Ideas for keeping the macbook pro cool?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by jerryk, Jul 15, 2016.

  1. jerryk macrumors 68020

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    #1
    Hi,

    I spend a lot of my day with complex machine learning/AI models. When running some of these models my 15 rMBP runs in tight compute bound loops for 15,20, or more minutes. All this time the fans are running wide open, and the air exhausted is quite hot, about the same as hand dryer in a bathroom. I think one of the problems is the macbook closed and sitting is on a desk, so I elevated it a bit by putting a thin book under it and it helps a bit. What are other people doing to keep their MBP's cool when doing long compute bound tasks like video rendering, computations, etc.?

    Second question, does doing this sort of work effect the screen when the screen is open? It seems the MBP fan exhausts shoots that hot air right at to the bottom of the display when the screen is open.
     
  2. Queen6 macrumors 603

    Queen6

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    #2
    Being an owner & user of the 15" MacBook Pro forever; Over the years the 15" has frequently struggled with it`s thermals, especially when an external display is connected as the dGPU switches on by default, internal temperatures soar, equally there are some steps that can be taken to reduce the systems temperature;
    • Elevate the rear, aluminium passive coolers generally work best (I use RainDesign`s mStand & iLap)
    • Increase base fan RPM to 3K or as much as you are comfortable with (MacsFanControl or SMC Fan Control)
    • Limit the dGPU`s usage with gfxCardStatus
    • Swap out Chrome for Chrome Canary as it`s way more optimised for OS X and will extend battery run time, reduce thermals
    • Swap out VLC for Movist as again it`s a reduced load on CPU/GPU
    • Uninstall or block Flash
    • Install an ad blocker Wipr or AdGuard works well
    • Powered coolers are very much a "mixed bag" when it comes to Mac portables, you need one that has a high capacity (100 CFM minimum) and preferably a large single fan, this can help to keep the 15" internal fans below 4K which for many is good enough as often it`s this point and beyond where the fans become intrusive. Don't expect a powered cooler impact internal temperatures, beyond a couple of degrees
    • Older machines can benefit from cleaning of the cooling system
    • Replacing the thermal paste has been hit & miss, some with very positive results, some with no improvement over stock. Personally I would only do this on a Mac Portable that was either very old, or one that I can confirm was definitely running hotter than stock.
    • If your MBP has a discrete GPU, it will fire up when an external display is connected as default, temperatures will rise rapidly.
    • Consider a specific vertical stand when using a MPB in "Clamshell" mode allowing for greater circulation of air. Some recommend inverting the MBP in the stand with the exhaust at the top & intake at the bottom (Retina`s)
    The key to a quiet life with a 15" MacBook Pro is several incremental changes that do add up to reduce thermals. From my experience over the years if your going to push a 15" hard the fans are going to max out fast, with associated noise. If your using it with a moderate load life can be made quieter :) For the most part your MBP runs hot as that`s how Apple designed it, the trade off for form over, function, thin & light...

    The old adage still applies; it`s easier to keep a system cool, than cool-down an already overly hot machine. This being said it`s not strictly necessary, equally it`s nice to know that there are some options for reducing temperature out there.

    Q-6
     
  3. tubeexperience macrumors 68030

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    Feb 17, 2016
    #3
    Remove the lower case and put the laptop on a laptop cooling pad.
     
  4. seggy macrumors member

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    Feb 13, 2016
    #4
    There was a similar thread recently, I suggested a Notepal X3
     
  5. Totally Bored macrumors member

    Totally Bored

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    Jun 29, 2015
    #5
    Put it next to these guys and it will be cool.
    Nothing says cool like a Lava Lamp Bong

    [​IMG]
     
  6. jerryk thread starter macrumors 68020

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    #6
    Maybe that is part of the next gen macbook? We are decriminalizing marijuana here in California this fall, so ....
     
  7. 1=1? macrumors regular

    1=1?

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    Jun 1, 2010
    #7
    Get one of the less thin ones that actually has air space in it. I'm seriously... admittedly in a bad mood - but considering buying up tons of old macbook pros because I think they're going to be a hot commodity. pun not intended they're actually cooler.
     
  8. Queen6 macrumors 603

    Queen6

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    #8
    The older Classic & Unibody non Retina MacBook Pro`s are less efficient at cooling the internals than the Retina, hence the many problems with dGPU etc. not that the newer ones are markedly improved, just better.

    Q-6
     
  9. 1=1? macrumors regular

    1=1?

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    #9
    Anecdotally - granted there might be a different reason my newer retina mbps get way way way hotter than any of my unibody ones did. These retinas can actually hurt me. Never had anything like that on something like my 2012 15" non-retina mbp
     
  10. Queen6, Jul 17, 2016
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2016

    Queen6 macrumors 603

    Queen6

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    #10
    Truthfully all the 15`s run far too hot for their own good, to the point that they are impractical to be used as a laptop. Everyones usage varies, so I have little doubt that yours is running hotter in comparison to the older models. Last 15 I bought was the 2012, have tried the newer models, equally was never convinced of the improvements over the price. As Apple has been content with ramming faster, hotter running silicon (dGPU) into the same space, the operating temperature will rise. Same here my observations are also purely anecdotal.

