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Old May 27, 2013, 08:59 AM   #1
thestickman
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Mini getting scary hot

Got a 2012 mini when they 1st came out. Put 16 gb of ram in it. I use it as my home studio DAW. All was great till about 5-6 days ago when it started getting REALLY hot during a mixdown. 216F hot. Fan never went above 2500 rpms. I've put it in a stand and set it on its side = pretty much the same thing with temp maxing out at 214F.

Reset smc. Use 10.8.3, clean install. I put smcfan control on it & bumped the speed up to 2800 rpms and did a test mix on the same project & temps again hit 216F. That kind of heat in the long run cannot be good for the cpu.

Suggestions, please? Don't have apple care. Wonder if they will exchange it for a new one or is this kind of thing truly "just the way it is" for the i7 2.3 quad core mini's?
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Old May 27, 2013, 09:06 AM   #2
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Plenty of threads on this, it is still within its limits, and as you say you are using it at maximum capacity, what do you expect!

105c (221F) is the maximum it should get to.

Strange your fan does not speed up though, I suggest to use different programs to see if this is actually the case.

Last edited by justperry; May 27, 2013 at 09:59 AM. Reason: Spelling.
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Old May 27, 2013, 10:26 AM   #3
The-Pro
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either ramp up the fans to like 4000rpm or just dtand it on its side with the black acces door taken off. Thats makes a massive difference.

nothing wrong with your mini your just using to to the max
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Old May 27, 2013, 10:28 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thestickman View Post
Got a 2012 mini when they 1st came out. Put 16 gb of ram in it. I use it as my home studio DAW. All was great till about 5-6 days ago when it started getting REALLY hot during a mixdown. 216F hot. Fan never went above 2500 rpms. I've put it in a stand and set it on its side = pretty much the same thing with temp maxing out at 214F.

Reset smc. Use 10.8.3, clean install. I put smcfan control on it & bumped the speed up to 2800 rpms and did a test mix on the same project & temps again hit 216F. That kind of heat in the long run cannot be good for the cpu.

Suggestions, please? Don't have apple care. Wonder if they will exchange it for a new one or is this kind of thing truly "just the way it is" for the i7 2.3 quad core mini's?
Have you opened the bottom and blown it through with compressed air. You don't mention ever cleaning it
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Old May 27, 2013, 01:50 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by thestickman View Post
Got a 2012 mini when they 1st came out. Put 16 gb of ram in it. I use it as my home studio DAW. All was great till about 5-6 days ago when it started getting REALLY hot during a mixdown. 216F hot. Fan never went above 2500 rpms. I've put it in a stand and set it on its side = pretty much the same thing with temp maxing out at 214F.

Reset smc. Use 10.8.3, clean install. I put smcfan control on it & bumped the speed up to 2800 rpms and did a test mix on the same project & temps again hit 216F. That kind of heat in the long run cannot be good for the cpu.

Suggestions, please? Don't have apple care. Wonder if they will exchange it for a new one or is this kind of thing truly "just the way it is" for the i7 2.3 quad core mini's?
please run a mix down and have activity monitor turn on take a few screen shots and post. I want to see if your program is maxing the cpu
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Old May 27, 2013, 02:06 PM   #6
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Have you opened the bottom and blown it through with compressed air. You don't mention ever cleaning it
I have cleaned it 3-4 times since I bought it.
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Old May 27, 2013, 02:20 PM   #7
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please run a mix down and have activity monitor turn on take a few screen shots and post. I want to see if your program is maxing the cpu
Studio One is my main DAW. Mini just never ran this hot before even with more tracks/plugins, etc. It gets hot mixing/playing projects even in Pro Tools. I can do the same mix on my i3 iMac and the temp never gets about 145F. SMH....

Mini put to the side for a while. I'm tired of fooling with it, to be honest. 1st Mac I ever owned that got this hot & that includes older mini's, MacBooks, iMac & Macbook Air. Very disappointed in this particular design. Appreciate the time, folks.
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Old May 27, 2013, 03:43 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by thestickman View Post
Studio One is my main DAW. Mini just never ran this hot before even with more tracks/plugins, etc. It gets hot mixing/playing projects even in Pro Tools. I can do the same mix on my i3 iMac and the temp never gets about 145F. SMH....

