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Macbook Air core Shutdown on video

40371 Views 143 Replies Latest reply: Sep 29, 2008 8:46 AM by ahostmadsen RSS
  • mar.b Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 23, 2008 3:10 PM (in response to Mark Assad)

    It seems, that my posting was deleted, because it had two links in it for freeware tools to help document the problem.

    Anyway: here is what I said without the links:

    Same problem here. Youtube Videos or normal videos played either with mplayer or vlc.

    I didn't buy a laptop so I can't watch movies.

    It's winter in Europe now; what's going to happen in summer? The core shuts down while opening a few RSS feeds in Safari?

    Menumeters is a very useful freeware to see directly when a core is deactiveated.
I totally regret buying the MBA right now and I'm very thankful for finding this thread to see that it's a general construction error and that I'm not alone.


P.S.The freeware temperature monitor shows the temperature of the processor and has been updated for the MBA.
    MacBook Air 1,6 80 Gig
  • Durious Calculating status...
    Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 24, 2008 6:32 PM (in response to mar.b)
    I'm having the same issue, my machine gets to 60 c and one core shuts down... I was hoping for a solution here.. However I keep seeing peoples comments on don't use it on a pillow.. Well what do you suggest for people using it on a desk where the core keeps shutting down. I use it for Word Processing, mail and youtube. No games.
    Macbook Air, Mac OS X (10.5.2), Macbook
  • r2thek Calculating status...
    Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 24, 2008 7:14 PM (in response to Durious)
    Shut everything down but for the video. Then raise it off the desk to get more circulation. That seems to work. When they have a fix, I think I will have them replace it. For now, ut seems like you might just get another with problems.
    MBAir, iMAC, MacMini, Mac OS X (10.5.2)
  • r2thek Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Mar 24, 2008 7:17 PM (in response to childlost)
    I find it is only a problem with an external monitor.
    MBAir, iMAC, MacMini, Mac OS X (10.5.2)
  • Oliver Gruber Calculating status...
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    Mar 28, 2008 12:24 PM (in response to dstracey)
    Here are my experiences with the core shutdown issue:
    - the cores NEVER shut down when using just the MBA itself
    - if I attach my 24-inch Dell display, the core shuts down when playing back video
    - this results in jerky video playback
    - the internal display of the MBA can be active or not, if it's not active the lid can be closed or not, all of this doesn't matter: one core shuts down pretty soon (5-10 minutes, if you start with a cool MBA)
    - when one core shuts down, the "kernel_task" shoots up (from about 5% before the core shutdown) to around 60% CPU usage. This is probably why the video starts to stutter, because there's simply no CPU power left (less than half a core)
    - if I stop the video it takes only 1 second and the second core is activated again. This can't be because of the temperature, it wouldn't go down that fast.
    MacBook Pro, Mac OS X (10.4.8)
  • quantumorbit Calculating status...
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    Mar 28, 2008 9:36 PM (in response to Oliver Gruber)
    My MBA has overheated a few times when the vents are blocked in some way and I'm demanding a lot (multitasking, video, etc.). You can notice the programs running slower and can even get to the point were the mouse moves slow. When it happens I simply clear the vents and the computer comes back to normal after cooling down. Closing programs you're not using also helps. I've had these issues with other notebooks I've owned in the past as well.

    When the battery is charging and you demand a lot from the MBA the left top corner will heat up. That's were the power source is located and I find it normal. Apple's design calls for a slow charge that demands less current. This allow us to enjoy a smaller AC/DC adapter than you usually get with other notebooks. Its hard to find the perfect balance for current demand, charging time, heat, battery size, etc... I believe Apple made a good balance with the MBA.

    There are a lot of factors that can heat up a notebook and you simply have to use some logic and have basic knowledge on how they work to avoid overheating. I don't think the MBA has a design flaw like implied by some posts. I just love the MBA and believe it to be the perfect notebook for my needs.

    A trick that might help some MBA owners that demand a lot from it is to place a wooden pencil under the notebook near the vents. This will lift it up a little bit and provide for better airflow. Also, when using on your lap try separating your legs and supporting the MBA on the sides, leaving the vents unobstructed.

    Hope this helps!
    MacBook Air, Mac OS X (10.5.2)
  • Marcus S. Zarra Level 1 Level 1 (65 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 28, 2008 10:23 PM (in response to quantumorbit)
    Claiming that people are using the MBA wrong does not help. There is a confirmed issue with a percentage of the machines being produced. I am personally on my 3rd MBA right now and will be going to a 4th very soon. The first two were confirmed defective by Apple.

