How to make cMBP 2012 13" run cooler?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by MarvinHC, Jan 21, 2015.

  1. MarvinHC macrumors 6502a

    Jan 9, 2014

    I have the following challenge: I got my soon a cheapish cMBP 13" from 2012 and he uses it mainly for playing Minecraft running Windows 7 (I know, waste of a good machine, but I got it for the price I would have paid for an entry level Windows machine).

    Problem is that the MBP gets seriously hot. At the moment everything is as original (i5, 8GB RAM, 500 HD) apart from a few bumps, the battery is however quite used (almost 700 cycles, around 75% capacity, sometimes shows as 'service battery' sometimes as 'normal').

    So I consider two things to make it run cooler:
    1. Change the battery
    2. Put an SSD instead of the HD

    Do you think that either of them will help? I will also clean the fans out eventually but I doubt there is much dirt in them given that the Macbook is only about 2 years old. Any other ideas?

    Thank you!
  2. sevoneone macrumors 6502

    May 16, 2010
    If he is running Windows in a Virtual Machine (VMWare or Parallels) inside OS X, he is putting a lot of extra stress on the hardware. If all he is using is Windows, but running it this way, I'd recommend setting up a Bootcamp partition so the Mac can boot Windows natively.

    Running Windows in Bootcamp doesn't have as good of thermal management as running OS X in my experience, but it is better than trying to do intense tasks like games in a VM. When using Bootcamp you want to make sure you have all the Bootcamp drivers installed and up to date to ensure the best power and thermal management.

    Unless you've confirmed that your battery is getting hot, I'm going to say it probably is not the source of much heat. The battery in your MBP is rated for 1000 charge cycles, it probably has a bit more usable life left. Unless the 75% of original capacity is too much of an annoyance, I'd wait until until it was absolutely necessary to replace it.

    Remarkably, most people I know that swap out their HDD for an SSD find it has very little impact on the thermal profile and/or battery life of their laptop. An SSD will help overall system performance, but don't expect it to help with heat when processor and graphics are working full steam.

    I would consider cleaning the fans and also the radiator/heatsink that runs along the rear vent. The fan sits sealed right against it and it doesn't take much, or long, for that thing to get clogged up with dust and crap.

    Some people also find that removing the heat sink and applying new thermal paste to the processor and graphics package yields a marked improvement. Seems that Apple really likes to cake on the paste from the factory which actually makes the cooling less efficient. It is definitely not a novices project, but is not too difficult if you get some good paste and follow one of the many tutorials out there.
  3. MarvinHC thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jan 9, 2014
    Thanks for the reply, Win7 is running in bootcamp so that should be not so much of an issue and I think the drivers are up to date but I need to confirm.

    The battery does sometimes show the status 'service' so I was wondering if it is charging to often and as a result causing extra heat. Otherwise I have no incentive to change it since the Macbook is 99% used at home, so battery life is not very relevant.

    I shall give it a good clean after all then. Never reapplied the heat paste so might give that a try too some day.
  4. campyguy macrumors 68040

    Mar 21, 2014
    Portland / Seattle
    I own 3 Macs that I run Windows VMs on, and they all get pretty warm whether it's a Boot Camp partition or Parallels VM that's running. Even my maxed out late-2013 rMBP (16GB/1TB) gets very warm-to-hot.

    I created a physical platform to put the Macs on that basically exposes almost all of the base to flowing air, basically a stand, that has a honeycombed bottom. And, I also will use a very small Vornado fan, and aim it at the Mac so that air is blowing over the top and bottom surfaces of the Mac.

    Since I changed the airflow using those two steps, my Macs run 25-50 degrees F cooler and never get hot to the touch.

    My business partner uses one of those "pads" that has a small fan built into it, and he says that he's very happy with it.
  5. poiihy macrumors 68020


    Aug 22, 2014
    The priority is to clean the fans. Dust is the most common problem of heat. 2 years is plenty for lots of dust to accumulate.

    Reapplying the thermal paste would make it better than new.

    Besides dust and thermal paste, there is nothing that would make much of a difference.
  6. MarvinHC thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jan 9, 2014
    Springclean it is then! I will report back when I have found time to go in there.

    Thanks for all contributions so far.
  7. b0fh666 macrumors 6502a


    Oct 12, 2012
  8. MarvinHC thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jan 9, 2014
    OSX is installed and used sometimes but not for Minecraft as mentioned above...
  9. ohbrilliance macrumors 6502a


    May 15, 2007
    Melbourne, Australia
    Agreed on the dust front. My wife's 2008 Aluminium MB was clogged with dust. Cleaning it thoroughly, including disassembling the fans, transformed it into a cool and fast machine (thanks to no more CPU throttling).

    Good luck. Let us know how it goes.

Share This Page

8 January 21, 2015