Mini put to the side for a while. I'm tired of fooling with it, to be honest. 1st Mac I ever owned that got this hot & that includes older mini's, MacBooks, iMac & Macbook Air. Very disappointed in this particular design. Appreciate the time, folks.
Sound like you have given up trying but...

I shaved about 5-8% of the peak temps by using Tuniq TX-4 thermal paste and also using a Newer Tech side stand.

It's use to max at 105c and throttle the CPU but now it sit in the late 90s and peaks at 100c and usually shows the CPU at 100% in iStat Menus with only an occasional throttling when I use say HandBrake.

P.s. my mini is a 2012 2.6 quad.
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Old May 27, 2013, 04:07 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by opinio View Post
Sound like you have given up trying but...

I shaved about 5-8% of the peak temps by using Tuniq TX-4 thermal paste and also using a Newer Tech side stand.

It's use to max at 105c and throttle the CPU but now it sit in the late 90s and peaks at 100c and usually shows the CPU at 100% in iStat Menus with only an occasional throttling when I use say HandBrake.

P.s. my mini is a 2012 2.6 quad.
Didn't give up just was very very very tired of fooling with it & EXTREMELY frustrated.

I calmed down a bit & set it back up. I fired up activity monitor after booting up and saw nothing out of the ordinary. I did take the bottom off the mini and have it sideways in a stand. I have it sitting to the side of my monitors, not in the corner behind them.

With Activity Monitor on, I fired up Studio One & loaded up a decent sized project. Activity monitor when to 105% while using 70 threads. I then did a test mixdown of the project. Studio One immediately began using between 615% and 625% of the cpu. CPU temp escalated from 125F to 180F when the file finished.

I wish I had the skills to put the thermal paste on as you suggested. I'm on a lot of medication right now & don't have the steady hands I once did. I guess I will use this thing till it burns up<shrug>. Our money tree is dead so getting a new iMac is out of the question.
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Old May 27, 2013, 05:30 PM   #10
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You have a 1 year warrantee (in the US) to get it fixed if it is a hardware issue.
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Old May 27, 2013, 05:40 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by thestickman View Post
Didn't give up just was very very very tired of fooling with it & EXTREMELY frustrated.

I calmed down a bit & set it back up. I fired up activity monitor after booting up and saw nothing out of the ordinary. I did take the bottom off the mini and have it sideways in a stand. I have it sitting to the side of my monitors, not in the corner behind them.

With Activity Monitor on, I fired up Studio One & loaded up a decent sized project. Activity monitor when to 105% while using 70 threads. I then did a test mixdown of the project. Studio One immediately began using between 615% and 625% of the cpu. CPU temp escalated from 125F to 180F when the file finished.

I wish I had the skills to put the thermal paste on as you suggested. I'm on a lot of medication right now & don't have the steady hands I once did. I guess I will use this thing till it burns up<shrug>. Our money tree is dead so getting a new iMac is out of the question.
I know it has been said a few times that the temps are high but still ok (in other similar threads) as the mini is designed for those temps. I tend to agree. The OS will throttle the mini if it gets too hot. It is simply designed to operate at those temps.

For what it is worth, I also have a 2011 i7 Quad 2.0GHz that I have run permenantly 24/7 since it came out when I bought it. I have pushed it many many times at 100% CPU coding HD video for days on end. I know it is a sandy and not the current ivy but it is similar to the current 2012 quads. It will hit 98c at peak CPU so it gets to similar temps. I say all that because I have had it for a few years and it is still fine after running it at those temps.

I just believe that while the temps are hot relative to other computers (especially say water cooled PCs), they are still ok and that the mini is actually designed to run in that environment.

My two cents...
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Old May 27, 2013, 05:43 PM   #12
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You have a 1 year warrantee (in the US) to get it fixed if it is a hardware issue.
If a computer uses ≈ 625 % CPU time (800 % is the maximum on Intel-Quad-Cores with HT) and runs hot, it is certainly not a hardware problem. This is normal.

