New MBA heat issues?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by Zaphyrus, Jun 20, 2013.

  1. Zaphyrus macrumors member

    Jun 20, 2013
    I'm currently looking at picking up one of the new MBA's and wanted some feedback from anyone who has gotten their hands on it. I mainly use my computer for image processing/3D modeling and rendering/a decent amount of gaming. My concern is how it handles long strenuous hours of work and how it manages heat when doing so. I know MacBooks are set to shutoff once it hits a certain point but I'm curious to know with this kind of work on it, will it be shutting off often?
  2. Mrbobb macrumors 601

    Aug 27, 2012
    The fan will be constantly on and audible.

    Laptops are not suppose to shut off when it gets hot. The shutoff mechanism is for emergency only, like when the fan fails, or gets old and is not able to cool things as it should. When laptop new, it should NOT shut off because of heat. Laptops have more "civilized" mechanisms to deal with the heat: Runs fan up, and reduce cpu clock speed.
  3. techn0lady macrumors regular

    Apr 10, 2010
    I agree with Mr. Bob.

    I can tell you that on my 2012, from playing a number of continuous hours of Kerbal Space Program which I m ashamed to admit (it's a lot ) , the fan will run continuously and the bottom will get pretty hot but the machine keeps going without any apparent ill effects. My 2013 appears to be preforming the same way.

    BTW - the MBA is not the best platform for rendering. You really should get a higher performance machine for that - probably a quad-core MBP if you need a portable. Get one with an SSD in it (or put one in yourself)
  4. luisito macrumors regular


    Nov 15, 2012
    Have to agree with technOlady, if you will be rendering 3D on a very stressing manner, you need more juice on your computer and a better thermal system to deal with the power dissipation.

    However, all depends on what kind of 3D rendering you will be doing, for example, the reason I got my MBA is because I saw everybody at my college using it for 3D modeling; I study engineering and we use SolidWorks for our 3D models. A very heavy application. I have not tried it yet myself, but they are pretty comfortable with it, no lag, heat is palpable and obviously, as any graphics intensive application, you must use the power adapter.

    I just observed you also said "gaming".. this is a completely different 3D rendering since it loads as iterations per second, get a 15in rMBP, you will get a gaming graphics card, the power, and a better thermal system.

    If you do gaming on a MBA, it will get the job done and won't fry nor shut down, but it will put a lot of thermal stress on the components and will decrease the life of each component. Fans will kick at their max and you might be quite uncomfortable feeling so much heat on your hands as you play the game using the keyboard, some people don't mind this.

    3D rendering (gaming) will always require better specs than 3D modeling.

    Hope this help you out! :)

    (For all the trolls out there, please make sure you google up 3D modeling vs. 3D rendering before posting something).
  5. tortex macrumors member

    May 21, 2009
    I'ma long running 3D guy, the MBA is not rally suitable. For modelling in Silo etc it's fine, but for rendering build yourself a PC renderbox, it's cheaper, and way faster.
  6. Zaphyrus thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 20, 2013
    Thanks all for the replies! It's refreshing finding a forum with people genuinely wanting to help! I really appreciate it.

    Now aside from all the 3d rendering and games, if I were to just use it as my main photoshop workhorse, would it be up to the task? (I'm coming from a baseline MBP 13" (2010) pre-nehalem with only 4gb RAM) I'm assuming since it's working with 2d raster based images, it won't be too demanding when going to put it through some heavy processing. I know if I were to pickup the MBA upping the RAM to 8gbs is a must.

    I've read many forums about MacBooks heating up and I know the aluminum unibody is specifically good at dealing with this but it seems like there are two sides to the argument. One side says: like all things all the stress will ultimately reduces your computers life and performance in the long run and the other says: there's no proof of this and the unibody is suffice to get through it all.

    Once again. Appreciate the input!
  7. Mrbobb macrumors 601

    Aug 27, 2012
    The aluminum body of the Air may reduce heat by 0.2 degree. Is that worth it for you to pick the Air over some other laptop? Only you know.

    Why so I say 0.2 degree? Because geeks with just enough knowledge to be dangerous go, yeah, aluminum dissipate heat better than plastic! that's generically TRUE, but reality is, the heat generators of the Air: CPU, chips etc are not TIGHTLY COUPLED TO THE exterior aluminum skin. If you ever encountered a FANLESS PC, the type which don't use fan at all and are designed to take the heat to the outside via exterior big heatsinks, the outside feel VERY warm and even hot to the touch. They are doing their job of dissipating the heat passively. In contrast, touch the Air when it's working hard, a little warm but not too bad, that tells you that the aluminum is not REALLY helping that much. For a laptop, if done correctly, they don't want to scald your lap nor your hands or palms. Makes sense?
  8. Zaphyrus thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 20, 2013
    Definitely! Thanks for the thorough breakdown. Makes sense when you explained it.

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