A Question about Fans.

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by BlindSoul, Aug 2, 2010.

  1. BlindSoul macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 30, 2010
    Location:
    Israel
    #1
    Hey,

    I'm using iStat and it always say my Fans exhaust is 1800rpm. I've been wondering what's the maximum the Mac Mini can possibly have and how much yours usually fans exhaust.


    Thank you :)
     
  2. Beaverman3001 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 20, 2010
    #2
    I believe the max is 5,000 rpm for the particular fan it includes. OSX normally has mine running at 2,200 (I constantly have a game open) but I'm inclinded to keep it above 3,000 rpms or it gets hotter then I prefer.

    I'm more concerned over how long the fans in these are going to last running them at high RPMs.
     
  3. indg macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2007
    #3
    i also think the max fan speed is 5000rpm. i run fan control as well since the fan doesn't start to speed up beyond the default 1800rpm until it the cpu gets to around 170F or so, which is too late imo.

    for the half dozen macs i've owned in the past 9 years, i've never had a fan break down. that said, if a fan does break, it's far cheaper to replace the fan than to replace the logic board or graphics card that broke down due to prolonged exposure to heat.
     
  4. Beaverman3001 macrumors 6502

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    May 20, 2010
    #4

    For sure, assuming the Mini will shut itself down as soon as it has fan failure and you don't burn everything. I have no idea what type of fail safe Apple implements (this is my first Mac).
     
  5. Sdashiki macrumors 68040

    Sdashiki

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2005
    Location:
    Behind the lens
    #5
    since ive got a mini in my car, i know about heat issues.

    my first attempt kept getting overheated.

    and I can safely tell you that it just kills the power to the mac. just off, bam, without warning too.

    dont know how good it is in long term to have it occur, but I have had no ill effects on the computer going "TOO HOT, IM OUTTA HERE!" even when it happened 2-3 times a day.
     
  6. Beaverman3001 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 20, 2010
    #6

    What kind of fan speeds were you running it at? To be honest I'm just worried about killing the fan by keeping it at a high RPM long term. Good to hear it cuts off automatically though.
     
  7. LittleEskimo macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2009
    #7
    When I got my mini and was doing some gaming / multi-tasking ect. My fan was running at the most 2300rpm. Idle and most all the time it would run at around 1800rpm. I have since installed fan control and keep it pretty much the same running at 1800rpm unless it gets really hot in which case it will jump up the fan to around 2300 to 3000rpm to keep it from getting extremely hot. I don't see a need really to blast the fan at full if it doesn't need it, but I do like to keep my investment safe from melting down into a puddle of aluminum.

    Also, with my experience, the fan's maximum rpm seems to be around 3500rpm. Although that may just be the maximum that my fan control app will allow.
     
  8. BlindSoul thread starter macrumors 6502

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    May 30, 2010
    Location:
    Israel
    #8
    I don't know but my Mac Mini is always in 1800rpm... Even when i multitask and play games. It never changes. >.>
     
  9. Huubster macrumors regular

    Huubster

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2010
    #9
    Why is everybody so worried about temperatures and fan speeds?

    First of all fan speed says nothing. A Mac Mini fan at 1800rpm is probably more efficient than the tiny flimsy MBA fan at full 7200rpm.

    Think of it like this:

    • Component manufactures set temperature limits. These are set very conservatively to avoid any "grey zone claims" from the computer manufacturer (In this case the computer manufacturer is Apple who has to handle guarantee cases) The claim could be: You have set the temperature limits of your memory chips wrongly and now my clients get fried chips all the time!
    • Temperature sensors monitor components in the Mac Mini
    • Long before component manufacturers temperature limits are reached the fan speeds up. If the fan doesn't speed up it means that the temperature limits are still very far away.
    • If temperature limits are reached despite the fan blowing at full blast the OS freezes to cool down the hardware. This happens when a (conservative) temperature limit is reached.

    4 safety layers here! Mac Mini components will not die of frying. Not short term and not long term. Speed up the fan with a fan control thingy and you only wear out the fan unnecessarily!
    If your Mac Mini freezes all the time due to overheating it means that you operate it in a very warm environment, or in a setup where the warm exhaust air can't flow away freely (or the fan is broken).
     
