Mac Mini audible fan noise when streaming Netflix

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by dfyoung, Mar 29, 2013.

  1. dfyoung, Mar 29, 2013
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2013

    dfyoung macrumors newbie

    Jul 22, 2007
    Hi all,

    I use a 2011 Mac Mini (AMD Radeon HD 6630M and 8GB RAM) as our HTPC. I really like it, with one exception. When streaming Netflix (usually via Plex but sometimes Safari), the Mini temperature can climb into the high 80s and then the fan kicks in to where it is clearly audible. The fan is not audible when playing DVD/Blu Ray discs or watching EyeTV streamed wirelessly from HDHomeRun (connected to an Airport Express) through the Mini.

    I also tried connecting the Mini via ethernet to an Airport Express. (The Express is bridged to an Airport Extreme router downstairs.) I was wondering if perhaps the Mini might have to work harder when streaming wirelessly as opposed to receiving the feed from the Airport Express via ethernet. Doesn't really seem to make a difference, though.

    So, any advice?

    Thanks very much for your time.
  2. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    Your temps are quite normal.

    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)

    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:
  3. dfyoung thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 22, 2007
    Thank you, GGJstudios, for your post. I should have been more clear that it's not the temperature itself that concerns me. It's the fan noise while watching a show on Netflix. Are other folks experiencing audible fan noise when streaming Netflix through their Mac Minis?
  4. fa8362 macrumors 65816

    Jul 7, 2008
    None whatsoever with the 2012 2.3 GHz i7 and a cable internet connection.
  5. tinocordes macrumors newbie

    Nov 28, 2011
    Denmark, Årslev
    I have a Mac mini i7 2.0 and i'm also having this problem. Even when there is some flash at a website.
  6. borostef macrumors 6502


    Feb 10, 2012
    Zagreb, Croatia
    I have the same Mini, it also gets hot while streaming Netflix... 75-85c, but my fans never start spinning faster, maybe because I use smcFancontrol.
    I have set the fan to spin at 2500 RPM instead of factory setting of 1800 RPM...
    Maybe that's why temperatures never get high enough for the fan to really start spinning...

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