Is my Intel iMac running too cold?

wkw

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Mar 23, 2004
289
8
Eugene, OR
I have an 20" Intel iMac running 10.4.6 with 2gb ram. I have been using CoreDuoTemp to monitor my temps. 43C is the highest temperature I have seen when quickly scrolling through my iPhoto library. According to MenuMeters, both of my processors were pegged at 100%. During this little test, very little heat was escaping from the top vent. I'm not complaining! It runs significantly cooler than the G5 iMacs I had. The temperature in my apt. is around 19C.
 

Fleetwood Mac

macrumors 65816
Apr 27, 2006
1,265
0
Canada
LOL-too cold?? Thanks, you just made my day. :p

Don't worry about it, your iMac is functioning the way it's supposed to. If you ever wonder about temperatures, make it when they're too high. :cool:
 

jsw

Moderator emeritus
Mar 16, 2004
22,910
41
Andover, MA
Yes, thank you for the laugh (I mean that in a good way). I don't think I've ever seen that question before. :) There's no such thing as "too cool" - the iMacs are well-cooled, and it's good to know it's working for you.
 

yippy

macrumors 68020
Mar 14, 2004
2,087
3
Chicago, IL
It is essentially impossible to run a processor to cold. You could submerge it in liquid nitrogen and it would run well, possibly even better than it does at room temperature.

Only worry if it gets really really hot.
 

wkw

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Mar 23, 2004
289
8
Eugene, OR
thanks for the responses guys. I didn't know it was impossible for them to run too cold. It just seemed strange is all. The mb's and mbp's have similar processors and run significantly hotter. I just woke up from a nap and my iMac's temp had dropped down to 19C! chilly! brrrrr!
 

4God

macrumors 68020
Apr 5, 2005
2,112
230
My Mac
It is strange, but it is great to hear. I was a little skeptical when I first looked at the iMacs,
but now that I have one, I'm very happy with the performance and temperatures. :)
 

D34th

macrumors regular
Apr 14, 2006
186
0
Connecticut
yippy said:
It is essentially impossible to run a processor to cold. You could submerge it in liquid nitrogen and it would run well, possibly even better than it does at room temperature.

Only worry if it gets really really hot.
A little off topic but I saw a video about a year back that showed these people overclocking a Pentium 4 chip to 5 something GHz...they used liquid nitrogen to cool it...
 

Makosuke

macrumors 603
Aug 15, 2001
6,166
350
The Cool Part of CA, USA
wkw said:
thanks for the responses guys. I didn't know it was impossible for them to run too cold. It just seemed strange is all. The mb's and mbp's have similar processors and run significantly hotter. I just woke up from a nap and my iMac's temp had dropped down to 19C! chilly! brrrrr!
The reason the MPB's run so much hotter is, of course, that they're only an inch thick so there's little room for distributed heat dissipation, they don't have a fan that runs all the time, and can't take advantage of convective cooling since they're not vertical. Those things when added together make a HUGE temperature difference.

And of course it was 19C after you woke it up--it was at room temperature. It'd be rather scary if it wasn't, in fact. Put your iMac in an unheated room in winter and watch that temp be near zero when you wake it up.

And although it's functionally impossible for a processor to be too cold (though if the sensor was reporting numbers below room temperature, I would asume that it was faulty), there are apparently other parts in a Mac that can get over-chilled. I've read about someone who was having problems starting their Mac up when the indoor temperature (unheated room in a very cold area in winter) dropped below a certain level (sub freezing, I'm pretty sure). Not a common situation, but possible.
 

plinden

macrumors 68040
Apr 8, 2004
3,968
3
wkw said:
thanks for the responses guys. I didn't know it was impossible for them to run too cold. It just seemed strange is all. The mb's and mbp's have similar processors and run significantly hotter. I just woke up from a nap and my iMac's temp had dropped down to 19C! chilly! brrrrr!
The iMac is twice as thick, makes it easier to cool.

I really pushed my iMac with some openssl calculations - 100% for more than 5 minutes - and the temperature didn't go above 45˚C. It idles at 28˚C. I did the same on my wife's MacBook. The temperature rose very quickly from its idling at 45˚C, but the fans came on full blast at 82˚C shortly after starting, and the temperature didn't go above 84˚C. That's still well within the CPU's operational limits and the casing wasn't unbearably hot. So there are some good ones out there.
 

jamesi

macrumors 6502a
Sep 13, 2005
595
0
Davis CA
wkw said:
I have an 20" Intel iMac running 10.4.6 with 2gb ram. I have been using CoreDuoTemp to monitor my temps. 43C is the highest temperature I have seen when quickly scrolling through my iPhoto library. According to MenuMeters, both of my processors were pegged at 100%. During this little test, very little heat was escaping from the top vent. I'm not complaining! It runs significantly cooler than the G5 iMacs I had. The temperature in my apt. is around 19C.
ahaha too cold. look buddy, there really is no such thing. the colder the better, ever heard of water cooling?
 

