back to article Apple fans roast Apple fans

Apple has issued a software update for the MacBook Air, following reports of overheating. The update, released on Monday, "fine tunes the speed and operation of the internal fan" in the MacBook Air models. This should enable the fan to correctly regulate the temperature and stop the notebook locking up. Released in January, …


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  1. Mad Hacker

    Great Headline!

    That's it, nice headline!

  2. Anonymous Coward


    Hot Air?

  3. Tim

    Come on Apple engineers

    You should know that you can't ignore the fan, boys.

  4. Nexox Enigma


    Does anyone remember what the last Apple laptop was that didn't require a firmware/bios fix to make the fans run properly within weeks of initial release? Seems like Apple would have maybe tested playing video on the things before they shipped.

  5. Sam

    "fine tunes the speed and operation of the internal fan"

    Which drops the battery time to beneath the launch specs?

    Style over substance?

  6. Anonymous Coward

    A lot of hot air

    Use smcfancontrol like I do on a MacBook Pro.

    Allows you to speed up your fans and run your mac cooler.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Jobs Horns


    Desperate to type something witty, but can't think of anything.

    Hardly suprised though, they're not particularly well designed or thought out. If I really wanted something that size, I'd invest in a Toshiba R100 or something. Not quite as quick but thinner and generally far better.

    Perhaps wrapping each Air in one of Sir Jobs' polo necks may provide better ventilation?

  8. Calyth

    Apple should invest on some good thermal solution

    Friend of mine opened his MacBook Pro, and replaced the crusted up thermal paste with Arctic Silver Ceramique, and the temperature dropped 5C idle, and 10C load.

    My 1st generation MacBook is running quite hot, and I've resorted to undervolting the processor to lower the thermal output. Their sense of style excluded the possibility of having good airflow through the case, making most of their laptop hotter than the PC equivalent.

  9. Anonymous Coward

    Once Again

    Never buy the first one of anything:)

  10. storng.bare.durid
    Thumb Up

    zomg... who would have expected this of a 1st gen Apple product ?

    QQ more

    I want your tears


  11. Simon
    Thumb Up

    Nice headline

    Indeed yes it was.

    Someone handed me (Literally) a Macbook Air the other week, its sooo light, just a pity they are overpriced. Still its how all laptops will look in a year or so.

    Anyhow queue the likes of Webster Freaky to make childish Apple bashing comments...

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Way to go Apple.

    I figured this would happen when I first saw the ad.

  13. Ryan Stewart

    changes the orientation?

    How do you do that with software?

    Is this like the balooning battery semi-fix?

  14. Anonymous Coward

    come on...

    its an apple product - its to looked at, not to use - remember these are 'lifestyle products'

    and if you have bought one - you deserve to get your fingers burnt

    Mine is the asbestos one :D

  15. Antidisestablishmentarianist

    Where's Webster?

    Come on Mr Phreaky. You can't let this one slip by you surely?

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Jobs Horns

    Seems to be standard proc. these days:

    Apple release slaptop.

    Windows uses laugh and point out any niggles they have with the design.

    Apple users pay through the nose for it.

    It overheats.

    Update released.

    Everyone retreats and apple fans are happy.

    Then it's Quicktime's turn to have a bug, to which apple release a fix, which no windows user installs because it'll put iTunes on his PC again.

  17. Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge

    It could be worse

    As IBM once told me,

    "The product is not designed for continuous use."

    Yep, that's what the specs for the replacements said.

  18. Jason Harvey

    lab testing

    easy to keep it cool when the lab is air conditioned to 70ºF... not so much when outside at the local coffee hut surfing their wireless on the patio in 80º+

    Apple should let their boffins out more often into the real world.

    right... the punch line... Fire in the (w)hole! (cpu)

  19. Mats Koraeus

    Obligatory "not me" post

    Ahhh... the Apple 1st-gen problem strikes again, and as usual, there are those (like me) who have had no problem whatsoever...

    ...that said, I find it a bit worrying that they haven't felt it necessary to provide me with this patch through the auto-update mechanism O_o

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    would that be the same toshoba R100 that has a huge yellow ticker on its base stating under no circimstances allow it to contact bare skin as severe burns can occur? the dell latitude X1 and one of sonys vaio's of the same vintage suffres the same issue - they were all passively cooled and it quickly became apparent its not possible to adequatly passivley cool the cpu in a laptop!

    as for the mac book air, looking at the internal layout id expect it to suffer overheating issues even with the new firmware - theres a lot of localised heat and very little ventilation, my biggest concern would be a 70 odd degree cpu that close to a li-ion battery pack that states do not expose to temperatures over 50 degrees...

  21. heystoopid
    Paris Hilton

    But then again

    But then again , no Apple fan boy likes to be reminded of the simple fact that in the real world outside their fantasy that ninety six people out one hundred new PC buyers do not buy the over priced and hyped "god's flawed product" in the first place !

