Macbook 2010 Skyrim overheating Issue

Discussion in 'Mac and PC Games' started by NanoTunes, Jan 27, 2012.

  1. NanoTunes macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2012
    Location:
    Germany
    #1
    Hey there,

    after getting help a lot of times before through reading posts in this pretty neat forum, I finally registered to ask you guys and girls for help in a recent problem I've been having.

    So I'm running Win7 64bit on my Macbook Pro late 2010 through Bootcamp and use it only for gaming.
    I've been able to play CoD MW2 on medium to low settings pretty darn smoothly. Also pretty much every other Game I've played before had no problems running at all.

    However, I recently installed Battlefield 3 and Skyrim. Now Battlefield I threw away after playing 5 minutes since it was lagging really badly.
    Skyrim on the other hand, I was able to get running ok but only when turning pretty much every setting to the lowest option possible and turning off all AA and similar things.

    But even after taking down the resolution to the lowest possible one before letterboxing, after about 10-20 minutes my Mac gets so hot, the framerates drop so it gets near unplayable and eventually the computer puts itself into sleep mode - I assume to prevent overheating.

    I even installed this SMCfancontrol and turned those little turbines all the way up to like 5700 rpm but I merely got a few more minutes before the point of not being able to play.

    This wouldn't be an issue if I knew that this computer simply isn't able to handle this game, however I've seen multiple videos on youtube and posts online where people have been able to play it on a decent resolution and even settings turned from medium to high - and that with macbooks with weaker CPUs and less memory - no overheating issue mentioned at all.

    I'm kinda freakin out here - is there something wrong with my mac or what?

    I did try to overclock the gpu a while back, but i did so while staying closely to a guide and i didn't even turn the values up to the point they deemed safe for my graphics card. I really hope i didn't cause any permanent damage - however the program SIW says the heat issue lies within the CPU.

    Any help at all would be so much appreciated - I really enjoy the game and would like to play it further.
     
  2. Bravodarling macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2012
    #2
    I think that the CPU it's talking about is actually the GPU. I have a newer Macbook than you and mine has 1GB shared video memory but the same processor. It runs Skyrim awesome. I've never experienced any problems with it. Played through the entire game and never once froze up or lagged out on me. I'm also running Windows7 64bit with all updates installed. Maybe try updating the video card drivers.
     
  3. NanoTunes thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2012
    Location:
    Germany
    #3
    No it also shows the temperature of the GPU - the troublemaker is the CPU.
    And I already used a different driver from www.laptopvideo2go.com/
     
  4. The-Pro macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2010
    Location:
    Germany
    #4
    Weird.
    I have the same MBP as you and I can game for hours straight without problems. I finished battlefield 3 in one session and I even had the GPU overclocked for the entire time. No problems. The MBP is steaming hot (CPU at like 80-95°C) but no performance dips or shutdowns.
    Have you checked if both your fans are working?
     
  5. NanoTunes thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jan 27, 2012
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    #5
    No I haven't. Whats the best way to find out?
     
  6. thundersteele macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2011
    Location:
    Switzerland
    #6
    Can you reproduce the overheating problem in OSX?

    In Windows, you could try to run using the powersave energy setting also when plugged in. This could help.

    At the end of the day, you should have your mac checked and maybe get the thermal paste reapplied. Even under very heavy load, the machine shouldn't shutdown from heat issues.
     
  7. The-Pro macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2010
    Location:
    Germany
    #7
    Well you could install istat pro in OSX or in windows, when in a game, put your hand to where the vents are on the back under the screen. You should feel two "jets" of warm air coming out. One in the middle and one to the edge towards the magsafe.
     
  8. NanoTunes thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2012
    Location:
    Germany
    #8
    I checked it using iStat and both my fans are spinning at seemingly normal rates.

    And I also wouldn't know how to recreate this on OS X - I don't have a program on here that I know of being capable of maxing out my resources.
    But even in normal use - especially when merely watching videos online it gets hot to a point where you cant put your hands on the top left corner next to the macsafe.

    However - I installed an older driver for the Graphics card from laptopvideo2go and after playing about an hour still no breakdown. I use the 197.45 I believe instead of the 25...something I had on before since I read somewhere that the new drivers are still buggy and may have an increased heat output.

    Maybe the additional heat lead to the CPU being pushed over the edge since its now running between 85-95, sometimes maxing out to 100 or even 105° C.

