Help! Extreme temperature problem after OWC SSD installation?

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by ejosepha, Nov 19, 2011.

  1. ejosepha, Nov 19, 2011
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2011

    ejosepha macrumors 6502

    Jan 12, 2009
    I installed a new OWC 6G on my new Mac Mini I7 dual core(mid 2011) today; Everything seemed fine. I installed the SSD, used Apple recovery assistant on an external USB to do a re-install Lion through Lion Recover Assistant on the internet, and then used my Time Machine backup of the original Mac Mini HD to transfer my data and applications. Everything seemed to work normally then I noticed that the Istat temp for the HD was automatically at 128C from start-up, but figured that was just because either the SSD wasn't registering or by default it was read at this temp because the number never changed, even from cold startup.
    I verified and repaired permissions, did a SMC and PRAM reset just to be safe but when I did a small update of ITunes the whole system went dead.
    I felt the machine and it was very hot, so I waited and eventually it did start up, but I can see that the CPU is running much hotter than before, and very irregularly, from 66 to 76, then down, then quickly up to 80 just while doing nothing but watching Istat.
    Clearly the system was running so hot that the computer shut down earlier
    Any suggestions on how to stabilize this system or correct something that's going on.
    Thanks for any help.
  2. philipma1957 macrumors 603


    Apr 13, 2010
    Howell, New Jersey
    call owc and return the ssd ask them to exchange it for this ssd:

    owc ssds have had some problems in minis the crucial should run better.

    oh the 128 c reading for the ssd is false, but you have in my opinion the most temperamental 2011 mac mini the i7 with the discrete graphics card.

    I would tell you to use samsung ssd but owc does not carry them.
  3. ejosepha thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jan 12, 2009
    I called OWC. I got the system up and running, at least for now, though temps on the cpu do vary. If it overloads again, will do either Apple Hardware test or send it back. Do you or anybody else know of an Xbench or other disk benchmark test that runs on Lion. My Xbench doesn't work, nor the AJA? I'd like to know how the disk is performing.
    If it overloads again or becomes unstable, then off it goes back.
  4. MJL macrumors 6502a

    Jun 25, 2011
    Any temperature excesses do permanent damage to your computer: it shortens their life. One thing people do not recognise (and realise) is that there will be unexplainable "software" errors (yeah right) due to the computer not functioning properly at high temperatures.

    Why don't you just take Philip's word for it and return the stupid SSD? He has modified more Mac Mini's than you'll ever own and is in my not so humble opinion one of the most knowledgeable Mac mini guys on this board.
  5. Darby67 macrumors 6502

    Jul 5, 2011
    the corner of Fire and Brimstone
    Them temps that ejosepha shows are normal and NO cause for alarm; not sure what temps you see that are even close to excess. The 128°C temp is an error, all my macs have the same SSD temp.
  6. philipma1957, Nov 19, 2011
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2011

    philipma1957 macrumors 603


    Apr 13, 2010
    Howell, New Jersey

    shutdowns are not normal and the machine froze on the op multiple times.

    activity monitor
    eye tv
    and safari or I get 52c or 126 f . see thumbnail

    so op set your machine up with the same programs on activity monitor. see if you get the same readings I do. you have the i7 dual core i have the i7 quad core.

    if you get 180 or 81 c with the same programs running that i show pull the ssd put the oem hdd back in run the same programs and see what you get. if you get 20c lower with the stock hdd dump the ssd or you will burn your machine out.not in a day or a week but in 13 months or 15 months.

    my programs in the screen shot are not pushing graphics so if you run a game that pushes graphics you will shut the mini down.

    just my take on this.

    After modding about 100 machines I don't like the discrete graphic card 2011 minis. I know the server can have some issues with the 29.97 frame rate, but the graphics card runs hot and really should be 512 mb not 256 mb.

    I have a few people that run it with laptop coolers. IIRC rosewill has a good aluminum laptop cooler I linked it to a few members and it helped them with the i7 overheating. I can look for a link.

    this cooler

    and the mini with these feet

    post 65 shows the feet installed.

    personally I would consider a different ssd and I use OWC a lot but the op's mini is the hottest of the new mini's and shut downs are not normal.

