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smcFanControl — Cool Your MacBook Pro 195

Posted by kdawson
from the smell-of-burning-thighs dept.
Clodas writes, "smcFanControl 1.1 is a simple GUI that lets you control how fast each fan spins on your MacBook, MacBook Pro, or Mac Mini. The temperature of my MBP when idle averaged around 63 degrees celsius. After running smcFanControl 1.1, my temperature dropped to 43 celsius within 10 minutes of use. This now allows me to sit my MBP on my lap, something I was unable to do previously since the machine got so hot. I have my fans set to spin at a minimum of 3000 RPM and I still don't hear the fans spinning. Apple by default has them set to 1000 RPM. I really recommend smcFanControl 1.1 for any that feel their MB, MBP, or Mini are too hot to handle."
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smcFanControl — Cool Your MacBook Pro

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  • Finally! (Score:5, Funny)

    by TPIRman (142895) * on Saturday October 14, 2006 @12:36PM (#16436921)
    I really recommend smcFanControl 1.1 for any that feel their MB, MBP, or Mini are too hot to handle.

    Finally! I can use my Mac mini on my lap again.
    • by CODiNE (27417)
      Mac mini?? If you want a REAL laptop nothing beats my 24" iMac! That's what the "chin" is for, to hold the keyboard.
    • by Basehart (633304)
      Your comment actually made me laugh out loud. Thanks :-)
    • by klubar (591384) on Saturday October 14, 2006 @01:36PM (#16437429) Homepage
      What a hack... You think after you've dropped a couple of bills on a brand new computer it would be designed to work correctly.

      Seriously guys...why can't Apple make a laptop that doesn't double as a Friallator [pitco.com]? It seems that with all that computer power available in a laptop, the system could do a better job at adjusting fan speed... perhaps on the power control panel there should be various settings... simmer, roast, boil and flame (Apple with Sony batteries only). Alternatively, Apple could come out with a line of cookware design to work with your laptop.
      • Can't speak for iBook vs. MacBook, but I still recommend a PowerBook over the current MacBook Pro. It's lap-safe and the 12" model is smaller and looks better than the MacBook. Then again, I'm a programmer/scripter, so I don't have much call for extreme processing power. Most of my work is done in text editors. I doubt I'd notice a speed difference in vi on a MBP...
        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by Macthorpe (960048)
          Am I the only one here that objects to the term 'lap-safe'?

          It's a LAPTOP. If you can't put it on your lap, surely it ceases to be described as one!
          • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

            by FLEB (312391)
            They rarely, if at all, are anymore. The only terminology you'll hear used by manufacturers is "notebook", for the burning-lap sterility reasons mentioned.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by JimDaGeek (983925)
      Amen to that! I just got my first Mac (macbook) and really love it. However I have really hated how hot it gets. I just purchased a Lapinator [lapinator.com] and hope that will help when it arrives.

      I am glad that this code is under the GPL. Instead of having to have a GUI app always running to make sure the fans stay at a certain RPM, maybe I or another can rip out the guts and make it a cron job that runs every 5 mins or so?

      OT:
      P.S. Does anyone know of a good Mac usenet/email group for learning all I can about
      • by Tim Browse (9263)

        I just purchased a Lapinator and hope that will help when it arrives.

        Lapinator? For some reason, I had visions of an unstoppable cyborg rabbit - I'm glad it's just a laptop mat.

        "Hare Connor?"

      • by kabz (770151)
        Slightly not exactly what you asked, but Mac OS Internals by Amit Singh is a fantastic book. Highly reccommended if you like looking and thinking about the guts of the OS. If you have one of the 'good' editions of Windows Internals, then you know pretty much what to expect.
      • I'm not sure about an Usenet or email group, but the Apple support forums aren't all that bad. You don't generally get too many rude "RTFM" responses, and not all the questions are that basic, either. The basic forums can be very basic ("how do I get email?"), but there's some fairly technical questions that get answered from time to time as well. It's more of a question-and-answer format rather than a general reference guide, so I'm not sure if that's what you're looking for, but it might be worth making a
      • by jayloden (806185)
        I just got a macbook (my first Mac also) about two months ago, and mine was extremely hot too. I ran software update and installed all the patches, particularly the SMC firmware update. Took care of the heat problem and I'm sitting with it on my lap right now as I watch SNL. I'm not really sure how a firmware update fixes a heat issue, but it did for me.

