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  1. #1

    Member Since
    Oct 01, 2009
    Post Macbook Pro, extreme fan RPMs

    I bought a new macbook pro in july this summer, latest model 2,2Ghz 13". Its my first apple computer and i love it but last few weeks the fan has made odd sounds, but only around 3000-4000 rpm. At 2000 and above 4000 it sounds like usual so i thought maybe the fan hardware was a bit loose or something since its only at certain rpms that it sounds odd. Oh maybe i should explain why i even monitor the fan rpms. I play world of warcraft 3 nights a week (i know.. but it -is- fun) and to keep the temperature below 85 degrees C, i run a program called smcFancontrol to push the lowest fan rpms to 5000 when i run the game since it uses a lot of CPU and GPU power.

    Tonight however the fan went crazy, it sounded a -lot- more than 6000, which is the highest rpms i've tested. smcFancontrol adds a small monitor of the computer temperature (not sure what sensor) and current fan rpm, just left on the clock to the upper right in mac OS. The fan rpm monitor froze at around 5000 but the fan made serious noise for a laptop fan, it sounded like a light hair-dryer. My mother who isnt even very "technical" came into my room and wondered if anything was wrong with the computer. I turned the computer off, let it cool a few mins then started it, everything was normal. Started smcFancontrol and set fan speed to 5000, and the hair dryer sound came back. Uninstalled smcFancontrol, reboot, reinstalled a new dowload of the program, but same result as above. Restarted computer, started world of warcraft without running smcFancontrol and after a few minutes the computer started to automatically increase fan rpms as the temperature went up, and eventually the hair-dryer sound came back.

    What to do? What could be wrong?

    I have no clue what could have triggered the fan overflow, i havent dropped the computer or caused big mechanical force to it. I installed 4Gb RAM to it (up from 2) during summer but it was about a month before the fan started to sound loose around 3000-4000 rpm. It doesnt seem to be smcFancontrol that is behind the weird fan behavior since the problem is there even when i dont run the program. Any help is much appreciated, im new to the apple world and not sure where to look for help, except where i bought it.

  2. #2

    clayneal's Avatar
    Member Since
    Mar 27, 2009
    Lincoln Nebraska
    late 08 macbook 2.0 4gig 320hdd10.7.3 32 gig iPhone 4s
    So your saying that the Mac will increase fan speed as the machine heats up ? ;-) my guess you have roasted your fan running a program that was never needed and the fan couldn't handle.

  3. #3

    bobtomay's Avatar
    Member Since
    Dec 22, 2006
    Texas, where else?
    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
    Unlike what some of those that have moved from Windows to a Mac - I'm going to say you do not need SMCFanControl. Yeah, yeah I know what those others would say. I spent many a year as a hardcore gamer, hardware enthusiast and overclocker where temps and fan speeds were an important aspect of my rigs. I've watched my MBP fans spin at 6000 rpm for hours at a time, but I didn't try to second guess the engineers.

    If you've been artificially setting the fans at 5000 rpm, from my experience in numerous 6-8+ hour sessions of WoW, part of the time your fan has not needed to spin that fast and the majority of the time it's been spinning too slow, which allows your hardware to get hotter than it would have if left to it's own devices.

    Having said all of that, if the fan(s) are making that kind of noise, you need to go ahead and set up an appointment at your local Apple store and take it in. Could be dirty, but from what you're describing, more than likely you need replacement(s).

    Fans will fail whether using SMCFanControl or not. However, I do not recall any reports of fan failure on a MB or MBP during the first year of it's life except from those using SMCFanControl in my time at this forum. Even those have been few, but it does happen and if you just bought it in July, then you're still covered by 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.

  4. #4

    Member Since
    Oct 01, 2009
    Thanks for the replies.

    @clayneal - i was using SMCFancontrol to make the mac speed the fans up -before- hardware hit temperatures of ~105 celcius. It happened often if i didnt use the program, and to keep the life time of the hardware longer, i used this program to avoid such high temperatures.

    @bobtomay - i got my MPB back from repair about a week ago, they replaced 1 fan (i have no clue if there are more and if so how many), didnt cost anything and im considering getting apple care for longer guarantee..
    If i understand your post correctly then you are saying that my 5000 SMCFancontrol setting would let the fans spin too slow sometimes, but thats not how the program works tho. It can only set the minimum fan RPM, the MPB is still able to increase the RPM to 5000+ if its sensors tells it to do so. However, i have not been using SMC since i got the computer back and it spins the fans up much faster than before. Could it be that MPBs come with settings for low sound levels at a sacrifice of higher temperatures (since most users probably dont use their MPs for applications such as wow..), and the apple technicians changed some settings to make it speed fans up faster when they noticed that i had SMC installed and wow icon on the desktop?

    I dont know if that is a realistic thought tho, watching a movie uses to increase the temperature similar to wow. Many MBP users probably watch a movie on their laptop from time to time.

    Anyways, id just want to update the thread for future reference with the info that my MBP now smoothly increases the fan speeds as the temperature raises after i had apple staff look at the computer and repaired the broken fan. It did not do this before, it stayed at around 1990RPMs until the temperature hit 97-107 degrees celcius, then it raised the RPMs quickly up to 4000-6000. Now the fan RPM follows temperature linearly starting to speed up at around 65
    60 - 1990
    65 - 2200
    70 - 3000
    70 - 4000
    75 - 4750
    80+ - 5000+

    If you, like me, spend time on games or other temperature increasing activity and have the problem i had with the MBP not speeding up fans to avoid temperatures above 90 degrees i would advice you to take the computer to an apple technician.

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