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

Posted:
in Current Mac Hardware edited January 2014
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.

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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 33
    mobiusmobius Posts: 377member





    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.



     



  • Reply 2 of 33
    jragostajragosta Posts: 10,473member
    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.
  • Reply 3 of 33
    I bought the Retina MBP when it first came out. No issues.
  • Reply 4 of 33
    macxpressmacxpress Posts: 4,838member

    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. 

  • Reply 5 of 33
    jragostajragosta Posts: 10,473member
    macxpress wrote: »
    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.
  • Reply 6 of 33
    richlrichl Posts: 2,213member

    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.

  • Reply 7 of 33
    seankillseankill Posts: 462member

    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

  • Reply 8 of 33
    dewpdewp Posts: 1member
    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.
  • Reply 9 of 33
    kolchakkolchak Posts: 1,398member


    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.

  • Reply 10 of 33
    geekdadgeekdad Posts: 1,131member


    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......

  • Reply 11 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.

  • Reply 12 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.

  • Reply 13 of 33
    macxpressmacxpress Posts: 4,838member

    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. 

  • Reply 14 of 33
    macxpressmacxpress Posts: 4,838member

    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. 

  • Reply 15 of 33
    etkaletkal Posts: 9member


    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.

  • Reply 16 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.
  • Reply 17 of 33
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 14,214moderator
    etkal wrote: »
    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.
  • Reply 18 of 33
    slurpyslurpy Posts: 5,119member

    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. 

  • Reply 19 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'.   

  • Reply 20 of 33
    libertyforalllibertyforall Posts: 1,289member


    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!

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