MacBook overheating

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by monalisaa 98, Mar 11, 2013.

  1. monalisaa 98 macrumors newbie

    Mar 11, 2013
    I own a late 2009 model MacBook, that is constantly overheating. After having it turned on for 5 minutes, its up to about 80 degrees and rising, up to where I physically cant touch it anymore. The fan goes crazy.
    I know this isn't normal, because I I've had it for a few years now, and it's been fine, until now.
    I do realise open applications can contribute to this, but it makes no difference what I have opened.
    I do however, need a battery replaced, being drastic as it wont last more than 2 hours. Could this be a contributing factor?
    It's getting to the point where I can't use it for more than a few seconds, before its starts to lag from the heat.
    Help would be much appreciated in a solution to my problem,
    Thank you-
  2. simsaladimbamba

    Nov 28, 2010
    If your Mac would overheat, it would shut down. 80° C is an acceptable temperature for the CPU, which can withstand up to 105° C.
    Those Macs in their heat - a sine of over-heating? - a short story by Mister GGJstudios

    Anyway, the heat does not make your computer lag, the CPU activity does, therefore open Activity Monitor and select All Processes* and then sort by CPU** to show you the process(es) slowing down your Mac or speeding up your fan(s) or causing more heat.


  3. seveej macrumors 6502a


    Dec 14, 2009
    Helsinki, Finland
    Heating up like that (80deg in a few minutes) can be based on two different scenarios.

    Either you have some process running, at 200% (check activity monitor as simsaladimbamba suggested). Don't worry doing this for 10 minutes to get a clear picture will not damage your machine - worst case it will shutdown to avoid overheating. If you find nothing (CPU utilization on idle stays solidly below 50%), check next.

    Alternatively, you may have a problem with your mechanical cooling. The problem may be based on several reasons:
    - CPU does not transfer heat to heat sink
    - heat sink not in physical contact with chips
    - air ducts clogged up
    Sadly, none of these can be done properly without opening up the computer, but the last is pretty simple - what you need is a philips #00 screwdriver (any hardware shop sells these) and a can of compressed air (preferably, but in a pinch you can use your lungs). Shut down machine. Unscrew eight screws on bottom plate. Remove lid. Take compressed air and blow on fan so that air current is directed toward back of machine (blow the dust out). You are ready when you see no dust on the fan or the metal grill behind the fan.

    Sadly, the other two you cannot address without the help of a seasoned amateur at least.

  4. Commy1 macrumors 6502a


    Feb 25, 2013
    Check the active processes first, then open her up. I have a feeling it'll be a little dusty inside. And if that's not the case then try a thermal repast. I'm pretty sure iFixit will have a guide on it as to how to get down to the processor.
    You can order a cleaning kit from Newegg by Artic Silver, or use raw glass cleaner. Then pick out a thermal paste, I recommend, if you can't find IC Diamond, Arctic Silver 5.
    It's made with 99.9% silver particles, not silicon base so it stays pasty and won't cake. Did wonders for my Alienware M14x before I sold it, brought temps down from High 80's/90's to 75 max under full gaming load. I'm pretty sure your Macbook isn't doing as much work as that.

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