Macbook Pro Overheats when playing games

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by chadchat, Jan 5, 2010.

  1. chadchat macrumors newbie

    Jan 5, 2010
    My top-of-the-line Macbook Pro 15" locks up after about an hour (or less) of use when playing what is usually a Source Engine based game running in Windows on Bootcamp (booting into Windows). The screen goes black and the audio gets stuck in a loop and the game crashes. My only option is to hold down the power button.
    It seems of course to be caused by the GPU overheating.
    I can play a little longer when I have the laptop sitting on a packet of frozen spinach, sometimes peas or even chicken fillets.. but I don't need to say that this is unacceptable, especially when you're 3/4 a way through a L4D2 campaign.

    Firstly, is this normal? Do other Macbook Pro owners have the same experience? Could my GPU be defective?

    c h a d
  2. CTechKid macrumors regular

    Sep 9, 2008
  3. Dan73 macrumors 6502a

    Jul 30, 2009
  4. miles01110 macrumors Core


    Jul 24, 2006
    The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
    Why bother spending that much on something that can readily be substituted by a pad of post-it notes or some other common household sundry?
  5. chill. macrumors 6502

    Sep 1, 2008
    not normal, i can play l4d2 on medium settings just fine on late 2008 alu macbook

    if you haven't tweaked windows you are probably suffering from high dpc latency

    download dpc latency checker

    if you are getting values above 100 u-seconds then it is not optimized

    apple drivers for bootcamp SUCK.

    check this post for further details

    when i close apple's keyboard manager and updated the broadcom network driver, i had a significant amount of improvement. if you're using bootcamp 3.0 then apple renamed KbdMgr to something else, shouldn't be too hard to find it and kill it
  6. hojoon0724 macrumors regular

    Jun 26, 2007
    Los Angeles, CA
    I had problems playing Starcraft.
    Even though it wasn't a graphic intense game, running windows itself was enough to overheat my mbp (4,1).

    For some reason when I run bootcamp, the fans only run at the speed set previously by OSX. It won't speed up even though it detected the high temperature.

    So this is what I do. I run smcfancontrol and set it up on 6000rpm.
    Then bootcamp windows. The fan will keep running at 6000rpm.

    When done, I come back, run smc, set it to normal.
  7. chadchat thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 5, 2010
    Appreciate the responses.

    I think my Macbook Pro is faulty (at least I hope it is), L4D2 lasted about 5 minutes tonight. Will take it in to get checked :/

    I really hope this works out and that my high end laptop can in fact run standard games.

    vsync was on btw - that bad?

    c h a d
  8. Dan73 macrumors 6502a

    Jul 30, 2009
    No no, I was going to suggest trying to turn it on. vsync limits your frames per second to your screen refresh rate which is 60 in our case... so it causes your GPU to run a little cooler.

    But are you on bootcamp (no idea if they have source for OS X, I do my gaming on my desktop)? Cause windows can't control fans. So if start into windows and your fans are running at 2500rpm, they will STAY at that speed no matter how hot your laptop gets. The only solution is to go to OSX use smcfancontrol to set higher speed then boot into windows.
  9. BradenG macrumors regular

    Jul 13, 2009
    When I play Team Fortress 2 on my Windows 7 Bootcamp partition it runs smooth when I start, but often it will start to get choppy. It stays choppy for awhile and eventually the fans kick in to a higher gear it seems and everything smooths out again.

    Don't really mind the little time that it takes to get going but wondering if I could use a fan control application like smcfancontrol to set the speed at a higher level and boot in to Windows...will the fan settings revert to default or do they retain the new level I set them at in OS X?
  10. dead goon macrumors member

    Jun 24, 2009
    Melbourne, Australia
    You're doing it wrong.

    Starcraft is available on Mac and PC, if you have the original disc it should install fine.
  11. rekhyt macrumors 65816

    Jun 20, 2008
    Part of the old MR guard.
    Hmmm weeird. Same thing with me on my MacBook Pro 15" (Dec 2008). Playing Need for Speed, it heats up, then while I'm driving, the screen freezes like yours-Audio still goes. I can still hear the music looping and then I have to force shut it down.

    I'd also like to know what the problem is.
  12. hojoon0724 macrumors regular

    Jun 26, 2007
    Los Angeles, CA

    If you played both versions you'll notice that the mac version has a different mouse movement feel

    The way the mouse moves in Mac OSX is not really good for Starcraft (if you're a good player)
  13. chadchat thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 5, 2010
    Ahh.. I actually should know that.. will keep it in mind when I get the machine back from the hospital.
  14. Sace macrumors member

    Mar 30, 2008
    Are the OS controlling the fans?
    On my 13", they start at 2000rpm, and spins up fine after 10min of MW2. When i quit the game, they will return to the base speed. I run XP Pro.
  15. Dan73 macrumors 6502a

    Jul 30, 2009
    Well you're the first person I've heard to say that the fans work fine. What version of OS X are you using?

    I know my SL with Bootcamp Win 7 will not control the fans at all and I'm not the only one (With Win7, Vista, and XP).
  16. Sace macrumors member

    Mar 30, 2008
    If there are no fan control at all, wouldn't that cook most MBP's when playing games?
    I use the latest SL version, but my MBP Classic running Leopard + XP also controls fans with no problems?

