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Is this thing supposed to get so HOT?

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by MattG, Feb 2, 2008.

  1. macrumors 68040


    I just bought a new 40gb unit, and I'm amazed at how hot this thing gets. I realize there's no fan, but is this normal/acceptable? I've got the thing really well ventilated...it's out in the open, on top of my entertainment center. It kind of worries me that it gets so hot. Should it?
  2. macrumors 603


  3. macrumors 6502a

    Yep. Some people use it for frying eggs.

    But seriously, the case is one big heat sink, and it is operating as designed. By doing it this way, Apple didn't need to bother with a fan. I have yet to hear of a unit, despite its heat, overheating.
  4. macrumors 68000

    Yes. The Apple TV gets hot. It needs to be in a well ventilated area but even if it isn't, running hot is what it's designed to do.
  5. macrumors 603


    It actually does have a fan on the CPU. Totally silent - can't hear anything from outside the enclosure.

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  6. macrumors 6502a

    Thanks! I sit corrected!*

    -- Mikie

    *Tough to type standing.
  7. macrumors member


    define well vented. I have mine between my DVD player and DVR but have plenty of space above it. it has1 about 1 inch clearance on either side.
  8. macrumors 68020


    So it has a fan, but absolutely no vents to allow that airflow to escape the device.
  9. macrumors 603


    Yep - vents too. They are along the edges of the bottom, and allow air to flow between the edge of the bottom and top case. There's a space between the edge of the bottom and the top cover. Sorta hard to picture from the image, but you can see the slots along the left and right sides of the cover.

    (the two images I posted are of my own :apple:tv, when I had it open to upgrade the drive from the 40GB to 160GB last June. Ran fine until last week when the 160GB started to make "interesting" sounds. So, EARLY Tuesday morning, I installed a new 250GB WD drive - in anticipation of the now-delayed update. Still have to get RMA for the 160GB, but the :apple:tv's ready to go.)

    Attached Files:

  10. Guest

    burns a lot of electricity. i disconnect when it will not be used for long periods.

    try elevating it from the corners. better heat dissipation
  11. macrumors 603


    For comparison:

    Mac Mini: 110W max

    Apple TV: 45W
  12. macrumors member

    Tommy Tallarico

    I read on this forum a while back that it's about 10w in standby and 15-20 average during playback.
  13. macrumors 603


    Sounds reasonable. I'm sure those figures I posted were maximum.
  14. macrumors 65816


    I don't remember Apple saying it needed to be in a open area. I thought they said you could have it inside an entertainment center with no issues. Personally, I would do it, but they said it doesn't hurt it.
  15. macrumors 65816


    I feel like many people have asked about the heat without understanding some basic physics...

    The aluminum is hot because the whole case is one large heat sink.

    You feel heat because the device is radiating heat, rather than trapping it.

    The bottom grill of the AppleTV has holes for some heat dissipation, but you'll notice the drive is attached directly to the grill and the grill is attached directly to the aluminum casing.

    One of the reasons Apple started toying with aluminum enclosures is because aluminum is an excellent dissipator of heat. Granted, the enclosure on the Mac Pro doesn't get that hot, but it has what.. nine fans cooling the internal temperature by expelling heat through the completely ventilated case?

    The AppleTV has a bigger challenge because several fans would make the device noisy. So, naturally, the aluminum is leveraged even more here to do more of the work.

    If the aluminum casing were cool on a barely ventilated enclosure like that, I'd be much more concerned because that means heat is NOT escaping the insides, overheating the circuitry.

    That being said, the sides and top should have sufficient airflow/clearance to allow the heat to dissipate efficiently and to allow the antenna to be free of direct obstructions/interference.
  16. macrumors 6502


    Will it make any difference if I put Apple TV to sleep?

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