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MacBook Air Fan Running Constantly

78779 Views 129 Replies Latest reply: Oct 28, 2008 1:06 PM by mmmacnama RSS
  • (n_n) Level 2 Level 2 (345 points)
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    Jul 7, 2008 1:01 AM (in response to X1Zero)
    My MBA's fan will always reach 6200rpm when i leave my MBA under screen saver. I dont know it is right or wrong. Pls advise.

    Thanks and best regards
    MacBook Air, Mac OS X (10.5.4), 1.6GHz 80GB
  • BillH1184 Level 1 Level 1 (10 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 7, 2008 1:14 AM (in response to (n_n))
    In my opinion, this is normal. The MBA gets hot when:

    1. It does lots of CPU
    2. It does lots of graphics
    3. It does lots of disk use
    4. It does lots of network transfers (but only if items 1,2 or 3 are also involved)
    5. It's charging the battery (according to posts in this topic)

    So Screensaver ticks box 1 and 2, result: Heat.

    Normal max fan speed is 6200. Do not used iced water to help, this will void your warranty and results in an expensive explosion.

    Bill. Just my opinion.

    Message was edited by: BillH1184
    Mac Book/Pro/Air, iPhone, AppleTV, Mac OS X (10.5), Sitting in my dressing gown sipping Tea
  • (n_n) Level 2 Level 2 (345 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 7, 2008 2:01 AM (in response to BillH1184)
    Hi Bill.

    Ya.. it makes sense..

    Thanks.

    Cheers.
    MacBook Air, Mac OS X (10.5.4), 1.6GHz 80GB
  • bohemia Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Jul 8, 2008 8:57 AM (in response to Dylan Gardner)
    Tried almost all the suggested solutions, I come to a clear conclusion:

    The fan speeds up when it's charging.

    Nothing will help to reduce the fan speed but when I work on battery only, things are fine. Very quiet. 2500 rmp all the time. Now I need to change my habit of using a laptop: work on battery and only charge it when it's completely drained. Not sure if it will damage anything...

    This is a second MBA (got a replacement due to fan noise).
  • barkingmad Level 1 Level 1 (90 points)
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    Jul 8, 2008 7:14 PM (in response to bohemia)
    Dear bohemia,

    I am still learning about using the Air as well but I ran across this and thought it may pertain to your question:

    http://www.apple.com/batteries/notebooks.html

    this is an excerpt from the page:

    Standard Maintenance
    For proper maintenance of a lithium-based battery, it’s important to keep the electrons in it moving occasionally. Apple does not recommend leaving your portable plugged in all the time. An ideal use would be a commuter who uses her MacBook Pro on the train, then plugs it in at the office to charge. This keeps the battery juices flowing. If on the other hand, you use a desktop computer at work, and save a notebook for infrequent travel, Apple recommends charging and discharging its battery at least once per month. Need a reminder? Add an event to your desktop’s iCal.

    Message was edited by: barkingmad
    iMac 2007 17" 2GHz core 2 Duo 1GB  MacBook Air 1.6GHz 80GB, Mac OS X (10.5.2),  external HD,  shuffle nanoiPhone 8gb happier and happierSE
  • purcelul Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Jul 9, 2008 2:18 AM (in response to Dylan Gardner)
    I am annoyed by the same problem: fan running constantly at 6200. I believe it is software-related, as it kicks in after moderate load; if I don't use the MBA or use it lightly, fan runs quietly at around 2500 rpm. Core temperature is now only 49 Celsius and yet the **** things stays at 6200.
    MBA, Mac OS X (10.5.4)
  • mike2016 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Jul 9, 2008 3:22 AM (in response to purcelul)
    Same problem here. Whenever I use my MBA, i use it on battery most of the time, and the FAN is almost always ON @ 6000rpm.

    all i do is internet browsing and remote desktop connection to my office pc. plus some itunes music in the back ground.
    macbook air, Mac OS X (10.5.4)
  • purcelul Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Jul 9, 2008 7:22 AM (in response to Dylan Gardner)
    Safari eats about 40% of CPU. I suspect this is what triggers the fan to go 6200. Then it's the 10.5.4 update. Any suggestion? Steve, are you with us?
    MBA, Mac OS X (10.5.4)
  • BillH1184 Level 1 Level 1 (10 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 9, 2008 8:43 AM (in response to purcelul)
    If you quit Safari, does the fan slow down?

