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Macbook Air intermittent freezing problem

56005 Views 69 Replies Latest reply: Mar 16, 2008 3:21 PM by iMacoo7 RSS
  • Volker Runkel Level 6 Level 6 (12,060 points)
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    Mar 7, 2008 1:24 PM (in response to Deny Dias (BR))
    Hi,

    maybe something is wrong with your MBA or how you have set it up on your table (or wherever). I did your test (in a similar way) by coincidence, I had Spotlight indexer running. CPU temp rose up to 80° C (84°C max) and the fan went higher and higher, but, but, it managed to cool the CPU down to around 73°C quickly while blowing at 6000 rpm. All the time I was using the MBA without any lagging. I managed to surf, I had the initial TimeMachine Backup running... so I would suggest yours might be defective?

    Volker

    P.S.: My MBA is still sitting on a normal, wooden table.
    20" iMac(Intel), G4 MDD 2x867MHz, MBA 1.6/HDD, ACD 20", iPodTouch, Mac OS X (10.5.2), and one machine on 10.4.11
  • Brian Caslis Level 3 Level 3 (795 points)
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    Mar 7, 2008 3:04 PM (in response to Volker Runkel)
    I have the same experience. I don't not see any cores shutting down at the temperatures stated. There's nothing magical about 73C, mine has been around 80C a few times and cores have still been running.
    MBP 15" 2.5GHz 4GB, 250GB HD, Mac OS X (10.5.2), MBA 1.8 64GB SSD; iPhone
  • Deny Dias (BR) Calculating status...
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    Mar 7, 2008 3:17 PM (in response to Volker Runkel)
    Mine is sitting on a marble desk plate, which is for instance cold by itself. This is at home, with air conditioning off. At work, it sit on a wood table, but the air conditioning system is very efficient there, so the MBA never show the same behaviour there. On booth places, air vents on MBA are clear to flow that hot air out of it.

    I'm affraid to suggest it is defective by design, as 1) this imply that all MBA owners should be yelling out loud the very same issue, which is not true and 2) this could be related to a number of factors (fan supplier, thermal conductors, assembling, CPU itself, the whole production chain). But, IMHO, it clearly point out a defective behaviour. Maybe it happens just to a small number of MBAs out there (as stated by others here in this topic). Who knows?!?

    As I said before, my MBA was produced on the 2nd week of January at W8 factory (Shanghai China), if that matters. Maybe its a good idea if the other users that is facing the same problem to report this information so we can start to trace a profile of the issue. This could help Apple in some way... Or not...

    Message was edited by: Deny Dias (BR)
    MacBook Air, Mac OS X (10.5.2), Model# A1237
  • Volker Runkel Level 6 Level 6 (12,060 points)
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    Mar 7, 2008 3:12 PM (in response to Deny Dias (BR))
    Deny,

    I would really recommend you let Apple look at yours if this is happening on a Marble table. I have rechecked with friends, none of them can reproduce your problem.

    I doubt, that the MBAs design is faulty in general.

    volker
    20" iMac(Intel), G4 MDD 2x867MHz, MBA 1.6/HDD, ACD 20", iPodTouch, Mac OS X (10.5.2), and one machine on 10.4.11
  • Deny Dias (BR) Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Mar 7, 2008 3:18 PM (in response to Volker Runkel)
    Volker Runkel wrote:
    I doubt, that the MBAs design is faulty in general.
    volker


    100% agreed!
    MacBook Air, Mac OS X (10.5.2), Model# A1237
  • r2thek Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Mar 7, 2008 3:42 PM (in response to RichardY)
    I have the same problem: When it overheats, a core shuts down and it performs erratically. Overheating occurs when I run a video program on external monitor. If I elevate the unit to keep it cooler, it runs flawlessly with the same programs.
    MBAIr, Mac OS X (10.5.2), 1.6 GHz 80HD
  • donluca Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Mar 8, 2008 10:12 AM (in response to r2thek)
    I think I understood what's behind the intermittent freezing problem.

    Thanks to the XCode developer's extras I managed to shut down one of the two cores and guess what? With only one core enabled it stutters, no matter if it's hot or cold.

    So this is my theory:
    When the heat reaches a certain limit, instead of lowering the frequencies, it disables one core and we have the intermittent freezing problem.
    In fact I tried using windows xp through boot camp and no matter what I did, it never freezed.
    My opinion is that the problem is OS and/or driver related and I think it will be fixed in the future with a patch.

    Meanwhile I opened my mac and changed the thermal grease and now it almost never stutters... sometimes it freezes for one second when I'm playing warcraft 3 or when I'm doing something very intensive and I'm near other notebooks that are hot (especially when I'm at university).

    P.S.: sorry for my bad english, I'm from Italy
    iMac 24", Macbook Air, Mac OS X (10.5.2)
  • skinski74 Calculating status...
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    Mar 9, 2008 12:54 AM (in response to donluca)
    Thank you Donluca!
    as I said above, I have the same problem. I am from Milan, italy, and I have 2 MacBook Air, and both have the exact same problem.
    I really hope that it can be solved easily as you stated. By the way, how do you replace the thermal grease?
    Last question. How can I see if both cores are working? I installed iStat menues, but it only reports temperatures for "CPU A". Is it normal?

