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Users report fan speed issues with Apple's latest Retina MacBook Pros

post #1 of 33
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Apple's newly refreshed MacBook Pro models with Retina displays may be affected by an issue that causes the cooling fan speed to unexpectedly spike, users say.



Apparent problems with the latest Retina MacBook Pros were first highlighted this week by Geek.com. Users have also taken to a growing thread at the Apple Support Communities forum, where numerous Retina MacBook Pro owners say their system's fan will unexpectedly spin up to full speed while doing basic tasks, then will return to normal.

The user who started the thread, "jamezmbp," said they attempted to reset their computer, repair disk permissions, and even ran an Apple Hardware Test, all of which did not resolve the problem.

"It could be something to do with the SSD, as when I am making file transfers the fans kick up, without the temps increasing," they wrote in one post. "The fans also kick up at other times, but I've noticed it when making file transfers also."

YouTube user "oyinko" believes the issue may lie with the new Sandisk solid-state drive being used by Apple in its latest MacBook Pros. Apple made the switch from SSDs built by rival Samsung to Sandisk, and the change may have caused a conflict in fan management.

Those posting at Apple's official support forums say they believe the problem could be fixed with a software update. However, customers have had varying success obtaining information from Apple support officials, and some have received replacement hardware in an effort to address the issue.

Apple surprised last month when it refreshed its MacBook Pro with Retina display models with slightly faster processors and lower prices. The new models are between 3 and 5 percent faster than their predecessors, but are priced up to $200 cheaper.
post #2 of 33

Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Apple's newly refreshed MacBook Pro models with Retina displays may be affected by an issue that causes the cooling fan speed to unexpectedly spike, users say.
 

Edited by Mobius - 3/8/13 at 8:32am
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post #3 of 33
This happens every time Apple releases a new computer. People forget that Spotlight is indexing their drive for the first few hours, causing other things to run slowly and the fans to come on.
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post #4 of 33
I bought the Retina MBP when it first came out. No issues.
post #5 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post

This happens every time Apple releases a new computer. People forget that Spotlight is indexing their drive for the first few hours, causing other things to run slowly and the fans to come on.

 

But its kicking the fans up even though the computer isn't getting hot. There must be something up with the firmware. I'm sure Apple is working on a fix for this issue. I've never seen nor heard a Mac spin the fans up just in case it gets hot while working. Its always when its getting hot. When the fans are spinning they aren't just spinning up a little, they're spinning up to over 6,000 RPM. That is a little extreme, especially since the computer itself isn't getting very hot. 

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post #6 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by macxpress View Post

But its kicking the fans up even though the computer isn't getting hot.

That's the point of the fans. They keep it from getting hot.

It could be a bug - and if it is, it will undoubtedly be fixed soon.
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post #7 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post


That's the point of the fans. They keep it from getting hot.

 

Computer fans are reactive - their speed is determined by the safe operating temperature range of the system. If the system is idle and running at 40C, the fans shouldn't try to drive the temperature of the system any lower. That would be a waste of power.

post #8 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by CookiePuss View Post

I bought the Retina MBP when it first came out. No issues.

Agreed. I ordered mine in late August with no issues.   I get the blue screen of death on windows sometimes (use it for school). But it's nothing short of amazing. Knock on wood

post #9 of 33
This has happened to me a couple of times with my first gen retina MBP. My SSD is Samsung, so its not based on the maker of the SSD. When it does happen, I have to shut off my machine for a few minutes and reboot. That usually stops the fan. If I just do a normal restart, the fan continues to go crazy. Its definitely a software issue.
post #10 of 33

This brings back the memories of how my old Powermac G5 liked to go crazy, ramping the fans up to a full speed howl for no reason and not letting up until the system was restarted. As I recall, I wasn't the only person this happened to.

post #11 of 33

This is a non story.....One user reported a problem with a new machine. So how many have bought a new rMBP and are experiencing no problems......

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post #12 of 33

I'm running a MBPr 15 w/ 16GB RAM and a 512GB SSD from Late 2012, and it occasionally spikes the fans doing simple, routine work.  The fan spike happens at (what appears to be) random times, and for no apparent reason.  It's not a big deal -- this week, I've probably had 2-3 events, each lasting less than 60 seconds, after which the fans return back to normal.  It certainly doesn't impact usage or performance (from what I can tell).

 

I'm sure a firmware update will be released sometime in the future to address it.  Right now, though, it isn't a worry.

post #13 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by geekdad View Post

This is a non story.....One user reported a problem with a new machine. So how many have bought a new rMBP and are experiencing no problems......

Yah, as long as we ignore the ghosting issue in the LG panels many of us are stuck with. (https://discussions.apple.com/thread/4034848?tstart=0

Luckily mine's not too bad. Otherwise, it's a superb machine.

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post #14 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post


That's the point of the fans. They keep it from getting hot.