        (If you're not familiar with it, go to System Preferences -> Software Update to get OS updates)

        Hope that helps,

        -Jay
        • by cellocgw (617879)
          I'm not really sure how a firmware update fixes a heat issue, but it did for me.
          Well, I know on the Dell Inspiron I have, when I ran a firmware updater (from Dell), the fan came on more often and at a subjectively lower case temperature. I would imagine MacBook fan control could be under firmware control as well as layered software control
      • by ahknight (128958) *
        Does anyone know of a good Mac usenet/email group for learning all I can about the Mac?

        Yes, I run that site, and email list. Mac Geekery [macgeekery.com] is about such nitty-gritty. We also have a mailing list [geekery.info] going for general suport and further geekery.
      • by fyonn (115426)
        I've got a lapinator and frankly, it's great. the bottom of my MBP does get pretty (read very) hot, but the bottom of the lapinator pad is far more comfortable. the instructions that came with it recommended putting the 3 rubber bungs on the top, to lift the back of th laptop, but I never bothered with that, it copes very well as it is.

        dave
      • P.S. Does anyone know of a good Mac usenet/email group for learning all I can about the Mac? Professionally, I have been programming Windows and Linux for 10 years so I do not want my hand held or told "you don't need to know that". A lot of the tips/solutions/etc I have been finding for Mac releated questions have been more for the "I want it to just work and don't care how" crowd. I am more of the "I love Linux and want to get dirty with my new Mac" crowd.

        I have no idea if this is at all related to wha
  • Uh huh (Score:5, Insightful)

    by nodwick (716348) on Saturday October 14, 2006 @12:38PM (#16436945)
    I have my fans set to spin at a minimum of 3000 RPM and I still don't hear the fans spinning. Apple by default has them set to 1000 RPM.
    And how long does your battery last between recharges now?
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by 4D6963 (933028)

      Interesting question tho, I wonder what's the extra power drain. If someone could give an estimate.

    • This is probably negligible compared to the power consumed by a hard drive, which actually has a good deal of mass to content with. However, I'd be more curious if this app could set the fan rotation high enough that it destroys the fan itself. if it didn't burn the fan out itself, could the forces exerted on the fan through constant angular velocity, combined with air resistance, cause the fan to tear itself apart?
      • Re:Uh huh (Score:5, Informative)

        by kloppe (740713) on Saturday October 14, 2006 @01:09PM (#16437233)
        A fan's power draw is a couple of watts at most, and no, your fan won't die 'orribly from it using speed control software. :) Higher speed probably means the bearings will wear out a bit faster though. For more info, check out http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pulse-width_modulatio n [wikipedia.org]
      • by ColGraff (454761)
        I doubt that - but you might wear out the bearings faster.
      • Re:Uh huh (Score:4, Informative)

        by Firehed (942385) on Saturday October 14, 2006 @03:12PM (#16438151) Homepage
        Well, desktop fans have yet to rip themselves apart. The software won't throttle the fan faster than it was designed to go, and all fans are designed to be able to sustain their maximum rotation speed until they reach their MTBF. Some people who use their laptops as DTR machines will have them under a constant heavy load (and then run folding in the background, just to make sure their batteries never stand a chance), and their fans aren't tearing themselves apart.

        Basically, fans can be fed anywhere from 0 to 12 volts (maybe laptops are 0-5v, but it's pretty standard). It usually takes 5-6v to get them spinning and overcome inertia, but after that you can drop it down to 4v or so to keep it going. The app just overrides the software control telling it to throttle the voltage until it hits near a certain RPM. The voltage control almost certainly works on a percentage, but even if not, there's only so much available to give it - you can't just pull random extra voltage in from somewhere to overvolt the fan.