    Attached Files:

  7. Darby67 macrumors 6502

    Jul 5, 2011
    the corner of Fire and Brimstone
    Nope not normal, but until any of us get any useful info I would suggest that temp had nothing to do with it; an 80C temp is not enough to shut the computer down.

    Your first diagnosis is that it's the SSD. Now you are asking for a comparison in temps between a computer with the discrete GPU which will run warmer with one without...and then you give a diagnosis based on this?

    You've completely overlooked that the OP may have not taken apart or put the mini back together properly.
  8. FrankHahn macrumors 6502a

    May 17, 2011
    I have two Toshiba 256 GB SSDs in my Mini and it runs really quietly at low temperatures (not even feeling warm when the top was touched), with no troubles at all.

    I touched it after writing the above paragraph and even felt cold!!!
  9. philipma1957 macrumors 603


    Apr 13, 2010
    Howell, New Jersey
    yes I have overlooked that he may have done poor assembly.
    so he needs to look at istats he needs to see if the fan works.

    I have seen fans not work in new minis. I did make the assumption that the fan ramps up maybe he knocked it loose. After he sees the fan works he can do the first comparison. It is a software setup and involves no physical work.

    if he sets the same programs up and runs the test I asked him to do he should be no more then 5 to 10 c higher then the server temps. my sever temp is 52c. I think he will be at 80 to 90 c. Without pushing the the gpu card. The setup I asked him to do does not push the graphics

    If he swaps the oem hdd back and it runs around 60c it indicates the ssd is a problem. If he swaps the hdd back and it runs at 80c or 90 c well then the ssd would not be to blame.

    I have tested over 50 2011 mac minis .

    I know the i7 discrete runs hottest of all.

    I also know that it runs 5c-10c hotter then the server unless you are whacking the gpu with a game.

    the gpu can pull 10 to 11 watts when really pushed then the machine can be way hotter then the server. 20c with no problems.

    My opinion is the ssd does not play well in the mini he has.

    If he does the tests i ask along with looking to see if the fan ramps up as your suggestion of improper assembly has merit he will have a better idea of what is broken.
  10. MJL macrumors 6502a

    Jun 25, 2011
    The server default speed of the fan is 2300 rpm while the speed of the other models it is 1800 rpm.

    In my opinion the i5 2.5Ghz should be running at 2200 rpm and at that rpm it stays cool while idling or under light load. I am running it with 7-8% load 24/5 and am using 2100 rpm. Temperature is around 58C for CPU and GPU (I want no temperature to exceed 65C).

    I hope Apple releases a new EFI with (slightly) increased speed for the i5 2.5 Ghz (but not 2300 rpm, 2100 / 2200 would be just right).
  11. The-Pro macrumors 65816

    Dec 2, 2010
    just throwing it in here. But OP, is your fan functioning properly?? maybe something went wrong in the disassembly/assembly. Open your mini at the bottom and turn it on. Look if the fan spins up in the first place and then monitor if it is actually increasing rpm when your mini does more work.

    This might not be any advice at all but you might aswell check.
  12. ejosepha thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jan 12, 2009
    Hello and thanks to all for the input. I have done the test as described above and have opened Finder, Acitivity Monitor, Safari and Firefox and so far, at least this afternoon (in Paris) the Istat Menus says running at around 55-57C. Once I had that one complete shutdown yesterday after updating iTunes and something else I started to really watch the temps carefully. It seemed that they varied, at least for the cpu, up and down a bit wildly, with small changes in activity. Perhaps that was going on all the while I have had the machine, even with the original HD.
    When I downloaded a movie files of around 7GB the cpu can move up to 65-75.
    I have seen the temperature swing up to 85 for a moment and then immediately drop back down to 60 or so. During Geekbench test it pops up to 90C for a moment and then drops way back down almost immediately.
    Perhaps this is just how this I7 cpu works. I wasn't paying that much attention to temps until the incident yesterday, but I thought it was running a little bit cooler originally. Perhaps I am mistaken, especially since Philipma claims that this chip does run hotter, especially with the gpu. I am also on a 30" ACD.
    I know the fan is working because it can ramp up for geekbench within seconds, or during Skype using video.
    As I write this the temp is at 57C. I just never thought that by opening a heavy web page or other short maneauvers one could ramp up temps on a chip so quickly.
    The tech at OWC suggested working with machine a few days and if the first incident doesn't repeat perhaps all is ok. He suggested doing a AHT but when I start up and hold down the D key the test doesn't seem to start up and I just get a grey screen and have to hard shutdown to escape.
    He said if it passed ok, then it wouldn't hurt to open the mac mini and verify the connectors, etc. from the installation.
    So far everything seems ok....relatively. If I get suddenly extremely high temps on a continuous basis I will re-install original HD to see if that's the way the system has always worked.
    Perhaps coming from the Mac Pro I wasn't prepared for a cpu that could behave like this. I don't want to dig for trouble if this is how this system and I7 chip behave normally. The SSD is extremely fast and so far working fine otherwise.
    Thanks to all and any other suggestions always welcome.
  13. philipma1957 macrumors 603


