Keeping your cooool

Ju
Just Write
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Thu Jul 17, 2008 8:43 pm Post

I see a lot of 3-4 yr old pc notebooks at work that get REAL toasty. Some end up frying their motherboards or the heat causes the drive to act squirrely. I notice my MacBook Pro was running a blazing 180 f (82 c) when writing and running itunes. I purchased an aluminum stand w/ three adjustable fans and downloaded smcFanControl. I've got the stand's fans cranked to max and the smcfancontrol to run around 2250rpm. Pretty big difference - after a few hours of run time w/ itunes playing in the background the Mac hovers at around 113 f (45 c). Without itunes, it runs at around 95 f (35 c).

The external fans are not super quiet, but not bad either. Better than frying the machine. There's not a ton of difference upping the smc settings unless I crank up the internal fans to 3000 rpm or 4000 rpm. Each give me a degree or two difference, but I don't think anything overly worthwhile - 108f (42c) with internal and external fans cranked.

What temp does your Mac run at?

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lenf
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Thu Jul 17, 2008 9:33 pm Post

My MBP has never gotten even warm to the touch. Most of the time it sits, closed lid, on a thin plastic/aluminum stand with a couple of fans blowing air across the bottom (can't hear the fans, very quiet). But even when perched on my legs or a tabletop, it stays quite cool. Don't know that I ever stress the CPU all that much, mostly word apps and Photoshop/Dreamweaver, etc. Just a year old now, but I do have AppleCare should it decide to start being silly.

Tr
Tripper
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Thu Jul 17, 2008 10:05 pm Post

I have a special air-conditioned room for my MBP, which is also kept at a higher pressure than the other rooms to keep out dust. There is a small airlock between the room (8x6 feet) and the rest of the house and all the surfaces inside are fabric free (marble actually because it is very cool).

If I need to use the laptop outside the room I have a specially-modified coolbox packed with ice-packs that are kept separate to the MBP by special insulation. The box stays cool most of the day and also acts as a table when I need to actually use the MBP. The lid has fans in it that blow cooled air up from inside the box onto the underside of the MBP. The only downside is that I have to use gloves because it gets quite chilly and I once got frostbite.

All this is just for wordprocessing of course, really processor-intensive work needs additional methods of cooling that involves hovering the MBP using magnets fitted to the bottom with opposite polarity ones in the desk. I wack the aircon up high and iPhoto runs with no problems at all. I do have to wear a special suit so I don't get hypothermia but I don't mind because I think it looks quite cool.

I can make the plans for the computer room and converted coolbox (i call it my ibox!) available if anyone wants to see them. My hovering magnetron thingy is being patented so I can't share the design for that. I have to go now because I see through the airlock porthole that my wife has packed her and the kids things and is waiting to say goodbye. Also, my fingers are getting cold.
The person who says it can't be done should not interrupt the person doing it.

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vic-k
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Thu Jul 17, 2008 11:21 pm Post

Tripper wrote:I have a special air-conditioned room for my MBP...
....my wife has packed her and the kids things and is waiting to say goodbye. Also, my fingers are getting cold.

10/10 I like it like it!! :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:
As a professional, you, are your one and only asset. Without integrity you are worthless, but with it, you are priceless.

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Jaysen
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Fri Jul 18, 2008 2:04 am Post

I run between 108 and 149 F. I am a pretty CPU intensive between the virtual machines and audio "stuff". One thing I do is keep the mbp17 on hard surfaces as much as possible. If I do use it "on my lap" I keep it on a large book or on one leg. This seems to keep the temp down.
Jaysen

I have a wife and 2 kids that I can only attribute to a wiggle, a giggle, and the realization that she was out of my league so I might as well be happy with her as a friend. 26 years marriage later, I can't imagine life without her. -Me 10/7/09

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kewms
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Fri Jul 18, 2008 4:17 am Post

Tripper wrote:All this is just for wordprocessing of course, really processor-intensive work needs additional methods of cooling that involves hovering the MBP using magnets fitted to the bottom with opposite polarity ones in the desk. I wack the aircon up high and iPhoto runs with no problems at all. I do have to wear a special suit so I don't get hypothermia but I don't mind because I think it looks quite cool.