        As to the relation to a hard drive... couldn't say. I've seen numerous desktop-sized fans that use quite a bit more power than a notebook hard drive, which (in my experience) draw 2.5w or less (ie, you can power them from a USB port with no extra plugs). There are fans out there that draw 12w and up, but those tend to be the high-speed 120mm fans that can do serious damage to objects that happen to get in their way. Notebooks, on the other hand, tend to use very small fans such as 40mm units, which have a power draw in the half-watt range at full tilt. Varies by fan of course, but this probably won't drain your battery any faster than plugging in a flash drive and pulling a few files from it.

        I'm just a bit irked that Slashdot posted this today. Not 36 hours ago, I left my MBP at the Apple store for them to fix the heat problems.
        • IIRC the fan controllers on the macbook pros are PWM, not voltage controlled.
          Most fan controllers with an I2C interface since, I can't remember, have been PWM in my experience.
          This is a good thing, because running a fan at reduced voltage produces a non-linear relationship with power consumed and air moved. PWM is more linear since it uses the momentum of the blades to keep it running at a target speed, pulsing power into it as it slows down. I've also heard PWM increases the fan's life expectancy... but I
    • Re:Uh huh (Score:5, Informative)

      by dal20402 (895630) * <[moc.cam] [ta] [20402lad]> on Saturday October 14, 2006 @12:58PM (#16437151) Journal

      Been using smc and then smcFanControl since they showed up... battery life on my MBP doesn't seem appreciably different, not that it was any good to begin with, with the 7200rpm HD.

      The best way to save battery is to dim the screen. At less than half brightness I can get nearly 3.5 hours in normal usage. At full brightness it's more like 2.5+.

      • ... battery life on my MBP doesn't seem appreciably different, not that it was any good to begin with, with the 7200rpm HD.

        The faster spinning hard drive has a negligible impact on battery life. At max load, the difference is about a half a watt, and the idle power is the same. The tests I've seen that compared battery life using a 5400 and 7200 drives showed about three minutes battery life on an average notebook computer.

        I do turn down the brightness, not necessarily for battery life but for battery tem
    • by SuperBanana (662181) on Saturday October 14, 2006 @01:14PM (#16437275)

      And how long does your battery last between recharges now?

      The question is whether the fans will be run past their expected/rated lifetime before the computer has.

      As we all know- small fans (CPU fans, chipset fans anyone?) don't last very long. That's precisely why they're only run when necessary. Given the MB/MBP's thermal output, Bad Things will happen if those fans fail- probably no worse than it shutting itself down or crashing. Still won't be good for it.

      That said, keeping the fans on a very low speed to maintain a cooler temperature will improve general component life.

      • by Speare (84249)
        When my MBP is on my desk, it is sitting on one of those small cheap USB-powered "lap coolers." If the fans in that thing break, I just go get another one.

        I have noticed that most "smart" devices power down when the MBP goes to sleep, but the dumb lap coolers seem to keep spinning. I haven't tried all possible combinations of battery, AC, sleep, or whatever, to chase it down.

        • If it's "USB powered," it probably isn't even using the data connectors on the USB port, so there's no hope of the lap cooler detecting the laptop's power state via software. Since USB has to keep being powered even when the laptop is asleep (e.g. to detect mouse and keyboard events so that it can wake itself up again), nothing you can do to the MBP short of shutting it off entirely is going to turn off the lap cooler.

      • by TubeSteak (669689) on Saturday October 14, 2006 @02:54PM (#16438021) Journal
        The question is whether the fans will be run past their expected/rated lifetime before the computer has.

        As we all know- small fans (CPU fans, chipset fans anyone?) don't last very long.
        Computer fans generally die out because they use shiatty oil impregnated sintered bronze bushings. Bushings soaked in oil are vastly inferior to a good sealed bearing.

        Though heat is still an issue either way, since it'll degrade the lubricant, bearings will have a longer lifespan without maintanence.

        You can revive a noisy computer fan if you peel back the sticker & put a drop of oil into the hole, but no promises on how long that'll last.

        This might also resolve the "it won't spin up" problem, though sometimes that's just the motor dying & not the bushing sticking.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by ben there... (946946)
        Yeah, but who really cares about the fan? When it's dying, you'll know it. All sorts of freaky noises will spew from your system. $20 to replace a fan vs. up to $300 to replace a component that failed because of heat.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Matey-O (518004)
        This is innacurate. My first MBP's fans died within two weeks. While diagnosing the problem, I intentionally ran it as hard as I could with one, and later, no fans.

