15" Unibody Overheating, Fan 'Buzzing' and Screw Head Drilled Off

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by CFB, Aug 4, 2009.

  1. CFB macrumors newbie

    Aug 4, 2009
    I guess I'll start at the beginning. I got this MacBook Pro towards the end of last year or towards the beginning of this year. I'm not totally sure, but it was very soon after the 15" Unibody was released. It's got a 2.53 GHz CPU and 4GB RAM, as well as a 512MB (shared) GFX Card.

    Shortly after I began using it, I noticed a buzzing sound coming from the fan when I used CPU or graphically intensive programs, mainly EVE Online, an MMORPG I play. The laptop also started to get rather hot.

    It wasn't long before an EVE Online Dev made this thread in the official forums, warning people who were using the same laptop as him--the same laptop as me--about heat issues when playing EVE. My name there is Sazuka Kirr. You may notice I was the third person to reply.

    His post comforted me, somewhat. The excessive heat wasn't particularly abnormal, though it was still an issue. Propping up the laptop so air could freely travel beneath it and keeping the the graphics settings low in-game reduced most heat issues. Occasionally the temperature would shoot up to the 90's (Centigrade) so I would close any additional applications and then close the game if the temperature still didn't drop. I'd been monitoring it with iStat Pro. Temperatures are generally around the 75-80 mark when I now play.

    Today, however, I spoke to another 15" Unibody MPB user in-game and he told me he plays with graphics settings to the max in full screen mode with no heat issues. I would have told him to 'shove it' at first, but then he told me one of his other character's names, who has taken several videos in-game. On inspection, it was clear he WAS running the game with graphics to max in full screen mode. He was getting 75-80C with these settings, while I've experienced 90-95C on the few occasions I've tested it out.

    I therefore decided to investigate the fan's 'buzzing' sound. Originally, I had thought it was just caused by the fan spinning extra fast, but now I believe it may be caused by some sort of obstruction, that is hindering the fan's ability to cool the CPU.

    I turned the MBP off, removed it from the power and turned it upside down. I removed the small battery / HDD cover and then removed the battery itself. I went on to remove the little black bit holding the HDD, before removing the HDD as well.

    I unscrewed the first screw on on the bottom left corner, as indicated in the diagram on how to insert new memory. I then got to the second screw from the left and encountered a slight issue. The screw head has been partially drilled off, not removing the entire head, but making it impossible to unscrew the screw.

    Two images can be seen here.

    I immediately rung my dad to ask whether he's ever tried to open up my MBP before and he said no. If it wasn't him and it wasn't me, then does it sound like the kind of thing Apple would do? I've never attempted to open the case before so had never noticed it before. I may have noticed the head had been slightly drilled of but I only first looked at how to open the case today so I'd have thought nothing of it previously.

    Anyone have any suggestions as to what I should do? I can imagine taking it to an Apple Store and being told to politely go away after having been told Apple would never do anything of the sort!

    Just for reference, the Mac was bought on finance by my dad from the Official Apple Online UK Store. I can't imagine it would have been tampered with anywhere between there and here.

    Any responses would be greatly appreciated.

    Many thanks,

  2. geoffreak macrumors 68020


    Feb 8, 2008
    Apple will absolutely do something if a fan is absurdly loud, but I don't think that is the case. Don't try and open the machine yourself if you don't know what you are doing. You can easily break something and void AppleCare.

    Install iStat and report back with your CPU usage, fan speed, and CPU temp while running the game.
  3. CFB thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 4, 2009
    While idle

    10% CPU
    3000 RPM
    65C Temp

    When in-game

    60% CPU
    6000 RPM
    78C Temp

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