Fan question

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by jkim3691, Nov 25, 2011.

  1. macrumors 6502a

    Oct 8, 2011
    This might seem stupid for asking, but does having greater specs decrease the likelihood of the fans kicking in hard? What would allow the fans to run quietly while still doing some intensive tasks?

    I ask this because I was hoping I would have a quieter fan in my Air from my old Macbook and that's the case when I'm not doing anything too intensive. When I watch a video on Hulu full screen on my external monitor, the fan gets surprisingly loud. Does this happen to Pro's too?
  2. macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    If you're putting high demands on your system, such as gaming, visiting websites with Flash content, 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.

    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). They will spin faster as needed to keep temps at a safe level. If they're spinning up without increased heat, try resetting the SMC. PRAM/NVRAM has nothing to do with these issues, so resetting it will not help. Also, make sure you don't block the vents, which are located at the rear, near the hinge.

    Learn about the fans in your Mac
  3. thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Oct 8, 2011
    Sorry, but that didn't really answer my question...
  4. macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    Yes, it specifically did. Read again.
  5. thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Oct 8, 2011
    No, no it didn't. You posted stuff I already knew about the fans. Yes, the vent is at the hinges, yes running intensive tasks makes them run faster. I knew all of this already.

    What I was asking is if greater specs would allow fans to run more quietly during these intensive tasks. If not, what would? Do Pros handle intensive tasks with quieter fan speeds?
  6. macrumors 601


    Feb 6, 2010
    On the fence
    If something is going to heat up your CPU, it's going to do it regardless of specs.
  7. macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    The specs have nothing to do with the fans. The workload does. This is true for all Mac models.
  8. jkim3691, Nov 25, 2011
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2011

    thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Oct 8, 2011
    There, that's the answer I was looking for. Thank you.

    I ask because the fan in my MBA gets REALLY loud when I full screen a show or sports game on my external monitor. I have to raise my volume because of it.
  9. macrumors newbie

    Nov 12, 2011
    There is no way around the fans (trust me - I've tried the reset, SMC fan control - all of that stuff). The bottom line we all have to face is that Apple (like all of the others) are intent in achieving the highest specs possible within a "sexy" trim line enclosure. Fan noise is sacrificed at the alter of higher performance specs.

    FWIW I have a sealed, treated room (recording studio). I would go a step further. All of these (with exception of maybe Mac Pro - which Apple may be phasing out) are entirely unacceptable for the media professional who requires near silence. The cynic i me says Apple just doesn't care about fan noise that would be unacceptable to the professional because they abandoned the professional market long ago. Have you been in a Mac Store lately ? Do those folks look like Media Pro's ? Nope - Mr and Mrs John Q Public. The crowds in the Apple Stores today bear no resemblance to those would would be in a Mac shop 10 years ago. The game has changed. Get used to fan noise - for good - in all models.
  10. macrumors 6502a


    Aug 29, 2011
    Man oh man ... as far as I know people with real recoding studios take steps to eliminate all noises.

    For example by having computer equipment that generates noise inside a sealed box enclosure.

    If you are claiming that your design of your recording studio does not handle computer fan noise then to me it sounds like your design missed some basic concepts. If you are upset that anyone buying an Apple computer does not meet your standards of professionalism ... just take a deep breath or two maybe.

    My new macbook air goes to a whole bunch of places with me with a whole lot of computer equipment. Server rooms for example that are very noisy. Even just back at my office with several other machines around it is always the machine I never hear running.

    The only time I ever hear the fan is when using handbrake and encoding something long from DVD. If one were doing that in a "recording studio" I would recommend that one have some way of dealing with that kind of noise.
  11. macrumors 6502

    Jan 16, 2011
    I should point out that the iMacs tend to have very quiet fans as well as the Mac pro. I know I have never heard a peep out of my iMac (2011 base 27 inch) and furthermore I heavily monitor them with istat pro to see if they do speed up and they never have aside from one instance where the CPU was pegged at 100 percent and playing a high demand game and burning a cd all for 45 minutes. The CPU fan sped up just a few hundred rpm. Barely audibLle in a quiet environment (granted I'm not in a recording studio, but I also have a MacBook pro and I know how loud those get...iMac CAN NOT possibly be as bad as those.)
  12. macrumors 6502a

    Aug 21, 2010
    Athens, Greece
    To answer your question, the core i7 heats up more than the i5, so if you want a cool and silent MBA, don't get the i7.
    Better specs is more ram too, but that won't affect the heat. Neither will storage capacity. A dedicated graphics card (like on the 15" mbp) does heat more than the built-in HD3000, but since you asked about the air, the only difference will be core i5 VS core i7.
  13. macrumors newbie

    Jan 8, 2009
    Have had both the i5 and i7 mba 13inch. Absolutely no difference between the two in heat or noise. Have desktop monitor installed so have real time monitoring of temps and fan speed. Only time fan kicks in hard is with something like handbrake (hugely cpu intensive). I found the same heat/fan response with both i5 and i7. Unless you are using apps like handbrake regularly you will notice not be bothered by heat/fan. Even then it only last while performing the tasks and kicks back down rapidly after finishing. Almost everything else will be dead silent and minimal heat.
  14. macrumors newbie

    Nov 26, 2011
    MBA fans are pretty silent anyway.
  15. macrumors newbie

    Jan 8, 2009
  16. thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Oct 8, 2011
    I'm actually ripping a DVD on Handbrake right now and the fans are loud. When I watch things full screen on my external monitor, the fans get loud too. Going to see what happens when I do the same thing with my sister's Pro.

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