fan speed on 2.4ghz mac mini (2010) never changes

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by indg, Jun 20, 2010.

  1. indg macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2007
    #1
    mine is always around 1800 rpm regardless of internal temps. i spiked both cores of the cpu to 100% for 5 minutes (cputest), and the cpu temp got up to 164F (73C) from an idle temp of 100F (38C), but the fan was still 1800 rpm.

    i played a bunch of 1080p trailers simultaneously to give the gpu and hdd a workout while transferring a few gigabytes via wifi. fan still stayed around 1800 rpm.

    during the 2 hours while the migration assistant was doing its thing, the top of the mac mini got fairly hot. not scorching hot, but noticeably warmer than idle, while the fan was still quiet as usual. i could feel really hot air coming out of the rear vent, but the fan wasn't blowing harder than usual. i'm assuming it was running at 1800 rpm even as the hdd was generating some massive heat.

    this is very troubling to me. has anyone seen the fan increase in speed as temps rise in the latest mac mini (macmini4,1)?
     
  2. pvmacguy macrumors 65816

    pvmacguy

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    Sep 2, 2009
    Location:
    Jax
    #2
    Just got my mini yesterday and I use smc fan control to adjust the minimum speed of the fans. I have it set a 2k as the minimum and currently with just web-browsing and playing itunes the computer stays at a super cool 35-37 degrees celsius.

    Your temp jump up to 73 degrees celsius isn't bad at all in terms of processor temp. I also ran a cpu stress test and mine jumped up to mid to upper 70's as well and never spooled above my 2k rpm minimum.
     
  3. indg thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Feb 7, 2007
    #3
    @pvmacguy
    my point is the OS isn't adjusting the fan speed in the mini, but does in every other mac to my knowledge. it stays at 1800 rpm (or in your case 2000 rpm with smcfancontrol) regardless of how hot it gets.

    what's the point of having internal temp readings (by my count there are 13 temp sensors) if the fan never adjusts its speed according to the environment?

    i hope this is a bug and not intentional. otherwise, there could be a lot of mac minis breaking down after the 1 year warranty expires.
     
  4. mrfoof82 macrumors 6502a

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    May 26, 2010
    Location:
    Lawton, OK
    #4
    First, did you install the Mac Mini update for 10.6.4? If not, see if Software Update is jumping around in the dock all excited about something (or manually check for updates to get it excited). You may need to reset the SMC after installing the update, as others have reported the fan going into "ZOMGOVERDRIVE" mode as well. Resetting the SMC should do it.

    Alternatively, install the Fan Control preferences pane, set a base speed of 2000rpm, a lower threshold of 120F and an upper threshold of 145F and see if things change and report back.

    This is both A) open source and B) free.

    http://www.lobotomo.com/products/FanControl/index.html


    Yes, the OS probably should be doing this and I assume would be in an OS or model-specific firmware update. I'll consider this akin to the original batches of nVidia GeForce 8800GTs. They always stood at 27% speed. Even if they were overheating. The only way around it -- in some cases, ever -- was a BIOS reflash (not available for all manufacturers) or using nTune/RivaTune to adjust the fan speed. But the firmware update seems to be resolving this issue for the most part, though if you want to be more cautious, bump the base fan speed and lower the other thresholds (I always do).
     
  5. indg thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Feb 7, 2007
    #5
    @mrfoof82
    i realize there are third-party fan control apps (i'm an imac and macbook pro owner, and a few other macs since 2002, so believe me i know). i bought this mac mini so i (or the person i bought it for) wouldn't have to worry about managing heat that may damage internal components long-term.

    i shouldn't have to install some third-party app for something the os should be able to handle on its own (and clearly does on other macs). it doesn't make sense for the os to never change the fan speed when it can clearly go to 5000+ rpm if necessary.

    additional comment:
    already updated to 10.6.4. did not have the out of control fan speed problem after the update as others reported.
     
  6. pvmacguy macrumors 65816

    pvmacguy

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    Jax
    #6
    I really don't think you have much to worry about. When it gets to the point the system feels it needs to speed up it will. The spike in temperature you described really isn't bad at all.
     
