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  1. #1


    Member Since
    Feb 20, 2011
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    4
    yet another imac 27" i5 overheating question
    Hello!

    I know we've seen this question a bazillion times but I cannot seem to find a straight answer regarding my issue so I'm hoping someone guru here can answer it for me.

    Recently, I've noticed a dramatic increase in my iMac 27" i5 temperatures.

    While just posting this my temps are as follows:

    CPU A Heatsink: 41c
    CPU Cores: 43c
    GPU Diode and Heatsink: 41c
    Ambient: 20c
    HD: 36c

    While gaming (WoW specifically, SC2 as well) I get the following temps after just an hour, with my CPU fan cranked up to nearly max RPM

    CPU A Heatsink: 62c (it peaked at 71c last night)
    CPU Cores: 70-73c (ran a fractal program last night as these suckers hit 91!)
    GPU Diode and Sink: 45c
    HD: 36c
    Ambient: 22c
    Power Supply: 67c

    This appears to be a relatively recent issue, unless my recollection of my usual temps is just way off.

    Is this ok for my late 2009 iMac i5?

    It is, of course, just out of warranty by a month and I was an idiot and didn't purchase AppleCare because I thought "Hey! What are the odds something will go wrong in 3 years?"

    I've reset SMC twice and my PRAM 3 times and I'm still getting the above temps.

    Any suggestions or ideas would be greatly appreciated before my iMac sets the house ablaze.

  2. #2

    bobtomay's Avatar
    Member Since
    Dec 22, 2006
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    Specs:
    15" MBP '06 2.33 C2D 4GB 10.7; 13" MBA '14 1.8 i7 8GB 10.11; 21" iMac '13 2.9 i5 8GB 10.11; 6S
    I see nothing out of line with those temps. There is no "issue".

    imho:

    I spent almost two years looking at that stuff on my first Mac. I can only suggest you remove those temp monitoring apps (as I have), forget you ever knew anything about it and enjoy using your Mac again.

    And this, from someone that has been a pretty avid hardware enthusiast, overclocker and home building all of my own Win boxes since '95 - where I do pay particular attention to system temps. The lower the temp, the better the overclock I can obtain to a certain extent.

    I do not look at this stuff on stock equipment and consider it to be a waste of time for the average computer user that is not doing any overclocking even on their Win machines. It is particularly useless on a Mac since you have no BIOS to play with to adjust any settings. For the average Windows user, I only recommend they open the side case once every 3-6 months and clean the dust out of it.

    When your Mac begins shutting itself off out of the blue, that's the time to consider it may have a heat issue. At which point, there will be some hardware issue for which you should take it in to Apple under your warranty.
    I cannot be held responsible for the things that come out of my mouth.
    In the Windows world, most everything folks don't understand is called a virus.

  3. #3

    Raz0rEdge's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jul 17, 2009
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    27" i7 iMac, 24" iMac, 13" Macbook Air, iPhone 6S, iPod Nano 7th GeniPad 3
    Your idle temps are perfectly fine and the under-load temps seem to be OK as well..now there should be cause for concern, if you are under-load and the system starts to misbehave as @bobtomay suggested..

    Furthermore, if the temps return to their idle (very dependent on the environment around the Mac) values then don't worry about it..

    Regards

  4. #4

    bobtomay's Avatar
    Member Since
    Dec 22, 2006
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    Specs:
    15" MBP '06 2.33 C2D 4GB 10.7; 13" MBA '14 1.8 i7 8GB 10.11; 21" iMac '13 2.9 i5 8GB 10.11; 6S
    Raz0rEdge makes a valid point. If while the machine is under load you are experiencing problems, that is the time to investigate. However, the temp would not be the thing to investigate. The investigation/troubleshooting would relate to the problem you are experiencing.

    An overheated CPU will typically result in the machine turning itself off.
    An overheated GPU could result in a pixelated, banded or frozen desktop.
    Either of which indicates an underlying hardware problem and a trip to the Apple store would be in order.
    I cannot be held responsible for the things that come out of my mouth.
    In the Windows world, most everything folks don't understand is called a virus.

  5. #5

    cwa107's Avatar
    Member Since
    Dec 20, 2006
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    Specs:
    15" MBP, Core i7/2GHz, 8GB RAM, 480GB Crucial M500 SSD
    The term "overheating" is too often misused. Overheating would mean that the machine is operating well out of spec - and in those scenarios, it will turn itself off. Just by virtue of the fact that it hasn't crashed during any of these sessions would seem to indicate that it's not overheating.

    Seeing as how you mentioned that you had your fans "cranked up to nearly max rpm", I'm going to guess that you've installed something like smcFanControl. My advice would be to get rid of it and let the SMC handle fan speeds on its own as it was designed to do. They are thermostatically controlled and the thresholds were devised by the very same engineers who designed the cooling system of your machine. There is no need to "second guess" them as it were... this is not an overclocked custom-built gaming rig.

    I think a lot of people fall into this trap because the Macs tend to have aluminum enclosures which can act as a heatsink (and very much intentionally so). Just because it's warm to the touch doesn't mean there is something wrong.

