Early 2009 MBP running hot, fans always >6000RPM

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by illjazz, Apr 27, 2011.

  1. illjazz macrumors regular

    Apr 18, 2008
    I bought it in January 2009. 15" 2.53Ghz, model A1286 with the removable battery cover on the bottom.

    Used to be my MBP's fans would only kick in when something really CPU intensive was going on or if I had it in bed with me resting on sheets, creating suboptimal thermal dissipation conditions.

    See the first screenshot for what it's usually like now.

    I just read http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=338864 and http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=469904&page=2
    and figure that my best bet would be to clean out my MBP's fans.

    I searched iFixit trying to find a guide specifically for cleaning dust out of an MBP but did not find one. Does anyone know if they have such a guide? If not, which of their guides should I use?

    Lastly, do you agree that I should try this? As I type this, my MBP's temperatures have stayed basically the same and the CPU is barely being used. All I'm doing is creating this post!

    Thanks in advance!

    By the way, recently THIS has also started happening once in a while: http://gallery.me.com/eeljazz#100050/Macbook Pro Feeling Sick

    Can't be good. And no, I don't have AppleCare. Will have it next time, though.

    Attached Files:

  2. illjazz thread starter macrumors regular

    Apr 18, 2008
  3. snaky69 macrumors 603

    Mar 14, 2008
    If you're running that hot, something must be churning some CPU, open up activity monitor, show all processes, and sort by cpu usage, a widget or some app might be using up your CPU.

    My MBP is a 2008 and it barely has any dust on the fans, so I strongly doubt dust is what is causing your problem unless you fans are caked with it. You can always open up to see.

    Also, though it may be caused by the excessive and constant heat, your video artifacts are telling me your logic board might be on its way out.
  4. illjazz thread starter macrumors regular

    Apr 18, 2008
    Hmmm. Resetting the SMC seems to have done *something*. The fans now idle at around 2,000 RPM. I'm in a slightly noisy computer room now and cannot hear my MBP's fans anymore. Before, they were very audible, blasting at full force.

    I hope it stays this way.. thanks!

    After resetting the SMC, I saw that fat vertical artifact band again during the boot screen. I'm a bit worried about that but it only shows up sporadically and I can make it go away by moving the screen. Not ideal by any standard, of course, but I'm just glad the fans aren't so damn loud anymore.

    How does the SMC have to do with this? Why would it tell my fans to work at 6,000+ RPM all the time for no good reason?

    Also.. what's a normal operating temperature for my Core 2 Duo CPU? The fans are quiet now, I'm typing this post and am coding something in C++ in Xcode. Can't hear the fans. CPU temp is at 72 C.
  5. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    The SMC isn't telling your fans to spin faster; resetting it corrects an error with the fans:
    Your temps will vary widely, depending on the workload on your system. Under normal circumstances, your fans will spin at a minimum of around 2000 rpm all the time your Mac is on, and will only spin faster as needed to keep temps at a safe level. If sustained temps get too high (around 105C/221F), the CPU will automatically shut down, to prevent damage. Under heavy workloads such as gaming or multimedia operations, temps can easily reach 90+C. This is normal. You really don't need to worry about your temps, despite all the threads posted on the topic by those who are simply unfamiliar with the normal operating temps on Mac portables.
  6. illjazz thread starter macrumors regular

    Apr 18, 2008
    Seems the issue went away for a few days but now it's back. I just spent the past 40+ minutes doing nothing but reading Osama related articles on nytimes.com and yet the fans are spinning at close to 6,000 RPM and the CPU temp is at 74°C. It's pretty annoying.

    Since I've reset the SMC, already, what would be the next step to try here?
  7. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    Were you on sites that had Flash? Flash is known to place a high demand on system resources. If you're using Safari, try ClickToFlash plugin or ClickToFlash extension to control what Flash is allowed to run.
  8. gorskiegangsta macrumors 65816


    Mar 13, 2011
    Brooklyn, NY
    Try to pinpoint what is causing the machine to heat up. I would recommend running Activity Monitor and filtering processes by cpu and/or thread usage. Did you schedule any tasks to be performed regularly?

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