Macbook pro overheating?


macrumors newbie
Original poster
May 10, 2013
Hi, guys, i have some concerns about my early 2011 MBP, CPU temperatures are acting really weird. I ve read about early 2011 overheating problems for MBP, but didnt see a similar thread.

Let me tell u about my config first:

15-inch, Early 2011
Processor 2.2 GHz Intel Core i7
Memory 4 GB 1333 MHz DDR3
Graphics AMD Radeon HD 6750M 1024 MB
Software OS X 10.8.3 (12D78)

MBP is placed on a aluminium stand, with enought space behind.

Lets say when its idling temperatures are 65-70 celsius, with illustrator, mamp, outlook running in the back, the cpu usage is 2-5 %, fans on 2k rpm, that seems normal, or should it be much lower?

Ok now i ll go on youtube and play a video, my cpu temperatures jumps over 90 degrees celsius in 2 min, with fans on 6,2k rpm, cpu usage is under 10% still, maybe some spikes to 15% or 20%.
I also noticed, when i use external monitor, it heats even more and faster, and not just at using flash.
Also i tested with playing vlc hd video, cpu temperature about 75 at low rpm fans, even playing games like LoL or on Unity platform games doesnt heat the cpu over 90. Its funny when u play a youtube video and fans go nuts lol

Does anyone have some knowledge about this, what could it be, or what should i do? I have an extended warranty for another year, so going for a service wouldnt be the problem, except this is my only machine at the moment and i need it every day.

Thank you for reading this, will appreciate every single answer i get.
And cheers from a newbie on this forum to all MRs :D


macrumors 6502a
Dec 24, 2011
That's too hot for my taste. I have the same computer, except for 2.3GHz and 8GB RAM, and it idles at 50-55C with ps/ill and therefore the 6750M running. Apache and PHP always running as well. And that's while sitting on my lap. On the table and with the discrete gpu off it idles at 35C.

I also have a 13" late 2011 model that ran too hot too easily, so I ended up redoing the thermal paste on that one. Apple has a bad habit of using absurd amounts of the stuff unfortunately. I suppose to save time during assembly, and to make the process somewhat fool-proof.


macrumors 65816
Feb 7, 2013
Yes it's getting too hot. Just watching a video or something shouldn't get you to 90 degrees. I am able to watch videos around 45-50 all the time and thats with 2k fan speed.

There is a big thread about temperature problems here caused by bad thermal paste application and poor quality heatsinks, have a read in there to see what people did to help.

Considering you have the warranty take it in and see what they say. If may only be a day or two to fix it so not too long.

Heat is not a good thing and getting to 90 that easy means if you did anything more it would probably get even higher, which could get dangerous for the internals.


macrumors 6502
Apr 12, 2013
That much heat I'd think must be coming from the GPU, not CPU since your usage of less than 20% during those times would suggest low heat emanating from CPU. You can't get heat without it working hard so I'd guess the system is really driving the GPU during flash apps and other video intensive times. Just not sure why system temp would get that high (aside from Flash because it's just crap and runs hot on OSX and Linux).

I don't have an answer of why, but I would lean toward the graphics side since you aren't really taxing the CPU at all.


macrumors newbie
Original poster
May 10, 2013
Yes, exactly, its really funny when cpu usage is on 5% and its on 90 degrees, Bill i was thinking the same, but gpu usually doesnt go above 80, i dont know whats the normal temeprature for graphic cards, but its always much lower than the gpu. Here is the screen shot, taken after playing a 3min video...
And the thing about service is.. they re so so slow it makes me cry when i need them, last time, i had an old MBP with graphic chip busted, i told them whats wrong, because it was a know issue from that serie, and they needed more than 2 weeks to replace it, and that was when i flip out when i checked after 7 days and they didnt even open the computer yet ! And btw i am from slovenia =)



macrumors newbie
Original poster
May 10, 2013
Yes, my flash is always up to date, and yes i am using Chrome, i tried the issue in FireFox and Safari, the problems stays.

Also i tried today to check off the graphic automatic switcher from power save menu, and i didnt notice any difference.

I am using this computer with external for almost 2 years for 10-15 hours a day, but i have no idea when this problem acured, because the video still plays normally, but this thing with flash player became so obvious now.


macrumors 6502a
Jun 27, 2010
It's probably logicbard/heatsink problem. If you have AppleCare go to apple for service. If you don't, then just live with that.


macrumors newbie
Original poster
May 10, 2013
Oh i forgot to fill in with the update, when i solved my problem, its was ram malfunctioning that was causing the cpu overheating.

Gav Mack

macrumors 68020
Jun 15, 2008
Sagittarius A*
Repaste the heatsinks and polish the heatsink plates shiny asap. 65C on idle is over 20C too high.

A properly repasted MBP 15 with no apps running should be 41C, polished heatsink die plates 3-4C less. Don't get Apple to do it as frankly their engineering guidelines for thermal paste on the 2011 need to be thrown in the bin.

Your GPU or possibly even your CPU won't last long running that hot and you will need to re-ball them.
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