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Accelerate component burn-in via CPU loading Laptop Macs
My new MacBook Pro is a fabulous machine with one problem -- it had a nasty 'burning' smell when the processor warmed up. I recognized this as the smell some computer components make as they're breaking in, but it was subtle and not going away (and really bothersome -- it would make my eyes red after prolonged exposure).

The solution? Make the machine run really hot. I downloaded the BOINC client and signed up for the SETI@Home project and set it to run whenever my computer was idle. Temperature Monitor showed the CPU running at 85°C (compared with 60°C for typical operation). The fans were whirring and lots of numbers were being crunched. At first, the smell was very pronounced when the BOINC client was running, so it seemed to be working. After running overnight every day for a week, the smell is completely gone, making this laptop just about perfect.

An interesting aside -- comparing my work units with other computers, this lowly laptop is besting some dual Xeon 2.8GHz servers by almost a factor of four in integer performance and doing 50% better on floating point. Not bad for a laptop. In turn, a Quad Mac Pro bests this laptop by a factor of eight. That's fast.

[robg adds: The burning smell is normal in many new electronic items, though my MacBook Pro didn't seem to have it. See this older hint for a simple way to load up the CPUs in your Mac, whether for an accelerated burn-in or testing performance under load. It's fast, and very effective -- if you have a machine with more than one CPU or core, just open one Terminal window per CPU/core, and run the command in each. Control-C to end when you're done.]
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Authored by: cmccarthy on Dec 14, '06 11:15:18AM
Marcel Bresink, who produces the aforementioned Temperature Monitor, also makes a great piece of software called SystemLoad which will load the processor(s) by an arbitrary additional percentage. I've found it very helpful in diagnosing a number of Mac hardware issues. It's freeware and is available here.

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Accelerate component burn-in via CPU loading
Authored by: TheCrunge on Dec 14, '06 05:03:35PM
A quick way to pin your CPU(s) to 100% (well, 99.8 or so) is to run this in Terminal:
yes > /tmp/yes
Don't forget to ctrl c to stop the process.

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Accelerate component burn-in via CPU loading
Authored by: tma on Dec 15, '06 02:05:06AM

... except that this will create a file which will increase in size until you stop the process, potentially filling up your hard drive. A better way would be this:

yes > /dev/null

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