2011 MacBook Pro, overheating, hardware or software? Report your CPU load!

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by theosib, Mar 5, 2011.

  1. theosib macrumors member

    Aug 30, 2009
    There have been lots of discussion and rumors lately about the 2011 MBPs overheating. People hear about "excessive thermal paste" and assume that's the reason their computer seems hot. I've googled this. A number of individuals have reported that replacing their thermal paste with arctic silver and getting 10-degree reduction in temperature. Unfortunately, they don't always report whether that's in degrees C or F. On the other hand, a few professionals have investigated this issue and found much less significant improvements.

    One common reason for an apparently idle system to get hot is that it is not in fact idle. Spotlight indexing is a resource hog that uses significant CPU time. In fact, a number of users have reported that their brand new MBP was overly hot until they let spotlight run its course... then it was cool as a cucumber. Not everyone thinks to check to see what their computer is doing.

    So, how about we conduct an informal poll to see if we can find the underlying cause.

    For those of you who feel that your Mac is overly hot when idle, please wait until you find that the computer is hot, and open the "Activity Monitor" app. In the lower portion of the window, select the CPU tab, and in the upper right, be sure "All Processes" is selected. Watch it for 15 or 30 seconds and then report (a) about what the total CPU load is (in percent), and (b) which processes are using the most CPU. Be sure to use Activity Monitor and not iStat since iStat has bugs that makes it misreport process names. However, iStat would be good so that you can (c) report the CPU temperature. In degrees Celsius.

    For those of you who are finding the machine to be excessively hot under heavy load, please tell us (a) what you're running, (b) the total CPU load (in percent), and (c) the CPU temperature. Again, please use Celsius so that we're using the same language.

    This poll might be useful for those of you who have already bought a new machine to give you an idea of whether or not you have a real problem. It'll also help those who have not yet bought (but want to) to decide is Apple does indeed have heat and quality issues or if the horror stories are mostly from people who haven't looked at Activity Monitor.

    Someone is going to have a machine that is unbearably hot and/or is inexplicably hot when idle. That person is an outlier with a defective machine that needs to be replaced. The rest of us just victims of Apple's possibly inefficient background processes.

    Thanks for your help.
  2. axu539 macrumors 6502a

    Dec 31, 2010
    I just got my new 17" yesterday. Temps seem(ed) perfectly normal from the start. Idles at 40 C, hits 50-60 when doing anything that forces the GPU. Haven't tested intensive processes yet (handbrake) but I imagine around 90C should be expected.
  3. 435713 macrumors 6502a

    May 19, 2010
    13' i7 here.

    Idle/normal web surfing 38-43 C

    Flash video medium use 60C-70C

    Handbrake H.264 encode 90C-94C no signs of getting into the 80's in sight so I didn't finish encoding it freaked me out it was running that hot.

    Body didn't feel hot really at all. Bottom was only a little warm. It seems weird that PC laptops run around 70-75C from my readings around the net and the MBP runs that hot doing heavy encoding. Is that damaging to it running at 90C? Seems like it would be.

    It does tear up H.264, could only imagine how quick the big boys are, hopefully it isn't at a price.
  4. paolinselva macrumors newbie

    Oct 31, 2008
    Biella, north of Italy
    cool as a cucumber (nearly)

    I've had my 15" i7 for a week now and from the start kept it under control using menumeters, that shows me 8 cilinders (one each thread). This way I know what the mac is doing, and take my word, it does a lot of things when you think it does not.
    If you select the "calculate the size" option (or whatever it is in english) in some finder window that changes constantly (like apps or some other) it keeps working hard and the temp goes up.

    Using the widget " istat pro" I can see the temps in most parts inside the mac and now that I'm writing and surfing, with only 8 apps open, they range from 27 to 52 celsius. I think it means cool (considering all the horsepower under the hood).

    When I let them free using handbrake (for instance) and see all threads hitting steadily 100%, in 30 seconds the cpu temp reach and stays at 85 celsius, I never saw it touch the 90 (but so far my room is around 20) and the vents spin like helicopters.

    Just as soon as it slows down temps go down and helicopters land.

