If you are concerned about heat/fan noise, go 2010 or wait for Ivy Bridge

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by mrmister, Mar 14, 2011.

  1. mrmister, Mar 14, 2011
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2011

    mrmister macrumors regular

    Dec 19, 2008
    It's clear the new 2011 MBPs run hotter and louder under load than the 2010 ones.

    1. Per the system specifications, the quad core processors have a 45w TDP vs last generation's 35w TDP--that's a big increase.

    2. The fans top speed has been increased on the 2011 models to 6500, which I believe is unprecedented--I've never heard of an Apple laptop that used more than 6000 rpm as a maximum. Certainly the 2010 models maxed out at 6000 rpm.

    There is plenty of anecdotal evidence available on this forum and elsewhere, which I won't link to or refer to here as some have better methodologies than others, but the best comparisons come to the same conclusions--when doing the same work, anything that is processor or GPU intensive, the 2011 models will get louder and hotter than their 2010 predecessors.

    Also anecdotal, but it is worth noting that 2010 MBPs are assembled with the same lack of care with regards to the amount of thermal paste...but it is only with the 2011 models that a large number of hacker types are willing to risk voiding warranties by improving the paste application. The clear implication is that with the 2011 models their are a higher number of users investigating making changes because their laptops run hotter and louder.

    If you are bothered by heat/fan noise, here is what I recommend:

    1. Wait for Ivy Bridge, the die shrink of Sandy Bridge, which is in the 2011 machines. Ivy Bridge should refine Sandy Bridge, and specifically run cooler--every other MBP after an intel die shrink/refinement has been the generations that ran "cool". It is a bit of a wait--Ivy Bridge is probably coming to the MBP in 2012.

    2. Buy a 2010 model. They are still available, on sale for large markdowns, and still great machines. Yes, you miss out on a few great upgrades (Thunderbolt, high-res iSight) and the awesome quad core processors...but you also don't have to deal with the noise/heat of awesome quad core processors.

    3. Investigate for yourself...but be aware that if you are the kind of person who is bothered by heat and/or noise, be alert and do not expect miracles. There will be no special firmware from Apple in the future that changes everything--45w TDP is 45w TDP. They can only make it cooler by ramping fans faster, which makes noise, or by turning down performance, which is unlikely and will upset a lot of people. If it bothers you a lot when you buy it, you may need to reconsider your purchase, depending on your needs.

    4. Do you need a MBP? A surprising number of people who traditionally get MBPs but don't task them heavily may be better served by a maxed-out 13" MacBook Air...which will be much much cooler, and absolutely silent. Make sure you've re-evaluated your needs in light of Apple's evolving product line--the MBA is a killer laptop if it suits your needs.

    I wanted to post this to present a rational, measured voice about the situation. No one is denying the 2011 MBPs are fantastic machines--between the quad cores and Thunderbolt, they are the closest we've been to a desktop replacement ever. But power comes at a price, and for this generation the price is heat and noise under load.
  2. hehe299792458 macrumors 6502a


    Dec 13, 2008
    I can say from personal experience that the 2011 MBP doesn't run much hotter than the late 2008. Unfortunately, I cannot attest to difference between the 2011 and 2010 models.

    When talking about the TDP, it's important to remember that the 10W difference also includes the new integrated graphics in the Sandy Bridge cpu. The 2010 put the GPU tdp under the chipset. Anyways, the quad core scales nicely, so it's pretty cool while idle or under light load.
  3. hystery, Mar 14, 2011
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2011

    hystery macrumors member

    Aug 9, 2010
  4. grillface macrumors newbie

    Mar 7, 2011
    I have a 2011 15" 2.2 and I can safely say that temperature/fan noise is not a problem for me.
    Right now while web browsing the fans are at a silent 2k rpm and the CPU temperature is sitting at 39 degrees C.

    Sure, when gaming the fans kick up to full-blast but even after a long L4D2 or SCII session I haven't seen the temperatures go over 85. In fact, they are usually around 80. As I am gaming at the time, the noise doesn't bother me one bit.

