2011 iMac Heat Issues

Discussion in 'iMac' started by Jony Mac, May 20, 2011.

  1. Jony Mac macrumors 6502

    Jony Mac

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    Oct 27, 2010
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    #1
    So I’m getting mixed feedback on this. I’m really wanting to get an iMac (new model 21”), but I’m hearing a lot about heat issues. Its mixed. Some people say that these over heat way too much, and buying it without Apple care is dumb. I was looking between this and the 13” MBP, but the specs obviously have me leaning towards the iMac. Can anyone offer any suggestions or some further backup to this? I’d hate to spend 1200+ dollars only to have tons of problems with this.
     
  2. swarleystinson macrumors regular

    swarleystinson

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    #2
    ??? what are you planning on doing with the iMac? I can say that heating only becomes a real issue if you're overclocking in some way. Otherwise, it's ridiculous to think that apple hasn't planned for the heating issues. They would have to spend a LOT of money in repair costs if they didn't plan ahead in terms of engineering to meet cooling demands.
     
  3. Georgio macrumors 6502

    Georgio

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    #3
    It all depends what you're doing on the Mac. Heavy gaming will get the heat up whereas Internet browsing will keep everything cool.
    In truth though, the iMac is designed to get hot; the aluminium surround is perfect at dumping the internal heat and the internal fans keep cooling air running over the internal components.
    If you're really worried about heat, install a fan control program like SMC fan control and ramp up the default settings slightly.
     
  4. Jony Mac thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jony Mac

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    #4
    I doubt I'll game at all, browse the web, email, documents, watch movies, music, edit photos (iphoto, aperture, PS). Its just I heard from a few people I'd be dumb to pick up the iMac...

    Edit: NO, I wont be over clocking this.

    sigh...
     
  5. Georgio macrumors 6502

    Georgio

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    #5
    If that is all you want from a machine then you would be even more dumb not to pick up an iMac as you will be missing on the quietest computer experience with the best damn display in the business. :
    With that usage your Mac will not even get warm...

     
  6. Jony Mac thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jony Mac

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    #6
    I'll also more than likely backup my movie collection too.

    I'm just worried since today 3 more people said not to go iMac. I guess you hear more bad news than you do w/ the good.
     
  7. Dresevski macrumors 6502

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    #7
    I use SMC Fan Control (because I love it and it keeps things cool all the time) to keep my fans around 1800-2500 rpm, depending on which fan I'm controlling. Currently my temps are 31C for the CPU and 38-39 for everything else. The back of my case is slightly warm to the touch but there is a very noticeable flow of air out of the top (from the increased fan speed). This makes the computer a little louder but it's constant and I don't find it annoying, with everything defaulted the computer is silent
     
  8. h00ligan macrumors 68030

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    #8
    Best display in the business? Not even close. I know, I have one..check a few posts on this forum.
     
  9. Badger^2 macrumors 68000

    Badger^2

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    Oct 29, 2009
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    Sacramento
    #9
    who are these "people" and why do you hang out with them? Whats their level of computer knowledge with Macs, or iMacs specifically? None? A little?

    Are they all hardcore PC users? How would *they* know what computer is best for you?

    I dont give advice I something I dont know anything about.

    Have you been to an Apple store/BB to look at one?

    Have you felt it for "heat"?

    Nothing you are describing that you want to do would even stress a 4 year old iMac, let alone a brand new one.

    So then get Applecare, its $120 for 3 years. $40 a year. $3 a month.
     
  10. Georgio macrumors 6502

    Georgio

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    #10
    Ok to quantify that, the best display for the money. I can't speak for any problems you might be having with yours but my 27" display looks fantastic with good colour, good resolution and fantastic blacks.
    All of which are important in my job as a design professional.

     
  11. Michael383 macrumors 6502a

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    Mar 17, 2011
    #11
    I have a 2011 base 21.5" iMac and heat hasn't been an issue for me.
     
  12. Jony Mac thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jony Mac

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    #12

    Yes, I go to the Apple stores all the time. I do feel them and I've felt heat, although this could be from running all day.

    As for the three people I know they all have iMacs. Granted, these are the 24" iMacs that had the Black plastics so this could be a difference. The new ones are all aluminum and glass rather than the model they have.
     
  13. Georgio macrumors 6502

    Georgio

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    #13
    My old iMac was the duo-core 3.06GHz with the plastic back. It used to get significantly hotter than my current i7 with the all alu enclosure.

     
  14. jim4spam macrumors member

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    Jun 14, 2009
    #14
    Hi Jony - Choosing new computers can be difficult. Casual conversations with people will always highlight issues, and their advice is sometimes not thought through. This is not to say they are wrong, but just that they may be giving weight to different factors that are not really relevant for you.

    If you let us know what's important then we can help you through those factors.

    But the iMac is not going to be less reliable than other computers, so discount that worry. That's not to say 100% you'll have no issues, but certainly there is no more risk involved with the iMac.
     
  15. johnfkitchen macrumors regular

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    Sep 7, 2010
    #15
    If you put your hand on the aluminum case of a Mac, and feel "heat", that tells you the aluminum is doing its job. It's moving heat energy from the inside to the outside. The aluminum case can stand high temperatures.

    It's the inside stuff that matters, and those temperatures can be reported on by software.

