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macrumors newbie
Original poster
Sep 22, 2012
I have a 2011 15 inch mbp and it has the tendency of getting really hot. If I have just google chrome over it will be doing 117 f even with the fans going at 6200 rpm. And when I have the browser open or minecraft open it goes to 190-210 f! I am afraid that I will fry my computer but I don't want a cooling pad because they are bulky and I don't want to carry it around. So are there more powerful fans on the market that I can swap for the stock ones? Can someone suggest a few if there are? Thanks
Nov 28, 2010
Maybe this can help?

Your temps are normal. The Intel processors used in Macs are designed to automatically shut down to prevent damage if they truly overheat. CPU Tjmax = 105C (221F), GPU Tjmax = 100C (212F) on i3, i5, i7 processors. (Source: Intel)

If you're not already using it, iStat Pro (free) or iStat Menus ($16) will give you accurate readings of your temps and fan speeds, among other things.

Unless there is a rare defect in a Mac, most temps are well within the normal operating range, considering the workload being put 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 your Mac doing its job to maintain temps within the normal range.

It is also quite normal for your Mac to become extremely hot to the touch during intensive operations. The aluminum body transfers heat more effectively than other materials used in computer casings, so you will feel the heat more. This doesn't indicate that it's overheating and will not harm the computer to be hot to the touch.

Your fans are always on when your Mac is on, spinning at a minimum of 2000 rpm (for MBPs) or 1800 rpm (for MBAs, MBs and minis). iMacs have 3 fans with minimum speeds in the 800-1200 range. They will spin faster as needed to keep temps at a safe level.

If your fans are spinning up without increased heat, try resetting the SMC.
(PRAM/NVRAM has nothing to do with these issues, so resetting it will not help.)

The intake and exhaust vents are in the back of the computer near the hinge on all Mac notebooks (except the new MBP with retina display, which has intake vents along the sides at the bottom). The iMac vent is a slot on the back near the top of the computer. Make sure the vents remain unblocked to allow your computer to perform at its best.

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

For Flash-related issues:

Dark Void

macrumors 68030
Jun 1, 2011
I would not recommend swapping out the fans, heatsink, and what have you. There is also the option of adding thermal paste but if it's a 2011 model then that is unlikely to be necessary.

As far as I can tell the temperatures are normal. It will not "fry" as if the computer gets to a certain point and genuinely overheats, it is designed to shut itself down - as stated in the post above.


macrumors 601
Feb 9, 2011
I have a 2011 15 inch mbp and it has the tendency of getting really hot.

You don't get something for nothing. Using the processors and GPU will generate heat. "Just Google Chrome" doesn't mean anything. As stated in countless threads on this topic things such as Flash/video, etc will cause the processors to heat up.

Definitely read the quoted post from GGJ above.


macrumors G3
If you are concerned about temperature and want to reduce it elevation of the rear of the machine helps, as sitting flat on the desk only reflects the heat back to the base of the Mac. You can buy passive aluminium coolers like Rain Designs Mstand or iLap. Most powered coolers are designed for PC notebooks and don't work overly well with Mac`s if at all. One cooler that does work efficiently is the Moshi Zefyr 2, as it`s principle of cooling is specifically designed for Apple portables, by blowing the air horizontally across the base of the computer, however don't expect miracles. The Zefyr also folds up, making it highly portable.


Link: Moshi Zefyr 2
A cheap USB fan can achieve the same if strategically placed, not as elegant mind, nor as easy to put in your notebooks case :p but they do help to reduce case temperatures.

You can use software to override Apple`s own cooling algorithm by manually taking control of fan RPM and setting up power profile presets with SMC Fan Control 2.4, or here with UltraFan which allows you stipulate a preset temperature and the software will automatically raise and lower fan RPM`s to keep the system at the predefined temp, which i personally feel is a far more elegant solution. At the end of the day you want to control your system temperature, not your fan rpm`s. For me SMC is now pretty much redundant with the latest release of UltraFan having manual control of the fans RPM, and subsequently i am starting to uninstall it from my own Mac`s. SMC FC is a great app, however although it`s recently updated, functionality is limited compared to some newer apps, equally SMC Fan Control is rock steady stable and a finished product.

Strictly speaking Apple`s own cooling algorithm works, albeit at sacrifice of increased temps for quieter operation. This has always been the Apple way and is really nothing detrimental to the system, i have one MBP from 2008 all original barring a recent fan change that has an uptime of over 30K hours. The latest MBP`s need less assistance in remaining cool; for some it`s simply disconcerting the heat generated and transferred to the case, although it`s perfectly normal as the aluminium acts as a heat-sync. i have to deal with elevated ambient temperature so at times a software solution is useful. Apart from the passive cooling the Mstands bring they also offer a very sound ergonomic solution. A passive cooler and UltraFan will maximise the cooling, there is little else you can do short of reducing the ambient temperature or the system load. If I know i am going to push a system i will close all apps that are not essential as this can and does make an impact to system temperature.

High temperatures in general is not overly harmful to your systems, what is far more detrimental is thermal stress, when temperatures rapidly fluctuate by significant margins in short periods of time. Anyone striving for great longevity should look to minimise rapid temperature changes.

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.

Other software that can assist gfxCardStatus, AdBlock (extension)
Last edited:


macrumors member
Feb 2, 2012
fan fixing error

While cleaning out my Belkin Cooling Pad, I accidentally placed the fan upside down.. the Cooling Pad made a lotta noise and I thought it was gonna be temporary.. Anyway, I used it for about 2 hours :confused: I just opened it and fixed it the right way.. Now, will this mistake affect my macbook? Thanx..
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