How to lower the heat on my Mac Mini?

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by AT0MAC, Jul 8, 2012.

  1. AT0MAC macrumors regular

    AT0MAC

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2011
    Location:
    Copenhagen, Denmark
    #1
    In the summer heat my mini sometimes goes bananas and skyrockets it's fan to warp speed = seriously noisy.

    It usually happens when I work with video editing or play games.
    Normally its audible in those conditions but not annoying like now.

    When I use it for daily stuff, writing, listening, browsing etc. it's dead quiet.


    I have the 2011 version with DualCore i7 and AMD graphics, upgraded with two SSD drives.


    I am thinking either water cooling the alu chassis, replacing the internal fan or adding external fans to help the air intake - what would help the most?


    Some time ago I have bought a RacMac mini from Sonnet tech as seen here:

    [​IMG]

    So the 2nd. room in that could be used for some cooling equipment if needed. Also, it's steel plate surface would be fine to add things in for the mini, I don't want to screw directly in the mini...


    More pictures of inside the rack here, and here. The mini fan can be seen here and without the fan here
     
  2. Ice Dragon macrumors 6502a

    Ice Dragon

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2009
    #2
    Are you running smcfancontrol while you're doing the intensive tasks?

    It also seems as though you need better ventilation. It's hidden under a desk. Having it near an A/C unit would probably help.
     
  3. AT0MAC, Jul 8, 2012
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2012

    AT0MAC thread starter macrumors regular

    AT0MAC

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2011
    Location:
    Copenhagen, Denmark
    #3
    No, because the problem is not a malfunction, it's just annoying. If I restricted the speed/temp the fan has to maintain then the mini would burn up in flames... ...that's why I want to change the surrounding air and not the actual mini - so it "breathes" colder air all the time and therefor keeps it's head cooler.

    Just not sure what the smartest solution would be...



    I am thinking something like using a pico-PSU to drive a 200mm-ish (or something BIG and low noise) to draw in more fresh air under the mini (it "breathes" in a hole in the bottom of the machine and blows out behind), and then some few small low noise fans on the backside (in between all the cables) moving air away. In that setup I could turn the pico-PSU on and off whenever needed.

    Would it make any difference you think?
     
  4. cocacolakid macrumors 65816

    cocacolakid

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2010
    Location:
    Chicago
    #4
    Put something small underneath it. That makes a huge difference. The air intake is in the front of the black base, and it vents out the back of the base. Lifting it off the tray you have it on will help it's air circulation. There was another thread about this a year ago, I did what others were all doing and it fixed my heat problems in my 2011 Quad Core Mini. I actually use a roll of masking tape, but others used all kinds of things, many much smaller so you don't see a roll of tape underneath it.
     
  5. AT0MAC thread starter macrumors regular

    AT0MAC

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2011
    Location:
    Copenhagen, Denmark
    #5
    To be perfectly honest I am not using my RackMac at the moment, I took out the mini and have it laying on it's back with no cover on (the black plastic thing) so it's definitely not because it can't get air - problem is the air here is just too warm...
     
  6. hitekalex macrumors 68000

    hitekalex

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2008
    Location:
    Chicago, USA
    #6
    I am standing my Mini on adhesive "rubber feet", which are about 0.3" high.. And with bottom plastic cover removed.

    In my experience, it's made a significant difference, the Mini is running about 5-9C cooler and the fans rarely exceed 1800rpm.
     
  7. Lance-AR macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 7, 2012
    Location:
    Little Rock, AR
    #7
    Just flipping mine over with the bottom off drops mine 20 degrees. since you've already done that, the next step is forcing more air in. Beyond that is actively cooling the incoming air. Since forcing the air will cool it as well, I would try that first. I think the problem would be cooling the air without more noise than the current fan. Have you thought about submerging it in mineral oil? SSD should be fine submerged.
     
  8. Litany macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2012
    #8
    You don't understand how it works. smcfancontrol only limits the minimum fan speed.
     
  9. TheMTtakeover macrumors 6502

    TheMTtakeover

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2011
    #9
    I use a belkin laptop fan under my mini. If you want colder air put it by an air conditioner.
     
  10. Acorn macrumors 68020

    Acorn

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2009
    Location:
    macrumors
    #10
    this may sound weird, but I saw someone do it on a laptop and lower it by 5 degrees. what he did was he attached quarters with dimes stacked on top of it all along the top of the heat pipe. this extra metal made the acer laptop drop 5 degrees.

    seriously someone did this with good results as crazy at it sounds
     
  11. borostef macrumors 6502

    borostef

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2012
    Location:
    Zagreb, Croatia
    #11

    Submerging it in mineral oil?! Seriously? Although I am relatively new to the Mac world and do not claim I know everything about it, I was hopeing for something different from the PC world where you have to constantly tweak something and submerge components into some sort of goo. What happened to the "It just works" thing...
    I do agree that the Mini can get a little hot (compared to other desktops) but it can be explained by the small form factor and it is not anything to be overly concerned about... Those CPU's are designed to take the heat, and they will shut down before you do any damage to them.
    I think that you could do more damage by dipping it into stuff it is not designed to be submerged in.
     
