2011 13" MBA overheating

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by dlim, Jun 26, 2012.

  1. dlim macrumors regular

    Jan 15, 2012
    I've owned my 13" MBA since August 2011, and I've had no issues with it whatsoever. The occasional overheating when streaming high-def videos on youtube, but that was about it.

    Lately, my macbook air starts overheating whenever I use google chrome. It it doesn't occur consistently, but often enough to be annoying, and there's nothing streaming (that I know of) at the times.

    For example, right now I had the following tabs open: gmail, google calendar, Facebook, and wikipedia. My MBA started heating up with the fan exhaust around 6k so I closed it, opened up safari, and came on here.

    my fan slowed back down to 1995 (or whatever the "default" is), and I just opened up chrome again to verify those were the windows I had open. And now my MBA is heating up and the fan is spinning faster again.

    This only started happening in the past few weeks. Does anyone else have this problem?
  2. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    Your Mac is not overheating. 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 (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. brssnkl macrumors newbie

    Feb 2, 2014
    I had the same problem. Now I use Opera

    Also check this if you want to read a post I wrote about the browser.
  4. stfwayne macrumors regular

    Apr 10, 2011
    I have a 2011 MBA 13" and have had the same issue for the past few months.

    1. Took it into the Apple Store and they sent it out for repair, the battery, heat sink, thermal regulator, and logic board along with a few cables were replaced.

    Computer came back and it was still getting hot browsing with Chrome and on Microsoft Word so...

    2. Put the MBA in a box and shipped it via Fedex back to Apple where they replaced the logic board AGAIN

    Got the computer back and SAME GARBAGE...MBA heating up and fan blaring for no reason. This time spent 2 hours inside of an Apple store while they tested it and ran it for 4 hours in the morning the next day STILL NO ****ING ISSUE according to them.

    3. I am about to send it in for my THIRD repair in 2 weeks and they said if they cant find a specific hardware issue then they will NEVER replace my Macbook Air.

    This whole entire process along with the 15-20 hours wasted on the phone with Apple Care and traveling to and from the store and Fedex multiple times has extremely turned me off of using Apple products unless a solution can be found. I paid $1500 for this laptop even if it was three years ago i expect it to last especially when the entire logic board, heat sink, and fan were replaced.

    The MBA is running like a **** Windows laptop that i replace every two years or so. I am so disappointed
  5. s2mikey macrumors 68020


    Sep 23, 2013
    Upstate, NY
    This isn't good to hear. I'm shopping for an MBA and don't wanna read this kind of stuff! I wonder of they've made any corrections to newer models though as yours is a 2011 model?
  6. stfwayne macrumors regular

    Apr 10, 2011
    It is the same thing with the newest Macbook Airs as well

    I bought my gf a Macbook Air 13" 8GB with i5 and the thing heats up when running Powerpoint / Word / more than 3-4 tabs on Safari/Chrome or video. The fan kicks on and it makes alot of noise

    Is it as bad as my 2011? No, but is it noticeable and annoying, yes.

    She doesnt mind it but i think it's absolutely absurd for this to be happening on a $1000+ computer

    That being said I am in the position to upgrade my MBA thru my AppleCare warranty and I am debating whether to jump up to the Retina 13 (i5, 8GB) or stick with a 11/13 MBA with i7 and 8GB.

    The only time you wont have excessive heat and excessive fan noise (since the CPU is not being taxed) is when using a 15" Retina which is way too expensive to spend on a laptop I wont be doing more than browsing PDF, Word, Chrome with
  7. GhettoMrBob, May 23, 2014
    Last edited: May 24, 2014

    GhettoMrBob macrumors regular

    May 21, 2014
    Did either of you having the issues stop and wonder why only with Chrome? What extensions have you got running? Runaway extensions can cause a LOT of issues if they're causing high cpu cycles.

    Blaming the machine first before investigating your usage is a little ridiculous.
  8. Dweez macrumors 65816


    Jun 13, 2011
    Down by the river
    I read your article and have opted to give Opera a try.
  9. tibas92013 macrumors 6502

    Jun 2, 2013
    Costa Rica
    Did not know that one can upgrade to a new Machine though AppleCare. How does this work??
  10. stfwayne macrumors regular

    Apr 10, 2011
    You can NOT and it is not a very common thing.

