My MBA gets really hot! (around 90 celcius)

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by choiik, Aug 12, 2011.

  1. choiik macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2011
    #1
    Hi,
    While I was watching guitar lesson using Garageband app, I heard my MBA's fan spinning noisy. I check the temp using istat and found out that it went up to over 90 degree Celsius. So I restarted it and it came back to normal temp around 50 degree. Is there anything wrong with my computer?
    Also, I have clear seethru plastic case and keyboard cover on the MBA, do they obstructs MBA's heat dissipate?

    i am using 2011 macbook air 13 inch i5.
    thank you for reading!:)
     
  2. Lord Appleseed macrumors 6502a

    Lord Appleseed

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    #2
    Whats the Activity Monitor saying? Any CPU intensive tasks running that you might not be aware of?
     
  3. choiik thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Aug 12, 2011
    #3
    How do I check the Activity Monitor? I am very new to Mac.
     
  4. Lord Appleseed, Aug 12, 2011
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2011

    Lord Appleseed macrumors 6502a

    Lord Appleseed

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    Nov 7, 2010
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    #4
    Applications or Launchpad -> Utilities -> Activity Monitor

    On top of the window select "All Tasks" and then sort the list for the highest CPU tasks.

    If you are unsure about what you are seeing there, then just make a screenshot with Cmd + Shift + 3
     
  5. lukekarts macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2009
    #5
    To save yourself the trouble of checking, 90 degrees C is fairly normal for i5' / i7's, so it seems. It won't do any damage until 105 degrees C; at which point it will shut itself down anyway.

    They are quite good at temperature management, so turn off Turbo Boost and shut down cores if running too hot.
     
  6. choiik thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Aug 12, 2011
    #6
    Thank you for the reply guys.
    I am really appreciated with your replies!
     
  7. cluthz macrumors 68040

    cluthz

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    Jun 15, 2004
    Location:
    Norway
    #7
    Case and keyboard protector will make your machine heat up more.
    When doing heavy work, remove it, and keep it on for when you have it with you around for surfing and word processing.

    MBPs and MBAs does cool itself down thru the case and keyboard, so covering them up isn't the best idea.
     
  8. choiik thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Aug 12, 2011
    #8
    Thank you for your reply.
    Do you know how much covering MAB with a plastic case will effect MBA with its capability of heat dissipate in percentage ? Would it be critical?
     
  9. Lord Appleseed macrumors 6502a

    Lord Appleseed

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    #9
    Depends solely on the type of case as well as the tasks you are running while having it attached.
     
  10. MRU Suspended

    MRU

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    Aug 23, 2005
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    Other
    #10
    The aluminum shell is the heat sink essentially. Its whole body dispersing the heat. Anything that acts as a barrier will reduce the ability to disperse heat, especially those plastic cases like speck shell.
     
  11. iphonsteve4ajob macrumors regular

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    Aug 6, 2011
    #11
    Acivity monitor can be launched from istat menu on left side of widget.
     
  12. gloryunited macrumors 6502

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    Oct 29, 2010
    #12
    My 2010 13" MBA also gets pretty hot (80+ºC) while running GarageBand.

    I thought it is normal because it is quite a CPU-intensive app?
     
  13. jackyyeow macrumors 6502

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    Jul 5, 2011
    #13
    Did you install coolbook? It should bring it down to 80C or slightly below.
     
  14. accessoriesguy macrumors 6502a

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    Jul 8, 2011
    #14
    In that case the next macbook design will be a hallowed out aluminum shell with water inside :rolleyes:
     
  15. bill-p macrumors 68000

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    Jul 23, 2011
    #15
    Install Coolbook and try reducing the voltage of the CPU?

    My 2010 13" MBA rarely gets over 65ºC using Coolbook, whereas it would easily shoot to over 80ºC at stock.
     
  16. darrellishere macrumors 6502

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    Jul 13, 2007
  17. minnus macrumors 6502

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    Aug 12, 2011
    #17
    You're wrong about the 105 C. You're quoting numbers for older i5/i7s. The Max temperature is 100C. Regardless, while 90C is "safe," it is certainly not okay for a laptop to run at these temps. To reference one of your temperature claims that this is normal because this is typical on the M11x -- its not.

