Early 2011 17" MBP reaching 200 degrees normal?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by YsoSerious, Mar 28, 2012.

  1. YsoSerious macrumors 6502

    YsoSerious

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    Oct 8, 2008
    #1
    My MBP spiked to 200 degrees F last night fans kicked in and brought it down to around 180 later. Of all the MBPs I've owned this was a first so this can't be the norm.
     
  2. basesloaded190 macrumors 68030

    basesloaded190

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    Wisconsin
    #2
    What were you doing when it reached that temp?

    Did you check using iStat?
     
  3. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

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    May 16, 2008
    #3
    Your Mac is not overheating. The Intel processors used in Macs are designed to automatically shut down to prevent damage if they truly overheat. CPU Tjmax = 105C, GPU Tjmax = 100C on i3, i5, i7 processors. (Source: Intel) If you're not already using it, iStat Pro will give you accurate readings of your temps and fan speeds, among other things.

    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 they're 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. 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:
     
  4. YsoSerious thread starter macrumors 6502

    YsoSerious

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    Oct 8, 2008
    #4
    Thank you for the useful info. My Mac is propped up on an iRain mstand so the vents were clear. I was connected to a samsung 27" monitor and setting up MySQL and doing light coding when it happened. I do use istats and that how I got the temp reading.
     
  5. shardey macrumors 6502a

    shardey

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    Jan 28, 2010
    #5
    The best thing you could do, if you dare to, is to reapply thermal paste on both the GPU and CPU. This will help bring down the temps.

    Also, try using GFX card status.
     
  6. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

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    May 16, 2008
    #6
    The point is, your temps are within normal safe operating range. You had a lot more running than just MySQL. Launch Activity Monitor and change "My Processes" at the top to "All Processes", then click on the CPU column heading once or twice, so the arrow points downward (highest values on top). Then look to see what may be consuming system resources.
     
  7. thundersteele macrumors 68030

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    Switzerland
    #7
    Yes, it's normal. I see readings around 90C regularly when gaming.


    Don't follow shardeys advice. The discrete GPU is always active when an external display is connected, so gfxcardstatus is useless. Also the thermal paste is probably fine.
     
  8. ixodes macrumors 601

    ixodes

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    Location:
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    #8
    An overheating laptop can have very significant negative effects on the hardware. In many laptop configurations, two of the hottest components---the processor and the hard drive---sit next to one another. Heat can cause a cascading effect that shortens the life of both components.

    Additionally, overheating can permanently reduce the capacity of the lithium-ion batteries that power most laptops.

    That said, Apple sells the concept that their laptops run well within specs. An interesting spin since they use many of the very same components as other premium laptops that run much cooler.

    One of the highest priorities in AppleLand is a slim stylish appearance. Function comes second. It is what it is... & Apple stands fast in denying any risk.
     
  9. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #9
    As already stated, the OP's Mac was not overheating.
    The two hottest components are the CPU and GPU, by far. The hard drive isn't even close in average temps, by comparison.
    The battery is far enough removed from the CPU/GPU that heat will not noticeably impact the battery. The cooling system in Mac notebooks is quite effective.
     
  10. ixodes macrumors 601

    ixodes

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    #10
    I've never said Apples choice of thermal management is bad. It's just a choice they've made to allow some models to run warmer / hotter than other brands.

    After over two decades I remain a very loyal Mac laptop user. It is what it is, and I've accepted it. But I'm not going to deny the obvious. It's what makes a Mac, a Mac. :D
     
  11. snaky69 macrumors 603

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    Mar 14, 2008
    #11
    They have not "allowed it" to run that hot. Jam your "cooler running PC" in an enclosure as cramped as the MBP's is, and they'll run just as hot if not hotter. It's not rocket science, the fans just don't have much air to push around in so little space.
     
  12. ixodes macrumors 601

    ixodes

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    #12
    If parsing words is your game, I'm up for that.

    I said "allow" as it's Apple that demanded a thinner enclosure, and it's very obvious... even the non technical know that with little room to circulate air it's bound to run hotter. Apple has only one slit out the back as a vent, another limiting factor.