  10. FourCandles macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2009
    Location:
    England
    #10
    I have a late 2009 Mini and the fan speed (acccording to iStat) sits at just under 1500rpm usually, even with plenty of apps open.
     
  11. Giuly macrumors 68040

    Giuly

    #11
    My fan doesn't go over 1800RPM, too, regardless of what I do.
    And the Power-Off-On-Overheat is implemented directly inside the CPU, since Pentium 4 or so.
     
  12. Huubster macrumors regular

    Huubster

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2010
    #12
    That is set very high. So high that it can damage other components especially in a tight built machine such as a laptop or a Mac Mini...
    The OS also has a saftey net (correction firmware), to avoid other components reach their operating temperature limit.
     
  13. mrfoof82 macrumors 6502a

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    May 26, 2010
    Location:
    Boston, MA
    #13
    Mini's fan tops out at 5400-5500rpm. At those speeds, with the GPU and CPU nearly pegged, I haven't seen CPU temps much higher than 145F. Maybe a peak of 150F after 7 hours of constantly being drummed (HD video encoding a massive queue). 150F is *nothing*.

    Stock speed is 1800rpm.

    I recommend using Fan Control to set the stock speed to 2200-2300rpm. It's still inaudible at 3 feet. Idle CPU temps rarely crest 120F, and even under load won't crest 140F. Which is very low in CPU-land.
     
  14. LittleEskimo macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2009
    #14
    That's odd, I don't know if it is because I live in a really hot location, but I was playing some games for only a half hour and it got up to 176 on the cpu and 165 on mememory.
     
  15. mrfoof82 macrumors 6502a

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    May 26, 2010
    Location:
    Boston, MA
    #15
    This is why you adjust both A) the base speed and B) the rate at which the fan ramps up. If you have the fan at a higher speed earlier, the overall increase in temperature stays lower. By default, Macs do not aggressively kick up their fan speeds until they pass a very high threshhold. Reminds me of the nVidia GeForce 8800GT which would oscillate between 27% and 100% fan speed unless you adjusted it with something like RivaTuner. I used to manually set mine to 43% and that was enough airflow for it to never raise it further.

    I was just running Handbrake for 14 straight hours while at work. iStat showed 148F, and the fan cranking at 5400rpm (and making quite a racket). Temperature in my apartment was 79F (what I set the thermostat to when I leave for the day). This is with the 2.66GHz (more heat), 8GB of memory (more heat) and a 7200rpm disk (more heat).
     
  16. indg macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2007
    #16
    mrfoof is correct that the 2010 mini's max fan speed is 5500, according to hardware monitor.

    and i completely disagree with Huubster, especially when it comes to macs which use standard pc components, but come with the higher cost of apple's design aesthetic. having experienced premature logic board failures myself due to prolonged exposure to heat, i no longer trust apple's default fan speed settings.

    i don't care if the fan breaks down 2-3 years from now. it's a cheap part to replace (and easy in the mini). i'd rather have that break than blow caps or have vram go bad and be forced to pay for a new logic board after the warranty period ends.
     
  17. mrfoof82 macrumors 6502a

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    May 26, 2010
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    Boston, MA
    #17
    And fan deaths aren't that common either. Yes, they happen (moving parts), but you're talking to someone who in 1998 would dumpster dive for 286s and 386s to mess around with. Many fans use sealed bearings and brushless motors nowadays as the prices have gotten much cheaper.

    At least the Minis keep themselves clean as well. I opened up a Mid-2007 Mini last week to prep it for sale. I was amazed as how clean it was inside. Yes, had to tweeze a few lint balls from inbetween the fan blades, but overall the rest of the system was immaculate. No film of dust anywhere. Not bad for a computer seeing 24x7 operation for 3 years.
     
  18. Huubster macrumors regular

    Huubster

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2010
    #18
    What does max fan speed settings have to do with design aesthetics? A lower or higher fan speed doesn't change the looks of the Mac Mini so much imho...

