HD Temperature and Fan Speeds - Am I paranoid???

Discussion in 'iMac' started by Siriosys, Dec 24, 2007.

  1. Siriosys macrumors regular

    Siriosys

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2007
    Location:
    New Zealand
    #1
    Hi,

    Firstly, loving this forum. Really informative stuff and very glad to have come across it as I'm a recent switcher from Windows / PC - and yes, the Apple Ads are brilliant:D

    Thoroughly enjoying my shiny new iMac:cool:, however I've a couple of questions regarding drive temperature and fan speeds. Yes, I'm paranoid and a little worried - I'm an IT manager by day and spend a lot of my life recovering other people's data by night......

    Now my 2 questions - which may seem a little simple on the outset, but stay with me on this:

    1) Is an operating temperature of a HD in a 2.4Ghz 24inch iMac between 50degreesC and 54degreesC normal?
    2) When should the fans speed up in my iMac?

    Now the reasons why I'm asking....

    The drive temperature always seems to be in the low 50's after the machine has been in use for about half an hour. Hotter sometimes if I've been playing Quake and doing other stuff. To me, that figure seems drastically high given that the upper limit as stated by Western Digital on their website is 60DegreesC.

    Now the other bit - I've never once noticed the fans move from their default speeds. Not even after the disc gets to 56degreesC and the power supply is around 75degreesC! I started using smcFanControl to turn up the fan speeds a bit, and yes, this lowered the HD temperature a bit, however when I turn them back to their defaults, that HD temperature rises again (as one would expect I guess).

    Right now while I'm typing this, the HD temp is at 50dgC, but the HD Fan speed is set for 2040 RPM.

    Should I be worried?
    Is the smc working correctly?


    Would love some advice if anybody has had similar experiences or can make any sense of this.

    To any of you who ask the question whether I've got backups - yes, if TimeMachine in it's default configuration to an External HD is good enough.



    Regards
     
  2. AlexisV macrumors 68000

    AlexisV

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2007
    Location:
    Manchester, UK
    #2
    The iMacs do run quite hot, but there's nothing to worry about. I know of no case where any damage has been caused by excess heat.

    The fans do speed up in extreme circumstances. The white iMac I use at work only reacted on one occasion, during a very hot day in summer 2006. The fans become very audible and sound like a vacuum cleaner. After about 5 minutes they slowed down again and I haven't heard from them since!
     
  3. Leon Kowalski macrumors 6502a

    Leon Kowalski

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2007
    Location:
    Gondwanaland Reunification Front HQ
    #3
    Yes. Heat is a killer of hard drives. Most of them are spec'd
    for an absolute maximum ambient operating temperature
    of 55C or 60C. Mid 50's is too high for comfort, and FAR too
    high for nomal 'idle' conditions.

    FWIW, "HD Bay 1" on my white 2.16 GHz C2D usually runs
    about 35C to 40C and I've never seen it approach 50C, even
    during extended heavy use. I also owned a 20" ALU and a
    24" ALU (for about one month each) and their "Drive Bay 1"
    temperatures were about the same -- mid to high 30's.

    Don't let the ostriches tell you it's OK. Seagate and WD know
    just a little more about hard drives than the average fanboi.

    LK
     
  4. vwDavid macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2007
    #4
    My Alu 34" runs about 50 *C in the HD bay when I monitored it closely. But after the video card fiasco and update temps seem to be cooler and I stopped monitoring.

    I will monitor again and report back- but mine did run in the 50's too.
     
  5. Father Jack macrumors 68020

    Father Jack

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2007
    Location:
    Ireland
    #5
    If you're worried about temperatures and you have installed SMC Fan Control, just increase the fan speed a tad and leave it .. ;)
     
  6. AlexisV macrumors 68000

    AlexisV

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2007
    Location:
    Manchester, UK
    #6
    Just installed iStat and lo and behold mine's at 50 too. Wouldn't be surpised to see it go to 60C under heavy load.

    And it seems people who actually own aluminium iMacs know a little more than you.
     
  7. Leon Kowalski macrumors 6502a

    Leon Kowalski

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2007
    Location:
    Gondwanaland Reunification Front HQ
    #7
    Neither Seagate's nor Western Digital's specs sheets mention
    any special dispensations for aluminum-and-glare iMacs.