    Lenovo for example is far too smart, to limit themselves to Aluminum which does not dissipate heat nearly as efficiently as the high grade composite carbon fiber Lenovo uses in their ThinkPad Pro Series T and W models. By simply designing an enclosure that is a modest 0.2" thicker, there's plenty of space to circulate air. While it's true the carbon fiber and internal metal roll cage adds 0.4lbs to the weight, that's hardly significant. The extra gain in ruggedness more than makes up for the difference.

    Then we have the large, ample, yet attractive slotted air vents along the left rear corner, immediately adjacent to the CPU and GPU. The vents working in concert with two large, fans with quiet blades and a very sophisticated control system, insures these laptops run fast, quiet and cool under the most demanding loads. They run flash for hours without a hint of increased load or heat.

    I speak from first hand experience, as I have both a 15" i7 2010 MBP and 15" i7 2010 ThinkPad W. Each identically configured with 8GB ram, and 512GB Samsung 830 SSD's that I personally installed. In typical fashion the MBP is quite warm and even get's hot if running flash, whereas the ThinkPad is quite cool, quiet, and very fast under all conditions.

    So there you have it. A simple response comprised of factual data.

    Once again, I repeat... the MacBook Pro is still my favorite.

    Having owned every Mac Laptop since the original PowerBook 100 series, it's a matter of my preference for Apples OS, as well as some other considerations.

    I believe in giving credit where it's due, and Microsoft deserves credit for getting Windows 7 right. While not my favorite, I do use it daily along with my MBP and it's a perfectly suitable system.

    Cheers... :)
     
  13. shardey macrumors 6502a

    shardey

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2010
    #13
    I was suggesting it as the OP may benefit from using it at other times. I have never seen a thread where someone has changed the thermal paste and it was "fine".

    See the posted photo of what my "fine" paste job looked like.
     

    Attached Files:

  14. snaky69 macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2008
    #14
    Not quite parsing words, I'd saying trying to compare Apples to well.. Apples! :D
    Since thin is apple's "trademark" we can both see why this is so.
    Aluminum actually dissipates heat quite a bit more efficiently. It's conduction coefficient is right around 250 whereas carbon hovers in the region of 1.5-2. Therefore, it is roughly 1250% more efficient at drawing heat away from components as carbon is. Using your reasoning, one could argue that using carbon fiber for heatpipes in a cooling system is a good idea, while this is clearly not true.

    If anything, the carbon fiber holds the heat inside the casing. The extra 0.2" does help tremendously.
    That, my friend, is the sole reason comparable PC's can run much cooler than their Apple counterpart(add to the fact that Flash is much better coded for windows). More air to move around, bigger and better fans, and air intakes and exhausts designed to do more than being pretty.
    We both agree on this, Windows 7 is rock solid, and Lenovo's product line is the one I would choose in a heartbeat if I were to buy a PC laptop.

    We're basically both in agreement here, I'm simply stating that if one were to compare heat variables in both these types of computers, one would have to take into account the very large(0.2" and some heat vents may not seem like much, but it can make a world of difference) differences in case design and cooling system design which account almost entirely for the difference in temperatures. Again, I'm simply trying to compare Apples to Apples.
     
  15. randy98mtu macrumors 65816

    randy98mtu

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    Mar 4, 2009
    #15
    My 15" W510 runs right between my (wife's) 13" MBP and my 17" MBP as far as temps. If I'm just surfing and not pushing it, the 17" runs cooler than the W510. The 17" only gets hot when I'm in Lightroom for a while doing edits or flipping through pictures, or exporting large batches of pictures, when the CPU will get up to 90C.

    So to the OP, that 90C is 194F. So long as it cools back down when the load is removed, you're fine I'd say.
     
  16. JasonR macrumors 6502a

    JasonR

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    Nov 11, 2008
    #16
    I don't really care much about the heat as long as the components can handle it.

