Mini heat: normal?

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by sunandsurf, Jan 4, 2013.

  1. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2008
    #1
    Just wondering: last night, I was capturing a bunch of streaming YouTube videos while watching a movie. So I had safari, jacksta (I think that's what it's called) and VLC Player going at the same time. I'd pause the movie every couple of minutes to search for and play video clips from YouTube. Anyway, I stood up to get a drink and felt the mini which was quite hot. The fans weren't blowing hard so I guess you could say that it wasn't that hot but I thought it was quite hot to the touch.

    Does this seem normal that the mini should feel so hot to the touch when it's not doing anything really CPU intensive?

    Is it a stupid idea to even think about using those laptop fans under my mini?

    Thanks.
     
  2. macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #2
    Use iStat Pro (free) or iStat Menus ($16) to get accurate readings of your temps and fan speeds, rather than depending on your sense of touch.

    The Intel processors used in Macs are designed to automatically shut down to prevent damage if they truly overheat. CPU Tjmax = 105C (221F), GPU Tjmax = 100C (212F) on i3, i5, i7 processors. (Source: Intel)

    Unless there is a rare defect in a Mac, most temps are well within the normal operating range, considering the workload being put on it. Websites with Flash content, games and other multimedia apps will put higher demand on the CPU/GPU, generating more heat. This is normal. If you're constantly putting high demands on your system, such as gaming 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.

    It is also quite normal for your Mac to become extremely hot to the touch during intensive operations. The aluminum body transfers heat more effectively than other materials used in computer casings, so you will feel the heat more. This doesn't indicate that it's overheating and will not harm the computer to be hot to the touch.

    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). iMacs have 3 fans with minimum speeds in the 800-1200 range. They will spin faster as needed to keep temps at a safe level.

    If your fans are spinning up without increased heat, try resetting the SMC.
    (PRAM/NVRAM has nothing to do with these issues, so resetting it will not help.)

    The intake and exhaust vents are in the back of the computer near the hinge on all Mac notebooks (except the new MBP with retina display, which has intake vents along the sides at the bottom). The iMac vent is a slot on the back near the top of the computer. Make sure the vents remain unblocked to allow your computer to perform at its best.

    Learn about the fans in your Mac
    Apple Portables: Operating temperature

    For Flash-related issues:
     
  3. macrumors 68000

    53x12

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2009
    #3

    I don't think it is ever dumb to try and keep your computer as cool as possible when operating under load. If you don't mind the added cost and eye sore (might not bother you) then go for it. Just remember that the CPU is designed to work within certain temp ranges. When the temp reaches too high, the CPU will throttle themselves down to a reduced clock speed. If that doesn't stop it, they will eventually shut down. So I'm sure you computer is fine as this didn't take place. Another option is to download SMCfancontrol which is a free app and allows you to manual set the fan speeds. So if you know you will be doing some intensive tasks, you can increase the fan speed prior to starting your CPU intensive tasks instead of waiting OSX to do this.
     
  4. philipma1957, Jan 4, 2013
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2013

    macrumors 603

    philipma1957

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2010
    #4
    Both above have good points. Let your mini breath. cheap solutions are side mount stand

    http://eshop.macsales.com/item/NewerTech/NUSTALYMINI/

    on sale . use the free app GGJstudios gave you


    if you run hot a lot you can buy the second app and set a more aggressive fan speed curve.

    if not enough you can get the side mount i linked. i would think setting the fans floor at 2200 vs 1800 fixes most problems


    the side mount is worth 2 to 4 c .

    setting the fans floor at 2200 vs stock of 1800 is worth 2-4 c.

    you can get a laptop blower see photo worth 2-4 c.

    but try the free software to see your temps.

    if you are at 75c or lower you have no fears.

    the mini can push 100c without failing. I have run it for hours at 103c with hard testing that would be almost never done in real world.

    I did kill a quad core machine but it was in oct 2012 and if may have been defective in the first place.

    In fact after the machine died apple recalled the 10.8.2 2012 mac mini upgrade for about a month stating it was a bad update. We all have heard about the new mini having a hdmi issue which was fixed with a later newer 10.8.2 2012 mac mini upgrade along with 1.7 firmware. Since this newer software upgrade all my high temp testing was just a bit better on all the 2012 mac minis I tested. A few c lower in the case of the quad cores and in the case of the dual core machines I could not get them to reach 100c no matter what heat testing software used.
     

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  5. thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2008
    #5
    Wow. You guys are fantastic! Thank you very much for taking the time to reply to my questions with very informative comments. Thank you, thank you, thank you. :)
     
  6. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2012
    #6
    Fan Speed Curve

    Just curious, how would I use menus to set the fan curve of when it ramps up? It seems Apple uses a fairly conservative curve to cut down on noise and I would rather have it faster. I see I can change the speeds for medium and heavy but that doesn't specify the temperature that it will start to move to those levels. Any help would be appreciated!