        With all fans dead, temp reached 92C, but the system DID NOT FAIL. It _did_ clock cycle to keep running, but I could not get it to freeze up.
      • by Dasher42 (514179)
        Exactly. That's why I prefer keeping an inexpensive and replaceable laptop cooler around. I just grabbed one of these [bizrate.com] and it works, and I don't need to worry about working the fans on my laptop.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      Seeing as how most small sized fans (40mm-ish) dont usually take more than 0.1A @ 12V => 1.2 watts (at full speed), compared to the 40-50-ish watts that the rest of the system uses the difference is negligable.
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by flyingfsck (986395)
      I am presently trying to quiet down a MiniITX machine. It has a pair of howling fans in it. I found that a 47 Ohm resistor in series with the fan will reduce the noice to a whisper and still run the machine nice and cool. So, I had to do some measurements.

      A 1 inch miniature fan uses about 60mA at 12V. So running at full tilt, it consumes about 0.72W of power. The minimum setting where it will still start reliably, is about 6V at 50mA, so the power is about 0.3W. So, from that you can see that the powe
  • Well, it works ... (Score:3, Informative)

    by Sonic McTails (700139) on Saturday October 14, 2006 @12:42PM (#16436979)
    I reset my fan seed to 6000 to see how cool my laptop could get, and its amazing getting cooler then most PCs I owned, whose fans are 10x as load. I would pay for this app if it was a commerial program!

    I wonder how it works, I'd love to see the source code for it ...
    • I wonder how it works, I'd love to see the source code for it ...

      Are you kidding? It's a fan control, not exactly new or complicated. This sort of thing has been around for almost a decade. All it does is changes a couple of registers, possibly over an I2C serial bus.

      • It uses IOKit to walk a device tree looking for fan-like things. It enumerates them, and lets you set or read a series of RPM thresholds (min, max, target). The GUI is built on top of the CLI program that does all that.
    • by dal20402 (895630) * <[moc.cam] [ta] [20402lad]> on Saturday October 14, 2006 @01:05PM (#16437207) Journal

      There's no benefit in setting fan speed to 6000 at idle. Here are idle CPU1 temps for my MBP (after it's been running for at least 20 mins) at various speeds. Each MBP tends to get different results, so YMMV.

      Default (1000rpm): 59-62 C
      2000rpm: 49-51 C
      2500rpm: 46-48 C
      3000rpm: 42-44 C
      3500-6000rpm: no change: 38-41 C

      Note that the faster speeds DO make a difference when the MBP is doing intensive work, as it appears that setting the minimum speed to higher also causes the fan to ramp up more quickly. At sustained 100% CPU load the machine is always hot but the lowest temperature was reached when I set the minimum to 5000rpm: about 78-81 C.

      On the outside, the machine is MUCH cooler when using any setting over 2500rpm. It really is a "laptop" now. And below 3000rpm the fans are barely audible. I don't know what Apple was thinking when they chose such a low default.

      • I don't know what Apple was thinking when they chose such a low default.

        The powers that be (e.g. Steve Jobs) felt it was absolutely necessary to have a quiet machine over any kind of realistic cooling, thighs be damned. Barely audible is not the same thing as inaudible. Every person I know who owns the MacBook Pro says they love the machine -- except for the extreme heat.

        If you notice, the Mac Pro also briefly had the same issue. Quiet machine -- got very hot. A firmware update forced the fans to run at

    • by xenocide2 (231786)
      Check out lm_sensors [lm-sensors.org] if you're curious. That's the linux software to read the temperature and current fan speeds over i2c or smbus. From there its just a matter of deciding whether the current temperature requires more fan speed or if you can get away with less. If your fans in your PC aren't cooling it down to room temperature, either the thermal readings are broken or you don't have frequency scaling on. With on-demand frequency scaling, my athlon64 will reach close to room temperature (it did rise 2 deg
      • by CRCulver (715279)
        Unfortunately, lm_sensors supports only a limited number of hardware monitor chips. For example, on my Toshiba A75 notebook, I can control the fan and get temperatures using the omnibook [sourceforge.net] Linux kernel module (which somehow accesses the BIOS directly), but the Winbond hardware monitor chip on this notebook isn't supported yet, so lm_sensors can't read it through the standard I2C interface. Also, the Linux kernel can't read the temperature and fan settings through ACPI.
        • by xenocide2 (231786)
          Doesn't make it not an example of I2C and sensor programming. But apparently this macbook app also includes source, probably more relevant to the OP's request.
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by donaldGuy (969269)
      As posted .. the source code is included in the distribution.

