Cool down a PB G4 15'?

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by WalnutSpice, Aug 25, 2015.

  1. WalnutSpice Suspended

    WalnutSpice

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    Canton, Oh
    #1
    So my 2005 1.67GHz PB G4 gets super hot to the touch. Mostly near the top of the keyboard, the speakers and the power button. And I don't mean a little heat, if I leave my finger on it long enough it would burn me. And that can't be good for it, the last thing I want to do is cook my laptop. I really enjoy using it but it just runs so incredibly hot. Is there anything I can do to cool it down? The bottom of it even burns my lap.
    It actually runs so hot I'll fold my blanket and set my PowerBook on top of it exporting a 480p movie in iMovie and it'll make my blanket warm all night. Hell, I could keep my coffee hot with it.
     
  2. jbarley macrumors 68030

    jbarley

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    #2
  3. Gamer9430 macrumors 68020

    Gamer9430

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    #3
    Well I'll tell you one think I know off the top of my head, DON'T PUT YOUR LAPTOP ON A BLANKET! While I love warm blankets as much as the next guy, warming them up its your laptop is a really bad idea. The laptop is heating itself up even more than normal because it has no where to ventilate the heat from your laptop since the blanket cannot let air pass through it too well, thus its absorbing ite and creating an insulator, causing your laptop to heat up 2x more than it should be.

    Besides that, try opening it up (not too hard to do, I did it a few days ago with ease), and seeing if there is any dust inside. If so, get a can of pressurized air and blow out the computer. Also, carefully remove the fans and clean them out as well. If you use a vacuum or can of air on the fans, be care to not spin the fans too fast, because that will damaged them. Also, be extremely ca emu, with using a vacuum inside the computer because they generate a lot of static electricity, which can and will damage your computer.

    Other than that, I'm not sure what could be causing it to heat up too much. If you are felling really adventurous, you could redo the thermal paste! I won't be able to assist you with that, but I'm sure iFixit or another user will.

    Good luck!!!
     
  4. eyoungren macrumors P6

    eyoungren

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    #4
    Just how hot is hot?

    My 17" PowerBook hits 140° before fans kick in. Normal temps are between 128-140° when operating. My MBP can hit 170° plus.

    Your Mac cannot be getting too hot because otherwise you'd hit thermal shutdown.

    Find out just how hot it's getting.

    Temperature Monitor can tell you as well as iStat Menus.
     
  5. mikiotty macrumors 6502

    mikiotty

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    #5
    As multiple people already said, don't ever put a laptop on a blanket.
    As @eyoungren said, try monitoring the temperatures with Temperature Monitor (more accurate than iStat in my experience). My 15" 1.5GHz's fans, for example, are set to start at about 63ºC, way too hot in my opinion. I solved the problem with an app called G4FanControl that lets you change the fan start temperature. I set it to 50°C and the laptop is super cool now. Yeah, the fans are on most of the time, but at least it doesn't melt. :p
     
  6. Simone.m macrumors newbie

    Simone.m

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    #6
    I had the same problem with my 12". Changed thermal paste and thermal pads and the problem disappeared. Consider the fact that when you open it, you can clean the laptop better than a simple vacuum
     
  7. mikiotty macrumors 6502

    mikiotty

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    #7
    I would first try to see if the temperatures actually are too high. If not, opening up the machine to that point could do more damage than benefit.
     
  8. Simone.m macrumors newbie

    Simone.m

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    #8
    Thermal compounds in a computer usually last a few years, a PB has like ten or more years, so any fan hack or temp control is a quick fix that doesn't solve the problem
     
  9. weckart macrumors 68040

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    Nov 7, 2004
    #9
    I replaced the 400MHz G4 processor in a Sawtooth for a faster one yesterday. After taking off the heatsink, I noticed there was no compound between the heatsink and the CPU and no thermal pad, either. Genuinely surprised at that.
     
  10. 128keaton macrumors 68020

    128keaton

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    Jan 13, 2013
    #10
    Idk what it is with people and the 12". Its a minor inconvenience to open it sure, but I'd rather do a 12" than an early Macbook.
     
  11. eyoungren macrumors P6

    eyoungren

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    #11
    The MacBooks are like the iBooks. You cannot compare a PowerBook to a MacBook. Hate to say it, but apples to oranges. ;)
     
  12. flyrod macrumors 6502

    flyrod

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    #12
    Does the fan ever come on? Maybe the fan is jammed or needs to be oiled.
     
  13. mikiotty macrumors 6502

    mikiotty

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    #13
    Actually I find the iBooks to be the hardest to take apart. Taking that plastic shell off the bottom is... UGH! :mad:
     
  14. bunnspecial macrumors 603

    bunnspecial

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    #14
    I'd take a Macbook over a 12" PB or iBook any day.

    The Macbooks(pre-Unibody) are put together much like the 15/17" Powerbooks and early MBPs. There are a few screws on the bottom and a few on the sides, but from that point the top case just lifts off.

