Powerbook heat (Y/n)?

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by _nk, Apr 28, 2005.

  1. _nk macrumors newbie

    Apr 28, 2005
    Hi all,

    Months ago, i started thinking about changing my laptop with a new one; a friend of mine told me about buying an iBook g4. This was my first choice. But, having the money, my eyes went on Powerbook. Basically I need it to edit/make/create music/videos, and for some net linux stuff. I then lurked a bit for cool and bad things about the PB. Where I live, I can`t try it live.
    For me, it seems ok to buy a 1,5 12". My question is only about the heat. I saw too many different opinions, from "my god, it`s too hot to handle" to "it`ok and it makes my winter nights hotter". So, do you guys have experience with this? Can you tell me something about it?

    Thanks a lot ;)
  2. andrewfee macrumors 6502

    Aug 29, 2004
    Well, I can't comment on the 12" Powerbook, but my 17" does heat up to what I would say is a "nice" temperature.

    It's nowhere near hot enough to burn you or anything like that. The top surface feels like it's only a few degrees warmer than room temperature, and while the bottom does get warm, at no point would I say it's uncomfortable.
  3. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus


    Jan 9, 2004
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    FWIW, the iBook G4 12" also generates enough heat on the lower side that holding it for extended times on the bare skin of your legs is a bad idea.

    There're bad things that can happen to your skin when it's exposed to prolonged heat at sub-burn levels. There was a thread here about it several months ago. Also, at least if you're male, and you hold it in your lap closer to your waist and farther from your knees, there are potential, ummm, fertility concerns. :(
  4. fobishduck macrumors newbie

    Apr 20, 2005
    i had my pb for a grand total of two days. i mostly have it sit atop of wooden desk, and i just type/touchpad(verb?) my way around.

    the temperature on the left side can be uncomfortable for some. for me, after 10, 15 minutes of typing - gives me an excellent excuse to get up and pause my work... however, technically speaking, all of us in this forum know how to type properly with the palms raised from the typing surface, right? since i'm a newbie, i'm not obligated to type with correct hand posture... :D

    i don't know if anyone has tried those cooler thingy with fans (or no fans) underneath their lappies... i wonder how much better it is...
  5. DXoverDY macrumors 6502a

    Apr 19, 2005
    sorry but ANY laptop these days will get hot if you put it under load. I run mine in reduced mode all the time and just use it for casual stuff, browsing, word, programming, listening to audio and recording audio. it gets warm but not hot. when i was doing imovie editing it did get hot simply out of pushing the processor. the only computer you can expect to not get hot hot hot is a celeron, then again expect zero performance out of it.

    You shouldn't put a laptop on your lap anyway unless you don't wanna have kids, at least that's the latest garbage coming from our wonderful scientists in this world. I just leave mine on a desk so as to facilitate airflow. i would suggest the same for anyone else.
  6. JeDiBoYTJ macrumors 6502a


    Jun 22, 2004
    Ft. Lauderdale, FL
    well, my PB actually burned the top of my hand when I went to feel the heat under it... lol... but that was under a heavy workload of FCP and such :p
  7. MacMind macrumors newbie

    Nov 4, 2005
    >i don't know if anyone has tried those cooler thingy with fans (or no fans) underneath their lappies... i wonder how much better it is...

    I have a 15" PB that runs hotter than Hades. I've had it serviced for the battery recall. It is still too hot to put in my lap, so I picked up a Targus laptop cooler at CompUSA for $50.00. There are two kinds. Get the one that has 4 USB ports. It has made a world of difference in how cool it keeps the underside of my computer.
  8. iEdd macrumors 68000


    Aug 8, 2005
    :eek: I sure hope that's only if it actually burns you. I'd hope a little warmth isn't bad.:eek:
    Oh well, I try to angle it on my stomach and leg so there is airflow under the computer..

    I know for a fact that 15" powerbooks get so hot. I think 17" mightn't be as bad as they are bigger and dissapate heat more. What about 12" heat? It does have a smaller processor. Maybe the same heat as 17"?
  9. risc macrumors 68030


    Jul 23, 2004
    Melbourne, Australia
    My PowerBook G4 1.67 GHz 15" (Rev C) can heat up to what I'd consider BLOODY HOT! In normal use it is fine, but if it is doing any processor intensive stuff the base of it gets so hot I can feel the heat radiating off it from 1" away, if I put skin on it I am certain it would burn. It got so hot over summer that I actually started using it with my laptop bag under it when I had it on my lap while I watched TV. The only parts of my notebook that get hot though are the base, and the hinge connecting the TFT to the keyboard.
  10. Bern macrumors 68000


    Nov 10, 2004
    My Powerbook doesn't get unbearably hot unless of course I'm working on one of those unbearably hot days in my study with no air conditioning :)

    Makes me wonder though, of those people who say their Powerbooks do get uncomfortably hot, what do they have their processor performance set at in System Preferences? When using battery I have it set to "reduced" and when using AC I have it set to "automatic". Perhaps setting it to "highest" may cause it to heat up more?
  11. Vasileios macrumors regular


    Oct 28, 2005
    My powerbook 15' 1.67 1440x960 is for a week, 16/24 open and working... no problem of heating so far...
  12. OutThere macrumors 603


    Dec 19, 2002
    Why keep it in reduced speed if it's always on your desk? Your simple internet browsing will be snappier if you put it in full speed, and heat shouldn't be a problem...

    The only problem with using your laptop on your lap is with heat, and the heat is only a problem if you keep it close to your private parts. Keeping it by your knees and making sure there is some airflow will keep any problems from happening.
  13. md11 macrumors member

    Jul 26, 2005
  14. AndiePandie macrumors regular

    Oct 15, 2003
    It's a laptop so it's bound to get a bit warm. If you are using it while watching TV or something then it should be on a lapdesk made for laptops, IMO. This benefits you and the laptop.

