Macbook fan speed. Is this normal?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by jkcosborne@yaho, Jul 18, 2007.

  1. macrumors newbie

    Jun 11, 2005
    According to istatpro my fan exhaust speed when not doing anything (ie straight away when I turn the laptop on) is 1800rpm and I can hear fan noise on the right hand side when just sat normally using the laptop (ie not with my ear to it!). Is this fan speed and noise normal? Because on my old powerbook, when doing nothing, made no fan noise at all.

    Please advise me, as this Macbook is only 2 months old.
  2. macrumors regular


    Jun 6, 2007
    I cannot hear my fan at all when my macbook is idle so it is a little abnormal to hear any noise unless you are doing alot of cpu intensive stuff on it. my fan right now is around 2000 rpm and make no noise at all.
  3. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 11, 2005

    Perhaps it is the hard drive spinning that I can hear then? Although it sounds like a fan. Where is the harddrive on a Macbook? Powerbook is under the trackpad, I know that, but where is it on a macbook?
  4. macrumors regular

    Nov 10, 2006
    HD is on the right side if memory serves me correctly... it is basically to the side of the battery compartment, so when you pull battery you can also pull HD after removing small aluminum piece...
  5. macrumors regular

    Sep 19, 2004

    Yeah its on the right hand side at the front, accessed by removing the battery, reomoving the metal piece which exposes the HDD tray and the ram modules.

    Very easy to change the HDD/ram :D i have a 120gb fujitsu 5400rpm hdd and 2gb of crucial ram in my macbook 1.83 core duo.

    Seen some 200+ gb drives come out recently tho... tempting if i had the money
  6. macrumors regular

    Sep 30, 2007

    have the same issue described here.

    any more insight?
  7. macrumors 68020

    Dec 6, 2007
    The fan is located in the space between the "Macbook" label and the body of the computer. Basically, it's behind the hinge, which is why it's continually blowing hot air at the screen. 1800rpm is the minimum speed for the fan when the laptop is on and powered. You can throttle it up and down with smcfancontrol. I keep mine at 3000 rpm so the laptop stays at 49 degrees, and cool enough to use comfortably on my lap.
  8. macrumors newbie

    Dec 18, 2007
    wont that make the fans' life shorter? how loud is it? and how much battery life do you get?
  9. macrumors 68020

    Dec 6, 2007
    I don't think so; if you leave the fans at the default setting, they tend to kick up to 3, 4, or 5k frequently (due to the computer waiting for the heat to reach a certain level before raising fan speeds), which I think wears the fan motor down faster in the long run.

    Besides, I feel safer knowing the computer's running at a lower temperature, as a dead fan's a lot easier (cheaper) to replace than a warped screen (due to the fan blowing 70 degree air at the screen hinge), or a fried logic board (due to overheating).

    It isn't loud to me; I need a computer to be quiet to sleep at night, and 3k doesn't bug me. For battery life, I set it to automatically go back to the default 1.8k speed whenever it switches to battery, so battery life is the same.
  10. macrumors newbie

    Sep 24, 2003
    2 Macbooks, 2 Different experiences

    I had a 2.2Ghz White MB that I bought black friday. I was having the very serious keyboard locking issue, but in addition to that, the fan was coming on constantly, to the point it sounded like a hair dryer, lol. Oddly, ESPECIALLY when the new "word of the day" screen saver I had set would come on. It would COOK the computer. I took it in to the genius bar within 2 weeks, they said it could be a logic board issue, gave me the choice of leaving it for diagnostics, or taking a new one. So I took the new one. Totally a different machine, keyboard is better "feeling", trackpad is more sensitive, and the fan rarely comes on. Had to be a lemon.

    Moral of story, if your MB is less than 2 weeks, the genius bar will offer an exchange. Otherwise, you need to have that baby looked at if the fan is making a higher velocity noise at just 1800rpm.
  11. macrumors newbie

    Aug 17, 2008
    Will this help?

    My macbook is about two years old and i won it in a bid off ebay. the cd/dvd player is broken and also as soon as i watch a video on ebay or turn on the webcam the fan turns on extremely fast loud as if it were taking off. I only have a 60 gb hard drive and i was wondering if i updated my hard drive to something larger that it would fix the fan problem?

