Heat, excessive at times, is this normal?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by sullen, Mar 5, 2013.

  1. sullen macrumors newbie

    Oct 5, 2010
    I was a Windows user for many years, until i saw the light in 2009.
    So Ive seen notebooks get really hot many times, but was never comfortable with it.

    In (i think late 09 possibly early 10) I got my first MBP,
    it was I believe a mid 2009 (the generation directly before the gen
    which the i5 i7 processors came out)
    This heat this machine produced never seemed to get past just warm......

    I just recently got a 15" MBP i5 mid 2010 model.....
    This one seems to get real hot at times,
    like touching it and being like "damn that is hot!"
    Reminiscent of the heat a cheap windows book would produce
    left sitting and working on an app or two.

    Is this normal? It doesnt happen all the time, happens with im running
    several apps all doing something. I just do not recall the older one getting
    anywhere near the heat this one puts off, coupled with the fact this one is a
    newer model, this has me wondering of a possible hardware issue.

    I was thinking (possibly naively thinking) that macs didnt get hot....
    Any seasoned mac users can share some insight, I would appreciate it, thanks!
  2. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    Yes, it's quite normal. If you're not already doing so, use iStat Pro (free) or iStat Menus ($16) to get accurate readings of your temps, fan speeds, etc., rather than relying on your sense of touch or sound. A forum member has posted a copy of iStat Pro that has been "tweaked" to enhance compatibility with Mountain Lion. You can download it here.

    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)

    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:
  3. snaky69 macrumors 603

    Mar 14, 2008
    There are 3 or 4 posts on this very same subject on the first page...

    Edit: these two , plus yours, makes 3.

  4. takeshi74 macrumors 601

    Feb 9, 2011
    Why would a Mac be exempt from the laws of physics?
  5. Ryan1524 macrumors 68000


    Apr 9, 2003
    Canada GTA
    Macs often feel hotter because the housing is all metal. Consider it's feature; you know heat is being moved away from the CPU.
  6. sullen thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 5, 2010
    lol :D
    apple seems to defy and surpass the laws of everything else in their products, why not physics too!?

    Just dont recall the last one getting anywhere near as hot as this one is getting.
    I was also doing A LOT with that one... Lots of music production daily so constantly multitasking with multiple DAWs for hours and hours on end.
    While almost always downloading in the background, and it amazed me how cool that machine always ran, especially considering the heavy use it was seeing......

    Thanx for the replys all!
    I had a bad feeling something was wrong with this, but i guess all is well, and otherwise it's working just as it should.
    It's still under an extended warranty so i wanted to get it sorted out if something was wrong.
  7. Toby Ziegler macrumors regular

    Toby Ziegler

    Mar 28, 2011
    Still freaks me out every time it happens, especially when I'm running Windows. The geek side knows it's supposed to be that way, but the paranoid new computer owner in me can only think "holy *#&%, I could cook an egg on this thing."

    You get used it. Only be concerned if you see smoke or smell something burning.
  8. swerve147 macrumors 6502a

    Jan 12, 2013
    If you're truly concerned about temps in Windows 7 you can always lower the maximum processor state in power management. I have the same concerns so I set it to 95% max. My temps in Windows now max out in the mid 80s with a minimal hit in gaming performance

    It's a shame you can't do this in OS X. The only thing you can really do in ML is back down on your graphics settings or put a cap on the frame rate for each game (if the option is available to begin with).
  9. Toby Ziegler macrumors regular

    Toby Ziegler

    Mar 28, 2011
    To be fair, my last computer wasn't exactly a graphics powerhouse by any means, so having a computer that's several times more powerful and enclosed in a fantastic heat conductor has taken some getting used to. I've never seen the GPU temp above 180F, so I'm not too concerned. I'll trust that the computer will shut down if it detects hardware damaging temperatures.

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