MacBook Pro 15" - regarding heat

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by MedusasPath, Oct 26, 2011.

  1. MedusasPath macrumors newbie

    Aug 7, 2010
    So, I'm in the plan of buying a MBP 15" or an iMac 27".
    The thing that's pushing me away from MBP is the heat that it produces. So I would like to ask owners of this year's MBP 15" to tell me, under what kind of workload does the case become really hot? And how loud does it get?
  2. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    The Intel processors used in Macs are designed to automatically shut down to prevent damage if they truly overheat (around 100C/212F - 105C/221F, depending on your processor). iStat Pro will give you accurate readings of your temps, among other things.

    Unless there is a rare defect in a Mac, your temps are well within the normal operating range, considering the workload placed on it. Websites with Flash content, games and other multimedia apps will put higher demand on the CPU/GPU, generating more heat. This is normal. If you're constantly putting high demands on your system, such as gaming or other multimedia tasks, expect temps to rise and fans to spin up accordingly. It's just the Mac doing its job to maintain temps within the normal range.

    The fans are always on when the Mac is on, spinning at a minimum of 2000 rpm (for MBPs) or 1800 rpm (for MBAs, MBs and minis). They will spin faster as needed to keep temps at a safe level. If they're spinning up without increased heat, try resetting the SMC. PRAM/NVRAM has nothing to do with these issues, so resetting it will not help. Also, make sure you don't block the vents, which are located at the rear, near the hinge.

    Learn about the fans in your Mac
    Apple Portables: Operating temperature

    There is not an overheating problem with Mac portables. There is only a perceived overheating problem. That's partly due to the fact that the aluminum casing transfers heat better than some other notebook materials, so they may feel hotter to the touch than notebooks made of other materials. It may even become hot enough to be uncomfortable to rest on your lap. This, too, is normal. Because a user is unfamiliar with the heat normally generated by a Mac portable doesn't mean there's a problem with the Mac. Only on rare occasions is there a defect that causes true overheating.
  3. Mr. Retrofire macrumors 603

    Mr. Retrofire

    Mar 2, 2010
    Firmware updates and Lion v10.7.2 solved many heat problems in the MBPs. I assume if you buy your 15" in the next weeks that you get a MBP with all the necessary updates. It helps also if you activate the Intel HD 3000 with gfxCardStatus.
  4. thundersteele macrumors 68030

    Oct 19, 2011
    I think MedusasPath wasn't concerned about overheating, but about the machine getting uncomfortably hot.

    In general with a laptop everything is close to you, to your hands, ears, etc. If you really don't need portability, I would recommend the iMac. You can sit better, your keyboard is nice and cool, bigger screen. I don't know about noise.
  5. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    The laptop is never too uncomfortable on hands or ears. It may get hot enough to be uncomfortable on the lap, but you can always set it on a desk, table, etc.
  6. Menge macrumors 6502a


    Dec 22, 2008
    I can vouch that the early 2011 13" 2.3GHz i5 gets uncomfortably hot for laps or hands if you hold underneath it (CPU at 90ºC when under heavy load) due to Intel TurboBoost.

    The pattern is always the same: use something that uses all cores and you're fine. Use something that places load on just one core = heat hell with TurboBoost.
  7. MedusasPath thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 7, 2010
    Well, I wouldn't worry if the machine would get loud and hot, if I was encoding video, for example.
    But what I'm not sure about is whether the case gets uncomfortably hot when doing some normal work - i.e. light multitasking? And how loud are the ventilators at that point?
    Somewhere I read that even Skype skyrocketed ventilators to full speed. Therefore, I'm a bit skeptical.
  8. mape2k macrumors regular

    Apr 18, 2011
    Under daily "normal" use such as browsing the web, text editing or skyping/chatting I have never found my laptop to be uncomfortably hot if it rests on my lap. CPU stays around 40-45C. The fans at this point will spin at 2000rpm (lowest value), which is barely hearable. If you have an HDD, than you will probably hear the HDD before anything else. I have a SSD installed an sometimes I think I can very faintly hear the fans. Compared to other Windows-based laptops I have owned, the MBP is quiet as a mouse... (does that saying exist in English? quite common in German ^^).

    Skype is indeed poorly coded for Mac (IMO), but it does not generate enough load for the CPU to reach more than 60C on my machine. The reports you read (one was only a couple of days ago) were probably related to other apps causing CPU load in the background.
  9. MedusasPath thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 7, 2010
    Great. Thanks for posting!
    Which model do you have exactly?
  10. stylinexpat macrumors 65816


    Mar 6, 2009
    I always wondered why the MBP got so hot with Skype and the Iphone 4 never got half as hot while running Skype. :confused:
  11. yanki01 macrumors 68040


    Feb 28, 2009
  12. sweetbrat macrumors 65816


    Jun 17, 2009
    Redford, MI
    The computer will get warm and the fans will kick up if you're browsing web pages that use Flash, just an FYI. That's the only time I really notice the fans or the heat. If you use Safari, I'd recommend Click to Flash. It automatically blocks Flash, but if there's something you want to see, you just click on it. Works well for keeping temps comfy and fans quiet.

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