Again heat issues i7

FantomXR

macrumors newbie
Original poster
May 29, 2014
4
0
Hey people,

I just signed up on this forum, because I have a question regarding the heating issues of a mac mini. Mine is a i7 2,6GHz with 16GB RAM and SSD. As far as I know, high temps are "normal" on this model.

In Idle I have 50° celsius with fan speed at 3500rpm (set with SMC). When using software (Mainstage in my case), it goes up to 90-95° and the fan starts to spin faster till it reached 5500rpm. It stays there till I quit Mainstage.

For some reasons the mac mini sits in an enclosure with limited space and so limited air. I putted two 50x50 fans inside this enclosure. One "shoots" to the air slot on the back and the second one is screwed to a hole in the enclosure and blows the air out.
I turned the mini upside down and putted it on four little feet.

I need to get this thing cooler. Because when the summer comes it could be, that this enclosure is placed on a warm spot and I'm afraid, that will kill the mini.

My idea now is to saw a hole in the bottom of the enclosure and put a 120mm fan into it. But I'm wondering in which direction? Do you think, it's better to give the mini some fresh air by blowing air inside the box or does it lead to heat accumulation? Or maybe I should place the fan like it draws the hot air out of the case into the nature?

Attached there is a picture of the case. BTW: The bottom is made from 9mm wood. So it would be pretty easy to add a hole, that is big enough.

Thank you very much!

Best regards from Germany,
Chris
 

Attachments

Mr. Retrofire

macrumors 603
Mar 2, 2010
5,039
470
www.emiliana.cl/en
Open first the Mac mini and make sure that the fan is dust-free! The best cooling is useless without a dust-free fan. I use an old toothbrush to clean the fan(s).
 
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FantomXR

macrumors newbie
Original poster
May 29, 2014
4
0
Hey,

I just bought this new a week ago and installed the SSD. The fan ist dust free.
 
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mmomega

macrumors 68040
Dec 30, 2009
3,465
1,658
DFW, TX
The i7 Mini does get quite hot and this weekend I plan on taking off the heatsink, cleaning it and using Arctic Silver.
I have read of up to a 10 C drop so this would be worth it for me to do, I have a fairly brand new i7 mini also and while the heat doesn't scare me much, I've yet to have a mini restart or fail due to heat and I've been using them daily as work stations for 5 years.

but

Mine under high load will usually go up to 195-205 F so if I can get a 10 deg or more drop from just applying paste I'm on it.
Also, this was 200+ F with the fan set on 4800+rpm.

I am going to do a few controlled tests, avg the temp and then do the new thermal paste and retest right away and then again after a few days once it has cured more and see what the difference is.
 
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paulrbeers

macrumors 68040
Dec 17, 2009
3,961
120
Hey people,

I just signed up on this forum, because I have a question regarding the heating issues of a mac mini. Mine is a i7 2,6GHz with 16GB RAM and SSD. As far as I know, high temps are "normal" on this model.

In Idle I have 50° celsius with fan speed at 3500rpm (set with SMC). When using software (Mainstage in my case), it goes up to 90-95° and the fan starts to spin faster till it reached 5500rpm. It stays there till I quit Mainstage.

For some reasons the mac mini sits in an enclosure with limited space and so limited air. I putted two 50x50 fans inside this enclosure. One "shoots" to the air slot on the back and the second one is screwed to a hole in the enclosure and blows the air out.
I turned the mini upside down and putted it on four little feet.

I need to get this thing cooler. Because when the summer comes it could be, that this enclosure is placed on a warm spot and I'm afraid, that will kill the mini.

My idea now is to saw a hole in the bottom of the enclosure and put a 120mm fan into it. But I'm wondering in which direction? Do you think, it's better to give the mini some fresh air by blowing air inside the box or does it lead to heat accumulation? Or maybe I should place the fan like it draws the hot air out of the case into the nature?

Attached there is a picture of the case. BTW: The bottom is made from 9mm wood. So it would be pretty easy to add a hole, that is big enough.

Thank you very much!