The same happens on big desktop-PCs and Mac Pros, if you play certain games or if you use certain professional software.
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Old May 27, 2013, 09:39 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by thestickman View Post
Didn't give up just was very very very tired of fooling with it & EXTREMELY frustrated.

I calmed down a bit & set it back up. I fired up activity monitor after booting up and saw nothing out of the ordinary. I did take the bottom off the mini and have it sideways in a stand. I have it sitting to the side of my monitors, not in the corner behind them.

With Activity Monitor on, I fired up Studio One & loaded up a decent sized project. Activity monitor when to 105% while using 70 threads. I then did a test mixdown of the project. Studio One immediately began using between 615% and 625% of the cpu. CPU temp escalated from 125F to 180F when the file finished.

I wish I had the skills to put the thermal paste on as you suggested. I'm on a lot of medication right now & don't have the steady hands I once did. I guess I will use this thing till it burns up<shrug>. Our money tree is dead so getting a new iMac is out of the question.
180f at 625% is not a problem. 216f is very close to too hot. if your room temps are 80f or 85 f the mini will run hotter. comparing a mini to an iMac is not fair as the cpus and the heatsinks are not the same. thermal paste is worth 2 to 5 c if the oem paste was poorly applied or has dried up.
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Old May 28, 2013, 06:30 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by Mr. Retrofire View Post
If a computer uses ≈ 625 % CPU time (800 % is the maximum on Intel-Quad-Cores with HT) and runs hot, it is certainly not a hardware problem. This is normal.

The same happens on big desktop-PCs and Mac Pros, if you play certain games or if you use certain professional software.

The OP mentioned that he didn't have applecare. My main point was that all 2012 mini's are still under the 1 year warrantee.
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Old May 28, 2013, 06:47 AM   #15
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A quick question plz

Appreciate everyone taking the time to respond.

I remember something from my years of building PC's at home to save $$$ way back when: "Heat & dirt kill pc's quicker than anything."

Granted this is not 2005 & its not a pc, but a Mac. Still, I am concerned how the long term heat of these CPU's could cause problems for the motherboard. Are motherboards now designed to withstand that kind of heat long-term in the Mac mini?

TIA
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Old May 28, 2013, 07:22 AM   #16
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Appreciate everyone taking the time to respond.

I remember something from my years of building PC's at home to save $$$ way back when: "Heat & dirt kill pc's quicker than anything."

Granted this is not 2005 & its not a pc, but a Mac. Still, I am concerned how the long term heat of these CPU's could cause problems for the motherboard. Are motherboards now designed to withstand that kind of heat long-term in the Mac mini?

TIA
Well that is hard to answer without being a Apple insider but in short I would say yes they are designed to withstand the heat.

High heat (relatively speaking) in Mac minis is no secret. Apple knows this. They have tested the Mini over and over. They know it goes to 105c. They know it sits around 70, 80 and 90c even for extended periods. The fan is designed to not even cut in to full/max rpm until it is around 85-90c. I mean if my mini (2012 2.6GHz quad) is being pushed at 100% CPU at say 98c and the temp drops below 95c the fan actually starts to slow down a few rpm. In other words the OS is actually considering the mini is 'cooling' even though it is around 95c. I have no problem with that.

So in my view it is part of the design.

Also as I have said above, my 2011 2.0GHz quad has run for about 2 years straight and on high temps for days on end coding HD video.

Apples cooling system is actually patented. So there has been enough testing for Apple to see intellectual property rights and dollar value in the colling system design.

http://www.patentlyapple.com/patentl...ard-drive.html

Anyway my view is somewhat subjective and based on only experience with the current design. Someone may have a more technical argument.

