Mac mini getting too hot under normal load?

HeavyMantra

macrumors member
Original poster
Dec 11, 2018
78
29
Hi, I have an i7 32gb ram Mac Mini 2018.

When using Logic at 25 percent CPU load, the Mini operates at 90-100 c at the CPU sensors and the fans kick in.

Is this normal?
 

LorenK

macrumors 6502
Dec 26, 2007
384
144
Illinois
Do you have your Mini on its belly? I realize that Apple has tried to address this, but there are aftermarket stands that allow you to place your Mini in a vertical position, so it has better airflow and heat dissipation. After having burnt out my 2010 after only a few months, doesn't seem worth the risk to keep it flat when there is a cheap solution.
 

Tesla1856

macrumors member
Jul 25, 2017
94
29
Texas, USA
Hi, I have an i7 32gb ram Mac Mini 2018.

When using Logic at 25 percent CPU load, the Mini operates at 90-100 c at the CPU sensors and the fans kick in.
Sad to hear, but not totally unexpected considering it's design (and your "loaded" config).

Thing is ... I don't think any user would have cared if the Mac-Mini-2018 would have been twice as tall.
- More reasonable size to cool the higher-configs
- Power-Supply could have been larger and more robust (would run cooler and have less chances of coil-whine). This is a complete SMPS.

EDIT: MacsFanControl looks like an answer.
 
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HeavyMantra

macrumors member
Original poster
Dec 11, 2018
78
29
Sad to hear, but not totally unexpected considering it's design (and your "loaded" config).

Thing is ... I don't think any user would have cared if the Mac-Mini-2018 would have been twice as tall.
- More reasonable size to cool the higher-configs
- Power-Supply could have been larger and more robust (would run cooler and have less chances of coil-whine)

Yes, I agree. Though I'm mostly curious if other users experience the same thing or not. I regret buying this thing for various reasons but now I'm stuck with it. If I get 10 years out of this thing I'll be very satisfied with it. Somehow I feel Apple has changed a lot since I bought my Macbook pro 2009 that lasted 9 years...
 
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mmomega

macrumors 68040
Dec 30, 2009
3,562
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DFW, TX
Yes, I agree. Though I'm mostly curious if other users experience the same thing or not. I regret buying this thing for various reasons but now I'm stuck with it. If I get 10 years out of this thing I'll be very satisfied with it. Somehow I feel Apple has changed a lot since I bought my Macbook pro 2009 that lasted 9 years...
I have 30+ Mini from 2010-the 2018 models, all run 24/7, never turned off and are worked Mon-Thurs 7am-7pm.
None of the staff have temperature monitoring software on the minis and I never get throttling related issues brought to me.
No I'm not in your exact niche of use but I just have quite a lot of these things and they do their jobs day in and out and I've never had to replace anything on them.
I have had a single 2011 model with a graphics issue and that's it.
 

macdos

macrumors 6502
Oct 15, 2017
311
479
That is not going to make a difference, since the fans will adapt. Fans will spin up precisely as much as to keep temp at 100 or below, regardless of load.

OP mentions 25% load, and the OS prioritizes to keep the machine quiet instead of blowing air. Using Handbrake, load will be 100% and it will spike at 100+ W and 100° before settling at 65 W and 99°. Fans could go faster still, but they don't.

Do you have your Mini on its belly? I realize that Apple has tried to address this, but there are aftermarket stands that allow you to place your Mini in a vertical position, so it has better airflow and heat dissipation. After having burnt out my 2010 after only a few months, doesn't seem worth the risk to keep it flat when there is a cheap solution.
 

HeavyMantra

macrumors member
Original poster
Dec 11, 2018
78
29
That is not going to make a difference, since the fans will adapt. Fans will spin up precisely as much as to keep temp at 100 or below, regardless of load.

