Honestly, how well does the MBP handle heat? (Especially GPU)

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by andrewenglish, Jul 18, 2011.

  1. andrewenglish macrumors newbie

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    Jul 18, 2011
    #1
    Hello all,

    First time poster, long time lurker ;) I must say, this forum has provided me with a lot of great info and I'm excited to be a new member:)

    Alright, on with it then:

    So, I'm moving from my custom-built, completely watercooled gaming rig to an MBP. (Assuming I don't wait for the rumored 2012 overhaul)

    Specs:

    17"

    2.2 GHz i7
    8 GB RAM
    HD6750M
    128GB SSD

    So, I was wondering, how does the MBP hold up heat-wise after a few hours of intense gaming?

    I realize that I won't be able to run games like Crysis 2 on Max settings like I can now, but if the GPU is under heavy utilization for over 2 hours, can it handle the heat? Excessive heat can really put some wear and tear on the hardware as we all know, and since I still do like to game (but I really like the features of OS X and I'm tired of building Hackintoshes) and want to on my MBP, will I be okay doing things like playing BFBC2 for hours on end? Or will I be really putting some wear on my hardware because the MBP can't handle keeping the card cool?

    Let me know if you need any more info or clarification:)

    Andrew

    PS, I used the search function.
     
  2. Macjames macrumors 6502a

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    #2
    I have the base model 15" i7 MBP with 4GB RAM in which I put a 256 Crucial M4 SSD. In normal day to day stuff it runs warm but with zero sound (it's super quiet!) and after a few hours web browsing/writing it gets noticeable warm.

    However I downloaded Steam and got Amnesia the dark decent (an excellent game by the way - played with settings on high) and after about two hours it was super hot. It was almost uncomfortable to touch.

    Stick with your gaming rig.
     
  3. awer25 macrumors 65816

    awer25

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    #3
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    It can handle it just fine. I have the same specs and have gamed for hours straight without issue. I know some people seem to have problems, but a new MBP in working order shouldn't overheat.

    Mine has never been uncomfortable to touch, but I do play on a desk and not on my mattress so ventilation is as good as can be.
     
  4. peace4al macrumors newbie

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    #4
     
  5. mrklaw macrumors 65816

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    #5
     
  6. Blondie :) macrumors 6502a

    Blondie :)

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    #6
    I have a 2011 13" MBP. When I play left for dead 2 through steam (great anger management solution :p ) it gets really hot. My CPU/integrated GPU gets up to 92C with the fans at 6200 RPM
     
  7. peace4al macrumors newbie

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    #7
     
  8. andrewenglish thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #8
    I completely understand, thanks for the fast responses guys. I figured that would be the truth.

    Honestly, I don't care that much if I need to replace the logic board... I understand this will probably happen because of the heat but if it's warranted then it's okay with me, as long as I don't have to pay :p.

    I would LOVE to stick with my gaming rig, but I do really like OS X and its functionalities.. I have gone the Hackintosh with much success but now I need a laptop, and will need one for college, so this machine appeared to me as a great upgrade: It has a powerful spec, high-res gloss display, NATIVE Lion support, and a better-than-average battery life.

    Honestly, I will probably be getting an MBP no matter what, but I just wanted to know if it could really handle the heat... how do video editors get away with it? :p

    Thanks for the input, I'll wait to hear a few more opinions though, just in case.

    Thanks!

    Andrew

    EDIT: Right, a 13" would get to over 90 degrees, but would a 17"? One would think that, with a larger case, the cooling would be more efficient?
     
  9. tdurden12 macrumors newbie

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    Apr 18, 2011
    #9
    I agree, we all know the cpu is supposed to shut off when it is overheated...etc, but the mbp is a thin notebook with a lot of power, and that means it heats up. It will probably stay within operating specs, but it will be at the upper bound for a long time. Would you drive your audi s4 at 150 mph from LA to NY in one go? You could probably do it without breaking down, but it might mean the car would only last 3 years instead of 7....
    Better to stick to a console or desktop if you really plan on gaming. Gaming laptops (including windows ones) are an expensive luxury, so be prepared to throw a ton of cash at them.
    Having said that, if you want to game occasionally, a few hours every once in a while, it won;t hurt the mbp. Just don't do it 4 hours ever night or your laptop will be toast.
     
  10. andrewenglish thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #10
    Funny you mention the Audi's ;) My dad owns an S6, he can't drive it 60MPH without it breaking down :p

    I have been building systems for years, and I am familiar with the laptop gaming industry, and I have spotted some very competitive models from ASUS, but what is important is the Mac OS. I really like the OS, and Hackintoshing a laptop is no easy feat...

