Black Macbook sleeps/shuts down randomly, overheating while playing video

Xirian

macrumors member
Original poster
Sep 17, 2007
80
47
I have the last gen of black macbooks that I'm using as a boxee player. I have dropped it horribly (My legs stopped working, long story) but it has worked okish despite cosmetic problems until now. I guess its the video stressing it that is causing it, even with smcfancontrol stuck at the highest RPM. I have a cheap cooling pad from monoprice but the bottom is still super hot to touch, and it eventually does whatever the mac's version of hibernation is called.

Is there anything I can try to keep it cooler? I have the screen popped open a bit since it cools out the hinge. I can't even feel any air flow from the cooling pad, does anyone know of any that has a good fan? it doesn't need to be super quiet if it works.
 

Pax

macrumors 6502a
Dec 12, 2003
593
0
It may be something as simple as it being filled with fluff, take the back off and vacuum it out.

Coolpads don't work well with Macs, all the heat comes out of the hinge so the coolpad doesn't have much to work with. I doubt a better coolpad/fan will solve your problem - you have to find out what's going on inside your Mac.

You could download iStat Pro and post the results when your Mac is under stress, we could narrow it down to one of these
- thermal paste between CPU/GPU & heatsink
- fan not working properly (not enough revs)
- vents clogged
- errrrrr, I'm sure more will occur to our bright readers

Does the fan make a good loud whirring noise? Does it go up to 6200 rpm or close to it? Can you feel a good airflow out of the hinge when it's running?
 

AlphaDogg

macrumors 68040
May 20, 2010
3,415
6
Boulder, CO
If you are comfortable taking it apart, take off the topcase and blow out the dust with compressed air. If you would like, you may remove the ******* thermal paste that is on it, and replace it with some high quality thermal paste, such as arctic silver ceramique. I say ceramique because if you are not familiar with applying thermal paste, its ok to get some of it on the motherboard. You cannot do this with any silver paste, as it is capacitive.
 

Xirian

macrumors member
Original poster
Sep 17, 2007
80
47
It does get loud and up to 6200RPM. I'll install iStat and try it under load later. I don't know if I want to attempt to take it apart... I did with my first macbook and had a hard time getting it back together because of how many screws there are.
 

Pax

macrumors 6502a
Dec 12, 2003
593
0
It does get loud and up to 6200RPM. I'll install iStat and try it under load later. I don't know if I want to attempt to take it apart... I did with my first macbook and had a hard time getting it back together because of how many screws there are.
iStat can be very useful for diagnosis, Apple puts a lot of temp sensors inside the computer, we can see where the heat is coming from/going to

Opening the case is fairly easy if you follow the iFixit guide, the screws are pretty straightforward. If you put them on a piece of paper in the right places you can't go wrong. Taking the heatsinks off is another level of complexity IMHO

But maybe you won't have to - iStat will tell you what you need to know...
 

Skald

macrumors member
Oct 20, 2008
60
2
California
Suddenly sleeping, shutting down

I thought that I had this problem, too, until I noticed that my black Macbook did not actually shut down, but the display went almost entirely black, as if the laptop were off. The first few times I had thought that it was black and that the machine shut down, but I noticed once that the display instead had merely darkened almost all the way.

This might be your problem. Peer closely. I also discovered that when I closed the top partially the screen would light up again, and then darken when I reopened it too far. My laptop is in Apple repair at the moment, so I cannot report yet what my problem is or was.

Good luck with yours.
 

iperson21

macrumors regular
Jun 17, 2010
129
0
more ram

well, if you are putting alot of video stress onto it, maybe you should consider upgrading for 4gb of ram if you already havent.
i have a pc with 2gigs of ram and whenever i do anything with more graphics than just typing, it overheats like crazy.
but then again, that could be just my laptop.
:apple:
 

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