    ...but do as you please, it's not my problem,

    LK
     
  8. Leon Kowalski macrumors 6502a

    Leon Kowalski

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2007
    Location:
    Gondwanaland Reunification Front HQ
    #8
    Here's a cute little freeware app that allows you to add a user-selected % load
    to the processor(s). It's great for checking that the cooling fan logic is doing
    something. Crank-up the CPU load and watch the temps rise. If the fan speeds
    don't follow, the cooling system is busted.

    http://www.bresink.com/osx/SystemLoad.html

    LK
     
  9. AlexisV macrumors 68000

    AlexisV

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2007
    Location:
    Manchester, UK
    #9
    Bloody hell. It's a good job you dug out those spec sheets. I'd rush them post haste to Apple HQ immediately. I bet they'll feel a bit silly with you pointing out they've been making faulty computers since August, but I'm sure they'll appreciate you pointing out their little mistake.

    I better not use my machine from now on and eagerly await the recall announcement from Apple.

    Merry Christmas! :D
     
  10. Help! macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2006
    #10
    He was just pointing out what the manufacturer says temperature should be; you dont have to be a jerk.
     
  11. ceres macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2007
    Location:
    Dark Forests of Germania
    #11
    I´d venture to say that you have a Hitachi drive installed. Those run hotter than the WD and Seagates Apple also installs in iMacs. I had a few AL iMacs on my desk the past 6weeks. The one with the Hitachi drive made the hdd fan speed up to 1800rpm, the computers with Seagate and WD stayed around 1200rpm. While Leon is right about heat being a hdd killer, I´d check Hitachi´s spec sheet in case you actually have such a drive installed.
     
  12. SaSaSushi macrumors 68040

    SaSaSushi

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2007
    Location:
    Takamatsu, Japan
    #12
    I have a Western Digital HD in my 24" aluminum iMac and it is currently idling at about 44C. That is in a room with a current ambient temperature of 18C. In the summer it gets quite hot in here and the temps get into the 50s at idle.

    Leon is not necessarily right about anything not that that isn't par for his FUD course in here. Actually, A 2007 study published by Google suggested very little correlation between failure rates in hard disks and either high temperature or activity level.

    http://labs.google.com/papers/disk_failures.pdf

    In the 50s we are NOT talking about extremely high temps.

    I wouldn't sweat it (pardon the pun), iMac owners. Enjoy your machines.
     
  13. Leon Kowalski macrumors 6502a

    Leon Kowalski

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2007
    Location:
    Gondwanaland Reunification Front HQ
    #13
    "What stands out are the 3 and 4-year old drives, where
    the trend for higher failures with higher temperature is
    much more constant and also more pronounced.

    Overall our experiments can confirm previously reported
    temperature effects only for the high end of our temperature
    range and especially for older drives."


    Uh, in the study you referenced, the "high end" of the temp
    range was 50C, as reported by SMART. That's an internal
    temperature, while "HD Bay 1" is a cooler ambient temp.

    So, "in the 50s" (ambient or internal) is so ridiculously high
    that the experts who ran that study didn't waste their time
    even considering it.

    ...Merry Christmas! Hope Santa brings you some good backup,

    LK
     
  14. SaSaSushi macrumors 68040

    SaSaSushi

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2007
    Location:
    Takamatsu, Japan
    #14
    There could be some question about the accuracy of the temperature readings in OS X then. I am showing 54C currently for the drive bay temp and 52C for actual drive temp (using iStat Pro)

    The point is that they did not make any causal relationship between higher temps and drive failure and so far neither have I if my temps are to be considered "ridiculously high".

    Merry Christmas to you too, Leon! I hope Santa brings you some new tolerance for Apple and it's evil, flawed products.
     
  15. AlexisV macrumors 68000

    AlexisV

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2007
    Location:
    Manchester, UK
    #15
    Sarcasm is the highest form of humour, don't you know.

    Cheer up, it's Christmas!
     
