Controlling Fan Speed Help? vs heat "sink" of computer

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Syndacate, Mar 16, 2008.

  1. Syndacate macrumors regular

    Mar 16, 2008
    I recently got a 15.4" mac book pro 2.4ghz/2gb/250gb.

    It's been very nice so far, but I was looking around for a program to edit fan speeds - as when I leave it on my desk or whatever with the power plugged in, but am using it, I rather it use more power but stay cooler - as I do realize that the MBP dissipates most of its heat through the keyboard - and I rather it use more power while plugged in than roasting the processors...

    Can somebody help me understand the heat pradicament the MBP is in, by the way? I realize since there's no vents they don't want you to close it w/ the processors running full blast - so from what little research I've done in the few days I have it - I have insomniaX which from what I can tell allows you to close it, but not go to sleep - which according to the design is horrible for the computer - as it would be running the processors (and screen, unless you turn it off manually) - which is fine if you're going to walk down the hall or whatever - but then why is clamshell mode 100% okay according to apple? I do know that when you plug an HDMI device in it will go into clamshell mode - it won't go to sleep when you close the lid. So how is that okay, but just shutting it and walking away with it on isn't? I def. don't understand the reasoning there.

    Though back to my fan speed deal:
    Obviously I stumbled upon smcFanControl...but I'm having issues with it.

    The issues are quite simple - the preferences are not controlling the fan speed.

    The fan speed seems to be around 1600RPM - if I set it to "high speed" (opposed to default), and then go to the preferences and throttle it up to 6000 RPM (max), and then hit save - it goes up to about 5400 RPM - then falls back down to 1600 - and that's pretty much how it goes regardless of how I set it - the fan speed simply WON'T change - it just peaks for a second almost to what I set it to - then falls back down to 1600. Does anybody have any idea what in the hell is going on? Or is this just a glitch with smcFanControl or something? Or maybe it's a software conflict? The release data on smfCanControl is version 2.1.2, and the OS is leopard, version 2.

    Does anybody know what in the hell is going on with this thing?

    I'd greatly appreciate any help on any of the above topics...

    I installed some program briefly yet removed it - I think it was just called fan control - it put a fan control in my sys preferences with a picture of a fan - but I removed it for some reason - I think I got an error message saying it's not right for my OS version or some crap along those lines. I was wondering maybe if it had "backings" that were keeping my fan speed at 1600 which was overriding smc's methods.

    ?? :(

    I don't want to have to reformat already...
  2. Syndacate thread starter macrumors regular

    Mar 16, 2008
    Wow, I was really hoping somebody would have replied by now...

    Here's a little update:
    I installed fan control again - it added it back to the sys pref, and when I opened it up - it was set to 1600. I am able to throttle my fan speed and temperature thresholds up and down with fan control - but that overrides smcFanControl.

    There's more, if you delete/remove fan control, it SAVES the settings, so if I have the fans set to 2000 RPM - they'll always be at 2000 RPM, even after I delete the program, it makes the changes permanent.

    No problem I suppose, I rather have a lower battery life and keep the laptop at 100-120 than have it at 180 but awesome battery life.

    Right - so that problem was discovered...but necessarily fixed.

    Anybody have any recommendations on if I remove fan control - how I get it to "release" my settings. Or which is better, typical "fan control" - from the preferences pane, or smcFanControl?

    Also, what's a good RPM to run your fans at (like what the MBP typically comes at from the factory)?

    Any info on anything here or in the original post would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks in advance..
  3. Etrain macrumors 6502


    Feb 26, 2005
    Land of Cleve
    I don't know anything about your problem, but the reason people haven't replied might be because this is in the MacBook forum, not the MBP forum. Your more likely to find MBP users in that one.
  4. Kalafut macrumors regular


    Jan 6, 2008
    smcfancontrol, do a google search and you will find it, it works great. oops sry! i didnt read everything. im lazy.
  5. Syndacate thread starter macrumors regular

    Mar 16, 2008
    Ha, np.

