11in air very hot when using with thunderbolt

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by jtap, Feb 6, 2012.

  1. jtap macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2010
    #1
    Just purchased a Thunderbolt Display for my 11 inch Macbook Air. Loving it so far, but noticed the MBA gets very hot to the touch when using for extended periods of time. Has anyone experienced any problems in the long term when using the MBA w/ Thunderbolt for long periods at a time?
     
  2. Xikum macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2011
    #2
    Its going to be very hot because you are asking an 11" machine made of aluminium to power a 27" screen. That isnt to say that it isnt capable, but it is is rather an intensive thing. Dont worry, if it gets too hot it will automatically shut itself down to avoid damage.

    Its normal.
     
  3. super tomtendo macrumors 6502a

    super tomtendo

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2009
    Location:
    Florida
    #3
    Thae last time I check, the MBA doesn't power the display. The display will be the power source for the MBA. The MBA may get hot because its using up a lot of graphics to feed to the Thunderbolt Display - But it doesn't power it, the power plug does that.
     
  4. tim100 macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    May 25, 2009
    #4
    anyone else seeing heat when hooking up a mba to a thunderbolt display
     
  5. wrinkster22 macrumors 68030

    wrinkster22

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2011
    Location:
    Toronto
    #5
    Producing heat is well documented.
    Heat is created when the processor gets hot.
    The processor gets hot when doing challenging things.
    Thus, it gets hot.

    Your MBA will be fine and will not be damaged.
     
  6. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #6
    It's normal. Install iStat Pro to get accurate readings of your temps, among other things. There is no cause for concern.
     
  7. Xikum macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2011
    #7
    Of course the MBA doesnt use its battery to power the TBA, that isnt what I meant. What I meant was it runs the graphics for it, I wasn't clear obvious.
     
  8. tim100 macrumors 65816

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    May 25, 2009
    #8
    what is a normal temp for mba running thunderbolt display?
     
  9. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #9
    There is no "normal" temp, as it depends on what you have running. The Intel processors used in Macs are designed to automatically shut down to prevent damage if they truly overheat (around 100C/212F - 105C/221F, depending on your processor). Anything under that is within the normal range, although it depends on what you're running.
     
  10. Fastball32 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2011
    #10
    I've started a previous thread on this topic and every couple of weeks I see a similar thread concerning mainly MacBook Airs and Minis running hot when connected to a Thunderbolt Display.

    My 2011 i7 11" MBA fans scream very loudly after watching 5 minutes of YouTube, when connected to my Thunderbolt display.
    My fans however are never audible when I connect to my 24" or 27" Cinema Display, which I have mainly hooked up to my Mac Pro.

    Since my MBA is my only Thunderbolt equipped Mac, my Thunderbolt display is collecting dust because I refuse to use my Mac under those situations.
    Other posters may reply that I have a defective Mac or Display, but I am outside my return policy and will see if my next MacBook Pro will behave the same way.
    It Sounds like several posters do not have the same experiences as I am having though.
     
  11. d.r.margulies macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2011
    #11

    Mine is running between 72-77 C while using a mini display port to HDMI connector.
    iStat temp while using thunderbolt.png

    I have a 2011 i7 11" as well.
     
  12. TheRealDamager macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2011
    #12
    I'm not running an 11" Air, so I cant answer your question, but I use a 13" Air with a TB display all day long. Never hear the fan. How about taking the Air to an Apple Store and seeing if you get the same issue when connecting to their display?
     
  13. Stingray454 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2009
    #13
    This is quite interesting, I'm thinking of getting a new Air + TB display soon myself, but if that would mean a high-rpm fan all day I will probably go for another solution (probably a Cinema Display). Is there any change in CPU usage when using the TB screen? Ie, is the CPU working harder to send video through thunderbolt, or is the heating coming only from the TB-chip itself? I sure hope this is an isolated problem and not something that affects all Airs + TB-display.
     
  14. Acorn macrumors 68020

    Acorn

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2009
    Location:
    macrumors
    #14
    you could try running it with the lid open. or are you? alot of heat escapes through the keys. its pretty common for people even with the 15 inch macbook pros to run em with the lid open. i would imagine the 11 inch is no different.
     
  15. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #15
    There is no air intake or exhaust through the keyboard on any Mac notebook, and there never has been. Both intake and exhaust is through the vents in the rear, which allows venting with the lid open or closed (for operating in clamshell mode). There is a solid panel under the keyboard, preventing any meaningful airflow.
    [​IMG]
    There is a slight difference in heat dissipation, but not nearly enough to require operation with the lid open.
     
  16. Acorn macrumors 68020

    Acorn

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    Jan 2, 2009
    Location:
    macrumors
    #16
    running with the lid open to help keep things cool isnt something i just made up or pulled out of my crack. Im going on what lots and lots have posted in the past and they have posted that it does in fact help.
     
  17. KohPhiPhi macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2011
    #17
    What about using a stand to lift up the MBA while using a TB display? does anyone know how effective it is as far as reducing heat?
     
  18. TheRealDamager macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2011
    #18
    I still don't understand whats causing the original poster to have these issues - I use a TB display with a 13" air and never, ever hear the fans. I'll watch it with istat menus this week and see if I see anything over the base 2000 rpms.
     
  19. mrsir2009 macrumors 604

    mrsir2009

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2009
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    #19
    :)
     
  20. KPOM macrumors G5

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2010
    #20
    Since the MacBook Air shares its RAM with the system, you are actually better off having the lid closed when it is connected to an external display. That way, it has to drive only one display and is less likely to use up all the RAM (which causes swapping to the SSD).
     
  21. terps2005 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2009
    #21
    My fan spun up a few times when I first got the TBD. I reset the SMC controller and it's been fine since. The fan still runs if I'm watching a longer flash video, but thats normal. Here's how to do it: Shut down the MacBook Air, Connect the MagSafe adapter, Hold down Shift+Control+Option+Power at the same time, Release all keys at the same time, then hit the power button again to turn the MacBook Air on.

    Good luck
     
  22. TheRealDamager macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2011
    #22
    OK - I did some testing with my 13" Air and TB display this AM.

    Normal operation (Mail, iCal, Chrome with several tabs, several other apps) everything stays at 2000 rpms (normal). I then played some YouTube videos full screen, and got the fans to spin up to 4500 rpms (can hear but still barely audible in my office). When I stop the videos, the fans return to 2000 rpms within about 2 mins.
     

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