My iBook gets hot on the left side. What can I do?
July 20, 2004 12:19 AM   Subscribe

Holy hell, the left hand side of my iBook gets is really hot. Is there anything I can do without resorting to elaborate paraphernalia like stands and external keyboards (it is supposed to be a portable computer, after all).
posted by 4easypayments to Computers & Internet (15 answers total)
 
Which model iBook, please? Year you bought it, color, processor speed, etc.
posted by scarabic at 12:21 AM on July 20, 2004


Anyone have any luck with those little gooseneck USB fans? Learning to type with your wrists hovering above the computer? Learning to deal with it as the price of admission to the awesomeness that is OS X?

It's an iBook G4 800mhz. Got it refurbished from eBay last week. (wow, you guys are fast)
posted by 4easypayments at 12:23 AM on July 20, 2004


So you mean it gets hot on the top left side, in the area between the space bar and your lap? Not underneath on the left side?
posted by scarabic at 12:38 AM on July 20, 2004


My G3 800MHz can get pretty toasty. See responses to this AskMe thread.

I usually use mine with the front hanging over the edge of whatever surface it is resting on (currently a coffee table). The heat from the processor needs to escape and if the underside is covered it tends to build up. Using it flat on a bed can really get it cooking.

In very hot places I've resorted to one of those cooler ice-packs wrapped in a towel & placed under the LH side of the iBook which has worked a treat.
posted by i_cola at 3:14 AM on July 20, 2004


The nearest left hand area is the hard drive. Underneath the 'E' key is also a prime spot, I think this is where the CPU is. The answer? Grin and bear it. iBooks do get hot. My 1GHz one certainly does. It doesn't get hot enough for me to be too worried though, although if it was on bare skin, I'm sure it'd be very unpleasant.

Alternatively, you can try going into Energy Saver and turning your CPU utilization down, which means your machine will run slower, but be cooler. You can also set it to turn hard disks off when possible, which will help.. as those small disks get hot fast.
posted by wackybrit at 3:16 AM on July 20, 2004


I've got a new iBook, same as yours, and it doesn't get that hot. Although I did have a laptop before that got unbearably hot, so maybe I'm just used to it..
posted by ascullion at 3:18 AM on July 20, 2004


Oops, sorry, mine's a 1GHz
posted by ascullion at 3:22 AM on July 20, 2004


I have a Toshiba Satellite that normally doesn't get too hot, but then for a while it was really overheating. Sticking a handheld vaccuum up to the fan grate must have loosened something from the fan because it was perfectly fine afterwards.
posted by Space Coyote at 3:44 AM on July 20, 2004


I have the 800mhz G4 as well and it gets that hot for me too. I think it's gotta be a design issue as the other 2 800mhz's I've seen do the same thing.
posted by dflemingdotorg at 5:18 AM on July 20, 2004


One time I called Apple Support when I had a problem with my keyboard. I mentioned offhandedly that the problem I was having was worse, seemingly, when the laptop was on my lap.

She immediately replied: "Oh, well that's one thing. You should probably put the computer on a table or desk."

"But, and correct me if I'm wrong, this is a laptop computer, no?"

"Well, that's a common misconception. You notice we don't call them that. They're 'PowerBooks'."

"Ah, well then..."

Geez...
posted by fooljay at 5:31 AM on July 20, 2004


I don't really know anything about iBooks but if you're just noodling along in a browser or something and don't need much CPU you can try popping open a Terminal session and typing:

sudo pmset reduce 1

On my box, at least, it throttles the CPU back from 866 to 533MHz. I haven't noticed a significant change in battery life, and for many tasks the performance hit isn't perceptible, but it is a little cooler. Perhaps it'll work for your machine as well.
posted by majick at 6:49 AM on July 20, 2004


I've noticed the power adapter on my ibook gets pretty toasty as well.
posted by mecran01 at 9:10 AM on July 20, 2004


You might try a stand, many of them are not that elaborate, expensive or bulky. e.g. Roadtools traveler coolpad. I don't see it on their website, but they also (used to?) make a white version of that called the iCoolPad, which I used to own (dumped it after it got some gross sticky stuff spilled on it). I always thought it worked well, but my ibook is only 600mhz and doesn't get that hot, so YMMV.
posted by rorycberger at 9:43 AM on July 20, 2004


Jerry-rig something to hold the bottom of the book off of the desk. I've used four 1/2-inch stacks of post-it notes (one in each corner. Use the smallest ones you can find. Or four Sharpies. Stable, effective, and cheaper than most off-the-shelf solutions.
posted by squirrel at 10:13 AM on July 20, 2004


I have a 500mhz iBook from about August/September 02. It gets very hot underneath at the front, on the left-hand side as you're looking at the keyboard. Basically the flat area to the left of the trackpad, but underneath. I prop it up a little at the front and more at the back, to improve airflow. I was just yesterday googling for 'laptop coolers,' they're all pretty much fan-driven wedges, apart from the Nexus 3000, which uses heat exchangers and so does not draw power from the USB port (useful for travel I guess). I couldn't really find to many reviews of any of these though.
posted by carter at 10:23 AM on July 20, 2004


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