    After playing quite a while I still got quite some FPS drop tho but its still playable even if not very well. But for that I had to take down the resolution to the last one before letterboxing and put pretty much all options down - again wouldn't be a problem if I didn't know that similar or weaker systems are able to run it smoothly on higher res and settings -.-'
     
  9. Rhyalus macrumors 6502

    Rhyalus

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2011
    #9
    Couple of things -

    The word on the forums is that Skyrim is more CPU bound - not GPU. I did not check the min requirements, but the lousy heat design of the Macs does not do well with gaming.

    Also, there is a patch for Skyrim that is about to be released through Steam - 1.4 something - which is supposedly much smoother - beta people are saying that they are seeing 10-20 more FPS with the patch.

    Push up your fan speed before you start playing, and get a laptop cooling pad. You may have a chance to play it on the lowest settings, but quite frankly, Skyrim is an awesome looking game... you are really not going to do it justice.

    R
     
  10. cluthz macrumors 68040

    cluthz

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2004
    Location:
    Norway
    #10
    I had a 2010 15 inch MBP.
    His 2.66GHz dual core i7 should be on par with my 3.67GHz Core 2 Duo.

    I'm running with maxed settings and FXAA (but only 2x AA) and medium shadow (for some reason high shadows give me CTD once to twice an hour and medium maybe once every 4-5hrs)

    My CPU is usually hovering from 75-90% usage, and GFX from 50-75%, so I'm CPU bottlenecked, but my GPU is about 5 times faster than the 330M
     
  11. thundersteele macrumors 68030

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    Oct 19, 2011
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    Switzerland
    #11
    Did you actually undo the overclocking?
     
  12. The-Pro macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2010
    Location:
    Germany
    #12
    Download nVidia system tools. From that you can check your GPU's clock speeds to make sure its not still overclocked and you can monitor all your temps. I use it and its quite handy :)

    Also i use the 266.xx drivers. I found these work the best. I installed 285.56 (think it was .56) and a reinstalled 266 a minute later as all the resolutions in the games were screwed up. At 1280x852 it played in a "window" with black border, and all kinds of weird stuff. I couldn't get rid of it so I reinstalled 266. With 285 my GPU was on average 3°C hotter so that was another benefit of the 266.

    BTW, you could try and run an extended apple hardware test. To do this insert the install disk 1 that came with your MBP. Hold the "D" key, it will boot into the hardware test. Then choose the extended option and let it run through, this could take a while. If there are any defects in the logic board, GPU, etc this should tell you.
     
  13. NanoTunes thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2012
    Location:
    Germany
    #13
    Like I said - I overclocked the GPU and not the CPU and it was only a temporary tune done with a nVidia tool. Reboot automatically took it down again.

    Also as mentioned before I already pumped up the fans all the way before even starting the game. This at least allows me some time before it gets too hot. I have to make a 1 minute break in witch I minimize the game every 5 to 15 minutes, depending on room temperature.

    I keep doing research online on what the problem might be and I stumbled across a discussion which centers on the problem of thermal paste being applied way too much and in an unprecise fashion by apple. I'm going to open the MBP sometime next week, clear out all of the fans again (although I believe I already did this about 2 months ago when I upgraded my memory) and remove and reapply new thermal paste by myself.

    Members of the discussion reported up to 15° C improvement after doing so and if this should be the reason for those problems I would be sincerely disappointed by Apple.
    With a 500 € PC I could understand something like that but with a premium machine this pricey this would really be disappointing.

    However - I do not want to jump to conclusions and I will report the result of my little operation as soon as possible.

    ----------

    @the-pro: Thanks for the tips - I'll try it out tomorrow if i get a chance.
     
  14. The-Pro macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2010
    Location:
    Germany
    #14
    Yeh the amount of thermal paste that apple put on is problem, however not with every MBP and it was a bigger issue with the 2011 model. I reapplied thermal paste last year after my warranty ran out. There was a fair amount on and around the CPU and GPU. I was hoping that reapplying it would lower my temps significantly as I hated the fact my MBP ran so hot most of the time, just in skype and stuff. Well it took me 30 mins to do the process as you have to take the entire logic board out.
    After that the I was looking for a temperature difference. I was disappointed that the difference was only like 2°C in idle and usually around 3°C under load (that might be enough to solve your problems). So I had no where near similar results that other people had with reapplying thermal paste on their 2011 model.
    I also have a cooling stand. It has two small fans blowing air at the bottom of the MBP. This thing doesn't make any difference. Not a single degree. As annoyed as I was about that, because it cost me 30€, I ended up keeping it because it has a 3 port USB hub and 2.5" SATA HDD bay which were not listed in the description. :D

    I feel ya, these machines should be spick and span. Amazing that those amounts of thermal paste, you could see from pictures of 2011 models, passes the quality checks. Oh well.

    And if nothing works, take your MBP to an apple store.
     

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