    Apple`s obsession with ever thiner computers, really just results in compromise; too hot, too noisy, add in unreliability of the dGPU. I found year after year, that if you use the 15" lightly to moderately it`s ok, equally if you use the full performance of the notebook it`s plain noisy and runs way too hot. If I wanted a high performance OS X system now, I would just build a Hacintosh as Apple can't design a decent desktop these days to "save their life" as for the portables they are just turning into FaceBook terminals...

    I seriously question when the sole defining factor is thinner & lighter. One rather expects a Professional/Prosumer notebook to offer the best in performance & utility. As a result I find it difficult to get exited about the upcoming 2016 models, the less is more paradigm is getting old, I want the MBP to be an effective mobile workstation, not a tricked up Air in pink :rolleyes:

    Q-6
     
  11. 1=1? macrumors regular

    1=1?

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    #11
    I appreciate and love everything about this post though I'm curious about your hackintosh statement. Why do you find the Mac Pro to not be a decent desktop?
     
  12. Queen6 macrumors 603

    Queen6

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    #12
    Mostly the upgrade path, the older MacPro`s to me are simply more practical, the new "dustbin" model is more about a design statement than a professional tool, another point worth noting is;
    Screen Shot 2016-08-02 at 03.42.10.png
    Apple`s commitment to the professional community, "cant innovate my ass", more like couldn't care less as long as the money keeps rolling in...

    Irrespective of what we all think here, Apple`s sales figures are what counts, so hopefully we will see a change for the better. Sadly I feel the MPB is destined just to become the "cool kids" latest toy and something for the the fans, as a professional tool it`s already been surpassed.

    Q-6
     
  13. buster84 macrumors 6502

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    Oct 7, 2013
    #13
    Depending on how old your computer is you might want to replace the thermal past with artic silver. I did this on one of my 2011 MacBook pros that had the fan running full more often than I'd like. Now the fans run a lot lower.
     
  14. jerryk thread starter macrumors 68020

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    #14
    My rMBP is 4 weeks old. It has made a lot of fan noise under load since day 1.
     
  15. buster84 macrumors 6502

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    Oct 7, 2013
    #15
    Well 4 weeks old since you bought it, this means you probably got a 2015 model which could have been sitting in a hot warehouse for a long time. Either way for a new machine sitting or not it shouldn't have its fan on like that unless your using all its power, I'd take it in if your noticing higher than normal fan speeds with basic usage.
     
  16. jerryk thread starter macrumors 68020

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    #16

    According a serial number look up it was manufactured in May of 2016.

    But as I said in the original post, the issue with the fans is when I am running AI/Machine Learning algorithms. These typically running 10-20 minutes in tight loops if you have a 100,000 to 1 million rows of data to process. So I am using all of the system's power.

    I am not surprised by that the fans run, but am concerned about the amount of heat exiting the machine. You could literally dry your hands with the exhaust. Since I usually have 2 external monitors connected to the machine I have the top closed. I have the unit elevated about an inch by a book. I suspect this is the best I can do for now.

    I sure wish the fans would not run when I am doing things like playing YouTube videos. I was a little surprised by that.

    The fans also run when I edit my videos and makes it impossible to do voice-overs.

    In a few weeks am going to try some of my models on a Dell XPS 15 to see how it reacts and if the Skylake processor makes a difference.
     
  17. buster84 macrumors 6502

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    #17
    --- Post Merged, Aug 2, 2016 ---
    Wow it was made in May... Ehh now that really makes it disappointing since it means that Apple hasn't stopped production which means no new model for who knows how long.

    The MacBooks do a decent job preventing heat but when at full power they will produce a good amount.

    you can try using an external fan setup to help aleviate some heat. Something like this. Outside of this there's only so much you can do to prevent it from getting hot when running it at full power. Another option if you don't like the fan running at full power is to buy a used Mac Pro desktop for just those intense programs.

    Another option if you don't like the fan running at full power is to buy a used Mac Pro desktop for just those intense programs.

    https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B016...top+cooler&dpPl=1&dpID=51pN-EuCqFL&ref=plSrch
     
  18. Queen6 macrumors 603

    Queen6

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    #18
    Well that explains the temperatures :) Leaves very few options an external cooler, preferably one that can move 100CFM of air or more with a large single fan, it will help to reduce the internal temperature a little. One other option is, there are applications floating around that can cut the turbo boost, this will dramatically reduce the temperature I believe, equally it will result in longer runtimes of the simulations.

    Example here - http://www.rugarciap.com/turbo-boost-switcher-for-os-x/

    I would expect the XPS 15 to run cooler thx to the next Gen CPU and it has far more area for air intake & exhaust. I have looked at the XPS 15, however not been able to really push one hard, from initial observation the Dell has a better take on cooling.

    Q-6
     

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