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Why is my iMac running so hot?
Posted by: Blurb
Date: March 05, 2016 03:43PM
I recently added an ext. Samsung SSD to take over for my failing original HD. The switch went well and I have markedly less of the beach balling than prior to the switch in startup drives. But my iMac will still get very hot and kick in it's loud fans with use typically over about an hour. The heat is primarily at the top left back portion of the unit (orientation is facing the iMac as in typical use), with the metal backing being nearly too hot to keep my hand in contact with it!

I figured that problem would resolve with switching to the external SSD as my startup disk. Any feedback on why it hasn't? iMac is 7,1 (2.8G C2D Extreme 24") so it's a little long in the tooth, but I keep my iTunes and photos on a separate ext. HD and keep the (now SSD) less than 50% full. Running 10.11.3

TIA
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Re: Why is my iMac running so hot?
Posted by: mrlynn
Date: March 05, 2016 04:05PM
Look in Activity Monitor and see what application is using a lot of CPU power. That's probably the culprit.

/Mr Lynn



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Re: Why is my iMac running so hot?
Posted by: Onamuji
Date: March 05, 2016 04:27PM
Any one or more of these...

Years of dust accumulating on the logic board and fans making them less efficient at removing heat; breakdown of thermal paste; an aging PSU that has to work harder and bus-powered devices making more demands on it; upgraded OS with more CPU/GPU/drive demands; you've got it sitting under a low-hanging shelf which blocks the vent; you've got it next to the household heat-vent.







Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/05/2016 04:28PM by Onamuji.
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Re: Why is my iMac running so hot?
Posted by: hal
Date: March 05, 2016 04:34PM
Lots of people put 2+4GB chips in those machines taking it to the max 6GB, but a lot of those 4GB chips ran really hot.

I sure hope you aren't a smoker - cigarette smoke mixed with dust will KILL your mac way faster than without the smoke.

Otherwise, Onamuji covered just about every other possiblitly
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Re: Why is my iMac running so hot?
Posted by: Forrest
Date: March 05, 2016 05:15PM
It couldn't hurt to remove the cover for the RAM chips and blow the dust out with a can of compressed air. Not sure how difficult it is to remove the back cover and blow the dust out.
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Re: Why is my iMac running so hot?
Posted by: Article Accelerator
Date: March 05, 2016 06:29PM
When you start it up, unmount the internal HD.
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Re: Why is my iMac running so hot?
Posted by: Blurb
Date: March 05, 2016 07:33PM
Not a smoker. Just have the 2+2 G RAM setup. I DID switch (thru sys prefs) the startup disk to the new SSD. No, I didn't unmount the internal HD.

That's my concern to begin with: I suspect my int HD is still running or why else would that spot be so hot? And thanks, Onamuji. I will blow out the innards as best I can.
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Re: Why is my iMac running so hot?
Posted by: Blurb
Date: March 05, 2016 07:46PM
I've done that AA, so I'll let you know after working a while longer tonight if it continues to get hot.

Guess my initial question should have been: What else but my old internal hd could be causing my iMac to get so hot?
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Re: Why is my iMac running so hot?
Posted by: Blurb
Date: March 05, 2016 08:50PM
Reasonable warm iMac, but not so hot as before, and no fans yet.... Had to get rough with that old hd to shut it down! Just kidding. Thanks for the ideas and help.
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Re: Why is my iMac running so hot?
Posted by: Wags
Date: March 05, 2016 09:07PM
Hormones
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Re: Why is my iMac running so hot?
Posted by: rouderon
Date: March 05, 2016 09:34PM
I have a 3.06gb 24" early '08 iMac that was running hot. I replaced the internal with an SSD last year and blew the dust out while I was inside it. After I booted it up the first time it ran hot. Checked the Activity Monitor and found it was because spotlight was indexing (I've installed SSD's in several MacBooks and the same thing happens). If you don't care about spotlight, there's a Terminal command to stop the indexing. I also use SMC FanControl to keep the fans on the high side on this machine. My iMac's video card is a known problem for this model - pretty much fries due to the heat. Now it runs normally between 100-115F with SMC running full tilt on the CPU fan.
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