  12. hitekalex macrumors 68000

    hitekalex

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2008
    Location:
    Chicago, USA
    #12
    No one is concerned with CPU not being able to "take the heat". It's the noise part that's bothersome. The Mini fan running at 5400rpm is very loud.
     
  13. borostef macrumors 6502

    borostef

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2012
    Location:
    Zagreb, Croatia
    #13
    I am sorry, I come from the PC desktop world, where I had 4 80 mm fans in it...
    Now, thats noise, so I am not that bothered with the noise my Mini makes... Still seems quiet enough to me :D
     
  14. hitekalex macrumors 68000

    hitekalex

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2008
    Location:
    Chicago, USA
    #14
    LOL fair enough. But Apple customers expect completely silent machines.

    The latest i7 Mini running at full load is considerably louder than previous gen 2010 Mini. That thing stayed silent no matter what. In comparison to its predecessor, the 2011 Mini is a jet engine.
     
  15. Mr. Retrofire macrumors 601

    Mr. Retrofire

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2010
    Location:
    www.emiliana.cl/en
    #15
    Have they all internal power supplies?
     
  16. Litany macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2012
    #16
    It has twice the performance and a full-GPU, so naturally the 2011 minis generate significantly more heat.

    Mine is idling at 155*f and will go up to 200*f before the fan kicks in.
     
  17. lilsoccakid74 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2010
    #17
    Don't do this.

    ----------

    I don't think you understand what smcfan does. It allows you to adjust the computers MINIMUM fan speed. Raising the stock default minimum speed from 1800 to 2200 prevents a majority of the "Jet Engine" spikes where the fan cranks to 4000rpm+. My mini is right next to me on my desk with the bottom off, and for me I can't notice any noise until about 3000rpms.
     
  18. theSeb macrumors 604

    theSeb

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2010
    Location:
    Poole, England
    #18
    I would get a cooler box, put the mini into it and then throw in some dry ice.
     
  19. etsi macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2011
    #19
    What about installing the motherboard in a custom box with more room.
     
  20. Ifti macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2010
    Location:
    UK
    #20
    Would it be possible to remove the power supply from inside the Mini, extend the wires that connect to the logic board, and keep the actual power supply outside of the Mini to help keep the mini itself cooler?
     
  21. PeterJP macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2012
    Location:
    Leuven, Belgium
    #21
    Apple woke up and realised that the Mac is just a computer running software. Now the only ones left to understand this are the customers :)

    Not that soaking any PC in vegetable oil is my idea of a good long term view on computer equipment. But pimping a Mac Pro with cooling mechanisms for PCs would be quite a good way to increase its performance, just like with any other PC.


    peter.
     
  22. cocacolakid macrumors 65816

    cocacolakid

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2010
    Location:
    Chicago
    #22
    That's true. I had a 2010, upgraded to the 2011, and the first time I heard the fans go up on the 2011 I was puzzled for a moment. I never heard the fans on the 2010.

    Since I read the thread here about raising the 2011 a little off the ground, I did that and the fan rarely gets high enough to hear. And the 2011 Quad Core server with an SSD in it flies. Best Mac I've ever owned.

    ----------

    Yes, all of the 2011's have internal power supplies. It's amazing how they have stuffed so much into such a small case.

    ----------

    I'm sure you could, but you would probably have to do a custom job to work the wiring out. It's a small little Apple connector, I don't think that you can buy an adapter or extension for it. You would probably have to cut it and splice in some longer wires.

    See it here in step 16 and on the following page in step 19:
    http://www.ifixit.com/Guide/Installing-Mac-Mini-Mid-2011-Power-Supply/6440/6

    It would also kill the resale value and look awful sitting on a desk.
     
  23. philipma1957, Jul 16, 2012
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2012

    philipma1957 macrumors 603

    philipma1957

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2010
    Location:
    Howell, New Jersey
    #23
    here is your fix

    part 1:

    http://www.amazon.com/Thermaltake-Mobile-External-Cooling-AF0007/dp/B002OJN250


    part 2:

    http://www.amazon.com/SilverStone-1...8&qid=1342472267&sr=1-1&keywords=120mm+filter




    part 3

    http://www.amazon.com/Peavey-000516...1342472512&sr=8-1&keywords=peavey+rubber+feet


    I made the thermaltake I list above to cool my cable box.

    I made a 8 inch fan to cool my mini. the thermaltake version will work for your mini.

    I used over size bolts to put it together since I use it to pull the air out of my cable box. look at the thumbnail shots, the first shows the mini stacked on a big silverstone fan with feet and a filter I think it is a 180 mm fan.


    the second show the thermaltake 120mm it would work under a mini if I had used shorter bolts . the thermatake will run quiet or loud it has a speed control
     

    Attached Files:

  24. eyepee macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2012
    #24
    Apart from changing the heat sink paste, you need to run it on its side. I use a Newer Technology stand.

    IP
     
  25. HenryAZ macrumors 6502

    HenryAZ

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2010
    Location:
    South Congress AZ
    #25
    I have mine mounted on the wall (using an H-squared mount), at the rear of my desk. Below the level of the desk, I mounted a 120mm case fan to blow across the Mini, esp. the heat vent area where the cables exit. It barely get warm. The case fan takes away the vented heat, and helps cool the unit in general.

    Misc-6.jpg
     

Share This Page