    Must be a bug, apple would'nt support bootcamp without fan control.
  17. CTechKid macrumors regular

    Sep 9, 2008
    Because post-it notes don't adhere to the bottom of the laptop allowing you to drag, lift, move the unit without readjusting everything every time. And really $13 is hardly "that much". I never understood the mentality behind some mac buyers... you happily pay the apple tax but $13 to improve longevity and performance while still being convenient is over the top. :confused:
  18. panzer06 macrumors 68030


    Sep 23, 2006
    Is there anyway in-game to change the setting to use DX9 shaders only. Company of Heroes will crash with DX10 enabled when running on nvidia GPU. Problem does not happen on my ATI-based systems.

    Not true, my fans work fine in Windows (Vista and 7). Once I start playing company of heroes or titan's quest they really start cranking. My MBP in bootcamp is much louder than my ASUS G50VT.

  19. thejadedmonkey macrumors 604


    May 28, 2005
    Here are some more common reasons:
    • I spend $2000 on a computer that should cost $1000. Why should I have to spend more money to fix its flaws?
    • I already couldn't afford a mac, but I needed it for work
    • I didn't pay for it myself (work/gift/etc)

    Maybe you should try being poor sometime.

    P.S. My fan control worked fine in XP Pro and Windows 7 Pro. MBP C2D 2.16ghz with ATI graphics.
  20. Cathode macrumors regular


    Aug 5, 2008
    Flagstaff, AZ
    Hey Chad:

    I'm having similar issues. Just like you described, when I'm playing Lord of the Rings Online the screen randomly goes 'black' and completely locks up. The only remedy so far has been to perform a hard reset.

    Heres a few quick facts about my setup:

    - MacBook Pro 15" (Late 2008/Unibody)
    - nVidia 9600M
    - Windows 7 Professional (32-bit) [Running in Bootcamp]
    - Using only official Bootcamp drivers
    - Lord of the Rings Online
    - Wireless Internet
    - Computer rests on laptop mat / table (to avoid 3rd degree burns, heh)

    I've noticed that running bootcamp (Windows in general) runs much hotter than in OS X 10.6. My fans sometimes kick on to an audible level even when performing basic tasks like word processing or even checking a website. I have a fairly clean install of Windows 7. Only the OS, Microsoft Office 2007 and Lord of the Rings Online are installed.

    This 'lock up' only seems to occur on Windows, and only when playing Lord of the Rings Online. I do not have any graphic demanding games for OS X but I do use Aperture and Photoshop daily. I've never had a problem.

    I'm thinking about reverting back to my copy of Windows XP Professional and trying that. Maybe Windows 7 is still too new and bug prone to use right now.
  21. Dan73 macrumors 6502a

    Jul 30, 2009
    Good to know then -- I guess it was just one of those thing where people only came to the forums to say it wasn't working :D
  22. chrominsky11 macrumors newbie

    Jul 25, 2010
    Okay so...i have a macbook pro A2186 (core2duo 2.66). I have been playing games on the windows side (under vista) and on the mac side (10.6.4).

    Obviously overheating problems can stem from many sources, but one i have not seen mentioned here is "Clogged Fans".

    I do not live in a house with pets. If you are a pet lover, and its been a year, i recommend that you check this out. If you are not in a house with pets, and it has been 2 years, same goes to you.

    I had been having increased Fan noise (regular noise, just much higher level) and the temperature of the case above the #1 and #2 keys was growing excessive. In fact, while playing World of Warcraft, on mac side (thank you Blizzard...i hate booting to windows), it got extremely hot within minutes.

    If the weather outside was hot too (like 95 F), i even had the game start stuttering to only 5fps (normally i could enjoy over 60fps, but i limit the frame rate for longevity).

    So here's what i did. Using i took the back off my Macbook Pro, and lifted out the fans. The intake area of both fans was CLOGGED SILLY with dust bunnies. The fans themselves were kinda caked up too. I lifted them out, and cleaned the dust bunnies out. I didn't bother cleaning the fan blades (i suppose you could just replace them).

    I also got rid of a few stray bunnies in other parts of case (again probably superfluous).

    Now my macbook pro runs much cooler with less fan noise while playing games.

    I strongly recommend this.
  23. w00t951 macrumors 68000


    Jan 6, 2009
    Pittsburgh, PA
    I cranked my 9600M GT to 650/1180/900 and it seems to run games such as Dead Space, Just Cause 2, and Modern Warfare 2 perfectly (40-200 FPS) on maximum resolution and medium settings at 2X-4X anti-aliasing. The temperature is definitely hot (102 celsius) but it has never shut down or lagged before. Of course, I'm on my second set of fans now but that's a different story.
  24. eco7077 macrumors newbie

    Jul 24, 2010
    hi all, i can hear my fans going in win7 on bootcamp.
  25. twittmfontana macrumors newbie

    Jan 13, 2013
    so, I got my macbook pro 15" less than one week ago, and geez I almost can't play demanding games on it! Yesterday I tried to play Dishonored on bootcamp and within some minutes the part above the f3 and f4 was boiling hot.
    Before playing it I set the smcfancontrol on os x at 4500 rpm, and it even increased the speed while I was playing, but I stopped fearing that the computer would freeze.
    In the other hand, I played LoL and it barely got hot. I don't know why, but I think it's because LoL is not a game with such heavy graphics and because of that the macbook ran it only with the intel hd graphics 4000 inside it.
    But today I tried to play WoW on os x and the temperature got above 90 degrees celsius with fan speed at ~4700. Can this be normal?

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