Mac mini fan / temperature question

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by dokindo, Feb 6, 2015.

  1. dokindo macrumors regular

    Feb 4, 2009
    I have the 2012 2.3 GHz Intel Core i7 with 16gb and an SSD installed.

    Running my office apps, browser, and thinkorswim my CPU temps are 95C (in a room at 20C). At these temps the mini speeds up the fan from 1800 to 2250.

    Using istat fan control if I bump the fan speed further to 3500, I can bring down the temp to 80C.

    I've read a lot of threads on fans and temperatures, and it seems mostly people agree that this is expected when doing intensive tasks such as Handbrake. My situation is different, since I run the 95C temp for 8-10 hours/day.

    So the question - should I run the fan at 3500 and tolerate the noise, or is it fine to let the mini run at 95C for long periods of time?
  2. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    That workload doesn't sound like it should push temps that high. While the temps are within the safe operating range, there may be more going on than just the apps you described. Launch Activity Monitor and check to see which processes are consuming CPU resources. You may find another culprit.
  3. dokindo thread starter macrumors regular

    Feb 4, 2009
    You're right, I failed to mention I'm running 3 displays (2 @ 1440p and the other at 1080p). One of the 1440p displays is run off a USB adapter.

    So activity monitor shows the thinkorswim app using 158%, Displaylink using 80% of the CPU, and WindowServer at 30%.

    Still the same question, though - safe to run this all day?
  4. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    Safe, yes. Recommended, likely not. Your Mac will shut down if temps get too high to prevent damage, but running at very high temps for extended periods of time can shorten the life of components. How much impact is impossible to measure, and it's likely you'll replace your Mac for a more capable model long before it could wear out from heat-related issues, but there is some impact.

    You might want to look at some cooling methods that could help keep your fans from spinning so high, if the fan sound is a problem for you.
  5. Celerondon macrumors 6502a


    Oct 17, 2013
    Southern Cal
    That Activity Monitor check was a good idea. Unfortunately, it confirmed that your normal workload consists of a taxing group of applications.

    A three-pronged approach could provide some positive results.
    1. Housekeeping-clean dust from mini cooling system and make sure all vents are unobstructed
    2. Thermal Engineering-As GGJstudios said, you should consider attempting to improve your cooling system - Ducting/Auxiliary or Remote fans
    3. Tune or update OS X and your software

    Although clearing dust would be easy, the third possibility offers the most hope for lasting improvements. Look at this MacIssues article for details on how to curtail WindowServer CPU utilization. They also offer suggestions to reduce Yosemite overhead that could apply to any similar operating system. Although the tips were directed at Macbook users, their battery usage and heat concerns are a good proxy for your general thermal problems.
  6. dokindo thread starter macrumors regular

    Feb 4, 2009
    Thanks. I think I will just run the fan higher to keep the temps lower. Still much quieter than the PC it replaces!

Share This Page

5 February 6, 2015