Macbook Pro Heat Dissipation

BenXiaoHai

macrumors member
Original poster
May 2, 2010
84
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Hi guys, I know there are already countless topics on mbp heat issues. My idle CPU temp is about 55 degrees and goes up to about 70-75 degrees when gaming. I'm not that worried since that seems to be the general range of temperatures.

However, does anyone find their keyboard and palm rest (particular the left side) a little too warm for comfort? I've set my fans to 6000rpm to manually cool the system to 50 degrees, but the palm rest and keys from T, G, and B leftwards still feel warmer than the right side. Is this normal?
 

Hellhammer

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Dec 10, 2008
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Aluminum is a great conductor so it's not a surprise that it gets hot, even when the innards are cool. Left hand side is where your SuperDrive is located and near T key is your GPU which gets very hot when playing
 

someguy

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Dec 4, 2005
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My MacBook Pro reaches 60-70°C while multitasking like I tend to do at work. Not worried about it. I haven't had a cool Mac (temperature-wise, that is ;) ) since my first PowerBook in 2005, and even then I had to disassemble the whole thing and reapply the thermal paste. I think I even made a thread about it years ago and posted pictures of the horrible thermal paste job done at the factory. :eek:
 

BenXiaoHai

macrumors member
Original poster
May 2, 2010
84
0
i guess what you said makes sense. I'm just paranoid because although the temperature readings seem normal, the keyboard just feels... warm. And I've not really seen people noting the warmness of the keyboard or palm rest. I thought there was a problem with my mbp's heat dissipation
 

someguy

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Dec 4, 2005
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i guess what you said makes sense. I'm just paranoid because although the temperature readings seem normal, the keyboard just feels... warm. And I've not really seen people noting the warmness of the keyboard or palm rest. I thought there was a problem with my mbp's heat dissipation
Warm is normal. HOT may be a problem. If it gets to a point you feel is truly unacceptable, take it to the nearest Apple store and see what they think.

While other laptop manufacturers set their fans to go full blast when they get warm, Apple uses the aluminum casing to help draw the heat from the system components. However, the fan will kick on if it gets too warm. There are a lot of advantages to relying less on the fans, but unfortunately a warm case is one of the drawbacks.
 

AndrewCjDuong

macrumors member
Feb 7, 2010
99
2
My MBP idles at 60c. fan revs up to 6200rpm when it hits 75c. I think your good. I was playing halo at 85c. Intel's chip lowers its voltage when it gets hot vs AMD's where it jsut burns up. LOL
 

mrsir2009

macrumors 604
Sep 17, 2009
7,505
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Melbourne, Australia
•Laptops being warm is normal.

•Laptops being hot when doing intensive tasks or playing flash apps is normal.

•Laptops being painfully hot is not normal.
 

BenXiaoHai

macrumors member
Original poster
May 2, 2010
84
0
I'll give more details. The thing is I feel it is uncomfortably warm, but not to the extent of being 'hot'. Perhaps the reason is because I just moved from my iMac and still used to using the ever cool separate keyboard.

I noticed the worst case scenario is after playing some steam games for 30-45 min. The fan goes back to 2000rpm and doesn't bother cooling down the system anymore once acceptable temps are reached. Thereafter, the heat generated and heat fanned off becomes equal in my opinion and the laptop body just remains 'uncomfortably warm'.

Is there a possibility that for any laptop to have normal temperatures but somehow the body still is too warm? I'm gonna try setting SMC to minimum rpm of 3000 and see if that works for me. Higher rpm and the fan is still silent. Will it drain considerably more battery? I tried setting it manually to 6000 and the battery counter seems to remain the same.
 

Hellhammer

Moderator emeritus
Dec 10, 2008
22,164
581
Finland
I'll give more details. The thing is I feel it is uncomfortably warm, but not to the extent of being 'hot'. Perhaps the reason is because I just moved from my iMac and still used to using the ever cool separate keyboard.

I noticed the worst case scenario is after playing some steam games for 30-45 min. The fan goes back to 2000rpm and doesn't bother cooling down the system anymore once acceptable temps are reached. Thereafter, the heat generated and heat fanned off becomes equal in my opinion and the laptop body just remains 'uncomfortably warm'.

Is there a possibility that for any laptop to have normal temperatures but somehow the body still is too warm? I'm gonna try setting SMC to minimum rpm of 3000 and see if that works for me. Higher rpm and the fan is still silent. Will it drain considerably more battery? I tried setting it manually to 6000 and the battery counter seems to remain the same.
As I said, aluminum is a conductor, a good one. It conducts the heat away from the inside, meaning that it'll be hot. This is just physics and chemistry. Under your keyboard is also GPU which gets hot when gaming and SuperDrive which gets hot as well if you run the game from DVD.

