Heat Control Problems with 16GB Ram?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by hoja2hoja, Feb 27, 2012.

  1. hoja2hoja macrumors newbie

    May 28, 2011

    I thought about getting 8GB RAM for my early 2011 MBP 13"... until I realized that I can go all the way and get 16GB RAM.

    However, a comment I have consistently seen in reviews has been "no heat spreaders," "poor heat control," heating problems, etc. I even read one person having a kernel panic.

    Does anyone who has 16GB of RAM on their MBP have heating problems? Is your MBP hotter than when it had 4GB? Do you have to limit yourself to how many programs you are running to prevent over heating? Besides price, are there ANY other drawbacks of getting 16GB RAM?

    I know there have been other posts on 16gb but just want to be completely sure .

  2. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    Don't believe everything you read. The presence of RAM in any amount doesn't create heat. Running processes on your Mac places demand on your CPU and GPU, the two primary sources of heat. 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:
  3. Lethe6 macrumors newbie

    May 8, 2012
    Actually, in this case, DO believe it. I just installed 16GB and the heat is giong CRAZY. Right now, without any external wind source, the CPU is running idle at 80C. All I have open is Firefox, thunderbird and console. Ram usage is roughly 6GB.

    If I install smcFanControl it helps a little, but even at aggressive mode it still overheats badly. So I put it on top of a laptop cooler, helps keep it below 70, when idle. If I do anything it goes close to 100C.

    If I remove a 8GB stick, heat problem goes away completely. When Apple say it supports up to 8GB, they meant it. I cant explain why the extra heat, but it's definitely a consequence of going above the 8GB supported limit.

    After I hit enter, I'm removing 8GB, this is just crazy... my 2600 doesn't even heat that much with a stock fan while running SETI@home full blast 100% CPU... Of course with that amount of heat, everything is dead slow to start... etc.

    Yet another random Apple bug (read: feature) that will likely never get addressed. *sigh*

    Where is Apple from the good old days? You know, back when I didn't need to worry about the extended warranty because their products were good?
  4. Ccrew macrumors 68020

    Feb 28, 2011
    It's yours, and certainly not all. Mine's sitting here running in clamshell with browser, Entourage, and two VM's running sitting here at 54c.
  5. Pentad macrumors 6502a


    Nov 26, 2003


    There is so much wrong with this that I don't even know where to begin...

    I could explain to you power consumption, memory density, and voltages but in the end, it has to be your computer, the memory you purchased, or its installation.

    To the OP, no, adding 16GB of memory does not make your MB run hot. I could never go back to 8GB. In fact, I am looking forward to 16GB sticks.

    I am always amazed when people have an issue with their computer and decide it must be a design flaw (Apple or whatever OEM) and then post misleading or outright erroneous information. It could never be their computer, the part they purchased, or their skill-set in installing said part.

    Occam's Razor - the simplist answer is usually the correct one...

    I often wonder if they apply the same logic to their vehicle if they would happen to install a defective battery or flawed tire?

  6. squeakr macrumors 68000


    Apr 22, 2010
    You have some serious issues with your RAM. SOunds like you might have gotten some bad sticks. I have been running 16GB for the past 7 months without any issue or increased heating. I am sitting here now with 63C and 2600RPM on the fans with two VMs open (one Windows 7 runnin several apps and one very active Server 2008 also running several applications) and 12 apps running (2 are web browsers with multiple tabs open in each browser as well).
  7. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    I didn't even bother to read the rest of your post. This is enough to tell me you're not making sense. Your CPU is not running idle at 80C. By your own admission, you have Firefox, Thunderbird and Console open, which means your CPU cannot be idle. There are many other processes running that you don't know about.

    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.
  8. Lethe6 macrumors newbie

    May 8, 2012
    Memory has same specs as Apple's "tested" samsung sticks. I replaced both sticks with new ones (2nd set) and the problem remains.

    Because, you know, it hasn't been proven that Apple QC is getting worse and that more and more people have unanswered problems. The simplest explanation in this case is Apple tells you not to go above 8GB. They were on to something, no? I guess it's easier to claim people post misleading or erroneous information. Gotcha. If it can't be the part, it has to be the handler; Apple can in no way fail. Impossible. Ok..... so, moving on.

    Could be, or could be another problem completely. Different sticks reproduce the behavior. I have a colleague who's Macbook pro is also around 80C with barely any apps; he only has 8GB; factory delivered.

    Sorry... for me, that's idle. But I get your point.

    kernel_task, activity monitor, nothing above 2-3%. Certainly nothing that would magically start using all the CPU after upgrading the RAM.
  9. squeakr macrumors 68000


    Apr 22, 2010
    If I were you I would run the AHT and see if you see some issues. Does it matter which stick you remove that drops the temps, or do both memory banks react the same way? It could be within the memory slot as well. I don't disagree that you have an issue, but you should support 16GB. The problem is that since Apple doesn't officially support it, you might have a hard time getting the issue addressed by them as they might claim it is not a supported configuration.
  10. mac jones macrumors 68040

    Apr 6, 2006
    Yikes, I can't believe your fighting over this :D

    For anyone who hasn't upgraded to 16GB (i have ):

    YES it will hotter. How much hotter? Hard to say, not much probably. Could be fine, could make you nervous. Frankly heat hasn't even crossed my mind as these things run hot. They are toasters in general.

    Could you damage the Macbook? No, very unlikely, and in the very unlikely event that it somehow did, if it's under warranty, just take put the original memory back in and get it replaced. This does qualify as warranty fraud (that's something else :) )

    I have 16GB in everything. Nothing has caught fire except my apps with FLY along on fire. These need virtual fire extinguishers.
  11. Mr. Retrofire macrumors 603

    Mr. Retrofire

    Mar 2, 2010
    For some reason the cheaper Corsair RAM (2x8 GB) runs hotter than the Samsung RAM (2x8 GB).
  12. Lethe6 macrumors newbie

    May 8, 2012
    I put back the 16GB hoping to troubleshoot it more at work. I accidentally "hit" the laptop (in its protective bag) on the bus seat, and since then it idles at 50C and under heavy load caps at 75C. Maybe a fan was stuck or something..... whatever it was, it was most likely hardware and had nothing to do with the RAM, as it now works as it should.
  13. signofthetimes macrumors newbie

    Dec 19, 2014
    How did it end up working out? I recently put 16GB RAM into my early-2011 MacBook Pro, and I'm having weird issues, too. It's been about 2 weeks since my upgrade, and until last night, I hadn't had any negative effects. The fan was on really loudly last night, which is unusual. Then it did this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KQrcv0iU3Ic

    Today the fan has been running a lot, too, which again, is unusual. It will run really high even before I sign into the machine. I downloaded Macs Fan Control and the temp of the hard drive is 90-100*F.

    I went to Crucial's website (where I purchased the RAM + an SSD) and I saw this post from someone with a late-2011 MacBook Pro who was having the same problem: http://forum.crucial.com/t5/Crucial...6-GB-High-CPU/m-p/162191/highlight/true#M2486

    So I ran the Hardware Test, as suggested by the Crucial employee. It found nothing. However, since running the hardware test (about an hour ago), I haven't been having the fan issue.

    Not sure what to make of all this.

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12 February 27, 2012