      It is inside the .app itself... Just right click, click 'Show Contents' .. then go to Contents/Resources/Sources.. all the C++ source and xcode project files are there ..

      Also .. I created a more standard source distro .. If anyone cares they can mirror it somewhere better, but here it is... http://rapidshare.de/files/36736578/smcFanControl- 1.1.src.tar.gz.html [rapidshare.de]

      Peace,
      Donald
    • by Khuffie (818093)
      The source code is included. Check out the package contents.
    • by mustafap (452510) on Saturday October 14, 2006 @01:57PM (#16437627) Homepage
      >I would pay for this app if it was a commerial program!

      The source is GPL, so you can buy it as a commercial program. Please feel free to post your credit card details, and I'll sell it to you for the bargain price of $49. I'll even ship you the source code!
    • Shhh, or someone will make it into shareware. This appeared on digg [digg.com] a few days back, and started with a tutorial showing how to do this through the manipulation of some files in your System Library. A script was later released, and now this full blown GUI.
  • Personally, I prefer the fans not to run at all (very quiet). Will this damage the hardware?

    (Unless I am doing something intensive)
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Sonic McTails (700139)
      The fans will automatically rev up to 6000RPM max if necessary to keep the machine cool, and as a failsafe, the machine will automatically turn off if it gets too hot*

      * At least, I believe it will, a lot of other PCs do, and my old mac did ...
    • Personally, I prefer the fans not to run at all (very quiet). Will this damage the hardware?

      It depends on how you define "damage". If you mean "reduce it's lifetime", then yes, it will damage it. Heat is a killer in electronics, that's why datacentres are kept so cool.

      • by abscissa (136568)
        I thought it was not the heat itself, but temperature changes (ie hot -> cold -> hot) that did it in?
        • by jandrese (485)
          High heat will damage hard drives and fans by breaking down the oil used in them. In particular Hard Drives are susceptable to high temperatures (which is annoying because the drive bays are invariably the worst cooled part of any case). The cheap electrolytic capacitors that motherboard manufactuerers use don't like high temperatures either.
    • by dal20402 (895630) *

      You won't be able to get much work done...

      The machine will automatically throttle itself back when the CPU reaches some high temperature (95 C?) and then turn itself off at 100C. Without fans running the CPU temperature will climb this high after only a few seconds of processor-intensive work.

      However, I cannot hear the fans -- AT ALL -- over the hard drive when the fan speed is under 2000rpm. On the rare occasions when I can get the hard drive to spin down, I can only hear the fan noise as a slight whoo

      • by anagama (611277)
        I just tried this app on my macbook (not pro) and was surprised to find that I couldn't really hear a difference at 3000 rpm. The noise from the power supply when its plugged in, the HD, and whatever else is going on covers the fan noise.
    • Personally, I prefer the fans not to run at all (very quiet). Will this damage the hardware?

      At least li-ion batteries doesn't like heat to much since it will shorten their lifespan. According to wikipedia on li-ion batteris:

      ... a battery stored inside a poorly ventilated laptop, may be subject to a prolonged exposure to much higher temperatures than 25 C, which will significantly shorten its life...

      If you have li-ion batteries without knowing much about them and want the most out of them... read http:// [wikipedia.org]

  • by posterlogo (943853) on Saturday October 14, 2006 @01:01PM (#16437169)
    I think this heat problem was generally regarded as a major source of delay for the merom macbook pro's as a simple update wasn't going to cut it this time -- the whole interior had to be redesigned to allow for better cooling. Let's hope they got the problem fixed. I also wonder why the fan speed wasn't considered an adequate fix -- is there something inherently unstable about this? Don't fan's in other laptops run that fast?
    • by aliquis (678370)
      I think people who have reapplied the thermal grease have said that their fans started earlier/more often, so it might be that they uses temp. sensors but since the conductivity (?) is very low the fan sensors doesn't read a that high temp and therefor they don't run as fast as they should/would do if they actually feelt the heat.