    I had the first generation of macbook core2. Wow THAT WAS HOT !!!
  5. namethisfile macrumors 65816


    Jan 17, 2008
    can 2011 15" mbp owners play a game in os x fine? i am asking because running a game should test if the mbp can run under load.

    not chess or solitaire but a real game like CoD or something like that.
  6. 435713 macrumors 6502a

    May 19, 2010
    I don't really understand the point on Apple wanting them to run that hot over the years in the first place. It isn't that hard to have better cooling. iMac seems on point on load. If you pay the prices they request then cooling should be better IMO anyway.

    Of course I dont read alot about them overheating. Seems rare, I trust they know what they are doing.
  7. namethisfile macrumors 65816


    Jan 17, 2008
    if i had the new 2011 mbp's (15" or 17"), i would test it by running a modern-day game in os x and if the computer doesn't explode after an hour or two of play, then, i would say that the computer is on the clear as far as overheating goes.

    any 2011 (15" or 17") mbp owners care to join in who've put their mbps' thru a demanding game attest to this?
  8. repairsd2007 macrumors newbie

    Aug 9, 2007
    I have a habit to run seti@home on my mbp
    I found a way to freeze mbp early 2011 easily and that is to set the CPU usage to >65% in Boinc manager preference and it will freeze my 15' 2.3Ghz 8Gb early 2011 with in 30min (~75-85C) and if I set it to 100% CPU usage(~95C). I can freeze it with in 15 min.
    Although freeze it ... it seems audio/mouse/trackpad is still working but not clock on top-right and no response from keyboard. Not planning to visit genius bar for this is my only working mbp and I can uninstall boinc/SETI.
  9. mrod828 macrumors newbie

    Mar 13, 2011
    I have a week old 2011 MBP 15", i7 2.33, 1GB video card, 8GB memory

    I play WoW and dont even run it on the highest settings, after my MBP running at 80-84c and my fan running at full speed (6200 rpm) for under an hour, the screen freezes and keyboard doesnt work. There are lots of 2011 MBP users that are experiencing the same issue. They are reporting the same problems with the Starcraft 2 game as well.

    I should mention that I am using a very highly rated Cooling Pad from Amazon and it doesnt seem to affect the temps on the MBP. I used a laser temp gun to see where its running the hottest, ... around the ESC key and towards the F4 key it is the hottest in regards to surface temp.

    I think I am going to have to return to the Apple store, I think it has something to do with the Sandy Bridge Intel processor, Intel put a recall out on it for PC computers but the recall didnt seem to affect MAC... but something isnt right for a top of the line Mac to keep freezing.
  10. brentsg macrumors 68040

    Oct 15, 2008
    The recall did affect Apple, they simply got the new parts first. Additionally, the recall had nothing to do with anything except SATA.

    The issue will get sorted out, prob via a software update soon.
  11. KyleKlink macrumors regular


    Feb 22, 2009
    Santa Maria, Ca
    I let my 15" 2.3GHz fall asleep on its own when I walk away from it. Yesterday I left home to go downtown for the day and when I came home about 7 hours later my MBP would not come alive. The sleep indicator was solid and the screen was black.

    Eventually, I hard restarted it checked the temps when it came up: 80C. And this is after the reboot.

    It seems like the MBP was doing something all day while I was away. The keyboard was hot on the left and the aluminum at the base of the screen was hot enough to cook an egg. The only thing that was left open when I walked away was Google Chrome with facebook open.

    Today I pulled up skype and had a video chat with my mom on the other side of the country. The temp hit 82C during the call, with nothing else running but skype.

    I love this MBP, but the heat it's generating is a bit worrisome for me. I'm considering selling it and getting an iMac and a PC laptop as a replacement.
  12. brentsg macrumors 68040

    Oct 15, 2008
    Chrome is triggering the discrete GPU to come on and stay on. Also Skype is about the worst app for generating load. The latest OSX Skype client is garbage as well, for a number of reasons.

    I find all of this crazy. I pulled up one of the scenarios people were panicking about yesterday, but on my 2008 MBP. I've never fussed with monitoring and such, so I installed iStat. The test immediately pushed my CPU temp into the 90C range before it settled down into the mid 80C range with fans at full.