    Thanks,

    Ken


    if you run hot a lot you can buy the second app and set a more aggressive fan speed curve.
     
  7. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2012
    #7
    I used this before http://www.macupdate.com/app/mac/23137/fan-control and it worked good for me. I think the graphic is pretty neat.
     
  8. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2011
    #8
    +1. I also have been using that utility (Fan Control by Lobotomo) for over a year and highly recommend it. After installation you don't need to fiddle with the settings or worry about a hot Mini. I use 1800 rpm base speed and 50C and 80C for the lower and upper thresholds.

    With the utility my Mini rarely goes over 75C because the fan speed rises quicker and runs faster with a big CPU load. The biggest load I have is a long HandBrake video reformat which runs the CPU(s) to near-maximum at 385%.

    I know the CPU chip can tolerate a higher temperature but I feel better with it running cooler. My friend's 18 month old MacBook was killed by circuit board damage caused by a hot CPU, no help from Apple, he had to pay full price for a new one.
     
  9. macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 4, 2012
    Location:
    Massachusetts
    #9
    Curious what are the default settings for when the fan will start moving faster in a Mac Mini? Does it have to break 80C before it ramps up faster than 1800rpm? Just noticed my mini at 76C and the fan was still 1800rpm It did drop back to 70 pretty quick but just curious if anyone knows at what temp the fan will actually work harder.
     
  10. macrumors 65816

    dasx

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2012
    Location:
    Barcelona
    #10
    Haven't really payed too much attention to it but I'd say the fans start spinning up when CPU stays at 90+C for a while.
     
  11. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2012
    #11
    For me i had the mac mini on its side (w/o any mounts/stands) for a few days. Since shipping costs were high, i decided to sink nails around the mini to prevent it from falling.

    Now my mini is noticeably cooler
     
  12. macrumors 65816

    randy98mtu

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2009
    #12
    Do you stay below 75C with Handbrake running? Even if I set the fans to 4600 before I start Handbrake, my CPU is at 90-95 the duration of the Handbrake encode. If I let the stock fan control operate, it lets the thing run at 100-103 the whole time. I'm not very comfortable with this long term. I have a few ideas I am considering right now.
     
  13. macrumors 6502

    MatthewAMEL

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2007
    Location:
    Orlando, FL
    #13
    When I originally got my i7 Mini it consistently hit 96c using the AppleTV3 preset in handbrake.

    It was on a desk with nothing on top or within 6 inches of it. Room temp was 24.4c.

    I have the Apple 256GB SSD internal, but the encodes are to a USB3 RAID0.

    I have since moved it to this stand I originally purchased for my C2D MacBook Pro.
    http://www.raindesigninc.com/mstand.html

    It was worth 4c and now I run at 92c with the ATV3 preset.
     
  14. macrumors 65816

    dasx

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2012
    Location:
    Barcelona
    #14
    That were my exact thoughts. That's why I did this. Now I can run handbrake for 1h (100% CPU use) and temps will stay in the 88-93ºC bracket with fans at 3000-3500rpm. So much cooler and also quieter than before.

    I tried to manually put them at 5500rpm, and yes, temp does drop a little more, but not worth it. Sounds like a Jumbo.

    EDIT: If I were planning to use handbrake 24/7 for some period of time I might try putting a fan beneath it first. I might get even lower fan speeds (so less noise) which is what bothers me the most now that I get the CPU to stay below 90ºC.
     
  15. macrumors 65816

    randy98mtu

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2009
    #15
    I saw your post, which has me thinking long and hard about incorporating a filter in whatever I do.

    I discovered I goofed when I put my mini on its side and I had the power supply on the bottom. Doh! Flipped it over and cooled down quite a bit. With the cover off and the fans at 2400 or so I was running at about 93C with Handbrake. I left it running overnight with the fans cranked up to 4250 and it was at about 80-83C. This morning when i went down there with the fans still at 4250 and 0 load it was down to 36C. Before it was idling at 55C. I need to see how it idles today with the cover back on but the PSU on the top. This guy has me thinking. I may do something similar and put a filter in front of it with the Mini on its side like I have it now behind my TBD.

    [​IMG]

    If I can find a way to put a filtered 120-140mm fan blowing on the open bottom of the machine and keep it 10C cooler than with the cover on and never have to monkey with things, I'd be happy. I just don't particularly like the idea of the Mini regularly seeing 95+ for extended periods of time. It has to have a significant impact on life expectancy.
     
  16. macrumors 65816

    dasx

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2012
    Location:
    Barcelona
    #16
    Yeah, I saw what that guy did too. Problem there is he doesn't have a filter, and dust is a b*tch. Gets everywhere. That's why I made my own filter plus attaching it with the glue pistol. Didn't want any air going in un-filtered.

