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fan on MacBook Pro

Message #1 - Posted 2011/09/19 - paris2venice

I purchased a MacBook Pro last spring. Since I purchased it, the fan blows several times a day. Is this normal? I've never had a Mac that blows its fan (much) but I have witnessed iMacs (2008 models) also doing this almost non-stop. What's the deal? Anybody know? Thanks.

Message #2 - Posted 2011/09/19 - Nelson

On Mon, 19 Sep 2011 04:33:46 -0400, paris2venice wrote (in a previous article):

I purchased a MacBook Pro last spring. Since I purchased it, the fan blows several times a day. Is this normal?

Unfortunately, yes.

Nelson

Message #3 - Posted 2011/09/19 - Michael Vilain

Previously, paris2venice wrote:

I purchased a MacBook Pro last spring. Since I purchased it, the fan blows several times a day. Is this normal? I've never had a Mac that blows its fan (much) but I have witnessed iMacs (2008 models) also doing this almost non-stop. What's the deal? Anybody know? Thanks.

Take it to an Apple Store and have them run diagnostics on it. Either the fan is guncked up or there's a problem with the hardware.

DeeDee, don't press that button! DeeDee! NO! Dee... [I filter all Goggle Groups posts, so any reply may be automatically ignored]

Message #4 - Posted 2011/09/19 - Jolly Roger

Previously, Nelson wrote:

On Mon, 19 Sep 2011 04:33:46 -0400, paris2venice wrote (in a previous article):

I purchased a MacBook Pro last spring. Since I purchased it, the fan blows several times a day. Is this normal?

Unfortunately, yes.

Really? Mine hardly ever makes any noise.

Send responses to the relevant news group rather than email to me. E-mail sent to this address may be devoured by my very hungry SPAM filter. Due to Google's refusal to prevent spammers from posting messages through their servers, I often ignore posts from Google Groups. Use a real news client if you want me to see your posts.

JR

Message #5 - Posted 2011/09/19 - Philo D

Previously, paris2venice wrote:

I purchased a MacBook Pro last spring. Since I purchased it, the fan blows several times a day. Is this normal? I've never had a Mac that blows its fan (much) but I have witnessed iMacs (2008 models) also doing this almost non-stop. What's the deal? Anybody know? Thanks.

Perhaps run Activity Monitor and see if something is using lots of CPU.

Message #6 - Posted 2011/09/19 - MC

Previously, paris2venice wrote:

I purchased a MacBook Pro last spring. Since I purchased it, the fan blows several times a day. Is this normal? I've never had a Mac that blows its fan (much) but I have witnessed iMacs (2008 models) also doing this almost non-stop. What's the deal? Anybody know? Thanks.

Does it have good air circulation all around it? What happens if you raise it an inch or two off the work surface?

--

"If you can, tell me something happy."
- Marybones

Message #7 - Posted 2011/09/19 - JF Mezei

paris2venice wrote:

I purchased a MacBook Pro last spring. Since I purchased it, the fan blows several times a day. Is this normal? I've never had a Mac that blows its fan (much) but I have witnessed iMacs (2008 models) also doing this almost non-stop. What's the deal? Anybody know? Thanks.

The fan always blows, but generally at low speed. If your use the laptop in a positin where the air poitlet in the back is blocked, the mac will heat up quickly and dans will increase speeds.

Look for "Temperature Monitor" it is a neat app that shows the CPU temperature in the menu bar. There is also smcfancontrl where you can control fan speed.

Another possibility is the firmware being out of whack. There is an article in the apple web site, I don't have the URL handy, but there is a set of keys you can hold during power up to reset the non volatile memroy and this fixes many fan control issues. Sorry, I don't have the corect terminology handy, I am sure someone else will have it.

Message #8 - Posted 2011/09/19 - Nelson

On Mon, 19 Sep 2011 09:08:00 -0400, Jolly Roger wrote (in a previous article):

Previously, Nelson wrote:

On Mon, 19 Sep 2011 04:33:46 -0400, paris2venice wrote (in a previous article):

I purchased a MacBook Pro last spring. Since I purchased it, the fan blows several times a day. Is this normal?

Unfortunately, yes.

Really? Mine hardly ever makes any noise.

I didn't say it was noisy. But almost any video, particularly flash, will cause it to heat up and run the fans fast enough to hear. In fact, I believe they run all the time, video or no. I have smcFanControl installed and it shows both fans at about 2000 rpm right now with a processor load of about 12% and a cpu temperature of 50º C.

Then again, smcFan Control has a minimum setting of 2000 rpm. I don't know how fast they would run if you just left it up to the system but I'm guessing it's not 0.