    That said, I do NEED a laptop, I don't really have a choice in that respect :/

    I probably will move to occasional gaming and more editing with the Mac OS if do purchase an MBP.

    I could always put a frozen pizza box under it;)

    Just to add in an edit from my last post: "EDIT: Right, a 13" would get to over 90 degrees, but would a 17"? One would think that, with a larger case, the cooling would be more efficient?"
     
  11. palpatine macrumors 68040

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    #11
    13" mbp 8gb ram. not a 17", but another data point. it gets warm during intense processing (not a gamer), but not too bad. however, i think a couple of hours of gaming would have it cooking. i wouldn't recommend long gaming periods on my computer. it is fabulous for getting things done, but not for intensive games.

    one thing to look out for (i didn't see it in this thread) is that the mbp will chew into its battery if it is pushed to 100% capacity on processing, which means that even if you are plugged in, your battery life will go down, and at some point you will be completely out of energy. although the feature is obviously meant to compensate for short peak periods, it could have the unintended effect of ruining your gaming experience. i am speaking about something i know nothing about, though. perhaps a gamer with the 15 or 17 inch models could fill us in.
     
  12. andrewenglish thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #12
    Thanks for your input,

    Yes I understand, but gaming usually doesn't utilize 100% of the CPU, especially with a 2.2GHz i7 in there, it won't. But if the GPU is being utilized 100%, will it do that as well?

    I don't know what the comparative power draw with the GPU and CPU is, but I would assume the CPU would require more power.

    Most games also don't max a GPU's processor... they may put a load on it, but VRAM, shaders, etc play an important role here.

    You make a great point, yes hopefully some more people can fill us in here.

    Like I edited in earlier, I feel like the 17" may have a cooling advantage over the smaller models, but I may be wrong. Or Apple just doesn't utilize it.



    Also, I am by no means a Mac hardware expert... I am very new to the Mac hardware scene so please do correct my if I am wrong!

    Thanks everyone!

    Andrew
     
  13. polbit macrumors 6502

    polbit

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    #13
    While the MBPs definitely run on the warm side, and the peak temps in the 90Cs are pretty high, I don't think running them 4 hours a night like that means they will be toast in no time. Games aren't the only thing that will cause high temps, so will video editing and many other professional uses. I can imagine there are many MBPs used for hours on end at full tilt, and I have not heard about any high failure rates. You also have to remember that the aluminum case getting hot is bad for your lap, but not bad for the laptop - it helps to dissipate the heat.

    And the S4 analogy is pretty bad by the way, since really the only thing that a constant 150MPH would effect is the tires - the heat would degrade them faster than being driven at 80MPH. The car would be perfectly fine, and expected to last a long time :)
     
  14. palpatine macrumors 68040

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    #14
    the 15 and 17 will have two fans, as opposed to the 13 with one, and it has a larger body, so your intuition is probably correct.

    as for the battery life problem, it was posted by a gamer a while back, and others confirmed it. again, i am not a gamer and have no experience with this phenomenon whatsoever, so i don't know what i am talking about. i also think there is likely some workaround for this if you wanted to game below that threshold.
     
  15. andrewenglish, Jul 18, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 18, 2011

    andrewenglish thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #15
    Good point about the car... gear ratio's, engine RPM's, and engine/cooling design all come into play here, lots of variables. However, we could maybe relate the tires for the fans in the MBP... lots of mileage on fans can wear those things out...

    I agree as well about the usage, video editing is another CPU/GPU intensive activity.

    Andrew

    I would like to know what games he's been playing! Maybe GTA or something, that's a pretty CPU-intensive game. Thanks for bringing it up, hopefully someone with that experience will post here.

    Andrew

    EDIT: I'm new to forums... sorry if this is one of those double-posts...
     
  16. polbit macrumors 6502

    polbit

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    #16
    Speaking of long gaming sessions, I spent way too much time (>3 hours) playing Starcraft II on Sunday night, and the laptop definitely got toasty, but it never went above 86C.
     
  17. xxBURT0Nxx macrumors 68020

    xxBURT0Nxx

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    #17
    You will be fine gaming at high temps..... here is my .02

    MBP's are designed to get hot, and they definitely do get hot. However, most people say this is "overheating" which it is NOT. If the mbp were overheating, it would actually shut off (around 105* C/ 210* F) so that no damage would be done to the hardware.

