SmcFanControl on New Unibody Macbook Pro

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by HappyDude20, Aug 18, 2009.

  1. HappyDude20 macrumors 68020

    HappyDude20

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    #1
    So almost a week ago I was scouring the MacRumors forums and someone mentioned SmcFanControl, mentioning that the fans on Macbooks turn on once the heat is already too high for it to come down once the fan finally turns on.

    SmcFanControl was suggested and I love it!

    My new uMacbook Pro do not get hot at all! I love that so much. With my whitebook it would get f*cking hot all the time, regardless if it was resting on my lap or on any desk.

    SmcFanControl is now set to open at login on my MBP and was concerned about a few things...

    ..such as, can this void the warranty in any manner? I've only had SmcFanControl for a few days but have it set to "Higher RPM" and in the menu bar states about 5200-5300rpm at most times.

    Mainly my concern regards with the warranty, I don't wanna mess anything up. But I really do love that it just doesn't get hot. The temp. reads most of the time anywhere from 105*f-130*f, right now, just having turned on my uMPB reads at 106*f.
     
  2. gr8tfly macrumors 603

    gr8tfly

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    #2
    The device heats up as soon as power is applied, so there's a minimum temp you'll see reported (I use Hardware Monitor).

    Have you tried using the unibody without SmcFanControl? I have an early 2009 17" 2.66GHz and it rarely even gets warm to the touch - even when doing intensive work (CPU and/or GPU). Right now, using Safari, Mail and iTunes, with the 9600GPU, I'm seeing ~140F on CPU-A temp diode. Fans are at 2000 RPM. Most of the top case is cool, except over the hard-drive - which is slightly warm at times. The bottom is warm to the touch (bottomside case temp reported between about 80F and 90F, depending on sensor). Overall, with similar usage, this is noticeable cooler than my 2.33GHz MBP. Easily the coolest running PB/MBP I've owned.

    I make sure to always use it on a flat surface or a CoolPad (it only has rubber bumpers - no fans). Anything flat that doesn't block the rear of the machine should be sufficient, though.

    As quiet as the UB fans are, I'd much prefer them below 3000 RPM (they're silent below about that speed). Obviously, it doesn't hurt to have them running higher, except perhaps more wear & tear and increased noise (though, I believe the UB's use mag bearings). I don't think there's any warranty problem running it, but I also don't see any reason for using it.

    The fan control tracks temperature very well (even compared with my previous MBP). Probably a combination of more sensors, better heat control with both fans and case design, and more refinements in the control algorithm. It doesn't unnecessarily run them (keeping noise down), but slowly ramps up/down as needed. Once the temperature rise is arrested, it will slow the fans down to some stable speed (you'll see an overshoot in a graph of fan speed, followed by it leveling out). When the temperature starts to drop, the fans will wait a bit before slowing (probably to prevent "cycling" - again, noise control).

    I suggest giving the UB a chance on it's own and see what you think. As cool as this usually runs, I don't expect I'd see much difference. Most of the heat I notice is over the top of the hard drive and I don't think the fans have much effect in that area.
     
  3. HappyDude20 thread starter macrumors 68020

    HappyDude20

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    #3
    I'll post a follow up photo to the one include here. The phone represented here indicated the temps. with SmcFanControl on..i'll report another photo of when SmcControl is off and i'm doing the same thing, i.e. watching something on hulu, have itunes open and surfing the web, also OmniFocus is always open so that too.

    Edit: Another question. SmcFanControl; battery drainer?
     

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  4. gr8tfly macrumors 603

    gr8tfly

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    #4
    Looks like you have the 15" model. I'd expect some differences, mostly because there's only a single fan. Anyway, it'll be interesting to see what your test shows. I'm guessing the 15" fan will have a higher normal speed than the 17" (interestingly enough, the 17's right fan is the same part as the 15's).

    edit: To answer your edit - yes, increased fan speed will decrease battery life.
     
  5. tdgrn macrumors 6502

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    #5
    15 and 17 inch MBP have 2 fans, the 13 inch only has one...
     
  6. HappyDude20 thread starter macrumors 68020

    HappyDude20

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    #6
    I have the 13inch mbp
     
  7. gr8tfly macrumors 603

    gr8tfly

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    #7
    Of course, I opened the service manual for the 15" unibody 2.53GHz 9400M only (mid-2009) first. It has only the single fan, which did surprise me. The other three 15" models do have 2 fans (all mid-2009).

    I'd still have the same expectation on fan speed, though (on the OP's).
     
  8. HappyDude20 thread starter macrumors 68020

    HappyDude20

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    #8
    It doesn't feel hot on the bottom of the mbp. Its slightly warm but in no way hot or a discomfort.
     

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  9. omgitscro macrumors 6502a

    omgitscro

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    #9
    The secondary fan is only utilized to cool down the 9600M GT while it is in use :)
     
  10. gr8tfly macrumors 603

    gr8tfly

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    #10
    Both fans operate at the same speed no matter what the cause of the temp increase. I don't have the 15" ub, but I'd expect the same behavior as I've measured on my 17" ub. I either case, the heatsink is in contact with all three devices.
     
  11. gr8tfly macrumors 603

    gr8tfly

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    #11
    Looks like your temps are similar to mine and the case feels about the same, too. It's interesting the fan does indeed idle at 2000 RPM. I take it you're saying the case doesn't feel all that different from when you were running SmcFanControl at >5000 RPM? If so, I guess it's a question of whether that difference balances with a bit more noise.

