High temperature when idle

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by spam0000, Jun 21, 2011.

  1. spam0000 macrumors newbie

    Dec 7, 2009

    My black macbook (C2D 2.2) now has a 60-97° c temperature when idle at about 5-10% cpu, and the fan is steady around the 6200rpm mark. I've looked around at forums and the only thing that seems like could be the cause is maybe a lack/abundance of thermal paste on the heatsink or something?

    I've checked with activity monitor and 'top' in terminal. There does not seem to be any hidden processes. I've also tried the HDD (an ssd one) in another computer and there it seems to run fine so it should not(?) be a software issue.

    I also tried a tip to turn of the computer, remove the battery and power supply cable and then hold the power button for >5 sec to somehow "reset the power distribution" or something.

    So, posting here to see if anyone has any suggestions before I declare myself helpless and send the machine to service? Im not afraid of opening the computer up and trying to fix things myself, and really prefer it, so thoughts are very welcome.

    more typical temperatures from iStat:
    Airport Card 57°
    Enclosure Base 27°
    Heatsink A 59°
    Heatsink B 59°
    Mam Bank A1 49°
    Northbrisge 53°

  2. msjones macrumors 6502


    Oct 18, 2007
    Nottinghamshire, UK
    Opening her up to do the thermal paste yourself is an easy job. You can have it done within 30mins. There is a guide here to help you.

    I had this problem a few months back, cleaning out all the dust and using some AS5 on the CPU has dropped things down dramatically.
  3. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    Your Mac is not overheating. The Intel processors used in Macs are designed to automatically shut down to prevent damage if they truly overheat (around 100C/212F - 105C/221F, depending on your processor). iStat Pro will give you accurate readings of your temps, among other things.

    Unless there is a rare defect in your Mac, your temps are well within the normal operating range, considering the workload you're putting 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.

    Your fans are always on when your Mac is on, spinning at a minimum of 2000 rpm (for MBPs) or 1800 rpm (for MBAs). 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. Also, make sure you don't block the vents, which are located at the rear, near the hinge.

    There is not an overheating problem with Mac portables. There is only a perceived overheating problem. That's partly due to the fact that the aluminum casing transfers heat better than some other notebook materials, so they may feel hotter to the touch than notebooks made of other materials. It may even become hot enough to be uncomfortable to rest on your lap. This, too, is normal. Because a user is unfamiliar with the heat normally generated by a Mac portable doesn't mean there's a problem with the Mac. Only on rare occasions is there a defect that causes true overheating.
  4. spam0000 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 7, 2009
    @ msjones:
    thanks! very happy for the link - I will try this out. btw, did you by any chance get to remove dust from the fan? If so, how did you do this?

    @ GGJstudios:
    LOL! You cant have read anything but the heading or youre a bot.
  5. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    I read everything. The temps you quoted are normal.
  6. spam0000 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 7, 2009

    Please read that:
    - A fan spinning steady at 6200 rpm when idle should not be considered normal
    - cpu temperature at 60-97 when idle is not normal
    - idle does not mean using flash or multimedia
    - I got iStat already
    - I got a black macbook, not aluminum

    And this thread has nothing to do with "perception" of heat.

    Thanks if you wanted to help, but its really not helpful to claim that I havent got a problem when I clearly do.
  7. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    As I said in my first post, if your fans spin that fast without heat, reset the SMC. If you have high temps, then your Mac is obviously not at idle. When you checked Activity Monitor, did you remember to change "My Processes" at the top to "All Processes"? If your temps are that high, something is obviously putting demands on your CPU/GPU.
  8. upaymeifixit macrumors 6502a


    Feb 13, 2009
    60°C-97°C? Not at all normal for Core 2 Duo, or any CPU for that matter.

    I found these very helpful:

    Generally, safe temps for CPUs hover a little above, or right at 70°C.

    You can't really fry a Core 2 Duo because it makes sure it doesn't get too hot, that's why most computers run slower the hotter they get (above a certain temperature of corse).

    You might be able to take it to Apple and complain that it is a safety hazard or something. I honestly don't really know what might be causing it (if it's not a process) other than lack of air flow or lack of thermal paste. Even with no thermal paste though, with proper air flow this seems a bit high.

    You could try booting into a linux distribution to check if it's hardware or software.
  9. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    As the OP posted:
    Which would indicate that 97C is not typical. The typical temps posted are normal. As I said, if temps are as high as 97C, the system is obviously not at idle.
  10. spam0000 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 7, 2009
    I'm not going to repeat it to you without using caps lock.

    thanks, the overclocker thread was useful. also, reduced speed when the processor gets too hot explains why I got performance problems when actually working.

    Im going to try to apply thermal paste and then post the results here.
  11. orfeas0 macrumors 6502a

    Aug 21, 2010
    Athens, Greece
    Do you mean that there isn't any mac portable with an overheating problem? Because I'm pretty sure I had one, and a friend had one too.
    The 15" 2009 model (2,4ghz c2d, 2gb ram, 9400m+9600gt).
    When gaming on windows it would shut down or freeze from the heat. In mac, either with 9400 or 9600 it wouldn't shut down but it still reached 90-100c when gaming (WoW on mac, LoL on windows).
  12. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    As I said:
    That's normal. Read the rest of my post that you quoted.

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