OP mentions 25% load, and the OS prioritizes to keep the machine quiet instead of blowing air. Using Handbrake, load will be 100% and it will spike at 100+ W and 100° before settling at 65 W and 99°. Fans could go faster still, but they don't.

This seems to be the case for me too, didn't make a difference
 

iluvmacs99

macrumors 6502a
Apr 9, 2019
587
386
I think the Mac Mini was meant to be a desktop computer that does most things adequately well, but with the ability to push its limits once in a while without dying too soon. But I think due to the attractive pricing, people are buying the Minis to do more than what it was meant to do; things like a Mac Pro or an iMac Pro would do better in sustained continuous work without going to the temperature extremes. I mean, there's really no room in the Mini to provide good airflow as it would a Mac Pro or an iMac Pro can. Small space heats up faster than a bigger space with more fans.

I own a Mac Mini 2011 as well as the Macbook Air and had pushed these 2 computers to the brink that both had thermal shutdowns while rendering a few times already. So my solution was actually this year to get a Mac Pro and with this computer, it never shutdown doing the same things that it would with the Mini. Secondly, I removed the base black round cover of the mini and then attached a fan that improves airflow and sucks warm air and pushes it out through the rear external vents. So basically, I have 2 vents (one from the Mini's fan and the other from this external fan). It helped lowered the temperature down to 70˚C where it would go all the way to 90-100˚C before it would shutdown. Same with the Macbook Air with 3 base fans to cool it down while rendering a 4K video. I also use MacsFanControl to customize fan speed for these workloads. I hope to keep both Mini and the Air working a little while longer and I don't think too much heat @ 90˚C to 100˚C over hours and hours of continuous rendering are good for these machines over days, months and year. But they are way more cost effective way to get the jobs done I suppose.

I use Protools with my Mini and even at lighter loads, it would just heat up crazy even when its internal fan just got cleaned and the vents cleaned. Without the external fan setup and the plug-ins I'm running, it would shutdown which increases my frustration especially when you are in the middle of bouncing audio and the whole piece gets corrupted.
 
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macdos

macrumors 6502
Oct 15, 2017
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You do realize that people use MM as build and render farms going 100% sustained more or less 24/7? Some company even have thousands of them rack mounted.

MacPro is of course more reliable, so it all comes down to the sweet spot between price/reliability.

I think the Mac Mini was meant to be a desktop computer that does most things adequately well, but with the ability to push its limits once in a while without dying too soon.
 

iluvmacs99

macrumors 6502a
Apr 9, 2019
587
386
You do realize that people use MM as build and render farms going 100% sustained more or less 24/7? Some company even have thousands of them rack mounted.

MacPro is of course more reliable, so it all comes down to the sweet spot between price/reliability.
Yes, but the farms with racks have proper ventilation. Good ventilation and airflow is key to keeping the render farms operating within safety thermal limits. All I'm suggesting is that, people need to be aware that the Mini by itself needs to have good ventilation to keep thermal management under control with 100% sustained usage and done correctly will keep the mini operating safely and reliably at a much lower cost. However, this is not sometimes most people are completely aware of and am sometimes alarmed by the overheating symptoms of the Mini. Mini overheating even at less than 100% load is really nothing new, but how to address it is not often discussed except for those people who use them to operate a render farm or like myself push it beyond its limits because of the price performance factor.
 

MacModMachine

macrumors 68020
Apr 3, 2009
2,278
153
Canada
Yes, but the farms with racks have proper ventilation. Good ventilation and airflow is key to keeping the render farms operating within safety thermal limits. All I'm suggesting is that, people need to be aware that the Mini by itself needs to have good ventilation to keep thermal management under control with 100% sustained usage and done correctly will keep the mini operating safely and reliably at a much lower cost. However, this is not sometimes most people are completely aware of and am sometimes alarmed by the overheating symptoms of the Mini. Mini overheating even at less than 100% load is really nothing new, but how to address it is not often discussed except for those people who use them to operate a render farm or like myself push it beyond its limits because of the price performance factor.
spending most of my life in server rooms , the mac mini would be much better thermally on its own than in a server room , they are temperature controlled and well ventilated but server rooms are always running hot in server racks , most servers are pushing high temps.

that mini would be pegged @ 90C in a server room.
 

