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Old Mar 20, 2009, 06:06 PM   #1
riveting
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Macbook air fan noise

Hello,

I got my refurbished macbook air on Tuesday. It looks and works very nice initially. I have not experience any problem watching some youtube videos. However, I do have a concern. It is also very quite out of box. But after some very light work (like watch video or install software), the fan seems to crank up very loudly. And the fan noise won't go down unless I didn't do any thing for like 10 minutes, and even copy some files may make the fan noise go up again, it also runs a bit hot. I haven't experience any freeze or slow down so i think it is fine, but the fan noise is very annoying for regular use.

I called Apple support and they said they can't diagnize over the phone, so they suggest us to bring it to nearby apple authorized retail store. However, the nearby retail store are small computer stores, I am not sure if I can trust them. Should I try to deal the issue myself first (download coolbook and maybe SMC fan controller? ) or should I go and let the computer store checks for me.


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rivet
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Old Mar 20, 2009, 06:29 PM   #2
mshaf
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Quote:
Originally Posted by riveting View Post
Hello,

I got my refurbished macbook air on Tuesday. It looks and works very nice initially. I have not experience any problem watching some youtube videos. However, I do have a concern. It is also very quite out of box. But after some very light work (like watch video or install software), the fan seems to crank up very loudly. And the fan noise won't go down unless I didn't do any thing for like 10 minutes, and even copy some files may make the fan noise go up again, it also runs a bit hot. I haven't experience any freeze or slow down so i think it is fine, but the fan noise is very annoying for regular use.

I called Apple support and they said they can't diagnize over the phone, so they suggest us to bring it to nearby apple authorized retail store. However, the nearby retail store are small computer stores, I am not sure if I can trust them. Should I try to deal the issue myself first (download coolbook and maybe SMC fan controller? ) or should I go and let the computer store checks for me.


Thanks,
rivet
Expect it to run a little hot. I have a new refurb as well. When my fan kicks on high it doesnt sound very loud though.
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Old Mar 21, 2009, 10:49 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by riveting View Post
Hello,

I got my refurbished macbook air on Tuesday. It looks and works very nice initially. I have not experience any problem watching some youtube videos. However, I do have a concern. It is also very quite out of box. But after some very light work (like watch video or install software), the fan seems to crank up very loudly. And the fan noise won't go down unless I didn't do any thing for like 10 minutes, and even copy some files may make the fan noise go up again, it also runs a bit hot. I haven't experience any freeze or slow down so i think it is fine, but the fan noise is very annoying for regular use.

I called Apple support and they said they can't diagnize over the phone, so they suggest us to bring it to nearby apple authorized retail store. However, the nearby retail store are small computer stores, I am not sure if I can trust them. Should I try to deal the issue myself first (download coolbook and maybe SMC fan controller? ) or should I go and let the computer store checks for me.


Thanks,
rivet
In general, almost any of the metal apple laptops have heating issues and all of them will sometime kick in with an annoying fan.
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Old Mar 21, 2009, 11:36 PM   #4
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Thanks very much. The major problem with mine is that the fan noise won't go down as long as I am using the computer, so it is not occasionally kick in, once it kicks in, it is pretty much on 6200rpm all the time. Is there a software that I can download to control the fan speed? Thanks.

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In general, almost any of the metal apple laptops have heating issues and all of them will sometime kick in with an annoying fan.
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Old Mar 22, 2009, 12:22 AM   #5
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Something sounds wrong with your Air. My fan is pretty dynamic and revs up to full speed with HD video and then revs down shortly after when I stop playing video. It could be bad application of thermal paste between the CPU and the heatsink, the thermal sensor placed too close to the CPU, among other things.

I'd take it in and get it checked out with Applecare.
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Old Mar 22, 2009, 03:45 AM   #6
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Something sounds wrong with your Air. My fan is pretty dynamic and revs up to full speed with HD video and then revs down shortly after when I stop playing video. It could be bad application of thermal paste between the CPU and the heatsink, the thermal sensor placed too close to the CPU, among other things.

