Fan noise on new MBA

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by kungfuslippers, Jul 9, 2011.

  1. kungfuslippers macrumors newbie

    Apr 17, 2009
    I just got a new MBA, 4GB 256SSD which runs pretty snappily.

    However I've noticed that:-

    a) The fan is pretty noisy even if I'm doing something simple like only using firefox or chrome. Maybe 4000 rpms

    b) If I plug the charger in - the rpm ramps up to 6k and of course the fan noise goes up as well

    c) CPU temp is normally around 76-80 celsius most of the time

    d) Battery life doesn't seem great. I get maybe 2.5 hrs after just surfing.

    Is this normal ?

    I've had a macbook white for while and the fan on that only ever got comparably noisy if I was doing something a bit intensive like compiling in XCode or video editing.
  2. tbobmccoy macrumors 6502a


    Jul 24, 2007
    Austin, TX
    Make sure Flash isn't running, but if it's not, that's an unusually short battery life for your stated use. I'd take it in (or return it and wait a week or 2 for the refresh).
  3. aristobrat macrumors G5

    Oct 14, 2005
    If there's a process running that's using a lot of CPU, that will cause C, which in turn causes A and D.

    Try running the Activity Monitor app (in your Applications/Utility folder). Click on View > Dock Icon > Show CPU History. This should change the dock icon for this app to a visual history of how much of your CPU is being used.

    Whenever you notice the CPU usage look significant, double-click on the dock icon (which brings up the Activity Monitor window) and then look at the CPU tab. If you have it set to show All Processes, and then sort by clicking the % CPU column, it should pretty quickly show you which process/app is causing the problem.
  4. nowstime macrumors regular

    Jul 2, 2008
    I used to have the 13 inch ultimate model and the fan noise was killing me. I think there's not much you can do...others say it's bearable but for me it was a bit too much...
  5. aristobrat macrumors G5

    Oct 14, 2005
    IMO, the fan should only make noise when the system is hot, and the system should only get hot if there's a program that's really cranking the CPU. :confused:
  6. eagandale4114 macrumors 65816


    May 20, 2011
    Post a screen shot of activity monitor the next time it does this.
  7. kungfuslippers, Jul 10, 2011
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2011

    kungfuslippers thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 17, 2009
    Screenshot as requested

    iStat Pro reports CPU Temp - 84 celsius, Fan Speed - 3.8k, sounds noisy
    Running Chrome showing this page
    Running Firefox showing my browser home page -

    After switching on from full charge I initially had 100%/3.5 hrs battery time left (initial CPU temp 40), then after maybe 20min of light surfing this dropped to 77%/2.25 hrs battery time left (final CPU temp as above - 84)

    Attached Files:

  8. merrickdrfc macrumors 6502


    Jan 8, 2011
    Your dock is doing strange things causing the high cpu usage which is causing the fans to ramp up, never seen the dock do that before
  9. kungfuslippers thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 17, 2009
    Yeah, I thought it looked pretty strange, but I didn't have my macbook white to hand to compare.

    So anyway I killed the Dock process and rebooted. Its now using a more sensible 0.1% CPU time and Fan speed is around 2k. I guess the docks parent process doesn't spawn a new process with a reboot?

    Thanks for the tip!
  10. Resqu2 macrumors 6502a

    Apr 23, 2011
    My MBP did the exact same thing after the 10.6.8 update, something to do with Parallels. I think Parallels even posted an update a little while ago. Keep an eye on the dock and if it does it again do a search for "dock using 100 percent of processor" the fix is simple and I had to do it on both of my Macs
  11. kungfuslippers thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 17, 2009
    Yes, you were right. I had Parallels 6 installed with 10.6.8

    For others who have the same problem, the link to the fix is here:

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