Cheapassmac

macrumors regular
Nov 5, 2018
210
139
My mac mini was hot to touch until I installed Mac Fan Control. I set it to "based on CPU PECI" with max allowed temp at 70 degrees C.

It's now cool to the touch. I don't know why this is an issue, as it wasn't super hot when I first bought it. Initially thought maybe the fans got clogged, but I think Apple quietly lowered the default fan speeds in the later releases of Mojave (since Mac Fan Control fixed the issue).
 

utente__mac

macrumors newbie
Sep 20, 2015
27
12
Last weekend I bought my 2018 i5 Mini and noticed that as well. Just running more or less the same apps I used to use on my i7 2012 Mini, the upper surface gets extremely hot. I can keep a finger on it for a few seconds before feeling pain.

What I noticed is that, contrary to the 2012 version, the 2018 is extremely hot only on the upper metal casing, while the previous was warm even at the bottom plastic cover.

I'm keeping the Mac Mini on a raised aluminium stand.
I was asking myself if wouldn't be wiser, at this point, to keep it upside down, so that the stand spreads the heat where's actually heating.

Does anyone else run the Mini upside down?
 

iluvmacs99

macrumors 6502a
Apr 9, 2019
587
386
Last weekend I bought my 2018 i5 Mini and noticed that as well. Just running more or less the same apps I used to use on my i7 2012 Mini, the upper surface gets extremely hot. I can keep a finger on it for a few seconds before feeling pain.

What I noticed is that, contrary to the 2012 version, the 2018 is extremely hot only on the upper metal casing, while the previous was warm even at the bottom plastic cover.

I'm keeping the Mac Mini on a raised aluminium stand.
I was asking myself if wouldn't be wiser, at this point, to keep it upside down, so that the stand spreads the heat where's actually heating.

Does anyone else run the Mini upside down?
How much memory do you have installed on your Mini compared to your i7 2012 Mini? Ideally, if you have a 2012 Mini and maxed it out to 16Gb RAM and it gets warm, you should up your Mini 2018's RAM to double of that.

Part of the reason the Mini 2018 is getting much hotter near the top surface is that, it has an NVMe like storage SSD and when that gets used as real-time memory paging, as it can, to swap in and out memory, it will get super hot. The speed of the built-in SSD in the latest 2018 Mini is so fast that it practically act as physical RAM, doubling what you have now installed. Most NVMe blades need heatsinks so they don't thermal throttle. The 2012 Mini use normal SSD (if you have it installed), not a blade NVMe, so they don't get as super hot. Upgrading to more physical memory will lower the temperature of your Mini as it reduces memory swapping between storage SSD and physical RAM.
 
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utente__mac

macrumors newbie
Sep 20, 2015
27
12
How much memory do you have installed on your Mini compared to your i7 2012 Mini? Ideally, if you have a 2012 Mini and maxed it out to 16Gb RAM and it gets warm, you should up your Mini 2018's RAM to double of that.

Part of the reason the Mini 2018 is getting much hotter near the top surface is that, it has an NVMe like storage SSD and when that gets used as real-time memory paging, as it can, to swap in and out memory, it will get super hot. The speed of the built-in SSD in the latest 2018 Mini is so fast that it practically act as physical RAM, doubling what you have now installed. Most NVMe blades need heatsinks so they don't thermal throttle. The 2012 Mini use normal SSD (if you have it installed), not a blade NVMe, so they don't get as super hot. Upgrading to more physical memory will lower the temperature of your Mini as it reduces memory swapping between storage SSD and physical RAM.
Previously I had 16GB, now 32.
For now I managed to keep the heat under control with the app ti change the fan speed profile. I've set to raise at 70° and reach max rpm at 90°. The only downside is that it starts to spin up more often. Under heavy stress it raises from 60 to 90 degrees C in a matter of seconds.
 

