mba 13" ultimate - heat issues

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by imHappy, Jun 14, 2011.

  1. imHappy macrumors regular

    Feb 27, 2011

    im currently getting 70-75 ºC just by playing some towerdefense flash games in the web. i have itunes opened but im not even listening to any music at all.

    is this even alright? because i feel its getting way hotter than it should!
  2. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    Your Mac is not overheating. The Intel processors used in Macs are designed to automatically shut down to prevent damage if they truly overheat (around 100C/212F - 105C/221F, depending on your processor). iStat Pro will give you accurate readings of your temps, among other things.

    Unless there is a rare defect in your Mac, your temps are well within the normal operating range, considering the workload you're putting 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.

    Your fans are always on when your Mac is on, spinning at a minimum of 2000 rpm (for MBPs) or 1800 rpm (for MBAs). They will spin faster as needed to keep temps at a safe level. If they're spinning up without increased heat, try resetting the SMC. Also, make sure you don't block the vents, which are located at the rear, near the hinge.

    There is not an overheating problem with Mac portables. There is only a perceived overheating problem. That's partly due to the fact that the aluminum casing transfers heat better than some other notebook materials, so they may feel hotter to the touch than notebooks made of other materials. It may even become hot enough to be uncomfortable to rest on your lap. This, too, is normal. Because a user is unfamiliar with the heat normally generated by a Mac portable doesn't mean there's a problem with the Mac. Only on rare occasions is there a defect that causes true overheating.
  3. Xgm541 macrumors 65816

    May 3, 2011
    music will not make your mba run much hotter. If the game youare playing is flash based then it will increase temperatures
  4. cirus macrumors 6502a

    Mar 15, 2011
    Yeah, yeah, yeah, great way to justify a problem in a product that you don't want to accept. :rolleyes: I'm sure if this was a windows laptop you would be first to mark it down because it gets hot.

    No they do not overheat (by definition of the word). Yes they do overheat (hotter than normal) by your perception of temperature and by comparison to other computers. And yes, a LOT of people think that they are hot and hotter than they should be.

    Its like asking
    "guys, my car's engine temperature is almost on the red"
    "Don't worry, your car shut down automatically if if overheats (at this temp 105 degrees Celsius you can cook an egg) but this is normal."
    "but its soo much hotter than my other car."
    "There is no problem, this is normal"
    [scratches head]

    I think its a flaw when is normal for the laptop to be too hot to well, be a laptop on your lap.
  5. calvol macrumors 6502a

    Feb 3, 2011
    80C is about right for CPU intensive apps. My 13-Ult runs 80C with Skype, with Coolbook a tad lower at 73C. As a comparison, my Dell Latitude/i5/4G-RAM runs Skype at 55C. So it's two things, the Air is not vented that well (a design compromise) and relies more on the aluminum casing as a heatsink, and the C2D runs hotter with a heavy load than the i5. It will be interesting to see how the refreshed Air does in this regard, especially if the venting is the predominant issue. With turbo-boost on, the i5 could probably fry an egg, because from what I've heard the TDP rating does not represent maximum dissapation, only average.
  6. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    It's not a problem. It's only perceived to be a problem by those who have a preconceived and uninformed idea of how hot they think a notebook should be, rather than understanding they are designed to intentionally run at the temps they do. Unless your Mac is shutting down due to heat, you don't have a problem, even if temps are higher than you think they should be.
    That doesn't mean that they are. It only means they're hotter than those people think it should be. Rarely do those people have sufficient knowledge or experience in notebook thermals to know what is "too hot" and what isn't.
  7. cirus macrumors 6502a

    Mar 15, 2011
    Its a fine line between a preconceived problem and a problem. If people consider that this is a problem then for them it IS a problem. Many would consider it a problem is their laptop got too hot to be used as a laptop. It they are designed that way then there is a problem with them if one considers that there is a problem with them.

    Hotter than I think it should be is a problem. If enough people consider it a problem then it is a problem. This is truth through definition and applies to many things. A song is considered good if many people believe that it is good.

    That's a little like saying: "Never mind that you are hearing these horrible clanking sounds coming from you car's engine, Unless your car breaks down, you don't have a problem".
  8. GGJstudios, Jun 14, 2011
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2011

    GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    A more accurate analogy would be people buying a Ferrari and expecting it to get the same gas mileage as a Subaru. The mileage that the Ferrari gets is consistent with its design. Just because someone thinks it should get better mileage doesn't make it true. People who are used to the mileage that a Subaru gets should adjust their expectations when they buy a Ferrari.

