How does the MacBook (non-retina) get Ventilation?

AppleShinobi000

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Aug 10, 2013
4
1
I recently got a MacBook Pro 2012 non-retina with duel Nvidia GeForce GT 650M graphics a while ago and I got it a keyboard cover, rubber caps for the ports and a hard shell cover for the front. I've been using it for school work, photoshop and video editing and very often it will overheat to the point where I'm afraid to use to more. I was told that the MacBook gets ventilation from openings in the body like through the keyboard.

So by getting it all these covers am I actually causing more hard than good? or was I sold a lemon? and is there something I can do to stop it from overheating to much?
Any help is appreciated, thanks
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ApolloBoy

macrumors 6502a
Apr 16, 2015
734
246
San Jose, CA
All the vents are actually right near the hinge, so a hard cover and keyboard cover shouldn't really cause any additional heat buildup. Also if you're doing a lot of Photoshop work or video editing, then it's actually normal for your MBP to get rather hot.
 

snaky69

macrumors 603
Mar 14, 2008
5,904
484
I recently got a MacBook Pro 2012 non-retina with duel Nvidia GeForce GT 650M graphics a while ago and I got it a keyboard cover, rubber caps for the ports and a hard shell cover for the front. I've been using it for school work, photoshop and video editing and very often it will overheat to the point where I'm afraid to use to more. I was told that the MacBook gets ventilation from openings in the body like through the keyboard.

So by getting it all these covers am I actually causing more hard than good? or was I sold a lemon? and is there something I can do to stop it from overheating to much?
Any help is appreciated, thanks View attachment 591105 View attachment 591106 View attachment 591107
Okay, first off, unless it has shut down out of the blue while you were using it (chances are it never happened), it has NEVER overheated.

Overheated is a words that gets thrown around on here by people who don't know how computers work. ALL computers have built-in self-protection. Should things ever get too toasty, the processor will throttle down its power to alleviate the situation. If that doesn't work and temps still climb, it'll shut off, plain and simple.

With that said, all ventilation on a unibody model is done through the hinge. The fans push out air at either end while cool air enters through the middle. There is a sheet of plastic beneath the keyboard, blocking pretty much any airflow that'd come through there.

I'll give you a brief thermodynamics/heat transfer class, let's start with thermodynamics.

Whenever you need to generate power, the process is never 100% efficient. All inefficiencies usually generate heat as a byproduct. So to make the story short: Power generates heat, electronics need to be kept reasonably cool to work properly, fans work harder to extract said heat.

Now the heat transfer part.

Every material out there has a certain conductivity to heat. That is the material's ability to transfer/aborb heat to/from another object. If you leave a block of metal on a table in a room, both are at the same temperature, but if you touch both, the metal will feel cooler to the touch. Most metals have high conductivity, which means that they can easily absorb or giveaway heat, in the case of the block of metal, it is taking heat from your skin, making it feel cooler, as it is effectively drawing heat away from your body faster than your body produces heat.

Where am I going with this? Well, the MacBook Pro's body is made out of aluminum. Aluminum, as you know, is a metal. For any given internal temperature, a metal-bodies laptop will ALWAYS feel warmer to the touch than a plastic one. MBPs get warm, or even hot to the touch, and it's perfectly normal.

TL;DR version: Your computer isn't overheating, the temperatures you are experiencing are both normal and safe for the computer, and no ventilation is done through the keyboard.
 
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Max(IT)

Suspended
Dec 8, 2009
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I recently got a MacBook Pro 2012 non-retina with duel Nvidia GeForce GT 650M graphics a while ago and I got it a keyboard cover, rubber caps for the ports and a hard shell cover for the front. I've been using it for school work, photoshop and video editing and very often it will overheat to the point where I'm afraid to use to more. I was told that the MacBook gets ventilation from openings in the body like through the keyboard.

So by getting it all these covers am I actually causing more hard than good? or was I sold a lemon? and is there something I can do to stop it from overheating to much?
Any help is appreciated, thanks View attachment 591105 View attachment 591106 View attachment 591107
wow !
The ventilation is made by the hinge, but you basically covered every hole on the notebook.
My hard shell, for example, has a grid on the bottom part to let "the air" circulating.
BTW why did you cover even the ports ? Are you using it on the beach ?
 

Max(IT)

Suspended
Dec 8, 2009
8,551
1,661
Italy
Not that it matters considering there's nowhere near enough airflow on the ports to have them serve as effective ventilation.
well, looking at the teardown of the MBP surely there isn't a true airflow through the ports, but surely air is circulating. I wouldn't close every hole on my notebook unless I'm going to operate in a very dirty ambient.
 