Nelson

Message #9 - Posted 2011/09/19 - Jolly Roger

Previously, Nelson wrote:

On Mon, 19 Sep 2011 09:08:00 -0400, Jolly Roger wrote (in a previous article):

Previously, Nelson wrote:

On Mon, 19 Sep 2011 04:33:46 -0400, paris2venice wrote (in a previous article):

I purchased a MacBook Pro last spring. Since I purchased it, the fan blows several times a day. Is this normal?

Unfortunately, yes.

Really? Mine hardly ever makes any noise.

I didn't say it was noisy.

The OP seems to be indicating that his noticeably "blows several times a day". He seems to think this is abnormal.

But almost any video, particularly flash,
will cause it to heat up and run the fans fast enough to hear.

Of course. Your computer is working harder to run Flash content, and the components therefore get hotter and need more cooling. That's normal operation.

In fact, I believe they run all the time, video or no.

Naturally. Even while idle, computer components generate heat and need to be cooled.

I have
smcFanControl installed and it shows both fans at about 2000 rpm right now with a processor load of about 12% and a cpu temperature of 50º C.

Seems normal to me.

Then again, smcFan Control has a minimum setting of 2000 rpm. I don't know how fast they would run if you just left it up to the system but I'm guessing it's not 0.

Yep. They always run, AFAIK.

Send responses to the relevant news group rather than email to me. E-mail sent to this address may be devoured by my very hungry SPAM filter. Due to Google's refusal to prevent spammers from posting messages through their servers, I often ignore posts from Google Groups. Use a real news client if you want me to see your posts.

JR

Message #10 - Posted 2011/09/19 - John Varela

On Mon, 19 Sep 2011 08:33:46 UTC, paris2venice wrote:

I purchased a MacBook Pro last spring. Since I purchased it, the fan blows several times a day. Is this normal? I've never had a Mac that blows its fan (much) but I have witnessed iMacs (2008 models) also doing this almost non-stop. What's the deal? Anybody know? Thanks.

It could be a problem with the System Management Controller (SMC).

One symptom of an SMC problem is "The computer's fans run at high speed although the computer is not experiencing heavy usage and is properly ventilated."

http://support.apple.com/kb/ht3964

Resetting the SMC is easy and the above link tells you how.

John Varela

Message #11 - Posted 2011/09/19 - Tim McNamara

Previously, Jolly Roger wrote:

Previously, Nelson wrote:

On Mon, 19 Sep 2011 04:33:46 -0400, paris2venice wrote (in a previous article)

I purchased a MacBook Pro last spring. Since I purchased it, the fan blows several times a day. Is this normal?

Unfortunately, yes.

Really? Mine hardly ever makes any noise.

Mine will predictably come on when I am watching streaming video but otherwise the fans are barely audible (MBP purchased December 2010).

We are buried beneath the weight of information,
which is being confused with knowledge;
quantity is being confused with abundance and
wealth with happiness. -Tom Waits

Message #12 - Posted 2011/09/19 - paris2venice

On Sep 19, 7:42 am, MC wrote:

Previously,

 paris2venice wrote:

I purchased a MacBook Pro last spring.  Since I purchased it, the fan blows several times a day.  Is this normal?  I've never had a Mac that blows its fan (much) but I have witnessed iMacs (2008 models) also doing this almost non-stop.   What's the deal?  Anybody know?  Thanks.

Does it have good air circulation all around it? What happens if you raise it an inch or two off the work surface?

It does have good circulation around it, however, since I use a 37- inch Vizio HDTV as my monitor, I always keep the clamshell closed. This is probably the problem since the vents are to the left and right of the keyboard. I should have thought about this but I'm surprised that Apple would put the vents inside only. Surely, they must know that plenty of people use a laptop in the way that I do. On the other hand, with the way it's designed, there's nowhere else to put the vents. Anyway, what can be done? I don't even use the keyboard (except when traveling) -- I guess I have to leave the MBP open all the time. Unfortunately, it will just collect dust but that's better than overheating though.

I don't have anything to lift the MacBook Pro off the surface of the desk but I know devices can be bought for this. Still, there is no vent on the bottom although laptops are surely known for warming laps excessively.

Message #13 - Posted 2011/09/20 - dorayme

In article <16efa47e-36f1-4c65-a339-cadf5be33b88@l4g2000vbv.googlegroups.com

,

paris2venice wrote:

On Sep 19, 7:42 am, MC wrote:

Previously,

 paris2venice wrote:

I purchased a MacBook Pro last spring.  Since I purchased it, the fan blows several times a day.  Is this normal?  I've never had a Mac that blows its fan (much) but I have witnessed iMacs (2008 models) also doing this almost non-stop.   What's the deal?  Anybody know?  Thanks.

Does it have good air circulation all around it? What happens if you raise it an inch or two off the work surface?