    Just for fun, I ran iTunes Visualizer "G-Force", which is CPU intensive, first with the 9400, then 9600. They had same overall heatsink temps. The fans both started ramping up once the case bottomside sensor 4 hit 95F, with CPU diode at 176F. I didn't run it until the fan speeds stabilized, but in a past test they did at about 4400 RPM. They will go higher when I'm stressing the 9600 and CPU (X-Plane, for instance).

    The vast majority of the time, I never notice any fan noise or uncomfortable heat. As a for instance, running Aperture: most of the heat I notice comes from the harddrive area (left palm). The rest of the case top is barely warm.
     
  12. HappyDude20 thread starter macrumors 68020

    HappyDude20

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    #12
    I'm current using my Macbook outdoors, running OmniFocus & Firefox. Here's a photo included of the current stats. Right now its noticibly warm underneath, though nothing compared with my previous whitebook. The fan, even at 5000rpm is silent to a certain degree, at least this is my thinking comparing it with my old whitebook.
     

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  13. gr8tfly macrumors 603

    gr8tfly

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    #13
    Just curious - is it hot outside (probably a dumb question, considering it's mid-August ;) )? I'm usually in an air-conditioned environment, so my ambient temps are usually cool (70F or so).

    I'll have to agree with the fan noise - these are definitely quieter than my 2.33GHz MBP's were, at the same RPM.
     
  14. HappyDude20 thread starter macrumors 68020

    HappyDude20

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    #14
    It actually is. It's 84F here in L.A. and decided to take out my uMbp after having lunch with some friends and get some work done. The summer is bright today so have the screen at full brightness and i'm sure the weather does play a small role here today.
     
  15. kryptonianjorel macrumors 6502

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    #15
    Wow, thats pretty warm. I have the 15" (dual fans). I run mine at 4000 RPM most of the time and I'm getting 38C as my temp in a 78F house. You may have a problem...
     
  16. gr8tfly macrumors 603

    gr8tfly

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    #16
    Which is 38C (100.4F)? CPU diode or enclosure or? :confused: I can't see it being the CPU, so that looks like a pretty normal case temp for a warm-ish room (warm to me... ;) ).
     
  17. NovemberWhiskey macrumors 68030

    NovemberWhiskey

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    #17
    I don't understand why they just don't make an automatic control for SMC Fan Control...:confused::confused::confused:

    I just want to set it to turn on when it gets too hot, automatically, and spin down to normal speeds when it is cool.
     
  18. gr8tfly macrumors 603

    gr8tfly

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    #18
    :confused: That's what Apple's firmware does. :confused:

    My understanding of SmcFanControl is it only sets a minimum speed. Above that, the fans function the same as they would w/o SmcFanControl. If it set a fixed speed, you would run the risk of not running them fast enough to handle the heat load. That would be a bad thing.
     
  19. SnowLeopard2008 macrumors 604

    SnowLeopard2008

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    #19
    Only time I was even slightly concerned about heat was when I was playing Crysis Warhead on Windows [Boot Camp] on high settings. Normally, you'd be just slowly killing your fans.

    I'm running Mail, Safari, Firefox, iTunes, multiple CS4 apps encoding/rendering, Xcode, iChat, Tweetie, iMovie encoding a HD movie, Screenflow exporting a HD res screen capture, and Final Cut open while I cut all at the same time with no problems.
     
  20. kryptonianjorel macrumors 6502

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    #20
    According to istat, it's CPU temp, heatsink even cooler.

    Since i've ben running vmware with xp, and an SNES emulator, the CPU hopped up to 52C
     
  21. gr8tfly macrumors 603

    gr8tfly

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    #21
    38C is pretty cool - literally ;)

    The only temps I see close to that are my enclosure temps, 30C to 36C. But, the top case is cool to the touch, so I'm happy. Still the cools MBP I've owned (in more ways than temp ;) ).
     
  22. HappyDude20 thread starter macrumors 68020

    HappyDude20

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    #22
    Well, personally I thought today when i posted the warmer temps. while I was outside, that was due to the back of the macbook being pretty close to the wall, preventing good air flow, plus even at some point I put my legs up so the mpb was resting on my denim lap.

    After originally posting those warmer temps. earlier i've set the smcfancontrol at 6000rpm and its not hot at all. Even if resting on my lap.

    So far, i've noticed that it's not too much of a battery drainer, which i'm digging. . . .

    ...but we'll see.

    My main concerns are not voiding the warranty or f*cking up up the fans.
     
  23. designgeek macrumors 65816

    designgeek

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    #23
    I ran smcFanControl full blast for three days during what I call "the Folding@Home disaster of 2008" and it went fine. Those fans were defective though as I hear a lot of the late '08 uMBPs were, and smcFanControl finished them off. Apple replaced them under warranty but I uninstalled smcFanControl before I sent it back just in case and no trouble.

    Since then I've reinstalled and I'll run it full blast during HandBrake queues and everything works perfectly, I can run them at 6200 rpm for hours at a time and when I set it back to default they start running silently at about 2000 again. The only problem is that when I quit smcFanControl it leaves the fans at whatever setting I left them on and I have to open it again to change back to default or whatever.
     
  24. kryptonianjorel macrumors 6502

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    #24
    Ouch. I tried doing F@H on a laptop...its horrible. Its best used by desktops and PS3s. Since my school makes me pay for room phone service, I decided to pay them back by running up the electric bill running F@H 24/7 on my Quad Core desktop
     
  25. tempusfugit macrumors 65816

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    #25
    speeding up your fan won't void your warranty.


    fans are about the cheapest component of the computer, and its much better to wear them out instead of frying your logic board.
     

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