Fan speed / temperature: First gen Macbook -vs- Current gen Macbook (white)

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by snessiram, Oct 10, 2008.

  1. snessiram macrumors member

    Oct 10, 2008

    I'm thinking of upgrading my first generation (dualcore 1.83Ghz) macbook to the current macbook or the possibly upcoming new revision. (If this new revision does not have enough advantages over the current revision in my opinion, I might prefer a current macbook for a lowered price after the new revision comes out)

    Current situation:

    The fan speed (and temperature as they relate) of my first-generation macbook running tiger is somewhat disturbing me. I use the macbook in clamshell mode (closed and flat on the table) with an external 24" lcd. After some time, the temperature is about 60°C and fans run around 3300 rpm (sometimes lower) under "light use": adium, safari, mail,...

    When I for example play a movie in vlc (about 40% cpu use), the fan speed goes up to 4000-5000rpm I think.

    When opened and/or put on a stand to allow airflow beneath it, the macbook does run cooler but not that much.

    To put this into perspective: I also own a Lenovo Thinkpad R60 with the same cpu. The most noise I get is the harddrive spinning. The fan is just plain off most of the time, even under load! (I do know that it's not completely fair to compare a 13" "thin" notebook with a 15", however this argument alone does not make the macbooks fan noise "acceptable")

    Question: Do the current macbooks run at a lower fan speed and temperature? Even under load?

    (I would also appreciate actual numbers including the "conditions" like external monitor, flat on table etc etc..)

    This is the main question and reason for me to upgrade to a new revision.

    Other possible reasons to upgrade:
    - Faster (This isn't that important, though always nice)
    - Leopard (Also not that important, my current system runs very stable while I have the feeling leopard on my mother's imac runs a little bit less stable. I mainly like the quick preview and time machine, though I really dislike the look of the menu and dock)
    - Bigger hard drive (Not that important as I have a 120GB 7200rpm hard drive in my current macbook, but I could upgrade the hard drive in my thinkpad which is always nice)
    - New warranty (I've about half a year left of my 2-year store warranty)

    These "other reasons" are all nice to have, but not worth that much money for me.
  2. snessiram thread starter macrumors member

    Oct 10, 2008
  3. misterredman macrumors 6502a


    Oct 3, 2007
  4. Beric macrumors 68020


    Jan 22, 2008
    Bay Area
    CoolBook worked an absolute miracle for me. Combined with FanControl, I've seen an average decrease in temps of 20-30 degrees Fahrenheit across the board.
  5. snessiram thread starter macrumors member

    Oct 10, 2008
    That sounds really nice... I'm just not sure how "safe" it is. Take a look at the replies here.

    @Beric: Could you share the values you're using with coolbook?

    I'm still interested to here about temperatures and fan speed of the current macbooks!
  6. Beric macrumors 68020


    Jan 22, 2008
    Bay Area
    Well, I bought my Macbook in September 2007, so it's a 2.0 Ghz. C2D with the GMA 950. Not sure if that even applies with what system you've got. You have to experiment with CPUtest and your specific system to get your correct values.

    Please note I only did the process of undervolting. No underclocking.

    The process is perfectly safe. The worst you could get is a Kernel panic, after which you just start up into safe mode, and then change your values. There is almost nothing bad that could happen. The reason this program is necessary is that either Intel or Apple has imposed artificial limits on the minimum voltage.

    Note that I did plenty of reading up on the entire process before I ever bought the program. With my results, I can now web browse at 115-125 F. Temps using Flash player are also drastically improved by up to 30 F (if you know how inefficient OS X is with Flash, then that's a major improvement). My Age of Empires III temps, which were at 185 F at max allowed settings, are now at 155-165 F.

    Attached Files:

  7. snessiram thread starter macrumors member

    Oct 10, 2008
    @Beric & misterredman: thanks for the tips!

    I purchased coolbook about a week ago, found my lowest settings, set them a little higher "to be safe" and haven't had a single problem since.

    It really made a big difference. Under light use the fan sometimes even runs at 1500rpm, A movie in vlc stabilizes around 3200rpm where it was 4000-5000rpm before (I mostly use Movist these days which uses less resources then vlc), watching youtube is also a lot more quiet (I don't have exact rpm's as it seems to differ depending on the movie, but definitely more quiet!).

    It still isn't as good as my thinkpad but I'm very pleased with the result, well worth my €9.

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