Best regards from Germany,
Chris
This is normal. The processors are rated to 105C and if they break that threshold they will shut down to protect themselves. Unless your mini is shutting down I see no reason to worry. This has been discussed time and time again. There is no widespread heat issues and only those storing their minis in poorly ventilated areas have any issues. There have been several threads on modifications if you really feel it necessary. With that said my mini has transcoded videos in handbrake for days straight running well into the 90s with no issues.
 
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jbarley

macrumors 68040
Jul 1, 2006
3,846
1,695
Vancouver Island
I putted two 50x50 fans inside this enclosure. One "shoots" to the air slot on the back and the second one is screwed to a hole in the enclosure and blows the air out.
I turned the mini upside down and putted it on four little feet.
From what I read here it appears your modifications are counter productive and fighting the designed natural airflow.
The mini is designed to draw cool air into the bottom and exhaust it out the rear slots.
Blowing a fan into the rear slots would impede the exhaust of warm air, and mounting the mini upside down restricts the natural upwards flow of warm air rising.
 
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Schnort

macrumors regular
Oct 24, 2013
171
16
The best solution for enclosing your mac would be to duct the output port of the mini directly to the outside of the enclosure. It may be useful to use fans to push air into the enclosure, and pull air out of the exhaust port.
 
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jjhoekstra

macrumors regular
Apr 23, 2009
198
17
The best solution for enclosing your mac would be to duct output port of the mini directly to the outside of the enclosure. It may be useful to use fans to push air into the enclosure, and pull air out of the exhaust port.
Based on years of building custom PCs for low noise environments I fully agree with this principle. In addition I would check if your 50mm fans are strong enough. 50s very often are low power with a corresponding low yield. A reasonably powerfull 120 mm fan at the bottom with air flowing into the enclosure and a duct from the mini-output port to outside the enclosure should be more than enough. And put your mini in the normal up-right position.
 
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Steve121178

macrumors 603
Apr 13, 2010
5,210
4,380
Bedfordshire, UK
Chips are designed to run to a certain level and the Mac Mini has adequate cooling. It will shut itself down if there is a problem to prevent damage.

People waste too much time with stupid modifications and monitoring tools. You don't need any of it.
 
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wwohl

macrumors regular
May 2, 2013
135
25
I have the same setup as you. My mini is running at 47*C right now idling on the web and was at 95*C a few minutes ago playing a game with the CPU under load.

Those temps are "as expected" for the minis. Especially the core i7.

Don't waste your time with an extra fan. The mini is always gonna run that warm (unless you put an AC unit in the box)

Bill
 
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cgc

macrumors 6502a
May 30, 2003
718
23
Utah
If you have an air conditioning vent on the floor you can place your Mini on it (might need extension cords). Kinda of lame but it would help.
 
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theSeb

macrumors 604
Aug 10, 2010
6,963
91
Poole, England
Chips are designed to run to a certain level and the Mac Mini has adequate cooling. It will shut itself down if there is a problem to prevent damage.

People waste too much time with stupid modifications and monitoring tools. You don't need any of it.
What makes me laugh is people that use fan control tools, because clearly they know better.
 
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The-Pro

macrumors 65816
Dec 2, 2010
1,449
35
Germany
taking the bottom cover off lowers cpu temps by about 20°C.
I have seen someone buy a 120mm USB desktop fan, prop it up horizontally on 4 pieces of wood on every corner and place the mini without the bottom cover on top of the fan. So the fan is sucking in air and blowing it into the mini. Then he used a fine mesh under the fan to stop large pieces of dust to be sucked in. It was very effective.

But honestly, dont worry about the temperatures. They are stress tested by apple for weeks running at max temperatures. If these temperatures would cause premature failure then apple would have made the cooling system better.

My 2012 cMBP with the 2.6 i7 runs at 99-103°C when using handbrake. Its a bit freaky to see a number over 100 but as long as it wont melt down on me or anything im ok with it.
 
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mmomega

macrumors 68040
Dec 30, 2009
3,465
1,658
DFW, TX
You may have a different Mini than I do because removing the bottom cover didn't drop my temps anywhere near 20C or 68F.
That would be significant enough to not have to add any further cooling.

For me I believe it's going to be thermal paste and call it a day.
 
