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Thread: iMac CPU Temp

  1. #1


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    iMac CPU Temp
    I would like to know what the normal temperature for the CPU is on an iMac. I run a lot of design program at once and know that it will be spiked due to this but just want to find a good baseline to judge the temps off it when I check them here and there.

    Thanks!

  2. #2

    pigoo3's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dilixstudios View Post
    I would like to know what the normal temperature for the CPU is on an iMac. I run a lot of design program at once and know that it will be spiked due to this but just want to find a good baseline to judge the temps off it when I check them here and there.

    Thanks!
    There really isn't a "normal" temperature for any computer...since it totally depends on what you're doing (idle vs. heavy cpu & gpu loads)...and believe it or not...the temperature of the room you use it in can make a big difference (Summer vs. Winter).

    It's also very difficult to say...since you did not tell us what model iMac you have. There have only been about 70+ iMac models since 1998!

    Please let us know what model iMac you have...and then we may be able to give you a general "normal" temp range.

    - Nick
    - Too many "beachballs", read this: Beachballs
    - Computer seems slower than it used to? Read this for some slow computer tips: Speedup
    - Almost full hard drive? Some solutions. Out of Space
    - Apple Battery Info. Battery

  3. #3


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    Quote Originally Posted by pigoo3 View Post
    There really isn't a "normal" temperature for any computer...since it totally depends on what you're doing (idle vs. heavy cpu & gpu loads)...and believe it or not...the temperature of the room you use it in can make a big difference (Summer vs. Winter).

    It's also very difficult to say...since you did not tell us what model iMac you have. There have only been about 70+ iMac models since 1998!

    Please let us know what model iMac you have...and then we may be able to give you a general "normal" temp range.

    - Nick
    Sorry about that. I just got it about 2 weeks ago, so it is the newest version of the iMac.

  4. #4

    chscag's Avatar
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    Download the free "iStat Pro" Dashboard Widget which will give you a readout for temperatures and fan speeds. (there are three fans in your iMac) As Nick says, normal will vary but at idle your iMac should run very cool compared to a typical notebook computer. My iMac CPU at idle usually remains around 40 degrees Celsius with its fan at around 1200 RPM.

    Download LINK

  5. #5

    Adric's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dilixstudios View Post
    Sorry about that. I just got it about 2 weeks ago, so it is the newest version of the iMac.
    Mine is usually between 35 and 45 degrees celsius. At idle, it dips down to the low 30's/ upper 20's. Heavy use, it climbs up to the mid 50's.

    I got my iMac in February.

    This is the app that I use to monitor my system temperature:
    Mac App Store - Temperature Gauge

  6. #6


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    Quote Originally Posted by chscag View Post
    Download the free "iStat Pro" Dashboard Widget which will give you a readout for temperatures and fan speeds. (there are three fans in your iMac) As Nick says, normal will vary but at idle your iMac should run very cool compared to a typical notebook computer. My iMac CPU at idle usually remains around 40 degrees Celsius with its fan at around 1200 RPM.

    Download LINK
    I do use the iStat Pro to monitor everything on this puppy and I love it. So, I am a step ahead.

    Thanks to all for your answers!

  7. #7


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    early 2006 iMac running hot?
    I have an early 2006 iMac - Intel Duo 2.0GHz, 20".
    A month or more ago it started getting sudden random horizontal lines on the display. If inside a document window, I could adjust the window size and the line would go away, but another would usually appear elsewhere soon. Then it started to crash/freeze several times a day. Or sometimes the screen would just go black. In either case I'd have to shut down with the power button on the back, wait a minute or so, then restart. Doing this got really frustrating and boring.
    Then I read that it might be the video card going bad, which on my machine is part of the motherboard, so cannot be replaced separately. Bummer!
    Even tho I'd also read that defraging the drive doesn't make sense on an OSX machine, I did it anyway with TechTool Pro. Took a long time, but maybe it would help? Looked nice in the resulting image, but...nope.
    THEN I read here that it might be running hot and maybe that was causing the video card to freak.
    I downloaded the free iStat Pro AND smcFanControl. I upped the speed by 400 rpms in each of the 3 available fans to ODD = 1200, HDD = 1800, CPU = 1200.
    All of the iStat readings are now between 5 and 14 degrees cooler than before and guess what, NO LINES OR CRASHES!
    What a relief.
    I can't afford a new iMac, so I'm back in business.
    At least I hope this is the answer.
    Thanks. MacForums!!!
    Greg in New Orleans