    Apr 13, 2010
    Howell, New Jersey
    57 c sounds about right 5 c to 10 c higher then the server's 52 c.

    the graphics chip can really heat the machine up quickly and the oem fan setting is 1800 rpm for that machine same as the 2.3 base machine. this is why the discrete gets warm so quickly.

    just open an internet page with some good graphics and you are pulling 5 or 7 watts on the graphics card since the fan is at 1800 rpm it will heat up fast and the fan lags behind a bit.

    Sounds like you are okay just clock the temps and look for long high temps that don't drop that easy. yes and that info abut driving the 30 inch ACD means a lot YOU ALWAYS PUSH THE GRAPHICS CHIP A BIT MORE. Due to the 2560 by 1600 the discrete chip will always have more load then a 1920 by 1200.
  14. ejosepha thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jan 12, 2009
    Thanks very much. I'll monitor this and if something starts to go haywire again I'll report back.
    Just a question: has anyone figured out how to operate AHT from Lion. Wasn't able to access it.
    Thanks again
  15. shortcut3d macrumors 65816

    Aug 24, 2011
    I have OCZ SSDs in two mid range Mac Mini i7 dual core and one Mac Mini Server. The server runs way cooler in the 40s. The mid range Mac Mini seems to always be 60 - 70. The SSDs are locked at 128. I noticed the fans are only at 2000 (up from 1800) when the system reaches 60. Whereas the server is set at 2300 minimum which allows a much further temperature drop when idle or light load.
  16. mdgm macrumors 6502a

    Nov 2, 2010
    Holding down the D key on boot should get you into the Apple Hardware Test:

    Since your not using the stock drive you will likely need to have an internet connection for this to work.

    If you have problems starting AHT, I would also suggest you check you have the latest EFI firmware updates etc. installed.
  17. ejosepha thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jan 12, 2009
    Thanks for the additional info. I am certainly connected to the internet, and I believe my system is up to date. The system thankfully seems to be running ok now, so I don't think I need the AHT, but when I tried to go there over the net I only got a grey screen and nothing appeared, except that after waiting a minute or so the fans started up so I thought perhaps it was doing some sort of testing by default. I simply hard shut down the system.
    I did do a firmware update after buying it a few weeks ago. I presume swapping out the hard drives doesn't effect this.
    thanks again for the input.
  18. bobpensik macrumors regular

    Aug 21, 2003
    Calgary, AB
    I just came across this thread since I installed a new OWC SSD in my 2011 Mac Mini Server and noticed an increase in temperature

    I am noticing that the CPU temperatures as reported by iStat are higher then with my stock HD. Right now I have Safari, Mail, iTunes, Calendar and Transmission going and the temps are about 55c (used to be consistently in the 40s)

    When I run anything that queries the HD (like disk utility) the temperature can jump up 10c pretty fast. I never noticed this before with my stock HD

    Do you think that returning the OWC SSD and getting a Crucial like the one linked to in the 2nd post would help keep my Mini cooler?
  19. Darby67 macrumors 6502

    Jul 5, 2011
    the corner of Fire and Brimstone
    Every mac I have has OWC (3g or 6g) and temps are either the same or slightly lower than when they had standard HD's. So my answer to you is no, I can't see any correlation. I would suggest that perhaps that disassembly or reassembly may have been an issue OR more likely you are paying closer attention and hyper-sensitive to temps at this point. At any rate, 55°C is fine and not to worry about, pay no attention to anybody saying otherwise.

Share This Page