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Old Jan 30, 2013, 05:11 PM   #1
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Join Date: Oct 2011
Mac Mini fan speed and CPU temperature


I recently upgraded to a Mac Mini 2012 2.3ghz quad i7 with a thunderbolt display (best mac i've had yet - thunderbolt display is amazing!).

I upgraded to a Crucial M4 SSD and installed iStats Pro to get some system statistics and wondered:

My CPU / system temperature reaches 75 C under medium / high CPU load, however the fan always seems to stabilise around 1800 rpm.

I'm wondering whether this is normal for the Mac Mini? I've searched this forum for similar situations, however no threads appear to give a definitive answer.

The fan is definitely moving inside (I thought I had dislodged something when inserting the SSD, but the connector is firmly on the logic board), you can hear it if you are close enough and it becomes apparent under heavy CPU load anyway.

Also, the thunderbolt cable connection (the white bit) on the Mini seems to be getting quite warm, is this simply due to it being near the exhaust?

Just curious as it's a brand new machine and I am use to working with Dell Windows computers at work etc where the fans are very noisy!

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Old Jan 30, 2013, 05:20 PM   #2
macrumors 6502
Join Date: Dec 2012
Yes, this is normal. It is not until about 90 C that the fan starts revving up, and even then you will probably only hit around 2500, maybe 3000 RPM max.
2012 Mac Mini - i7 Quad Core 2.3 GHz - 16GB RAM - 128 GB SSD - (2) Dell S2340M
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Old Jan 30, 2013, 05:20 PM   #3
macrumors Westmere
Join Date: May 2008
The Intel processors used in Macs are designed to automatically shut down to prevent damage if they truly overheat. CPU Tjmax = 105C (221F), GPU Tjmax = 100C (212F) on i3, i5, i7 processors. (Source: Intel)

If you're not already using it, iStat Pro (free) or iStat Menus ($16) will give you accurate readings of your temps and fan speeds, among other things.

Unless there is a rare defect in a Mac, most temps are well within the normal operating range, considering the workload being put 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.

It is also quite normal for your Mac to become extremely hot to the touch during intensive operations. The aluminum body transfers heat more effectively than other materials used in computer casings, so you will feel the heat more. This doesn't indicate that it's overheating and will not harm the computer to be hot to the touch.

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). iMacs have 3 fans with minimum speeds in the 800-1200 range. They will spin faster as needed to keep temps at a safe level.

If your fans are spinning up without increased heat, try resetting the SMC.
(PRAM/NVRAM has nothing to do with these issues, so resetting it will not help.)

The intake and exhaust vents are in the back of the computer near the hinge on all Mac notebooks (except the new MBP with retina display, which has intake vents along the sides at the bottom). The iMac vent is a slot on the back near the top of the computer. Make sure the vents remain unblocked to allow your computer to perform at its best.

Learn about the fans in your Mac
Apple Portables: Operating temperature

For Flash-related issues:
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Old Jan 30, 2013, 05:27 PM   #4
macrumors 603
Join Date: Apr 2010
if you buy istat menus for the 16 you can set a floor for your fan.

i set a floor speed of 2700 at medium. my mini is not close to me so 2700 rpm can not be heard. if you are close to the mini you can set a floor of 2100 rpm.

many people will tell you don't bother and they may be correct some of the time.

there are a lot of factors of safe heat vs not safe heat.

as for the t-bolt to be hot yeah it is hot/warm. that is normal.
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