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Old Jun 2, 2013, 11:13 AM   #17
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I have cleaned it 3-4 times since I bought it.
Is it really necessary to clean a 2012 mini already? How often should this been performed?
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Old Jun 2, 2013, 11:35 AM   #18
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either ramp up the fans to like 4000rpm or just dtand it on its side with the black acces door taken off. Thats makes a massive difference.

nothing wrong with your mini your just using to to the max
Why not just turn it upside down with the black door taken off? Or does that interfere with heat dissipation?
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Old Jun 2, 2013, 01:39 PM   #19
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Why not just turn it upside down with the black door taken off? Or does that interfere with heat dissipation?
Well that would work too, my reasoning behind it being sideways is dirt can easier fall onto and into the mini when its upside down. Or you drop something onto it and break the RAM or whatever.
Thats the only reason I had for it being sideways.
Dont think it would interfere with heat dissipation at all, atleast not more or less then how it would be sideways.
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Old Jun 2, 2013, 04:12 PM   #20
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Is it really necessary to clean a 2012 mini already? How often should this been performed?
I have had a few minis for about 2 years and clean them about every 6-12 months. It probably depends on your environment.

I just take the black base off and vacuum the dust, and also do the same with the fan with a soft haired paint brush.

There has certainly never even been enough dust on the fan close enought to slow it down though.
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Old Jun 2, 2013, 09:19 PM   #21
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Is it really necessary to clean a 2012 mini already? How often should this been performed?
2 words: cat hair

----------

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Well that would work too, my reasoning behind it being sideways is dirt can easier fall onto and into the mini when its upside down. Or you drop something onto it and break the RAM or whatever.
Thats the only reason I had for it being sideways.
Dont think it would interfere with heat dissipation at all, atleast not more or less then how it would be sideways.
We made some "feet" and now the mini has 1" of space free under it. Temp dropped a bit but not much. On a wild hair, I disconnected the one monitor from the HDMI output. Just running a 27" Samsung off the thunderbolt port. It's cooled down 10+ degrees from this.
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Old Jun 2, 2013, 11:21 PM   #22
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I wonder if anyone has designed a replacement bklack door that would be like a screen? More airflow, but not wide open.

I have always built my computers to be as cool as possible. Onme reason I have not yet sprung for a mini. There is not enough wiggle room in the thermal/noise envelope for my tastes.

I am a nut. I should probably just get one and have at it. I mainly browse, but I browse ALOT! With some light photoshop.

Anyways, for sure, heat and dirt kill computers quicker than anything. He is right about that
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Old Jun 2, 2013, 11:36 PM   #23
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2 words: cat hair
If only Apple could develop a Mac mini that coughed up fur balls every now and then.
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Old Jun 2, 2013, 11:59 PM   #24
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I wonder if anyone has designed a replacement bklack door that would be like a screen? More airflow, but not wide open.
You mean like this one? (edit: sorry I forgot to add the pic, see next post)

I made this mod earlier this year. It is basically black screen from a car window shade. I cut the hole with a sharp blade and also used a few other tools such as drills etc.

I have a few Mac minis so this was more of a play around with a base from a 2011 i5 that I was planning to put on my 2012 2.6 quad if it worked.

I have most of my minis in a Newer Tech side stand so the vent was only supposed to work when the mini was on its side, not on the base.

Long story short it made minimal (if any at all) difference to the temperatures. I think there was maybe 1'c differrence at peak but I was not sure if I was dreaming that as well. I ran it for a week or so doing a number of tests and found no perceivable difference. So I put it back on my old i5 and put the 2012 black bas back on.

What is says it that the 'edge' vent is sucking in enough air and a screen will not provide any 'extra' air.

I do not agree with taking the whole base of (the dust argument aside) because the proprietry cooling system is designed to have the main chamber sealed. You can see how it seals when you look at the black base. If it is not sealed then the fan does not draw the air across the drives and onto the under side of the logic board then around the sides into the fan and across the heat sink. You might cool the CPU but not the rest of the mini if you take the base fully off.

See this link for example.

http://www.patentlyapple.com/patentl...ard-drive.html

If anyone want to make my mod I took a lot of pics of how to do it, but i never put it up because it made not difference to the temps. Call it a failed experiment.
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Old Jun 3, 2013, 12:02 AM   #25
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Sorry, forgot to add the pic.
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