4 Replies Latest reply: Feb 13, 2008 5:30 AM by BKRonline
BKRonline Level 1 Level 1 (110 points)

M'lady has a brand new iMac and we're curious what the normal operating temperature 'should' be. The most intense thing she does on her iMac is play an online game that's pretty graphic intensive. I play the same game, and we both use SMC Fan Control 2. My machine typically runs around 28C - 32C when doing graphically intense things such as playing a game, hers seems to run about 38C - 41C even with fan settings maxed (we did this just to test.. and the iMac is very warm to the touch).

I've read many posts about heat issues with the iMac. I understand these issues as heat plays havoc on any computer. I'm also aware that my Mac Pro Quad-Core has large fans with a great vent system, however the iMac i see a vent up top behind the screen, and mesh below the screen, I don't know if the airflow is sufficient.

So... what's the normal operating temperature range? Will the iMac be alright if she runs her game in the 38C to 41C range for hours at a time?

Thanks for your time

 Mac Pro  Mac Book, Mac OS X (10.5.1),  iPods  iPhone  APE(n)  APE(b/g)  APX
  • George Peters Level 4 Level 4 (3,165 points)
    Those temps are well within normal range and it's normal to feel some heat off the back of the iMac. Just make sure to keep the top vents clear from obstruction. Also keep in mind when comparing the iMac to the Mac Pro, the iMac is more like a laptop. It runs Intel's mobile version of the CD2 cpu and logic board. The fans in the iMac are more than adequate to cool it but making sure the fans are doing there job is another thing.

    Also the CPU is the least of your heat concerns because it can operate up to 100C and has a safety shut down(forced sleep mode) if it ever reaches that temp. Though the other components may not be so lucky. As for heat problems in general I don't believe heat is necessarily the problem. I do believe it's better to be safe than sorry but the iMac is designed to run at these temps and if there is a hardware failure that happens to be evoked by temperature it may not necessarily be caused by heat itself but rather faulty components. With that said personally one of my biggest concerns is to make sure my hard drive runs as cool as possible. I try and keep it under 50C at all times.

    Here is what I have my machine running at:

  • BKRonline Level 1 Level 1 (110 points)
    thanks very much for your clear reply!

    is what you listed for your iMac?

    also, how did you list the individual temps as shown in the second image?
  • George Peters Level 4 Level 4 (3,165 points)
    Yes it's my iMac 2.8GHz. I'm running Temperature Monitor: http://www.versiontracker.com/dyn/moreinfo/macosx/19994

    You just have to go in and customize the settings. I opted to get rid of those screen windows and add all the sensors to the menu bar for easy access.

  • BKRonline Level 1 Level 1 (110 points)
    great, thanks!

    it seems that the iMac should be able to do these things on it's own, but to be safe when we're running applications we know make the system hot under the collar we should boost the min. fan values a bit.

    i'm all for preventative maintenance.