Loud fans, dangerous?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by puelocesar, Jun 24, 2015.

  1. puelocesar macrumors member

    Mar 11, 2013
    Hi, I just got my new rMBP 15" with Iris Pro this week, and while playing Transistor today I noticed the fans became very loud. The game is running very well, I put a high resolution to improve text quality (text seems really ugly on all games at 1440x900), but: is there any danger in using the macbook with high temperatures? Am I risking a lower lifespan of my new computer by doing this?
  2. gngan, Jun 24, 2015
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2015

    gngan macrumors 68000


    Jan 1, 2009
    Common sense tells me that anything will fail. How soon? We don't know. If your fan is always spinning in max speed then it will die sooner than the ones that don't. How soon? We don't know.
  3. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 604

    Oct 24, 2013
    Thats what happens when you game on a laptop. Will it shorten the life of your macbook?? Probably.....
    How much it'll shorten it is just impossible to tell.

    The Computer will throttle back if temps go too high to cool effectively and will shut down as a last resort.

    However looking at the reccomended specs you should be able to get it to run fairly cool and quiet if you turn some settings down it's not the most intensive game out there.
  4. Toutou macrumors 6502a


    Jan 6, 2015
    Prague, Czech Republic
    This is almost never true. Turning down the settings makes your GPU achieve higher frame rates, still running at full speed. You would need to turn down the settings AND limit the FPS (or hope the game is fps limited by default). It's pretty easy for some games, impossible for others.
  5. snaky69 macrumors 603

    Mar 14, 2008
    You should do a bit of searching around the forums, this has been discussed in thousands (and I truly mean thousands) of threads already.

    You're not damaging anything. Your fans ramping up is a good thing, you wouldn't want your computer to fry itself.

    The computer is designed to take care of itself thermally. It'll gradually become warmer, after a certain treshold is reached your fans will ramp up, should the computer's temperature still rise, they'll go faster and so on until they reach maximum speed. If the computer's temperature is still rising even after that, then it'll start to throttle (cutting the amount of power the CPU has, so that it is less able to produce heat), and should it keep on rising even after that, then it'll shut down to protect itself.

    You have nothing to worry about, let the computer take care of itself like it is designed to.
  6. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 604

    Oct 24, 2013
    And that shows how much PC gaming I do. Yeah I forgot you'd have to limit the FPS...
  7. shoehornhands macrumors regular

    Oct 9, 2014
    If you stress your MacBook Pro for extended periods of time (gaming, rendering, encoding, etc), I'd look into something like this:


    I'd imagine these would be particularly effective with a MacBook Pro given that the aluminum case acts as a heatsink of sorts (i.e. getting some decent airflow around it could significantly improve cooling).

    Stressing the MacBook Pro for extended periods of time will obviously shorten its lifespan. The real question though, is whether or not it's of any real significance (for example, if it shortens the lifespan from 10 years to 7 years, most people would have moved on to another computer by then anyway).

    This has been my own personal experience. I usually work my computer pretty hard and if the computer makes it though the first month or two without any problems, it usually works without issue for as long as I keep it (the one exception being a 2008 MacBook Pro with an 8600M GT but that's a bit different because a recall was issued).
  8. puelocesar thread starter macrumors member

    Mar 11, 2013
    Well, I did had a 2009 macbook and put it under a lot of stress on it's first years, and yet, after 6 years it's still running. But it had a nvidia card, so I asked because maybe there's something particular about these new intel graphics that could cause trouble? Probably not then.
  9. puelocesar thread starter macrumors member

    Mar 11, 2013
    Thanks for the tip, these comfort ones seems to be very nice to have
  10. ckWTB macrumors member


    Aug 24, 2014
    Portland, OR
    Gaming is notorious for stressing out a computer’s CPU and GPU. When running processors at maximum speed they generate a significant amount of heat, and when they run for an extended period of time the computer’s cooling system is also running at maximum capacity. If the heat builds up then processor speeds may be throttled to prevent overheating, which means that you will experience reduced system performance and/or reduced frame rates. With or without performance reduction, running processors at higher temperatures and exposing all of the internal components to higher temperatures for extended periods is known to reduce long term reliability.

    If you want to reduce surface temperatures only then laptop cooling trays will work, however, if you want to reduce internal temperatures, reduce throttling and increase performance then you need to cooling the processors directly and help to remove heat at a faster rate. You can even provide enough supplemental cooling to allow for GPU overclocking as some gamers like to do for increase fps and overall graphic performance.
  11. Queen6 macrumors 603


    Dec 11, 2008
    Putting out the fire with gasoline...
    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 as default, internal temperatures soar;
    • 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 Ublock extension 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 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
    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 of for form over, function, thin & light...

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

    As for fan longevity I still have an Early 2008 15" and it`s on it`s second set of fans, equally it spent the majority of it`s working life in the Middle East & the Tropics, hooked up to external displays.

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