    Wankers they be and wankers they remain , unable or unwilling to understand any letter in the word "Denial" , as was there not a recent article from El reg about a certain web page loaded to the teeth with all these lovely trojan Mac hack tools just waiting for these clowns to come along !

  22. Shabble


    Ever since the advent of the XP capable laptop, heat has been a real problem. It was obvious that the Air was going to get really hot and my thought is that it is over-specced on the hardware. For what is essentially a glorified PDA/presentations tool, it doesn't need a 1.8GHz dual core processor, and it certainly doesn't need 2Gb RAM.

    I think Apple have started to believe their own myth a little too much (ie that they exist to innovate). If they had just accepted that Asus had beaten them to it on the little business sub laptop idea they could have done to Asus what they did to Linux and to the mp3 player - take a good idea, develop it and then sell it as a top of the range of its type.

    Imagine a single core ,512Mb RAM, 40Gb HDD Air priced at £400 with a cut down version of MacOS. I bet they'd sell like hot cakes!

  23. Patrick O'Reilly
    Jobs Horns

    Couldn't be happier.

    Didn't happen to the EeePC.

  24. Anonymous Coward


    Can you explain what Apple did to Linux. I'm rather confused as to your point there.

    OSX is based upon Darwin, not Linux. Of which Darwin is based upon the MACH kernel and BSD. It is a mix of micro-kernel and monolithic design.

    Also if you infer that OSX is better than Linux you are sadly mistaken. You will find that in many benchmarks Linux beats OSX. It has a better task scheduler, memory manager, VFS, Etc. Oh and that fact you don't have to put up with a drpessing and clunky interface.

  25. Ben Saxon
    Thumb Up

    SMC fan control?

    I myself don't have an Air, but I do have a 1st-gen Pro (Core Duo), which as you may know is also prone to getting pretty hot (highest temp recorded so far - 97ºC while encoding video!). I use a little app called SMC fan control (freeware) that allows me to control the speed of the fans manually, so I can increase the speed to full and pre-empt the heat problems before I start loading the CPU with something intensive. I don't know if this app works with the Air, but I assume it would, so any Air users out there still having problems give it a try - it saved my laptop!

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Jobs Horns

    @ The Other AC

    Good point, although the pile of circa 10 R100's I'm rebuilding currently all have fans of some description. I did notice the sticker and took the same amount of attention as the rest of the similar stickers on other laptops - many of them bigger - i.e. none to little. Not any more than the "WARNING - HOT" label on Macdonalds coffee cups.

    and Shabble & the last AC, 90% of the design input comes from third parties of which have little to no link with Apple. I've done more design work in the total layout of an OS the last time I played with the old skinning programs like Litestep and Windowblinds. Sir Jobs may have been a bloody good coder in the past and we do have a lot to thank him for - without him, I'd not be typing this in Windows - but he has nothing to do with it any more and is interested only in how much he gets paid for it whilst he tends to his adoring fans wearing nothing but the same black polo shirt.

  27. Anonymous Coward

    A problem with an Apple product

    Cue lots of fanboys with their eyes closed and hands over their ears while singing 'LA LA LA' at the top of their voice'

    It can't be true, nothing Apple ever do is less than perfect

  28. Dana W
    Jobs Halo


    "no Apple fan boy likes to be reminded of the simple fact that in the real world outside their fantasy that ninety six people out one hundred new PC buyers do not buy the over priced and hyped "god's flawed product" in the first place !"

    Try updating that stat a hair. Try using the Laptop sales stat, and re-examine your point.

    And you know what? Its not Windows. That is enough. Nothing is worth another ten minutes of Windows.

    If Mac OS X Is "Gods Flawed Product" Windows must be Satan's perfected Bowel Movement.

    "And no I don't really see the point in the Macbook Air Either"

  29. Dr Patrick J R Harkin

    @Kevin McMurtie

    'As IBM once told me,

    "The product is not designed for continuous use."

    Yep, that's what the specs for the replacements said.'

    Just be glad some other company makes the iron lungs...

  30. Steven H Taylor


    'freezing' doesn't seem to be an appropriate term here.

    It would make this the first material that freezes when heated up.

    Then again, aren't solid-state things frozen by definition?

  31. Si
    Jobs Horns

    fine tunes the speed and operation of the internal fan

    In other words it turns the fan on full all of the time so your new thin laptop sounds like a hair dryer!

  32. Adam

    At last, a reason for it's thinness...

    ... you can stick it in an envelope and post it back to Apple as a standard "large letter". Much cheaper than paying courier fees everytime it goes wrong!

    Mine's the brown dufflecoat with scorch marks.

  33. Jeff Dickey

    Those who do not remember history...

    ...never had Thin Macs, over which, as a stunt, I once demonstrated the art of roasting marshmallows through advanced technology. Yes, it did get that hot.

