Smc fan control abuse?

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by madsilencerr, Sep 8, 2012.

  1. madsilencerr macrumors member

    Aug 27, 2012
    I read in many topics in different forums that smc fan control can solve overheating problems. I am curious if it is abuse to the system though. If the mini break and i take it to apple will they tell me that used my machine in a bad way because of fan control? ( sorry for my english)
  2. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    First, if a Mac truly overheats, it shuts down. Many use fan control apps who don't need to. Mac OS X manages heat and fans without user interference. Having said that, I doubt using such apps can damage your Mac.

    The Intel processors used in Macs are designed to automatically shut down to prevent damage if they truly overheat. CPU Tjmax = 105C (221F), GPU Tjmax = 100C (212F) on i3, i5, i7 processors. (Source: Intel)

    If you're not already using it, iStat Pro (free) or iStat Menus ($16) will give you accurate readings of your temps and fan speeds, among other things.

    Unless there is a rare defect in a Mac, most temps are well within the normal operating range, considering the workload being put on it. Websites with Flash content, games and other multimedia apps will put higher demand on the CPU/GPU, generating more heat. This is normal. If you're constantly putting high demands on your system, such as gaming or other multimedia tasks, expect temps to rise and fans to spin up accordingly. It's just your Mac doing its job to maintain temps within the normal range.

    It is also quite normal for your Mac to become extremely hot to the touch during intensive operations. The aluminum body transfers heat more effectively than other materials used in computer casings, so you will feel the heat more. This doesn't indicate that it's overheating and will not harm the computer to be hot to the touch.

    Your fans are always on when your Mac is on, spinning at a minimum of 2000 rpm (for MBPs) or 1800 rpm (for MBAs, MBs and minis). iMacs have 3 fans with minimum speeds in the 800-1200 range. They will spin faster as needed to keep temps at a safe level.

    If your fans are spinning up without increased heat, try resetting the SMC.
    (PRAM/NVRAM has nothing to do with these issues, so resetting it will not help.)

    The intake and exhaust vents are in the back of the computer near the hinge on all Mac notebooks (except the new MBP with retina display, which has intake vents along the sides at the bottom). The iMac vent is a slot on the back near the top of the computer. Make sure the vents remain unblocked to allow your computer to perform at its best.

    Learn about the fans in your Mac
    Apple Portables: Operating temperature

    For Flash-related issues:
  3. madsilencerr thread starter macrumors member

    Aug 27, 2012
    I have a mac mini 2010 and i game a lot on it, that's why i thought about smc fan control. You say that i am ok without it?
  4. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    If your Mac isn't shutting down due to heat, you don't need it. You can use it if you like, but it's not necessary for safe operation.
  5. madsilencerr thread starter macrumors member

    Aug 27, 2012
    Thank you VERY much for your help!
  6. xlii macrumors 68000


    Sep 19, 2006
    Millis, Massachusetts
    From experience I found that if I run a cpu extensive task the temp will reach 200 F before osx ramps up the fans and the temps will stay ~200 F for the duration of the task.

    If I use smcfancontrol to ramp up the fans before I start that cpu intensive task the temps would ramp up and level off at 175 - 180 F.

    - just sayin'
  7. Ice Dragon macrumors 6502a

    Ice Dragon

    Jun 16, 2009
    I run smcfancontrol sometimes just to keep my Mac a bit cooler though it is a matter of personal preference and not required.

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