Fan noise :(

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by Dataz, Mar 7, 2012.

  1. Dataz macrumors member

    Mar 7, 2012

    I have updated from the 2010 Mac Mini 2.4GHz C2D / 2GB / 320GB / DVD±RW to the 2011 Mac Mini 2.3GHz Ci5 / 8GB / 500GB / no DVD±RW, and everything is just perfect... except for the fan noise under "heavy" load. :/

    I have it inside a Ikea PS cabinet in my living room and when I convert FLAC to ACC the fan noise really kicks in at full throttle after about 10 minutes, or so. The fan is clearly audible even though it's behind closed doors, inside the cabinet, when I sit in my sofa almost 4 meters away. :/

    If I quit converting the fan noise fades away quickely and the Mini becomes dead silent again. Once I start converting again and the fan noise kicks in after 20 seconds.

    Is this normal? I know this latest version of the Mini is more powerful but I have never heard my "old" Mini make any fan noise at all. Even under extreme heavy loads like converting movies.

    Edit: English is not my first language, it's my fifth, so please bear with me.
  2. Pheo macrumors regular

    Jun 13, 2011
    Pretty normal, but whats the ambient temperature in your (closed?) environment - I take it the mini is in a relatively warm space if its fully enclosed, therefore perhaps additional ventilation of said space would help. If you place the mini outside, does it still spin the fan up.

    It would be helpful if you could post some data on the temperatures it is registering, there are several apps in the app store.

    PS Props for English being your 5th language, your grammar and spelling is very good for someone with so much knowledge of language! It must be hard to fit it all in.
  3. philipma1957 macrumors 603


    Apr 13, 2010
    Howell, New Jersey
  4. Dataz thread starter macrumors member

    Mar 7, 2012
    Blue: Normal usage. I'm currently streaming music, browsing the web and downloading legal torrents. Open programs: Camino, uTorrent, Bowtie, Spotify and AirPlay.

    Red: Above average usage. The above plus converting music. Open programs: The above plus iTunes and XLD.

    HD: 38°C/39°C
    CPU: 52°C /90°C
    Airport: 48°C/53°C
    Ambient: 46°C/56°C
    Ambient 2: 48°C/51°C
    Mem bank A1: 58°C/60°C
    Mem Module A1: 58°C/62°C
    Mem Module B4: 50°C/50°C
    Fan speed: 1792RMP/5227RPM

    If i stop converting the fan speed goes down to 1792 in 10 seconds. Same with the temperatures. They return to normal in under 30 seconds.

    Regarding me speaking five languages. Thanks for the kind words. Japanese is the hardest of them all. I will start with my sixth language, simplified Chinese/traditional Chinese, later this year. :)
  5. lilsoccakid74, Mar 8, 2012
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2012

    lilsoccakid74 macrumors 6502

    Apr 13, 2010
    Only things you can really do:

    -remove it from enclosed space, this will make it heat much much faster.

    -download smc fan control. any fan speed below 2800 is what I consider silent. Keeping the fan up will reduce the need for them to crank up high.

    SMC Fan Control Link:

    -if these things dont help, you could do what I did and pickup a laptop cooler. The microsoft version is very cheap and has an awesome curved frame, so I can take the bottom off the mini, and have air get pumped right up into the bottom. The laptop fan is almost silent and keeps my temps about 20-30*C below what it would normally be.

    -I also saw moderate cooling running it upside-down with the top removed

    hope this helps:)
  6. Motliest Crue macrumors regular

    Jun 10, 2010
    New England
    I bought some small rubber feet to lift it off my desk. I only hear it now while paying Starcraft.
  7. Pheo macrumors regular

    Jun 13, 2011
    Temps look normal given the ambient under low load use - can you try taking it out of the cabinet and see if it's better?

    What other languages do you speak?
  8. namelessme macrumors member

    Mar 9, 2012
    I don't have the earlier mac mini to compare to, and may not be running extremely heavy CPU load types of things on my mini, but I've never noticed it getting that loud.

    And I sit about 2 ft from it.

    If in a closed environment, 4 meters away, and it's too loud for you, maybe it's a vibration from the cabinet? Or perhaps it's getting a bit suffocated all closed up like that?

    That laptop cooler is a great idea. I was thinking of ways of elevating my mini, but a cooler seems like an even better idea. Overall, it's pretty quiet, right? And about how big is it compared to the mini? Just wondering if it's a lot wider than the mini is itself.

    Also wondering if it'd be okay to simply leave the bottom cover on while on the cooler? I'm a bit paranoid about dust getting blown in.

    But that would be a possible solution too. I expect you won't be able to hear a laptop cooler from 4 meters away.
  9. Dataz thread starter macrumors member

    Mar 7, 2012
    Sorry for my late response. :)

    I have learned to accept the fan noise under heavy load. :)
  10. Pheo macrumors regular

    Jun 13, 2011
    Did you try running it outside to see if it doesn't need to spin up fully.

    I find mine doing heavy work on my desk not so bad - I think the poster above about whether the (metal) enclosure may be making things worse worth considering.

    You could try some acoustifeet as well, and I'd recommend perhaps hole sawing and then attaching a USB powered fan to the back of the cabinet...
  11. Edge macrumors member

    Jul 28, 2005
    Excessive heat and fan noise

    I'm going to sell or return my Mac mini i5 2.5GHz with discrete Radeon 6630M graphics. I wanted to use it as my main machine, a small and quiet desktop with 2 SSDs RAIDed together.

    But, every time I do anything that raises the CPU above 30% causes the fan to audibly whirr. It's awfully annoying, and it's far too easy to get the CPU temp over 90 degrees C.

    Not good.
  12. Skoopman macrumors 6502

    Sep 24, 2011
    What software do you use that your fans kick in? Mine stays nearly always at 1800 RPM and I run tons of software at ones. Even while gaming the fan does not go beyond 2.500-3000 RPM which is not really annoying, but a normal fan noise.
  13. Edge macrumors member

    Jul 28, 2005
    Almost anything that uses CPU cycles, even for a minute. The fan ramps up very quickly, which is what makes it so noticeable. Anecdotally, others have reported similar issues.

    There are two factors here, I believe.

    1) The i5/i7 is not exactly super-low-power, so it is already warm. The cooling system in the mini is not super efficient, either, especially if too much thermal paste is applied at the factory. Reapplying thermal paste can lower temps by as much as 10 degrees C, reportedly. But I have no interest in voiding my warranty to find out.

    2) The discrete Radeon 6630M adds heat to the already warm and confined space. (In my case it is driving a 30" Cinema Display which can't help matters.)
  14. Skoopman macrumors 6502

    Sep 24, 2011
    The Sandy Bridge CPUs do heat up quite fast and there is not much you can do about it. But they also cool down quickly. When you play Source games on Steam, which use the CPU a lot, you can see the temperature go up to 90°C. CoD 4 for example doesn't heat up my CPU that much (around 80°C) and the fan is nearly silent.

    I don't think that the heat problems will be solved with Ivy Bridge. CPUs got way to powerful and too hot. Intel should have made the mobile CPUs less powerful and a lot cooler. I don't think that anybody needs that kind of power on the go.

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