Why my fans spinning so loud!?

JasonR

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Nov 11, 2008
958
1
I've got a 2011 i5 Macbook Air, 256GB Hard Drive 4GB of ram. This things heat and the fan spins even running light apps. I'm thinking I may need a 2010/2011 or current Macbook Pro based on my usage. For the record, it's hooked up to 27" Cinema Display.

All i have running is Dropbox, chrome, spotify, transmission, and excel. Is this normal?

Using my previous Macbook Pro I almost never heard the fans unless doing something extremely CPU intensive. Here's a screenshot of iStatPro.
 

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GGJstudios

macrumors Westmere
May 16, 2008
44,396
709
I've got a 2011 i5 Macbook Air, 256GB Hard Drive 4GB of ram. This things heat and the fan spins even running light apps. I'm thinking I may need a 2010/2011 or current Macbook Pro based on my usage. For the record, it's hooked up to 27" Cinema Display.

All i have running is Dropbox, chrome, spotify, transmission, and excel. Is this normal?

Using my previous Macbook Pro I almost never heard the fans unless doing something extremely CPU intensive. Here's a screenshot of iStatPro.
Launch Activity Monitor and change "My Processes" at the top to "All Processes", then click on the CPU column heading once or twice, so the arrow points downward (highest values on top). Also, click on the System Memory tab at the bottom. Then take a screen shot, scroll down to see the rest of the list, take another screen shot and post them.
 

JasonR

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Nov 11, 2008
958
1
Here you go:

Excel was at 100% CPU usage and not responding, so I force quitted the app. I have one excel doc open that is not complicated or super long. Wth??

Here are the screen shots (note that I stopped doing most everything including playing a song in spotify, working in excel, etc)

Maybe the Air just isn't good at multitasking on the 27" display? What happens when I need photoshop open too? :confused:
 

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Arne

macrumors regular
May 14, 2006
172
0
Germany
Don't worry, your Macbook can handle Photoshop and Spotify and whatever you need fine simultaneously on your 27" screen. Excel most certainly went to 100% CPU because of a bug (got stuck in an infinite loop).
 

jamesr19

macrumors 6502
Nov 7, 2009
251
0
Yeh the fans run because you had a problem with Excel. The fans never really run up on my MBA unless I'm playing a game, an app has badly crashed or I'm running something graphics intensive on my USB driven 24" monitor. The MBA can handle a heck of a lot of stuff!!

On another note, you need to try and take better care of your battery. You've only had 17 cycles and are on 94% health - I've been through 107 and am on 94% You are much better off letting your laptop run pretty much flat after you've unplugged it and started using it for like 15+mins. I use mine every day and spend a lot of the time on battery.
 

TheRealDamager

macrumors 65816
Jan 5, 2011
1,043
11
Yeh the fans run because you had a problem with Excel. The fans never really run up on my MBA unless I'm playing a game, an app has badly crashed or I'm running something graphics intensive on my USB driven 24" monitor. The MBA can handle a heck of a lot of stuff!!

On another note, you need to try and take better care of your battery. You've only had 17 cycles and are on 94% health - I've been through 107 and am on 94% You are much better off letting your laptop run pretty much flat after you've unplugged it and started using it for like 15+mins. I use mine every day and spend a lot of the time on battery.
I think that battery health number can go up and down - and you don't need to condition the battery.
 

Stealthipad

macrumors 68040
Apr 30, 2010
3,223
7
If Excel was using 100%, no doubt that was your problem.

Either a problem with the Excel software install or there is a bug in the worksheet. Try opening another worksheet to see if the same happens. That should tell you.
 

The-Pro

macrumors 65816
Dec 2, 2010
1,449
35
Germany
Your MBA will run hotter when connected the the cinema display even when you don't do anything on it. This is because when its not connected to the screen the graphics card underclocks itself to lower frequencies until you need more graphics power. When connected the the screen the GPU doesn't underclock so that everything is as smooth as possible. It will therefore run a bit warmer, so expect the fan to be around 3000rpm then, when you do very little.
The 6000rpm thing was definitely due to excel like others are pointing out.
 

JasonR

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Nov 11, 2008
958
1
Thanks for the help.

I sold the Macbook Air and bought a 15" Macbook Pro...I figured with as much as I'm in Photoshop, Illustrator, and given how much I multitask the added horsepower will be nice, particularly with the 27" Cinema Display.
 

The-Pro

macrumors 65816
Dec 2, 2010
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Germany
Thanks for the help.

I sold the Macbook Air and bought a 15" Macbook Pro...I figured with as much as I'm in Photoshop, Illustrator, and given how much I multitask the added horsepower will be nice, particularly with the 27" Cinema Display.
Good choice :)
Dont expect the MBP to be quiet though. It too can get very loud under little use.
I'd recommend you upgrade to 8GB RAM as soon as possible. Its extremely cheap and you'll use it when in photoshop and illustrator.
 

JasonR

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Nov 11, 2008
958
1
Good choice :)
Dont expect the MBP to be quiet though. It too can get very loud under little use.
I'd recommend you upgrade to 8GB RAM as soon as possible. Its extremely cheap and you'll use it when in photoshop and illustrator.
Damn I was hoping for a quiet machine like my old Macbook Pro.

And it's already got 8 GB of Ram. :D
 

The-Pro

macrumors 65816
Dec 2, 2010
1,449
35
Germany
Damn I was hoping for a quiet machine like my old Macbook Pro.

