safe operating temperature on mini?

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by doobybiggs, Mar 29, 2012.

  1. macrumors 6502

    Mar 5, 2012
    I found a CPU temp monitoring app and it is showing my mini running at 50C idle and 56C watching youtube videos ... how hot can it actually get and be safe ? I know intel chips can take pretty high temps, but when does the CPU heat start killing off other hardware?

    Are there any 3rd party items that help cool the mini?
  2. macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    You don't need any 3rd party apps to cool the mini. The Intel processors used in Macs are designed to automatically shut down to prevent damage if they truly overheat. CPU Tjmax = 105C, GPU Tjmax = 100C on i3, i5, i7 processors. (Source: Intel) If you're not already using it, iStat Pro will give you accurate readings of your temps and fan speeds, among other things.

    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 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.)

    The intake and exhaust vents are in the back of the computer near the hinge on all Mac notebooks. 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 6502a

    Mar 21, 2012
    GGJstudios is completely right. However, if you want to know how fast your fans are spinning and how hot your mini currently is AND if you want some control over the fans, download smcFanControl - great tool for monitoring and manipulating the fans. However, you can't make them slower than OSX wants them to be (which is a rather good thing).
  4. philipma1957, Mar 29, 2012
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2012

    macrumors 603


    Apr 13, 2010
    if you want to pay 16 for a program this one

    will allow for custom fan settings.

    you can set different floors for the slowest speed. look carefully at the screen shots and you can see i set 1800 to 5000 plus in under 2 minutes actually in under 30 seconds. there are a lot of free programs but the one I linked does more and does it quicker then any progam.

    I don't recommend it to most users of mac minis. If you want to spend the money sometimes it is on for half price. at 8 bucks >

    at 90c you are nearing the safe temp limit. 105c will shut it down in 15 to 25 minutes

    Attached Files:

  5. thread starter macrumors 6502

    Mar 5, 2012
    ok cool ... I was just curious because I downloaded Plex to run the mini as an HTPC at times when I want to watch a movie ...

    Just didn't want to ruin the little thing lol
  6. macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    I run Plex on a mini all the time. It won't create problems at all.
  7. thread starter macrumors 6502

    Mar 5, 2012
    awesome! Just making sure I don't ruin my mac before I even get a real shot at learning it ... I watercooled my PC, so it has probably been 5-8 years since the last time I used air to cool anything lol
  8. macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    You absolutely won't need to do such things with your Mac.
  9. thread starter macrumors 6502

    Mar 5, 2012
    good it will save me lots of money to blow on other cool apple gear lol
  10. macrumors 6502a

    Mar 21, 2012
    Just trust the OSX kernel. You totally don't have to worry about anything when using a Mac. That's the great thing about Apple computers after all. :)
  11. thread starter macrumors 6502

    Mar 5, 2012
    lol I am starting to learn that :D
  12. macrumors newbie

    Feb 18, 2012
    West Midlands, UK
    I too am a relatively new Mac Mini Owner.
    I was worried about the idle temperature as well.
    I was often recording 53 Degrees C when the Mini was doing relatively little.
    When converting a video or watching Youtube I was often hitting 90+ Degrees.

    I use SMCFanControl to manually increase the fan speed keeping the CPU temp to a relatively Arctic 70 Degrees while converting videos
  13. macrumors 6502a

    Mar 21, 2012
    Just to clarify: The CPU doesn't take any damage until running at more than 100°C for a longer period of time. It's not necessary to cool it even more.
  14. macrumors 6502a

    b-rad g

    Jun 29, 2010
    The only thing I do is once or twice a year open the bottom of the Mini and blow the dust out that collects just inside the bottom cover. For instance, just this week I was moving the Mini and figured I would do it while it was off. Opened the bottom cover and 2 marble sized dust bunnies were on the grill surrounding the Airport radio. Blew those out and running 10C cooler than before. Was idling around 55C and now idling at 45C.
  15. thread starter macrumors 6502

    Mar 5, 2012
    yep I will be doing that, just not sure when yet. Need to see how much dust this thing collects sitting around. Guess I will wait 2-3 months and look and then make a judgement then ...

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