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Old Mar 4, 2012, 07:09 PM   #1
floodcasso2
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Current Gen 15" Macbook Pro Overheating Problem?

Hey guys,

I'm considering finally replacing my mid-2007 white Macbook since it wont be able to run Mountain Lion (even though it runs perfectly well otherwise).

My contender of choice is a 2.4ghz quad Core i7 15" Macbook Pro. But I've been hearing that a lot of people we're having issues with it running overly hot or overheating. I was wondering if the problem has been solved in the recent crop of units, or if I should hold out for the next rev of the hardware?

Any advice would be great.

Thanks!
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Old Mar 4, 2012, 07:18 PM   #2
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Are you talking about people complaining that their computers are getting so hot that they are shutting down? Or people saying that their computers are getting hot?

These computers will always get hot under heavy use. There's only so much air you can push through a computer this thin.
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Old Mar 4, 2012, 08:27 PM   #3
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no, i mean obvious overheating where the top case/keyboard area becomes hot to the touch during even simple youtube watching. I have a friend who has a similar problem with his 17" macbook pro, and I've read quite a number of stories of similar problems with 15" 2011 macbook pros on the apple support forums as well. I was just wondering how prevalent the problems were/are and if they've been remedied. Or, if it would simply be better to wait for the next hardware rev.
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Old Mar 4, 2012, 08:31 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by floodcasso2 View Post
no, i mean obvious overheating where the top case/keyboard area becomes hot to the touch during even simple youtube watching. I have a friend who has a similar problem with his 17" macbook pro, and I've read quite a number of stories of similar problems with 15" 2011 macbook pros on the apple support forums as well. I was just wondering how prevalent the problems were/are and if they've been remedied. Or, if it would simply be better to wait for the next hardware rev.
The 15 and 17 inch macbook pros have both dedicated and integrated graphics cards. I use a program, gfxCardStatus, to keep my computer on the integrated graphics when I am not gaming, and this keeps temperatures down (the dedicated card generates A LOT of heat.) Flash, or when browsers use flash, typically turn the dedicated card on. You might wanna check with a friend and see if they are doing that. Are their fans on when this happens?

For reference, I have a early 2011 17" with a 2.2 i7. I have been running youtube videos for the last 2 hours, and my CPU temp is at 44C, which is only slightly higher than idle condition.
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Old Mar 4, 2012, 08:45 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by floodcasso2 View Post
no, i mean obvious overheating where the top case/keyboard area becomes hot to the touch during even simple youtube watching. I have a friend who has a similar problem with his 17" macbook pro, and I've read quite a number of stories of similar problems with 15" 2011 macbook pros on the apple support forums as well. I was just wondering how prevalent the problems were/are and if they've been remedied. Or, if it would simply be better to wait for the next hardware rev.
As long as it doesn't go over the CPU's maximum temperature, the computer is not overheating.
What you describe is a low heat tolerance. Don't worry; as long as your finger doesn't slip off the computer and onto the metal body near the middle, your fingertips should not feel any heat, even at 95C.
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Old Mar 4, 2012, 08:56 PM   #6
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Your Mac will automatically shutdown when its overheating to protect its self. Other than that, thats not a problem.
I watch YouTube on 1080p and the temp rises to about 60~70C.
Its hot and uncomfortable, but not a problem.
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Old Mar 4, 2012, 09:07 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by GuitarG20 View Post
For reference, I have a early 2011 17" with a 2.2 i7. I have been running youtube videos for the last 2 hours, and my CPU temp is at 44C, which is only slightly higher than idle condition.
Same here. I'm actually a little surprised by how cool it runs under normal use. It'll heat up quickly when encoding video & such, but that's to be expected. gfxCardStatus really does make a difference. I also like smcFanControl. I didn't change the defaults, but I do like to manually kick the fans up *before* starting CPU intensive stuff. You just have to remember to drop them back down when you're finished.
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Old Mar 4, 2012, 09:15 PM   #8
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I have a current gen 15" (purchased in March 2011, 2.3 i7 Quad, 8GB RAM, HR display). My experience is that it doesn't take much to get the temps up on this rig. That said, the biggest issue I have is not the heat itself but the fact that the heat causes the fans to run loudly when the laptop is under any significant load.

