MBP heating on a bed

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by StrangeMagic, Aug 25, 2011.

  1. StrangeMagic macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2011
    #1
    I've read a lot about the MBP issue. Some people have said that it's normal for the fan to get loud on the aluminum cased macs when they're working hard. They say it's supposed to do that because of the way the computer was designed to distribute heat. Not to worry.... Then, I've read other people's opinions that this isn't normal and it still shouldn't get that hot. So, I'm lost. No idea which opinion is the right one and I tend to be a bit paranoid to begin with...

    I have an imac with aluminum casing and when I'm doing something like converting a file on quickbooks, the fan gets loud but otherwise, it works like a dream and is quiet.

    My MBP however, is another story. The fan tends to get loud a lot even when I'm not running any other programs except Firefox and Mail. Then I realized that this seemed to be happening more when I am on my bed or when it's on my lap. I take my MBP to work and when it's on my desk it's usually pretty quiet if I'm not running anything too intensive.

    Is the MPB not supposed to be used on a bed? I google'd this and, again, got conflicting opinions. Would it overheat the MPB because of not allowing proper ventilation? Is there anything I can buy and put underneath the MPB so that I would be okay to use it in bed or on my lap and not have to worry about it?

    And...

    Is 92 degrees Fahrenheit too hot for the hard drive? When I checked istat, that's what it was at. The CPU was around 173 degrees and all the enclosures were around 100 degrees. This was only running Firefox for just a few minutes on my bed.

    Should I take my MPB to the Genius Bar or am I just being paranoid? It just seems that the MPB is a lot more heat sensitive than my imac.

    Advice is appreciated.
     
  2. 2hvy4grvty macrumors 6502

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    Jun 17, 2011
    #2
    If you're blocking the vent, then yes, it's a cause for concern.
     
  3. SandboxGeneral Moderator

    SandboxGeneral

    Staff Member

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    #3
    What you describe is normal and no you're not being paranoid. Those temps are within specification. The CPU temp is starting to get toward the upper limit before auto shutdown. I don't know what that temp is, but I've seen my MBP hit 202 F and keep running.

    You can use your MBP on a bed, as long as you don't mind adding heat and disrupting air flow to your MBP. The bed with it's sheets, comforter etc... is an insulator, designed to keep your body warm. So Imagine what it's doing to a MBP which produces a lot of it's own heat? It gets hotter. Plus it sinks down a little bit in the sheets and covers up the rear vents preventing the exhaust of air.

    Get a laptop cooler to set it on or a small board or table or something to keep it off the insulation which is your bed.
     
  4. Young Spade macrumors 68020

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    #4
    1) Don't get a laptop cooler unless you like wasting money. Just use a hard backed book like a yearbook or something and you'll be fine.

    Blowing air onto the machine will do nothing in terms of heat; the CPU is what creates most of the heat and that is inside the machine.

    2) Those temperatures aren't alarming; the computer is designed to turn itself off after it gets too hot to prevent damage. However, obviously running the computer for long periods of time while in these high states of heat isn't good (periods of hours on end).

    3) Use Celsius.
     
  5. Apple OC macrumors 68040

    Apple OC

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    #5
    Use a book or what I bought was a brand new kitchen cutting board ... using your MBP on bed blankets is not a good idea
     
  6. shardey macrumors 6502a

    shardey

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    Jan 28, 2010
    #6
    So you don't see the bottom of the MBP acting as a heatsink? Blowing air onto metal will cool it down.
     
  7. snaky69 macrumors 603

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    Mar 14, 2008
    #7
    Most laptop coolers are design to blow air into plastic vents on most notebooks which have them on the underside.

    Since the bottom is flat, the blowing of air onto it is barely doing anything to help since there is no way for the cooler air to enter the machine.

    OP, you're most likely blocking the exhaust vent which is located on the back of the machine, along the hinge, which is what is causing your fans to work harder to cool the machine. You're seeing perfectly normal temperatures for what you,re doing, but I advise you put your MBP on a hard surface to help it cool itself.
     
  8. shardey macrumors 6502a

    shardey

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2010
    #8
    I have noticed at least a 3-4 degree celsius different on my desk alone from using the targus cool pad.

    But as for the OP's temp for doing those little things, should not even exceed 130 unless flash is involved.
     
  9. Young Spade macrumors 68020

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    Tallahassee, Florida
    #9
    *sigh*

    It isn't really a heatsink; it absorbs heat but it doesn't really do an amazing job at it.

    Blowing a bit of air does nothing when the unit is constantly creating heat; I mean you can buy one if you'd like, it's your money, but I'm telling you it wont' cool down the INSIDE of the machine, which is what's important.

    "Laptops" are meant to be used on hard surfaces, not beds and sheets. You can use them wherever you want but you'll be increasing the internal temperature if you don't give it proper ventilation.

    Go get iStat or smcFanControl and look at the temps inside the machine.

    You can't simply use "common sense" and hope to correctly apply it to every situation you come across.

    ----------

    Which is virtually nothing. But yea, depending on the ambient temperature in the room, he shouldn't exceed 60 c unless he's doing something CPU intensive. And, of course, the fans would be at 2000 at this state.
     
  10. shardey macrumors 6502a

    shardey

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    Jan 28, 2010
    #10
    I agree of it being virtually nothing, but for only browsing the web its pretty good. For gaming I have seen 12-15 C drop on it which is substantial.
    I'm assuming you have had poor experience with a laptop cooler.