I'd take it in and get it checked out with Applecare.
Agree, something is wrong, mine slows down in a matter of a minute after I stop using intensive applications
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Old Mar 22, 2009, 06:01 PM   #7
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My fan doesn't spin up from 2500 until my CPU temperatures reach 55 C and above. My CPU idles at 44 C and, with 100% CPU load using CPUTest program, maxes out at 95 C with 6200 fan speed. However, I have intensively undervolted using Coolbook, regulated using SMC fan control, and reset my heatsink using Tuniq TX-2.
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Old Mar 23, 2009, 04:35 AM   #8
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Are you using your air on your lap or on a desk with good heat dissipating properties? You say that the fan stays on as long as you use the computer...what do you classify as using? It you are browsing webpages with flash banners, expect the fan to keep going. The Air doesn't like flash videos much or firefox for that matter.
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Old Mar 26, 2009, 05:18 PM   #9
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Thanks, got back my air from a local apple authorized reseller for services. In the report, the tech. basically disassembled the air and find too much thermal compound so he re-applied less amount thermal compound. Total cost is about $100 charged to Apple warranty. It got back better, but not totally address the issue. Based on istat menu, basically, my air idles around 50 C degree (some time less especially first boot usually 40 to 45 degree), once the temperature goes beyond 70c, the fan will ramp up towards 6200 rpm. The fan is actually very easy to ramp up because it seems that any continues CPU or HD activity may trigger the fan to ramp up, for example, watching a photo slide show or even restart OSX can cause the fan ramp up to 6200rpm. However, the fan will only slow down from 6200rpm after the CPU temperature drop below 50 degree, but, this seems to be pretty hard for my air because it usually stays above 50 C degree. Good thing is I now need to wait 3 to 5 minutes for the fan to slow down to 2500rpm compared to 10 minutes before the service. Also, I can watch 720p h264 video using VLC smoothly now (it was choppy before the services) temperature will go above 80 degree though.

I am not sure what to do now. If I call back the shop or apple tech support , I am not sure if they can do anything better now. It is not too bad but still a bit annoying with the fan noise. I have not start to use coolbook though, and I don't know if there is some way to change the fan control algorithm??? Should I try them before I request another apple service?
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Old Mar 26, 2009, 05:21 PM   #10
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I know some people set the fan idle speed to around 3500 rpm. It is still silent at this speed and maintains the CPU at a lower temperature, thus increasing the time it takes for it to heat up to 6000 rpm+ territory.
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Old Mar 26, 2009, 05:23 PM   #11
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By the way, I use it on a hard desk surface and I don't think I block the vent
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Old Apr 10, 2009, 10:47 PM   #12
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Just an update, called apple again, send to another local store for service, the tech put a note "no fault found", I guess I have to live with it, avoid any picture, video, flash, CPU/disk intensive task if I want it to be quiet.
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Old May 26, 2010, 05:10 AM   #13
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Mac air giving me lot of problems

hello all,
I have purchased a refurbished mac air from Austin Texas and currently I am in Bangalore.
Ever since I have purchased it I have been facing problems with slow speeds.
Recently when it was about to complete 1 year warranty period mac air problem of heating and shutting down got worse to a point that I was not able to use gtalk also. So I submitted the mac book air to a service center in Forum Mall in Bangalore. I had to call them every day and they would say a different reason for the problem and would say they are doing more tests on it . So I took my mac air back from them after almost 15days after they said there appears to be no problem in it at all !! . So far so good the problem then changed from heating and hanging to fan making lot of noise over last two months. You cannot use it in office as the fan would crank up and start making lots of noise which would not get less even after 10-20 minutes. You cannot use it in home because it will get heated up very fast and then hang, as i dont have a AC in my home and temperatures soar during summer season.
I would like to know of people what they do when they are facing mac book air heating issues.
I now dont even have a warranty on it and I dont know that should i even try to get it repaired and spend my time and money in doing so. Or is it better to buy a new simple laptop.
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Old May 26, 2010, 03:54 PM   #14
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It the service centre you took it into was an Apple authorised service centre, then Apple will have records of your problems. I'd give them a call, tell them what is happening, what you've done to get it fixed and see what they say.
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Old May 26, 2010, 06:25 PM   #15
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The new flashplayer gala may help a little bit.

http://labs.adobe.com/technologies/flashplayer10/gala/
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Old May 31, 2010, 05:06 PM   #16
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I had the same fan noise issues with my rev a 1.8/64. It was either totally quiet at idle or ramping up to 6000rpm and making a lot of racket. Also choppy flash video. The choppy flash can be worked around by installing a browser plugin which allows you to download the videos directly. I loved the Air for everything else it offered. SO LIGHT. awesome screen, just the right blend of gloss and matte. Colors pop and minimal reflection. The heat and fan noise got to me after 1.5 years finally and I sold it got a current mbp 13". If apple updates the mba I might get another.
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Old Jun 8, 2010, 03:23 AM   #17
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It the service centre you took it into was an Apple authorised service centre, then Apple will have records of your problems. I'd give them a call, tell them what is happening, what you've done to get it fixed and see what they say.
Yup I called the Apple Care - and they do have the case history. They had done some cleaning and had also put more cooling liquid on the processor.
They have asked me to again submit the mac book air. They also said that they may make an exception on case by case basis after diagnosis.
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