    If anything is hitting the CPU, Disk, Graphics or Battery hard, you get heat.

    Use Activity Monitor to check which of those (if any) are happening, and react accordingly.

    An MBA which is left happily doing not much cools down, well mine does anyway.

    Bill.
    Mac Book/Pro/Air, iPhone, AppleTV, Mac OS X (10.5), Eating White German Sausage in Frankfurt Airport
  • BillH1184 Level 1 Level 1 (10 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 9, 2008 8:46 AM (in response to mike2016)
    all i do is internet browsing and remote desktop connection to my office pc. plus some itunes music in the back ground.


    So I would suggest that

    A) Internet can use up CPU and network and cause heat
    B) remote desktop uses CPU and Network and Graphics, and causes heat
    C) iTunes uses CPU and causes heat

    The combination of the three will be enough to spin the fan.

    MBA is a mousey sort of computer, work it hard and it squeaks.
    Mac Book/Pro/Air, iPhone, AppleTV, Mac OS X (10.5), Drinking Weissbeer at Frankfurt Airport
  • purcelul Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 9, 2008 10:51 AM (in response to BillH1184)
    Trouble is, if I quit Safari, the fan stays at 6200. I believe Safari has something to do with that, or perhaps Spotlight indexing webpages. Very annoying. Again, the temperature of CPU seems OK, I believe it is just the fan amok.
    MBA, Mac OS X (10.5.4)
  • macmend Level 2 Level 2 (285 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 13, 2008 12:46 PM (in response to Dylan Gardner)
    I have this same problem, I notice the fan come on when the MBA links to timecapsule and time machine is running, I use for TC for backup so its essential, there are also some 3rd party widget that run in the background that seem to do it too. Activity monitor will tell you a little of what is using the CPU and causing the fans to want to cool the CPU.

    Right now I have low CPU usage according to Activity Monitor but I am running time machine on a first run having reformatted the timecapsule disk.

    I notice on activity monitor sync server and PreferenceSyncCL are hogging CPU (80.1) as my mac syncs with mobileMe. And so on.
    MBA and many more, Mac OS X (10.5.4), macmend.com - mac troubleshooting
  • BillH1184 Level 1 Level 1 (10 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 17, 2008 8:02 AM (in response to macmend)
    My 'Air got so hot today one of the processors switched off. I was using Activity Monitor to show CPU history, and doing multiple things Skype, Backing up my iPhone, Mail, etc. The case got super hot, egg frying temp, and I saw that instead of two very busy CPUs, I suddenly had only 1, the other dropped to zero activity, and the utility TFMonitor suddenly reconfigured to only recognised a single CPU machine.

    Quite amazing, it cooled down and came back in about 15 minutes.

    Bill
    Mac Book/Pro/Air, iPhone, AppleTV, Mac OS X (10.5), Air fried eggs, yum.
  • petezich Level 1 Level 1 (25 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 17, 2008 11:06 AM (in response to macmend)
    I'm having the same problem with various MobileMe sync processes stealing much of the cpu causing the fans to roar, very annoying.
    Macbook 1.83GHz 2GB RAM 120GB HD, iMac 2.4GHz 24" 3GB RAM 300GB int. 2TB ext., Mac OS X (10.5.4)
  • cblay Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 20, 2008 6:53 PM (in response to Dylan Gardner)
    Hi Everyone,

    Keeping the updates coming, I went to the Apple Store in Toronto (Yorkdale) to have the folks at the Genius Bar take a look at my seemingly haunted fan. I had complete video of the occurrences, as well as the log I had been using to keep track of the events.

    He looked it over for a few minutes, didn't even bother with the videos (as it was spinning at the crazy high RPM I had been experiencing intermittently), and replaced the unit on the spot. He mentioned there was no way the fan should be running constantly beyond 6200 RPM.

    This fan has so far been behaving much better now. Thanks for all the feedback!
    MacBook Air, Mac OS X (10.5.4)
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