Melting iMac Mod

Written by Geoff Richards

August 3, 2005 | 02:44

Tags: #cpu #fan #g5 #ghetto #hard-drive #hardware #hot #imac #overheat #temperature #warranty

Companies: #apple #mod

Many users know from experience that Mac hardware runs more like hot Apple pie rather than chilled Apple juice from the fridge. The engineers at Cupertino have long been suspected of pushing the envelope in terms of packaging in order to submit to market demands for such svelte exterior designs.

It now apepars that the latest iMac design is no different. Squeezing a powerful G5 processor inside a shell barely bigger than the 17" TFT that hosts it, Legit Reviews have experienced stability problems with their iMac G5 17".

Looking as sexy as a Swedish swimsuit model, the iMac was experiencing hot flushes after only 40 minutes of runtime and crashing. While the ambient air temperature was a little on the warm side at 26C / 78F, it's not like we're talking about summer in Kuwait. Further investigation revealed CPU temperatures exceeding 76C / 170F under load, and a toasty 63C / 145F at idle.

The solution sure ain't pretty, bordering on heresy in Mac circles: a 50CFM 120mm Papst fan taped to the back, over the existing air vent and powered by an external adaptor.

It may look ghetto, but isn't visible from the front, and the results speak for themselves: hard drive temps are down from 54C / 130F to 46C / 115F even after several hours, and CPU temps are under the crucial 60C mark at around 56C / 132F.

The mod's creator, Tim from E-Tech Systems in Phoenix, Arizona, is still waiting to hear if his mod will void his Apple warranty, though we agree with his assumption that it shouldn't - it is merely a fan taped to the outside of the case and requires no internal modifications.

Naturally, some community members have suggested that if the unit is overheating and crashing, it should be returned to Apple to be "repaired" under warranty. In fact, Tim's local Apple store tested it for 24 hours and concluded there was nothing wrong with it. Unfortunately, they tested it at slightly cooler ambient conditions, so score 2 out of 10 for Customer Service, leaving poor Timmy to fend for himself.

Do you own a melting Mac? Do your PowerBook temps threaten your manhood? Download a Temperature Monitor for OSX and let us know if you could fry an egg on your G5 - we'll be in the News Discussion Sauna.
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