    I have a MacBook Pro and have run that at 100% CPU utilization for long periods of time. Internal temperatures have never got close to being too high. The case is hot, but the Mac is running safely. Feeling the case with your hand is no indicator of a problem. In fact, if the case were NOT hot when the CPU was very busy, then THAT would be cause for concern, since the heat is being bottled up inside. I had a Dell laptop that did that. The case was just warm, but the fan vent outlet was hot. McAfee antivirus software was cooking the insides until it failed, and the motherboard had to be replaced.
     
  16. omvs macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 15, 2011
    #16
    I too had some concerns about heat with the system under load - I ordered a BTO 27" w/ i5 + 2GB VRAM, and figured if it overheated I'd return it.

    The case will get slightly warm under load, but iStatPro shows very acceptable temperature ranges, and the fans have been at minimum every time I've checked.

    Last weekend I was stressing it -- multiple hours with all 4 cores active (background video encoding) and the GPU working (some gaming in foreground), and the case only felt warm. Didn't see if the fans kicked up any, but I have yet to hear them - can only hear the slight hum from the hard drive.


    Granted as it gets hotter in the summer, I expect the internal temperatures to rise somewhat. But all indications so far are that the machine should be fine. In comparison, doing the same activity on my macbook pro would definitely kick the fans up, even with a cooling pad underneath.

    Unless the 21" has much, much worse cooling than the 27", I think you'll be fine.
     
  17. NutsNGum macrumors 68030

    NutsNGum

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    #17
    They all have iMacs and yet are telling you not to buy one?

    Quick question, are all of your friends idiots?
     
  18. johnfkitchen macrumors regular

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    Sep 7, 2010
    #18
    Another quick question, how many of these idi-, er, friends who own iMacs have actually had hardware problems with iMacs that are attributed to overheating?

    I'm not talking about something going wrong and diagnosing the cause by feeling the case. I'm talking about professionally diagnosed.
     
  19. ZeD X macrumors regular

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    Apr 26, 2011
    #19
    Take a look at this thread.

    My iMac is aways powered on (24/7). Sometimes I leave it using 8 threads of 100% CPU, for several days, and it's aways cooler than most macbooks not running 100% cpu with defaults fan speeds.
     
  20. archer75 macrumors 68000

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    Oregon
    #20
    Mine does get pretty damn hot. But if it's within apple's specs then I don't worry too much about it.
     
  21. johnfkitchen macrumors regular

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    #21
    Increasing fan speed may improve the effectiveness of Turbo Boost, I guess, and provide better CPU performance if only one or two threads are active.
     
  22. omvs macrumors 6502

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    May 15, 2011
    #22
    Unless Intel changed how things work recently, Turbo Boost goes any higher if the chip is cooler - its purely based on core utilization. The explanation I heard was it was originally going to be thermal based, but made testability and repeatability too difficult.

    Too bad - it would have been nifty if it cranked up until it hit the TDP in reality.
     
  23. 50548 Guest

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2005
    Location:
    Currently in Switzerland
    #23
    That's the point that needs to be stressed AGAIN and AGAIN against ignorant PC users providing "advice" to prospective switchers...

    ONCE MORE: the aluminum case IS SUPPOSED TO GET HOT! That's one of the basic reasons Apple adopted it instead of other materials - such a material acts as a heatsink and moves the heat out of the iMac's innards (which are supposed to remain at controlled temps).

    Second point: COOL AIR is heavier and pulled from below, HOT AIR is lighter and pushed outside through the iMac's upper vent. It's obvious that if you put your hand behind your Mac's vent, you're gonna feel hot air escaping from it - this is exactly the intended result.

    And unless your machine is defective, there is absolutely NO NEED to use SMCfancontrol to change your fans' speeds - OS X takes care of that.
     
  24. Jony Mac thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jony Mac

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    Oct 27, 2010
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    #24
    Well the problems they had are as follows

    The screens all had burn in.
    The Super Drive either stopped working, or stopped writing.
    iSight camera stopped working
    Always was super hot to the touch.

    Like i said these are the 24" models where it was black plastic on the back. That could be the reason they ran hot all the time to the touch. I just wanted to get some feedback from folks here.

    Oddly since all 3 had problems with their iMacs they have all bought new PCs.. not Mac. Sad..
     
  25. johnfkitchen macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2010
    #25
    Turbo Boost 2.0 now takes into account temperature. http://www.intel.com/technology/turboboost/index.htm

    "Intel Turbo Boost Technology 2.0 is activated when the Operating System (OS) requests the highest processor performance state (P0).

    The maximum frequency of Intel Turbo Boost Technology 2.0 is dependent on the number of active cores. The amount of time the processor spends in the Intel Turbo Boost Technology 2.0 state depends on the workload and operating environment.

    Any of the following can set the upper limit of Intel Turbo Boost Technology 2.0 on a given workload:

    Number of active cores
    Estimated current consumption
    Estimated power consumption
    Processor temperature
    When the processor is operating below these limits and the user's workload demands additional performance, the processor frequency will dynamically increase until the upper limit of frequency is reached. Intel Turbo Boost Technology 2.0 has multiple algorithms operating in parallel to manage current, power, and temperature to maximize performance and energy efficiency. Note: Intel Turbo Boost Technology 2.0 allows the processor to operate at a power level that is higher than its rated upper power limit (TDP) for short durations to maximize performance."


    So maybe, running fans faster could give more MIPS.
     

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