EricNau

Moderator emeritus
Apr 27, 2005
10,648
31
San Francisco, CA
Actually, according to Apple, you should not run an iMac in environments under 50 F (10 C).

While I realize that environment temperature and computer temperature are not directly related, this does suggest that a computer can get too cold.
 

steve_hill4

macrumors 68000
May 15, 2005
1,856
0
NG9, England
Mammoth said:
It could be colder at absolute zero.. :rolleyes:
Assuming you meant faster at absolute zero, great idea. Let's all run our Macs at temperatures approaching 0K and watch in delight as the electrons that make up current flow stop moving.
 

karichelle

macrumors member
May 26, 2006
72
0
Ohio
EricNau said:
Actually, according to Apple, you should not run an iMac in environments under 50 F (10 C).

While I realize that environment temperature and computer temperature are not directly related, this does suggest that a computer can get too cold.
Might this recommendation be more for the good of the display rather than the processor though? Or for the sake of condensation if the outside is too cold and the inside gets too warm?

I know my iPod's display gets a little dim when it's very cold outside, but that's the only real difference I notice in its performance.
 

Greebazoid

macrumors regular
Mar 20, 2006
116
0
Cape Town
be grateful

My mac mini CPUs are currently sitting at 85C. True, its busy with a video conversion using handbrake, but the temps fluctuate wildly - as soon as I stop the conversion, it'll drop back to 40-50C in a minute or two, so the fans are clearly working.

Anyone think I need to check for overpaste? :confused:
 

MRU

Suspended
Aug 23, 2005
25,318
8,706
Other
EricNau said:
Actually, according to Apple, you should not run an iMac in environments under 50 F (10 C).

While I realize that environment temperature and computer temperature are not directly related, this does suggest that a computer can get too cold.
No thats to prevent damage to the other components through condensation and not the processor..
 

yippy

macrumors 68020
Mar 14, 2004
2,087
3
Chicago, IL
Greebazoid said:
My mac mini CPUs are currently sitting at 85C. True, its busy with a video conversion using handbrake, but the temps fluctuate wildly - as soon as I stop the conversion, it'll drop back to 40-50C in a minute or two, so the fans are clearly working.

Anyone think I need to check for overpaste? :confused:
No, if the temperature drops down that quickly it means that the cooling system is doing a very good job of getting the heat away, it only stays at 85C because it is producing so much heat.

It is my personal opinion that the thermal paste thing is blown way out of proportion. If running a bit hot was a thermal paste issue than 90% of PCs would have this problem.
 

steve_hill4

macrumors 68000
May 15, 2005
1,856
0
NG9, England
It's a little annoying that it appears that most of the hottest Intel Macs are portables. I know why this is the case, (not enough room for better cooling/airflow inside), but in many ways the desktop Macs should ideally run at similar temperatures, but with faster processors and better cooling. Now we know since they are identical processors, they run at the same temperature BC, (before cooling), and have better cooling internally, but the speed is the same. This to me suggests they can afford to go to Conroe for the next iMacs. Cheaper, more power hungry, hotter, but hopefully faster than Merom. Since there is room for better cooling inside, even if this balances the cost-savings over Merom, we should get better overall performance.

If they can stick a G5 in there and cool it, they can at least experiment with the Conroe chip and try and get the best compromise between speed, heat, noise and cost. That would be just awesome and I would buy one in white.
 

crazzyeddie

macrumors 68030
Dec 7, 2002
2,790
0
Florida, USA
EricNau said:
Actually, according to Apple, you should not run an iMac in environments under 50 F (10 C).

While I realize that environment temperature and computer temperature are not directly related, this does suggest that a computer can get too cold.
That is mainly for the hard drive, which is the only component with moving parts. Electrons will flow at any temperature naturally found on Earth, so the processor temp can never get too low under normal conditions.
 

EricNau

Moderator emeritus
Apr 27, 2005
10,648
31
San Francisco, CA
crazzyeddie said:
That is mainly for the hard drive, which is the only component with moving parts. Electrons will flow at any temperature naturally found on Earth, so the processor temp can never get too low under normal conditions.
Notice my post said "computer." ;)