Gaming and fan noise in the 2011 13" MBP

Discussion in 'Mac and PC Games' started by east1999, May 4, 2011.

  1. east1999 macrumors member

    Apr 1, 2011
    Hey everyone,

    After reading some comments in this forum, I installed Civilization V and Crysis II in my new 13" MBP (i5), via Boot Camp. I can confirm they run smoothly in the lowest settings, which are autodetected by these games. What is not at all smooth is the fan, running up to 6000 rpm and staying there for the duration of the game.

    I don't know if this is a problem with Boot Camp. I tried Starcraft II and Call of Duty IV in OSX and I had the same result. They do the run, but I just can't take this horrible noise. I'm also afraid I'll damage the laptop if I keep on playing for too long.

    Can anyone report having the same experience with the new MBPs? I'd like to know how these games run in the MacBook Air and the 2010 MBPs, because i'm still deciding if I should take my new laptop back to the store. Most people talk about fps but I'm okay with low settings in a Mac laptop. I'd like to know more about this noise, though.
  2. miles01110 macrumors Core


    Jul 24, 2006
    The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
    What exactly is the problem? It should be completely obvious that as the processor heats up, the fans spin faster in an attempt to cool them down. Thus, faster fans generate more noise.
  3. east1999 thread starter macrumors member

    Apr 1, 2011
    Yeah, well, I don't know if it's that obvious. It's well known that SB processors run hotter than Core Duos, and there's the fact the CPU and the GPU share the same die in the new MBP's. I was asking if other MacBooks with NVidia GPUs and lower processing power would perform silently (4000rpms or less) during games.
  4. Ca$hflow macrumors 6502


    Jan 7, 2010
    London, ON
    When I play Left 4 Dead on my core2duo machine the fans crank right up. They crank up when I load the steam client.
  5. east1999 thread starter macrumors member

    Apr 1, 2011
    Is that the 2009 model? With the NVidia 9400?
  6. doh123 macrumors 65816

    Dec 28, 2009
    Macbook Pros I've gamed on

    Macbook Pro 15" original, Core Duo 2ghz, Radeon X1600. Fans max out while playing games.

    Macbook Pro 15" 2008 unibody Core 2 Duo 2.53ghz, Geforce 9600. Fans max out while playing games.

    Macbook Pro 13" 2010 Core 2 Duo 2.4ghz, Geforce 320m. Fans max out while playing games.

    Macbook Pro 17" 2011 i7 2.2, Radeon 6750. Fans max out while playing games.

    Some older non Macbooks I've played games on do the same thing.

    Pretty much any laptop you want to game on is going to get hot, the fans will spin up, and it will be noticeable fan noise.
  7. east1999 thread starter macrumors member

    Apr 1, 2011
    Thanks! So as long as that's normal, is it okay if I play the games for a few hours, letting the fan run as it pleases?
  8. deadwulfe macrumors 6502a


    Feb 18, 2010
    Yes, it's okay and it's normal. You bought a computer to use. Why would you not be able to use it for a few hours or longer?
  9. doh123 macrumors 65816

    Dec 28, 2009
    I gamed heavily on one Macbook Pro with fans at 6000 rpm for many hours a day (sometimes for 24 hours straight :p )... one of the fans started going out and rattling after about a year and a half, but it was replaced and never had a problem again, and the second fan is still the original and going strong and its getting close to three years old now. The faster your fans go for long periods, and the more dirty the air... the faster they will wear out.

    You can pop the bottom cover and clean them every once in awhile. I clean out my fans by popping the bottom cover and using some canned air every 6 months or so.... just to be on the safe side.
  10. PowerGamerX macrumors 6502a


    Aug 9, 2009
    Plenty normal. My 13"'s fan runs at 6200rpm the whole time while gaming. The CPU hits 182 at times as well. Nothing to be worried about.