    I don't think my 15" gets overly hot. It does get a little warmer when it's charging but that's to be expected also. In a nutshell, do I think they get too hot, no not at all. :)
  15. Greenone macrumors 6502

    Sep 19, 2005
    My question is, what kind of damage could have occured after what happened yesterday:

    I didn't realize there was something going on behind the window I had open. I walked away for about 4 or 5 hours, knowing the computer would go to sleep. When I came back the thing was still on (hadn't gone to sleep) and was screaming hot. When I looked closer I could see a little tiny window peeking out from behind my main window. After closing the main window I saw that it was some small window - the purpose of which I've forgotten since but it was like something was trying to download without my permission or the system was trying to process something I had inadvertently opened or something like that...but it was stuck. That little apple colorful beach ball thingie was spinning round and round and whatever it was trying to do just wasn't happening. I couldn't stop it so I had to hold down the power button to shut down the laptop.

    What if I hadn't come back until the next day? What happens to one's computer in such circumstances? Do you think 5 hours w/o sleeping and actually trying to do something as it was (possibly longer - yikes - it could have been more like 7, now that I think about it more!) might have hurt anything?

  16. iEdd macrumors 68000


    Aug 8, 2005
    I once put my g5 to sleep, then accidently woke it up, so I pressed the button on the monitor again and walked away.. 10-30mins later, I came back after hearing REALLY loud noises from the fans. I looked and the system had locked up (like yours). After feeling a huge area under the desk being extremely warm, I immediatly force shut down the computer. I checked it for damages and ran techtool pro, but it was all good :)
    It just goes to show that confusing a computer will strain the processor so much that you could melt the ice in antarctica :D
  17. wako macrumors 65816

    Jun 6, 2005
    My 12'' PB never peaks above 120 F... thats damn good considering my PC laptop was peaking at about 160 F.... now that was hot. The paint was starting to peel off.

    it really depends on your definition of hot. Most people think anything above 100 F feels hot, most people call it warm. It all depends.

    My 12'' PB rarely has its fans on though, so obviously the system think its fine. It only comes on usually when its on a bed.

    Also, i really dont understand why people are calling the fans loud on any of the laptops. For that matter on any mac! Many of you guys obviously never owned a server sized ATX PC, with 6 fans blowing all at once....
  18. faintember macrumors 65816


    Jun 6, 2005
    the ruins of the Cherokee nation
    I would say my PB isnt that hot, unless i am really pushing the processor and using ram intensive programs etc. The only time my fans come on is when i am working with Cubase, Peak 4, or Max/MSP, and it really depends on what i am doing in those applications.

    And the fans can be a bit loud, especially when you are trying to record audio!
  19. Greenone macrumors 6502

    Sep 19, 2005
    Too bad mine was on a lot longer than that! What's techtool pro and if I don't have it, how do I get it?
  20. Greenone macrumors 6502

    Sep 19, 2005
    Where do we find how hot our computer is running?
  21. devilot Moderator emeritus


    May 1, 2005
    I own/ed a 12" 1.33 GHz PB and my currently portable is the 12" 1.33 GHz iBook.

    While in Photoshop doing just minor things my PB would get uncomfortably hot. Hot to the point I felt like my thigh was burning (even though I use a Targus travel coolpad and I was wearing denim pants).

    Also, just using my PB for a few hours made it pretty close to being uncomfortably warm.

    That is one of the reasons why I love my new iBook so much. In fact, I wouldn't go back to the PB unless Apple did some major changes (it ran cooler, got as awesome battery life as the iBook, and had as stable/fantastic wifi reception).
  22. Clix Pix macrumors demi-goddess

    Clix Pix

    Oct 9, 2005
    8 miles from the Apple Store at Tysons (VA)
    So far I haven't experienced any extreme heat with my 15" PB. It runs pretty cool. I do use the iLap thingy to elevate it and give some breathing space between it and the desk surface, but even prior to the arrival of the iLap I didn't really notice any signs of potential overheating.

    When I bought my iMac, I was aware of problems with the Rev A versions and so, wanting to keep tabs on it so that i could watch for signs of overheating, I downloaded a program called "Hardware Monitor" which gives me info about my computer's innards and the temperatures at which it is running. I also found a widget that will do something similar, but not as extensively. It's reassuring to know that so far my iMac has been running at pretty consistent temperatures, only getting hotter when I'm doing something like watching a DVD or burning one. I plan to download that same widget into my PB so that I'll be able to keep tabs on its temperature as well. I got the widget from the listing at the Apple website; it's called "Mini Stat" or something like that.

    Something I have done on both my Macs is to turn off the "Sleep" function altogether; I really would prefer that my machines be on and I know they're on rather than dropping off to sleep and me absent-mindedly thinking they're turned off. I do not leave my computers on when I'm not going to be around the house -- I turn them off. If I'm home and doing something else, fine, they're on, or if I am just running down the block to the mailbox, fine, but if I am going out for a few hours, off they go. I also turn them off at night, too. Rebooting refreshes the RAM and I get full benefit of the 2 GB RAM I've got in both machines. Been doing this for years with Windoze machines and have never had any ill effects, although I know a lot of people believe that it is better to leave one's computer on all the time.

  23. Greenone macrumors 6502

    Sep 19, 2005
    Good ideas, thanks. I wonder which is a more popular idea (and for what reasons), leaving it on/asleep, or turning it off, in general. Hmmm...if I had enough energy I'd do some sort of poll. How 'bout one of you guys doing it, k?

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