MBP Late 2013 CPU temperatures hitting 100°C

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Cattywampus_, Jul 31, 2017.

  1. Cattywampus_ macrumors 6502a

    Apr 19, 2006

    I have had my Late 2013 Macbook Pro for two and a half years now give or take a couple of months, and this is not really an issue that has only just started.

    Essentially what it boils down to is when the CPU is under heavy load, the diode temperatures are reporting to be hitting as high as 100°C at worst, and usually at least a sustained 90°C+.

    I have used the MBP to play games using Windows 10, and again the temperatures were really high, consistently around the 90°C mark. I would, however, be able to play games for hours and hours without it crashing, though I wouldn't be able to tell you whether the CPU or GPU ever throttled due to high thermals.

    The most recent incident of high temperatures was when I imported all of my 5000+ old photos into Photos.app. The CPU usage was high and the CPU temperatures rocketed with it.

    I know that Intel CPU's are rated to operate up to 105°C, but I am concerned that these temperatures are going to dramatically decrease the life span of the CPU.

    I am way out of the warranty period by the way. On my old 17-inch MBP I did open it up and apply fresh thermal paste to combat similar temperatures, but I cannot remember if it really made much difference.

    Any thoughts?

    Thank you.
  2. New_Mac_Smell macrumors 68000


    Oct 17, 2016
    Heat doesn't mean it's damaging anything or decreasing 'lifespan'... If it gets too hot it'll shut down to prevent actual damage (Thermal paste normally). Heat is just the result of increased energy usage (heat=energy, first law of thermodynamics), so naturally when something is using more energy, more heat will be dissipated.

    With Windows, it's a Mac, so Windows isn't optimised for it. It will always run warmer than MacOS in this environment.

    The best thing to do is clean it, get some compressed air and blast the ports. If you can, open it up and clean the fans/dust from the vents. See how it is. It will never be like it was new, but you should get a reduction in heat. If all else fails then you can replace the thermal paste, however the results of this vary in effectiveness. If you've been running at 100' for some time then there could me minor damage which would mean replacing the paste is warranted. However you could also find it does nothing. One of those things that you can't really tell until you remove the heatsink (And so need to replace the paste anyway). So clean it out first and replace paste as a last resort, don't get a cooling pad or any other nonsense, all you're doing with them is putting more stress on the system and so generating more heat (They also suspiciously seem to cool the case of a computer, which effectively does nothing but act as a placebo for people suckered into buying them cheap at the market...).
  3. Cattywampus_ thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Apr 19, 2006
    Yeah I get it that computer components generate heat. > 90°C is just very hot and when when the CPU is, by Intel's own documentation, is rated to operate up to 105°C, it is operating very close the edge.

    I have been a computer enthusiast for years so understand that good cooling is good practice. My desktop PC CPU temperatures never top 65°C for example, because I have a giant cooler on there. But, what really prompted my concerns over the MBP temperatures; I recently started watching Linus Tech Tips on Youtube, and them guys talk about thermal performance a lot, on all form factors of computers (although they do not really talk about Apple products). They often appear concerned if the temperatures of CPU's or GPU's go about ~70°C and while I do accept the components are rated to operate at much higher temperatures, there are things like electromigration to consider, which is worsened with increased prolonged temperatures. See this video where Linus discusses this.

    So, in summary; I am concerned about the temperatures and I think unless someone says not to worry, I will have to crack open and disassemble this MBP to reapply the thermal paste. I just don't see making much of a difference. Even if it dropped 10°C, that is still going to be over 80°C when under load.
  4. jerryk macrumors 68040

    Nov 3, 2011
    SF Bay Area
    Apple has always lets there systems get pretty hot before they ramp up the fans and/or throttle. I always thought they let them go too far toward ramping the fans to make their machine quieter. But you do not hear of them burning up CPU/GPUs.

    As suggested, you might try opening the machine and blowing out the fans and air ducts first, and then doing the thermal paste if needed.

    When doing my ML/AI models my deskside Windows/Linux machines runs with CPU temps under 50c even with all 4 cores are pinned. Probably because like you I have a massive cooler (weighs 4 pounds or more). Running the same model gets temps up to 100C and stay there for hours! So far no damage to either system.
  5. MC6800 macrumors 6502

    Jun 29, 2016
    There's also smcFanControl if you want the set point to be lower. You may then wear out your fans instead.

    BTW, like your choice of words: "boils down".
  6. Cattywampus_ thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Apr 19, 2006
    Heh, unintended funniness there ;)

    Thanks for your responses guys. Just FYI, I do have software installed to control the fans manually and whenever I know I am going to do something that will tax the CPU, I do whack the fans on max. As you said though MC6800, will probably end up wearing the fans out, but that would be far less expensive to repair than replacing a logic board :)

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