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Old Feb 13, 2008, 12:08 AM   #1
clayj
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Screen Saver Makes Fan Go Fast?

Something I just noticed: My MBA was screen saving with the Arabesque screen saver, and I could hear the fan going like a bat out of hell. So I moved the trackpad and the screen saver went away. I immediately pulled up iStat Pro, and the fans were pegged at 6200 RPM and the CPU temp was around 150 degrees. Within just a few seconds of doing this, the CPU temp dropped a full 15 degrees and the fans began to slow down. After just a few minutes, the CPU temp was down to 122 degrees and the fans were back down to the usual 2500 or so RPM.

So, hypothesis: Anything that performs intensive screen processing, like a complicated screen saver, will cause the CPU to heat up. This in turn will cause the fans to speed up.

One test would be to not use a screen saver at all, but just let the screen go black. If the CPU doesn't have to push a ton of pixels around the screen, it shouldn't get hot, and the fans shouldn't come on.
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Old Feb 13, 2008, 12:14 AM   #2
EricNau
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I have the same problem with the Arabesque screen saver with my MacBook and my iMac. ...Makes it a very poor choice for a screen saver. (I haven't had a problem with any other included screen saver.)
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Old Feb 13, 2008, 12:37 AM   #3
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Eric, good call on the choice of screen saver. Flurry doesn't seem to cause the CPU to heat up anywhere near as much, and the fans consequently stay slow.
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Old Feb 13, 2008, 01:54 AM   #4
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Thanks for the thread.

I had my MBA sitting idle on my desk all day. The fans blared all day, and I thought it was just typical Apple Rev. A quality. I was/am upset about the battery issues and fan too.

But I guess this "fixes" one problem. Tomorrow I can change the screen saver and hopefully get rid of the fan problem.


Anyone remember when Apple used to manufacture high quality products? This is really getting painful.

But thanks again for the tip.
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Old Feb 13, 2008, 07:07 AM   #5
raremage
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I've noticed two things so far - anything 'graphically intense' seems to spin up the fan - hard. Games for example will definitely get the fan going.

And - it seems to be vastly improved in 10.5.2. At least, that's the impression I've gotten since patching.
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Old Feb 13, 2008, 07:55 AM   #6
chickenninja
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screen savers increase the carbon footprint of macbook air, we must recycle our screen savers. or not use them at all
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Old Feb 13, 2008, 08:21 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chickenninja View Post
screen savers increase the carbon footprint of macbook air, we must recycle our screen savers. or not use them at all


Good to know about the Arabesque screen saver and graphics intensive applications.
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Old Feb 13, 2008, 08:56 AM   #8
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Ugghhh. The santa rosa platform really sucks for heat. I have NEVER had a computer heat up from a screen saver. Macbook Air just poor design. I blame intel. Why oh why didn't they stick a penryn in the macbook air?????
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Old Feb 13, 2008, 09:00 AM   #9
clayj
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BWhaler View Post
Anyone remember when Apple used to manufacture high quality products? This is really getting painful.
Well, I think this falls more into the category of "screen saver developer didn't care about CPU cycles when writing this thing". I would imagine that the code inside Arabesque could be optimized somehow to make it hit the CPU less intensely. If anyone from Apple is reading this: Get on it! I like Flurry OK, but would rather be using Arabesque... but not if it's going to hammer my machine like that.

When I checked my MBA this morning after letting it run Flurry all night, the fans were clocking a nice even 2500 RPM and CPU temp was still around 122. Seems like that is the "happy medium" for the MBA, at least on my machine.
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Old Mar 14, 2008, 09:59 PM   #10
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screeen savers are like exercise for macbook airs
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Old Dec 26, 2011, 01:52 AM   #11
trucheli
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Angry science I installed OS X Lion the fans are going nuts

I been using the same screen saver for years in the same computer and science I installed OS X Lion the fans are going nuts, so is a bug in Lion.So now I can't use any screen savers cause the fan suck a lot of dust, plus the fans are so loud at hight speed.
I used to blow the inside of the Mac Pro ones a year, now cause this problem I have to do it every 3 months?
These are the CPU speed in the sample window in System Preferences, screen saver is not even on or in full screen test again CPU speed in the sample window in System Preferences witch is 350x250 pixels I think

Arabesque is using 160% CPU
RSS Visualizer is using 210% CPU
Shell is using 417% CPU
Spectrum 170%

you get the point
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Old Mar 2, 2012, 12:06 PM   #12
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Angry

Quote:
Originally Posted by trucheli View Post
I been using the same screen saver for years in the same computer and science I installed OS X Lion the fans are going nuts, so is a bug in Lion.So now I can't use any screen savers cause the fan suck a lot of dust, plus the fans are so loud at hight speed.
I used to blow the inside of the Mac Pro ones a year, now cause this problem I have to do it every 3 months?
These are the CPU speed in the sample window in System Preferences, screen saver is not even on or in full screen test again CPU speed in the sample window in System Preferences witch is 350x250 pixels I think

Arabesque is using 160% CPU
RSS Visualizer is using 210% CPU
Shell is using 417% CPU
Spectrum 170%

you get the point
agree with you completely. must be a lion bug because it happens all the time now and i don't think it happened before with just the screen saver.
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