I think I am getting Core shutdown - how can I be sure?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by grahamtearne, Jun 21, 2008.

  1. grahamtearne macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2006
    #1
    I think I am getting the well publicized core shutdown with my MBA but I can't be sure. I will be doing a task and things like expose will be as smooth as can be but then all of a sudden it slows to a complete halt, everything lags, expose is jerky, cmd+tab takes ages to switch application and keystrokes such as typing take seconds to appear. For a good 5+ mins the computer becomes totally useless. Is this what a core shutdown does to the computer? Is there an application I can use to monitor how many cores are running? I looked in the activity monitor but couldn't find information about how many cores are running. I have used smc control to monitor my cpu temp and I sometimes turn the exhaust up to max rpm before I watch a video or do something that has been causing the core shutdown (if thats what it is) in an attempt to try and keep the cpu cooler.

    I have read about coolbook but I don't fancy paying for an application to stop a fault that shouldn't be happening. Are Apple fixing these faults? Is this a problem with ALL MacBook Airs? I ask this because there seem to be two groups of people. People that don't experience this (or say they don't, maybe don't want to admit a fault with there new shiny toy?) and people who have had 3-4 machines all with the same problem.

    I would love to know if this is indeed a core shutdown fault and if Apple replace it for me as it is becoming increasingly frustrating and not acceptable for a £1200 computer. Would also like to hear from people that have had the core shutdown fault fixed or replaced from Apple and if it has fixed the problem, or if it still exists.

    Thank you guys.
     
  2. grahamtearne thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2006
    #3
    I have the istat pro widget but I dont know what I am looking for during this slow period. At the moment istat is showing around 90% idle 6% user 4% system and all is normal. Could someone please tell me how I can read istat to determine if one of my cores has shutdown please

    Thank you.
     
  3. silverblack macrumors 68030

    silverblack

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2007
    #4
    Open up your Activity Monitor under Utilities. You'll see no activities in one of two cpus.
     

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  4. Grizzly Adams macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 20, 2008
    #5
    download and install
    http://www.islayer.com/index.php?op=item&id=28
    and make sure that your CPU section looks like this
    [​IMG]
    You can use this method or what silverback suggested. I just prefer using iStat as it is a little more convinient to monitor cores without having to open System prefs. With shutdown, one core will read 99-100% and the other will read 0%
     
  5. gcmexico macrumors 6502a

    gcmexico

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2007
    Location:
    New York City
    #6
    I believe

    that is the horrible core shutdown everyone is talking about...it happened to me too...I bought coolbook and fixed the problem right away...I know you don't want to throw down the 10.00 but I think it's worth it...or u can bring it back to the store...there are numerous threads where people state Apple gives them a new mba
     
  6. TuffLuffJimmy macrumors G3

    TuffLuffJimmy

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2007
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #7
    if you don't mind kernel panics then install coolbook, if you would rather your computer just slow down then keep it the way it is.
     
  7. Grizzly Adams macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 20, 2008
    #8
    I'm not a big fan of kernel panics, also undervolting and kernel panics can cause a whole new set of problems. So I think that I am personally happier with a slower computer. I only get core shutdowns with high temps and long video playback. I do know though that if I keep having problems with shutdowns that I will be calling apple.
     
  8. MayaTlab macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2007
    #9
    CoolBook will not cause any kernel panic if the voltage is set properly. Besides undervolting concerns only the CPU (and some circuits on the logic board).

    This solution is totally flawless if done seriously with extensive tests. You might experience one or two kernel panics if you set the voltage way too low, but you just have to raise it a bit to solve the problem.
     
  9. Tosser macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2008
    #10
    You guys must be kidding!?

    Are you actually suggesting that someone who bought a premium (priced) computer will need to play with the voltage and whatnot or suffer from extreme slow-downs because of one of the cores shutting down? And all that from playing a video?

    Man, what people will take up their rear, all in an effort to seem "cool".
     
  10. booksacool1 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2004
    Location:
    Australia
    #11
    Have to agree. Return it. The laptop should be able to operate at 100% on both cores and GPU within the temperature ranges specified by apple (probably up to 45c or something).

    If it's throttling under reasonably light load (which is the impression I get), clearly the cooling system is very defective.
     
  11. ayeying macrumors 601

    ayeying

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2007
    Location:
    Yay Area, CA
    #12
    Normal idle temperatures on the MacBook Air is close to 45-60 deg C due to the extremely small (and inefficient imo) heatsink. Your MBP has a HUGE heatsink capable of transferring heat a lot better and more efficiently then ours, therefore your temperatures are lower.

    Throttling so far only appears on the OSX side, which in turn is more of a firmware and/or driver problems, most likely the CPU instructions and/or GPU drivers. I'm currently on my Windows Vista Business Partition and besides the HDD being the bottleneck of performance, the system experieces NO core shutdowns whatsoever.
     
  12. Tosser macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2008
    #13
    Ayeying,

    I have to say, I'm on an mbp as well (2.33ghz), and my CPU is very seldomly at 40-45 degrees. Usually it's at 51-64C or thereabouts (I sometimes get it up to 74, but then the fans are killing me. Anyway, I only get close to there if I really give it something to work with, and certainly not from watching a video.

    You're most likely right, that the heat sink isn't as big as ours, but if the problems people are experiencing with the Airbook is because of a heat sink not beig enough, forcing them to either live with a slow-as-molasses computer or having to ef around with the voltage, then it's a really crap design engineer-wise, where the form had to much to say over function (more than the obvious design flaw of the tapered sides from an engineering point of view).