    Message was edited by: skinski74
    MacBook Air, Mac OS X (10.5.2)
  • Magnus Lewan Level 4 Level 4 (3,655 points)
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    Mar 9, 2008 1:40 AM (in response to vtonangi)
    vtonangi wrote:
    I can't verify 100% if this helped, but I tried xslimmer which reduces space needed by bloated programs, and sometimes makes them run faster.


    It's only $11 so it doesn't hurt to try it


    "Doesn't hurt to try it"????! A third party application that goes in and touches all your binaries! I would advice anyone against using this, even if they were paid to try it, because of the huge risk it implies.

    If you have a large number of Macs and a spare one is not used for any serious work, yes, you can try it. However, any subsequent problem with that machine may be due to a glitch or bug in xslimmer. Any problem investigation has to start with the question: "what did xslimmer actually change and remove?"

    I am sure a lot of people run xslimmer without problems, but the potential for data loss is significant. If you try it on a spare Mac, make sure you reformat the harddisk and reinstall the system and the applications afterwards, if you intend to use it for anything serious.
    PowerBook G4, Mac OS X (10.5)
  • donluca Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Mar 9, 2008 4:49 AM (in response to skinski74)
    The Macbook air has only one cpu so it's normal that iStat reports only CPU A.
    It is one processor with two cores it would be pointless to monitor the temperature of the two cores since they are inside the same chip.

    Unfortunately, to replace the thermal grease you have to open your macbook air and it can be very hard due to the very small screws.
    It is a very delicate operation, I suggest you to don't try it unless you are very confident with what you are doing.
    They say it invalidates the warranty but I didn't find any label outside or inside so I don't know how can anyone tell if a macbook has been opened by the user or not.
    Anyway, do it at your own risk, if you want you can contact me and I'll tell you how to do it the right way.
    iMac 24", Macbook Air, Mac OS X (10.5.2)
  • donluca Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Mar 9, 2008 5:28 AM (in response to donluca)
    sorry, I didn't notice I haven't responded to the question about the two cores :P

    To see if both cores are working, open "Monitoraggio Attività" (I guess you have Mac OS X in italian), go to Vista in the menu, Icona Dock and select "Mostra uso CPU".
    Now you'll have the load of the two cores in the dock icon.

    Sorry for double post.
    iMac 24", Macbook Air, Mac OS X (10.5.2)
  • terryrocks Calculating status...
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    Mar 9, 2008 9:34 PM (in response to donluca)
    so what do we all do about this? it's ridiculous to wait around for an update. i love this computer but when it freezes up it works like a 386 on Windows 3.1
    Mac Pro, Mac OS X (10.5.2)
  • donluca Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 10, 2008 12:37 AM (in response to terryrocks)
    You can do two things to improve the working conditions:

    First of all, you can download a program to control the fans and have them spinning always at max (6200 rpm). I use smcFanControl and it does it job pretty well.
    Second, you can put somthing under the rear part of the notebook (where the vents are) to have more space between the fans and the table so you have better dissipation.

    Last... try not to overload the air. Try not to do too many things at once and always try to use it away from heat sources, in a "fresh" environment.

    Following these easy tips you will enjoy a better air experience.
    (until apple finds a workaround or I find a way to keep the two cores always enabled)
    iMac 24", Macbook Air, Mac OS X (10.5.2)
  • dstracey Calculating status...
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    Mar 10, 2008 4:12 AM (in response to RichardY)
    Getting it doing Skype Video to Video call after about 10 mins.

    Fans 6200rpm and cpu 75c. Then total freeze usually.

    1. Are people who are getting freeze's/temp/fan problems have done a clean install of MacOS or factory installed (Mine is factory installed no reinstall)

    2. If Air is placed off surface (propped up a little at the back and middle) I can delay the above happening to about 15 mins.

    3. even with the fans showing 6200rpm does not seem to be any airflow or very little coming out the exhaust vents??? - anyone else noticed this.
    Macbook Air 1.6, Mac OS X (10.5.2), Iphone
  • skinski74 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Mar 10, 2008 6:25 AM (in response to dstracey)
    SO...here is the bad news for me. After a weekend with not much troubles with freezing (I did not really use the MBA that much though, besides email and web-browsing), today it started to overheat and freeze again. The strange thing is that it happened a few minutes ago, and I was not doing anything special, besides having power point, word and some other programs open (just mail and safari). no video or anything heavy on the procssor. Anyways, it started to warm like crazy, and started to freeze. I simply closed down the screen, waited like 2 minutes for the MBA to cool down, and everything started to work again as usual.
    So my question is...is it REALLY happening when you have it running many apps, or is it just random?
    MacBook Air, Mac OS X (10.5.2)

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