Running mid 2011 Mini with or without cover...

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by The HACK, Oct 4, 2011.

  1. The HACK macrumors member

    Oct 4, 2011
    This came out of left field when I was installing Windows 7 on BootCamp partition. The system shut-down in the middle of the install and the MINI was burning hot to the touch, so I tried installing Windows 7 again with the cover off and a fan blowing at the MINI to see if it helped. When all was said and done, I rebooted into Lion with the cover off, and to my surprise the CPU is registering a good 10 degrees cooler than what I'm used to seeing.

    So I turned off the fan blowing at the Mini, turned it off, and waited for everything to cool down, restarted it and sure enough, the temperature was pretty stable at 45º C (no cover) vs. 55º C (cover) with light to no load and the internal fan blowing at 2,500 RPM.

    I've drilled two small holes around where the fan sits on the cover to see if the cooling effect of ambient air through the fan will help, and it appears having access to outside air helps the fan cool down the CPU considerably. Now with the cover back on the CPU sits pretty stable between 45ºC-47ºC as long as I'm not encoding video.

    Just another datapoint to the intel i5/i7 temperature debate on the MINI.

    p.s.: I ran the Mini standing on its side most of the time to save space on a very small desktop dominated by a large Wacom tablet.
  2. monokitty macrumors regular

    Sep 16, 2011
    If your Mac mini is indeed overheating, it's defective. Too bad you tossed your warranty. The Mac mini should, and can, run in its factory design and casing.
  3. shortcut3d macrumors 65816

    Aug 24, 2011
    I'm not surprised that the Mini over heated on its side. Depending on the side, the hot air would rise and get stuck at the processor or opposite side the power supply.
  4. mac jones macrumors 68040

    Apr 6, 2006
    I try to refrain from cutting holes in computers, even though the urge is sometimes great.
  5. 51t macrumors newbie

    Oct 4, 2011
    I also noticed a significant drop in temps with the round cover off. So much so that when encoding temps max out around 82 deg vs 92 with the cover on. It's a big enough difference that the fan doesn't even max out with all the cores pegged.

    The bad side is the fan is very much louder when it ramps up. Even to the point of annoying.

    I keep mine suspended on 4 rubber feet with the cover off but that is more for the fact that the internal speaker is louder with the cover off.
  6. Dewaine macrumors newbie

    Sep 15, 2011
    No need to take the cover off, stick you Mini in the freezer!

    Seriously, I used to run a PC tower with the covers off. Yes, it did in fact run cooler. It lasted the entire 3 years that I used it without a problem. The next PC I had, I left the cover on... and sure enough it lasted the five years I needed it without a problem. (it is in the garage in a trashbag just incase my Mac blows up :) )......

    Me thinks there is much to worry about this stuff....
  7. Skoopman macrumors 6502

    Sep 24, 2011
    I don't know about your Mini, but I can't mine over 71C even under full load, because the fans start the moment the CPU warms up. If your Mini get's that hot, it has a defect. Why didn't you bring it to Apple to repair it instead of drilling holes and loosing the warranty?

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