Just received MBA 13" and its running too hot

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by askj, Jul 8, 2012.

  1. askj macrumors newbie

    May 11, 2012
    I just received my first mac and its MBA 13" 2GHz processor, 256GB HDD and 8GB RAM. I was watching some videos and its running too hot.

    1. Is it normal?
    2. Is there a way to know the temp and fan speeds?
    3. Is there a way to control the fan speed?

  2. 007bond macrumors 6502a


    Dec 12, 2008
    DFW, Texas
    You can download iStat Menus get that info. It's a paid app but there is a free trial.
  3. miles01110 macrumors Core


    Jul 24, 2006
    The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
    It's common knowledge that Apple portables get hot when doing things like watching video. If you try to reduce the fan speed your computer may shut off. It's best to let the fans run without interfering.
  4. theSeb macrumors 604


    Aug 10, 2010
    Poole, England
    How can you tell if your computer is running too hot without knowing the internal temperatures? Do you touch your car's engine after driving to check whether it is overheating? No, I am sure you don't. The case will get warm since it acts as a heat sink. If your computer does run too hot, it will up the fan speed and throttle CPU speed. If it overheats, it will shut down. Yes, there are fan control apps. What are you hoping to achieve with them?
  5. Barna Biro macrumors 6502a

    Barna Biro

    Sep 25, 2011
    Zug, Switzerland
    He could obviously feel his eggs boiling...
    Few more hours and 2 little chicken would have popped out... :)
  6. lannisters4life macrumors 6502

    May 14, 2012
    I don't get people's obsession here with MacBooks running "too hot"... if something were running too hot, you would know about it.
  7. PeterJP macrumors 6502


    Feb 2, 2012
    Leuven, Belgium
    It could be that the OP means that certain areas of the laptop that he actually needs to touch become uncomfortably warm, e.g. the keyboard. Not "too hot" as in: above spec. Who knows the spec anyway ?

  8. lannisters4life macrumors 6502

    May 14, 2012
    True ok, he/she may have been wearing short shorts, I didn't think of that.
  9. trondah macrumors 6502

    Dec 1, 2008
    Actually, there's been plenty of cases in the past where Apple laptops have been running too hot, as in you could actually cook eggs on them. I had a MB couple of years ago (the first unibody I believe) that would idle at 80-90 and reach 107 C under load. Took it to an authorized repair shop, they switched the logic board three times without luck in fixing the problem (don't ask me how a new logic board didn't fix the problem, could be the heatsink?). Eventually got it replaced and the new one was cool as ice.

    My story is far from unique, Apple laptops have a reputation of being way too hot and part of the reason is sloppy thermal paste application. Lots of users on this board have disassembled their logic boards and re-applied thermal paste with good results.

    So until you check the temperatures, don't let anyone tell you it's normal. If it's a new laptop you can just return it for another one.
  10. theSeb macrumors 604


    Aug 10, 2010
    Poole, England
    :D I use my 2009 MBP as a foot warmer. Very good.
  11. kodeman53 macrumors 65816

    May 4, 2012
    MBAs are the leading cause of sterility among gamers. Um, wait a minute, they're gamers, so they're always in their parent's basement gaming. How would anyone know if they are sterile? Why would anyone care enough to even ask the question?
  12. darkheroz macrumors member

    Jan 4, 2012
    Welcome in the club :D
  13. Json81 macrumors regular

    Jan 9, 2012
    iStat pro is free. While menus are nice it's better to test with pro first :)
  14. yensteel macrumors regular

    Aug 17, 2009
    You can use SMC Fan control to monitor the CPU heat and increase the fan speed for lap usage. Can you tell us what temperatures you have?


    It works on the new Macbook Airs.

    You can check Activity Monitor to see which program's taking up how much CPU usage.
  15. silverjam, Jul 9, 2012
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2012

    silverjam macrumors regular

    Apr 25, 2012
    I run SMC Fan Control on my MBA. Not for the Fan Control because I leave it at 2000rpm. I use it more for showing the CPU Temp in the Menu Bar. You can set it to show temp only.

    I find when I do a full reinstall of Lion and my Apps etc I notice the MBA runs hot for a few days because it is running lot of back ground stuff to get started like Spotlight and a full Time Machine Backup. I find Time Machine, Spotlight and File Vault Encryption can heat the machine up. An initial Drop Box sorting process can also make it run hot. I say all these because they are common tasks with new machines when you first run them. iPhoto also runs "face sorting" etc.

    Having said all that, I pulled both my MBAs apart and put Arctic Silver on the heat sync so they run cooler. Right now as I write this SMC FC is showing my MBA i5 is running at 35'c which is respectable with 7 general Apps open but no CPU intensive apps. Tuniq make a top heat sync paste as well. When I leave my MBA run over night on general idle (but still fully on minus the screen) it runs around 28-35'c. Working temp with video/file transfers/backups/5 MS Word Windows/5 Adobe Professional Windows/10 Safari Windows and a 1080P Dell Screen in the Mini Display Port all running at the same time would make the MBA run around 65-75'c. It can peak at 85-90'c with some really intense processes but the fan will bring it back quickly.

    Remember also the Intel i5/7 etc can run very hot as part of their normal operation. Although you want to minimise the hot periods as well.

    Also just as a final tip. The fan exhaust is 3/4 of an inch past/beyond the F1 and F2 keys (as you look down at your MBA) in between the display black hinge cover and the mac base body. If you have it on your lap or on a pillow or something really soft it can get blocked underneath. The exhaust can come out the top towards the screen but not the bottom. So if it is on a hard surface then great but just note you can obstruct the proper exhaust channel if it is on your lap. I still have it on my lap all the time but it is just good to be aware of.

    My two cents worth. I say all that just in case your idea of "hot" is different.

  16. askj thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 11, 2012

    Thanks for all your comments, I will install iStat and SMC. I will monitor the temp and let you know..

    Thanks again.
  17. mattopotamus macrumors G5


    Jun 12, 2012
    also if it gets "too" hot, it will shut itself down.
  18. mortenandersen macrumors 6502

    Apr 9, 2011
    Too noisy for me, I sadly think

    So many Air users tell us that it's normal for Apple's thin products (e.g. especially the Air) to run hot. Aside from the heat, the user (and other persons in the room!) then has to keep up with much fan noise, I will think.

    Is it thinkable that Apple just hasn't found a good enough balance between form and function, that they have been too obsessed with making the device too unnecessarily THIN - all this (and probably more) resulting in far too much fan noise, which is a definite dealbreaker for many of us?

    (Some years ago I had a small Fujitzu notebook: It was good in all other ways than the horrible fan noise.) I wonder if the Air also emits too much noise, using it primarily working with Word and a bit surfing the internet and reading emails?
  19. Seamaster macrumors 65816


    Feb 24, 2003
    High frequency hearing loss FTW. The first thing you stop hearing is fan noise.
  20. entatlrg macrumors 68040


    Mar 2, 2009
    Waterloo & Georgian Bay, Canada
    You'll never hear the fan or notice any heat doing those tasks.
  21. kodeman53 macrumors 65816

    May 4, 2012
    I posted this link in one of the other many threads about MBA cooling.
  22. KPOM macrumors G5

    Oct 23, 2010
    Samsung's Series 9 is even thinner, and made from a different kind of alloy that is less conductive of heat. I would guess that it, too, runs "too hot" for some tastes.

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