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12" PowerBook temperatures

Message #1 - Posted 2004/09/18 - Michael L. Scott

My brand-new 12" G4 DVI PowerBook runs the fan pretty much all the time, and absolutely all the time when driving an external display.

Marcel Bresink's Temperature Monitor program indicates that the GPU (graphics processor) is the problem: when the machine is idle (nothing moving on the screen; nothing to speak of running on the processor) the CPU sits at about 117 degrees F, while the GPU runs at 133 when driving just the external display (laptop display turned off) or 137 when driving both. If there's a modest amount of graphics activity (dynamic web pages, for example), the GPU temp rises to about 147.

I find the fan noise *very* annoyming.
I've called Apple Tech support (complementary 90 day service). They say they can't tell me over the phone what the temperatures ought to be. They won't even say whether it's normal for the fan to run constantly when the machine is idle! For that I have to take the machine to a service center, which is free to charge me a steep diagnostic fee if they decide it's normal.

This strikes me as positively ridiculous.

I'd be grateful if anybody else with this model PowerBook could tell me whether the temps above are unusual.

Message #2 - Posted 2004/09/19 - Elliott Roper

Previously, Michael L. Scott wrote:

My brand-new 12" G4 DVI PowerBook runs the fan pretty much all the time, and absolutely all the time when driving an external display.

Marcel Bresink's Temperature Monitor program indicates that the GPU (graphics processor) is the problem: when the machine is idle (nothing moving on the screen; nothing to speak of running on the processor) the CPU sits at about 117 degrees F, while the GPU runs at 133 when driving just the external display (laptop display turned off) or 137 when driving both. If there's a modest amount of graphics activity (dynamic web pages, for example), the GPU temp rises to about 147.

I find the fan noise *very* annoyming.
I've called Apple Tech support (complementary 90 day service). They say they can't tell me over the phone what the temperatures ought to be. They won't even say whether it's normal for the fan to run constantly when the machine is idle! For that I have to take the machine to a service center, which is free to charge me a steep diagnostic fee if they decide it's normal.

This strikes me as positively ridiculous.

I'd be grateful if anybody else with this model PowerBook could tell me whether the temps above are unusual.

Using the same program, my 1 year old 1GHz 12" powerbook reports slightly lower temperaures, normally running with two monitors. The fan kicks in at 116∫F CPU or 132∫F GPU or thereabouts. It usually takes about an hour of normal use to reach these temperatures from overnight sleep. Depending on the room temperature, the fan may switch off if I leave the machine awake doing nothing.

The room where I work is very quiet, and I too find the fan noise irritating. To be fair, the 12" PB is by far the quietest computer I have ever owned, even with the fan on. I still get obsessive about fan noise. My solution is to operate the machine on a cool surface. That is enough to keep the fan off, except for massively compute intensive tasks, like long video renders.

My cool surface is a plastic 'cold compress bag', sold in pharmacies for sports injuries. It is 250mm x 115mm, and filled with 200g of gel. I cycle two of them, one warming under the PB where it doubles as a stand to tilt the keyboard toward me - it lifts the back by about 5mm and quickly moulds to fit a large area of the bottom of the PB. The other cools on a window ledge, on hot days aided by a freezer block.

The other way is to jam a pair of headphones on yer skull and treat yourself to some full-on Mozart from iTunes. The trouble is, it is nicer to listen to the music than to do the work you are being paid for.

I thought I would be the last on earth to mung my e-mail address. fsnospam$elliott$$

Message #3 - Posted 2004/09/19 - Daniel T.

Michael L. Scott wrote:

My brand-new 12" G4 DVI PowerBook runs the fan pretty much all the time, and absolutely all the time when driving an external display.

Marcel Bresink's Temperature Monitor program indicates that the GPU (graphics processor) is the problem: when the machine is idle (nothing moving on the screen; nothing to speak of running on the processor) the CPU sits at about 117 degrees F, while the GPU runs at 133 when driving just the external display (laptop display turned off) or 137 when driving both. If there's a modest amount of graphics activity (dynamic web pages, for example), the GPU temp rises to about 147.

What kind of surface do you have your computer sitting on? Try putting some feet under the computer so that it isn't directly sitting on the surface and see what happens.

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