Plastic doesn't really heat up as it's insulator so it can't conduct electrons but aluminum can and it's good at it
 

Hellhammer

Moderator emeritus
Dec 10, 2008
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There's a layer of plastic in between the logic board and the upper case. The casing provides less heat dissipation than everyone seems to want to believe.



Hmm, that could be to cool down the keyboard so it's not too uncomfortable to use. Is there plastic on the backplate too? There is still SuperDrive which has no plastic insulating it I think plus the plastic doesn't insulate all heat.
 

miles01110

macrumors Core
Jul 24, 2006
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The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
Hmm, that could be to cool down the keyboard so it's not too uncomfortable to use.
I think that's exactly what it's for. Can you imagine having an 80 C cpu 5-10 mm below a metal grid where you put your fingers? Yeek.
Is there plastic on the backplate too?
Don't think so, but the CPU is on the "upper" side of the logic board.

There is still SuperDrive which has no plastic insulating it I think plus the plastic doesn't insulate all heat.
SuperDrives don't get as hot as CPUs or GPUs.
 

someguy

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Dec 4, 2005
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There's a layer of plastic in between the logic board and the upper case. The casing provides less heat dissipation than everyone seems to want to believe.
I would imagine since the entire lower casing is also aluminum, that is where most of the heat is dissipated through the casing. Some of it will spread to the top case, but the source of the dissipated heat is underneath. I think the casing provides just as much head dissipation as everyone believes.
 

miles01110

macrumors Core
Jul 24, 2006
19,261
31
The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
I would imagine since the entire lower casing is also aluminum, that is where most of the heat is dissipated through the casing. Some of it will spread to the top case, but the source of the dissipated heat is underneath. I think the casing provides just as much head dissipation as everyone believes.
As I said above, the GPU and CPU sit on the "upper" side of the fiberglass logic board, both of which sit in between the two cutouts that house the fans. The main source of heat dissipation are clearly the fans.



(The orange and red boxes denote the graphics card and processor, respectively. Source.)
 

someguy

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Dec 4, 2005
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Still here.
As I said above, the GPU and CPU sit on the "upper" side of the fiberglass logic board, both of which sit in between the two cutouts that house the fans. The main source of heat dissipation are clearly the fans.
Meh. Not worth arguing over, it just seems when the fans are inaudible, yet the bottom of the case is substantially warm to the touch, one would conclude that the casing is indeed doing a considerable amount to help dissipate heat. I wouldn't say it is the primary method used to direct heat away from the system components, obviously, but it clearly helps, and I would imagine Apple designed the casing with this in mind. :)
 

BenXiaoHai

macrumors member
Original poster
May 2, 2010
84
0
might contact apple and see what they think. I really feel the warmness is unacceptable, especially on the left side. The temperatures istat shows normal readings, so I'm not really sure what the problem really is.

I do quite regular gaming as well, and since all (or almost) games uses 330m, it gets a bit warm and sweaty on the fingers on the left side of the keyboard. The worst thing is most of the keys used are mostly on the left side!

There are no Apple stores near where I am. I'm situated somewhere in North Wales at the moment. There is a PC world though, but are they authorised Apple servicemen?
 

Hellhammer

Moderator emeritus
Dec 10, 2008
22,164
581
Finland
might contact apple and see what they think. I really feel the warmness is unacceptable, especially on the left side. The temperatures istat shows normal readings, so I'm not really sure what the problem really is.

I do quite regular gaming as well, and since all (or almost) games uses 330m, it gets a bit warm and sweaty on the fingers on the left side of the keyboard. The worst thing is most of the keys used are mostly on the left side!

There are no Apple stores near where I am. I'm situated somewhere in North Wales at the moment. There is a PC world though, but are they authorised Apple servicemen?
You play on table right? You could just get a keyboard to get rid of this issue
 

BenXiaoHai

macrumors member
Original poster
May 2, 2010
84
0
That plan did come into mind. However, doing that just means I'm ignoring the issue, if there is one that is. I just don't see why the keys are warm as well. I don't remember my windows laptop being to warm after intensive uses.
 

BenXiaoHai

macrumors member
Original poster
May 2, 2010
84
0
There's a layer of plastic in between the logic board and the upper case. The casing provides less heat dissipation than everyone seems to want to believe.



Hmm... so should i unscrew the mbp to check if the 'plastic' is in place? But I can't seem to spot the plastic in the pictures though...
 
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