It could be a bug - and if it is, it will undoubtedly be fixed soon.

 

I know what the purpose of a fan is. The point of my previous post was...its not getting hot and its not doing anything to make it get hot yet for some reason its kicking up the fans. 

 

For those that bought a gen 1 MBP Retina, this issue doesn't apply to you. Its only those that have purchased the most recent version and its not even all of them. 

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post #15 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by geekdad View Post

This is a non story.....One user reported a problem with a new machine. So how many have bought a new rMBP and are experiencing no problems......

 

A little searching would make you feel like an idiot now wouldn't it....Obviously if there's a large thread about it on the Apple discussion forums among other Apple forums then there's an issue. Its only a non-issue because its not happening to you...you're not the one who just purchased a $2,200-2,400 laptop only to have fans spinning at over 6,000 RPM constantly and Apple is doing nothing about it. Some stores are even refusing to replace the laptop. 

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post #16 of 33

I got a new MBPro 15" Retina last week and it exhibits this problem.  Once in a while, for no apparent reason, the fan just spins up to high for 15-20 seconds and then goes back to normal.  It is not because of temperature or CPU load; I have iStat Pro and have checked all of that at the time of occurrence.

post #17 of 33
Weird timing. This just happened today on my MBP Retina display, recently purchased for me by my work for testing purposes. Got it a month ago, no issue until this morning when I came into the room and heard the fan. Just assumed it was my desktop, nope, then more closely followed the noise to the MBR. The case was completely cool, no real heat issue and no reason there should have been one. MBR had just been sitting idle for 24 hours. Had to power off and back on, hasn't happened again.
post #18 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by etkal View Post

I got a new MBPro 15" Retina last week and it exhibits this problem.  Once in a while, for no apparent reason, the fan just spins up to high for 15-20 seconds and then goes back to normal.  It is not because of temperature or CPU load; I have iStat Pro and have checked all of that at the time of occurrence.

What happens if you do an SMC reset?

http://support.apple.com/kb/HT3964

- Shut down the computer.
- Plug in the MagSafe power adapter to a power source, connecting it to the Mac if its not already connected.
- On the built-in keyboard, press the (left side) Shift-Control-Option keys and the power button at the same time.
- Release all the keys and the power button at the same time.
- Press the power button to turn on the computer.
- Note: The LED on the MagSafe power adapter may change states or temporarily turn off when you reset the SMC.
post #19 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by geekdad View Post

This is a non story.....One user reported a problem with a new machine. So how many have bought a new rMBP and are experiencing no problems......

 

Yet, this one user's experience is now plastered over multiple blogs as a headline- even while millions of others have not had this issue, so its probably user related. Thats the power (and flaw) of the internet- there is no context or perspective. So people with an agenda can "justify" their position using very rare and unusal scenarios. No doubt there's been a few "SEE APPLE QUALITY IS GOING DOWN HILL UNDER TIM COOK, THIS WOULD NEVER HAVE HAPPENED UNDER STEVE JOBS' posts, even while every single product released under SJ had issues experienced by some. 

post #20 of 33

My new MacBook Pro Retina has the exact same fan issue and it's is a little worrisome, since this machine cost nearly $3,000.  At the same time, it does not affect the overall performance, and it happens rarely.  If Apple provides a fix this would be nice.  If not, it's really not a big deal.  This isn't 'fangate'.   

post #21 of 33

Same issue with my SSD on 10.8.2 on a late-2011 17" MBP!  Fans making too much noise too often, but seems to be Safari plugin & extension related...  

 

Die Flash die!

post #22 of 33

Wait, the new models use Sandisk? F that, Sandisk is garbage. Their SSD's have a horrible fail rate.
Sounds to me like buyers have another reason to pick up the older model.

post #23 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by Slurpy View Post

 

Yet, this one user's experience is now plastered over multiple blogs as a headline- even while millions of others have not had this issue, so its probably user related. Thats the power (and flaw) of the internet- there is no context or perspective. So people with an agenda can "justify" their position using very rare and unusal scenarios. No doubt there's been a few "SEE APPLE QUALITY IS GOING DOWN HILL UNDER TIM COOK, THIS WOULD NEVER HAVE HAPPENED UNDER STEVE JOBS' posts, even while every single product released under SJ had issues experienced by some. 

 

Did you not read the article? There is a growing thread in Apple's Community Support forum with numerous users experiencing this problem, myself included. There are people reporting this issue from all over the world. 

 

Making this issue well known is the best way to get Apple's attention on this and hopefully fix it. It's nice that you may not have this issue, but a lot of people paid for what's supposed to be one of the best laptops money can buy, and they expect it to not have a defect like this. 

post #24 of 33
My personal machine has this issue. I would say the majority of the machines rolled out exhibit this problem. Not all users complain but it is very annoying. Someone complained yesterday of the issue on the latest MBPR same symptoms but hers happens every hour or so.

