What Are The Possible Causes Of Excessive Fan Noise?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by beeinformed, Aug 26, 2013.

  1. beeinformed, Aug 26, 2013
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2013

    beeinformed macrumors 6502

    Jun 30, 2010

    I have a 2011 13 inch Macbook Air notebook and the last few weeks I've had excessive fan noise on a daily basis from the computer.

    I would appreciate any feedback about the possible causes of the excessive fan noise from my notebook.

    Thanks in advance for your help to my inquiry!
  2. Macman45 macrumors G5


    Jul 29, 2011
    Somewhere Back In The Long Ago
  3. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    High fan speed usually is caused by high temperatures. If you're not already doing so, use iStat Pro (free) or iStat Menus ($16) to get accurate readings of your temps, fan speeds, etc., rather than relying on your sense of touch or sound. A forum member has posted a copy of iStat Pro that has been "tweaked" to enhance compatibility with Mountain Lion. You can download it here.
    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)
    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), or 1200 for the newest MBAs. Older iMacs have 3 fans with minimum speeds in the 800-1200 range, while the newest iMacs have a single fan, spinning at a minimum of about 1400 rpm. 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. For Flash-related issues:
  4. DisplacedMic macrumors 65816

    May 1, 2009

    unless there's a glitch telling the fans to run constantly they only come on due to heat. if you are not performing processor intensive tasks then the chances are you have a runaway app, the exhaust ports are blocked, or (and this is the most unlikely) there is a software/hardware glitch associated with the fans themselves.

    You didn't mention what you are doing with the machine or if it does in fact seem to get hot.

    Have you tried rebooting?
    Have you checked for heat?
    Have you checked activity monitor for run-away apps?

    there are a million software causes for excessive fan use but we also need you to define that term.

    Does that mean they are running too often?
    Do you mean that the fans themselves sound funny?
    Are the RPMs too high?

    Those fans do sometimes go bad and need to be replaced.
    Or they could be full of dust...same goes for the exhaust ports.

    Where do you use the computer? using it on a bed, pillow, blanket, couch etc can block heat dissipation.

    Rather than us giving you a list of things that could cause excessive fan noise, which would be numerous, you should give us a list of the things above or a screenshot of your disk activity info and we'll tell you what could be causing it

  5. Mr Rabbit macrumors 6502a

    Mr Rabbit

    May 13, 2013
    Using it on your lap/in bed/on the couch/etc....

    In addition to what everyone else has said.
  6. Mrbobb macrumors 601

    Aug 27, 2012
  7. l.a.rossmann macrumors 65816


    May 15, 2009
  8. beautifulcoder macrumors regular

    Apr 13, 2013
    The Republic of Texas
    Needs cleaning. Try opening it or take it to Apple.

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