    Laptops are meant to be used on hard surfaces? The word laptop pretty much defines where they were intended to be used for.
     
  11. snaky69 macrumors 603

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    #11
    Which is why Apple call theirs notebooks, and not laptops.
     
  12. Young Spade macrumors 68020

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    #12
    Exactly. you're using a term coined by ignorance and the "average consumer" who knows virtually nothing.

    They're called "notebooks", not laptops, technically. But, as I'm sure you can tell, the average person doesn't call them that.
     
  13. ljones macrumors regular

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    Oct 2, 2006
    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    #13
    I got a chill mat for this reason. I did not buy it to circulate air, but to give space between the couch, bed, lap... or any other surface that requires such.

    Works great for what I needed, not worth the cost though.
     
  14. Jmouse macrumors 6502

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    Mar 14, 2011
    #14
    Get a laptop cushion, try to have the bade of the laptop flat on solid surface.
     
  15. PaulyD macrumors 6502

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    Nov 16, 2010
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    UK
    #15
    Use a book, magazine, newspaper, cutting board or whatever you want to give it a gap between your legs/the bed and the bottom of the macbook. I use my sleeve I carry mine in as its just the size of the macbook and I always have it. Simple solution that won't block the vents.
     
  16. bdodds1985 macrumors 6502a

    bdodds1985

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    #16
    so what is a good product to use on a desk? without spamming. this is all new to me as i have been laptop user for many years and in hot places always used a fan cooler.
     
  17. Young Spade macrumors 68020

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    #17
    You mean like a laptop? From Apple?

    All of their devices are great devices and you will rarely, if ever, get one that has heating problems.

    However, with pretty much any computer aside form a netbook with a super lowend processor, if you block up the vents, the machine can't ventellate the heat and it will overheat.

    On the desk, any machine will be good in terms of heat; you don't "have" to put anything under any laptop; whenever I got o my friend's houses, I don't always bring a hard backed book with me. Sometimes I put it on my knees and, although it still isn't as good as a desk, the until has unobstructed vents in the back to shoot the air out.

    But if you clarify a little bit more I (or anybody else here) can give you a more accurate answer; I don't quite know what you're referring to.
     
  18. bdodds1985 macrumors 6502a

    bdodds1985

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    #18
    no i mean a cooling pad product. to cool the notebook
     
  19. treestar macrumors 6502

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    Feb 28, 2010
    #19
    Firefox can tax the system a lot. Flash is Mac poison. Get an extension like ClickToFlash. Take a look at Activity Monitor the next time your computer heats up and make note of which applications are using the most resources.
     
  20. Young Spade macrumors 68020

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    #20
    Ah; well in that case you don't need one. Blowing air onto the bottom of the notebook will do virtually nothing in terms of lowering the internal temperature, which is ultimately what you want to keep down. The external heat is due to the casing being aluminum.

    Save yourself the money and just use a hard backed book if you aren't setting it on a hard surface. The fans are.... iffy; I wouldn't venture to call them "snake oil" but the pros aren't really justified by the price.
     
  21. bdodds1985 macrumors 6502a

    bdodds1985

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    #21
    i saw one.. here I guess it was more than just a fan? i dunno anyone seen this thing?
     
  22. GuitarG20 macrumors 65816

    GuitarG20

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2011
    #22
    the fans in the MBP are plenty powerful already-as long as you give them adequate room for airflow. I wouldn't pay for that thing. I just use a Lord of the Rings Trilogy book (the one that's all 3 combined into one) if I am doing heavy work on my bed- elevates the fans a good 2-3 inches off my bed.

    if i'm just doing basic stuff, I haven't had a problem with the computer heating up majorly on a bed. Obviously, it heats my sheets up, but the CPU temp doesn't significantly increase, and i've never had the fans come on for that matter.
     
  23. Young Spade macrumors 68020

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    #23
    Again, you'd be wasting your money. The metal casing acts as a sort of a heat sink but isn't a very good one, as in, the affects are more noticeable because we are touching it but, in reality, it isn't really doing anything; aside from the top middle and left portion anyway.

    If you cool off the bottom of the computer, you still aren't cooling the CPU, which is what's creating the heat. It would be like blowing cold air on top of your car to cool the people inside, instead of using the AC. Get what I mean?

    Give it proper ventilation and try to use it in a colder ambient temperature. If you cool off the casing, you'll see maybe a 1-2 C degree drop.

    Just for ****s and giggles, a week or so ago I put it on a block of ice, the MBP itself (the bottom was ice cold the entire time), (covered of course to prevent condensation) and I only saw a 4 C degree drop on the CPU when playing a game: The unit still went up to 90+ C.

    There's nothing you can do.
     
  24. dusk007 macrumors 68040

    dusk007

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    Dec 5, 2009
    #24
    Really good analogy. I have to remember that one. It seems to come up way to often. People just don't seem to understand that the case is actually not connect to the CPU in any way to conduct heat properly. It is just a side effect of a really tight case. You can keep you HDD cool if you cool the case extensively but not the CPU.
     
  25. head honcho 123 macrumors 6502

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    New York
    #25
    don't block the vents.

    put like a hard cover book under the MBP if u want to use it on your bed so that a blanket can't block the vent.
     

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