How warm does a unibody MacBook Pro get when playing games?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by omgwut, Apr 11, 2009.

  1. omgwut macrumors 6502

    omgwut

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2006
    #1
    I think I'm gonna buy one of the 2008 unibody MBP models (15-inch, 2.66GHz) but I have a small question about gaming. I haven't played games on a notebook before but I would like to dualboot Windows 7 to play some of my Steam games, Doom 3, Quake IV, Oblivion, maybe Crysis, etc.

    Does anybody have experience with playing more recent games on the unibody MBPs (mostly in Windows/Boot Camp, not OS X or Parallels)? What is your experience with heat output in these machines? After all they're cased in aluminum, I would think they get pretty warm. If I played with a mouse and used the integrated keyboard would I be burning the skin off my fingers, or do they cool pretty well?

    Thanks.
     
  2. Schtumple macrumors 601

    Schtumple

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    #2
    I have the gen before the unibodys (same principles apply), I can say, download SMCfanControl, set it to a high RPM before booting into Windows or else you'll find it'll overheat and crash... You'll find 4000rpm on the fans is good enough to keep it cool no matter what you throw at it.
     
  3. Hissta macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2008
    #3
    For reference, this is with the 15 inch MBP, 2.53 Ghz, 4 Gb Ram, 7200 RPM HD.

    I use a mStand from Rain Designs as the only additional heatsink while playing LotRO, Oblivion, Sins of a Solar Empire, etc in bootcamp with Windows 7. Under OS X, I'll play WoW.

    Either way, I use a mouse and external keyboard. The top of my integrated keyboard (number line and up) and above get pretty toasty. Enough to become uncomfortable.

    I have never had a problem with my machine overheating and shutting down, even with the lid closed (I use an external monitor when docked), but I would go with an external keyboard if you could.
     
  4. iLog.Genius macrumors 601

    iLog.Genius

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    Feb 24, 2009
    Location:
    Toronto, Ontario
    #4
    Playing WoW in OS X, I find temperatures hover around 70 C w/ no problems. So I say if you play in Windows and you control the temperature to around 70 C, you should be fine.
     
  5. theimacdude macrumors member

    theimacdude

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2008
    #5
    the top left corner of the machine, near the keyboard gets very hot, and also when I use the machine in bed, the fan comes on :mad:

    I also use a Griffin Elevator, 1. To get the machine on eye level and 2. It helps ventilate the machine. Get a fan if your worried about temperatures.
     
  6. RKpro macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2008
    #6
    It stays cooler than any notebook I've ever see while in OSX using the 9400 just doing normal computing.

    But no matter what I do in WinXP, it's hot because the big 9600m gt is deployed, and when I played GTA4 last year it was about as hot as the surface of the sun. WASD keys get pretty toasty as well because that is where the video card is placed I suspect.
     
  7. dotdotdot macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2005
    #7
    If I plan to get a unibody MacBook Pro and plan on being in Windows, playing games about 50% of the time, would the lifespan of the machine be shortened due to overheating?
     
  8. RKpro macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2008
    #8
    quite possibly...

    If you're playing games in windows 50% of the time, than don't buy an MBP. You're paying a large premium for the dual graphics, but the 9600 isn't particularly good for games. I would suggest you buy an base macbook, and use the rest of the money to build a custom gaming rig with a better suited GPU.
     
  9. kolax macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2007
    #9
    A lot cooler than previous generations. I'm really surprised how cool it runs.

    Also, there is more fan grills than the previous generation fans, so more airflow at lower RPM.
     
  10. trent0090 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2009
    #10
    I'm glad someone asked. I'll pick up my UMBP sometime later this year and it sounds like I will be able to play Bliz games just fine. I'll still have to dual boot for some other MMOS and Steam but it sounds like It should be OK. Worst case I'll have to pick up an extra fan for the lap.
     
  11. PeterQC macrumors 6502a

    PeterQC

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    Jun 30, 2008
    #11
    After my first try on gaming with mine, I can assure you that they can get toasty.
     
