2012 Mac Mini Overheating

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by Fonz4, Nov 26, 2012.

  1. Fonz4 macrumors newbie

    Nov 26, 2012

    I've got the mid level 2012 Mac Mini, but I am having a problem with it overheating.
    I've installed some temp/fan speed monitoring app, and can see that whenever the cpu gets to about 50% load, the temperature increases to the point that the fan starts to increase in speed. Although doesn't seem to increase very much (goes from 1800 rpm to around 2200). Gets pretty hot (95 degrees C), and then the mac reboots. Seems fine if I manually increase the fan speed.

    I've got an appointment at the apple store later in the week, I take it this behaviour is not normal?
  2. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    Follow every step of the following instructions precisely. Do not skip any steps.
    1. Launch Activity Monitor
    2. Change "My Processes" at the top to "All Processes"
    3. Click on the "% CPU" column heading once or twice, so the arrow points downward (highest values on top).
      (If that column isn't visible, right-click on the column headings and check it, NOT "CPU Time")
    4. Click on the System Memory tab at the bottom.
    5. Take a screen shot of the entire Activity Monitor window, then scroll down to see the rest of the list, take another screen shot
    6. Post your screenshots.
    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)

    If you're not already using it, iStat Pro (free) or iStat Menus ($16) 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 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. Fonz4 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 26, 2012

    Will grab some screen shots tonight.

    The main problem seems to be that the fans don't really spin up to dissipate
    the heat and when it gets to 95 degrees C, the Mac reboots.
  4. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    The fans won't necessarily spin up as soon as temps rise. Temps may need to be sustained at a high temp for some time before fans spin up. It isn't normal that your Mac is restarting at 95C. I suspect something other than temps may be causing that, as the processors are designed to shut down around 105C, not 95C. If that is happening consistently, I'd take it to Apple and have it checked out.
  5. dasx macrumors 65816


    Jun 18, 2012
    Yup, as GGJstudios says that's weird. When running ultra CPU intensive tasks my 2.6GHz i7 gets to around 99-103ºC and stays there with the fans at 5500rpm. Never had a reboot due to heat. Actually the processor should throttle itself down in order to prevent that.

    Try installing iStat Menus or some other app that gives you fan control and manually put it to its max (5500 rpm). Maybe the problem resides in the fan itself…

    Check link 2 I provided if you wanna lower your temps about 10-15ºC.
  6. MagnusVonMagnum, Dec 22, 2012
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2012

    MagnusVonMagnum macrumors 601


    Jun 18, 2007
    Is there a better fan control program out there than SMCFanControl? That one can only increase the minimum speed. It does nothing about rising temperatures while doing something intensive like encoding with Handbrake (you can set a Maximum fan speed preset and manually turn it on, but then it will not spin back down when the temperature drops after the encoding is finished which means shortened fan life if you're not around to keep turning it off manually).

    I found Lobotomo's (and Derman's mod) Fan Control which does EXACTLY what is needed, but it's from 2007 and not 64-bit and may or may not work right for any given Mac model according to the web site.

    I find it hard to believe that no one has made an up-to-date 64-bit proper fan control that can set both upper and lower custom limits to suit to any given Mac model. Have I missed one somewhere?


    I went ahead and installed Lobotomo's Fan Control 1.2 on my 2012 Mac Mini and while it does use a 32-bit preference pane and 32-bit fan control daemon (as shown in Activity Monitor), it does appear to work fine in Mountain Lion on my Mac Mini (Fan 2 is shown at -1, which really means it doesn't have a second fan, as iStat Pro confirms). I set the minimum to 1800 (as low as it will go on the Mac Mini in Mountain Lion anyway as shown with testing at lower settings) with a lower limit of 52C/126F and an upper limit of 73C/163F for now. I may tweak things a bit more later. I verified it works correctly by doing a Handbrake encode and making some adjustments to the settings during it (graph showed fan rising along temperature grade and speeds/temperatures were confirmed as accurate by iStat Pro). When Handbrake finished the encode, the fan immediately started to spin down as the temperature quickly dropped with the load gone.

    Overall, this is a FAR better solution than SMCFanControl, IMO. I don't know if it will work on all current Mac models (I saw separate versions for the iMac both on his site and modified here and a Mac Pro modified version posted on here. I seem to recall having trouble getting this to work on my Macbook Pro when I tried it in the past, but I might have forgotten to reset the SMC by removing its battery; it was far easier on the Mac Mini; I just shut down and unplugged it for 30 seconds and rebooted). I saw some instructions on how to modify the preference pane portion to 64-bit (less annoying when it doesn't have to close and re-open), but I don't think there was a daemon update to 64-bit. Still, I no longer have to worry about anything's life getting unduly shortened due to Apple's poor fan settings when playing a game or encoding a video or what not.
  7. Goldey macrumors newbie

    May 15, 2013
    ventilation better overall with imac over mini?

    guys, i'm sorry if this is addressed elsewhere, i couldn't find a thread. i'm a newbie and trying to decide on a mac mini (ssd) versus an imac (both the current os and versions offered by apple, 2012? 2013?). i'm concerned about overheating and ventilation. i've heard one must be careful with minis and the small pcs (net something, forget what they're called). i'm wondering if the imac has a different cooling system that is superior to the mini....i was told by a mac dealership that all macs have a convection cooling system and they are all the same but i have seen so many posts on forums about overheating with a mini i am concerned. i plan to use the mini in an enclosed cabinet, with just one photo capture software running + the os, nothing else. thanks for any help you guys. G
  8. MagnusVonMagnum macrumors 601


    Jun 18, 2007
    With the above mentioned fan control installed, I've never seen my Mini go over 160 degrees Fahrenheit, even with all four cores running crazy encoding with Handbrake or playing a game like The Force Unleashed (yeah it plays fine).
  9. fa8362 macrumors 65816

    Jul 7, 2008
    Why? Computers must be adequately ventilated.
  10. philipma1957 macrumors 603


    Apr 13, 2010
    Howell, New Jersey
    this. the enclosed space would trap the heat and the space would go above 116f minis are not specced for room temps of 116F


    from the link above;

    Electrical and Operating Requirements
    Line voltage: 100-240V AC
    Frequency: 50Hz to 60Hz, single phase
    Maximum continuous power: 85W
    Operating temperature: 50° to 95° F (10° to 35° C)
    Storage temperature: -40° to 116° F (-40° to 47° C)
    Relative humidity: 5% to 95% noncondensing
    Maximum altitude: 10,000 feet
    Typical acoustical performance, sound pressure level (operator position): 4
    Dual-core model: 12 dBA at idle
    Quad-core model: 15 dBA at idle
    OS X Server quad-core model: 16 dBA at idle

    In fact the max room temp for running the gear is 95F !

    most likely the enclosed space would be higher then 95F
  11. Goldey macrumors newbie

    May 15, 2013
    I am converting my photobooths from Windows to Mac=enclosed "cabinets". That is why I am asking if there is an advantage to the cooling that is installed in the iMac versus the Mini that is superior for this type of setting? Thank you all for your help.

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