Is Having Fans on MBP all the time a bad thing?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by HappyDude20, Jan 12, 2010.

  1. HappyDude20 macrumors 68020


    Jul 13, 2008
    Los Angeles, Ca
    I've had my MBP since August and discovered SmcFanControl since then too.

    Currenly i've typing away @ some emails and browsing the MacRumors forum and my temp. on my mac reads @ 130F.

    With Hulu videos or YouTube browsing I usually jump to 150ish*F.

    With video editing with iMovie and Garageband it jumps to 160-190*F. Once I saw it get to 201*F!

    I'm wondering if having the fans on all the time is bad for the life of the MBP?

    W/ the fans on at 5300RPM the temp goes down; usually forum/email typing goes down to 110*F, while Hulu/YouTube goes down to about 130*F, and video editing goes to 160*F-ish, though uploading to YouTube or processing/analyzing in iMovie usually goes to 170*F, even with the fans on at 5300.

  2. spillproof macrumors 68020


    Jun 4, 2009
    Remember your computer only has one fan, so it has to work harder to keep things cool. But as with any movable parts, the longer and faster they run the shorter the life.

    I just asked a buddy of mine and he says his is about 140F with iTunes, Firefox w/ YouTube, and Logic Express open.

    Oh and remember to leave space behind the screen so the air can flow better.
  3. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    I keep my fans on between 3k and 35k and depending on the GPU I select the temps are in the 40 - 55c range (I use smcFanControl). I think at that speed there's no harm to the fans.

    With that said, if you're working on stuff that causes the fans to ramp up, I'd not worry too much. they're on because the heat has increased. On the contrary, I'd be more worried if you were doing that sort of intensive stuff long term and the fans failed to ramp up.

    Beside, get applecare and you'll be covered for 3 years and not have to worry about any sort of expense a couple of years down the road.
  4. gretafour macrumors regular

    Aug 26, 2006
    Rochester, NY
    I have the aluminum MB and the fans turn on only when the computer gets hot, which is when I play games. Makes sense to me.

    Seems like using SMC fan control to keep them running would just wear them out faster, and certainly lead to greater dust build-up inside your machine. What's wrong with the automatic (original) fan control?
  5. cjacks68 macrumors regular


    May 27, 2009
    The fans are always running, whether you hear them or not. My 15" mbp has the fans on 2000 rpm no matter what, it will ramp up the fans to 3000 rpm if the temperature gets above 180 F. As was said above using the fans at a higher speed will reduce theyre life, but they are designed to work for a very long time so you'll end up having a new computer before they break.
  6. gretafour macrumors regular

    Aug 26, 2006
    Rochester, NY
    My MB also says that the fans are running at 2000rpm minimum, but I have a sneaking suspicion that by some fluke of electronic engineering, 2000rpm actually means OFF. When I first boot up my ice-cold laptop in the morning, not only is it ice cold, but it's also just about as loud as... ice. I can only hear the HDD, barely. I really don't think the fans are moving.
  7. MacYost macrumors member

    Jun 14, 2009
    The Netherlands
    I own a 13" MBP since last July and it only gets very hot when the buggy Flash Safari plugin continually claims the processor for more than 50%. Maybe you should check the activity monitor to see if you have strange processes that keep running while you are doing nothing.
  8. designgeek macrumors 65816


    Jan 30, 2009
    Nope, they're on. They're just extremely quiet, they never stop moving. I've seen mine move around 1990-2010rpms when "idling" just try rapidly changing the angle of the machine and you should hear a light grinding sound of the fans failing to follow the machine at the same rate (gyroscopes you know). FYI the loud click you'll hear when you do this is the SMS sensor parking the hard drive heads.

    Anyway, I've seen my CPU temps peak at about 211ºF, I only use SMC fancontrol when I'm running hot like encoding video or something. Fans are meant to be used and I'm sure that all this excessive running will diminish the lifetime a bit but I wouldn't worry about it.

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