    If you really feel the need to intervene in some way, grab yourself a can of compressed air and give the vents a few short bursts of air now and then to clear any dust accumulation.
    Liquid and computers don't mix. It might seem simple, but we see an incredible amount of people post here about spills. Keep drinks and other liquids away from your expensive electronics!

    https://youtu.be/KHZ8ek-6ccc

  6. #6


    Member Since
    Feb 20, 2011
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    So, what you guys are telling me is, if it's not broken don't fix it?

    Thanks! I've deleted SMC Fan Control and will attempt to put my paranoia away and see how this runs.

    I appreciate all your advice.

  7. #7

    cwa107's Avatar
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    Dec 20, 2006
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    Quote Originally Posted by KennyCaphill View Post
    So, what you guys are telling me is, if it's not broken don't fix it?
    Pretty much

    Thanks! I've deleted SMC Fan Control and will attempt to put my paranoia away and see how this runs.

    I appreciate all your advice.
    Cool, let us know how it goes. And don't forget to pick up a can of compressed air. It does go a long way toward keeping the fans in good working order.
    Liquid and computers don't mix. It might seem simple, but we see an incredible amount of people post here about spills. Keep drinks and other liquids away from your expensive electronics!

    https://youtu.be/KHZ8ek-6ccc

  8. #8


    Member Since
    Feb 20, 2011
    Posts
    4
    Quote Originally Posted by cwa107 View Post
    Pretty much



    Cool, let us know how it goes. And don't forget to pick up a can of compressed air. It does go a long way toward keeping the fans in good working order.
    Already done. Now, obviously there's the fan vent in the back I should spray into but what about the bottom? I know there's two vents in there somewhere...

  9. #9

    bobtomay's Avatar
    Member Since
    Dec 22, 2006
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    Specs:
    15" MBP '06 2.33 C2D 4GB 10.7; 13" MBA '14 1.8 i7 8GB 10.11; 21" iMac '13 2.9 i5 8GB 10.11; 6S
    I freaked out sort of with my MBP. My custom homebuilt rigs at the time I bought my first Mac, I was use to tweaking them, upgrading heat syncs and fans and tried to get my CPU running at 23-25C at idle and max of 40-45C under load.

    Then I get a MBP and the thing is running at 90C while playing WoW during multi-hour sessions - WoW is what I thought. 4+ years later, this thing is still running as good as and better in some areas than the day I brought it home with the couple of HD and RAM upgrades that have been made during that time.

    Got mine instead of building a new rig around the time Vista was about to hit the shelves. Hope you enjoy your Mac as long as I have mine now.
    I cannot be held responsible for the things that come out of my mouth.
    In the Windows world, most everything folks don't understand is called a virus.

  10. #10

    Ramimac1's Avatar
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    2010 i3 27" 16gb Ram
    Is't it amazing how we can obsess over the smallest of things. For me these days there needs to be smoke pouring out of it to bother me.

    I live in las vegas and put a older compaq server in the garage one spring to serve my network due to noise. Well I forgot ll about it and wen summer rolled around it still ran. about 145 F boy was that hot to the touch

    This from a long time PC/Server tech.
    Old time Computer Hardware Tech
    Ohh My Typing Sucks Live with it

    Snoopy is the Man !!!

  11. #11


    Member Since
    Feb 20, 2011
    Posts
    4
    Thanks for all the advice!!!! Glad to know I was just being paranoid. I'm just not used to seeing these temps on a PC. If this was my old gaming rig that I built right before Win 7, I would have freaked and shoved it in the freezer.

  12. #12

    harvey3178's Avatar
    Member Since
    Sep 30, 2010
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    30
    I am so glad to see this!! bobtomay, cwa107, 100% agree with you both! i have been working on computers for over 15 years now. I remember those custom built frankenstein monsters over clocked to the max! lol. When you look at apple products inside and out you can tell a lot has went into the design engineering. Now guys what really scares me is if you jump over to a wee forum called Apple forum!! yes the official apple forum, you will get the opposite advice! ( Download and install smcFancontrol, download istats and watch your temp!!!) Complete and utter s**t!!
    Hmmm let me see, so the apple engineers couldn't get the fan speeds correct so lets just leave it up to the owners!! These people are complete idiots and normally have no technical knowledge whatsoever! Can i just please say this is not relating to the OP as he has done the right thing and followed advice! If you use istat you will never want to turn the machine on! there are loads to be taken into account and the most basic is room ambient temperature, what tasks your doing and so on. Now i am not saying these tools are not good! these can help keep an eye on a troubled machine, For example as the other guys say, if your machine is just shutting down then yes lets take a look at the temp! I think for the novice to start messing with these long spent engineered machines is crazy! Give apple a bit of credit, the hole design of the iMac is one big Heat sink!

    Sorry for the long post guys and to jump on the OP's post, just had to get this out! :-)
    iMac 27" i7 8G , MBP 15" i7 8G , iPad 64 3G , iPhone 4 32G

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