    This laptop is a powerhouse - no complaints from me about anything!
  5. mulo macrumors 68020


    Aug 22, 2010
    Behind you
    impressive, i could never get my 2010 MBP under 50C
  6. spazma7ik macrumors 6502a

    Sep 12, 2009
    Wow, must have had a lemon. My 2010 17" is idling at 32C.
  7. Mik3F macrumors 6502

    Feb 3, 2011
    My 2011 is no louder than my 2010 13". Temps appear to be similar too
  8. iZero, Mar 14, 2011
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2011

    iZero macrumors regular

    Mar 8, 2011
    Another one of these threads, eh? Well, heat is simply not an issue unless you get a lemon or misunderstand how things work. At least as far as design and function of the machines go. Haven't had my 2011 17" i7 above 70 even once, working it hard. Idles and does normal everyday tasks in the mid 30's-low 40's. Fans are barely audible unless it's being taxed. 2010 17" was the same (both my AG and glossy 2010's). Smaller you go, they get a little warmer it seems, but again, work as designed. My wife's old 15" 2009 MBP also, ran fairly cool, and silent. But naturally if you purposefully stress them out, and test them, they do get hot, and the fans do come on. Though as the OP said, if that bothers you, indeed steer clear...

    Haven't had a laptop that was anything near approaching uncomfortably warm since 2006. It was a base MacBook.


    No. People have always wanted to fine tune their machines and correct things such as thermal paste application. On both Windows machines, and Macs. It's virtually always an issue on both. Back when the 2010's came out, the 2009's, etc. people were still doing such things, and posting about it. These are dangerously misunderstood and sometimes tragically misguide new users into very expensive mistakes chasing very minimal changes in temp with a machine that was already operating well within safety, and specified ranges.
  9. tim100 macrumors 65816

    May 25, 2009
  10. grahamnp, Mar 14, 2011
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2011

    grahamnp macrumors 6502a

    Jun 4, 2008
    I think there is a close relationship between the number of people who get the MBP immediately after launch and the number of people who are willing to tinker with things like thermal paste. These are the enthusiasts.

    I am not saying that your observations are wrong but as with any new product it might be wise to wait until the hype has died down before you make any decisions, especially if you were on the fence.
  11. d0minick macrumors 6502

    Mar 8, 2011
    I got to add the mine does not run very hot at all. My precision, old xps, and even the mini 10v seem to run hotter.
  12. adrian1480 macrumors 6502

    Sep 2, 2010
    same here. mine never ran below maybe 45C. my 2011 is giving me roughly the same experience. I don't find that the 2011 is running any hotter than the 2010. ymmv I suppose, but my 2010 would get pushed out to 100C just by Flash sometimes before the fans kicked in. laptop never gave me any trouble; it just would get hot when under load if I didn't manually adjust the fan speeds.
  13. iZero macrumors regular

    Mar 8, 2011
    Well put :)
  14. skiltrip macrumors 68030

    May 6, 2010
    New York
    I am very sensitive to noise and was worried as I use my MBP in a recording studio environment. But I've only gotten the fans to become intrusive by running tests that hammer the living snot out of the CPU. So, basically, any real world usage is unlikely to get your fans spinning at intolerable levels.
  15. iZero macrumors regular

    Mar 8, 2011
    Seems to be the opposite. It seems possibly due to more room inside for heat dissipation/airflow, that the 15 runs cooler than the 13, and the 17 cooler than the 15. Doesn't mean that's necessarily how it's actually going, but that seems to be the trend.