    I made 4 trips to the Apple store. One was a near 2 hour wait while they tested and i had to go back the next morning.

    I sent my computer in for 3 repairs. One time they replaced the heat sink, fan, cables, battery, and logic board. 5 days later my next repair they replaced the logic board again.

    Basically I have gone thru hell and back dealing with the issues of this Macbook Air. I ran numerous capture datas and lost countless hours on the phone trouble shooting with 4-6 senior advisors.

    Apple usually needs to replace 4 different major components over 4 repairs before they even begin to talk about replacing your laptop. Even in my scenario the only reason they are even considering replacing it is justifying the replacement by saying my useage was overwhelming the computer and thus i would need to upgrade to the Macbook Pro Retina.

    AppleCare and the advisors are nothing but the best. For less than $200 ($183 for Students) I was able to get a new battery, two new logic boards, and 3 new chargers over the course of three years. Each charger costs $80 in stores so just the chargers paid for the warranty. It is the best in the business and really gives you a peace of mind if and when your Apple computer breaks down.

    That being said I wish I was offered a replacement a bit earlier so i wouldnt have to deal with this nightmare I went thru but the people I have dealt with are only going by Apple protocol which states that short of an act of God (4 straight repairs) you are not getting a new computer. I have heard of managers at Apple Stores giving out new computers to loyal customers that have issues with computers out of warranty and if you read forums online you will see these stories as well but these are VERY VERY SUPER RARE situations because once you are out of warranty you are basically out of luck.

    Also you should know that i baby my Macbook Air and wipe it down once or twice a day with iKlear since I have purchased it. In fact the whole entire 1st year i used a cover and keyboard cover and started using it naked only in the last 2 years.

    But do not let my experience change your opinion about the Air. I am still considering getting a full upgraded Air (11/13) with i7 and 8GB of RAM instead of moving up to the Retina Pro because the Air has been my FAVORITE computer in my life and I have purchased many many expensive $1000+ laptops and desktops that havent even sniffed the experience I am able to get out of the Air. The thinness, battery life, trackpad and backlit keyboard are amazing and the machine itself will truly change your perspective on what a solid laptop is. You will wonder why you never had a Macbook / Macbook Air in the past and why you were putting up with the garbage that is Windows manufacturers for so long (at least that was my experience)


    It is not ridiculous. I was only running 1-2 tabs of Chrome with Reddit Enhancement Suite and Adblock. TWO extensions.

    I was also having the same problems with Safari, Opera, and Firefox.

    I sent numerous capture datas to Apple's techs so it was not just Chrome. However in terms of CPU useage and heat i found it to be from most to least Chrome --> Firefox --> Opera ---> Safari.

    This may seem weird since Opera basically runs on Chromium but it's the truth and it is why I am now permanently using Opera as my go to browser. It is amazing and just using it for the past 10 days has really shown me how bloated and garbage Chrome was. I will never go back
  11. GhettoMrBob macrumors regular

    May 21, 2014
    Sorry, I suppose my comment was more directed at the OP since his issues go away once he quits Chrome and has no problem with Safari.

    Out of curiosity though, what surface are you using it on? (lap, desk, etc.)
  12. stfwayne macrumors regular

    Apr 10, 2011
    Chest (over tshirt), lap over shorts or on bare legs, and desk

    All the same

    Anytime i use any video site including HTML 5 youtube the fans are screaming and the machine could cook an egg on it
  13. GhettoMrBob macrumors regular

    May 21, 2014
    I'd take a look at activity monitor to see what all is going on (even before launching a browser). Something may be taking up resources before the browser begins doing it's thing. Possibly a stuck process or what not.

    Did any of those repairs result in a fresh copy of the OS or did they just pop your SSD into the new hardware? Just curious because it could also be OS-related.

    Last thing: do keep in mind that HTML 5 & flash videos WILL put a load on the processor regardless. I have a 2011 MBP and while it isn't hot per se, it does definitely heat up for streaming video (and that's in a larger thermal space with a larger fan)

Share This Page