And it's already got 8 GB of Ram. :D
Well its quiet most of the time, you will hardly ever hear it. But as soon as CPU and/or GPU usage increases the fans spin up. 4000rpm-6000rpm is pretty annoying. Under 4000 its not annoying, in my opinion. Put on some music and you wont notice it. Works for me :D

Nice :D
 

JasonR

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Nov 11, 2008
958
1
Well its quiet most of the time, you will hardly ever hear it. But as soon as CPU and/or GPU usage increases the fans spin up. 4000rpm-6000rpm is pretty annoying. Under 4000 its not annoying, in my opinion. Put on some music and you wont notice it. Works for me :D

Nice :D
Thanks for the heads up. It is what it it is...fans spin up when they need to. :D
 

Sapa

macrumors newbie
Jun 16, 2011
17
0
Firefox seems to really force my MBA to work hard. The fan kicks in and whirs away whenever I use it, especially when watching streaming videos. I only use Safari and Chrome now which handle everything I throw at them.
 

bcaslis

macrumors 68020
Mar 11, 2008
2,165
190
Thanks for the heads up. It is what it it is...fans spin up when they need to. :D
Note if you use locations. I have two locations setup with different network settings. I often find when I switch locations the CPU starts heating up like there is some process running, but I can't see anything in Activity Monitor. Within a few minutes the fan will ramp and not stop. If I restart everything is fine until I switch locations again. If you are switching network settings when your fan starts running you might want to consider this. I think there must be some bug in Lion that is doing this. I've seen this on two different MBAs even after doing a clean reinstall.
 

jterp7

macrumors 6502a
Oct 26, 2011
900
34
Firefox seems to really force my MBA to work hard. The fan kicks in and whirs away whenever I use it, especially when watching streaming videos. I only use Safari and Chrome now which handle everything I throw at them.
its mac's implementation of flash (html5 isn't much better..yet) that is causing the fans to spin up. It doesn't matter safari/FF/chrome they all will make the MBA/MBP go crazy whenever you're running a stream
 

bogatyr

macrumors 65816
Mar 13, 2012
1,127
1
I had the same issue with my MBA and Thunderbolt Display. Picked up an mStand and now my fans run 2000RPM - 3000RPM doing the same activities. This is down from 6-7k or whatever maximum noise is.

Not sure why the little gap of air below the MBA lets it stay so cool compared to laying flat on my desk. But whatever, it works.
 

JasonR

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Nov 11, 2008
958
1
I had the same issue with my MBA and Thunderbolt Display. Picked up an mStand and now my fans run 2000RPM - 3000RPM doing the same activities. This is down from 6-7k or whatever maximum noise is.

Not sure why the little gap of air below the MBA lets it stay so cool compared to laying flat on my desk. But whatever, it works.
Hmm really? Well that sucks I just spent $300 extra for my MBP...but I really needed the extra horsepower anyways, and I have an iPad LTE for when I need to be really portable.

Maybe I'll pick up the book arc thing or whatever for my MBP and ACD.
 

bogatyr

macrumors 65816
Mar 13, 2012
1,127
1
Just to add, if Flash is running, the mStand doesn't keep it cool enough and the fans kick in. I rarely run flash but I had a page left open with it running and the fans definitely started up. Killed the page and after a while the laptop cooled back down.
 

JasonR

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Nov 11, 2008
958
1
Yeah...I was playing some flash video content as well on my the 27" ACD (a couple porn windows lmao)...and the fans were definitely noisy. Kind of annoying when I'm trying to get some quality alone time. LOL

My old MBPs didn't seem to do this...is this just a drawback to the Sandy Bridge platform or...?
 

The-Pro

macrumors 65816
Dec 2, 2010
1,449
35
Germany
its mac's implementation of flash (html5 isn't much better..yet) that is causing the fans to spin up. It doesn't matter safari/FF/chrome they all will make the MBA/MBP go crazy whenever you're running a stream
l have to say i dont fully agree with this. its not just flash on whatever browser. ive tested the three browsers for long periods of time and found that firefox is an utter ram hog and even when just having wikipedia open, nothing else, and not scrolling what so ever, it uses 7-10% cpu. ive never seen firefox drop below 5%.
safari on the other hand lies at 1-5% under simple simple simple webpages and it uses much less ram ( mostly around 50% of what firefox used) chrome very similar to safari. flash in firefox also uses more cpu then on safari or chrome.
html5 is a lot better then flash cpu wise. 720p youtube video uses ~17% cpu in safari. 720p flash (same vid just flash) uses a whopping 50-65%.

atleast thats the way it is with me

all streams will make it go crazy yeh. there is very little airflow in the MBA and it has quite a powerful cpu
 

jordanloder

macrumors newbie
Aug 24, 2012
1
0
Launch Activity Monitor and change "My Processes" at the top to "All Processes", then click on the CPU column heading once or twice, so the arrow points downward (highest values on top). Also, click on the System Memory tab at the bottom. Then take a screen shot, scroll down to see the rest of the list, take another screen shot and post them.


here you go:) thanks for any help.













:)
 

GGJstudios

macrumors Westmere
May 16, 2008
44,396
709
here you go:) thanks for any help
:)
Please follow the links in my post that you quoted for instructions on how to take and post a screen shot in the forum, rather than linking from another site. The ones you posted are so small, I can't read them clearly. Also, change the "All Processes, Hierarchically" to "All Processes". What problems are you experiencing? Fans spinning up? If so, also use iStat Pro to get accurate readings of your temps and fan speeds and post a screen shot of that, as well.