  11. east1999 thread starter macrumors member

    Apr 1, 2011
  12. PowerGamerX macrumors 6502a


    Aug 9, 2009
    182 Fahrenheit. Not Celcius.
  13. Miharu macrumors 6502


    Aug 12, 2007
    I played WoW and other games on my MBP 13" with 9400M, fans always went max speed at 6000 rpm and the processor was at 80-90°C. It's normal, but of course loud and annoying but there is no alternative (unless you use some kind of manual cooling trick).
  14. Ace134blue macrumors 6502a


    Sep 17, 2009
  15. east1999 thread starter macrumors member

    Apr 1, 2011
    Hey, sorry to get back to this topic. I don't think I'll be applying thermal paste, because I don't know if there's a problem there, and if there was such a problem, I'm afraid of voiding my warranty and damaging components.

    I know most of you say one shouldn't care about the fan noise in MacBooks, and indeed, there's no performance hiccup in OSx or Windows games as long as the fan is running. I compared the MBP's performance with a friend's Acer and I noticed that Civilization V (via Boot Camp) is actually faster on the MBP, but his laptop does not produce as much noise as mine.

    Anyway, I just tried the new Angry Birds app for Google Chrome and there's that noise again. Same with World of Goo. I haven't let the games run for long so I don't know if the noise ever goes away. I know CoD 4 or Civilization require 6000rpm for the duration of the game.

    Though it may sound lame to say I bought the laptop for games, I cannot take this kind of noise whenever I put it under load. So I'm considering switching to an iMac for heavy stuff and an iPad for casual use. Does anyone know how noisy the new iMac gets? I don't really care if it gets hot because I'm not planning on having it on my lap. I just want to know if it's quiet.

  16. KwanMan macrumors regular

    May 12, 2011
    Sorry to hijack the topic but I have just got the same laptop, have you tried running black ops on it via bootcamp? and what other newish games have you tried that runs smoothly on it?
  17. Hastings101 macrumors 68020


    Jun 22, 2010

    The iMac 27" is really really quiet, even without an SSD. It's much larger than the laptop and has an additional fan, so it doesn't need to take off like a jet everytime you play a game - and when the fans do get high, you can barely hear them anyway.
  18. east1999 thread starter macrumors member

    Apr 1, 2011
    Thanks! Any info on the 21" model?

    I tried Portal 2 today. Very hot, fan's on all the time. Like I said, it does run with no hiccups whatsoever, but the cooling system looks maxed out.
  19. Miharu macrumors 6502


    Aug 12, 2007
    Since the topic creator, like me, is more sensitive to noise than most people (everyone claims the iMac is "completely silent", which is obviously not true), I'll say that in reality it is a lot more quiet than a Macbook under pressure, but it's still clearly audible.

    When playing games on my 27" iMac, the fans go to about 2000 RPM which I can hear when there is no sound during gameplay, but not over the sounds of the game. The loudest part of my iMac seems to be the clicky hard drive, some people don't have it and some do. So yes if noise is a problem to you I'm afraid you've made a bad choice choosing the Macbook for gaming. Also, the fans in an iMac turn up a lot slower because it doesn't get nearly as hot as a MBP, I get around 60°C temps compared to over 80 with a MBP so it's a bit better in that regard.

    The quietest Mac I've had was the 20" iMac from 2007. If you want it as silent as possible (and fast too), choose an SSD but those are pretty expensive.
  20. PowerGamerX macrumors 6502a


    Aug 9, 2009
    I don't think that it's that we're more sensitive to noise (I've got very sensitive hearing myself). It's that we realize that it's completely normal for a sub 1" laptop to get very hot very easily and that pushing the system in any way will cause the cooling system to kick in.

    Any laptop for gaming is a bad idea. Any computer for gaming is a bad idea if you hate noise. Unless you go for a liquid cooled desktop, but, even then, most graphics cards have fans built into them.

    What's even worse is the OP is considering an iMac. The thinner you get the better of a cooling system you need, and that tends to mean louder, faster fans in place.
  21. east1999 thread starter macrumors member

    Apr 1, 2011
    Why are we acting like gaming is a terrible thing to do to your laptop? Aren't they selling games for MacBooks? The new MBP's are being sold as if they're as powerful as last year's iMacs. However, whenever you want to push them a little, you will hear the noise. I'm not just talking about games. Skype will do it. FaceTime will do it. Video exports. Even Angry Birds! So I guess an iPad with a silent ARM processor and an iMac with a proper cooling system would be much more tolerable.
  22. lordsinging macrumors newbie