      I suppose if everything was correct and worked as it should there would be no reason to run the fans faster than needed, that is 1000 rpm is ok if the chips are cool.
  • Undervolting (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Aardpig (622459) on Saturday October 14, 2006 @01:13PM (#16437253)

    I think it would be even better if you could unvervolt the MBP. My 2.26GHz Pentium M Sonoma system used to run very hot (95C) under full load (e.g., mprime); by undervolting from 1.35V to 1.18V, I've cut that down to 75C. Not only does this solve a heat problem; my fans are also quieter (since they are under less stress), and I have a substantial power saving to boot (recall, power consumption scales as voltage squared).

    1000 posts. Hmmm, maybe I should get out more...

    • They should bring back the turbo button. Yeah I know it was for compatibility not heat control but it would still be nice to have.
  • Pshaw! (Score:2, Funny)

    by RealGrouchy (943109)
    Come on!

    MacBook Pros will never be cool! :P

    - RG>
  • by loose electron (699583) on Saturday October 14, 2006 @01:20PM (#16437313) Homepage
    I designed the chip for something called TAFI (Temperature and Fan IC) a way back. This widget (or a variation on it) now sits inside every PC/Mac/Laptop/Desktop box on the planet that has variable speed fans, that cool on demand.

    How it works (the simplified 2 mile high view)- Sitting over inside the microprocessor is a diode, that is at the same temperature as the microprocessor chip. The forward biased voltage of a diode changes with temperature. With some signal processing, you can turn that into a temperature number.

    The temperature is available for readback over a serial bus. (SMA,SMB, I2C, the original was SMA if I remember correctly) A software routine reads the temperature and makes the call "cool me off" or "at desired maximum temperature" which gets turned into a number that gets loaded over the bus back to the TAFI chip. That number gets dumped into a DAC, which becomes the voltage for powering the DC motor fan.

    Presto! Variable speed fans dependent on how hot the microprocessor is!

    Before that, all the PC's had fans that ran full blast 24-7-365.

    Whoever did the software better realize that they are messing with the thermal management system and could seriosly fry their computer, if they set things up to not cool enough. So like any hardware hack, YMMV and you are taking a chance of doing permanent damage to the machine.

    The fan motor, in comparision to the processor, does not suck that much juice, so I expect that it won't change battery run time in a big major way. A little, but not gobs.

    • The developer's site clearly states that the fans cannot be set below Apple's default minimum. Is this not enough to save from the doomsday scenario you describe?
    • by Khuffie (818093) on Saturday October 14, 2006 @01:51PM (#16437563) Homepage
      This only changes the 'minimum' speed your fan runs at; if the cpu gets too hot, the machine will automatically increase the fan speed above that as needed. It's just that the minimum speed on my MacBook is at 1500, and it lets me adjust that (it doesnt allow me to go below that).
      • I have no problem with people trying to run things cooler. Elsewher in this thread, people were proposing setting it up so they could turn the fan off. Not a good idea.
  • I'm not trolling, I'm seriously interested in getting a macbookpro. However, if it gets hot enough so you can't put it on your lap, that is a major turn off. My pentium M fujitsu t4010 may get a little hot, but not so much that you can't put it on your lap. Are the heat issues with the macbookpro exaggerated?
    • Are the heat issues with the macbookpro exaggerated?

      Only by some pansies. I don't have any trouble with heat with my MB and it's been damned hot here the last few days. Sure, using it on the lap causes discomfort - it's farking hot out. It certainly doesn't cause any concern about burning though and I load the crap out of it with compile jobs...

  • by Awod (956596)
    Get em' while their hot..
  • I have my fans set to spin at a minimum of 3000 RPM and I still don't hear the fans spinning.

