heating question

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by ghillan, Dec 30, 2011.

  1. ghillan macrumors newbie

    Dec 30, 2011
    Hi all,
    im a new mac user. I got a 13'' macbook air ( I5 - 1.7GHZ, 128 GB ssd ) and I'm quite worried about the heat of the machine. I installed smcFanControl and i see also 80C running a mkv movie ( with fan at 2000rpm). Any games push heating over 90C, sometimes also at 100C. Raising fan rpms helps but still i get over 95C degrees in a game like starcraft 2 with minimal settings and fan running at 6500rpm.

    Can someone explain me when i have to start to worry about excessive heating? i have also read that posting too much fans can cause them to die faster, so whats the best compromise?

    Thanks in advance

    P.S) I know that macbook air its not a game machine. In fact I'll use it mainly for work, but still i want to understand how to keep heat under control.
  2. miles01110 macrumors Core


    Jul 24, 2006
    The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
    Only if it shuts down automatically. If it doesn't, you don't have a heat problem.
  3. ghillan thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 30, 2011
    hm.... sure about this?
    Having constantly 90-100C cannot burn it in long times?
    I don't want to have a laptop broken in few months.
  4. mstrze macrumors 68000

    Nov 6, 2009
    CPUs and other chips get hot, there is no way around it...they produce heat. Your MacBook Air is designed to handle this heat load and effectively cool the computer when and as it needs it.

    You should really just trust that the engineers at Apple have done a fine job with their design and just use the computer.

    ...and don't obsess over the fan speeds and temp. If the computer should get to dangerous levels, it will, in fact, shut down to avoid overheating. I'd recommend deleted SMC to avoid the temptation of obsessing over every little temp increase you see. :)
  5. miles01110 macrumors Core


    Jul 24, 2006
    The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
  6. ghillan thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 30, 2011
    i installed it because i read several times in some game forums thats a "must" to avoid heating damage when you play some games.

    So you all don't think there'ss any heating issue with the air when intensively used?

    Oh well i suppose ill keep it monitored but avoid to be too obsessed.
  7. Robyr macrumors regular

    Feb 21, 2010
    Theres no reason to even monitor. Who ever gave/posted the info about heat damage while gaming is a moron. Processors have auto-throttled since at least 2003.
  8. mstrze macrumors 68000

    Nov 6, 2009

    If the CPU or graphics chip gets hot. Guess what? The fan speeds will increase to cool the machine down. If they somehow cannot keep the CPU cool enough, they will likely throttle down and if THAT doesn't work, the laptop will shut down.

    Unless you are actually having an issue, maintaining 'an eye' on the fan speeds and temperatures is much ado about nothing in my opinion.

    Heck, I turned off the '%' view of my iPhone battery for the same reasons. Without knowing exact percentages, my battery lasts longer and I obsess less. LOL
  9. pieuk macrumors member

    Dec 25, 2011
    wouldn't worry man, i questioned the same thing in the thread called "heat"

    i was playing an iTunes song, and turned the visual effects on, temp got to 89 90c fairly rapidly.

    but its all good :) these chips can handle it. as others have said, as long as its not shutting down, there is no problem
  10. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    The Intel processors used in Macs are designed to automatically shut down to prevent damage if they truly overheat (around 100C/212F - 105C/221F, depending on your processor). iStat Pro will give you accurate readings of your temps and fan speeds, among other things.

    Unless there is a rare defect in a Mac, most temps are well within the normal operating range, considering the workload being put on it. Websites with Flash content, games and other multimedia apps will put higher demand on the CPU/GPU, generating more heat. This is normal. If you're constantly putting high demands on your system, such as gaming or other multimedia tasks, expect temps to rise and fans to spin up accordingly. It's just your Mac doing its job to maintain temps within the normal range.

    Your fans are always on when your Mac is on, spinning at a minimum of 2000 rpm (for MBPs) or 1800 rpm (for MBAs, MBs and minis). They will spin faster as needed to keep temps at a safe level. If they're spinning up without increased heat, try resetting the SMC. PRAM/NVRAM has nothing to do with these issues, so resetting it will not help. Also, make sure you don't block the vents, which are located at the rear, near the hinge.

    Learn about the fans in your Mac
    Apple Portables: Operating temperature
  11. doktordoris macrumors 6502a


    Mar 14, 2009
    what ggj says.

    my MBA normally runs very cool, so cool in fact that yesterday I knew my machine had a problem because i could feel the heat radiating from the area between the hinge and fn keys. I looked at activity monitor and learnt that the dock proc. was stealing 100% of one of my core's run time. and even then the machine ran fine, it was just uncomfortably hot using the function keys! unless you have a genuine fault fear ye not and let the mac look after itself heat wise. I run istat so i can keep an eye on fan speeds and heat, and my normal running temps are-

    36 ssd
    43 cpu
    29 enc
    29 enc
    28 enc
    31 heatsink
    42 mem bank
    41 mem con
  12. macdudesir macrumors 6502

    Jan 16, 2011
    Blacksburg, VA
    No need for SMC Fan Control. It scared me the first time when i saw my temp. hit 85 with the fans still at idle but then they started speeding up and not too slowly either as some people complain...But yea, no need for SMC Fan Control, it will probably do more harm than good...let your mac control its own fans. It knows how to do it the best.
  13. lippyt macrumors member

    Aug 14, 2010
    The only problem of high heat is throttling.

    Throttling as in below the rated frequency (1.8GHZ). This happens often in games that are both CPU and GPU dependent. If the computer gets too hot for the heatsink and fans to take away the heat at 6k RPM, the CPU tells itself to produce less heat and hence it often goes below 1.8GHZ.

    If you have tried games like Dirt 2 you would have experienced this through witnessing "jerky" graphical and input lag as compared to an overall low framerate.

    For anyone that is too worried their computer will overheat you can try this in your windows install. Get a hardware monitoring tool (CPU frequency and temperature), and run prime 95 and furmark simultaneously. You will see the CPU dropping to around 1.5GHZ in less than 5 minutes once the temperature goes to 90+ degrees.
  14. ghillan thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 30, 2011

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