Opposite polarity magnets? *scoff* Real cooling systems use liquid-nitrogen cooled superconducting magnets. :mrgreen:

Katherine
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Tr
Tripper
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Fri Jul 18, 2008 5:51 am Post

kewms wrote:Opposite polarity magnets? *scoff* Real cooling systems use liquid-nitrogen cooled superconducting magnets. :mrgreen:

Katherine


Katherine, thanks for the heads up on this; it's back to the drawing board. Now that the wife and kids have gone I've got the whole house to experiment in. :D
The person who says it can't be done should not interrupt the person doing it.

PJ
PJS
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Fri Jul 18, 2008 10:51 am Post

Tripper:

I have a set-up much like yours, only I used sandstone instead of marble. Seems to work OK, except that I get this annoying grinding sound every so often. The tech rep from the quarry said it's nothing to worry about; in his words, "They all do that."

Think I should change anything?

Phil
You can't conquer stupid — or cure it — with more stupid.

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vic-k
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Fri Jul 18, 2008 11:05 am Post

PJS wrote:...I get this annoying grinding sound every so often.

Philip
Probably a font problem! :?
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Jaysen
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Fri Jul 18, 2008 3:48 pm Post

PJS wrote:I have a set-up much like yours, only I used sandstone instead of marble. Seems to work OK, except that I get this annoying grinding sound every so often.

Ok, I have to relate a story.

As most of you know I am a tech guy for large systems. This doesn't really stop folks from thinking (or is it that they never started) "all computers are the same so I can ask him to help me with my home system!" While the first half of that statement is essentially correct, the last half is erroneous. I find the first bill at $US200/hour typically stops future requests. There are folks and orgs for which I gladly work for free and this pertains to one particular org, my church.

I had recently started to implement a linux server cluster for the internal web apps, print management, and mail systems. There was also a pile of new PC purchased to replace the aged 486's that had been used in the offices. One secretary who was responsible for "graphics" for various communications requested a specific hardware that was overkill for the clip art she was using. Over my rather loud protests $$ were set aside to get her a (at the time) cutting edge dual processor machine with 2GB of RAM to run M$ Word.

To save money I was building the machines from scratch and saved this particular unit for last. I wanted to actually verify the build as it had become clear to me that this particular "power user" would not be very understanding of a hardware failure. 72 hours of mem, hd, video tests and I installed the box. 2 hours later I get a call that the system was dead.

I grab the system and get it back to my home lab and power it up. The coffee mill makes less noise when the kid loads it with gravel. I start pulling fans and find what looks like fine glass particles in each fan, CPU heat sink and eventually in the drives. I can't imagine where the particles come from but considering the state of the on site tech room I figure it must have happened there. After replacing most of the components I take the system back to the church office, power it on and mark the on site lab unusable. Notifications sent. Everyone is happy for 2 hours.

I call an on site person and ask them to tell me what the symptoms are. Over the phone I hear it. The grinding has returned. The swearing coming through the phone lets the pastor (the on site guy) know that something is "not right".

I rebuild the box. I put it on site. I sit there for 4 hours. Everything is PERFECT. Next morning I meet the secretary and pastor and show them that the system works. I go to work. I call every fifteen minutes. I make the 8th call 5 minutes early. I ask the pastor's wife to go check on the system As she sits down I hear a very faint grinding noise and groan. Before I can ask her to power off the system in an effort to save components she complains about the DECORATIVE SAND GARDEN SITTING IN FRONT OF THE CHAIR. As in between the chair and CPU.

