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Cool down Mac


macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jul 17, 2011
Hong Kong
I've a eraly-2011 Macbook Pro. I usually use it for browsing the internet, use some software(for example, Photoshop), and sometime for Gaming. ACTUALLY I USE MY MAC FOR ALL THINGS!!!
So I found that my Mac will become hot (in front of the keyboard, below the screen) when i am gaming or do something make the CPU working in a high speed. I did some research, and all of the people said it's normal.
So, I want to get something like a fan to cool down my Mac. Do you guys think a little fan is better or a cooling pad is better?? Or if you guys have other suggestions, please tell me. Thanks.:)


Apr 15, 2012
Yeah, it's really not necessary; unless your notebook shuts off or otherwise displays glitches associated with overheating (such as graphical anomalies or constant throttling).

The best thing to do is to slightly elevate the back of your mac which helps with heat dispersal.

Other than that, 3rd party cooling is not required.

What temps are you seeing after gaming/intensive CPU tasks?


macrumors G3
If you are concerned with the temperatures and want to reduce them elevation of the rear of the machine helps, as sitting flat on the desk only reflects the head back to the base of the Mac. You can buy passive aluminium coolers like Rain Designs Mstand or iLap. Most powered coolers are designed for PC notebooks and dont work overly well with Mac`s one cooler that does work efficiently is the Moshi Zefyr 2, as it`s principle of cooling is specifically designed for Apple portables, by blowing the air horizontally across the base of the computer, however don't expect miracles.

Link: Moshi Zefyr 2

You can use software to override Apple`s own cooling algorithm by manually taking control of fan RPM and setting up power profile presets with SMC Fan Control (needs update for 2012, temp sensor presently not recognised), or you can look at UltraFan which allows you stipulate a preset temperature and the software will automatically raise and lower fan RPM`s to keep the system at the predefined temp, which i personally feel is a far more elegant solution, at the end of the day you want to control your system temperature, and not your fan rpm`s.

Strictly speaking Apple`s own cooling algorithm works, albeit at sacrifice of increased temps for quieter operation, this has always been the Apple way and is really nothing detrimental to the systems, i have one MBP from 2008 all original barring a recent fan change that has an uptime of over 30K hours. The latest MBP`s need less assistance in remaining cool; for some it`s simply disconcerting the heat generated and transferred to the case, although it`s perfectly normal as the aluminium acts as a heat-sync. i have to deal with elevated ambient temperature so at times a software solution is useful. Apart from the passive cooling the Mstands bring they also offer a very sound ergonomic solution.

High temperature in general is not overly harmful to your systems, what is far more detrimental is thermal stress, when temperatures rapidly fluctuate by significant margins over a short period of time. Anyone striving for longevity should look to minimise rapid fluctuation of temperature.

The old adage still applies; it`s easier to keep a system cool, than cool-down an already hot machine. This being said it`s not strictly necessary, equally it`s nice to know that there are options for reducing temperature.


macrumors 68040
Dec 5, 2009
Just raise the back a bit with putting something under it.
That raises the whole thing into a slightly more ergonomic position and it also helps cooling a little.


macrumors regular
May 31, 2008
Phoenix, AZ
Another option.

I complained to my son about my late 2007 MBP burning my legs when I used it while sitting in my recliner. His solution was to get me a Belkin LapTop Cooling Pad. I have used it daily since 2007 and it works great. The only problem is that it uses one of the two USB connectors for it's fan. It keeps the MBP noticeably cooler while protecting my legs. It works fine on the table too.
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