Most of us seldom hear our fans but when they come on then you know your Mac is breaking a sweat, so to speak. When the CPU or hard disk or SSD or motherboard reaches a certain temperature, the fans come and blaze away trying to cool down all that hot hardware. That’s just the way things are.
For Mac users who want to know what’s going on inside the Mac, the free Phantasmic utility is perfect for looking at the Mac’s fans. And in color, no less.
Much of what Phantasmic does is self explanatory, though the app’s window occupants will vary depending upon your Mac. What it does is display the results of various sensors in the Mac. For example, the overall ambient temperature, the CPU and GPU, the Hard Disk, the Display, RAM, and Power Supply. Each has a set of sensors which can tell the Mac’s fans when to switch on and when to switch off.
Phantasmic displays the temperatures of each sensor array, but also gives you controls over each sensor when then controls when the fan switches on.
Change the Fan Start Temp setting, adjust the Fan Max RPM Temp configuration– for each of the sensors. By default, Phantasmic just reports sensor finding and makes no changes. You’ll need to click the Modify Fan checkbox to enable the sensor adjustment option.
One safety feature I appreciate is Quit Phantasmic. When you quit the app, whatever settings you modified return to normal. Where I found Phantasmic useful is with a couple of our older MacBook Pro models in the Mincey Plantation family room. Everyone uses those Macs like iPads so who knows what gets installed. Sometimes the Macs get quite warm before the fans even bother to come on and make noise. Phantasmic allows me to set the temperature a bit lower so the fan comes on earlier.
Remember, heat is death to a Mac.
Phantasmic is free to try and donationware if you love it to death. If you have more money to burn while trying to cool your Mac, and need a few more options, try Mac’s Fan Control.