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OS X - Operating System General OS operation information and support

OS X Lion - Temperature and Battery Performance Issues


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Member Since: Oct 14, 2010
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As in the case of several internet posts in various forumns, the upgrade from SL to Lion has been seen to cause issues with higher operating temperatures resultant in increased cooling fan speeds and consequently lowered battery life due to added power consumption. In our experience we noticed this on several of our Macbook Pro's however it did not affect iMac's at all...

After reading several posts along these lines, this is what solved the problem for us:
  1. Backup all data... We did not use TimeMachine Backup as I did not want to risk bringing anything over from SL... We manually backed up all Data to external drive... We use DropBox paid account for data storage, makes data restoration a cinch and for our needs well worth the cost...
  2. We use Lastpass for password mangement and XMarks for browser bookmark backup/management makes restoration of browser configurations a no brianer... (and works across all browsers)
  3. We also use MobileMe which enables backup of mail settings and keychains for now, as this service is going away...
  4. Reformat your boot partition...
  5. Perform a fresh install of Lion... 30 min.
  6. Reload your data from backup...
  7. Copy over or install Dropbox and sync... Go home and to sleep. This could take days... ours took 5 hours due to other machines on the LAN with Dropbox which can do LAN sync in place of WAN if local resources are visible to the Dropbox...
  8. Configure system settings... 1 hour or with MobileMe sync... 5 min. (mail was still a little quirky... and required some account and settings tweaking)
  9. Install gfxCardStatus to manage your intgrated and discrete video (only if you have dual video cards...) Integrated will consume less power and seems to reduce heat load on machine...
  10. Install Fan control or SMC Fan Control to monitor and tweak fan speeds...
  11. Install bjango iStat Pro Widget to monitor your new performance...
  12. Perform an SMC Reset: Intel-based Macs: Resetting the System Management Controller (SMC)
  13. Perform a PRAM and NVRAM Reset: Resetting your Mac's PRAM and NVRAM
  14. Reload your applications... (To save time, we chose to load the main ones and then load others as we needed them, as otherwise this could take a several hours per machine)
  15. Enjoy a Lion system as it performs like SL with the newer features...
After this proceedure on several systems, this is our experience:

Temperatures are now back to normal 2000 RPM instaed of 3500, and CPU heat down to 115 deg. F.
Battery Life now back to 5.5 - 6.5 hours depending on battery health and background processes per each machine... (Even when on SL, we never got more than 8 hours in our environment)

Note: high temps and fan speeds still occur when transferring large amounts of data over LAN or WIFI, and or when playing flash video in any browser (the Adobe Flash plug-in has serious issues I think)... This occurs on all our Mac systems including desktops...

Hope this helps...
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