Are MacBooks really THAT hot?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by lowbuzz, Jan 18, 2008.

  1. lowbuzz macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2008
    #1
    I'm currently using an iBook G4/1.2 as my primary machine - and I'm pretty happy with it. But my fiancee's G3/500 is flaking out, so she wants me to get a new computer so she can have mine.

    I'm actually finally in the market for a Pro model - but I've heard that the aluminum casing can literally burn your wrists.

    I have a home-based business and literally spend most of the day laid back on the couch with my laptop actually on my lap. I thought a 15" screen would be a nice change.

    Does anyone else use the MBP as their primary machine - and might offer a reality check on how hot they are?

    And for the gurus - are the MBPs significantly hotter than the MacBooks?

    I'm really scared of buying a new laptop with all of these horror stories about how hot they get.

    I work like 12 hours a day on my G4 - it runs very cool for the most part, only getting somewhat uncomfortable after a while under the left palmrest (I think the HD is under there?) I'm not too concerned about the heat coming out of the bottom, as there are numerous solutions to that.

    But I can't think of a solution to the palm rest area getting stupid hot.

    And if I can't actually sit around with it on my lap most of the day, I might as well just buy the fiancee a new iMac instead and keep my iBook?

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
     
  2. JSchwage macrumors 6502a

    JSchwage

    Joined:
    May 5, 2006
    Location:
    Rochester, NY
    #2
    I think the MacBook Pro is much better at keeping cool on the underside compared to the MacBook. Everyone knows aluminum is a good conductor while plastic is not.

    My dad has a MacBook Pro and hasn't yet complained about it getting too hot while on his lap.
     
  3. heatmiser macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2007
    #3
    That conduction is *exactly* why the Macbook Pro is far more likely to scorch your lap than the Macbook. What's more likely to burn you? Putting your hand on a glass plate sitting on top of a lit stove, or putting your hand on a metal plate on top of said stove? :D

    To tackle the question though, no, the Macbook isn't that hot. I'm using mine on my lap and it reads 45 at the moment with the fan on 4526. I'd recommend smcfancontrol for any Apple laptop. I usually run mine @ 3k. The MBP also does well with smc.
     
  4. lowbuzz thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2008
    #4
    I didn't even know it was actually aluminum - I thought it was just silver-colored plastic.

    My main worry is the heat coming from the palm rests. Is that part aluminum, too?

    It's gonna TOTALLY suck if i don't get a 15" screen out of the deal, having to buy something new when I don't even need it.
     
  5. macdim macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2007
    Location:
    Canada
    #5
    The MacBook (not Pro, mind you) isn't hot at all. If you're surfing the web, it only gets warm. Even at full processor usage, the bottom isn't scorching to your legs if you're wearing pants. Shorts... well that's another story.
     
  6. JSchwage macrumors 6502a

    JSchwage

    Joined:
    May 5, 2006
    Location:
    Rochester, NY
    #6
    Actually, I thought the aluminum would spread the heat instead. Plastic tends to absorb all the heat in the one spot.
     
  7. Dimwhit macrumors 68000

    Dimwhit

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2007
    #7
    My MBP gets VERY hot on the bottom. However, it doesn't get hot at all where my wrists rest.

    The MB that I've used doesn't get very hot on the bottom.
     
  8. liketom macrumors 601

    liketom

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2004
    Location:
    Lincoln,UK
    #8
    well i love my macbook - mini sauna for my :rolleyes: anything over 20 min on the lap is a bit much

    bit like a boil in the bag :p but i would say thats the same for all laptops right ?
     
  9. Nermal Moderator

    Nermal

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2002
    Location:
    New Zealand
    #9
    My MBP gets pretty hot when I'm doing something intensive (such as playing WoW) but it's not unbearable with it sitting on my lap. For general apps, it only gets moderately warm.

    I'm using a 2.33 C2D with an X1600.
     
  10. MarlboroLite macrumors 6502a

    MarlboroLite

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2007
    Location:
    the 13 colonies
    #10
    Hmmm well my Macbook runs usually between 45 and 55 degrees depending on what I'm doing...I don't do a lot of intensive stuff so it's very cool....I assume alimunum gets much hotter to the touch....just use smcFan Control
     
  11. lowbuzz thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2008
    #11
    So you're not roasting your wrists? I'm not really worried about the bottom - as I always keep the laptop on a pad.

    What's an X1600? [Edited: Sorry, should have googled that first - the video card]
     
  12. lowbuzz thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2008
    #12
    Sounds like you might use it the same way I do? I currently have a macally icepad between me and the laptop - but I wouldn't recommend one, as my ibook g4 literally melted the glue they used to attach the rubber strips.
     
