MBP fans kick up when clamshell is closed

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by SDAVE, Jan 30, 2012.

  1. SDAVE macrumors 68040

    SDAVE

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    #1
    I've been using it in clamshell mode lately (early 2011, 2.3Ghz 15", 16GB RAM) and the fans keep kicking up. I am not doing anything complex. Just light photoshop and web.

    It doesn't kick up the fans if the laptop is open and the display is on.

    Any ideas?
     
  2. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

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    #2
    Use iStat Pro to get accurate readings of your temperatures and fan speed. It won't harm your Mac to run in clamshell mode, and there shouldn't be a significant difference in temps with the lid open or closed.
     
  3. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

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    #3
    From the sounds of it, the temps are getting high with the lid closed. You'll need an app like istat pro to report the actual temperatures to determine what's going on.
     
  4. SDAVE thread starter macrumors 68040

    SDAVE

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    #4
    Here's a screenshot of it.

    All I have open is Chrome, Photoshop and InDesign. These temps are when it's idle.
     

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  5. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

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    #5
    Your temps are not that high and don't justify the fan speed. Try resetting the SMC.
     
  6. SDAVE thread starter macrumors 68040

    SDAVE

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    #6
    Ok it seems like Chrome is sucking up a lot of CPU time, thus kicking the fans up.

    However, how come when it's idling, the cpu temps are so high? Also when I have more than 5 tabs open in Chrome, the fans kick in.

    PS. I did reset the SMC. Didn't make a dent.
     
  7. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

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    #7
    I've seen temps in the 80s and 90s without the fans spinning that fast.

    Flash on websites is a huge resource hog, and will raise temps and fan speeds. For Flash issues:
    It's not idling. Launch Activity Monitor and change "My Processes" at the top to "All Processes", then click on the CPU column heading once or twice, so the arrow points downward (highest values on top). Then look to see what may be consuming system resources.
     
  8. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

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    #8
    Wow, your temps are not terribly high but your fans are blasting.
     
  9. SDAVE thread starter macrumors 68040

    SDAVE

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    #9
    This is so odd. I think it might be the Corsair 16GB RAM that I have in there increasing the fan speeds.

    Currently this is how the activity monitor looks like and the fans are spinning at 6,000rpm

    I live in S. California and it's kind of humid/warm here where I have the laptop. Might that also be the issue?
     

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  10. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

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    #10
    If a drive is constantly active or your CPU utilization is high (possibly with increased temps and fan speed) when you're not running any apps, check to see if Spotlight is indexing by looking at the Menu Bar icon: [​IMG] (not indexing) [​IMG] (indexing)

    While the fans are at 6,000 rpm, what are the temps for CPU/GPU?
     
  11. SDAVE thread starter macrumors 68040

    SDAVE

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    #11
    Sorry, just updated.

    ----------

    I never see it indexing. I also don't use Spotlight (using Alfred)...yes, Spotlight is still on.
     
  12. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

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    #12
    What about CPU/GPU temps?
     
  13. SDAVE thread starter macrumors 68040

    SDAVE

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    #13
    Off of a fresh boot.
     

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  14. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

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    #14
    Temps are normal and fans are at their minimum speed. I was asking what the CPU/GPU temps were when the fans are at 6,000 rpm.
     
  15. SDAVE thread starter macrumors 68040

    SDAVE

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    #15
    If you look at the prior screenshot, it says 49, but it jumps to 55-65 when the fans are at 6000rpm.

    Maybe the MBP is not meant to be closed that much as the speaker holes are also used as ventilation?
     
  16. GuitarG20 macrumors 65816

    GuitarG20

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    #16
    OP, you don't have any third party fan management applications installed do you?

    (seems like a dumb question, but i've gotten told yes before...)
     
  17. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

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    #17
    There is no ventilation through the speaker grille or keyboard on any Mac notebook, and there never was. All venting, both intake and exhaust, is at the rear, near the hinge. If your fans are at 6000 with temps around 55-65, try resetting the SMC.
     
  18. SDAVE thread starter macrumors 68040

    SDAVE

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    #18
    I don't. I just have Lion (Latest) and even reinstalled 10.7.3 Combo Updater and fixed permissions just in case.

    Ahh. Yes, I did reset the SMC as mentioned before in this thread, was of no help.

    I guess my other option is to put back the original 2x4GB sticks and do a test again. Seems silly that the CPU is not being loaded with processes and it heats up. It might also be the GPU, since the AMD GPU kicks in when I use the external monitor. I tried using gfxCardStatus to keep it on the Intel GPU, but it didn't help.
     
  19. negativzero macrumors 6502a

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    #19
    I'm assuming you're using a 15 or 17 inch here. In this case, when you plug the MacBook into an external display, this turns on the discrete graphics card automatically which increases the internal temps causing the fans to spin. That said, there is no way to prevent this other than unplug the external display because there is no way to get the integrated graphics card to run the monitor.
     
  20. SDAVE thread starter macrumors 68040

    SDAVE

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    #20
    Yes it's the 15" Early 2011 MBP.

    So do you think the fans kick up to 6,000rpm because of the AMD card? Even though I am pretty much close to idling?
     
  21. negativzero macrumors 6502a

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    #21
    Yes. Don't forget, the GPU also has a processor so it is another source of heat generation when it is turned on. You can try it out for yourself and see that it does produce a significant amount of heat by turning it on and off.
     
  22. SDAVE thread starter macrumors 68040

    SDAVE

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    #22
    I know.

    However, it seems that the fans kick up when you close the laptop and use an external display and it starts using the AMD GPU.

    But the thing is, if I use GfxCardStatus application and have the laptop open (even when using an external display on top of it) and enable the AMD GPU, the fans don't kick up as much as they do when it's closed.

    My 2008 MBP never did this.
     
  23. Fishrrman macrumors G4

    Fishrrman

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    #23
    Doesn't the MacBook Pro's ventilation (air in and air out) flow through the "screen hinge" when it's in the open position? As a part of the design?

    If that is true, would not closing the lid close off the vents as well, and thus limit the internal ventilation and cooling?
     
  24. GuitarG20, Feb 10, 2012
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2012

    GuitarG20 macrumors 65816

    GuitarG20

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    #24
    part of it vents up over the hinge towards the screen/keyboard (but not through the keyboard) and part of it vents down, under the hinge, towards whatever surface the MBP is on. for this reason, it's vaguely logical that running in clamshell mode might cut down on ventilation slightly.
     
  25. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

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    #25
    No, it doesn't close off the vents when the lid is closed. As GuitarG20 said, the airflow simply goes under, rather than over the hinge. This is why it's important not to operate with your MBP resting on something soft like a pillow, as it could block the airflow around the hinge. It's better on a hard surface. With the lid closed, there is still plenty of airflow to keep temperatures within the safe operating range.
     

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