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chrfr

macrumors G3
Jul 11, 2009
9,189
3,168
You may have a different Mini than I do because removing the bottom cover didn't drop my temps anywhere near 20C or 68F.
That would be significant enough to not have to add any further cooling.

For me I believe it's going to be thermal paste and call it a day.
I suppose if you take the bottom off and stick a giant noisy fan under there, it'd be cooler.
 
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AlexMaximus

macrumors 6502a
Aug 15, 2006
901
273
A400M Base
The most elegant mod

The best mini cooling mod I know is to buy the H-Squared Mini Mount.

Its a nice wall mount, that replaces the original black base. The wall mount plate offers more space and can be modified with a dremel tool. With a small milling tool, you can create cooling sections in the bottom plate and use black filter material to prevent dust. There was a great picture here on the forum somewhere for this solution, but I cant find it anymore.
 
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FantomXR

macrumors newbie
Original poster
May 29, 2014
4
0
Thanks for your replies!

I've ended up with opening the mac mini and replacing the old thermal paste with new one. When I reinstalled the mac, I made a hole into the wood and placed a 120mm fan into it. This one blows out of the case (sucks the air from mini, which was a mistake...). I had a wrong information about the fan, which runs inside the mac. I thought it draws the air into the mini. I did remove the bottom cover too.

The result: I have a temperature drop of 10-15° without using the installed 120mm fan. When I switch on the fan, the temps are rising and the build in fan of the mac slows down a bit. I assume, that this is caused by the airflow from the mac out of the enclosure. The next step would be, to turn the 120mm fan so it blows inside the case. But for now I'm pretty happy with temperatures. I'm far below 80°.
 
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wwohl

macrumors regular
May 2, 2013
135
25
taking the bottom cover off lowers cpu temps by about 20°C.
I haven't seen any temperature changes from taking the cover off, standing the mini on edge or providing additional fans around it

The CPU is under the fan and cowling. The air is ducted towards it and no fan blowing on the mini, cover or not is likely to change that. Leave it alone
 
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The-Pro

macrumors 65816
Dec 2, 2010
1,449
35
Germany
I haven't seen any temperature changes from taking the cover off, standing the mini on edge or providing additional fans around it

The CPU is under the fan and cowling. The air is ducted towards it and no fan blowing on the mini, cover or not is likely to change that. Leave it alone
Well the internal fan sucks in air from around the bottoms cover. Taking it off and standing the mini on its side lets the fan get a lot more air aswell as stopping and heat from being trapped inside the case.
All I can say is I have tested it with my 2010 and 2011 minis and both saw CPU temperature lowering 10-20°C at full CPU load. The fan also stopped running at full speed.
Thats just my experience but I am not the only one. There is a thread somewhere on this forum and many people have seen big temperature drops taking the bottom cover off and standing the mini on its side.

BTW, the same technically goes for the cMBP's. I took the bottom case of my 2010 and 2012 15" model and propped them up on some non conductive styrofoam blocks. When I was doing my renderings, full CPU usage, the temperatures didnt go above 80°C with fans spinning at 4400rpm. With the bottom case back on the temperatures were 98-103° with fans at 6200rpm.
That was just out of interest as using the MBPs without the bottom case would be rather stupid.
 
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fhall1

macrumors 68040
Dec 18, 2007
3,476
701
(Central) NY State of mind
You may have a different Mini than I do because removing the bottom cover didn't drop my temps anywhere near 20C or 68F.
That would be significant enough to not have to add any further cooling.

For me I believe it's going to be thermal paste and call it a day.
Lowering your temp BY (not TO) 20 degrees C does not lower your temp by 68 degrees F - more like about 36 degrees F
 
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Dizzler

macrumors regular
Apr 28, 2009
120
1
Fanless Mini

Here's another vote for the older Mini with the external power supply. No fans. Stays cool all the time . . . and silent. I sure wish Apple would make these again.
 
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chrfr

macrumors G3
Jul 11, 2009
9,189
3,168
Here's another vote for the older Mini with the external power supply. No fans. Stays cool all the time . . . and silent. I sure wish Apple would make these again.
There is a fan inside the old Mini too. They make noise when hot enough.
 
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