  7. indg thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Feb 7, 2007
    #7
    @pvmacguy
    sorry, i have no faith in the system speeding up the fan when it needs to, as it stands right now. when the cpu and hdd were running hot, so much so that the top of the case was very warm to the touch (almost as hot as the bottom of my mbp), and the fan doesn't step up to alleviate some of the heat, that's a sign of bad things to come.
     
  8. Beaverman3001 macrumors 6502

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    May 20, 2010
    #8
    Why should it speed up when the temperatures aren't bad? 73c is good for that kind of use.
     
  9. pvmacguy macrumors 65816

    pvmacguy

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    #9
    +1!
     
  10. indg thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Feb 7, 2007
    #10
    because if my imac or mbp hit those kinds of temps, they'd already be at 3000-5000 rpm by default from a base of 1000 and 2000 rpm respectively. so 73C might be ok for you, but i'd prefer to see the fan automatically spin up even just a little to deal with the extra heat. and people wonder why logic boards and gpu's fail right after their warranty ends.
     
  11. Beaverman3001 macrumors 6502

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    May 20, 2010
    #11
    Your iMac and MBP aren't a Mac Mini. Each product has a different thermal threshold. 73C is well below any computers thermal envelope of causing damage, even with long term use at that temperature.

    If you are really worried I'd be more concerned about the room's ambient temperature, air flow, humidity, etc. As others have said, there are apps for controlling the fan speed, if it bothers you that much!

    My last laptop, which had an AMD Turion, made me realize how much heat parts can take long term. It wasn't unusual to be running at 90C for extended periods of time with no issue.
     
  12. indg thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Feb 7, 2007
    #12
    @Beaverman3001
    you're right, the imac and mpb aren't a mini. but they are built with similar parts: mobile cpu, mobile hdd, mobile gpu, slot-loading drive, slim AL casing, etc. so i consider them close enough for the sake of this conversation.

    the point of my original post is that my mini's fan NEVER changes speed. and i want to know why, not because it's in any immediate danger, but because extra heat can shorten the lifespan of components. and i'd like this computer to be functioning without issues beyond its 2 year birthday.

    i'm trying to determine if this is a defect with my unit or if all 2010 minis act like this. i want to know if other mac mini owners have noticed their fan speed increase as temps rise.

    i should've made it clear that i'm not asking for third-party fan control apps or other advice on how to cool the mac mini or the merits of trusting apple's design. i like and prefer apple products, but i'm not an apple apologist.

    i'm just trying to gather some info here re the mac min fan speeds.
     
  13. dh2005 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2010
    #13
    I, for one, understand your concerns. But it doesn't look like you're getting much in the way of detailed information here.

    Maybe Apple themselves can help you? Give you some data on heat-tolerance within the Mini, and/or tell you whether your experience is normal. Maybe your thermometer and/or fan isn't/aren't working properly...?

    Then again - maybe they are, and everything is fine.
     
  14. Jawnathin macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2009
    #14
    I'm doing a little encoding on my MBP and the CPU is at 86C right now, with the fans spinning at 2k RPM.

    73C w/ 1800RPM fan speeds are fine. I suspect you haven't hit the threshold yet to have the OS ramp up the fan speed.

    EDIT: 89-90C now with 2000rpm

    EDIT2 - 91C and the fans are at 2200rpm

    EDIT3 - 87C at 3k rpm... so it hit some threshold to ramp up the fan speed, which cooled down the CPU slightly.
     
  15. indg thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Feb 7, 2007
    #15
    @Jawnathin
    thanks for your input. i guss i need to push my mini a little harder to see if the fan speeds up. good to know that the fan speed does increase at least, once it passes a threshold.

    @dh2005
    i'm sure more mini owners wii share their experience re the fan speed as time goes on. it's only been a week, right?
     
