Macbook Pros and Heat

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Chtibi, May 5, 2013.

  1. Chtibi macrumors newbie

    Apr 25, 2013
    Hi MR. I have a mid-2012 MBP. My last laptop started to give out I think because of heatflow and having intensive programs open (it was a compaq presario). I was just wondering what kind of use a MBP can take, as I need this computer for a pretty long time. I understand that when my laptop gets to a certain temperature it shuts down, but when I have it on my lap it can get pretty hot if I have some java program running that eats up a lot of ram. Thank you
  2. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    If you're not already doing so, use iStat Pro (free) or iStat Menus ($16) to get accurate readings of your temps, fan speeds, etc., rather than relying on your sense of touch or sound. A forum member has posted a copy of iStat Pro that has been "tweaked" to enhance compatibility with Mountain Lion. You can download it here.

    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)

    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:
  3. Binomio macrumors member

    Apr 20, 2012
    Heat will ultimate damage your computer so it is best to do preventive maintenance every now and then. A lot of people don't realize that dust build up inside the computer will cause overheating issues.
  4. Asuriyan macrumors 6502a

    Feb 4, 2013
    In general, there are three things to watch for:

    1) Thermal shutdowns
    2) Increases in heat while performing the same task
    3) Dust buildup inside the case

    1 and 2 are fairly serious (it takes a lot for an Ivy Bridge to overheat and shut down) but can be a symptom of 3. There are other issues that can be at fault, however, such as separation of the heatsink from the CPU (which is usually a manufacturing fault and as such would be evident within the first few months of owning the computer).

    If you're not having problems, then there's no need to worry. A little warmth only means you're getting your money's worth on your CPU. :)
  5. ColdCase macrumors 68030

    Feb 10, 2008
    You should use a lap desk to protect you legs. There is a lot of laptop burn going around.

    If you don't mind the fans running, apps like "fan control" were popular years ago as they can be used to turn fans on early, keeping the laptop cooler.
  6. zwodubber macrumors 6502a

    Apr 1, 2011
    My 2011 MBP under heavy load. Note the vent in front of the screen and the majority of the heat at the top left (gpu location). These temps are fine.

  7. HelgeCPT macrumors newbie

    May 8, 2013
    Cape Town, South Africa
    MAcbook Pro gaming temperatures

    I recently bought a 2011 second hand Macbook Pro and I must say, although the machine could run latest games via bootcamp that drove cpu temperatures to their 70 degree celsius (not sure of gpu temps) it never shut down on me or behaved irradically while gaming.

    Reccently however My macbook is displaying some side effects (not sure if this was caused by my infrequent gaming) such as random shutdowns when i transport it or sometimes it will only start up with the power connector plugged in.

    Sooo in short, depending on what MBP you have, most of em should be able to handle any photo/video editing, java, gaming pretty well, just monitor your temps in order to keep it running smooth for a long time to come!

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