Firewire Audio interfaces make my Macbook hot

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by crazycarl, Apr 13, 2008.

  1. crazycarl macrumors newbie

    Apr 13, 2008
    There's a thread in the macbook pro forum about this (that I bumped) but I didn't realize it was the wrong forum so I'll post here too.

    Whenever I plug Firewire audio interface into my macbook , even with no programs running and the computer essentially at idle, the CPU temperature quickly rises several degrees and then the fan quickly ramps up to maximum. Nothing appears to be placing the CPU under load at this time (measuring temps and fans with iStat nano). Of course, if I do put the CPU under load, the temps get very hot, 80C or so.
    So, for instance, my CPU temp will be at about 60C, and I'll plug in my Apogee Duet, and the temperature quickly rises to about 68C. The fanspeed follows, rising to maximum and staying there for as long as I have the Duet connected. This happens with both an Apogee Duet and a Presonus Firebox, so I'm pretty sure it's some issue with my mac. I tried the Firebox with external power just in case bus power was causing it, but this didn't help. I usually run my macbook in clamshell mode but it happens with the case open also.

    Here are the specs of my macbook:
    late 2006; core 2 duo 2 ghz
    running leopard with all updates applied
    3 gb ram
    320 gb hard drive
    wireless apple keyboard / wireless mighty mouse

    Can anyone recommend steps I can try to resolve this? Or point me in the direction of the cause of the problem? I'd love to keep my new Duet but if I can't resolve this I'll probably have to return it.
  2. crazycarl thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 13, 2008
    In case anyone else has this problem, the guy at the Apple store told me that this is a known issue with Leopard. Sad :( but maybe I can live with it until it's fixed.
  3. joelkanning macrumors newbie

    Mar 30, 2008
    Yeah, I've got the same issue here. MBP 2.4 GHz C2D, 4 GB RAM, using the Presonus Firebox firewire audio interface. My machine usually runs at around 125 degrees (F), but when I plug in the Firebox it quickly jumps up to 150-170 degrees in a matter of minutes. If I've got a heavy session going on in Logic the temp usually creeps up into the 200 degree range and stays there until I unplug the Firebox. These high temperatures concern me, but apparently there is nothing that can be done about it. For now I only run the Firebox when I'm mixing, and just resort to using the headphone output on the MBP plugged into a Logitech 2.1 computer speaker system when I'm tracking and writing - not the ideal way to work for sure. Hopefully whenever 10.5.3 comes out Apple will have addressed this issue (fingers crossed).
  4. l3xh2k macrumors newbie

    Jun 6, 2008
    A big Me Too

    I thought I was dreaming but I have this too. I'm running 10.5.3 on a pretty pimped out MBP 17 and a Focusrite Saffire. Under 10.5.2 I didn't notice this problem because hot-plugging the Saffire would cause a kernel panic in the FWAudio driver so I only plugged in the Saffire when I needed it (after a reboot).
  5. Hambern macrumors newbie

    Mar 6, 2008
    Any news on this issue?

    I've got the same problem as you. I ended up using Tiger again. But I would really like to be able to use Leopard. So, have Apple straightened out this problem yet or do we muscisians have to chang to Vista or someting??
  6. Soarer macrumors newbie

    Aug 18, 2007
    Same here. I use RME FF400 and it works fine but I still get high fan speeds when it's connected and running audio.
  7. Drumjim85 macrumors 68030


    Oct 7, 2007
    DFW, TX
    best interface mentioned so far :)
  8. Milk*is*tasty macrumors member

    Dec 1, 2007
    What the hell? Are you people serious?

    This is pretty much the only reason I wanted to buy a MB (to use with audio because of low noise level). I have a M-Audio FW410, people having the same problem with that?
  9. Hambern macrumors newbie

    Mar 6, 2008
    Totally seriouss

    Yes, it's totally serious. And it s***s big time. Now i have tried both terratec producer and the new Apogee Duet (because it said that it supported Leopard) but the same problem still occurs.
  10. Milk*is*tasty macrumors member

    Dec 1, 2007
    So, now the question arises.

    Are the problems in software or hardware, and what kind of FW-controllers have Apple gone with this time around? Is the problem fixed?
  11. firecrasher macrumors member


    Oct 15, 2008
  12. kubricks macrumors member

    Mar 15, 2008

    Your Macbook Pro is heating up because it's just really happy it has a firewire port.

    Enjoy it.
  13. l3xh2k macrumors newbie

    Jun 6, 2008
    My latest observations

    Running the Activity Monitor I learned a few things...

    On an idle machine, simply plugging in my Saffire would cause the kernel_task process to start using about 5-6 extra percent CPU.

    Once I started a DAW (I use Logic and Live) then the CPU utilization of kernel_task jumped to 45%-50%. Sucks. Stop the DAW and things settle down again.

    For the non-technical people, the more your CPU does, the hotter the machine gets and the faster and louder the fans will be.

    Without a DAW, I fire up Audio MIDI Setup switch my default output to the Saffire. No change (kernel_task sits sits at 9% which I can live with). Click on the MIDI Devices tab and the CPU utilization shoots up again. The Saffire has no MIDI devices connected to it. wtf?

    My MIDI devices are connected to a USB hub. I discovered (by accident) that if I disconnect that hub and the MIDI devices, remove power from the hub, then plug it all back in then everything works as it should and the kernel_task isn't going crazy (back under 10%).

    So for me, there is a work around.
  14. oYx macrumors regular

    Sep 2, 2007
    sorry to resurrect this thread.. but i hope snow leopard will not have the same issue!
  15. pellets007 macrumors 6502a


    Jan 28, 2009
    New York
    You guys are aware that it is called firewire for a reason, right?
  16. basmartin macrumors newbie

    Aug 16, 2009
    Still no work around? I have problems too. I didn´t have any problems when the laptop(white MacBook) was new, in 2006. It happend after they released OSX 10.4.10 or something like that. If I install the old version of OSX, everything works great, except for my Logic 8... Needs 10.4.11, i think...
  17. crazycarl thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 13, 2008
    My workaround was to get an RME Fireface. It definitely heats up some now when actually playing back or recording audio, but is not a constant thing and is not as bad. Since I'm often running different plugins at the same time anyway which use CPU it's not too noticeable.
  18. SnowLeopard2008 macrumors 604


    Jul 4, 2008
    Silicon Valley
    Best answer so far.:D

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