    I owned the M11x R2 with i5, overclocked to faster this machine. On FULL LOAD (prime95), it did not exceed 75C. I don't have my Air yet so I cannot state whether this is normal, but compared to my past experience, especially with building and overclocking desktops, 90C is uncomfortably high. I would have to agree that the shell is likely the culprit, as compared to the aluminum shell (a very good heat conductor), the plastic shell sends up insulating the heat.
     
  18. gloryunited macrumors 6502

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    Oct 29, 2010
    #18
    Thanks, I will give it a try.

    Does Coolbook essentially throttle the usage of the CPU?

    So a trade-off between performance and heat, right?
     
  19. calvol macrumors 6502a

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    Feb 3, 2011
    #19
    Coolbook does not run on Sandy Bridge, because Intel decided not to support undervolting on this chip. The only way to reduce heat is for Apple to come out with changes to throttling of TurboBoost in Mac OSX (I believe a German mag posted that Apple does indeed throttle TB in the Air). That's what the other major OEM's are doing (Dell, HP, Lenovo), albeit with some issues.
     
  20. minnus macrumors 6502

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    Aug 12, 2011
    #20
    Undervolting does not take away from performance, but stability at a certain level. The voltage tolerance between each CPU of the same type varies. For example, some are stable at 1.0V, while others may be stable at 1.1V. If you go below the threshold, the CPU becomes unstable -- in Windows, this will typically result in Blue Screens. The manufacturer plays it safe, and sets all CPUs to default high value (perhaps 1.3) to ensure stability for all CPUs. The higher the voltage, the higher the heat. People realized (a long time ago), that if you can find you're CPU's sweet spot, you lower power consumption and temperature -- it just takes a whole lot of patience and tweaking.

    ---------- Post added at 05:05 PM ---------- Previous post was at 05:04 PM ----------

    He doesn't have Sandy Bridge
     
  21. ZBoater macrumors G3

    ZBoater

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    Jul 2, 2007
    Location:
    Sunny Florida
    #21
    So are we making the assumption that the Intel engineers that designed the chip didn't do a good job in figuring out the max temperature, when the chip should throttle back automatically to prevent damage, etc? I mean, unless you are over clocking the thing, shouldn't we expect it to just work??? :confused:
     
  22. calvol macrumors 6502a

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    Feb 3, 2011
    #22
    Intel designed Sandy Bridge to operate at up to 2x it's rated TDP using TurboBoost for brief periods to take "advantage" of the lag in CPU temp increase. However, IMO it's not an ideal match with the Mac Air case, which has limited ventilation. An underpowered IGP doesn't help either as it too relies on TurboBoost under heavy duty cycles.

    http://www.anandtech.com/Show/Index/3922?cPage=3&all=False&sort=0&page=7&slug=intels-sandy-bridge-architecture-exposed
     
  23. bill-p macrumors 68000

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    Jul 23, 2011
    #23
    No. You're essentially pushing less electronic current through the CPU and hoping that it would operate like normal.

    It's like trying to go on a diet and try to work as usual. If you're overweight, then going on a diet actually helps as you'll be more fit. If you're already fit, then going on a diet will make you collapse at some point.

    Intel's default settings should work with every chip, but not every chip is the same. A number of them can take drastically lower currents and still work just the same as their peers.
     
  24. gloryunited macrumors 6502

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    Oct 29, 2010
    #24
    Thanks minnus, and bill-p, love your "diet" analogy.

    Say my CPU is only stable above 1.1V but I lower it to 1.0V. Would it damage the CPU in some way? ie. Would it return to normal if I tweak it back to 1.1V? or go worse?
     
  25. onthecouchagain macrumors 604

    onthecouchagain

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2011
    #25
    Today's the first time I really had to use my laptop while outside, and I have to say I'm really disappointed by the amount of heat that the Air has. The bottom gets quite warm, and worse, the keys themselves get pretty heated too. I wasn't even doing anything too intensive. Just had Word open, was chatting on iChat, and browsing a little bit on the internet. I wasn't even running iTunes. This is really disappointing. The keys especially near the top (the number rows and the Q and A rows) are really warm.

    My temps aren't as high as 90 C, but this is just a little disappointing. Will updates with Lion keep the temps under better control in the future?
     

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