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Old Dec 17, 2012, 06:00 PM   #1
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Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Winnipeg, MB, Canada
Concerned about silverlight and CPU temp.

Hi Guys,

I've been reading about this a lot, but I couldn't find anything really giving good answers. I've been using my MacBook air to watch netflix on occasion, which of course requires Microsoft Silverlight. I've also noticed my CPU temp. getting up into the 90's centegrade, which is pretty hot IMO, and warm enough that it's uncomfortable to use on your lap. Cpu usage is also 80-90% used by silverlight.

My biggest question is will this do any damage in the long-run to my MacBook? Is there anything I can do to help this issue?

I guess I just don't understand why my iPad can run Netflix with little trouble, but my MacBook can't. I assume the video is of a higher quality on the computer, it just doesn't seem like it should be that extreme.

Any help is appreciated!
MacBook Air (Mid 2012) - 1.8/8/128
iPad w/ Retina (3rd Gen) - Black 16
Galaxy S IV - Black Mist 16
Apple TV, 3rd Gen
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Old Dec 17, 2012, 06:07 PM   #2
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Those tempatures are normal and within range. They won't damage your machine at all. The iPad can playback Netflix content with ease because iOS Netflix is h264 that uses the builtin hardware decoder. Desktop Netflix uses Silverlight to playback the media, also with h264. But it isn't able to access the built in hardware decoder that some Macs have. Thus the high CPU usage as the CPU decodes it.
Last edited by Intell; Yesterday at 11:53 AM.
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Old Dec 17, 2012, 06:09 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by AppleAlfred View Post
I've also noticed my CPU temp. getting up into the 90's centegrade, which is pretty hot IMO, and warm enough that it's uncomfortable to use on your lap.
As Intell said, your temps are normal. The Intel processors used in Macs are designed to automatically shut down to prevent damage if they truly overheat. CPU Tjmax = 105C (221F), GPU Tjmax = 100C (212F) on i3, i5, i7 processors. (Source: Intel)

If you're not already using it, iStat Pro (free) or iStat Menus ($16) will give you accurate readings of your temps and fan speeds, among other things.

Unless there is a rare defect in a Mac, most temps are well within the normal operating range, considering the workload being put on it. Websites with Flash content, games and other multimedia apps will put higher demand on the CPU/GPU, generating more heat. This is normal. If you're constantly putting high demands on your system, such as gaming or other multimedia tasks, expect temps to rise and fans to spin up accordingly. It's just your Mac doing its job to maintain temps within the normal range.

It is also quite normal for your Mac to become extremely hot to the touch during intensive operations. The aluminum body transfers heat more effectively than other materials used in computer casings, so you will feel the heat more. This doesn't indicate that it's overheating and will not harm the computer to be hot to the touch.

Your fans are always on when your Mac is on, spinning at a minimum of 2000 rpm (for MBPs) or 1800 rpm (for MBAs, MBs and minis). iMacs have 3 fans with minimum speeds in the 800-1200 range. They will spin faster as needed to keep temps at a safe level.

If your fans are spinning up without increased heat, try resetting the SMC.
(PRAM/NVRAM has nothing to do with these issues, so resetting it will not help.)

The intake and exhaust vents are in the back of the computer near the hinge on all Mac notebooks (except the new MBP with retina display, which has intake vents along the sides at the bottom). The iMac vent is a slot on the back near the top of the computer. Make sure the vents remain unblocked to allow your computer to perform at its best.

Learn about the fans in your Mac
Apple Portables: Operating temperature

For Flash-related issues:
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