View Full Version : 2013 Retina MacBook Pro 15": Random loud fans - is it normal?

23rd February 2013, 12:41 PM
I purchase a new Retina Macbook Pro 15" 2 weeks ago. I noticed during low cpu load the fans would suddenly jump to around 6000rpm that would omit loud fan spinning noise like a jet on take off! They then spin down to an idle around 2000rpm. It defiantly didn't seem normal. I experienced this a number of times even simply having email and web browser open. I tried running few stress test but each time results were inconsistant. I did manage to capture the issue happening multiple times on video as evidence.

I visited an Apple store rep last weekend who ran it through their diagnostics stress test which the machine passed so I went back to where i purchase to issue an exchange. Because the machine was purchase only a week prior JB HiFi exchanged for a brand new replacement! :) Happy Days! And i also exchanged for the speed increased model from 2.3ghz up to 2.4ghz!

Now on my second rMBP 15" in two week, this machine is also showing similar fault. Isn't quite to the same extreem as the previous one but the fans randomly will jump up to 6000rpm.

Just wonder is this normal for laptops? This is my frist so i haven't had much experience. Would love to know if anyone else has the new retinas and what they have experienced. I can understand 1 having an issue but 2 in a row!!? Am i just having back luck!?

23rd February 2013, 01:37 PM
It's normal for laptops to adjust the fan speed based on load, yes. The other factor is the unibody design where the only cooling that occurs is through the vents near the hinge. The rest of the cooling is done by the case itself acting as a heatsink, but its not the most efficient design in the world. Short and the long of it, is that if it concerns you, you may wish to invest in a laptop cooler.

27th February 2013, 03:22 PM
Are all the mac laptops like this?
Is it only when doing intensive work like editing photos or something?
Or is it just advisable to have them well ventilated anyway.

27th February 2013, 05:18 PM
My 2008 MBP occasionally does the same thing. I open 'Activity Monitor' to see which process it hogging CPU and kill the process. Other times I know what it is and have found 'Flash' to be the culprit. Watching a Flash vid on a web site turns the fans in to B-52 Bomber engines. Check Activity Monitor next time it happens and/or go to a site with lots of flash videos and run a few to see how your Mac reacts.

28th February 2013, 08:50 AM
Thanks for the info. I'll look out for that.

28th February 2013, 10:27 AM
in my opinion. no. that shouldn't happen. That's not good behaviour at all.
Check your activity monitor for whats going on. The web is bullshit. Takes up so much resources! some sites can just suck up small amounts of resources then multiply by 30 tabs and you're fans spin up...

28th February 2013, 11:52 AM
Are all the mac laptops like this?
Is it only when doing intensive work like editing photos or something?
Or is it just advisable to have them well ventilated anyway.

All Mac laptops and I assume laptops in general will throttle the fan speed based on CPU load so as you don't burn out your CPU. Yes it is normal... What's causing it however, that may not be so normal. In which case as others have also suggested monitor your CPU usage and also avoid websites that use Flash and Java where possible as they're both resource hogs that will turn even the most efficient computer into a slug.

Most other things, unless you've got a massive Photoshop document open, are doing 3D rendering, or playing intensive games, should not tax the CPU that much. It's not really the web itself, it's what you are looking at on the web that can waste a lot of resources.

10th March 2013, 11:55 PM
Just making everyone aware of this...

15-Inch Retina MacBook Pro Users Experiencing Fan Issues Related to SanDisk SSDs? - Mac Rumors (http://www.macrumors.com/2013/03/08/15-inch-retina-macbook-pro-users-experiencing-fan-issues-related-to-sandisk-ssds/)

Seems there's an issue with a sudden surge in fan speed on the 15-inch Retina MacBook Pro, but only for models fitted with a SanDisk manufactured SSD. Could possibly be a thermal sensor in the SanDisk drive that's causing the fan speed to spike at random intervals.