    Yeah, from what I hear it works great...when fan control isn't kicking its ass.

    fan control in system preference pane takes precedence over smcFanControl for some reason. It'll always fall back to whatever fan control is set to if you try to change the fan speed in smcFanControl.

    This is a macbook forum...not a macbook pro forum?

    Mac Forums > Apple Hardware > Notebooks > MacBook Pro, PowerBook > Controlling Fan Speed Help? vs heat "sink" of computer

    You sure about that one, champ?
  6. Animalk macrumors 6502

    May 27, 2007
    Montreal Canada
    There is nothing wrong with your MBP. Don't fix it if it isn't broke. The Processor in the MBP can handle temperatures several dozens of degrees higher safely.

    I had found a program that would let me adjust the throttle of the fans to a sum of the factory settings plus wtv i wanted. I have set it to 400 rpm more then factory and it has had minimal but still noticeable changes to my operating temperatures.

    In my honest opinion, leave it alone.
  7. thegoldenmackid macrumors 604


    Dec 29, 2006
    dallas, texas
    maybe if you were a lil' nicer people would respond

    there is really no "appropriate" hard drive speed, I might ask where you have your Macbook Pro as that as a large effect as to the temperature :D
  8. eXan macrumors 601


    Jan 10, 2005
    MBP has vent holes. It has 1 long hole where the display is connected to the main body. Close the lid and see its back if you still cant find it :)rolleyes: )

    BTW, why dont you believe when Apple says its ok to run MBP closed, but instead listen to some geeks on a suspicious site who probably never had (and never will have) a MBP?

    Dont mess around with what you dont understand. Especially a thing as important as a cooling system.

    Your CPU wont burn at 180F, or even at 220F, so why worry? Have you even seen it go beyond 180? I bet you haven't. Yes, CPUs may seem to run VERY hot, but its perfectly fine for them. This is what they were made to run at.

    Oh and BTW, using the "Search" function would have brought you up a ton of similar threads.
  9. Etrain macrumors 6502


    Feb 26, 2005
    Land of Cleve
    Whoa dude! At the time it was in the regular MB forum, the mods moved it, champ. :rolleyes:
  10. Syndacate thread starter macrumors regular

    Mar 16, 2008
    You're right, the theory of "if there's nothing wrong with the car, don't raise the hood" is usually a sound one. Though on the flipside, my situation is more along the lines of "There's nothing wrong with my car now, but I drive everywhere only using 1st and 2nd gear" - so no, there's nothing wrong now, but eventually the constantly high engine RPM will increase the proportion of wear and tear to time on your car and you will eventually toss a rod or spin a bearing - the engine will die. So it's not as much as "I don't trust the cooling system" as much as "I'd like to prevent failure in the future due to constant heat" - you know what I mean?

    Yeah, but 400 RPM isn't much out of the grand scheme of the fan control. You're talking a small adjustment. Though the thing that's making the difference is the fact that it's still keeping/utilizing the dynamics of the fan control system (the OEM one). The whole "factory settings plus what I wanted" part is what's kicking so much ass with your performance - the problem is I just got the half of it ("what I want") with FanControl. So I gotta find out how it's adjusting it - it's more than just something in the system pref pane - it's installed somewhere else which I can't find. Unless in my situation it's still utilizing the OEM FanControls and I simply haven't overheated the mac to the point where it had to adjust it away from "what I set it to."

    That sounds like a good program - what's the name of it? The problem is by installing FanControl I made the dynamic cooling system (adjusts for temperature increases/decreases) completely static (whatever RPM I set it at). Which is fine if it goes back when I turn the program off (like smcFanControl), though the problem is it doesn't - it turned my fan speeds static to whatever I set it too, and even after I deleted it it left it there (this was with FanControl). So I CAN reformat if worse comes to worse - but I don't think it has quite yet. The ability to hold it at a higher RPM if you're in clamshell mode watching a high def movie comes in handy...I mean yeah you can use the OEM apple threasholds - but it's still going to be a ****-load of wear and tear unless you constantly keep the fan RPM up - because you're EXPECTING it to use a lot - the computer doesn't know it's going to use a lot.