    I'm sure some generations are warmer than others but there's nothing hugely different here that I can see.
  13. josh2007 macrumors member

    Dec 22, 2008
    At idle my 15" 2.2 8g runs 31-33 c

    With 24" cinema idle temp jumps to 69 c (and flickers)

    Native screen + Logic temps at 45-48 c

    Everything is perfect except 24" issues
  14. KyleKlink macrumors regular


    Feb 22, 2009
    Santa Maria, Ca
    I have my MBP connected to a 24" Dell LCD. Should that impact temperatures as well? I'm running idle right now at 56-58C.
  15. brentsg macrumors 68040

    Oct 15, 2008
    Yes, using an external display is forcing the discrete GPU on.

    Play with this a bit: http://codykrieger.com/gfxCardStatus
  16. KyleKlink macrumors regular


    Feb 22, 2009
    Santa Maria, Ca
    That sounds reasonable, then. I still don't think I should be idling near 60C, though. And certainly the MBP shouldn't have locked up on me yesterday while I was away.
  17. brentsg macrumors 68040

    Oct 15, 2008
    It definitely shouldn't lock, and I'm sure that gets addressed soon. But I don't see any issue with the 60C.

    Play with that tool above, and experiment with a browser add-on that blocks Flash. You'll quickly see a correlation between the discrete GPU and Flash web content + your temps.
  18. KyleKlink macrumors regular


    Feb 22, 2009
    Santa Maria, Ca
    I'm headed to the genius bar in about an hour to address the issue with it locking. As for Flash block I already have that installed on Chrome. Though I don't want to do so, I might switch over to using Safari for a while to see how that affects the temps.
  19. aphxtwinin macrumors regular

    Feb 25, 2008
    if your machine does not meet your requirements, take it back while you can. I have a 15in high end and its gets only a tad bit warmer than the 2008 Macbook i upgraded from
  20. brentsg macrumors 68040

    Oct 15, 2008
    GFXCardStatus can also be used to force the system to run from the integrated GPU. That might drop your 60C to 40C or so.
  21. ninjaboi21 macrumors member

    Oct 23, 2010
    Battery: 30 celsius
    CPU 1: 67 celsius
    CPU 2: 63 celsius
    CPU A: 60 celsius
    CPU Proximity: 56 celsius
    Enclosure: 35 celsius
    Enclosure 2: 35 celsius
    Enclosure 3: 33 celsius
    GPU: 55 celsius
    GPU Diode: 57 celsius
    Heatsink B: 55 celsius
    Heatsink C: 52 celsius
    Left Palm Rest: 31 celsius
    Mem Controller: 43 celsius

    I'm just browsing the internet with 4 tabs open, have a Skype chat (no video), Transmission is uploading and Photoshop open (with no RAW pictures opened) and VLC pausing a video. Fans spinning at 2200RPM, used to stay at 2000RPM the previous week. Using integrated graphics.

    Just opening Aperture (browsing pictures, not doing any retouching) bumps the fan to a +3200RPM and CPU at 65-70 celsius. CPU is at 85-99% idle, Photoshop closed.

    Should I be worried?
  22. pullman macrumors 6502


    Feb 11, 2008
    Heat when using Photoshop?

    This is a great thread!

    I will get the 15" MBP because I need the resolution and the anti-glare for my photo work (I'm disappointed there are no screen options for the 13", oh well).

    The "heaviest" software I use is Photoshop and Bridge (I don't game).

    I would really appreciate info on the heat (bottom of enclosure and CPU/heatsink) and fan rpm when editing images in Photoshop (ie not when the program is idle).

    Would be great with info with the dGPU enabled and when the computer is only using the iGPU.

  23. iPadThai macrumors 6502a

    Apr 25, 2010
  24. iPadThai macrumors 6502a

    Apr 25, 2010
    You can't force iGPU when connected to an external monitor. Not on the 15"/17" models. The 13" can output to external monitor via the iGPU but for some reason on the 15"/17" you can't.
  25. iPadThai macrumors 6502a

    Apr 25, 2010
    my 17" 2.2 8GB RAM:

    With AS5 reapplied to CPU/GPU on idle with iGPU (no external monitor connected):


    (dGPU without external monitor connected):

    apps open: itunes, safari, firefox, ichat, and aperture 3.1.1

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