Turns out the secretary was kicking sand into the CPU. She cleaned it up every night and went so far as to move the CPU to get all the sand. Let it suffice to say new "rules" were implemented and filters were added to account for air borne sand. As to why it was 2 hours... that was when her granddaughter would come from the attached daycare to "play" in the sand.
Jaysen

I have a wife and 2 kids that I can only attribute to a wiggle, a giggle, and the realization that she was out of my league so I might as well be happy with her as a friend. 26 years marriage later, I can't imagine life without her. -Me 10/7/09

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Ju
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Fri Jul 18, 2008 11:16 pm Post

Not to be outdone, I've decided to develop a hydrogen powered cooler that not only cools my MacBook Pro, but one that'll cool the entire house. I've decided to put to use the regenerative dog drool from my dogs that's piped through special crypton tubing and into my freezer.

-----------

The weirdest tech calls I've ever had:

A guy calls to tell me his CD writer isn't working. I pop open the tray to find the most disgusting CD ever - it is covered with... purplish black crud. I ask what it is. He tells me that his son sometimes uses his CDs as plates for PB & J sandwiches.

Another call was for network printing. about 11 yrs ago. An engineer called to tell me the HP5si printer isn't printing. I ask if there is paper, toner, power, etc. He tells me that he's checked all that. I go to where it's situated and found the network cable dangling from the wall, but NO printer. Yep. These things weighed almost as much as a newborn hippo and it's... gone. I ask how he noticed the printer was gone. He says he did notice. I have no idea why he didn't just tell me the printer was gone. I look everywhere and can't find it -surely someone had to be playing a trick. I get back to my desk and someone else calls -- this woman says the printer isn't printing. I tell her of course it isn't because it isn't there! She insists it is, that it is sitting on her desk. And you know what? It was. She couldn't get it connected to her own desktop computer and was tired of waiting for the network printer to print other people's jobs.

Another time, a different engineer calls all ticked off because none of his computer equipment was working - not the desktop and not the monitor, either. I ask if he has them plugged in, which sends him into a fit about how important he is, that he isn't stupid, that he has a top-notch degree, etc. I get to his office and he's still ranting about how I could be so insulting. I crawl under his desk and see a powerstrip. I ask him about it and he says "Of course I have a power strip! I'm not stupid! I plugged everything into it yesterday." And you know what? He had plugged everything into it. Including the powerstrip itself. When I asked where he got his degree again and showed him what he'd done, he wanted to know one thing. Was I going to tell anyone? Oh yes! You betcha.

And those are just a few. Scott Adams retired too early, IMO. I could have given him a boatload of comic material.

Ju
Just Write
Posts: 126
Joined: Tue Mar 25, 2008 1:12 pm
Location: NE Georgia, U.S.

Fri Jul 18, 2008 11:16 pm Post

Not to be outdone, I've decided to develop a hydrogen powered cooler that not only cools my MacBook Pro, but one that'll cool the entire house. I've decided to put to use the regenerative dog drool from my dogs that's piped through special crypton tubing and into my freezer.

-----------

The weirdest tech calls I've ever had:

A guy calls to tell me his CD writer isn't working. I pop open the tray to find the most disgusting CD ever - it is covered with... purplish black crud. I ask what it is. He tells me that his son sometimes uses his CDs as plates for PB & J sandwiches.

Another call was for network printing. about 11 yrs ago. An engineer called to tell me the HP5si printer isn't printing. I ask if there is paper, toner, power, etc. He tells me that he's checked all that. I go to where it's situated and found the network cable dangling from the wall, but NO printer. Yep. These things weighed almost as much as a newborn hippo and it's... gone. I ask how he noticed the printer was gone. He says he did notice. I have no idea why he didn't just tell me the printer was gone. I look everywhere and can't find it -surely someone had to be playing a trick. I get back to my desk and someone else calls -- this woman says the printer isn't printing. I tell her of course it isn't because it isn't there! She insists it is, that it is sitting on her desk. And you know what? It was. She couldn't get it connected to her own desktop computer and was tired of waiting for the network printer to print other people's jobs.

Another time, a different engineer calls all ticked off because none of his computer equipment was working - not the desktop and not the monitor, either. I ask if he has them plugged in, which sends him into a fit about how important he is, that he isn't stupid, that he has a top-notch degree, etc. I get to his office and he's still ranting about how I could be so insulting. I crawl under his desk and see a powerstrip. I ask him about it and he says "Of course I have a power strip! I'm not stupid! I plugged everything into it yesterday." And you know what? He had plugged everything into it. Including the powerstrip itself. When I asked where he got his degree again and showed him what he'd done, he wanted to know one thing. Was I going to tell anyone? Oh yes! You betcha.