0x100

macrumors regular
Nov 11, 2014
222
72
Japan
Blocking the ports is a bad thing since they use the ports to have airflow over the components on the motherboard
 

snaky69

macrumors 603
Mar 14, 2008
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mooninite

macrumors member
Oct 7, 2013
60
33
You guys are being ridiculous. It's a tool. It has fail-safes that keep it from overheating to the extent that it causes damage.

Jesus Christ...
 
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snaky69

macrumors 603
Mar 14, 2008
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I do not like the use of the word overheated, as its true meaning applies to something that is not happening, and likely will never happen to OP's computer.
 
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Queen6

macrumors G3
I do not like the use of the word overheated, as its true meaning applies to something that is not happening, and likely will never happen to OP's computer.
15" MBP is notorious for running hot, a little advice on how reduce the operating temperature would likely have gone down far better. If the Notebook is uncomfortably to the "touch" it`s running hot, this is common sense. People wanted thin & light this is the trade off, equally there are some solutions to mitigate.

The 15" MBP has a poor record of reliability, which anyone who understands electronics knows is directly related to the elevated operating temperatures and rapid heating, cooling cycles. Overheating or thermal shutdown of the CPU/GPU is highly unlikely, inducing thermal shock is prevalent on older MBP`s, hence the multiple extended warranties over the years.

Q-6
 
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snaky69

macrumors 603
Mar 14, 2008
5,904
484
15" MBP is notorious for running hot, a little advice on how reduce the operating temperature would likely have gone down far better. If the Notebook is uncomfortably to the "touch" it`s running hot, this is common sense. People wanted thin & light this is the trade off, equally there are some solutions to mitigate.

The 15" MBP has a poor record of reliability, which anyone who understands electronics knows is directly related to the elevated operating temperatures and rapid heating, cooling cycles. Overheating or thermal shutdown of the CPU/GPU is highly unlikely, inducing thermal shock is prevalent on older MBP`s, hence the multiple extended warranties over the years.

Q-6
Hot to a human's finger isn't necessarily hot to whatever material we're talking about. You can burn yourself if you hold onto something in the mid 50C for long enough. That's quite cool for most metals. Electronics aren't metal, I'll give you that, but I don't think one should judge a computer's running temps by feel.

Agreed on the 15's unfortunate poor track record. From my personal research it seems linked to either poor soldering or poor design of the graphics chips themselves. Remember the 8600GT(I do, I had an affected MBP)? nVidia actually issued a recall on all laptops with that chip, not just the MBP. That's why we got a repair program in the first place.

Then came the 330M, then ATI jumped in with the now infamous radeongate.

I hope my 2012 does not get hit with a similar issue, I really like that machine.
 

Queen6

macrumors G3
Hot to a human's finger isn't necessarily hot to whatever material we're talking about. You can burn yourself if you hold onto something in the mid 50C for long enough. That's quite cool for most metals. Electronics aren't metal, I'll give you that, but I don't think one should judge a computer's running temps by feel.

Agreed on the 15's unfortunate poor track record. From my personal research it seems linked to either poor soldering or poor design of the graphics chips themselves. Remember the 8600GT(I do, I had an affected MBP)? nVidia actually issued a recall on all laptops with that chip, not just the MBP. That's why we got a repair program in the first place.

Then came the 330M, then ATI jumped in with the now infamous radeongate.

I hope my 2012 does not get hit with a similar issue, I really like that machine.
The case temperature triggers the concern, and lets be honest they do get overly hot directly as a result of the radiated heat from the internals as Apple chooses to run at the upper limit.

As for Apple`s track record with portables equipped with dGPU it`s tragic at best when you look back over the years with the majority of models having issue. The Retina`s cooling is vastly improved, equally I still rather think that some will fail prematurely, due to thermal shock. It should also be said that it`s impressive that the Retina`s can run as such high frequencies with some models suffering zero throttling, the trade off being the elevated temperature.

Q-6
 

snaky69

macrumors 603
Mar 14, 2008
5,904
484
The case temperature triggers the concern, and lets be honest they do get overly hot directly as a result of the radiated heat from the internals as Apple chooses to run at the upper limit.

As for Apple`s track record with portables equipped with dGPU it`s tragic at best when you look back over the years with the majority of models having issue. The Retina`s cooling is vastly improved, equally I still rather think that some will fail prematurely, due to thermal shock. It should also be said that it`s impressive that the Retina`s can run as such high frequencies with some models suffering zero throttling, the trade off being the elevated temperature.

Q-6
The case wouldn't gear nearly as warm to the touch if it wasn't made out of aluminum, though.
 
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