My MacBook Air Overheats Too Much

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by jye0325, Aug 6, 2012.

  1. jye0325 macrumors newbie

    Dec 31, 2011
    I do not know why my MacBook Air overheats a lot in the area under the F 1-12 keys. I am thinking it is because I have only 4 GB RAM and there is too much demand for RAM or something. Like when I just run parallels 7 my RAM usage goes to 12 MB free and 1 GB inactive or maybe it is because of the processor. But when I attempt to open a game like League of Legends, the laptop's processor temp goes to 200 degrees Fahrenheit. With just parallel on the SSD and everything else is in the temperature range of 90 - 130 degrees Fahrenheit. Please give me insight on what I can do to try to run these programs without heating up so crazily. I am planning on returning my MacBook Air for a 8 GB RAM upgrade hoping it will fix it since I am still within my 14-day return policy.
  2. simsaladimbamba

    Nov 28, 2010
    More RAM will not fix high temperatures, as they are caused by the CPU, which is highly used by Parallels Desktop and its VM and also the game LoL. In order to avoid high temperatures, you can only avoid highly CPU intensive task, like gaming or running another OS as a VM.
    For seeing CPU usage, open Activity Monitor.

    PS: Your Mac is not OVERheating. If it would do so, it would shut down.
  3. jye0325 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 31, 2011
    so should I just get like an upgraded processor (and memory maybe) on a MBP instead to handle the CPU demand on my applications since I want to use a MacBook for school and a little bit of gaming once in a while?
  4. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    As simsaladimbamba said, your Mac is not overheating. 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:
  5. carylee2002 macrumors member


    Jul 27, 2008
    Try openning up the back and blast some can air at the exhaust fan. It would do wonders how much dust accumulates in time. Just make sure you do it outside.
  6. simsaladimbamba

    Nov 28, 2010
    I agree, and forgot to mention it. I just did do that procedure today with my 2009 MBP, opened it up, removed the fans and used compressed air to remove all the accumulated dirt. My Mac now runs 15 to 20 K cooler.
  7. entatlrg macrumors 68040


    Mar 2, 2009
    Waterloo & Georgian Bay, Canada
    If you read the OP .... it's BRAND NEW!

    Running a VM and gaming I think it's normal. Having 8GB ram won't help temps, but for what you're doing 8GB is a good idea.
  8. Shelama, Aug 12, 2012
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2012

    Shelama macrumors newbie

    Aug 12, 2012
    My 2010 MacBook (MacBook7,1 _ 2.4 GHz _ upped to 8G RAM) periodically heats to over 180˚. Otherwise it only rarely goes over 130.

    Invariably in Activity Monitor I find one of two things. Usually it is an incidence of "firefox" (lower case and with no Firefox icon) that is either running concurrently with Firefox open, or persists after I have closed Firefox. Less often, I have a persisting "Firefox Plugin Process (Shockwave Flash)", or maybe sometimes just a 'Flash Player Plugin', after I've closed any browser media file or the browser itself.

    Most often by far it is the "firefox" thing. I can find no mention of this anyplace else and I have no idea what it is or what it's doing, but it's chewing up a high CPU% and the MacBook cools right down when I force-quit it. Once or twice I couldn't get it to force-quit at all and had to reboot. I don't recall now from within Activity Monitor what, if anything, it identifed as either a "Parent Process" or anything else.

    This running much hotter than usual was going on for a several weeks before I finally was smart enough to check it out with Activity Monitor. It also coincided which a marked reduction in the charge the battery would take and hold (now, mAhr at 4759, cycles 211, condition:normal, mA 269, mV 12587). I can now get only 3-4 hours, even with low screen brightness and no media and no games.

    What is this "firefox"? I'm quite sure it's only created when I'm running Firefox for MacOS but it's NOT created every time I run it. I can think of no other association. I don't game. I occasionally run VirtualBox with either Mint and/or Ubuntu or OpenSUSE. This will also make the Mac run hotter, but even when I use Firefox for Linux within VBox I don't believe this creates the "firefox" I find in Activity Monitor.

    Thanks. Newbie here, sorry for being so wordy.
  9. martyk macrumors newbie

    Aug 27, 2012
    I just got my 2012 macbook air 13 inch(i5,8gb spec). When I turn the computer on the temps are between 29-33 C. While on the internet it can increase up to 60 C. I tried playing diablo3 as well to see if the MBA can handle it. The temps shoot up to 90-95 C while playing diablo 3. While on netflix the temps are between 65-75 C while streaming a movie. I also play league of legends, and in all honesty, a macbook isn't the best laptop for pc games..Thats why your temps are so high. You should be ok to play but this thing really isnt meant for games. More for work/school.

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