Frequent Fan Noise Normal?

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by schwine1, May 21, 2016.

  1. schwine1 macrumors regular

    Sep 13, 2008
    I have a Mac Mini as noted below.

    Lately, the fan has been spinning rapidly for 2-3 minute durations, and the top of the computer is fairly warm to the touch. The fan has been starting up 3-5 times per week lately. I've had this computer for about eight months now, but only lately has the fan been active and noticeably loud.

    Is this type of frequent fan activity normal for the Mac Mini?
    Thanks for any tips or insight.

    Mac Mini (Late 2014)
    Processor (3 GHz Intel Core i7)
    Solid State Drive (2 TB)
    Memory (16 GB 1600 MHz DDR3)
    Graphics (Intel Iris 1536 MB)
    OS X El Capitan (Version 10.11.5)
  2. jpietrzak8 macrumors 65816


    Feb 16, 2010
    Dayton, Ohio
    It kind of depends on what you are doing with the Mini. I normally only have significant heat (and therefore increased fan usage) when I'm transcoding video, which really taxes the CPU significantly. Also sometimes in the middle of summer, when the heat inside the house is much higher than normal, the fan usage will increase even when the Mini is doing lighter work.

    I think the first thing to do would be to check exactly what the CPU is doing, which you can do by running Activity Monitor (found in the Utilities directory inside the Applications directory). If you find that a process is pushing the CPU usage up near 100% during the times that the fan is running, that'll be the explanation for what is going on...
  3. MysticCow macrumors 6502a

    May 27, 2013
    Something in your system is being worked over hard or else the fans wouldn't be screaming. Like the other poster said, check Activity Monitor and see what is being hit hard on your system.
  4. grcar, May 22, 2016
    Last edited: May 22, 2016

    grcar Suspended


    Sep 28, 2014
    I think you mean 2TB fusion drive.

    No, this is not normal.

    You can download / purchase some apps to report the actual temperatures on the cpu chip.

    One thing would be to take it into Apple (the genius bar has degenerated to repair shop) and ask them to diagnose it.

    You have 4 months remaining of free repairs if it burns out.
  5. ActionableMango macrumors G3


    Sep 21, 2010
    So many things could cause this that it's impossible to diagnose online.
    • You changed your computing habits and now use demanding software.
    • There's a runaway process that's artificially eating up CPU cycles.
    • Dust build-up, but that's unlikely after only 8 months.
    • A heatsink got dislodged or the thermal paste was applied marginally, making the CPU run hotter, making the fan run harder.
    • The environment has changed, i.e. you put the Mini in a more enclosed space, or on a rug, or changed its orientation to vertical, or in direct sunlight, etc.

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4 May 21, 2016