Air runs warm when FTP'ing

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by willgreene99, Feb 1, 2014.

  1. willgreene99 macrumors regular


    Dec 16, 2010

    Does the Macbook Air run warm when running an FTP program, like FileZilla?

    I have been transferring a bulk of files from my NAS TS-869 Pro, to my Drobo 5D and notice that the Air warms up nicely when doing do.

    This is through the thunderbolt adapter to ethernet.

    Just checking to see if others are seeing similar behavior as I.

    It never becomes too warm, although it has reached about 203 degrees F once but once the fans kick in on high, it comes down to about 170-180 until the transfer is completed.

    Attached Files:

  2. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    All Mac models run warmer when running system intensive apps or processes. It's normal. If you're not already doing so, use iStat Pro (free) or iStat Menus ($16) to get accurate readings of your temps, fan speeds, etc., rather than relying on your sense of touch or sound. A forum member has posted a copy of iStat Pro that has been "tweaked" to enhance compatibility with Mountain Lion. You can download it here.
    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)
    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), or 1200 for the newest MBAs. Older iMacs have 3 fans with minimum speeds in the 800-1200 range, while the newest iMacs have a single fan, spinning at a minimum of about 1400 rpm. 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 notebooks in the MacBook line (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. For Flash-related issues:
  3. phrehdd macrumors 68040


    Oct 25, 2008
    This is pretty normal for more than just the Air Macs. FTP services are CPU and drive intensive. Normally, when I do a large amount of uploading, I'll manually set my fan on my Mini to higher RPM early on. I use the SmcFanControl app.
  4. jsolares macrumors 6502a

    Aug 8, 2011
    Land of eternal Spring
    Why not rsync? see if you can use it, it didn't seem that cpu intensive, if you can mount the NAS as a drive you could use it like this, or you could see if it's supported by the NAS without mounting the volume
    rsync -avv /Volumes/MYNAS/myfolder/ /Volumes/MYDROBO/mynewfolder
  5. robvas macrumors 68030

    Mar 29, 2009
    FTP is a very simple protocol and shouldn't take many system resources at all.

    Let's all take a trip back in time, when a single Pentium Pro 200MHz server running FreeBSD set the record for transferring 417 gigabytes of files in a single day, on Tuesday, July 28, 1998.

    A MacBook Air is a hundred times more powerful than that. Try using a Mac-specific ftp program, FileZilla (and it's UI) are cross-platform so it's not optimized for speed. You can clearly see in your screenshots that you're using 157% of the CPU which is crazy for something simple like copying a file over the network.
  6. scaredpoet macrumors 604


    Apr 6, 2007
    This. Or, use scp through the command line. One thing I've noticed is a FileZilla tends to be a bit more of a resource hog than it really should be. Using command line tools to do the same thing FileZIlla does really brings down the CPU usage, and I can transfer hundreds of gigabytes without really heating up my macs.

    Or another option: see if the NAS permits SMB or AFB connections, and mount it as a drive.
  7. willgreene99 thread starter macrumors regular


    Dec 16, 2010
    Thanks for all of your advice. I am going to test the rsync and scp methods and report back with the results.

    I used to use the apple file protocol to mount the drive and transfer files that way but the connection was not stable when working with large number of files. That is why I stopped using that method.

    One thought was something I ran across several years ago. I was working on a Dell Latitude laptop and doing large amounts of file transfers across the ethernet port. The CPU would spike during this.

    I later acquired a ThinkPad and noticed that when transferring files the CPU hardly spiked. I read somewhere that this was attributed to the Dell relying on CPU to handle the ethernet transfers while the Thinkpad had a dedicated chip.

    I was thinking something was similar being done on the Macbook Air and would not exhibit the same results using a Macbook Pro. I did not see this on a Mac Pro but did not research this yet.
  8. scaredpoet macrumors 604


    Apr 6, 2007
    It's possible that there's more CPU usage going on, but that's probably because the Thunderbolt interface is being engaged for your Ethernet connection. MacBook Airs without ethernet ports, and retina Macbook Pros do not have a built-in ethernet controller. Instead, the controller is embedded in the thunderbolt to ethernet adapter, which acts as a go-between for the ethernet interface and the thunderbolt connection. This is part of why the adapters are so expensive: rather than just being dumb connectors, you're basically buying a small ethernet card.

    This also means that the same extra CPU usage (If it's happening) will also be seen on an rMBP, though older generation Macs might not exhibit the same behavior.

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