I've never had the computer get so hot as to exceed safe operating temps (it's pushed 90c on a few occasions but mostly stays under 75c).
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Old Mar 4, 2012, 09:24 PM   #9
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The current MacBooks are using Sandy Bridge processors, which basically turn any computer into a heat brick. If heat is a concern for you, wait for the Ivy Bridge MacBooks to come out which will probably have Mountain Lion in them too.
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Old Mar 4, 2012, 09:38 PM   #10
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The current MacBooks are using Sandy Bridge processors, which basically turn any computer into a heat brick. If heat is a concern for you, wait for the Ivy Bridge MacBooks to come out which will probably have Mountain Lion in them too.
Seems like this might be my best bet. I don't consider a computer that is burning hot to the touch where the fans sound like a jet engine to be a normally operating computer. Some heat is one thing, my plastic macbook gets warm occasionally, but my friend's MPB is uncomfortably hot to the touch on the keyboard area during use. Hopefully they will take care of that.
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Old Mar 4, 2012, 09:48 PM   #11
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A powerful machine will always produce a substantial amount of heat. The Ivy Bridge CPUs that will most likely end up being used in the next generation MBPs have the same TDP as the current ones. Therefore, without any fundamental change in the cooling design, also the 2012 machines will get hot. Maybe 2013 will have something for you.

The best bet is to look for a manufacturer that puts more focus on performance and thermal management, and less on design... e.g. the Lenovo Thinkpad series. Or, you can accept the fact that the current MBPs get hot under load, like any other laptop using high end (i7 dual/quad core) Intel CPUs.

The particular problem with youtube/flash videos is a software issue and can easily be avoided or worked around. Though honestly, I have no complaints about the performance of adobe flash on my 2011 MBP.
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Old Mar 4, 2012, 09:55 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by punchwalk View Post
I have a current gen 15" (purchased in March 2011, 2.3 i7 Quad, 8GB RAM, HR display). My experience is that it doesn't take much to get the temps up on this rig. That said, the biggest issue I have is not the heat itself but the fact that the heat causes the fans to run loudly when the laptop is under any significant load.

I've never had the computer get so hot as to exceed safe operating temps (it's pushed 90c on a few occasions but mostly stays under 75c).
hmm. that's surprising to me. although significant load will do the same for mine, my typical use scenario is about 10 light programs open, so it's not too heavy of a load.

are you using GFXcarstatus to force integrated, or do you need the GPU for your use cases?
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Old Mar 4, 2012, 09:56 PM   #13
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Obviously another brand is not an option as I work exclusively in OS X. It's just strange as I've used plenty of 07-10 Macbook Pros in my line of work and have never encountered a heat problem like that. Perhaps it's just exaggerated in my friend's unit and he needs to take it to the Genius Bar, but it certainly makes me wary of the longevity of the components.
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Old Mar 4, 2012, 10:04 PM   #14
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My 2011 pro gets pretty warm, but it has never overheated, and that includes running handbrake to encode DVDs whilst on my lap, running all 8 hyper threading cores at 100% for the duration.


During normal use, it is fine. If you're pushing the machine that hard, you'll likely want to put it on a desk, plugged into AC power (as running cpu at 100% will drain battery pretty quick anyhow
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Old Mar 4, 2012, 10:10 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by floodcasso2 View Post
Obviously another brand is not an option as I work exclusively in OS X. It's just strange as I've used plenty of 07-10 Macbook Pros in my line of work and have never encountered a heat problem like that. Perhaps it's just exaggerated in my friend's unit and he needs to take it to the Genius Bar, but it certainly makes me wary of the longevity of the components.
I can assure you that under full load, the keyboard area in my 2008 machine (pre unibody) is much hotter, while the heat in the 2011 machine is restricted to the area above the "esc" and F1-F4 keys. They keys themselves are comfortable to touch, even after several hours of continuous gaming.
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Old Mar 4, 2012, 10:14 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by thundersteele View Post
I can assure you that under full load, the keyboard area in my 2008 machine (pre unibody) is much hotter, while the heat in the 2011 machine is restricted to the area above the "esc" and F1-F4 keys. They keys themselves are comfortable to touch, even after several hours of continuous gaming.
Hmm, looks like im off to the Apple Store tomorrow to do a HD youtube video test and see what happens.
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Old Mar 4, 2012, 10:24 PM   #17
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I came from a 2.6GHz Macbook Pro 17" early 2008.
I assure that my 2.3 GHz Macbook Pro 15" early 2011 is much more comfortable to use when getting hot.
The 2008 model run hotter on the palm rest. But 2011 model run hotter at the bottom and aluminum area above the ESC and function keys.
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Old Mar 4, 2012, 10:24 PM   #18
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I have heat issues with mine but you don't have to worry about heat if the most stressful thing you do is watch HD youtube videos.
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Old Mar 4, 2012, 10:29 PM   #19
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I got 8 processes of "yes > /dev/null" running and i've not seen my temps go above 85 for a sustained period
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Old Mar 4, 2012, 10:43 PM   #20
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I have heat issues with mine but you don't have to worry about heat if the most stressful thing you do is watch HD youtube videos.
I design ultra high resolution (10'x20'x300ppi) photo banners mostly. Pretty taxing on the hardware esp for laptops. But portability is essential. That's why I'm worried haha
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Old Mar 5, 2012, 05:21 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by floodcasso2 View Post
I design ultra high resolution (10'x20'x300ppi) photo banners mostly. Pretty taxing on the hardware esp for laptops. But portability is essential. That's why I'm worried haha
I thought you had a 2007 macbook currently? The MBP will do the same work while still in sleep mode!