    In fact I would expect exactly the oposite if cooling is insufficient due to design aesthetics. I would rather expect a fan which turns full blast very often, and even then missing sufficient cooling capacity. This is exactly the case with the very quikcly heating MBA for example. Form my own experience I can say that the new Mini's components stay very cool compared to what happens inside the MBA, and the MBA seems to run the fan at full blast pretty much all the time.

    Don't forget that the sucking in of dust goes up with increasing fanspeed as well. Another source of damaging components! Perhaps like mrfoof reports regarding the old model the new Mini will not suck up much dust, but only time will tell.
     
  19. mrfoof82 macrumors 6502a

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    May 26, 2010
    Location:
    Boston, MA
    #19
    Consumer Macs typically don't sound like jet engines. They don't even have an audible whirr. Drives are mounted with rubber bushings to minimize vibration. Apple has been pushing SSDs strongly, and in addition to performance and power consumption, the other factor is noise (or the lack thereof).

    Unmodified, consumer Macs are effectively silent for most use cases. Activities such as recent games, video encoding, etc obviously don't fall under this, but in most use cases Macs don't ever make a peep.

    A noiseless computer is a design goal for Apple, because it draws attention away from the computer. That is part of their overall design philosophy - to make the computers exist peacefully in their environment instead of intruding on it through space, noise, or unappealing appearance. Why do some enthusiasts get massive full towers from brands like Thermaltake, coated in LEDs and loaded with tons of fans? The appearance. They deliberately want to draw attention to the computer. "Look at me, I'm a big, powerful gaming computer with lots of blinkenlichten! RAWWWR!"

    This is coming from a guy who built his own computers since the early 90s. I remember the whirring beige box. I've built plenty of noisy black towers because of hi-powered GPUs. Silence is golden. When I do adjust fan trehshholds, I pay quite a bit of attention to find the ideal point between speed/temp -- I want the silence I paid for.
     
  20. Huubster macrumors regular

    Huubster

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2010
    #20
    I agree. And Apple has made a lot of progress in that. Not by underspeeding fans and risking lots of guarantee claims and risking loosing the pretty good reliabillity status they have.

    Btw. Check the MBA forum. Most people there think that Apple is too carefull about components overheating and make the fan spin up way too fast...
     
  21. indg macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2007
    #21
    it doesn't. i was correcting an earlier statement i made re max fan speed being 5000rpm. it's actually 5500rpm as mrfoof stated.

    i started a new paragraph to address what you said. sorry for the confusion.

    re the mba heat concerns, there are other issues with the mba i won't get into here (e.g. misapplied thermal paste), but generally speaking having a smaller fan would cause it to be noisier since it has to work even harder to keep things cool in such a tight enclosure. the mini has a nice big fan that even while running at higher speeds is still fairly quiet.

    i'm not too worried about dust going into the mini. as long as you keep your desk clean/dust free, it shouldn't become an issue since the intake is underneath. if you live in a dusty environment, then get a duster to clean out the vents as needed.
     
  22. Huubster macrumors regular

    Huubster

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2010
    #22
    Just tested my 2010 mini fanspeed with smcfancontrol. It goes up to 6200. It's more noisy at full blast than I expected. Maybe smcfancontrol can overspeed it beyond manufacturers limits? Or 6200 it is.
     
  23. indg macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2007
    #23
    interesting. i don't use smcfancontrol, but i wouldn't be surprised if it ignored the manufac specs. it was a bit wonky when i tried it out. much prefer the simpler fan control app by lobotomo.
     
  24. Baby Mac macrumors regular

    Baby Mac

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2010
    Location:
    Kentucky
    #24
    It's really quiet

    I am impressed by the lack of noise (and heat). I could just hear a little hard drive noise on the stock 320GB Hitachi HDD. I now have my SSD in there, so there's no noise. The DVR on the other side of the room makes all the noise where I have been setting it up. I will use it as my office computer and may get another for home. It's the quietest computer around (Atom-based + fanless-board PCs may be as quiet but they are slower albeit cheaper). This is a mighty impressive computer (I keep having to catch myself from calling it a PC) -- I'm new at this Mac thing).
     

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