Base of MBP 2010 17" is getting uncomfortably hot

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by hajime, Jun 8, 2017.

  1. hajime macrumors 601

    Jul 23, 2007
    Hello, I noticed that recently, even just playing youtube videos, the base of my MBP is getting uncomfortably hot. The fan is also blowing a lot. Does that mean the machine is dying?
  2. MichaelDT macrumors regular

    Aug 18, 2012
  3. hajime thread starter macrumors 601

    Jul 23, 2007
  4. MichaelDT macrumors regular

    Aug 18, 2012
    That would be my suspect, I'd get it checked out.
  5. windows4ever macrumors member


    Aug 14, 2011
    Where is the heat coming from? If it's from the battery area, then that should be your focus, but if it's from the logic board area that's a heatsink or fan issue. Are both fans working? Have you tried cleaning the fans and heatsink? It also could be due to dried out thermal paste as the machine is 7 years old. It isn't difficult to change the thermal paste.
  6. Altis macrumors 68030

    Sep 10, 2013
    What software are you using to play videos?

    My 2010 17" struggles with YouTube in Safari. Chrome works better, and much, much better yet with Chrome on Windows (dual boot).

    Could also be fans need cleaning. My 2010 17" does run quite hot too, though.. especially towards the upper portion of the keyboard.
  7. hajime thread starter macrumors 601

    Jul 23, 2007
    I use Firefox to play videos.

    I put the laptop on my laps with my pants on. So, not sure if the heat is from the battery, logic board, or poor fans, etc. It is like burning hot when playing youtube videos.
  8. MC6800 macrumors 6502

    Jun 29, 2016
    You could buy the Temperature Gauge app which tells exactly how hot everything is. Or just put your hand on top of it to feel if it's hotter above the keyboard (CPU and GPU) or below (battery).

    Playing videos shouldn't get it very hot though. Run Activity Monitor and see how much % CPU Firefox is using, and if it's the top app.

    If you haven't had the dust cleaned out of the fans and cooling fins that would be making the fans work harder, but shouldn't by itself make it any hotter, unless it's really bad and the fans are maxed out.

    For games (which do get it hot), I put a thin hardcover book between the MBP and my lap for insulation.
  9. Jimios macrumors member


    Nov 7, 2015
    My 2010 15" gets very hot too, it's normal. The 2010-era CPUs and GPUs are pretty old by today's standards and they are very inefficient. They need to work hard to keep up with today's software and web pages. It's worse with Chrome because Chrome is not as efficient as Safari. I typically get 40% CPU usage and 65C degrees just scrolling through a heavy webpage in Chrome, nothing else actively running in the background.

    Youtube videos on Chrome is actually more stress on the CPU than most people think, because Youtube uses VP9 codec for videos, and the 2010-era CPUs and GPUs do not have any kind of hardware acceleration for VP9 decoding.

    I typically have my MBP docked on my desk and connected to a monitor, keyboard and mouse, so I don't mind that it gets hot. But if I have to use it on my lap or on the go, I take care not to activate the dGPU (check Activity Monitor) and switch to Safari.
  10. MC6800 macrumors 6502

    Jun 29, 2016
    For comparison, running Firefox 50 on a 2011 MBP 17" playing a youtube video I measure 35 deg C on the bottom (slightly warm). Temperature Gauge says CPU 0 is hottest at 58 C (about half of its range) and the GPU is 38 C. Activity Monitor says Firefox is using about 130 % CPU (out of 400% for 4 cores).
  11. hajime thread starter macrumors 601

    Jul 23, 2007
    I found the area above the function keys and the area below the left side of the keyboard (at the bottom of the laptop) very hot.
  12. hajime thread starter macrumors 601

    Jul 23, 2007
    I opened the laptop. It is surprisingly clean. No big dust in the fans. It could be that as Jimios mentioned, YouTube is using some kind of codec that are computationally intensive on older Macs.

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