  16. MrGeePee macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2007
    Location:
    UK
    #16
    Sorry to change the subject a little. But i just wondered how do i check the temperature on my iMac (Leopard)
     
  17. MrGeePee macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2007
    Location:
    UK
  18. iMan G5 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2007
    #19
    You haven't seen heat or noise enough compared to a G5 iMac. You max it out, fans running at 2500rpm+ and she is loud. You should hear them in open firmware :D . I have 45% ish of CPU taken and the air is about 27 Celsius. My Hd is 47 degrees Celsius. Haven't had a problem yet.
     
  19. Leon Kowalski macrumors 6502a

    Leon Kowalski

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2007
    Location:
    Gondwanaland Reunification Front HQ
    #20
    You have two sensors both showing higher temps than the experts that you
    referenced even bothered to test. Yep, the readings might be a bit inaccurate,
    but if so, there's a 50:50 chance your drive is actually hotter than reported.

    Yeah, that's the ticket! ...hold out for a "causal" relationship.

    ...be sure to tell your HD there's nothin' to worry about,

    LK
     
  20. wazgilbert macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2007
    Location:
    UK South
    #21
    I'm not often the one to chip in on these exchanges, but LK, you really come across as one self-righteuos troll. Wherever there is a (semi)technical discussion about the hardware, you appear to dole out your unbridled opinion regarding what's wrong with Apple's hardware building methodology.

    I call MS-lover on you LK! and a Happy New Year!
     
  21. SaSaSushi macrumors 68040

    SaSaSushi

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2007
    Location:
    Takamatsu, Japan
    #22
    Well, did YOU bother reading the whole study? For example, did you get to the part where they discovered that drives that are cooled excessively actually fail more than those running hot?

    There are quite a few variables at work here.

    Well, it's certainly not rocket science but if Google is not finding any increasing drive failure rate as the temps increase in their test pool of thousands of HDDs and you don't read a ton of posts in here or on the Apple discussion forums about overheating iMac HDD failures....

    Maybe they just used too many big words for you. Here, this site sort of paraphrases it for you:

    http://storagemojo.com/?p=378

    I get the impression Leon doesn't love anything or anyone at all except perhaps himself.

    But this place wouldn't be near as much fun without him and his ilk.
     
  22. pokrface macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2007
    #23
    Another data point for the thread--new 24" Al iMac, 2.4 GHz C2D processor. iStat reports an HD Bay 1 temp of 53C and a HD temp of 53C. I've not been doing anything except browsing the web for the past hour, so this is pretty much an idle temperature. Wall thermometer says it's 23C in the room right now. This is the first computer I've ever had where the hard drive runs hotter than the CPU (which currently reads 42C).

    By way of comparison, my file server (behind me on the floor with far worse potential airflow than the iMac) reports that all three of its internal hard drives are between 35-40C.

    Still, out of everyone posting in this thread, it looks like there are six folks (including me) who report idle temps in the 50s. I'd be curious if we see a high failure rate in Al iMac disk drives over the next few years. I'm backed up with Time Machine, so I'm not terribly worried about anything except the inconvenience of having to wait on a replacement, but it's still something to wonder about.
     
  23. Leon Kowalski macrumors 6502a

    Leon Kowalski

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2007
    Location:
    Gondwanaland Reunification Front HQ
    #24
    Maybe you didn't notice, Bubba, but MS doesn't make computer hardware.
    They make overpriced, paternalistic, proprietary software -- funny thing is,
    that's exactly like Apple's hardware. Overpriced, paternalistic, proprietary.

    OTOH, Apple makes great software; reasonably priced, standards-based,
    and open -- exactly like PC hardware. No one in PC-land tries to tell me
    that I want matte (last year) or gloss (this year). No one in PC-land tries
    to tell me I have no choice of hardware other than a non-expandable,
    inaccessable, AIO box with a duff display -- or a bloated $3500+ system
    with more drive bays, RAM slots, and CPU sockets than I could ever use.

    I call mindless Apple-droid on you, Bubba!

    LK
     
  24. WildPalms macrumors 6502a

    WildPalms

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2006
    Location:
    Honolulu, HI
    #25
    Actually, Leon Kowalski is the wise-ass if you read the post trail...
     

Share This Page