    I strongly suggest you get your hearing checked --- at 3000rpm, they're very audible (though not as bad as most desktops), at least in my 15" Macbook Pro. They're still audible at 2000 even, but not as much.
  • by hey (83763)
    Er, wouldn't it just be better to have a thermostat?
    • It does have a thermostat, but it appears to be set at a scorching temperature (like 95C). Rather than controlling the minimum fan speed directly, it would probably be better to just set the thermostat lower, but maybe the hackers haven't reverse-engineered that part yet.
  • by Pliep (880962) on Saturday October 14, 2006 @03:45PM (#16438421) Homepage
    So there you have it. Apple can sit back and relax while others fixe their "hot MacBook" problems. I think anyone who uses this app should return their machine to the store and claim a cooler machine or their money back. If we simply install a tool and then be happy, when is Apple ever gonna fix problems like these?
  • Much as this tool is cool and much needed, the one at http://www.lobotomo.com/products/downloads/Fan%20 C ontrol.zip [lobotomo.com] is much better. Installs as a preference panel and allows you to set thresholds for temperature in your MBP. Doesn't really give direct fan control, but does give you "baseline" control and allows you to tune the thresholds built into the machine.

    Granted, I've only been running it a day or so, but it's awesome. If I'm in a relatively noisy environment (coffee shop, etc) I can crank up the fans
  • by not already in use (972294) on Saturday October 14, 2006 @06:00PM (#16439299)
    I'm one of the brave souls who took apart their MBP and reapplied the thermal paste in reasonable quantities. Problem was, with the stock application heat wasn't transferring properly to the copper tubing from the processors. Unfortunatly, the thermal sensors are on this copper tubing so the problem becomes two-fold. Heat isn't being properly dissipated from the processors, and the computer thinks it is cooler than it really is, so the fans don't kick in when they should. Once the thermal paste was reapplied and everything was put back togother, I noticed my fans would come on more often or even come on full speed at times, which is a noticable sound. As a result, the MBP noticibly cooler to the touch and CoreDuoTemp reports a much cooler cpu.
    • by argent (18001)
      Erm, if the thermal sensors are on the copper tube then wouldn't the temperature reported by CoreDuoTemp be lower?
  • www.increw.com has a kernel extension called SpeedIt, which makes Intel Macs "correctly" light sleep when they are supposed to. Apple claims this is automatically handled entirely by hardware, but the increw.com guys claim this isn't so.

    On my MPB, the SpeedIt kext alone reduced the CPU temperature by 5-10C when idle.

    Keeping SpeedIt running and adding smcFanControl took the temperature down by another 13C! My MPB is now running a CPU temperature of about 33C, which is a big improvement for me...
  • That does not make me want a Mac. I have a Pentium M in my notebook which can throttle 8 states - it works as a 600 MHz processor whenever more is not needed (powernowd does it) and the fans are NOT switched on at all until it's been running at full power for thirty-odd seconds. It was trivial to set up (emerge one service, add it to local.start).

    Having 63 celsius when idle and constantly running the fans are both unacceptable to me.
    • Only really the early MBP's had a problem with this extreme of a heat problem. Mine's relatively recent (manufacture date in May) and doesn't exhibit really excessive temperatures. Without fan control, and both cores running I run about 52C pretty consistently at idle. The only time I've seen in excess of 65 is doing some major compilation job. Even playing Second Life it seems relatively cool to the touch.

      Having said that, the case of the machine can get hot... especially at the top of the keyboard; the st
  • I can not believe how much of a difference that made. I own both a 15" and 17" MBP. The 17" MBP has slightly high heat but you can deal with it. However, the 15" was like sticking your hand on the tail pipe of a bus. This app dropped the temp so much I can actually put it on my lap now! Whats even better is that the keyboard isn't on fire anymore (not really on fire, just felt like it)
  • People may be interested in what I believe is a better implementation:

    Fan Control [lobotomo.com]

    It's also free and the source is available under the GPL.

    Fan Control installs itself as a Mac OS X Preference Pane, and includes a daemon that always runs to apply the desired fan settings instead of requiring an interactive application to be open for the settings to be applied (as is the case with smcFanControl). It also shows a nice graph of the temperature thresholds, current fan speeds, current temperature, and allows you t

Your code should be more efficient!

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