    One of the reasons I was so happy to get my PowerTower Pro 250 was that I didn't need to sit in the middle of an industrial refrigeration unit while using it (to keep from overheating either the Mac or myself). That system still works; how many 12-year-old Windows PCs can be used today?

    I've been developing for Windows as long as there's *been* a Windows, and for the Mac since 1985. Given a choice, I'd never do battle with Windows again. But at least, recent graphics cards excepted, I don't fear waking up to a puddle of molten plastic and metal if I leave a Windows PC on overnight.

    Flame icon in keeping with the metaphor...I could have taken my coat, but they don't sell asbestos ones anymore...

  34. Allan Rutland

    Not the firstime...

    As others have said, seems to be pretty common with Apples style over substance way of working.

    I had to support a customer who used Macs (before they saw the light) who bought one of the "wonderful" G4's at release. Was utterly fantastic as the "superdrive" ended up being not so super as the OS didn't support it. And didn't for over a month after release when Apple finally decided to release some drivers for it.

    Guess even over this length of time they still haven't learned that releasing the hardware before the software is written is not such a good idea...even if they do control both. Then again, whats it matter if the fanboys will keep on seeing them as never doing wrong

  35. Andy

    Apple stability

    Obviously Mac is too busy focusing on the important stuff that it does like providing bouncing crystal icons to be concerned with playing media.

    You should know that Macs are for serious people with Important Tasks to accomplish. If you want to play games then buy a PC or a Wii. If you want to listen to music or watch DVD then buy a PC or an HD player. Sheesh, come on people! Macs are for people who require top performance with high stability. You shouldn't be using them for trivial, not mission important, waste of time activities like games and media. There are other appliances for that stuff.

    And anyway people buy Macs because:

    a) They're snobs.

    b) Macs look good

    Just because your Mac overheats and dies doesn't actually change either of those. You can still type at your expensive over-engineered brick and look cool.

    It's a very very pretty brick afterall and people should be jealous.

    Blah blah first release blah blah will be better blah blah sounds like Microsoft.

  36. Anonymous Coward
    Jobs Horns

    Where the heck....

    Where the heck is the comment from Webster?

    Are you out sick today?

    If so, I hope you feel better soon.

  37. Daniel B.

    Ah, I see a trend...

    Steve Jobs launches the Macintosh.

    Macs work good, look good ... but overheat. Why? Well, S. Jobs decided to ditch the fan for aesthetic reasons.

    Jobs leaves Mac. Subsequent Macs have fans. While they didn't look as stylish during the years, they do get more useful. My 1994? 1995? Performa is still in use at my mom's house after all these years.

    Jobs returns: Macs turn into "iMac", get all stylish and ... start getting some weird trend on overheating, which seems to be caused by fans not running as they should ... for aesthetic reasons.

    See a trend there?

  38. Dana W
    Jobs Halo

    @ Si

    "In other words it turns the fan on full all of the time so your new thin laptop sounds like a hair dryer!"

    I had to do that patch to my MBP, and the only time you can hear the fan spin up hard is now and then when I visit Sadville.

    You had to do virtually the same thing to all my Dell gaming laptops I used to have.

    Without fan management most of the Dell machines are paperweights after any prolonged. Yet somehow this well know issue attracts no flames from Windows users. Hi temp performance laptops are nothing new, and the answer is always the same, modify the fan speed.

    The only difference is Dell slowed them to squeeze more life out of cheap sleeve bearing fans, Apple did it to keep the computers silent. "Least my MBP has decent fans." One was cheap and shortsighted, the other was being a design snob. Same of a muchness.

  39. christopher

    Fan chokes on Apple Core!

    Sorry - i just had to get that in there.

    This notebook looks cool but its damn expensive & kinda limited,

    Surely Dell & Compaq ultra portables are better value for money?

    I saw a rival ultraportable compared to the MBA on TV & you could play decent games on the rival.

    Seriously though,

    I think Apple should ditch their lead designer for a couple of months & bring in Jeremy Clarkson.(bring back the MacIntosh)

    In the meantime...I'm going to reboot my big ugly XPS thats just crashed after 2 hours of Crysis. Bloody Windows Vista. :(

  40. Anonymous Coward
    Jobs Horns

    Hi Dana

    Wondered where you where with your 'I'm not a rabid Apple fan but I will buy everything Apple branded I can and defend them to the hilt even when they screw up royally' rhetoric

    Dana W - Prime example of the brainwashed - Can Apple officially qualify as a cult now?

  41. Dana W
    Jobs Halo

    Sorry Anon,

    I already said the Macbook air was pointless, Listen carefully, "The Macbook AIR is a pointless toy, and if I had one I'd trade it for something useful

    And mentioned my Dell gaming laptops. Do I eed to submit photos of my linux box as well?

    So Bang goes that theory then.

    It was a nice try, but you have to troll harder than that. Anyone who posts anon is just flamebait anyway.

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