    So which prog. do you use?

    Ah - wow, that's a sneaky one, haha. I didn't notice it, it's a fan exhaust similar to the ones used by some laptop cooling pads. Wow, didn't even see it. Thumbups to you for tellin me on that one ;).

    Because I know some geeks that are completely die hard mac fans that still say the same thing. I'm not talking about the geeks though, I'm talking about one simple fact:

    When you close a macbook pro - it goes to sleep. Apparently, from what I heard anyway, according to apple, the reason why they made it so that it couldn't make any chances (such as "not do anything when I shut the lid"), is due to the way the cooling system works, the MBP dissipates a vast majority of its heat through the keys, blocking this off not only chokes off the exhaust release, but also the extreme heat could damage the LCD.

    So in accordance with this belief, which many people have stated "is what apple said" - I don't quite get how when it's in clamshell mode (whenever you plug a monitor or other type of USB device into it and close the lid, it doesn't go to sleep).

    So my question is simply: If they make it "unchangeable" to have it go to sleep when you close the lid due to cooling issues because of the way it dissipates heat, then why in clamshell mode is it okay? Sort of like saying speeding is illegal, but if there's more than 2 lanes in the same direction, it's okay. No, there's still a speed limit - similarly with the macbook pro - No, I don't get how it's "okay" to run it in clamshell mode - there's still the cooling issue. That's all I mean, it's an inquisition, I'm not stating that I don't trust apple's design/engineering team or anything.

    Yes, I do agree with you. Although I've been around laptops/computers all my life, I'm not a knowledgeable person on the way a mac's cooling system works, as obviously it's a lot different than your typical computer or laptop. So I am very willing to admit I was stupid for jumping right on the fan control thing. Though it shouldn't have mattered much - it started mattering a lot, real fast when the settings became permanent.

    I know about hot processors, my desktop uses an Intel P4 3.0Ghz - the thing runs like an oven. But yeah, as far as the macbook pro goes, I haven't seen it go above 122 - usually stays between 107F to 115F. I don't worry when I'm using it daily - it's simply that constant heat kills a processor - so if I'm using it to direct to another monitor a high def movie, where I know it will get hotter, I'd simply like to kick up the fan speed a bit rather than just letting it reach the OEM threshold settings and be forced to increase fan speed. The computer can't fore-see that it is going to get hot - though I can see it's going to get hot by what I plan to do with it. I don't plan on constantly running the fans higher, it's as simple as that.

    As far as the search feature - I couldn't find anything - remember when I originally posted I was wondering why I couldn't change my fan speed with smcFanControl (a very popular and widely accepted fan speed program) - Then I realized it was because FanControl (system pref pane) made its settings permanent, even after I deleted it - which I stated in the next post.

    So I guess at the present my current goals are:
    - Find out which fan control program everybody uses (from what I hear the majority of mac guys seem to agree on smcFanControl for whatever reason)

    - Find out how to lose FanControl (system pref pane)'s "adjustment" file so that when I remove it I can have my stock apple settings back - like with smcFanControl.

    - Why does apple say it's not okay to shut it and keep it running (you need 3rd party programs such as InsomniaX and Caffeine), but it's perfectly okay if you have a USB mouse or a monitor plugged in?

    - How hot do many of your guys' macbook pros run? Remember, mine might be a bit different. I'm not sure the release data on the "new generation" but according to a mac friend of mine (completely unconfirmed source). Mine is an early generation of a new macbook pro generation. He said if I ordered it a month ago it would have been a diff setup - ie the key light function keys are where the volume control keys used to be if you bought a macbook pro a month ago.

