Tozovac

macrumors 68020
Original poster
Jun 12, 2014
2,180
2,227
Is there anyone here who has a 2020 MBA who also had an earlier MBA, who could chime in as to whether the cooling fan in their 2020 spools up more, less, or as much as their prior MBA?

My 2014 i7 MBA w/8gb ram‘s fan comes on sometimes but hardly as much as it sounds the 2020’s kicks in.

It’ll come on if I’m doing a lot of work in Logic Express 9 or iMovie. Rarely/never with 30 Chrome windows open and/or watching YouTube videos.

Put another way - Is the cooling system in the 2020 that much worse than earlier MBA iterations to suggest the fan would kick in more often than when performing the same types of actions on an earlier, similarly-equipped MBA?

Thanks in advance.
 

lambertjohn

macrumors 65816
Jun 17, 2012
1,380
1,328
I've never heard the fan come on even once on my 2018 Air. I also have a 2020 i5 Air, and the fan has come on several times in the two weeks I've owned it.
 
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Tozovac

macrumors 68020
Original poster
Jun 12, 2014
2,180
2,227
I've never heard the fan come on even once on my 2018 Air. I also have a 2020 i5 Air, and the fan has come one several times in the two weeks I've owned it.
Oh and do you remember the situations? Any particular App(s), browser, windows/sites?
 

lambertjohn

macrumors 65816
Jun 17, 2012
1,380
1,328
Oh and do you remember the situations? Any particular App(s), browser, windows/sites?
As underpowered as people say it is, my little 2018 Air is a workhorse believe it or not. I run Office 365 on it, Photoshop, and do tons of internet browsing/research. I've even done Zoom on it for my son's preschool. Never heard the fan come on, not once, and I have no clue why. It probably should be blowing all the time. LOL. The fan on the 2020 Air, on the other hand, just comes on randomly. Mostly when I'm on Safari but no specific websites, sorry. I also run Affinity Photo on it, and iA Writer and Pages. Of those programs, Affinity Photo is the one that triggers the fan now and then, but not very often. Not much else I can tell you. I'm sorry.
 

Tozovac

macrumors 68020
Original poster
Jun 12, 2014
2,180
2,227
As underpowered as people say it is, my little 2018 Air is a workhorse believe it or not. I run Office 365 on it, Photoshop, and do tons of internet browsing/research. I've even done Zoom on it for my son's preschool. Never heard the fan come on, not once, and I have no clue why. It probably should be blowing all the time. LOL. The fan on the 2020 Air, on the other hand, just comes on randomly. Mostly when I'm on Safari but no specific websites, sorry. I also run Affinity Photo on it, and iA Writer and Pages. Of those programs, Affinity Photo is the one that triggers the fan now and then, but not very often. Not much else I can tell you. I'm sorry.

Hi, no actually that’s very, very helpful. Your 2018 sounds like my 2014. I make mine do way more than it “should” be able to do. All it takes is a little increased patience for certain processor-intensive renderings. I’ve convinced myself away from any “upgrade” quite yet. Thank you.
 

rforno

macrumors member
Oct 18, 2017
87
80
My 2020 i5 16GB Air has the fan kick on pretty much every time I'm watching a Youtube video or doing major cloud drive syncing. I never had that problem with my 2017 or 2013 Airs. Not a show-stopper, but definitely noticeable.

Interestingly when the fan kicked in on a news site, it got me wondering and I found some horridly written embedded scripts on it that I needed to disable.
 

mwptrsn

macrumors newbie
Jun 18, 2020
14
11
I've got a 2020 (i5), which I upgraded from the 2018 for the keyboard while I wait for an ARM machine. I have noticed the fans kick in a bit more often when doing something like installing XCode, etc. But otherwise it's pretty much silent in daily operation. I don't see fans spin up when watching YouTube, browsing, etc.
 

twintin

macrumors 6502a
Aug 10, 2012
664
164
Sweden
Have never heard the fan come on on my i3 2020 Air for the last 3 month. It does kick in for some tasks like longer MS Teams VCs, but never more than 2700, so it is impossible to hear it even in a silent room (at least I can not).
 

hungryghosty

macrumors regular
May 14, 2020
126
59
So many conflicting reports about fan noise on the 2020 model!

I've ordered a base spec i3 2020 MBA today so be interesting to see how I get on with it?
 

Supra Mac

macrumors 6502
Jan 5, 2012
275
102
Texas
Reason for conflicting reports is the tolerance gap between the CPU and heat sink. If you have a bigger gap then your heat transfer is worse than those who have a smaller gap. To correct this you can perform the shim mod to remove the gap and use better thermal paste.

I have done this mod on the i3 and picked up performance as well as cooler CPU temps.

I can be on a zoom call with 20 participants and at the same time while air play. Holds at 62C, no fans.

You can see where you stand by running Geekbench if you are getting average scores then you are more likely to hear the fans more often. If you get better than average scores then your cpu/heat sink assembly is doing better in releasing heat.

Shim Mod
 

SO8

macrumors member
Oct 29, 2020
36
20
UK
I've had a 2020 i7 MBA for just over 4 months and it was to replace a 2017 MBP 3.5GHz (7th Gen i7 dual core) which started getting stupid hot when streaming music from Tidal.

The i7 MBA is cool, no fan noise I can recall ... at all !

Used exactly as the 2017 MBP but no heat issues whatsoever. It at most gets a warm base but no more. It is slower than the MBP (though internet says it should be the other way round based on Geekbench scores) but more useable with no heat or fan issues .

The MBA totally fine but I am put off a fast 10th Gen i7 with 32Gb on the MBP for fear of getting another one that 'burns' my lap ! The 2017 MBP was top spec at the time and I loved the speed but not the burning thighs it gave me - as I say, a slower 2020 MBA but no heat or fan issues at all.
 

MacRazySwe

macrumors 65816
Aug 7, 2007
1,027
793
As underpowered as people say it is, my little 2018 Air is a workhorse believe it or not. I run Office 365 on it, Photoshop, and do tons of internet browsing/research. I've even done Zoom on it for my son's preschool. Never heard the fan come on, not once, and I have no clue why. It probably should be blowing all the time. LOL. The fan on the 2020 Air, on the other hand, just comes on randomly. Mostly when I'm on Safari but no specific websites, sorry. I also run Affinity Photo on it, and iA Writer and Pages. Of those programs, Affinity Photo is the one that triggers the fan now and then, but not very often. Not much else I can tell you. I'm sorry.
Yep, same here. My 2018 Air has been surprisingly capable! I remember it being criticized at launch, but this thing has handled everything I've thrown at it and the fan rarely comes on.

It's been doubling as my office work horse for the last two months. Plenty of MS Teams and product demos where I use reflector to mirror my iPad screen at the same time. It's been flawless and a much better experience than my work Lenovo (AMD Ryzen, 16GB, Vega Graphics).

It's been two years but I'm still so impressed with this MacBook Air.
 
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