Sorry for this off-topic question, but since many of us are Mac users, I thought you might help me with a problem I'm having with my 2009 MacBook Pro. It has a tendency to overheat lately (as witnessed by the loud and constant noise of the fan), and that makes me nervous because that's how my previous computer, an iMac, died.
A number of things have happened lately, and I think they probably all have a bit to do with this phenomenon but I'm not sure how much.
First, I got me an iPad, and as a result my MacBook has been relegated to the desk, instead of spending most of its working time on my lap. While it's on the desk, it is connected to my 27" Apple LED Cinema Display, and as I had noticed some peculiarities with the display, I changed a system preference (I don't remember the exact wording but I understood it has to do with choosing between reducing power consumption and improving display quality).
Another thing that I did recently was upgrade to Snow Leopard (yes, I know, I'm one year and one cat late, but I don't want to try Lion right now). I had the impression that it made the heating problem worse.
And finally, I am at the moment working on my first movie in 1080 format, using Studio Artist and Snapz Pro X to record my sessions, plus Final Cut Studio for the editing. Any time I start working on this movie, the fan starts sounding like a jet liner about to take off.
Does any of this sound familiar? Anything I could do to improve things (in addition to opening the hood and looking for dust, which I will try to do this week-end)? Could it be that part of the problem is due to the fact that the 27" display is too much for my Mac to handle? And if so, can I upgrade my graphics card to improve things?
Thanks in advance for any help!
My suggestion would be that donate your 2009 MBP to a fellow artist... (cough cough... me) and purchase a new 2011 MBP with thunderbolt or if you are not using the laptop as a laptop anymore- which is to say your mobile needs are met by the iPad, then you might consider a new 27" iMac.
But if you MUST stay with your current MBP then:
1) no there is not a card or chip replacement you can install to make it better.
2) try installing a program called Fancontrol - http://www.macupdate.com/info.php/id/23137 - It installs an Icon in your system preferences and allows you to dictate the minimum fan speed and control the fan speed slope to some degree. So you can run the machine cooler all the time
3) in addition you can "under-clock" your machine. http://www.coolbook.se/CoolBook.html this program will allow you to adjust the frequency and voltage used to the minimum stable configuration. costs 10$.
4) the OS chore that sends the frequency off the chart is herding permissions. I suspect sloppy code, but in any event try rebuilding your permissions and making sure that extraneous programs are shutdown or deleted.
The fan is going to come on whenever the processor is working hard. That's normal behavior on a powerbook. So if Studio Artist or any other program is working hard doing a lot of computation, then the fan will start up.
Under-clocking your machine would make it run slower.
Regarding the thunderbolt io comment. I'm not sure about using the new thunderbolt connection with older displays. You would need some kind of adapter.
smc fancontrol is definitely recommended. It probably helped extend the life of my now near-dead white macbook a bit. Unfortunately, doesn't help much with the mothership takeoff sound the fan makes. I recently got a 2011 MBP and I can tell you that the fan is as busy and loud as ever on the new machines running Lion as the older ones ever were.
If you're not upgrading to Lion anytime soon, I'm not sure how much upgrading your graphics card will help. If you do make the leap, I recommend upgrading.
If you're running into a bunch of problems with Final Cut Studio, you may want to convert your footage into ProRes as it seems to be an easily digestible codec.
As for using thunderbolt with an older model, a miniport to VGA or DVI adapter does the trick. I've got a older DVI monitor that works just fine. The miniport connector fits the Thunderbolt port just fine.
Yes, the pro towers are ridiculously priced, especially when you compare them to a new quad core iMac, which also includes a 27inch display as apart of it's price.
You can run a second display with an imac.
it's sitting here in its shipping box... arrived not 20 minutes ago. oh the anticipation. is it just me?... or do other folks often not open treats for a while just to savor the exquisite
t e n s i o n? i think i need a cold shower. back later...
barely. i also am forgetting to blink.
BTW i am about to take the plunge into FCPX.... and I noticed you are in the Detroit Final Cut group. Have you bitten said bullet?
Yep, I took the plunge roughly a month ago and I'm coming along with it. It wasn't love at first sight, as there are some things that I really miss about FCP legacy (most notably the ability to export selections) but I've really warmed up to it. The love affair for me is with Motion 5!
I finally have a machine that's well equipped enough to run Motion and I'm still swooning over it. And now that I've learned about things like generators and replicators, I've started thinking about things better ways to incorporate SA textures into Final Cut Pro which excites me to no end. Its an amazing app all on its own but when you pair it up with FCP, it opens up all kinds of opportunities.
For the price of admission, I think its worth checking out (although you really should pick up motion and practically have to get compressor.)