MacBook Air 2011 - Overheating

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by YYsMD, May 11, 2017.

  1. YYsMD macrumors newbie

    YYsMD

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2017
    #1
    Hi All

    I have what I think is a 2011 Macbook Air. Its been a good little device over the 6 years but unfourtunately, its now having trouble playing video.

    It plays fine to begin with, until the machine gets way too hot. I'm assuming at this point, it throttles itself to stop overheating as video performance grinds to a halt, I'll see the odd frame and hear a bit of sound here and there. Once it cools down its ok again.

    This started happening a while back, and I'm wondering if I can do anything about it.

    All suggestions appreciated, excluding how its sad that I'm using 5 year old notebook </schiller>
     
  2. madgibbon macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2013
    #2
    What type of video are you trying to play, streamed from somewhere like Netflix or locally? If its local what application are you using to play the video? Some video formats take a lot of processor power to decode.

    It might worth using System Monitor to watch how the Macbook is utilizing resources while watch video.
     
  3. YYsMD thread starter macrumors newbie

    YYsMD

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2017
    #3
    Anything streamed, so Netflix, YouTube, 4oD, Twitch etc. I'm unsure how it handles local video as I don't have any :p

    I'll take a gander at the System monitor and see what it says. Perhaps the formats that are streamed changed recently? Up until around 9 months ago I was able to mirror the screen to a chromecast while stuff was streaming/playing no probs.
     
  4. MultiFinder17 macrumors 68000

    MultiFinder17

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2008
    Location:
    Tampa, Florida
    #4
    If it's overheating, and you've had it for five years, it's worth popping the bottom off and blowing out the heatsink/fan. They tend to get dusty over time :)
     
  5. oneMadRssn macrumors 68040

    oneMadRssn

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2011
    Location:
    Boston, MA
    #5
    fwiw, the 2011 MBA I had a while back had an inordinate amount of thermal paste. I cleaned off the cpu and replaced the thermal paste with Tuniq TX-4 when the MBA was about 3 years old, and by then the oem paste was already flaky dry. I imagine after 6 years, as on yours, it would be pretty ineffective.

    If you're up for it, and want to keep the laptop for another few years, you might consider also replacing the thermal paste. It's not an easy task though - only for the experienced.
     
  6. YYsMD thread starter macrumors newbie

    YYsMD

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2017
    #6
    Getting the logic board out to replace the paste will certainly be fiddly. I think i'll open up the back to blast the fans/vents/whatever else with some compressed air to see if that helps before doing something like this.

    I can cool the machine down by putting my hand on the hot bit just above the keyboard so heat transfer off the CPU is taking place.

    Thanks for the responses guys, pretty sure I have the right screwdriver so i'll be delving into the back of air to have a look this evening ^_^
     
  7. JonLa macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2009
    #7
    My 2010 has a bit of a heat problem too - I've posted about here in the past. I paid a guy with a Mac repair business to change the thermal paste and clean out the dust but it didn't really make much difference.

    Did it make any to yours?
     
  8. YYsMD thread starter macrumors newbie

    YYsMD

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2017
    #8
    Well, i'v cleaned it out and switched the paste, and the difference is minimal. I think it lasts a little longer before having to throttle itself but on the whole, its still not going to handle video for any amount of time.

    I can only assume that age/heavy use, and perhaps not switching the paste sooner meaning it got too hot quite frequently has caused some irreversible damage
     
  9. JonLa macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2009
    #9
    My 2010 doesnt throttle when watching a normal video file - i think 720 is the usual size I have though it's okay with 1080 sometimes - it can throttle in VLC but not Quicktime. Depends on how high the quality of the videos are?

    Install SMC fan control and see what temperatures the machine is hitting when it throttles? Skype is the thing that drives mine crazy (up to around 99C) even after changing the paste, but a thorough cleaning of the fan with compressed air and cleaning out the rest of the crud inside means that I'm currently hitting around 89 when skypeing (and lower when off the charger)
     
  10. Kanunu macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2009
    Location:
    Hawaii
    #10
    My 2015 13 inch routinely moves up to 101-103 C at the CPU cores as measured by Temperature Gauge 4.1 which also measures fan speed. I was very concerned about this when I first got it but I found that the fan kicks in very quickly at that point and temps drop down to about 60. I would feel better if the kick in point was a little lower but that seems to be where Apple engineers wanted it. I see no impact on performance when it reaches the high point.
     
  11. torana355 macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2009
    Location:
    Sydney, Australia
    #11
    What browser are you using to stream video? Chrome caused my 2011 MBA to overheat like crazy. Safari runs cool.
     
  12. YYsMD thread starter macrumors newbie

    YYsMD

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2017
    #12
    I'm usually using Firefox. I don't think the browser has too much of an effect in this case.

    The temperature peaks at 95C. Once it gets there, performance falls through the floor as it works at a level to not go over this temp. The fans working for sure, its audible and a strategically placed hand can feel it
     

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