Checking for yourself at the apple store is a good idea
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Old Mar 5, 2012, 06:53 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by floodcasso2 View Post
I design ultra high resolution (10'x20'x300ppi) photo banners mostly. Pretty taxing on the hardware esp for laptops. But portability is essential. That's why I'm worried haha
Anand wrote a great piece reviewing the Sandy Bridge Macbook Pro. And goes into great detail about its operating behaviour and in regards to how that impacts heat and fan noise. You should just read the Anandtech review - it answers most questions about this.

This NEXT die shrink is from 32nm to 22nm and therefore represents a significant jump. It will result in some of the gain being given in performance. And some gain being given as power savings. Per the same workload.

Intel Ivy Bridge TDPs aren't going to be directly comparable to Sandy Bridge TDPs. Thats not speculaton, but information reported by press who have attended Intel presentations about Ivy Bridge during the last 12 months. The architectures are similar, but aren't directly comparable. The 3D transistors is very different. In fact, Anandtech have another great article just solely talking about that one thing.

But even accounting all those Ivy Bridge changes, thats not the full story. Since in the Macbook Pro CPU accounts for only about half of the total 60-80W power draw (from AC power brick) when plugged in. Its the discrete GPU which accounts for much of the remaining 50%. Its probably 20-30 Watts or so. A little more if you have chosen to overclock the graphics.

Current GPUs are 40nm. Well, the 2012 GPU process shrink is from both vendors this year. And will replace all the current 40nm GPUs with brand new 28nm GPUs. Unfortunately there are no solid rumors whatsoever yet about such GPUs being incorporated into the very first Ivy Bridge Macs. There ARE reported yield difficulties / slow ramp up at both of the chip foundries for many / most 28nm designs.

Anyway the bottom line is that only upto half total system power savings can possibly ever come from the Ivy Bridge CPU. And the other approx half mostly depends on a newer 28nm mobile GPU being present on same said logic board. That would all be a noticeable improvement over any of today's available tech.

It just remains to be seen WHEN in 2012. If we are lucky enough to get new GPUs, the timing and availability may be "approximately" in sync with the release of Ivy Bridge. Give or take a couple of months. April-May-June-July-August is actually FOUR whole months. So its a real, bona-fide possibility. Or NOT, then the graphics will come in the next refresh (a late 2012 refresh).
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Old Mar 5, 2012, 07:38 AM   #23
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I thought you had a 2007 macbook currently? The MBP will do the same work while still in sleep mode!

Checking for yourself at the apple store is a good idea
Hahaha! No, been using loaner MPB's from my job, figured it was time for my own since my current MacBook won't be doing Mountain Lion.
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Old Mar 8, 2012, 07:36 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by floodcasso2 View Post
I design ultra high resolution (10'x20'x300ppi) photo banners mostly. Pretty taxing on the hardware esp for laptops. But portability is essential. That's why I'm worried haha
In that case I'd try something a bit more stressful than Youtube vids.

Just my 2c but I don't think testing it in store is going to reveal anything about the heat. I don't believe the MBP is faulty by design, quality control is just lacking. So mine might have sucked but yours and 99% of MBP users may be fine.
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Old Mar 8, 2012, 12:16 PM   #25
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i had the same concern as you, but i just bought a 15" macbook pro tuesday. i'v edited 1080p HD video from my Canon 60D in iMovie, my macbook pro got warm. i heard its fan but it wasn't loud or any issue for me. my cheap 2010 acer laptop got hotter than this mac does.

i'v also watched 1080P youtube video (namely that Transformers one that you commonly find if you search 1080p video in Youtube) and it never got hot, and the fan never got loud, i didn't notice it.

honestly, i had the same concern as you did because i googled it, i do believe those people out there, but i'm happy to say that working ones with no heat issue exist too.

-

coming from a user who just joined this forum since he has a separate issue which is to do with OS X and not the machine itself.
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