  16. indg thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Feb 7, 2007
    #16
    just a quick update. i was able to get the mini's fans going over 1800 rpm (gotta love adobe flash). managed to peak the CPU temp around 180F (82C) and the fan around 2200-2400 rpm. the minimum threshold for the cpu temp seems to be around 170F before the fan speed starts to increase. that's quite a bit hotter than i'd like things to be, especially since the top of the mini's case is fairly hot by that point. if the case is getting hot, that tells me that heat isn't being dissipated out the vent fast enough.

    so i've decided to run Fan Control 1.2 which allows me to adjust the rate at which the fan speed increases. i prefer fan control 1.2 over smcfancontrol because it adjusts the fan speed automatically (background daemon) based on your min/max threshold. just set it and forget it.

    so with Fan Control 1.2 running, i can be doing some intensive cpu tasks (playing 1080p on youtube, encoding h264 videos, gaming, etc.), and the cpu temp rarely goes above 160F because the fan spins up much faster now. meanwhile, the top of the case stays relatively cool since more hot air is getting blown out the back. the fan is now doing what it should have be doing... cooling the internal components when things get hot!

    [​IMG]
     
  17. iGrant macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2006
    Location:
    Ridgeway
    #17
    I run smcFanControl on all my Macs. I up the default fan speeds and when I know I'm going to be doing a CPU intensive test, I up the fan speeds.

    Here's my personal view when it comes to computer temperatures, the cooler you can keep the computer, the longer all the hardware will last.

    I have not tried Fan Control before to be honest, I'm looking forward to installing it and trying it when I get back home on Sunday (Out of town this weekend).

    -iGrant
     
  18. DoFoT9 macrumors P6

    DoFoT9

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    Jun 11, 2007
    Location:
    Singapore
    #18
    because you are hitting max temps of 73°C - i dont think the fans need to spin up. those temps are not hot...

    safe using 3rd party fan controllers though - more noise but!
     
  19. iGrant macrumors 6502a

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    Sep 20, 2006
    Location:
    Ridgeway
    #19
    After a little while I got Fan Control installed and setup to how I like it. I honestly use both smcFanControl and Fan Control now.

    The trick is setting both default fan speeds to the same speed. It allows you to use smcFanControl as a fan speed monitor and Fan Control to actually control the rpms of the fans as the CPU heats up.

    -iGrant
     
  20. a2applegirl macrumors regular

    a2applegirl

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2010
    #20
    I would be worried about doing that on my mac mini server because smcFanControl states right when you install it that it may not work properly if other fan control software is installed, and the smcFanControl asked me to de-install any other fan control software when I installed it. (I didn't have any other fan control software on my machine yet as it is brand new)

    How did you sync the two softwares? Since the main purpose of my mini is to rip, encode and play videos, I am very interested in any and all ways of keeping the cpus cool. :)
     
  21. iGrant macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2006
    Location:
    Ridgeway
    #21
    All smcFanControl does is change the default speeds of the System Fans. What I really want is a system monitor that will show me the current CPU temps in Farenheit and the current speed.

    I didn't really sync them per say, I just set both apps to have the same default speed. If I can find a monitoring app that works well, I'll let ya'll know!

    -iGrant
     
  22. glitch44 macrumors 65816

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    Feb 28, 2006
    #22
    iStat Menus
     
  23. indg thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Feb 7, 2007
    #23
    @igrant
    i don't think running both fan control and smcfancontrol is ideal. whatever you set in smcfancontrol would be overwritten by fan control when you quit smcfancontrol since smcfancontrol's daemon quits when you quit the app. as glitch44 suggested, there's istat menus if you need temp/cpu readings. there's also istat pro for dashboard.

    some other temperature monitoring apps:
    Temperature Monitor (free)
    Hardware Monitor (shareware)
     
  24. mrfoof82 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    May 26, 2010
    Location:
    Lawton, OK
    #24
    Set these parameters with Fan Control:

    Base Speed: 2300rpm
    Lower Threshold: 131F (55C)
    Upper Threshold: 158F (70C)

    The result is the fan will end up running around 2400-2430RPM. At idle the Mini will mostly be at 120F (49C). Under full CPU load (i.e. video encoding for 6 hours straight) the fan usually kicks up to around 4000-4200RPM, keeping the CPU more around 140-150F (60-65C), with ambient temps closer to 100F (38C).

    This is with a 2.66GHz, not the 2.4 (though they have the same TDP). It's running quite cool, and is still inaudible at 3 feet.
     
  25. mrsir2009 macrumors 604

    mrsir2009

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    Sep 17, 2009
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    #25
    My MacBook Pro's fans don't kick in until it gets to 101C. :p
     

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