    "Something's wrong with my Ferrari! It doesn't get 30 mpg! It only gets 12 mpg!"
    "Nothing's wrong with your Ferrari. It's supposed to get 12 mpg!"
    "My Subaru got 30 mpg, so there's a problem with my Ferrari because it doesn't get the same!"
    It's not a laptop. It's a notebook.
  9. tdurden12 macrumors newbie

    Apr 18, 2011
    perhaps an even better analogy is a ferrari where the coolant temp is 90 degrees and the subaru where the coolant temp is 50 degrees:D
  10. orfeas0 macrumors 6502a

    Aug 21, 2010
    Athens, Greece
    what many people don't know/understand/observe is that the room temperature plays a significant role in the computer's temperature. any laptop will get a lot hotter in the summer than in the winter. if it's 30 celcius or more at your place don't expect your laptop to be that cool , even if it's a mac ;)
  11. cirus macrumors 6502a

    Mar 15, 2011
    Fixed. ;)

    Whoops, looks like the problem is larger than expected.
    True, but this is still a problem.

    This is an argument.

    1. My MBP runs quite hot.
    2. Most of my other computers (with similar hardware and specs) run much cooler.
    3. My MBP is warmer than those other comparable computers.
    4. Something is not right.

    I'm not saying that they are overheating exactly, but rather that they are hotter then normal. This may be a problem for some. If I feel that something is a problem then it becomes a problem (for me).

    Heat is a subjective term and so will be interpreted differently by different people. As are 'good' and 'bad'. I'm simply saying that it does not matter if these people are educated or not, people create their own definitions of things. Bands that were all the rage in the past are not today.
    Take blu ray for example. Is it a problem for Mr. X that he can't play blu ray on his mac. Yes. Is it a problem for Mrs. Y that she can't? No. If everyone says that this is a problem, then this becomes a problem. If no one gives a **** then its not a problem. I'm simply saying that these constant queries about heat in the mbp would indicate that all is not well.

    If the mbp was designed (all internals) to run super fast but get 150 degrees Celsius and the outside 80 degrees and this was within the operating parameters then one could argue that this is not technically overheating as it is still within the operating parameters. However, most would feel that the system was overheating and so to them at least the system would be overheating. If most of the world agreed on this then the system would be said to be overheating.
    Its just like a bad flavour. Its bad because no one likes it and not because of whatever is inside it.
  12. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    Here's the root of the problem. What is normal for a Mac is not the same as what is normal for other computers. Temps should be compared to what is normal for the Mac, not compared to what is normal for other brands. The problem lies with people's definition of what is "normal".
  13. cirus macrumors 6502a

    Mar 15, 2011
    That is a really circular argument.

    Macs are very similar to other computers. They use the same graphics, hard drive, CPU, ram, etc. They have the same form factor and structure. They serve the same function. They run a different operating system but may run Windows too. They are very similar. They are well within the margin of error for comparison purposes.
  14. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    And yet the aluminum body, the venting and other factors make them different enough that people freak out about the heat they generate. If you want to compare temps, compare them to the normal operating range for the Intel chips inside, which don't shut down due to thermal levels until 100-105C. As long as that doesn't happen, they are operating within design specs.
  15. cirus macrumors 6502a

    Mar 15, 2011
    Yes, that is design, form over function. Manufactures have been known to push specifications to cover flaws or problems in a product.
    "Hey engineering, this sample sure gets toasty. People are going to think that something is wrong." "Don't worry, we will just up the recommended operating temp. and tell them that this is normal. They don't need to know that the high temps will destroy stability." I'm sure that constant operation at 100 degrees is not good for the chip or the fans or anything in there.

    Q: Is it normal for the mbp to get hot?
    A: Yes.
    Q: Why is this?
    A: They were designed this way.
    Q: Okay, this makes sense. But its still much hotter than my other notebook or almost any other non gaming notebook.
    A: Yes.
    Q: I don't care about the fricking design or whatever special features cause the heat. They do get hotter compared to other notebooks? The category to which all comparisons are made as I cannot compare a product to itself.
    A: Yes.
    Q: So they do get hotter than other notebooks.
  16. mikeos macrumors newbie

    Jun 16, 2011
    I used to worry about mine overheating when I first bought it.
    I've found that it's mostly due to ventilation and the material the machine is made of.
    If I'm typing with it on my lap, I always leave a gap between my knees so airflow can occur through the vents at the back.
    This makes such a difference!
    I rarely lay it on carpet or a bed spread, because this can make it get quite hot too.
  17. MTD's Mac macrumors regular

    MTD's Mac

    Mar 18, 2010
    Los Angeles
    Props to GGJ for telling it like it is.

    This is a really simple argument; if a computer shuts down automatically because of true overheating, it's a problem. If someone thinks it's too hot, based on an arbitrary comparison with another machine or a matter of personal preference (what's "hot" to me might be "warm" to you), it's a perceived disadvantage. Just like the size of a 15" MBP, which is too big to fit in my briefcase, is a disadvantage, but I'd be wrong to say my 15" has a problem because it's too bulky.

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