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Is it possible to stop the fans of a Macbook for a while in order to record stuff?
Old 3rd February 2015
  #1
Gear Nut
Is it possible to stop the fans of a Macbook for a while in order to record stuff?

Hey guys!

Before buying a new notebook (propably a retina 15"), I wonder if this technique I'm using right now will be possible with that machine:

When recording voice or overdubbing instrument tracks, I usually stop the fans of my thinkpad (i3-2350M) for 5-10 minutes. After that the temp is around 75-80°C (in a project with 10-20 simple plugins and 10 tracks, no heavy stuff), I switch the fans back on, and thats it.

As i read all the horrible stories about temperatures the macbook retina 15 has to deal with, like 100°C an so on, and the following fan-noise, I wonder if this method will be possible?

any experience?
Old 3rd February 2015
  #2
You need to check Tj mac temperature in Intel website. It's not recommended to exceed the Tj temperature. I personally would never use your method. Get a long HDMI cable and USB repeater, and set the computer far away or next room.
Old 4th February 2015
  #3
It can be very dangerous to the cpu to turn the fans off. A much better solution would be to invest in a nice silent laptop cooling pad. They are really cheap and in the long run, running the fans on low should be much quieter than the macbook pro fan on full blast. The Gear Head CFS8800BLK seems to run at 19db and wins this shootout below. If 19db is too much I think you may be able to find a cooling pad without fans?

Laptop Coolers Review 2015 | Best Laptop Cooling Pad | Notebook Cooler - TopTenREVIEWS
Old 4th February 2015
  #4
Gear Nut
thanks guys. I'll have a look at those!

But honestly, I dont think it is dangerous. Usually the Fancontrol-apps like mine allow to set a temp, at which the fans start to run again.
i.e. mine are set to start automatically if temp comes to 82°C.

anyone else tried this?
the question is, is the temp with some tracks and plugins allready at 80 or 90°C? then it wouldnt make sense of course.
Old 4th February 2015
  #5
Lives for gear
 
travisbrown's Avatar
Build an ISO box and get an external monitor.
Old 4th February 2015
  #6
Lives for gear
 

(That's a bad idea and you'll probably have a bad time)

Good luck!
Old 4th February 2015
  #7
Tui
Gear Guru
 
Tui's Avatar
I'm not aware of an app for Mac that lets you reduce the minimum speed, let alone turn the fan off completely. At any rate, it would be a *very* bad idea and most certainly void your warranty.

Are you sure you need a Retina? For mobile recording, I use a MacBook Air. It is completely silent and more than powerful enough for most tasks.
Old 4th February 2015
  #8
Gear Nut
I'd love to get a macbook air, power would be enough, but I need at least fullHD for some of my work.
also 16gb and 512gb hd.

Maybe next generation...

but seriously, to tell the fans to stop and start again as soon as the temp reaches 82°C cant be dangerous. the internal fan control basically does that.
Old 4th February 2015
  #9
Gear Maniac
 

I record using protools (only at home but sometimes 30+ tracks and a load of plugins) and my late 2013 rMBP fans very very rarely come on and even then they're not loud enough to be heard through the mic (which is about 1.5m away).

The only time I ever really hear them is if I (rarely) play games on it.
Old 4th February 2015
  #10
Lives for gear
 
madgansound's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ShortWarning View Post
I record using protools (only at home but sometimes 30+ tracks and a load of plugins) and my late 2013 rMBP fans very very rarely come on and even then they're not loud enough to be heard through the mic (which is about 1.5m away).

The only time I ever really hear them is if I (rarely) play games on it.

Just going to say the same thing - fan 'noise' should not be a concern doing overdubs/small projects on the pro's or the air's. Not slanging your IBM/Lenovo i3 but your really can't compare the machines.
Old 4th February 2015
  #11
Gear Nut
thanks guys, I love you, thats what I wanted to hear
Old 7th February 2015
  #12
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tui View Post
I'm not aware of an app for Mac that lets you reduce the minimum speed, let alone turn the fan off completely. At any rate, it would be a *very* bad idea and most certainly void your warranty.

Are you sure you need a Retina? For mobile recording, I use a MacBook Air. It is completely silent and more than powerful enough for most tasks.
There was one years ago, called coolbook, that basically throttled your processor - but that's your only choice, throttle the CPU. If you turn the fans off, I hope you are ok with a fried system.
Old 7th February 2015
  #13
Gear Maniac
 

It is not possible to stop fans of Macbooks. PC owners tend to be more reasonable though.
Old 7th February 2015
  #14
Lives for gear
 
timemist's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by jeandado View Post
But honestly, I dont think it is dangerous. Usually the Fancontrol-apps like mine allow to set a temp, at which the fans start to run again.
i.e. mine are set to start automatically if temp comes to 82°C.

anyone else tried this?
the question is, is the temp with some tracks and plugins allready at 80 or 90°C? then it wouldnt make sense of course.
You'll fare much better if you isolate the comp instead of playing russian roulette with your fans.
Old 8th February 2015
  #15
Tui
Gear Guru
 
Tui's Avatar
Decreasing fan speed doesn't make sense. Macs - laptops in particular - are designed to consume as little power as possible, and this includes the fan. One can assume that the fan already runs at the lowest possible speed. Decreasing it further is almost certainly asking for trouble.

When I still had a Mac Pro, I used an app to slightly *increase* fan speeds, which not only helped with keeping components cool (the fans were still practically inaudible). Also, it prevented the fans from revving up under increased load.
Old 8th February 2015
  #16
Gear Addict
 
krevvy's Avatar
Why not get a better laptop? If its the fashionable logo your worried about get a sticker
Old 8th February 2015
  #17
A lot of times with Windows machines, people have them junked up with crapware like 'anti-virus' programs that very likely won't protect one from the latest malware if one doesn't keep his machine updated (which would likely make it more or less impervious, anyway), or like the woefully bloated and inefficient iTunes, and/or all the junkware the boxmakers put in them trying to make it look like you're getting 'extras' when all you're typically getting is extra software you will never use that is poorly written and puts a load on your system.

That said, if you ask too much of any computer with a variable speed fan, you can push it into high speed operation, it depends on the computer and the tasks asked of it.

My old, first generation Pentium M Dell laptop worked very well for audio -- until I tried putting iTunes on it. And then putting MS Security Essentials on top of that brought the poor thing to its knees. Removing iTunes and MSE made it usable for audio work without the fans running high all the time. (And though I've heard loud Dell laptops, this was certainly not one. It wasn't cheap when I bought it, either, but it was much, much cheaper than the Mac my pal bought at the same time and has outlasted that machine by a factor of 3 and is still running.)
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