iluvmacs99

macrumors 6502a
Apr 9, 2019
587
386
Previously I had 16GB, now 32.
For now I managed to keep the heat under control with the app ti change the fan speed profile. I've set to raise at 70° and reach max rpm at 90°. The only downside is that it starts to spin up more often. Under heavy stress it raises from 60 to 90 degrees C in a matter of seconds.
Did you check your memory pressure status with only 32Gb of ram?
 

levmc

macrumors 6502
Jan 18, 2019
380
10
Do you have your Mini on its belly? I realize that Apple has tried to address this, but there are aftermarket stands that allow you to place your Mini in a vertical position, so it has better airflow and heat dissipation. After having burnt out my 2010 after only a few months, doesn't seem worth the risk to keep it flat when there is a cheap solution.
Does a vertical position solve the problem 100% or will it still be subject to overheating when compared to much larger iMac?
 

LorenK

macrumors 6502
Dec 26, 2007
384
144
Illinois
Does a vertical position solve the problem 100% or will it still be subject to overheating when compared to much larger iMac?
It solved the problem for me, but ultimately that MacMini died, a fried video card, which I attribute to the earlier overheating problem. My replacement is up and working fine. The late MacMini was about 9 years old, so towards the end of its useful life anyway.
 

Monotremata

macrumors member
Apr 11, 2019
40
15
Ontario, CA
Odd, most of my Logic projects regularly fall in the 20-25% range and Ive never heard the fan in my machine come on once, whether running Logic or even playing games on here. Had the i7 w/16GB for about a month now, I still dont believe there's even a fan in it haha. Gets pretty warm when playing Baldur's Gate or when playing back a 24 track mix loaded with plugins, but still no fan. Mine's sitting flat as it was meant to under the monitor/speaker bridge on my desk.
 

LorenK

macrumors 6502
Dec 26, 2007
384
144
Illinois
This thread has been around for awhile, and if they have a fan, it’s pretty freaking small. Given Apple’s penchant for tinkering, I’m sure that they’ve improved the heat dissipation since i got my first MacMini.
 

Boyd01

Moderator
Staff member
Feb 21, 2012
4,672
2,128
New Jersey Pine Barrens
Odd, most of my Logic projects regularly fall in the 20-25% range and Ive never heard the fan in my machine come on once, whether running Logic or even playing games on here.
You aren't pushing it hard enough, LOL. 😂 Just exported a 1gb GIS file containing millions of objects in Windows under Parallels. Fans were roaring away, just now slowing down about 5 minutes after finishing. Am using 32gb out of 64gb RAM.

But the SSD access explanation makes sense, it was hammering the disk hard for around 5 minutes during the export. The case feels warm to the touch, but not hot. It's just sitting on the desktop in a 73 degree room, am not too concerned about the heat.
 

N9JIG

macrumors member
Feb 25, 2019
74
36
SW USA
Would the 2018 Mac Mini benefit from additional cooling resources from the TOP of the case rather than or in concert with the commonly available cooling stands? I have the Satachi stand which I like for the ports on the front but I can't tell if it helps the cooling or not.

My Mac Mini 2018 (i7 6-core 3.2 with 32GB RAM and 2TB SSD) runs extremely hot to the touch even at idle. I also have the Sonnet Puck eGPU handling the 3 2560x1440 monitors so I had hopes that would help keep things a little cooler but again, no perceived difference to the touch.

Would some sort of encasement that provides more airflow over the top of the case (which I think is the main heatsink) provide better cooling?

What about a third party case itself? Remove the Mini from it's small case and install it into a larger case designed for better cooling? I know that this would negate the size advantage but for many (like me) would prefer a larger Mac with better cooling at a reasonable price.
 
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