    I don't know what a difference a fan would make when the Mini is bottomless to be honest… I wanna try that out eventually.

    Also, I'd let the Mini take care of its fan automatically. Even more if you end up running bottomless. I can tell you, before doing my "mod" the fan had to spin at 5500RPM (therefore A LOT OF NOISE) after just 10 minutes at 100%. Now it can be 2, 3, 4 hours at full load and the fan keeps the temp at around 90ºC with just 3300RPM.

    This was discussed in several threads when the 2012 first came out and an obvious conclusion was that Apple could've made the Mini 5mm taller and 5mm longer (wouldn't even be noticeable unless comparing two models side by side) and put in a bigger heatsink with a slightly bigger fan.

    But… that would've meant a new design, new manufacturing process and so on… It's a shame these QC i7 are so hot. They have incredible performance but they're a little oven, lol
     
  17. macrumors 65816

    randy98mtu

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2009
    #17
    Yeah, I want to have a filter. But I think I will put the filter between the fan and the outside blowing on the uncovered mini bottom. If you blow at the filter, not as much air will get through the filter; path of least resistance. I'm still debating as I'm more comfortable with the temps I'm seeing now.

    As for the fans, I'm just bringing up the floor to keep things a tad cooler; especially when running Handbrake. It stays around 92C with the fans at 1800, but I'd prefer to keep it closer to 80.

    I know i probably don't need to, but I like tinkering. The only thing I miss with Mac computers is building my own computer. I don't want to do all the tinkering of the hackintosh, but I still like tinkering. That's what half of this cooling project is for me. Just tinkering.
     
  18. macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #18
    Where is the air intake on the 2012 Mini, as distinguished from the air exhaust port?
     
  19. macrumors 603

    philipma1957

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2010
    #19
    at the edge of the round bottom black disc that allows access to the ram.
     
  20. macrumors 65816

    randy98mtu

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2009
    #20
    Well I took the plunge and ordered a 200mm fan from Amazon. I picked up an 8" to 6" heat duct reducer, but don't have space for it between my mini and the wall. I think I might do the dasx screen method for a filter. I'm first just going to get the fan mounted and see how much cooler things run with it. Hopefully the 200mm can move enough air moving slow enough to be inaudible while still being effective. I also picked up an aluminum strip from Lowes to mount the fan with. Hopefully I'll be back this weekend with an update.
     
  21. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2012
    Location:
    Northeast
    #21
    I would love to see a photo if you could. Dave
     
  22. macrumors 65816

    randy98mtu

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2009
    #22
    The fan (and power adapter) is due tomorrow. I will try it out just setting it behind my mini. Hopefully this weekend I'll get a chance to work out how I'm going to really mount it with the aluminum. I would have liked to enclose it with the duct reducer, but as you can see, I don't have room without moving it out from the wall, which I'd prefer to avoid.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  23. macrumors 65816

    randy98mtu

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2009
    #23
    This morning I was trying to figure out how I was going to mount and filter my fan/cooling rig. Suddenly I remembered the K'Nex desk! I have never used these things before, but I'm tempted to pick up a kit and see if I can figure out something to mount the fan and I'm thinking wrap in some speaker cloth or something to act as a filter. I will just butt it up to the Mini and leave everything but the bottom completely open to exhaust the hot air. Where is the exhaust on the Mini though? Is it somewhere back out the bottom? I haven't looked closely, but just assumed it was along the back with the connectors.
     
  24. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2012
    Location:
    Northeast
    #24
    Thanks for the photos! Great cat! I will be curious to see the fan and reducer.
     
  25. macrumors 65816

    randy98mtu

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2009
    #25
    Though I don't have space for the reducer, the 8x6 would be perfect if anyone else wants to do something like this. The fan or the reducer would need some altering, but the fan body itself would fit right inside the reducer if not for the mounting tabs. Cut those tabs off or cut space into the reducer and it would work fine. As for the 6" side it's just a shade smaller than the bottom cover of the mini. You could easily cut it back and make it fit perfectly.

    Right now I just have the fan blowing directly on the bottom of the computer. The only non-scientific (and that's all I'll have is non-scientific. ;) ) numbers I have is yesterday it was 48 with the cover on idle. I took the cover off and today it was 42. I put the fan on it and it dropped to 38. Now with some light browsing and the exhaust fan bumped up to 2200 I'm still at 42C. It's virtually silent. The fan is very quiet and I think moves a fair amount of air.

    I'm planning to hit it with some 100% Handbrake later and turn the fan off and on and tinker with it a bit. So far I am very happy. And with my setup of the mini on the backpack behind the Thunderbolt Display, I opted for the Blue LED version and it gives a nice glow behind the screen that I happen to like. Tastes vary of course.

    I'll try to get some pictures and more information later.
     

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