    May 20, 2011
    Hi Everyone!
    I’ve been reading a lot on the internet about the issue of Windows either freezing or over-heating when used on the Bootcamp software provided by Apple on Macbook Pros. My version here is for the mid-2009 version of the MBP but I hope this can provide an alternative fix for other versions as well.
    I have combined a few things to create a stable and gaming-able Windows. I can play my Starcraft II, Civilization V on Steam, L4D2 and work with Sibelius 6 music-composition software on my Windows 7 Ultimate all on Bootcamp without any freezes or overheating ( usual when I play it goes up to 66oC but it has gone up to 80oC when I was doing 2 or 3 things at a time) *Fans will be 6000 rmp when playing games or doing high intensity jobs.
    My usual temperature is around 49oC, Left Fan 3200 RPM and Right Fan 4600 RPM (due to the graphics card is on the right side). with Skype, Google Chrome and Microsoft Word 2010, which is what I have on right now. I use Avira Premium Suite and for my driver updates as well as Secunia Personal Software Inspector provided by my school. These help me to keep my computer updated and running at its top speed. I also recommend – ccleaner, defraggler, speccy and CPUID HWMonitor to help monitor your computer heat, clean up your registry and temporary files and defragment your computer. Good luck!

    1. RivaTuner v2.24 MSI Master Overclocking Arena 2009 edition
    Solution: MacBook Pro Freezing in Vista
    I have a new MacBook Pro (2009) running Vista x64 on a 60GB Vertex, and I was experiencing random freezes. To make a long story short, the problem was not with anything related to the SSD, as I had initially suspected. After a few hours of trying to pin down the problem, I stumbled upon a fix. I suspect an number of people may make the same mistake, as apparently this is a fairly widespread problem with MacBooks and Vista. It turns out that the video driver was to blame; I was running the default BootCamp driver for Vista.

    Update Driver
    1. Download and install the latest NVIDIA driver from here.

    1. Download and install RivaTuner from here.

    1. Open RivaTuner and switch to the "Power User" tab.
    2. Expand the "RivaTuner\NVIDIA\Overclocking" Tree.
    3. Set "EnablePerfLevelForcing" to 1.
    4. Switch to the "Main" tab.
    5. Under "Driver settings" click on the small arrow left to "Customize..." and choose the first icon "System settings".
    6. Set "Force constant performance level" to either "low power 3D" (suffient for 2D audio work) or "performance 3D" (used for 3D gaming).
    7. Click OK and let the computer restart.

    No more freezing.

    Original solution found here.

    2. RightMark CPU Clock Utility


    1 6.0x 0.9000V
    2 7.0x 0.9375V
    3 8.0x 0.9625V
    4 9.0x 1.0000V
    5 10.0x 1.0250V
    6 11.0x 1.0625V

    These are my settings. Do not just blind copy these but do your own tests. I plead not guilty if anyone toasts their computer because of using my settings. You are warned.

    3. LubbosFanControl100


    This person does not own any of the above software or things mentioned. He is merely recommending them through his own experience with their quality results to others in hopes of reducing headaches from fellow users.

  23. topocalypse macrumors member

    Apr 13, 2011
    my mbp goes up to 85 degrees celcius during intensive use.
    no prob man :p
  24. archurban macrumors 6502a


    Aug 4, 2004
    San Francisco, CA
    are you serious? I guess you never played games on your laptop or even desktop? it's common sense. gaming requires huge power both CPU and GPU. PC or Mac easily get hot, and almost push the wall in this situation. macbook pro is even worst case even though it designed very well. I am not surprised why many macbook pro graphic card easily blows up, and ruins the whole mother board. just buy cheap gaming PC desktop or console box if you want to enjoy game. mac is not not for gaming since Apple never put high end graphic card. 6750M is not even closed to gaming. you need NVIDIA GTX 460 or AMD 6970 1GB dedicated card.
  25. PowerGamerX macrumors 6502a


    Aug 9, 2009
    Entirely false, unless you're a graphics whore that wants to have everything on highest settings. The 6750 and 6770 are effective for moderate gaming, completely capable of running games at 1920x1080 just fine.

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