  8. #8

    chscag's Avatar
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    I'd be willing to bet if you opened up your iMac and blew all the dust out of it and from the fans, you would not have had to install SMCFanControl and run your fans at a higher RPM.

  9. #9

    pigoo3's Avatar
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    For sure what "chscag" recommended. I've seen some REALLY dirty iMacs...especially the older "white" models.

    - Nick
    - Too many "beachballs", read this: Beachballs
    - Computer seems slower than it used to? Read this for some slow computer tips: Speedup
    - Almost full hard drive? Some solutions. Out of Space
    - Apple Battery Info. Battery

  10. #10


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    Thanks chscag and pigoo3. I did clean the vent screen at the bottom of the iMac early on in the process. Yes, it was filthy! I'm afraid to open the box, tho I agree it would probably be the best long term solution. Is it a major deal to open the Mac - or should I say, to get it back together? I am concerned that the increased fan speeds will shorten their lives, so there is that to consider.
    Thanks again!
    Greg in New Orleans

  11. #11

    chscag's Avatar
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    Yes, opening up an iMac is a rather difficult task. However, with the right tools and instructions it can be done without fuss, muss, or cuss.

    Go to iFixit: The free repair manual and look up the instructions for swapping out the hard drive in your model iMac. That will show you the step by step procedure for removing the front panel display and gaining access to the inner machine. You'll need a good glass sucker and a set of torx drivers. The same site sells both.

  12. #12


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    Thanks again chscag! I found the instructions and the tools I'll need.
    I've been upgrading my Macs since my IIsi (!), so maybe I will give this a go.
    I'll report back if/when I do this.
    Thanks again.
    What a great service it is to get answers within hours, not weeks.
    ~Greg

  13. #13


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    iMac CPU temp
    Hi boys! I would to say I've similar problems with my iMac (20" 2,16 Ghz, late 2006 with 1 gb of ram). This summer was very cool, so, trying to prevent problems, I used a fan near the machine for "refreshing" it and also I often controlled the temperature with iStat: I tried to maintein the CPU temperature under 50° Celsius, and sometimes shut off the iMac.
    But it maked horizontal multicoloured lines on windows (no more than one per time) and sometimes it freezed and I needed to restart the iMac. On 20th of August, at the booting, I'd a surprise: the machine charged the background of desktop, the dock and the menů-strip on the high, but not charged icons neither folders on the desktop and it seemed freezing, whit classical rotating multicoloured ball (if I remember right).
    So I changed hd; it is incompatible with my iMac and also I tried with newer o.s.. I had no success and, instead, I verified that the trouble wasn't tha hd. I reinstalled the previous hd and I tried to reinstall the original o.e.m. Tiger with the greys disks.
    Problems didn't stop: when I inserted the second installing disk, the system freezed, remained the windows with the request of inserting the second disk and this was rejected. Other times I restarted the iMac, I only see this window.
    Now, the question is: in your opinion the problem could be the GPU, the logic board, the ram, or what? I'll have to "dismiss" my "loved" iMac? I suppose the cool could be damned something, but I'm not a technician or an engineer.....
    Another question: the GPU is on the logic board? If so, is possible to change it? what can I do to clean it or logic board, if necessary (I need particular tools to do it)?
    Many thanks for attention e for replay you'd make to me.

  14. #14

    chscag's Avatar
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    The GPU is soldered on to the logic board and can not be changed. It's hard to say what's causing all the problems with your iMac but it does sound like it might be hardware. If it's the logic board, it's probably not worth spending money to change it out. Your 2006 iMac has had a good run. Might be time to buy a new one.

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