Early 2011 MBP Extremely Hot Under Minimal Use

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by NeuralControl, Jul 1, 2013.

  1. NeuralControl macrumors 6502a

    Dec 3, 2009
    I have an early 2011 MBP with the 2.2 GHz Core i7 processor. Lately I have been noticing the computer is getting really hot and the fans are spinning very hard under what I believe is fairly minimal use. The computer was not this loud or hot during the past 3 years.

    Right now I have Safari with 3 tabs, Microsoft Word, and Finder open. My fans are hitting 6000RPM, HD temp is 95F, CPU is 162F, and and GPU is 140F.

    What bothers me is that the fans hit 6000RPM and the computer almost unbearably hot out of nowhere. I understand that the computer gets hotter when I am playing YouTube videos or streaming Hulu, but when the MBP kicks into high gear with a few PDFs and journal articles and Word, I suspect something is wrong.

    There doesn't seem to be anything suspicious going on when I look at Activity Monitor or iStat Nano.

    Is this normal behavior or should I have it inspected at the Genius Bar?
  2. niteflyr macrumors 6502a

    Nov 29, 2011
    Southern Cal
    Not normal at all. Look in Activity Monitor, CPU tab for what process is using up CPU.
  3. MarcBook macrumors 6502a


    Jul 13, 2008
    United Kingdom
    Yeah, do check Activity Monitor as niteflyr suggested to see if there are any abnormal processes using excessive CPU power.

    Also, (if you're feeling brave) try taking the bottom plate off (after shutting down, obviously) and checking the fans/heat sinks for dust. You'll need a Torx 6 screwdriver to remove the fans, I believe, which is necessary to properly clean out the heat sinks.

    I used to regularly clean out the fans and heat sinks of my previous MacBook Pro (an early-2011 15") and it helps a lot. I do the same with my current Retina model, which builds up dust a lot faster inside.

    As long as you're careful and don't damage anything, you won't void your warranty. If you're unwilling to take the risk, take it to an Apple store with a Genius Bar appointment!
  4. NeuralControl thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Dec 3, 2009
    I'll keep on eye on Activity Monitor. I have been trying to recreate the behavior, but have had no luck. Funny thing is, it was really bad when I posted this thread earlier today.
  5. NeuralControl thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Dec 3, 2009
    I was able to get it to happen again while streaming a video.

    These were the major tasks under Activity Monitor:

    Process Name %CPU Threads Real Mem
    USB Print and Storage Center 100.2 15 6.5 MB
    WindowServer 3.2 4 80.2 MB
    Flash Player (Safari plug in) 3.0 24 204.4 MB
    Safar Web Content 1.4 16 345.9 MB
    kernel_task 1.2 96 406.2 MB
  6. niteflyr macrumors 6502a

    Nov 29, 2011
    Southern Cal
  7. isthmus macrumors newbie

    Jun 12, 2012
    I have an Early 2011 13" MBP and I got this issue last summer.

    MarcBook is on the money, the issue was caused by a few years of dust! The Macbook doesn't mind the dust when the weather is cool but once you get extremely hot temperatures (110F + here in Australia!) I couldn't do anything without it overheating. Clean it out and it should be fine.

    If problems persist, a Genius Bar appointment might be needed. :)
  8. gngan macrumors 68000


    Jan 1, 2009
    Streaming video makes my early 2011 MBP's fan spinning at 6000rpm too.

    I think it's normal. Try don't stream video and go to any website (e.g MR) and the fan won't spin.
  9. Doward macrumors 6502a

    Feb 21, 2013

Share This Page