    Thank you so much for your time, if anyone knows anything that could help me out please let me know :D
  12. macrumors newbie

    Aug 14, 2008
    with 1800 rpm, you should not hear much fan noise normally, so your fan is about to die soon.

    normally, you will hear the noise clearly when the rpm up to 3500 and above.
  13. macrumors 6502


    Aug 20, 2008
    Same here, except the version of smcFanControl I have has a preset called "higher RPM" which keeps it at 3,500 RPM. 1800 RPM is too slow in my opinion, the laptop gets too hot for comfort. Same deal on my iMac, I keep the CPU fan at 2,500 RPM versus the normal 1200.
  14. macrumors 603

    Sep 4, 2006
    My macbook's fan is around 1847 with running vista under parallels, ichat, watching an mkv movie, 20+ tabs on safari while connected to a 23" ACD in closed mode and I dont hear a peep out of it.

    Only when the macbook is in around 4000+ rpm then I can start hear the start of the revving noise.
  15. macrumors 601


    Jan 10, 2005
    You shouldn't hear the fan noise of 1800rpm unless you are in a completely silent environment.

    The fan is located right under the "7" key on the keyboard and the hard drive is to the right from the trackpad.
  16. macrumors 6502

    Nov 5, 2007
    Cupertino, CA
    my mbp runs at around 2100 rpm with a chill pad underneath it.
  17. macrumors member


    Aug 20, 2008
    Phoenix,AZ USA

    when i play command and conquer 3 mine runs about 5000rpm
  18. macrumors newbie

    Feb 18, 2009
    Burlington, NC
    My MBP cooks to about 5900 rpm when I am running Tweetdeck, Itunes, a couple web browsers and Ichat. I have to close a couple programs, and it goes back to 1800 in a jiffy.
  19. macrumors newbie

    Oct 26, 2009
    thank you

    thank you all!
    I thought my fan was broken, and then I read this link, downloaded the app, and now my machine is not so dang hot anymore.

  20. macrumors newbie

    Apr 27, 2009
    For starters, you can put a new optical drive in it for about $100. Check out There are tutorials on how to install parts. Which means you could do the same with a new hard drive if you want to. Which would be nice, but probably wouldn't do anything at all with your fan.

    I have istat, which you can download for free and it will tell you your fan rpms and computer temps. Someone else here recommended some other software. You might want to check those out.

    My guess is that your fan is just loud because it's old and getting clogged up with dust and such. While you're putting in a new optical drive or hard drive you can get in there with a cotton swap or one of those little cans of compressed air and clean it out a little. That would at least extend it's life and possibly quiet it down a little - might solve your problem altogether. Mine got stopped up and I just got it going again today with a cotton swap. But it's only running at about 15,000 rpm's so I'm probably going to have to put in a new one soon. Eventually, that little motor will just crap out on you as the resistance from the gummed-up fan works against it.

    Hope that's helpful!
  21. macrumors 68020


    Aug 28, 2008
    Beverly, Massachusetts
    That seems fast enought to me. Or is it going at 1,500 RPM
  22. macrumors member

    Jun 16, 2009
    guess the smart thing to do would be to have check Activity Monitor for runaway processes. In this case, HPShortcutManager was maxing out CPU. There are various threads on fixing this if anyone so happens to have this installed. Seems to have levelled out at 54C 4000 RPMs. Still a bit high I think...
  23. macrumors newbie

    Feb 5, 2011
    I actually had the same problem. Its because of dust on the fan that gets built up over time. i had this on my old macbook air, i opened it, cleaned the fan off, took out the fan and cleaned the area it spins in and put a tiny dab of oil before putting it back in. The fan was completely quiet afterwards :)
  24. macrumors member

    Sep 10, 2008
    I do this exact thing. Mine runs at 2k normally and it's whisper quiet but the temps will get to 45-50 no problem. I run mine at 3k consistently and it's slightly noticeable but nothing bad. It keeps it about 40-42 degrees.

    GfxCardStatus is a great app to switch between dedicated and integrated graphics. For some reason Chrome causes the dedicated video card to kick in so if that's all I'm using I'll switch it to integrated and run the fans at 3k and it'll run 38 degrees just browsing the web, email, chat, etc.
  25. macrumors regular

    Jun 21, 2010
    Denmark, Aarhus
    I have a 15" MBP late 2009. When just booted the fan speed is around 2000 rpm.

    This is little noisy, specially if i sit by my self in a silent room. I think when i first bought my MBP I could not hear the fan noise when it was just booted.

    Is there a way to make this fan noise disappear?

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