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Old 14th November 2014, 11:39 PM
BollyFlex Offline
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Location: UK
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Heat issues on Macbook Air 6,2 2013

Hi all,

Firstly I apologise if I this should be in mac chat, couldn't decide where to put the thread. Mods please feel free to move it (or tell me to move it!) if it's in the wrong place.

So I've recently installed Fedora 20 on my macbook air 2013 on an SSD partition (got the mba second hand recently with the sole intention of running a linux distro to use for my development work). I'm building a browser game in HTML5 canvas and liked the form factor of the air, in spite of it being Apple which I generally despise as a company. It's all gone pretty well on the whole, most stuff works out of the box, some grief installing wifi drivers as I've seen is the norm but that's sorted now, I've even got the suspend/resume backlight bug fixed thanks to a home-brewed driver by Patjak. Not bad for a linux noob!

One rather serious problem remains however. The macbook does idle quite hot in Fedora (and other flavours I've tried from live USB), but this isn't too bad. BUT as soon as I fire up any GPU intensive application, such as my browser game (or even just youtube videos) the laptop rapidly becomes worryingly hot. Within 30 seconds its up to 80 degrees C. I realise these devices have a high operating temperature, but in OS X the same applications run happily at 48 degrees C for many minutes without the temperature rising.

I'm at my wits' end trying to solve this problem, I've tried everything I've been able to find online:

> mbpfan - fan control - this works but doesn't dent the temp rises by much
> powertop - couldn't really figure this one out but I changed a few of the recommended settings with no luck
> thermald (intel thermal regulation daemon for linux) - seemingly does nothing
> cpupower - I set the CPU to max 1.5GHz with NO effect on the temp rises at all
> intel_pstate - various settings, disabling turbo boost - no effect on temperature
> nvidia drivers - tried installing but they couldn't find a device (presumably because it's an intel HD5000 GPU)

I'm out of ideas, it's fairly clear to me at this point that it must be the GPU causing these rises in temperature, but why they happen under linux and not OS X escapes me. I really don't want to have to use OS X, please if anyone has any advice to solve this, I will be eternally grateful!

Sincerely, a noob in need
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Old 27th November 2014, 09:51 PM
Vespa's Avatar
Vespa Offline
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Location: Just outside Philadelphia, USA
Posts: 92
Re: Heat issues on Macbook Air 6,2 2013

I have heat issues with my late 2013 MacBook Pro as well. There are a few things that I have done which greatly help. I installed Ksensors (I'm running KDE) to monitor the internal temperatures and fan speed. I use this script to adjust the fan speed:

su -c 'echo "4600" > /sys/devices/platform/applesmc.768/fan1_min'  && su -c 'echo "4300" > /sys/devices/platform/applesmc.768/fan2_min'
There is probably a more elegant way to do that, but it works for me. Lastly, I installed the Linux Thermal Daemon from Intel: https://01.org/linux-thermal-daemon

Collectively, they keep me at 48C (120F) most of the time.
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Old 31st December 2014, 07:32 PM
chrismurphy Offline
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Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 1,058
Re: Heat issues on Macbook Air 6,2 2013

There are different models of Macbook Pro 2013's, with only integrated graphics and with both integrated and discrete (nvidia). It might be worth investigating how to disable nvidia, not just disable the driver but disable the GPU, so it isn't drawing power and thus producing heat. It was a huge problem for me on a Macbook Pro 8,2 which has radeon, so this bug's advice won't help but might lead you in the right direction:

Someone managed to find out how to get GRUB to disable the radeon GPU at boot time. Before this, the machine could be idle and it would be hot with fans running, and even minor tasks would cause kernel CPU overheat and MCE hardware error messages.

As for the Macbook Air, I would just avoid doing things that make it hot, especially if it's out of warranty. There are clearly differences between linux and OS X when it comes to power management, all of my Apple hardware runs significantly cooler running OS X than linux while OS X also rarely activates fans. For this reason I only incidentally run Fedora on my Macs, and instead use non-Apple hardware for dedicated linux usage.

---------- Post added at 11:32 AM ---------- Previous post was at 11:28 AM ----------

And some of these tools might be helpful, although they aren't installed by default in Fedora, they are in the repos. Just do a yum/dnf search <term>

I know powertop is in there, and profiling your hardware's power consumption will help you pin point the top power consumers.
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Old 30th January 2015, 01:26 AM
frank604 Offline
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Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: Nelson
Posts: 1
Re: Heat issues on Macbook Air 6,2 2013

This could be the yosemite bug. Where it makes acpi interrupts go nuts. I've heard it is resolved in the recent 10.10.2 firmware update by apple. Or you can simply detect which acpi interrupt is psycho and disable it. http://frankshin.com/macbook-air-201...to-fix-it-wip/
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Old 23rd March 2015, 06:41 PM
screamin_jesus Offline
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Re: Heat issues on Macbook Air 6,2 2013

edit: wrong thread
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2013, air, gpu, heat, issues, macbook

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