    What I do care about are the loud, super annoying fans. I don't think my older MBPs ever had the fans spin up real loud when viewing flash content. What gives?

    Oh...and can anyone tell me if the MBPs run hotter when hooked up to a 27" ACD?
     
  17. shardey macrumors 6502a

    shardey

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    Jan 28, 2010
    #17
    It will run hotter driving an external monitor, as it does use the discrete GPU.. The only way to make it run cooler is to have it on a stand, where more airflow and a better elevation is provided, or reapply thermal paste. These things like to get warm under load, but completely in operation temperatures.
     
  18. JasonR, Mar 29, 2012
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2012

    JasonR macrumors 6502a

    JasonR

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2008
    #18
    So is it because the thermal paste was applied incorrectly at the Apple Factory?

    I'll get some sort of elevated stand for it. I'm just amazed that my old MBPs never ramped up. Core 2 Duo era I believe.

    My iMac never did it either...but maybe the fan / cooling situation is better.

    EDIT: Will reapplying Thermal Paste help at all? Will it void my warranty? And...I've never done that before but am technically inclined.
     
  19. ixodes macrumors 601

    ixodes

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    Jan 11, 2012
    Location:
    Pacific Coast, USA
    #19
    If the ThinkPad was made from the purest form of carbon fiber your point would apply. However as I clearly stated earlier, composite carbon fiber is used. This material was chosen for it's superior ability to provide a light, rigid enclosure while assisting in heat dissipation.

    At no time have I criticized Apple's choice, I've simply pointed out why the aluminum enclosure becomes uncomfortably warm to hot, depending on work load.

    It should also be noted that it's rather common to find excessive gobs of thermal paste incorrectly applied on a huge number of MacBook Pro's. An issue I've experienced & dealt with as well. A search of this forum reveals many threads over a number of years addressing this.

    Fortunately I have the skills & tools required to tear down my MBP's to remove, clean, & reapply a high grade of paste in the correct way. That in and of itself makes quite a difference.

    A direct comparison between the aluminum Apple uses & the composite carbon fiber material Lenovo uses, reveals the difference. If I had captured a few links to articles published when this comparison was done years ago, I'd include them.

    Nonetheless, my intent is not to argue or be right. I'm simply passing on what I've learned.

    Moreover, the bottom line is I greatly prefer my Mac Laptops, despite the differences which are to be expected from one manufacturers design to another's.

    There is no perfect product. Some are simply better than others and Macs are my laptops of choice since 1991. For me, it's as simple as that :D
     
  20. /user/me macrumors 6502

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    Feb 28, 2011
    #20
    If you're asking those questions, I strongly recommend that you don't bring thermal paste and your MBP within 50 feet of each other.
     
  21. shardey macrumors 6502a

    shardey

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    Jan 28, 2010
    #21
    Precisely. If you have to question anything about it, then don't do it. First thing I did when I bought my mbp, even before starting it up, was installing a SSD and my ram. Then I booted it for the first time. 2 months later I decided to change paste, and surely enough, it runs great.

    I was just suggesting that as if you knew how to do it without damaging any parts.
     
  22. JasonR macrumors 6502a

    JasonR

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    Nov 11, 2008
    #22
    I would be comfortable installing Ram and a SSD in my Macbook Pro. I've replaced PC parts and Ram, etc. before. However, I've never applied to thermal paste to the processor.

    First of all, does it void the warranty? I would just like my MBP to run a little cooler and have the really noisy fans spin up less.
     
  23. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

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    May 16, 2008
    #23
    Technically, yes, as it's not a user-replaceable part. Whether they would notice or not is another issue.
     
  24. cirus macrumors 6502a

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    Mar 15, 2011
    #24
    Is it normal for a macbook pro to reach that temperature, Yes.

    Is it normal to reach that temperature, No.
     
  25. snaky69 macrumors 603

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    Mar 14, 2008
    #25
    The thermal paste job is indeed quite bad on most machines. Makes you wonder if it's because the machines that do it can't do any better, or if it's just poor production line design...
     

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