iMac overheating?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by mshepp, Aug 19, 2012.

  1. mshepp macrumors member

    Jun 14, 2009
    Just wondering whether or not this is normal but my 2011 27" iMac sometimes gets incredibly hot on the back top right and left corners. When I say hot I mean almost too hot to touch. This only happens sometimes and when it does happen the fans are running normally, not maxed out or anything. After restarting and shutting down it can still get really hot but other times its cool and not a problem at all.

    Could this be caused by something im doing, a program im using? I dont have a great deal of software installed but I was thinking perhaps watching videos on youtube could be causing it? That being said it happens after restarting, shutting down etc so was wondering whether anyone here had any suggestions or could put my mind at rest.

  2. BruceiD macrumors member

    May 1, 2012
    Any iMac gets hot, mine does to (2010 model).
    An app I recommend is: smcFanControl.
    It allows you to control the fans of your computer.
    Check it out on Youtube.
  3. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    It's quite normal, and yes, watching YouTube videos can generate more heat. The Intel processors used in Macs are designed to automatically shut down to prevent damage if they truly overheat. CPU Tjmax = 105C (221F), GPU Tjmax = 100C (212F) on i3, i5, i7 processors. (Source: Intel)

    If you're not already using it, iStat Pro (free) or iStat Menus ($16) 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.

    It is also quite normal for your Mac to become extremely hot to the touch during intensive operations. The aluminum body transfers heat more effectively than other materials used in computer casings, so you will feel the heat more. This doesn't indicate that it's overheating and will not harm the computer to be hot to the touch.

    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). iMacs have 3 fans with minimum speeds in the 800-1200 range. They will spin faster as needed to keep temps at a safe level.

    If your fans are spinning up without increased heat, try resetting the SMC.
    (PRAM/NVRAM has nothing to do with these issues, so resetting it will not help.)

    The intake and exhaust vents are in the back of the computer near the hinge on all Mac notebooks (except the new MBP with retina display, which has intake vents along the sides at the bottom). The iMac vent is a slot on the back near the top of the computer. Make sure the vents remain unblocked to allow your computer to perform at its best.

    Learn about the fans in your Mac
    Apple Portables: Operating temperature

    For Flash-related issues:
  4. mshepp thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 14, 2009
    Thank you for the speedy replies, I shall rest easy now knowing my iMac is not overheating :)

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