MBPr idle temps.

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by andrewmchugh, Oct 7, 2012.

  1. andrewmchugh macrumors newbie

    Jul 5, 2012
    Last night with Xcode open just downloading libs the lowest core temp was 62C although my room was hot I thought that was a little insain. Room may have been around 26C.

    Right now I am running my mac flat out on all 8 threads, the lowest c1 is 93 and c4 is 103C. Is that normal? - fans are both at 4000RPM/4400RPM.

    I really don't want to have the apple store fanny around with it and leave a 3" scratch along the lid like my last macbook pro.
  2. simsaladimbamba

    Nov 28, 2010
  3. Queen6 macrumors 604


    Dec 11, 2008
    Land of the Unexpected
    Your temps are fine and very similar to my own Retina; If you are concerned about temperature and want to reduce it elevation of the rear of the machine helps, as sitting flat on the desk only reflects the heat back to the base of the Mac. You can buy passive aluminium coolers like Rain Designs Mstand or iLap. Most powered coolers are designed for PC notebooks and don't work overly well with Mac`s if at all. One cooler that does work efficiently is the Moshi Zefyr 2, as it`s principle of cooling is specifically designed for Apple portables, by blowing the air horizontally across the base of the computer, however don't expect miracles.

    Link: Moshi Zefyr 2
    A cheap USB fan can achieve the same if strategically placed, not as elegant mind, nor as easy to put in your notebooks case :p but they do help to reduce case temperatures.

    You can use software to override Apple`s own cooling algorithm by manually taking control of fan RPM and setting up power profile presets with SMC Fan Control 2.4, or here with UltraFan which allows you stipulate a preset temperature and the software will automatically raise and lower fan RPM`s to keep the system at the predefined temp, which i personally feel is a far more elegant solution. At the end of the day you want to control your system temperature, not your fan rpm`s. For me SMC is now pretty much redundant with the latest release of UltraFan having manual control of the fans RPM, and subsequently i am starting to uninstall it from my own Mac`s. SMC FC is a great app, however although it`s recently updated, functionality is limited compared to some newer apps, equally SMC Fan Control is rock steady stable and a finished product.

    Strictly speaking Apple`s own cooling algorithm works, albeit at sacrifice of increased temps for quieter operation. This has always been the Apple way and is really nothing detrimental to the system, i have one MBP from 2008 all original barring a recent fan change that has an uptime of over 30K hours. The latest MBP`s need less assistance in remaining cool; for some it`s simply disconcerting the heat generated and transferred to the case, although it`s perfectly normal as the aluminium acts as a heat-sync. i have to deal with elevated ambient temperature so at times a software solution is useful. Apart from the passive cooling the Mstands bring they also offer a very sound ergonomic solution. A passive cooler and UltraFan will maximise the cooling, there is little else you can do short of reducing the ambient temperature or the system load. If I know i am going to push a system i will close all apps that are not essential as this can and does make an impact to system temperature.

    High temperatures in general is not overly harmful to your systems, what is far more detrimental is thermal stress, where temperatures rapidly fluctuate by significant margins over a short period of time. Anyone striving for great longevity should look to minimise rapid temperature changes, here UltraFan is your best friend.

    Using a RainDesign Mstand, a Moshi Zefyr 2 and latest version of UltraFan I can reduce temperature by over 20C when transcoding an MKV video file, and that is something worth thinking about;

    • Apple default cooling algorithm 99C - 103C (still on Mstand) fans 4K and escalating :eek:
    • Mstand, Zefyr & UltraFan 79C - 82C fans at 5.8K :cool:

    The old adage still applies; it`s easier to keep a system cool, than cool-down an already hot machine. This being said it`s not strictly necessary, equally it`s nice to know that there are options for reducing temperature out there.
  4. stuaz macrumors 6502

    Jun 16, 2012
    At the moment mine is idling around 51C with an external monitor plugged in.

    When playing WoW I use SMC FanControl to run the fans at a higher RPM to keep the temperature around 90 C and it works well.
  5. dusk007 macrumors 68040


    Dec 5, 2009
    A even comparison of benefits would be more interesting.
    Locking both systems at the same fan rpm and doing something dead simple like elevating the back side via two match boxes and the front just 1mm with a bit of paper.
    Otherwise nobody really sees the benefits that the costly stuff like Mstand or Zefyr actually bringst to the table. 2k rpm difference is quite a lot. In the end every additional active cooling adds noise so unless your fans at 6k rpm cannot keep it cool enough you might as well just run at that speed.
  6. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    Yes, quite normal. 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)

    If you're not already using it, iStat Pro (free) or iStat Menus ($16) will give you accurate readings of your temps and fan speeds, among other things.

    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:
  7. andrewmchugh thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 5, 2012
    My worry is that the thermal paste was possibly badly applied which is fairly normal for OEM machines. I don't really feel any air been blown out of the machine from around the hinge however the fans are definitely moving and changing speed as needed. I reset the SMC before posting this thread.
  8. Queen6 macrumors 604


    Dec 11, 2008
    Land of the Unexpected
    It`s not an unreasonable comparison, however the Mstand offers one other very important facet, stability, a Mac portable is a significant investment for many so another $50 is not unreasonable given a base Retina starts at $2200. The Zefyr is the same you get what you pay for; if you require a highly portable cooler that is built to similar specifications as a unibody and does actually assist with cooling of the case/internals the market is extremely limited, just the one i am aware of presently. A few other powered coolers also look to work well with Mac`s however they are the typical desktop type and not really designed with portability in mind.

    The key is preventing the machine from becoming thermally saturated, once this happens cooling the machine is far more difficult. UltraFan spools up the fans sooner rather than later, helping to prevent complete thermal saturation of the notebook. As anyone who has owned and pushed Mac portables will know that under full load for extended periods of time the machines do become extremely hot.

    In my example had i left the machine to run without any assistance from UltraFan and the Zefyr the fans would definitely reach 6K in time. The big difference being the operating temperature would be far higher as more energy being expended and converted to heat over a greater time period allowing far more thermal saturation of the internals and case. As UltraFan kicks in at a user definable temperature, it can cool before the system is saturated and as temperature drops so does fan RPM.

    Back to your point, any form of elevation will help in cooling a Mac portable, allowing greater heat dissipation and prevent the underlying surface heating and reflecting back to the base of the machine.
  9. Queen6 macrumors 604


    Dec 11, 2008
    Land of the Unexpected
    No even if poorly applied the effect is not vast, and is unlikely to make any difference under full load. Ivy Bridge the sensor arrangement is different and this results in higher reported temps, if anything the Retina`s run cooler than previous Mac`s.

    Remember Apple is looking the keep things on the quiet side, so high velocity air flows are not in the mix. I can definitely feel the air flow from my corporate i7 PC notebook, equally it`s like having a small jet engine running on the desk.

    At the end of the day you have a very thin, extremely powerful, lightweight system the trade of is rapid escalation in temperature under load, your systems temperature is very much normal for a Mac.

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