It does have good circulation around it, however, since I use a 37- inch Vizio HDTV as my monitor, I always keep the clamshell closed. This is probably the problem since the vents are to the left and right of the keyboard. I should have thought about this but I'm surprised that Apple would put the vents inside only. Surely, they must know that plenty of people use a laptop in the way that I do. On the other hand, with the way it's designed, there's nowhere else to put the vents. Anyway, what can be done? I don't even use the keyboard (except when traveling) -- I guess I have to leave the MBP open all the time. Unfortunately, it will just collect dust but that's better than overheating though.

All you need do is open the lid a bit, sloping down so it forms a roof, helps with the dust. And make sure the screen on it is turned off, there is not much difference then between that and clamshell mode, as far as know. There is the added advantage that closing the lid is your easy way to sleep the thing.

dorayme

Message #14 - Posted 2011/09/20 - Jolly Roger

Previously, paris2venice wrote:

On Sep 19, 7:42 am, MC wrote:

Previously,

 paris2venice wrote:

I purchased a MacBook Pro last spring.  Since I purchased it, the fan blows several times a day.  Is this normal?  I've never had a Mac that blows its fan (much) but I have witnessed iMacs (2008 models) also doing this almost non-stop.   What's the deal?  Anybody know?  Thanks.

Does it have good air circulation all around it? What happens if you raise it an inch or two off the work surface?

It does have good circulation around it, however, since I use a 37- inch Vizio HDTV as my monitor, I always keep the clamshell closed. This is probably the problem since the vents are to the left and right of the keyboard. I should have thought about this but I'm surprised that Apple would put the vents inside only. Surely, they must know that plenty of people use a laptop in the way that I do. On the other hand, with the way it's designed, there's nowhere else to put the vents.

The things on either side of the keyboard are speaker grills. Have you bothered to feel where the warm air comes out? Hint: It doesn't come out on either side of the keyboard, as you suggest. The warm air actually comes out from underneath the black vent cover along back side of the computer, where the vent actually is.

Nothing is blocking this vent while the lid is closed (unless you place something over the entire back side of the computer, or position the computer against something that blocks the entire back side).

Anyway, what can be done? I don't even use the keyboard (except when traveling) -- I guess I have to leave the MBP open all the time. Unfortunately, it will just collect dust but that's better than overheating though.

The fans in your computer run all the time at low speed under normal operation. They speed up from time to time to cool components inside of the computer. When you run software that works the computer harder, components get warmer, and need extra cooling. When this happens, the fans run faster (and louder) to provide the needed extra cooling.

You haven't mentioned any specific temperatures from a utility such as iStat, or MenuMeters, or any number of other temperature monitor software. So far you have given no indication that your MacBook Pro is actually overheating.

I don't have anything to lift the MacBook Pro off the surface of the desk but I know devices can be bought for this. Still, there is no vent on the bottom although laptops are surely known for warming laps excessively.

The bottom of the computer functions as a heat sink of sorts. Heat from inside of the computer is naturally transferred to the bottom surface. Lifting the computer off the desk so that the bottom of the computer is exposed to fresh, circulating air allows the bottom side of the computer to transfer heat to the air, which cools the computer.

Send responses to the relevant news group rather than email to me. E-mail sent to this address may be devoured by my very hungry SPAM filter. Due to Google's refusal to prevent spammers from posting messages through their servers, I often ignore posts from Google Groups. Use a real news client if you want me to see your posts.

JR

Message #15 - Posted 2011/09/20 - isw

Previously, dorayme wrote:

In article <16efa47e-36f1-4c65-a339-cadf5be33b88@l4g2000vbv.googlegroups.com

,

paris2venice wrote:

On Sep 19, 7:42 am, MC wrote:

Previously,

 paris2venice wrote:

I purchased a MacBook Pro last spring.  Since I purchased it, the fan blows several times a day.  Is this normal?  I've never had a Mac that blows its fan (much) but I have witnessed iMacs (2008 models) also doing this almost non-stop.   What's the deal?  Anybody know?  Thanks.

Does it have good air circulation all around it? What happens if you raise it an inch or two off the work surface?

It does have good circulation around it, however, since I use a 37- inch Vizio HDTV as my monitor, I always keep the clamshell closed. This is probably the problem since the vents are to the left and right of the keyboard. I should have thought about this but I'm surprised that Apple would put the vents inside only. Surely, they must know that plenty of people use a laptop in the way that I do. On the other hand, with the way it's designed, there's nowhere else to put the vents. Anyway, what can be done? I don't even use the keyboard (except when traveling) -- I guess I have to leave the MBP open all the time. Unfortunately, it will just collect dust but that's better than overheating though.

All you need do is open the lid a bit, sloping down so it forms a roof, helps with the dust. And make sure the screen on it is turned off, there is not much difference then between that and clamshell mode, as far as know.