    People are not making this issue up. They are not using the machine wrong. There is an issue with a percentage of the machines being produced and Apple is aware of it.

    The only reason I am not on my 4th (or 5th) is that it is a 100 miles round trip to swap out the machine. Therefore I try to deal with it as much as possible until I need to do that trip for another reason.
    MacBook Air 1.6Ghz, MBP 17" 2.4Ghz, Mac OS X (10.5.2)
  • Shane.Sandell Calculating status...
    Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 3, 2008 4:26 AM (in response to Marcus S. Zarra)
    Hey all!
    Just thought I'd post a video I found of the MacBook Air doing its thing.
    Looks like the guy who did it used a few videos at once to speed it up and get it to shut off.
    But once it shut off...didn't look like it was coming back in a hurry!

    From 1.6GHz Core 2 Duo -> 800MHz Core 2 Duo -> 800MHz Core 2 Solo.

    Not bad for US$1799 machine! That makes the EeePC almost just as powerful O_o;;;
    MacBook Air, Mac OS X (10.5.2)
  • brettpeters Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 4, 2008 8:31 PM (in response to Marcus S. Zarra)
    This is a good, helpful response for those of us experiencing this problem. Thank you.

    I am on my second MBA and have lost the second core on flat tables and marble floors. Yes, it happens faster on a soft surface. But it still happens.

    AppleCare has been very helpful throughout the process. If you are having problems, contact them.
     Macbook Air, Mac OS X (10.5.2),  iPhone 1.1.4  PowerBook G4 17" 10.4.11
  • chris8808 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 7, 2008 1:14 PM (in response to Marcus S. Zarra)
    I have the same issue with my MBA here: Large file transfers over USB can cause one core to shut down, problem gets even worse if I have an external monitor plugged in.

    My MBA had the logicboard just replaced, exactly the same problems still occur. This must be a design or software issue. Come on, Apple. Please tell us that this can be fixed with software!
    MacBook air, Mac OS X (10.5.2)
  • PhillipMeyer Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 17, 2008 4:11 PM (in response to chris8808)
    I just had this exact problem, never happened before though.

    I was, however, using Aperture 2 with my 23" cinema display plugged in and both montiors in use for intensive graphics use. Sounds like the GPU causing the problems.
    MacBook Air SSD, MacBook Pro, Mac Mini Intel & PowerPC, Mac OS X (10.5.2)
  • econ-mit Level 1 Level 1 (10 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 23, 2008 11:12 AM (in response to dstracey)
    I am starting to experience this core shutdown problem. It is very real, and very annoying. I can see the core shutdown in Activity Monitor.

    Is there any update on possible solutions for this?

    If I watch youtube for about 5-10 minutes the problem occurs very consistently. It happens without pushing the machine much. The odd thing is that it only started doing this a week ago and I've had the machine for 2 months. Is this just that I have been watching more youtube or that some system change triggered it, I don't know. Anyone also started getting this only recently?

    Is it worth getting the machine looked at or changed or will I still experience the problem?

    Some users claim that replacement models they got had the same problem. And this blog entry
    claims it is a pervasive issue that is due to the Intel chip being used.

    Macbook Air 1.8 / SSD, Mac OS X (10.5.2)
  • spiitz Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 29, 2008 8:09 PM (in response to econ-mit)
    I have this same problem on my MBA 1.8ghz 80g HDD. I use my MBA a work on a cool desk. Using an external monitor, power cable, and any usb device can make the problem worse. this is a systemic overheating issue. Apple should react quicker to fix this problem. It is good that people are reporting this problem. I do not believe anyone reporting this problem in a forum is complaining. It is our only resource for help, Apple will only send you a new MBA with the same problem.

    good luck,


    p.s. coolbook software has reported to help this issue, but Apple should act also
    MBA, Mac OS X (10.5.2)
  • Conal Ho Level 2 Level 2 (495 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 29, 2008 8:51 PM (in response to BarryXSharp)
    I am curious. How does one know that a core is being shut down?
    MacBook Pro 15-inch 2.16Ghz, 2GB RAM, 120GB Hard Drive, 20" Ext. Monitor, Mac OS X (10.5.2)
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