Keeping MBP 2011 cool when gaming?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by tbch2325, Jun 1, 2011.

  1. tbch2325 macrumors newbie

    May 1, 2010
    Hi all,

    I'm new to MACs (first one) and I have done a bit of research on this but can only really find SMC fan control as a solution. I don’t really like using SMC as I’m worried about the life of the fans if consistently used, plus you have to boot into OSX first, then into boot camp which is a little annoying. Is there a recommended unibody cooling pad anyone could recommend?

    Would changing the HDD to SSD improve the temperature?
  2. miles01110 macrumors Core


    Jul 24, 2006
    The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
    ...but if you're gaming the fans are going to spin up anyways. This is an artificial concern.

    Cooling pads are wastes of money. Tilt your machine up on some post-it notes or something.

  3. tbch2325 thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 1, 2010
  4. DustinT macrumors 68000


    Feb 26, 2011
    Ya, he's basically right. You could also look into replacing the thermal paste with something that cools better. Other than that, lowering the graphics settings in your games will reduce the load on the computer slightly.

    But, there's not really a lot more you can do. These systems are more focused on portability than cooling performance. So, when you game on them they will heat up a bit and get noisy. They are designed for it and tend to be reliable so I wouldn't sweat it too much.

    Do what I did, get some better headphones and turn'em up!
  5. iReminisce macrumors newbie

    May 9, 2011
    ANY gaming/performance laptop will get hot and crank up the fans when pushed like with 3D gaming. The MBP isn't even as loud as my old XPS, but it does -feel- hotter due to the all aluminum casing. From my understanding, the whole bottom of the case doubles as a large heatsink also. So yeah, just tilt your macbook upwards, on a lapdesk or something and you're good to go. I've played Portal 2 for hours with it cranked up like that and no problem. My XPS went 3 hardcore years and never an issue, so don't worry about it.
  6. tbch2325 thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 1, 2010
    Thanks, im not too worried about the noise TBH, really im just worried about it overheating but if your all saying theres nothing to worry about then ill stop worrying :)

    Has anyone undervolted? Is this unwise to do?
  7. DustinT macrumors 68000


    Feb 26, 2011
    There's no harm in undervolting. The Core I series employs a lot of tricks already to reduce the TDP but I'm sure you can tweak that for better results. I wouldn't think it will be very easy though since there's no BIOS access at all. You'd have to do it with software tools. Under Windows that might not be too hard but I think trying it under Mac OS X would be a little more work, probably requiring some command line time and familiarity with Linux. I'm sure its doable though if you are willing to put in the time.
  8. MadMac84 macrumors member

    Jul 2, 2007
    If you are gaming in Windows (which I'd assume you are) then you could do a little trick that I use. For most games, letting the CPU turbo boost really does very little if anything for your framerates, however, it really adds a lot to the temp and kicks up the fans. So I have a power profile made called "Disable Turboboost" which basically is based on the "High Performance" profile, but with the maximum CPU state set to 99%. This will force the CPU to stay at 2.2Ghz (or 2.3Ghz depending on which 15" you have). I notice no lower framerates but it makes the laptop much cooler and the fans spin much lower.

    Then when I need the extra ~800Mhz for when I encode a video or emulate GameCube games, I just set it back to "High Performance."

    For finer control of the multiplier you can use ThrottleStop. It lets you manually set the multiplier allowing you to get the performance you want without producing extra heat. Great little program if you game on battery since you can set the clocks to exactly what you need for the game and no more.
  9. Kashika macrumors regular

    Sep 8, 2010
  10. elVince macrumors newbie

    Mar 21, 2011
  11. w00t951 macrumors 68000


    Jan 6, 2009
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Even after a 6 hour long Bad Company 2 marathon, my Macbook Pro never goes above 90C, with the fans on maximum. This was obviously done in Windows (7).

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