Fan runs a lot on MacBook

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geoff adams
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Fan runs a lot on MacBook

Post by geoff adams » Mon Oct 11, 2010 3:19 pm

I'm running Live 8.2 on a black MacBook...2.2 GHz Core 2 Duo, 2GB RAM. When I'm running Live... the fan comes on and stays on most of the time. Lots of CPU usage shows in the activity monitor. It's loud and is picked up by my vocal mic... not a big deal... but just wondered if I am maxing out this machine.... or if this is to be expected and is fine. Or would faster processor and more RAM solve this? Even very small projects with minimal samples and mostly midi clips. Same thing. As long as Live is running - there's lots of fan noise.

Ableton_David
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Re: Fan runs a lot on MacBook

Post by Ableton_David » Mon Oct 11, 2010 3:32 pm

What plug-ins are you running? Also, if you're recording in, what is the buffer setting? What kind of sound card/interface are you using?

geoff adams
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Re: Fan runs a lot on MacBook

Post by geoff adams » Mon Oct 11, 2010 3:50 pm

David Abravanel wrote:What plug-ins are you running? Also, if you're recording in, what is the buffer setting? What kind of sound card/interface are you using?
Quick response! Thanks.
On this particular session today:
Plug ins running are B4 organ, Lounge Lizard keys, and Tone2 filterbank. Also using Session Drums and Analog.
Buffer set to 252 samples
Interface = Yamaha GO46 USB.

ChadThomas
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Re: Fan runs a lot on MacBook

Post by ChadThomas » Mon Oct 11, 2010 4:30 pm

Another issue which affects your machine is the fact that Live is currently a 32 bit application. As such, when running a C2Duo machine, a 32 bit application will not be able to use your 64 bit system's resources to their full potential. I'm using a core i7 macbook pro, and one simple instance of moog modular v can take my cpu meter to 20% in Live. Live 9 will hopefully bring 64 bit support.
"The secret to creativity is knowing how to hide your sources."
-- Albert Einstein

2.66 GHz Intel Core i7 MacBook Pro 4 GB RAM, MOTU 828MKII

vicz
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Re: Fan runs a lot on MacBook

Post by vicz » Mon Oct 11, 2010 5:48 pm

I often use a white version of your blackbook, C2D 2GB, the fan only really fires up running live if I'm using a plugin which has a complex GUI eg Arturia CS-80. Otherwise quite heavy stuff like Maschine is fine. I use a lot of synths but not much in the way of effects. Can never remember triggering the fan just running clips, eg all the demos that come with the launchpad are fine, as are most of Tom COSMs freebies.

Could be too high a sample rate chosen for your audio i/f - though you'd probably get crackles as well - or a rogue plugin would be my guess.

Other stuff which causes 'instant fan' for me is anything using flash, or time machine kicking in doing its backups.

I have the 64bit version of Logic and to be honest can't see much difference between it and the 32bit version other than its a pain getting all my AUs to run properly.

You never hear the fan on any of my iMacs no matter how hard they are loaded, but I think its a feature of most of the macbooks at some point, though my sons macbook pro is pretty quiet.

Ableton_David
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Re: Fan runs a lot on MacBook

Post by Ableton_David » Tue Oct 12, 2010 9:03 am

You might try increasing your buffer size. Try 512 samples, and see if that helps.

geoff adams
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Re: Fan runs a lot on MacBook

Post by geoff adams » Wed Oct 13, 2010 12:47 pm

Increased buffer to 512. Same issue. Fan wants to run whenever Live is running. For example, I opened a Session that has 3 tracks of midi and no plug ins. Just using EIC instruments. Fan comes on after playing Session for about 2 minutes. Stays on while Live is open. CPU usage runs between %23 and %30 for this particular Session while playing. %17-%23 when stopped. If it's normal, and not overly taxing the computer.. I'm cool about it. Just wondering if I would be better off with newer Mac with more speed, etc.

vicz
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Re: Fan runs a lot on MacBook

Post by vicz » Wed Oct 13, 2010 7:15 pm

Did you try it without your audio interface connected? Running the 1969 demo by Jethro I get 20 / 22% each CPU and 13% in Live. Thats on a 3yr old macbook Core2Duo with 2Gb but without any audio i/f connected. Thats with mail and safari running too. I would normally only get the fans kicking in at 70-80% . The all-plastic macbooks do tend to need more fan cooling than newer macs but there does seem to be something odd about your setup.

geoff adams
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Re: Fan runs a lot on MacBook