  12. celtikmind macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2009
    #12
    Mine overheats and the graphics freeze after about an hour in any game unless I use Fan Control.

    I've become more and more annoyed I have to use a third party software to correct a minor 'mistake' otherwise resulting in a major flaw on premium hardware though. It's sad Apple can't release an updated firmware with better fan control since it's such a great computer.

    I'm about to try it out in boot camp and if it doesn't work with that I'm going to take this to Apple as soon as I can be without for a while. :(
     
  13. ViciousShadow21 macrumors 68020

    ViciousShadow21

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    Mar 11, 2009
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    To your left or right
    #13
    the best cooling pad i have ever owned.

    LINK

    EDIT: i forgot to say that i can play games with windows and the computer stays at about 50C with this pad.
     
  14. adamjackson macrumors 6502a

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    Jul 9, 2008
    Location:
    Canaan, NH
    #14
    Playing Call of Duty 4 in Mac OS Leopard 10.5.7 with graphic settings in the game turned all of the way up....

    My system CPU area gets up to 192 degrees Fahrenheit. Average temp is around 160 with battery being around 90 degrees (I'm using iStat Menus which is free).

    My computer:
    2009 Unibody MacBook Pro. 2.93Ghz Core2. 6Gbs of DDR3 Ram, 256GB SSD.
     
  15. mikes70mustang macrumors 68000

    mikes70mustang

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  16. sixmac macrumors member

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    Mar 28, 2008
    #16
    no idea how to tell how hot it is using vista, but in company of heroes and TF2 the fans and almost constantly going not overly loud but you can hear them working. That is using 24" ACD lid open on MBP (15', 2.53) with screen off. I don't even worry about it thats what it's designed for, those after market fan controllers and cool pads are a waste i think, just let it do it's own thing, and sell it before apple care runs out :D
     
  17. UniPro macrumors regular

    UniPro

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    Apr 23, 2009
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    Orange County, CA
    #17
    Played Quake 4 the other day in Windows 7 for two hours straight at maxed outs settings till it crashed. Turned it back on and booted into Leopard to find my temp was at 89 C!!! I was like oh crap won't be trying that again for awhile. But you guys suggest setting smcFanControl higher before booting into windows and then turning it down later?
     
  18. Gianlusp macrumors member

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    May 16, 2009
  19. UniPro macrumors regular

    UniPro

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    Apr 23, 2009
    Location:
    Orange County, CA
    #19
    I find it works quite well with games in Windows but it depends on what kind of gaming you plan to do. If you are a hardcore gamer, then no it's not the laptop you're looking for.
     
  20. iLog.Genius macrumors 601

    iLog.Genius

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    Feb 24, 2009
    Location:
    Toronto, Ontario
    #20
    Without any fan control, my experience is that the fans won't come on until it gets really hot (70 C+) in both OS X or Windows. So far, I haven't had any crashes in Windows so that's a good sign that the fans are "working".
     
  21. alphaod macrumors Core

    alphaod

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    Feb 9, 2008
    Location:
    NYC
    #21
    Mine plays games quite effectively. Fans speed up when needed.
     
  22. iLog.Genius macrumors 601

    iLog.Genius

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    Feb 24, 2009
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    Toronto, Ontario
    #22
    Do you know at what temperature (celsius) your fans start to kick in?
     
  23. sixmac macrumors member

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    Mar 28, 2008
    #23
    The only issues i have ever had gaming on my MBP are the normal windows problems not over heating issues or poor performance, don't see any reason why it can't play games regularly.
     
  24. atheros07 macrumors member

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    Mar 21, 2009
    Location:
    Cambridge, MA
    #24
    Under OS X (no 3rd party fan control installed), the fans on mine start ramping up at just over 70 C, and they do a pretty good job of not allowing the temperature to any higher than that.
     
  25. iLog.Genius macrumors 601

    iLog.Genius

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2009
    Location:
    Toronto, Ontario
    #25
    That's good to know. Was being a bit paranoid thinking that my previous MacBook Pro's came on way sooner (around 60 C).
     

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