An interesting amount of heat gets dumped, via radiation, through the keyboard. But not when the lid is closed.

Isaac

Message #16 - Posted 2011/09/20 - JF Mezei

An early 2009 macbook pro has the exhaust from the rear of the unit. But I think the lid has to be opened a certain way for maximum airflow.

Air intake is via the keyboard and other plugs such as the DVD player on the sides.

There are no speaker grills on the 2009 macbook pro. Speakers are under the keyboard.

When on a desk, the desk can act as a big heat sink. But you stll need air ventilation. When on a bed/couch, often the rear vent gets obstructed and the unit can heat up quite a bit.

OK, I was lucky and found the Apple note o the SMC (System Management Cotroller)

http://support.apple.com/kb/HT3964

You'll wat the tab

"Resetting the SMC on portables with a battery you should not remove on your own"

Message #17 - Posted 2011/09/21 - dorayme

Previously, isw wrote:

Previously, dorayme wrote:

In article <16efa47e-36f1-4c65-a339-cadf5be33b88@l4g2000vbv.googlegroups.com

,

paris2venice wrote:

On Sep 19, 7:42 am, MC wrote:

Previously,

 paris2venice wrote:

I purchased a MacBook Pro last spring.  Since I purchased it, the fan blows several times a day.  Is this normal?  I've never had a Mac that blows its fan (much) but I have witnessed iMacs (2008 models) also doing this almost non-stop.   What's the deal?  Anybody know?  Thanks.

Does it have good air circulation all around it? What happens if you raise it an inch or two off the work surface?

It does have good circulation around it, however, since I use a 37- inch Vizio HDTV as my monitor, I always keep the clamshell closed. This is probably the problem since the vents are to the left and right of the keyboard. I should have thought about this but I'm surprised that Apple would put the vents inside only. Surely, they must know that plenty of people use a laptop in the way that I do. On the other hand, with the way it's designed, there's nowhere else to put the vents. Anyway, what can be done? I don't even use the keyboard (except when traveling) -- I guess I have to leave the MBP open all the time. Unfortunately, it will just collect dust but that's better than overheating though.

All you need do is open the lid a bit, sloping down so it forms a roof, helps with the dust. And make sure the screen on it is turned off, there is not much difference then between that and clamshell mode, as far as know.

An interesting amount of heat gets dumped, via radiation, through the keyboard. But not when the lid is closed.

I can believe it. I was wondering about this. Also there might be useful leaking of hot air up through the open keyboard top. Just a minute, let me do and experiment...

Fumble fumble... damn water everywhere... Jesus... Yep, I am right: filling the inside of a MB with water causes the water to leak out everywhere!

Perhaps I might consider opening the lid as summer approaches here for both reasons, radiation and straight out leaking. And, as I said, using the lid has the advantage of acting as a nice switch to put the thing to sleep and wake it.

In clamshell mode, there is one inconvenience: if you shut the machine down (which I sometimes do if I am going away for more than a few hours and especially if I spot some enemy agents lurking in the street) you can't start the thing again unless you open the lid, they have gone and put the startup button on the *inside* of the laptops. Might consider drilling a hole to be able to push a paper clip in... well, perhaps not a paper clip (that might be a bit provocative to a Mac, it might think it was a MS PC attack of some sort)... but you know what I mean.

dorayme

Message #18 - Posted 2011/09/21 - dorayme

Previously, JF Mezei wrote:

Air intake is via the keyboard and other plugs such as the DVD player on the sides.

Geez... another good reason then to keep the lid open and not use clamshell?

dorayme

Message #19 - Posted 2011/09/21 - Nelson

"A fair amount of users are reporting that upgrading to Mac OS X Lion has caused their Macs to run hotter in general and their fans to constantly engage, creating excessive and unusual fan noise."

http://osxdaily.com/2011/09/20/fix-fan-noise-overheating-mac-os-x-10-7- lion/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+osxdail y+%28OS+X+Daily%29

Nelson

Message #20 - Posted 2011/09/21 - Jolly Roger

Previously, Nelson wrote:

"A fair amount of users are reporting that upgrading to Mac OS X Lion has caused their Macs to run hotter in general and their fans to constantly engage, creating excessive and unusual fan noise."

http://osxdaily.com/2011/09/20/fix-fan-noise-overheating-mac-os-x-10-7- lion/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+osxdail y+%28OS+X+Daily%29

Interesting. I know several people running Lion who don't report any such issues. I myself haven't encountered any such issues either.

Send responses to the relevant news group rather than email to me. E-mail sent to this address may be devoured by my very hungry SPAM filter. Due to Google's refusal to prevent spammers from posting messages through their servers, I often ignore posts from Google Groups. Use a real news client if you want me to see your posts.

JR

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