An investigation is likely underway. It does remind me as another poster said about the G5 fan fun of a decade ago.
post #25 of 33
Fixing permissions?? WTF would you do that to stop a weird fan behavior?? Why is it that nearly every Mac forum for technical help out there includes repairing permissions in a troubleshooting list for things that have nothing to do with file permission?
post #26 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by thataveragejoe View Post

Yah, as long as we ignore the ghosting issue in the LG panels many of us are stuck with. (https://discussions.apple.com/thread/4034848?tstart=0

Luckily mine's not too bad. Otherwise, it's a superb machine.

then return it? Why would you not return it? 

The only problem with following those Apple discussion boards is you will ONLY see people with problems post there. that is what it is designed for. That goes for ANY vendor out there. If you look at their support forums you will only see people posting their problems. All vendors have problems.... I have had Apple replace products that I was not happy with. So take you rMBP to the Apple staore and exchange it....get it documented.

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post #27 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by macxpress View Post

 

A little searching would make you feel like an idiot now wouldn't it....Obviously if there's a large thread about it on the Apple discussion forums among other Apple forums then there's an issue. Its only a non-issue because its not happening to you...you're not the one who just purchased a $2,200-2,400 laptop only to have fans spinning at over 6,000 RPM constantly and Apple is doing nothing about it. Some stores are even refusing to replace the laptop. 

really? Care to back that up? Didn't they say the same thing about.........well every Apple product released? Wasn't there some very small percentage of users having a problem? Yet Apple remains at the TOP of every user satisfaction survey and poll! They sell out of every new product line and can't keep up with demand. All for selling inferior products with all these huge problems.....non story....headline grabber only.

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post #28 of 33
I am actually having this problem with a first gen unabody macbook with a crucial ssd. I had a brutally disappointing experience with the genius bar that would make a good full length article. Seriously, apple flogs the heck out of the genius in genius bar.
post #29 of 33

geekdad, really this is not helpful. see comment below.... errr above...


Edited by thomas04 - 3/10/13 at 3:15pm
post #30 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by StLBluesFan View Post

Weird timing. This just happened today on my MBP Retina display, recently purchased for me by my work for testing purposes. Got it a month ago, no issue until this morning when I came into the room and heard the fan. Just assumed it was my desktop, nope, then more closely followed the noise to the MBR. The case was completely cool, no real heat issue and no reason there should have been one. MBR had just been sitting idle for 24 hours. Had to power off and back on, hasn't happened again.

Did you notice how the laptop seemed to hover slightly above the table surface while this was going on...?

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post #31 of 33

I bought the new rMBP 15" 512GB, it had a dead pixel. So I got it replaced a couple of days later for another rMBP 15" 512GB, and the fans were going absolutely crazy and would not quiten down. I then reset the SMC and the fans were a bit better. However I then noticed other issues, such as jerky graphics and the right USB not working. So I took this one back too and then opted for a rMBP 15" 728GB 2.8GHz. This rMBP has been absolutely flawless and has the Samsung SSD not the Sandisk. I believe the 728GB rMBP's all have Samsung SSD's.

post #32 of 33
Nimble Mongoose View Post
Slurpy View Post

Yet, this one user's experience is now plastered over multiple blogs as a headline- even while millions of others have not had this issue, so its probably user related. Thats the power (and flaw) of the internet- there is no context or perspective. So people with an agenda can "justify" their position using very rare and unusal scenarios. No doubt there's been a few "SEE APPLE QUALITY IS GOING DOWN HILL UNDER TIM COOK, THIS WOULD NEVER HAVE HAPPENED UNDER STEVE JOBS' posts, even while every single product released under SJ had issues experienced by some. 

 

Did you not read the article? There is a growing thread in Apple's Community Support forum with numerous users experiencing this problem, myself included. There are people reporting this issue from all over the world. 

Making this issue well known is the best way to get Apple's attention on this and hopefully fix it. It's nice that you may not have this issue, but a lot of people paid for what's supposed to be one of the best laptops money can buy, and they expect it to not have a defect like this. 

 

Don't let common sense get in the way of a good strawman lynching. This is, after all, the internet. Slurpy is just performing the tech equivalent of blaming rape victims.

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post #33 of 33
geekdad View Post

This is a non story.....One user reported a problem with a new machine. So how many have bought a new rMBP and are experiencing no problems......

 

Slurpy View Post

Yet, this one user's experience is now plastered over multiple blogs as a headline- even while millions of others have not had this issue, so its probably user related. Thats the power (and flaw) of the internet- there is no context or perspective. So people with an agenda can "justify" their position using very rare and unusal scenarios.

 

...

 

AppleInsider View Post
Apple on Thursday issued a software update for owners of its 15-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display, fixing a number of bugs, including one that could affect system fan control.

 

Super nice of Apple to push a model-specific software update for just one user.

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