  13. Nermal Moderator

    Nermal

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2002
    Location:
    New Zealand
    #13
    Wrists are fine, it's the bottom that warms up, not the top (the processor and video chip are on the bottom side of the logic board).
     
  14. BrianKonarsMac macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2004
    #14
    never gets hot on the wrist area, just on the bottom where the HD is located. This is after an hour or more of use (typically gaming).

    Hot enough to make my legs warm but a pair of jeans or thicker material clothing works fine. My mesh shorts let some of the heat through.
     
  15. lowbuzz thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2008
    #15
    Cool - thanks for all the helpful info.

    Now I just hafta wait another month for Steve to finish airing himself out, so I can get my new MBP.
     
  16. moik macrumors newbie

    moik

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2008
    Location:
    Klamath Falls, Oregon, USA
    #16
    Bro - I hope you get out each day and go for a jog or something!

    ;-)

    m
     
  17. lowbuzz thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2008
    #17
    Ha - nice :) But makes me think - I probably should get back on a workout kick. Luckily, I'm just naturally a Homo Sapien Air. But don't touch my dongle.
     
  18. ArtTechFreak macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2007
    Location:
    Just East of San Frandisco
    #18
    I got my wife a nice Mac BookPro and she went out and got an iLap from Rain Design. This nifty aluminum tray keeps the MBP well above the table so that it NEVER gets hot. It also makes it easy to use the MBP on one's lap without getting burnt :). The iLap is tilted so that the keyboard is comfortable to use. Note that this tilt means you have to level the MBP in order to use the front loading CD-ROM slot.
     
  19. moik macrumors newbie

    moik

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2008
    Location:
    Klamath Falls, Oregon, USA
    #19
    that's cool - btw, to address your question: my macbook 2.16 doen't get hot enough to notice. i remember that i had a (non-mac) laptop severa years ago that became so hot i had to put a folded towel on my lap - otherwise i felt that i was getting burned.
    m
     
  20. barijazz macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2007
    #20
    I have had a MBP for a while now, and while I don't usually spend all my free time on the couch with my computer in my lap. When I do it hasn't gotten hot enough to burn me. And I've never heard about burning your wrists. If this does for some reason occur to you. Get a desk.
     
  21. lowbuzz thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2008
    #21
    I love this place. Much better sense of humor than (nevermind).

    People are crackin' on each other all over the place :)
     
  22. ktbubster macrumors 6502a

    ktbubster

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2007
    Location:
    US
    #22
    everyone will have different experiences... but let me tell you. I've had two macbook pros now (no problems at all. just upgraded frm a 2.0 cd to a 2.2 c2d cause I had the opportunity) and neither of them were a problem to use on the couch on my lap. The 2.2 SR I have now runs SOOOO cool. The fans barely have had a need to pop on except for while doing rendering or streaming movies or something intensive.

    The only part of the laptop that really gets hot ever for me is the back portion on the bottom under the screen area. I have never had a problem with anything on the top by the keyboard or wristarea/track pad EVER get hot at all.

    Anyone with problems there should get their comp looked at. Don't worry about the naysayers. Pick up a macbook pro and enjoy it. I'm on my computer for hours a day and even have it on a chair or pillow half the time when i sleep and on my lap etc and never have a problem.

    It's really a great computer and the screen sure is nice like you said. If you are like the 95% who get a good computer you will have no problem with heat being on it all day (i guess on the lap it COULD get uncomfortable just against bare skin or jeans after a while... sweaty and the like... but like you said there are tons of solutions for that.... nothing wrong on the top though r burning for basic things), unless maybe you are encoding HD movies all day lol.

    :)
     
  23. SkyBell macrumors 604

    SkyBell

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2006
    Location:
    Texas, unfortunately.
    #23
    Yeah, those G3's can be pretty flaky.


    If you're happy with your iBook, why upgrade? For your fiancee, why not just get an iBook like the one you have?
     
  24. lowbuzz thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2008
    #24
    Thanks again for all the info.

    On why I'm planning on upgrading - my fiancee normally spends all of our money on clothes or purses or whatever she's buying.

    But every 3 years, she lets me get a new computer - so I always try to push for the best I can get, cuz I know it'll be at least 3 more years before I'll get another one :)

    And this time around, I was able to sell her on the bigger screen. Luckily for me, Apple stopped making the 14" version of the college computer.

    So I'm hoping I'm getting a computer that'll last me a good 5 years this time.
     
  25. Dimwhit macrumors 68000

    Dimwhit

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2007
    #25
    Much more lo-tech for me. I put a throw pillow in my lap and stick the MBP on it. Works great, and it's free. :)
     

Share This Page