Fan Speed on new MBA 13"

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by alexandermont, Aug 16, 2013.

  1. alexandermont macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2013
    #1
    I'm starting to make screen recordings, and I want to figure out what fan speed is normal and if there's any way to reduce it.

    I had a 2011 13" Macbook air fully upgraded. Whenever I tried even short screencasts, the fan speed would increase to 6700 RPM and stay up there. Was so loud I could hear it on the videos.

    So I ordered a 13" 2013 MBA. i7, 512 GB, 8 GB Ram. It's my work computer.

    I tried a screencast on the new computer. It performed better, 3500 RPM. It made some noise, but not nearly as much. Wasn't noticeable unless I held up the machine close to my ear.

    1. Is fan usage likely to stay this low if I'm just doing screencasts + simple video editing (e.g. cutting out scenes)
    2. Is there anything I can do to improve temperature and fan usage?
    3. Would I actually be better off with an i5 for the light video editing I'll be doing?
    4. Any tests you would recommend running at this point? I've got 14 days to decide whether to keep it or get a different model.

    Thanks!
     
  2. Mrbobb, Aug 17, 2013
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2013

    Mrbobb macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2012
    #2
    I forgot where I read this, for an Air machine or a Pro machine but...

    Somebody re-pasted his cpu heatsink he was able to prove the new paste improved his machine heat transfer efficiency, from 10+ degrees differential to just mere few degrees. If perfect efficiency, the temperature of the cpu and heatsink would be the same.

    Now my Air 11" has a Heatsink B, according to iStat, I don't know where exactly this heatsink is located, but right now it sits at 27c while my cpu is at 45c. :eek:

    Now I don't do anything heavy and this is not a problem for me so I haven't dig into it.

    Look, the cpu is gonna generate heat. Heat needs to be removed. If there anything you can do is to make sure the system is working as it suppose to, meaning if it's working hard, u expect the fan to spin faster to remove the heat. Somewhere in there, if the cpu is not dissipating fast enough to the heatsink, because of a bad paste, then there is something u can do, IF you are brave enough to disassemble your Air.

    My old Windows laptop had a Performance mode and a quiet mode, I don't know if the Air has such things. Performance says runs the cpu as hard as it needs to and if the fan comes on like a jet engine so be it. Quiet mode = keep fan speed slow and if the cpu clock needs to slow down, so be it. Everything being equal slower cpu speed = less heat.

    There. Enough food for thoughts.

    P.S.: Saw your last sentence. While the Air has 1 fan, I believe the Pro has 2 fans. Everything else being equal, 2 fans quieter than 1 fan, but I have no proof.
     
  3. Macman45 macrumors demi-god

    Macman45

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2011
    Location:
    Somewhere Back In The Long Ago
    #3
    I'd say that's pretty normal. Double check that you don't have anything else running in the background via activity monitor and that's about it. Those fan speeds aren't that high.
     
  4. Appledreamer macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2011
    Location:
    Belfast
    #4
    i would go with the I5 i have had mine air 9 weeks and havent heard the fan on once. I only do web surfing, VLC, movies blu ray format, mail, Skype, messages, etc they all running and fans dont come on. i would say for what you are doing the I5 would be less heat and less fan. 100% try it. for a start your base GHZ is 1.7 and mine is 1.3Ghz, even that is enough to have different temps. right now typing to you i am sitting at 34 degrees average cpu. average computer is 29degress.
     
  5. alexandermont thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2013
    #5
    My fan doesn't turn on for those things either. It's only if I do a quicktime screencast that it activates.

    Can anyone with an i5 run a quicktime full screen recording for 5 min or so and tell me what fan RPM they get? I use istat pro to measure.

    My normal RPM is 1200, and then 3500 with quicktime recording.
     
  6. coldjeanzzz macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2012
    #6
    I don't know what the exact RPMs were but I've done Quicktime screen recordings and after 5-6 mins the fans do go a bit crazy. I've done a 13 minute recording and I clearly hear them running in the background

    2012 13 inch i5 8 gb RAM
     
  7. alexandermont thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2013
    #7
    Just finished a Skype video call, and fan speeds got up to 6,000 RPM. Fortunately, it seems quieter than 6,000 RPM on my 2011 mac.
     
  8. SchodMC macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2013
    Location:
    Germany
    #8
    Searching the internet about Skype, OS X and fan shows, that there seems to be a problem with Skype and OS X. Just google for it, maybe you will find a solution.

    About the fan speed while doing a screen-cast - I just tried it out using the Quicktime screen recording. Did the recording for about 10 min while continued to surf the net, the fan wasn't hearable. The fan speed was between 1200 and 2000 RPM.

    Oh, just forgot: MBA 2013, i7, 8GB RAM, 256 SSD. I wonder if the 256 GB SSD will be useful in this scenario. Because it is faster and maybe it uses less CPU. Just a theory. Think about because I realized that a lot of SSD intensive work will consume CPU time.

    cu
    SchodMC
     
  9. alexandermont thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2013
    #9
    Am in the apple store now, trying a test. It's air conditioned, which keeps down temperature.

    Nonetheless, the i7 is running hotter, and fan RPM is 1700, while the i5 is 1200.
     
  10. NewbieCanada macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2007
    #10
    I've heard the fan come on while using Airplay to run a second display on Mavericks. The 2nd Display was running XBMC. Normally though, it's virtually silent and cool enough to have on your lap when wearing shorts.
     
  11. SchodMC macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2013
    Location:
    Germany
    #11
    But 1700 rpm is also silent enough to not hear it even in very silent rooms. Or I't meanwhile to cloth-eared. ;-)

    Just for interest: what kind of tests you have done? Because in normal usage scenario the fan of my i7 is round about 1200 rpm most of the time.

    cu
    SchodMC
     
  12. m98custom1212 macrumors 6502

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    Jul 20, 2013
    Location:
    Toledo, Ohio
    #12
    What? I'm not sure on what you are trying to say
     
  13. SchodMC macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2013
    Location:
    Germany
    #13
    Well - I realized, that a lot of writing access to the SSD will use CPU power. The 256GB model is round about twice as fast as the 128GB model. So I thought about whether it would use less CPU power while screen recording is running, which will write a lot of data to disk. On the other hand - while writing this I realize how ridiculous this thought is... :p So just ignore - was some kind of tired, should take some sleep. :D

    cu
    SchodMC
     
  14. alexandermont thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2013
    #14
    Just an update. My fan speed tends to be around 1200 RPM no matter what I do. I tried longer video recording and it performed fine.

    I'll do a final test in early september when I can access recording equipment. Then I'll have 10-15 minute recordings + ipad running airdisplay + a USB microphone.

    But, my tentative conclusion is that the i7 MBA is just fine for my video editing, and that I don't need an i5, or a rMBP.
     
  15. alexandermont thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2013
    #15
    I just got a chance do some real testing. My MBA has absolutely no issue with screen recordings.

    The only time the fan got worked up was when I exported the file. But that's no issue. It's nice and quiet when I'm recording, which is the important part. No audio interference.

    And video export time was quite rapid. Everything is fast. I'm happy I went with this and not the rMPB.
     

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