    People who think they need to use something other than aluminum don't understand the design of a mbp. It is supposed to get hot, that's how apple designed it. The aluminum body acts as a large heat sync, pulling heat away from the internal hardware.... it just sucks to put on your lap at that point!

    I watch HD movies on my mac pretty much every single night which is pretty processor intensive and heats the mbp up real quick, never have had a problem. I do HD movie encodes and have never had a problem. Sometimes I will play Half Life for several hours, I have never had a problem.

    Like I said, if your mbp gets to dangerous heat levels, it will shut itself off and allow itself to cool. You are covered under apple care, and apple knows how hot the machines get.... I would say you are safe and don't have anything to worry about.

    People get scared because they feel how hot the aluminum can get and think they are going to break their macs. I have been using uMBP's since they were introduced and I knowing that they were specifically designed to handle the heat and being as thin as they are, I have never worried, and never had a problem.
     
  18. andrewenglish thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #18
    I've never experienced StarCraft, is it GPU intensive? Comparable to BFBC2?

    86C seems to be a common temp... Does anyone know the thermal spec of the 6750M?

    Andrew
     
  19. Driver8 macrumors newbie

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    #19
    my friend also has an audi rs4 and that thing is fast, but it is always in the mechanics and it is so complicated that they don't always know how to fix it! He is rich, so he always says, "the rs4 is supposed to be fast, but it wasn't designed to last long if you drive it fast." If you own an rs4, you are only going to keep it 2 years before you move onto something else. Crazy that you would buy a $70K+ car and then only expect to keep it for 2 years!
     
  20. polbit macrumors 6502

    polbit

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    #20
    Well, I wasn't commenting on S4 specifically, just on the fact that high constant speed isn't much different for a car than going much slower :) I'm sure most high-performance cars aren't designed to last as long as an Accord, by the function of their stressed components.
     
  21. andrewenglish thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #21
    Okay I won't lie, my family is pretty wel-off. I don't mean to brag, just a statement. My dad certainly doesn't spoil me - I drive an old ass Ford Ranger, I have to pay for everthing including my computers.

    Now that I have that out of the way... A lot of people around where I live drive Audis. They are the car that I always see getting towed :p However, you pay for performance, you get performance. You also get a high-tech device that nobody wants to service.

    Analogy much? Sounds like an MBP to me.

    I'm a power user, I probably will replace it every two years, and I will use the crap out of it. I am okay with getting it under warranty service for failures, but I don't want it to get so hot that the thing wears out every 2 weeks...

    Anyways, let's try to keep on focus with MBP's, not pretty Audis ;)
     
  22. maclaptop macrumors 65816

    maclaptop

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    #22
    I concur, Apple defines hot, as temps far higher than most. Stick with your gaming rig and enjoy.
     
  23. Dark Void macrumors 68030

    Dark Void

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    #23
    it seems you're looking to get a mac with gaming being the first thing in mind: why?

    any laptop is going to get hot if you game on it. it's a laptop and you're doing one of the most intensive things you could do on a computer.

    either stick with your desktop or get a pc laptop.

    edit: and also, i always see people comparing macs to cars. it's pretty annoying, just thought i'd add.

    IT'S LIKE GETTING A FERRARI WITH CHEAP TIRES. AMIRITE?
     
  24. andrewenglish thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #24
    Nono, my apologies. I should have been more clear in my first post. I will definitely be gaming on it, but that is not my primary purpose. My primary is for the Mac OS, but I will game consistently, let's say 2 hours a day, or more occasional than that... maybe randomly 3 hours a day, skip a day, 2 hours a day, etc.. sporadic is the proper term?

    Andrew
     
  25. Dark Void macrumors 68030

    Dark Void

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    #25
    ah fair enough, admittedly just read the first post. then found people talking about cars during the edit. :/

    i do some moderate gaming on an integrated chip. certainly with the dedicated card you'll see good performance and heat is not something to worry about.

    as i said it's going to get hot and you may see temperatures that make you skeptical but just look past it and try not to get too caught up in your temperatures. it's not going to overheat, and i mean truly overheat, not a perceived overheat.

    in reference to your anticipated gaming pattern, you'll be more than fine doing a few hours here and there. i played WoW like every day for over 8 hours a day or so for a couple of months (lol) and i didn't have any problems. WoW isn't the most intensive game but i'm on an integrated chip after all and 5 hours straight or something is a lot to handle.
     

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