    This simply should not happen. If Apple cannot make a computer where the heatsink is big enough to make sure that one doesn't have to fiddle with voltages to make it useful for something a tad more than mail and textedit, then people should return that pricey mega-PDA. Oh, wait, a pda usually have an SD- and/or CF-card slot ;)
     
  13. grahamtearne thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2006
    #14
    Thanks for all the replies guys, I am positive thats what it is now and I will be going to the Apple store for a repair. I will not be using any software like cool book to hide the problem, this is like someone said a premium priced computer and I shouldnt have to hide the fact it cannot even play video.

    Here is a screenshot of it shutting down a core during video playback on the BBC iPlayer website. Just 10 minutes into the video as you can see and its shutdown a core, the video has started jerking and sound has gone all choppy. I gave up in the end and as soon as I closed that tab the second core kicked back into action. This is a joke, no one can deny that. I love Apple and own many Apple products including iPods, iPhone, iMac and have owned various other laptops. The cheapest MacBook has no issues playing videos, why should this?

    Can people with repaired/replacement/newer models of the Air confirm that these issues have bean dealt with?

    [​IMG]
     
  14. ayeying macrumors 601

    ayeying

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2007
    Location:
    Yay Area, CA
    #15
    From what I've heard here (not entirely correct of course) that every macbook air owner has a core shutdown but depending on how the user "uses" the notebook, some don't notice or even experience it because all they do is mail and pages.
     
  15. dudup macrumors regular

    dudup

    Joined:
    May 28, 2008
    Location:
    São Paulo, Brazil
    #16
    Sorry, but did you guys knew that you can right click on the Activity Monitor icon on the Dock and select Monitors and CPU History and open a little floating window with double bars on it?

    Or you can select Dock Icon and have its icon to show CPU history?

    No need for iStat here... :)
     

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  16. Mhaddy macrumors 6502

    Mhaddy

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2005
    Location:
    Canada
    #17
    All right, I'm definitely getting a core shutdown as well (see pic below). Was wondering why in the middle or movies or Skype chat things would just screech to a halt...

    Unfortunately I'm in Japan right now on vacation (touring for 5 weeks) so I guess I'm stuck with my MBA until I return to Canada. But what's the procedure here? Has Apple acknowledged that this is a problem and will they repair/give me a new one? Picked up the MBA 1-2 months ago.
     

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  17. Tosser macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2008
    #18
    As usual, Apple hasn't acknowledged anything, and from reading this thread, I can see why that might be: Fanboys are pretty content with such short comings, all they want is something that "look pretty".
    /rant.

    Anyway, I'm rather surprised it'd even do this while using skype? That design really sucks.

    The procedure is to return it and have them "fix" it. If they're unwilling to do so (my experiences with Apple Ewwrope shining through), I'd insist on my money back, as it's a crucial flaw in the product (i.e. not delivering as promised/could be expected). I'd take it all the way if need be, if I was you.
     
  18. Mhaddy macrumors 6502

    Mhaddy

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2005
    Location:
    Canada
    #19
    I picked this up because I travel a lot and it's weight, slim design, and the fact that it could run OS X are what won me over. I'm not insinuating that you grouped me into the fanboy category, but I'd just like to make clear that I'm not one of them. Apple has never done wrong by me and they make stellar products... most of the time.

    Aye, and what really sucks is when I have to hang up on my g/f in the middle of a call because my computer can't handle video conferencing.

    Aye. Will look into this when I'm back on familiar soil in about a month's time. Will report back then, thanks.
     
  19. Tosser macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2008
    #20
    Don't worry, I wasn't. I was talking about the people in this thread who made those "just install this or that so you can fiddle with the voltages" and so on.e


    That was way back. In the last 4 or 5 years it has gotten worse and worse, but that's another discussion.

    I'm simply amazed by this. It's absolutely ridiculous you can't even do that. I'm dumbfounded, quite frankly.

    You a pirate, by any chance? ;)

    Good, I'm looking forward to see what Apple Canada are saying about this.

    Have a nice onward trip :)
     
  20. Mhaddy macrumors 6502

    Mhaddy

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2005
    Location:
    Canada
    #21
    I as well. The first time I tried Skype, I made a 1 hour call, full screen with no problems. Then 15 minutes later, I tried another call and it crapped out ~10 minutes in. Couple of days later, I tried again and only managed a ~30 minute call before it was sporadic at best and I had to hang up. Both of these times, the computer was sleeping all night long and was not used.

    Wouldn't that 'aye, aye'? Heh, but not quite - it's an old habit.

    Domo!
     
  21. MayaTlab macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2007
    #22
    I'd just like to say that if CoolBook is a possible and not dangerous solution to your problem, I never meant to say it is the ideal solution. Apple could have definitely improved the conception of the Air.

    I personaly don't use CoolBook to solve Core Shutdown issues (I never had any) but rather to lower the fan speed (that's another story, and another point Apple would be nice to improve, or should I say correct :)).
     
  22. Caralvarez24 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2008
    Location:
    Orlando, Fl
    #23
    what is a good stress test for this to check if this is a problem with my MBA
     
  23. macsmurf macrumors 65816

    macsmurf

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2007
    #24
    Open two terminals. run

    Code:
    yes >/dev/null
    
    in both. That should put both your cores at 100%
     
  24. Caralvarez24 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2008
    Location:
    Orlando, Fl
    #25
    ok did it, how long should I run that for? I let it run for a few minutes, temps got to about 80 Celsius and fan had just started to kick on. both processors ran between 99-100%
     

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