    A hard drive change on one is probably as easy as any other Apple portable since it requires no real disassembly. The same is true of the RAM.
     
  15. Altemose macrumors G3

    Altemose

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    #15
    I only ever see my PowerBook reach 141 F before it starts to cool down. Usual usage runs anywhere from 105-135 F. Try getting a copy iStat Menus off the PowerPC Archive for checking out the temperatures. I have a relatively new coat of thermal paste dating back to last year.
     
  16. Dronecatcher macrumors 68000

    Dronecatcher

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    #16
    Logically, if the case is getting hot it's doing it's job properly - conducting heat out of and away from the CPU :) It's the case that needs contact with a conductor or a free flow of air to dissipate the heat....so no, the blanket is the worst idea.
    This is the best solution if you could get one cheap or make one:

    original.png
     
  17. SecretSquirrel macrumors member

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    U.K.
    #17
    I'll second that. Getting into an iBook combined a thin piece of plastic and a fair amount of brute force. It was always a relief when it went back together again! Probably why I stuck with PowerBooks ever since.
     
  18. Dronecatcher macrumors 68000

    Dronecatcher

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    #18
    This is a good guide to opening the iBook:



    Though I do wince when he pulls out the power/trackpad connectors by the wires...I take about 5 mins gently easing them out!
     
  19. WalnutSpice thread starter Suspended

    WalnutSpice

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    #19
    Do not use on blanket anymore - Noted - Checked

    I've been using the PowerBook G4 as my main computer since the made the post to watch the actual temps while using it. And actually, they seem pretty normal. 134º-147º which is about the same as my G5 idles at. It just feels so hot though (even not using it on a blanket) that it doesn't feel safe for it.
     
  20. eyoungren macrumors P6

    eyoungren

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    #20
    Those are normal temps.

    The thermal design of the PowerBook G4 uses the aluminum case as a heat sink to dissipate the heat. So, when it's running warm (and this is warm, not hot) you'll feel it.

    If you are going to use the Mac on your lap, just make sure you have pants or shorts on if the heat bothers you.

    Incidentally and anecdotally, if you use your PB in places that have good A/C (like Starbucks) you'll notice that heat is never an issue.

    And lastly, all Macs have a mechanism for self protection from heat. It's called thermal shutdown and it's set to occur a few degrees before actual damage to any components would happen. Apple designed it this way and it's hardcoded into every Mac. If your Mac ever hits that threshold it will just turn itself off. No shutdown process, nothing. Just off.

    And I know if works because when I was replacing the screen on my wife's 12" PB so many years ago I went through thermal shutdown about four times (didn't put the heat sink back). Her Mac is still working just fine.

    So, if your Mac is on, the heat isn't damaging it.
     
  21. eyoungren macrumors P6

    eyoungren

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    #21
    Just to add real quick. If your Mac is pushing 140º plus then it means the CPU is busy. Presuming that thermal paste is fine, a PB generally idles around 5-12% CPU which equates to about 125-130º. Fans will kick in at 140º as mentioned previously. To be getting hotter than that means the CPU is pegged and the hard drive is getting hit hard. Usually, that's because of a runaway process or perhaps video.

    While we are telling you that the temps are ok, if your PB is consistently spiking past 140º then you may want to look at what apps or processes you're running.

    For example: I had some high heat a few days back on my QS And the hard drive was going crazy. It had been like that for a few days but I only really started to pay attention when it was starting to slow down T4Fx. Investigation found that syslogd was hitting my CPU. My Mac was consistently writing to the system log to the tune of 120+ MB at one point.

    Turns out I had a USB stick that was not being recognized in one of my hubs and so the system was writing constant USB device failures to the system log. Once I pulled the stick, everything went back to normal - including my heat.
     
  22. Altemose macrumors G3

    Altemose

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    Elkton, Maryland
    #22
    I have never seen a PowerBook G4 get above 142 when running properly. I would go ahead and do a fresh thermal paste job for the CPU and a new thermal pad for the GPU.
     
  23. WalnutSpice thread starter Suspended

    WalnutSpice

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    #23
    I typically only push 140 when watching 360p html 5 or flash YouTube. So I don't think thats an issue. And thats only after maybe two or three hours of watching video. Right now with Spotify and MacRumors open in Safari I'm at 128.
     
  24. eyoungren macrumors P6

    eyoungren

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    #24
    You are very solidly within the temp range then.
     
  25. mikiotty macrumors 6502

    mikiotty

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    Mar 15, 2014
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    Rome, Italy
    #25
    Just for reference: THIS is a HOT Mac.
    iMac G5 17" iSight. I'm constantly scared by those temperatures to the point where my GPU solder points actually failed twice and needed a reflow, and they'll need another one soon I guess.

    Picture 3.png

    And the Mac has been powered on only a few minutes ago. The GPU will reach 80°C+ at idle, and 85°C+ when watching videos etc.
    I already replaced the thermal paste on the GPU twice, no difference.
     

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