 90+ but the fan noise is unbearable with a small fan at 6000rpm. And yeah older mbas are hotter

timinac
Jun 16, 2010, 03:40 PM
Wow. What college town doesn't have 3G? I went to the University of Mississippi, and even we have iPhones. Wow. They need to get on the ball - they're missing out.

A small Kansas community college town. :)
About everything cell here is CDMA. Now, if I was to move about 5 miles . . . . .
So, I wind up taking a Nokia world phone, an iPod Touch, and a digital camera instead of an iPhone.

Scottsdale
Jun 16, 2010, 09:37 PM
Software doesn't always fix a hardware problem. If apple slapped a big ol blob of tim than yeah the heat transfer will be poor. Sure the cpu is "safe" at 90+ but the fan noise is unbearable with a small fan at 6000rpm. And yeah older mbas are hotter

Why don't you go ahead and check out the differences on the CPU and GPU since 10.6, 10.6.1, 10.6.3, and low level API access to h.264 for third party application developers... I think the facts will surprise you. And it's getting better and better. It is obvious that Apple is trying to get back in the game against Windows when it comes to the graphical media experience.

Ace134blue
Jun 16, 2010, 11:25 PM
Why don't you go ahead and check out the differences on the CPU and GPU since 10.6, 10.6.1, 10.6.3, and low level API access to h.264 for third party application developers... I think the facts will surprise you. And it's getting better and better. It is obvious that Apple is trying to get back in the game against Windows when it comes to the graphical media experience.

Yeah your right. 10.6.4 made my mbp more noisy. Ok so what if they did fix the h.264 api, so what if your not using it? Well than you still get a noisy hot pc.