Extremely Hot '07 17" MacBook Pro


macrumors 68040
Original poster
Apr 3, 2009
I have a 17" MacBook Pro (2007 model) that gets extremely hot very easily. The fans blast, consequently. From using iPhoto, Google Maps, or just having a lot of Safari windows open can cause it to heat up to 200˚F and have the fans blast at around 5000RPM.

The Genius at the Apple store said that it's normal for it to heat up to 225˚F under heavy CPU usage (past boiling point :eek:), which makes sense. I probably shouldn't have told him that it did that from running Minecraft on >max graphics and a screen recorder at the same time. Sure it heats up under that load, but even little things makes it heat up a lot, and I doubt that's normal.

To those who have this model, does it normally heat up this much? I don't remember it doing that before.

P.S. PLEASE do not tell me to get SMC Fan Control or reset the SMC. That wouldn't fix the heating issue. The fans are doing their job normally. I don't see any blocked vents, either.


macrumors Westmere
May 16, 2008
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)

If you're not already using it, iStat Pro (free) or iStat Menus ($16) 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 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:


macrumors 601
Aug 27, 2012
Look man, nobody should expect a 5 years laptop to work as efficiently as a brand new machine, NOT to mention newer software/App invariably tend to demand more of your hardware, call it feature-creature/lazy programmers whatever. 2012 version of Safari does more things, requires more horse power than the 2007 version.

NOW are u a DIY'er or a Talk-to-the-Genius kind of user?

If former, there is a few thing that can help a bit (don't expect miracles). If the later all u can hope is re-install OS from scratch, san all the junks u have accumulated and don't need them now. If ur secure enough, get rid of that resident virus scanner.


macrumors 65816
Jun 6, 2010
Colorado, USA
Since it's around 5 years old, if I were you, I'd open the top case and blow out the computer with some compressed air. You'd be amazed to see the dust that can accumulate in a 1 year old computer, let alone 5.