2012 MBA 13" i5 vs i7 Temperature/Fan Speed

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by korbearus10, Jul 29, 2012.

  1. korbearus10 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2012
    Location:
    California
    #1
    I ordered the i7 2.0GHz/8GB/256GB MBA from B&H and will be receiving it pretty soon. I've read some disconcerting posts about i7 MBA having higher idle/load temperatures and frequent fan speed up as compared to the i5 variant. If you have the 2012 MBA 13" i7, what's your experience with it in terms of temperature and fan noise. Maybe some numbers will be nice, like idle/browsing temperature and fan RPM.

    Much thanks.
     
  2. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #2
    Temps and fan speed have much more to do with what you're running than which processor you have. 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 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. korbearus10 thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2012
    Location:
    California
    #3
    I'm not really concerned about the temperature. Asking for the temperature was just my way of indirectly gauging how much more frequently the fans will kick in on the i7 vs the i5 (My logic may have been off here).

    For instance, on my '10 13" MBP, the fans would kick into 6000RPM (LOUD) when I played youtube videos or 1080p AVI on VLC. However, the (returned) rMBP fans stayed at ~2100/1950RPM even when I was playing HD videos I just mentioned. And even when they occasionally did kick in, it was at 3000-4000 RPM and not too loud.
     
  4. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #4
    Again, it really depends on your workload far more than what processor you have. The exact same workload on both processors would yield very similar temps and fan speeds.
     
  5. korbearus10, Jul 29, 2012
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2012

    korbearus10 thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2012
    Location:
    California
    #5

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