And those are just a few. Scott Adams retired too early, IMO. I could have given him a boatload of comic material.

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Wock
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Mon Jul 21, 2008 6:27 pm Post

INTERNAL FAN ADJUSTMENTS
If you use a third party program to adjust the internal fans on MBP like many people have done, expect a Meltdown pretty soon. The fans are not made to sustain high RPMs for long periods of time and will fail early and will also void warranty if Apple finds out the fans failed due to a third party app by-passing the sensors inside the "box" and the OS settings for fan adjustment.

Heat Dissipation versus Air Cooling
If the notebook is one that uses Heat Dissipation (Macbook Pros) then use Heat Dissipation. If it is one that uses fans and vents (MacBook) then use AIRFLOW instead.

For Heat Dissipation. Place the laptop on a heat dissipator. Place Ceramic/Glass/Metal coasters (Something that conducts heat very well) in a square just smaller than the rubber feet on the bottom. This will allow the case to sit on the ceramic tiles (or other substrate) without any air in between. The Ceramic tiles (other substrate) dissipates the heat from the bottom of the case to the desktop directly instead of using "air" as a coolant (air sucks as a coolant compared to heat dissipation)

Example. Have you ever taken a hot pan and laid it on your kitchen counter and the pan cooled off very fast? Much faster than say sitting on the stove burner (turned off) where only air was the main source of "cooling".

iSTAT
iStat Pro. Get it. Learn it. Love it.

THINGS NOT TO DO
Never place you notebook on any kind of fabric when it is plugged in (USING AC POWER). When your notebook is using battery power it tends to run COOLER because power management. When the AC is plugged in the OS allows full power which in turns = RUNS HOTTER.

Never use any third party tool to adjust internal fan speed. This will lead to early fan failure and can cause a meltdown.

Never use your notebook underwater. This will lead to immediate failure.

Never move your notebook without putting it to sleep first. Apple uses Accelerometers in the newer models now because of the amount of people that love to move a notebook or even a cpu while it is running. They forget that the HD is a SPINNING metal platter (think record player) and the read heads actually carve into this surface when they "write" . Moving the computer while the platter is spinnging could cause the read heads to "crash" which would ruin the HD. QUick note here. Many people misuse the term "Crash" when talking about computers. They witness the computer "bombing" on them (System freezes) and call it a crash. An actual COmputer crash is when the read heads on your HD "crash" down onto the HD platter and cut a big groove in the platter making the HD competely and utterly useless (Like scratching a record really bad).

Now back to subject. Lets say you pick up a record player while it is playing and start walking around the room with it do you think there is a good chance you will scratch your record?

So putting a system to sleep SPINS DOWN the HD platter (sops the record) making it safe to move. Now since most people ignored that bit of advice Apple was kind enough to put in accelerometers in the new notebooks. If it senses movement it will "lock the Read head and keep it from coming in contact with the platter.

Oh but here is a weird result of that nice safety feature.
If you have a new notebook (one that contains the Accelerometers) on your LAP and lets say you are tapping your foot and you wonder why your system is acting sluggish and slow?

It is because every time you move enough to active the accelerometers to activate safe mode the read heads are locked in place for a split second and this causes a DELAY in any reading or writing activity.

In other words typiing on your lap with a lot of movement can cause sluggish performance. Smae thing with typing in a car or on a train or plane. IF the sensors pick up a lot of excessive movement it may cause this sluggish behavior.

If you think your computer is acting "slow" first check to make sure you aren't working in an environment that is causing your accellerometers to go into safe mode too much.

In other words, test your computer on a FLAT SURFACE, while it is PLUGGED INTO AN AC OUTLET and the surface is one that is NOT in motion. (ie. Desk at home)

NEVER LISTEN TO ME
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