Does forcing the CPU kill it?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by pmontanarella, Apr 21, 2013.

  1. pmontanarella macrumors 6502

    Oct 12, 2012
    Vancouver, Canada
    Hi all,

    I'm currently in the process of converting a collection of .avi files into iTunes format. I'm doing this on my Retina MacBook Pro 13" and the process of the program is showing as 300% on the CPU. The temperatures overall are also quite high. I was wondering if this will hurt the machine in the long term or if it doesn't shut down automatically does it mean it is ok?

    Thanks a lot,
  2. Doward macrumors 6502a

    Feb 21, 2013
    What is 'quite high' temperature?

    If you have grossly high temperature, yes, the system will automatically shut itself off. This should *never* happen unless a fan has died on you.

    If you intend to use this laptop for 5-7 years in constant use, then likely you will end up with a dead system.
  3. justperry macrumors G3


    Aug 10, 2007
    In the core of a black hole.
    Don't worry, it won't damage the CPU, those are almost always the last one to go on Laptops.
  4. pmontanarella thread starter macrumors 6502

    Oct 12, 2012
    Vancouver, Canada
    CPU has cooled down a bit now and the CPU Heatsink is showing 51° C. I intend to use my laptop for 4-5 years if possible. But that won't be constantly converting videos, and my CPU Heatsink temperature is usually around 40° C.

    Here's a picture of iStat running in dashboard.

    Attached Files:

  5. DMH3006 macrumors regular

    Jun 16, 2011
    If you're not going to constantly keep it at such a high load then its all good,no need to worry, just make sure you keep it in a place with proper ventilation.
  6. pmontanarella thread starter macrumors 6502

    Oct 12, 2012
    Vancouver, Canada
    Sounds good,

    Thanks for the help.
  7. Macman45 macrumors G5


    Jul 29, 2011
    Somewhere Back In The Long Ago
    In addition to the information above, all Mac's have overheat protection circuits which will shut down the machine if unacceptable temperatures are reached...You are well protected....I use my 13"rMBP for HB MKV etc. ext. all the time, and have never reached the point where the machine has shut down.
  8. Feed Me macrumors 6502a

    Feed Me

    Jan 7, 2012
    Location Location
    Those temperatures are actually really low. I've seen my rMBP get up to 100ºC on several occasions whilst completely maxing the CPU.

    When temperatures get too hot, the fans obviously spin faster, the CPU can throttle itself down (reduce its clock speed to prevent overheating if the fans can't keep up), and the computer will also switch itself off in the rare event that temperatures really get dangerous, as others have mentioned.
  9. Doward macrumors 6502a

    Feb 21, 2013
    Agreed - with your temps, I think you're fine.
  10. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    Your temps are quite normal.

    The Intel processors used in Macs are designed to automatically shut down to prevent damage if they truly overheat. CPU Tjmax = 105C (221F), GPU Tjmax = 100C (212F) on i3, i5, i7 processors. (Source: Intel)

    Unless there is a rare defect in a Mac, most temps are well within the normal operating range, considering the workload being put on it. Websites with Flash content, games and other multimedia apps will put higher demand on the CPU/GPU, generating more heat. This is normal. If you're constantly putting high demands on your system, such as gaming or other multimedia tasks, expect temps to rise and fans to spin up accordingly. It's just your Mac doing its job to maintain temps within the normal range.

    It is also quite normal for your Mac to become extremely hot to the touch during intensive operations. The aluminum body transfers heat more effectively than other materials used in computer casings, so you will feel the heat more. This doesn't indicate that it's overheating and will not harm the computer to be hot to the touch.

    Your fans are always on when your Mac is on, spinning at a minimum of 2000 rpm (for MBPs) or 1800 rpm (for MBAs, MBs and minis). iMacs have 3 fans with minimum speeds in the 800-1200 range. They will spin faster as needed to keep temps at a safe level.

    If your fans are spinning up without increased heat, try resetting the SMC.
    (PRAM/NVRAM has nothing to do with these issues, so resetting it will not help.)

    The intake and exhaust vents are in the back of the computer near the hinge on all Mac notebooks (except the new MBP with retina display, which has intake vents along the sides at the bottom). The iMac vent is a slot on the back near the top of the computer. Make sure the vents remain unblocked to allow your computer to perform at its best.

    Learn about the fans in your Mac
    Apple Portables: Operating temperature

    For Flash-related issues:

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