    Though I can't find much of the release data (what was changed) in this recent "update" or "generation."

    Gah, sorry for the post being so long :(. Thanks for your help so far, and thanks in advance.
  11. jus407 macrumors member

    Jan 25, 2008
    ok calm down people, this is what i have my settings set to on smcfancontrol

    while its plugged in charging i have it set to 4000RPM, when its running off of AC power i have it set to 3000RPM and when not plugged in it goes down to 2000RPM keeps my laptop below 120F while plugged in right now its 111F and 3001 rpm
  12. eXan macrumors 601


    Jan 10, 2005
    1) The one I used once was smcFanControl. I just tried it out (I really dont know why) and then deleted it. No reason for me to run it.

    2) You could read the readme files that came with the apps to see how to completely uninstall them. Theses can leave traces (like preferences files) in
    Library folder that could potentially interfere the work of similar apps.

    3) Apple doesn't say its not ok to run your laptop closed. The reason it goes to sleep is that by Apple's logic when you close the laptop you're finished working with it, so it turns off. When you have external mouse, KB and display connected, it can be usable even when closed. Again, the reason IS NOT the "cooling issue". If it was, Apple wouldn't have let you turn your laptop on when its closed no matter what stuff you have connected to it.

    4) Cant help with this because I have a regular MacBook. But my dad's SantaRosa 2.4 15" MBP runs slightly cooler than mine, at least to the touch. Mine runs at ~60C simple stuff plugged in and 50 on battery, 80-83C when under max load.

    BTW, closing the lid doesnt completely cut the top body area from dispersing heat. When you close the lid it leaves a good-sized space between the main body and the display. Still, most of the heat is dispersed through the big vent hole on the back.

    So, if you still believe those who say running MBP closed makes it overheat... Do you know of one incident of MBP melting when being used closed?? I have never head of any.
  13. e12a macrumors 68000


    Oct 28, 2006
    how fast is your processor? Is it core duo or core 2 duo?

    Sounds like you have a Santa Rosa or an earlier "Merom" MBP (even though they're technically the same, save the chipset). Nothing wrong with that. I just bought one at a heavily discounted price. I sold my old 2.33 MBP for this one and actually made money in the process. Dont listen to your friend. Its really not that much better. But the processor is made from a smaller process so it should run cooler/use less power. But nothing wrong with the last gen. Santa Rosas are hardly considered an early generation. They're 3rd out of 4 (being the latest). Apple fixed most of the issues in the 2nd.

    used smcfancontrol to up the speed when plugged in to 3000 rpm. Keeps the computer ~4-5 degrees Celsius cooler than running at 2000 rpm plugged in (~49 to 44 degrees). Off AC power in a well ventilated room, I can idle at 36 degrees with adium, firefox, and other misc. apps. Pretty good.
  14. Jetmart macrumors newbie


    Jan 6, 2008
    I had a similar problem after installing "Fan Control" on my MacBook Pro.

    I uninstalled according to directions below and then reinstalled and it has been working fine. You must install as show below or fans will continue run at higher speed.
    Do you think your MacBook (Pro) is running to hot? Give Fan Control a try then.

    Uninstall Instructions
    Please follow these instructions to uninstall FanControl permanently:
    Remove the following files and folders (both on your start disk):

    /Library/PreferencePanes/Fan Control.prefPane

    (You will be prompted for the Administrator's password when deleting these items.)

    THis is the IMPORTANT STEP

    RebootReset the System Management Controller (SMC). Please follow these links for instructions: Portables, Mac Mini, Mac Pro
  15. Syndacate thread starter macrumors regular

    Mar 16, 2008
    For each his own, some people use them, some people don't. My friend likes to run his fans constantly at 100%, so "Fan Control" (the program I'm trying to get rid of) is great for him. It's a hardware tap - so it overrides everything, even 100% fan speed in target mode.