Post by geoff adams » Wed Oct 13, 2010 11:45 pm

vicz wrote:Did you try it without your audio interface connected? Running the 1969 demo by Jethro I get 20 / 22% each CPU and 13% in Live. Thats on a 3yr old macbook Core2Duo with 2Gb but without any audio i/f connected. Thats with mail and safari running too. I would normally only get the fans kicking in at 70-80% . The all-plastic macbooks do tend to need more fan cooling than newer macs but there does seem to be something odd about your setup.
Thanks for posting this - good for comparison. I think I don't have the 1969 demo, though. (Did that come with Live 8.2?) But I tried disconnecting the interface and still get the same results. No significant difference in CPU usage with and without the interface.

jbodango
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Re: Fan runs a lot on MacBook

Post by jbodango » Thu Oct 14, 2010 1:56 am

My fan ran all the time and my monitor had glitch spors. Crap shoot i guess. We will see if my replacement will be a little tougher.

I digress

vicz
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Re: Fan runs a lot on MacBook

Post by vicz » Thu Oct 14, 2010 8:22 am

geoff adams wrote:
vicz wrote:Did you try it without your audio interface connected? Running the 1969 demo by Jethro I get 20 / 22% each CPU and 13% in Live. Thats on a 3yr old macbook Core2Duo with 2Gb but without any audio i/f connected. Thats with mail and safari running too. I would normally only get the fans kicking in at 70-80% . The all-plastic macbooks do tend to need more fan cooling than newer macs but there does seem to be something odd about your setup.
Thanks for posting this - good for comparison. I think I don't have the 1969 demo, though. (Did that come with Live 8.2?) But I tried disconnecting the interface and still get the same results. No significant difference in CPU usage with and without the interface.
Its in my demo folder, I don't know where it came from but its dated 2007 so maybe it was brought forward from Live 7. If you want to keep on with this pick a demo you do have and I'll give it a go.

steko
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Re: Fan runs a lot on MacBook

Post by steko » Thu Oct 14, 2010 6:15 pm

Besides the already mentioned, in your OP you wrote" activity monitor"; just to make sure you didn't talk about Live's CPU meter:

Open Activity Monitor (Applications/Utilities) - show "Active Processes" - sort by cpu. With nothing running & with Live running. Anything suspicious? (e.g. once a friend's MBP had fans running all the time & in the end it was an unfinished print job causing 98% cpu = one core).

You could also check system.log in Console (Applications/Utilities) for stuff hammering your log.
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geoff adams
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Re: Fan runs a lot on MacBook

Post by geoff adams » Fri Oct 15, 2010 5:59 pm

vicz wrote: If you want to keep on with this pick a demo you do have and I'll give it a go.
Thanks for the offer. It would be interesting to compare. I found a demo called "APC20" - it's in the SETS folder in the LESSONS folder with my Live 7.0.1 stuff. Possibly you have that one.

When I play that I get 9% - 11% on the LIVE CPU monitor. And on the Mac Activity Monitor I get 10% - 13% on the "user" level. The green one. After about 3 minutes of playing this, the fan does come on at a low level.

On my other sessions, it's clear that more plug ins means more fan noise. It seems to really kick in at around 30% on the Mac Activity Monitor, and just stays on as long as Live is open.

vicz
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Re: Fan runs a lot on MacBook

Post by vicz » Fri Oct 15, 2010 8:46 pm

Interesting. I ran the APC20 demo. It shows about 16% CPU during scene B in both Activity Monitor green 'user' and Live's CPU Load Meter, and 21% on each CPU. So actually using more CPU than you, BUT this runs indefinitely without the fan coming on at all. So what does this mean? Your macbook fan seems to come on to early. This could just be an overly sensitive sensor, or it could be a firmware or software bug. Very early macbooks had a problem with overheating, there is even a utility SMCFanControl which lets you keep your fan running all the time. It is possible that reseting the SMC controller could help, see this Apple support notice http://support.apple.com/kb/HT3964. Or it may be that your fan is running normally but is extra noisy because it is blocked up with crap or is about to fail. There are loads of fan-related posts in Apple discussions here http://discussions.apple.com/category.j ... goryID=248

This free widget may help you see what is going on http://www.islayer.com/apps/istatpro/

Maybe what we have shown is that you have a macbook issue not a Live one?

Just a thought, your cpu is 2.2Mhz mine is 2Mhz which accounts for you using slightly less cpu then me, but maybe it kicks out more heat at the higher clockspeed & is therefore normal :?

geoff adams
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Re: Fan runs a lot on MacBook

Post by geoff adams » Sat Oct 16, 2010 3:29 am

vicz wrote:Maybe what we have shown is that you have a macbook issue not a Live one?
Thanks for taking the time to run the test and offer these links. I think you are right... something is amiss with the Mac. I will poke around the Apple forums to see what I can find out. And thanks to the other helpful input from everybody on this issue.

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