Do I have a cooling problem?

Discussion in 'Mac and PC Games' started by mastaj, Nov 23, 2011.

  1. mastaj macrumors newbie

    Apr 7, 2008
    I'm having trouble figuring out if my 13" 2011 Macbook Pro's temperatures are acceptable. I'm currently working at my desk with the back of the computer elevated by two plastic bottle caps to reduce heat trapping under the machine, and I have increased the baseline fan speed to 3500rpm when below 40°C using Fan Control. However, the temperature has yet to drop below 40°C - it's currently at 40.8° - even when I went to my lab bench, put together a reaction and came back after 20 minutes, while the programs open on my machine are: Google Chrome, Microsoft Excel, Thunderbird, iTunes,, iCal and system preferences (this one is open so I can see the temperature as given by Fan Control in the preference pane. Perhaps I am more cautious that necessary but I would figure that with the machine hardly being taxed that the interior temperatures would be not far above 30°, when ambient temperature is 23°C.

    If this is indeed normal though, I was also wondering what ways to keep the machine cooler while playing games. I recently started playing Civilization V that I got through a Steam sale during the summer. While I can play, without too much lag, the program will inevitably get stuck after 15-25 turns in a duel match, less than 200 turns into the game (more recently it has also stopped after 4 turns…). I figured this is because of overheating, since the game play is consistently smooth for the first turns, but at one point the program just freezes, though there have been times where the sound was still working, but the display was frozen. I left the program running for a bit, hoping it was a hang, but after 10 minutes and no improvement I restarted the machine. Once I immediately went back to playing the game, without giving the machine more than 2 minutes to cool down, and Civilization crashed immediately after the 4th turn, which makes me believe it is a heat related issue. Since the Steam version requires Steam to be open, I have to keep it open while playing, but are there any other ways of reducing any non-essential tasks for the system to a minimum, so that the computer is only being taxed by the program? Or does anyone have any good cooling solutions that may be more effective than just using bottle caps to elevate the back of the machine, but do not require any investments in a cooling pad. I am hesitant to purchase a cooling pad, as they seem more to affect the user's comfort, rather than the efficiency of cooling on the machine.

    Thanks in advance for any help!
  2. miles01110 macrumors Core


    Jul 24, 2006
    The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
    Those are in the normal to low temperature range.

    How much RAM do you have? Civ V is a RAM hog. I don't think the problem with Civ V is due to heat.
  3. mastaj thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 7, 2008
    I have 4GB ram. I forgot to mention that my model has the 2.3 Ghz i5 processor, if it makes any difference.
  4. mastaj thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 7, 2008
    I found a solution!

    In case anyone else was having a similar problem with the game, I found another thread here:
    that suggested changing the LeaderTextureBackgroundLoad = 0 to a higher number. In my case I went with 5, and it worked fine. I'm not clear on why it makes a difference, since I never interacted with any of the AI on the turn where my game would crash, but I played another 40 turns without any problems.

    This also means I probably don't have an issue with cooling.

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