    +1. It seems the only way to get them even remotely "hot", is to either game on them for which they were never intended, or to beat the "snot" out of them purposefully to test the limits, which no (normal) person would be doing everyday, and which would have the same result on any laptop, regardless of manufacturer.
  16. liva macrumors newbie

    Nov 7, 2010
    mbp 2011 15" idle at 39° and after 8hour of rendering with all core at 95-100% with Adobe After Effect, he went at 87°, got it 3 days ago and i never reboot the machine, i'm trying to use it a maximum on the refound periode (14 days in france)
  17. daneoni, Mar 14, 2011
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2011

    daneoni macrumors G4


    Mar 24, 2006
    Mine has been giving me temps that are no worse than my Late 08 model and are mostly better. Right now i'm driving a 24" LED ACD with the AMD chip and i'm getting temps of 47-51C with Safari (with Flash on CNN), Mail, Adium, iTunes and some other monitoring/maintenance software going. Also the MBP is in clamshell mode with the display closed. On my Late 08 model i'd be running at 65C at least.

    Yes things get toasty/noisy (never gone beyond 86C...sometimes drops to 75C) when you FULLY max out the new laptops but the cooling system is also more than sufficient. People have been spoiled by the Air and forget what is under the hood of their machines.

    Attached Files:

  18. wct097 macrumors 6502

    Nov 30, 2010
    I'm sure there is a trade off somewhere. You either have a slow computer that's cool & quiet, or a fast computer that's powerful, hot, and loud. If you're using your computer hard enough to get it hot, then you probably don't want a slower one. If you're not using it hard and can deal with a slower one, you probably won't be heating up the faster one anyway.

    My 15" 2.2ghz just got up to 87*, running the fans at 4500rpm while making a Winclone image of my Bootcamp partition. By the time I finished typing this post it was back to 52* and 2k rpm, and generally idles around 37* and 2k RPM doing typical activity.

    The only time I notice heat/noise is when I'm playing WoW, or doing something extremely processor intensive, which is 100% reasonable.
  19. punchwalk macrumors regular

    May 16, 2010
    Maryland, USA
    I have a 15" 2.2 as well and can vouch for these numbers. Almost identical temps for me.
  20. skiltrip macrumors 68030

    May 6, 2010
    New York
    good point on other manufacturers. My wife is a school librarian. The other day I visited her at work. She's got a pair of Dell laptops in the library. They were idle, doing no work of any kind, and the racket those things were making was insane. loud as hell. I think sometimes Mac users lose site of how good we have it.
  21. greytmom macrumors 68040


    Jun 23, 2010
    I used to worry about noise/heat on my 2007, until I installed iStat on the Mac side and Lubbos on the Windows side. Now, I realize that my temps rarely go above 78, and have never made it to 90. The fans kick in when they need to - and that's as it should be.

    Can't wait to see how my 2011 compares... it arrives today!
  22. mgartner0622 macrumors 65816


    Jun 6, 2010
    Colorado, USA
    Macbook Pro 2.4GHz i5 15"
    4GB, 128GB SSD

    I also have a friend with a 2010 base 15" and he said no issue with heat so far.

    Attached Files:

  23. DoctaKrafty macrumors newbie

    Jun 4, 2009
    Fan noise? Over heating issues?

    Mine when under normal conditions runs quietly and cooly. In fact the only noise I ever hear is me typing. When gaming I've not yet noticed any fan noise. Only time I've heard the fans is when Windows 7 tried to perform a restart and it screwed up somehow making the fans blast for no reason. They don't "Run loud" unless you make them, and they don't run hot unless you're unlucky or working them hard.

    I do however agree with:

    Why? Because there's a lot of spec whores out there. 99% of people don't need anything above a dual core in reality. This will change someday but right now, dual cores are still good.

    Basically this thread is rubbish.
  24. nikhsub1 macrumors 68020


    Jun 19, 2007
    mmmm... jessica.'s beer...
    I think all this fan/overheating issues have to do with poor thermal paste application in the factory and nothing to do with the actual CPU's. My 2 week old 2.3 in my sig runs cool as a cucumber - idle low 30's C and load in the 80's. My Santa Rosa from mid 2007 runs MUCH hotter than that still.
  25. ocean.yellow macrumors newbie

    Mar 5, 2011
    Got my first MBP 2011, can tell me how to check the temp in OS X ?

    Thanks !

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