    Yeah, that was the problem, in the startup folder it left a daemon.

    Ah, I see, that's some bad logic, they used. I shut my computers all the time and I'm not done with them. If you need your computer to be on all the time (like a lot of people that actually use them for important things do), you can't afford "Apple's logic." If you need your internet to be available 24/7, you can't afford "Apple's logic" at all. I realize that in clamshell mode - it wouldn't make sense if they were heat issues, which is why I asked. Though the answer could be simply be that it jacks up the fan speed and/or doesn't let the processor peak so it doesn't produce more heat, or it throttles it down after a certain temperature. There could be a number of ways to get around that.

    Yeah, mine runs at about 105-120.

    No, I've never heard of MBP's melting down - but that's not saying much. I go to a tech university, most people including most of the computer science/software engineering dept don't know macs / hate them with a passion. So me not hearing about that isn't saying much. I mean I know 1 other mac user in this dorm...and he dropped out, and I know 2 in the dorm next to yea...

    Okay, I'll keep in mind that it can still release a lot of heat with the lid closed. I didn't know about the vent in the back until somebody here brought it up. I don't think my dad's powerbook G4 has that.

    2.4 Intel Core 2 Duo - the crappier one ;).

    I don't know what "santa rosa" is - but it's not the "earlier" one I just bought this **** brand new like 2 weeks ago- it's the "latest" one - they moved the sound keys to F9-F12, which is my biggest beef, but not enough to re-bind them - It's the latest gen I think february of 08 was released or some crap like that - my friend said if I bought it like a month earlier it woulda been last gen.

    I found the problem, Fan Control leaves a daemon there - actually I didn't find the problem, Jetmart told me about it - but yeah, once I force removed that daemon - restarted and purged everything on my friend's MBP (who had to reformat so she just let me test it out on hers) - it worked fine - so I assumed it would work fine on me - and actually there was a 3 hour break in between where I typed the last sentence, and now, where I had uninstalled it - and it does work fine. smcFanControl controls the minimum, but still allows OS to dynamically increase/decrease fan speeds. It just remained ~114F on a 2h high def movie.

    Don't listen to my friend about what?

    And, uhh - I don't know about "santa rosas" or whatever - but if you consider ~2 weeks ago "early generation" then uhh... ??

    I didn't know mac book pro updated their generations daily?

    - Fan Control is unininstalled - that was the killer, Fan Control (sys pane) will override your hardware - even if you use your computer as a target hard drive where OS X isn't even booted, where your fans normally go up to 100%, w/ Fan Control it overrides your hardware so even in target mode your fans are what you set them too. That's way too invasive.
    - Now that I got that daemon uninstalled I ran smcFanControl and it works perfectly, rises/falls the way it's supposed to it, and still works dynamically with OS X.

    Thanks all for your help
  16. durruti macrumors regular


    Mar 26, 2004
    i just want to add how i did it.

    I installed 'imac fan control' (similiar to 'fan control')

    1. delete smcfancontrol (if you already have this installed.)
    2. delete imac fan control' or 'fan control' as described, deleting the daemon + pref. pane in the library folder
    3. restart. now empty the trash can (that couldn't be deleted because files were being used). restart again.
    4. after a clean restart. once at the desktop, do a SMC reset. you'll hear a long beep that'll confirm.
    5. do a PRAM reset as you boot up. do this atleast twice. For a total of 3 startup beeps.
    6. confirm with istat widget that fans follows factory setting rpms.
    7. download and install smcfancontrol
    8. confirm with istat

    my contribution to stress free, headache free fan control
  17. Syndacate thread starter macrumors regular

    Mar 16, 2008
    Hey, thanks, as you may or may not have seen, since the last 8 months when I last posted, I've solved the issue.

    - Remove "Fan Controller"
    - Reset SMC
    - Install smcFanControl

    Everything works 100% - variable adjustments with a minimum and confirmed with iStat Pro.

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