New 15" PB too hot to handle!

Discussion in 'Macintosh Computers' started by Vinny, May 19, 2004.

  1. Vinny macrumors newbie

    Jan 8, 2004
    Let me start by saying that I got my new 15" Powerbook last week and I love it. Speed/feature-wise, it is exactly what I have been wanting.

    Unfortunately, it has (what I consider to be) a big problem with heat. Under normal use (running Mail, Safari, iChat and occasionally iTunes) the underside gets extremely hot, mostly across the back, making it unusable as a "lap"top. Hot enough that you can only touch it for a few seconds before your brain reacts and says "pull your hand away now". Over time, the heat seems to work its way up into the area where you rest your wrists.

    I installed a CPU temp monitor and it seems to climb up around 61 degrees celcius and hangs there until i close all of my apps. With nothing open it runs around 52 degrees. It doesn't get any hotter when its charging and it will drop to about 35 degrees when in sleep mode.

    I know some may say its likely because of the hard drive, but I am actually running this model in two PC notebooks without any issues. Its a very good drive, but maybe I got a dud in this one.

    Any ideas would be greatly appreciated!

    15" 1.5ghz G4 Powerbook, 1x512MB RAM, 80GB 5400rpm drive

  2. Rogan Schlassa macrumors newbie

    May 19, 2004
    Memphis Tennessee
    Sounds normal

    This all sounds normal... most people report in the 100s(fahrenheit) my pbook runs at arount 46(cel) degrees durring use with many apps open with inside temps at about 70

    i wouldent worry to much man, also the pbook shuts down at like 150(fahrenheit) degrees
  3. Vinny thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 8, 2004
    The temps I listed are in Celcius. Right now, I am running Folding as a test and its at 63.3 degrees celcius (146.3 F)
  4. Dr. Distortion macrumors regular

    May 2, 2002
    Eindhoven, the Netherlands
    Well, I think you should not worry about the electronical parts getting too hot... my G3 upgrade card for the good ol' Powermac 6100 sometimes got as hot as 84ºC!

    -Dr. D.
  5. veedubdrew macrumors regular

    Oct 14, 2002
    Los Angeles, CA
    Try running your PowerBook without iChat. If I have iChat open and someone has an animated icon, it gobbles up CPU resources to the point that my 12" PB just roasts. If I kill iChat, it cools down quickly and settles at a comfy temp.

    Try checking your Activity Monitor and see if something is using up all your CPU resources. If it is the iChat problem, the solution is to choose the user with the animated icon (you'll have to ask everyone, iChat is lame for not showing animated icons) and choose "get info" from the menu bar and turn off their icon. I'm on a PC right now, so I can't provide specifics, but that's the jist of it.

    Hope that helps.

  6. superbovine macrumors 68030


    Nov 7, 2003
    thats about right, might invest in a small portable stand that can go on your lap or table top. i don't particular like my PB cooking my legs either :(
    targus makes some nice stuff like that, and they have small wrist pads as well if the heat on your arms is to much. i have the wrist pads, i hardly use them, but sometimes the come in handy.
  7. jKmxxx macrumors member

    May 4, 2004
    Melbourne Australia
    I am also doing some heat test on my PB15" with a dataTaker data logger.
    see here

    If you are still worry, you can do this:

    go to energy saver under Option and change the Processer Performance to reduced. That will drop the temp between 8 to 10 degrees C.

    Or you can lift up the PB with some rubber stand to get some air under the PB.

    I found out that at 62 degrees C, the top left internal fan kicks in until the temp drop to 59.8 degrees C. Apple has research their product very well, notice that the PB has aluminum all round. That act as a heatsink.
    so no fan needed, your Apple PB is normal. :)
  8. Rogan Schlassa macrumors newbie

    May 19, 2004
    Memphis Tennessee
    i just dont see how you all have your temps so high.. even with animated icons in ichat wont do alot to it... i think if you are having high temps then you need more ram
  9. jKmxxx macrumors member

    May 4, 2004
    Melbourne Australia
    my PB has 512MB, you have 1GB or more?
  10. MoparShaha macrumors 68000


    May 15, 2003
    San Francisco
    As others have said, check Activity Monitor to see if anything is gobbling up CPU resources. Either way, there is definately something wrong, software or hardware. Perhaps try a clean install. My 12" 1GHz PB normally runs around 115 degrees F, and only climbs to 140 degrees F if I'm rendering or something. Not even my dual 1.25GHz Power Mac G4 gets that hot, it's usually around 122 degrees F.
  11. Rogan Schlassa macrumors newbie

    May 19, 2004
    Memphis Tennessee

    nope 256
  12. Coolvirus007 macrumors regular

    Apr 27, 2004
    I have almost same config as you pb (except only 512MB), the underside of the pb gets hot. I mostly connect it to my ol' 22 cinema and bt mouse and keyboard so i don't really touch the pb at all. I keep my pb flipped over so I can keep the bottom cool instead of using a latop cooling table thing that everyone seems to have. Does anyone know if this is bad for the pb?
  13. Grokgod macrumors 6502a


    Feb 26, 2002
    Deep within the heart of madness!
    What does RAM have to do with HEAT? i would lov eto know if that is an issue.

    My PB gets So hot thats it isnt usable and all i am doing is typing on tis web site!

    ANyone know what is the name of that app that takes the temperature of the cpu?

    I cant believe that it gets this hot.

    Now does it get hotter on the top if the bottom is on a table and not raised?

    It is quieter than the older Ti's but NOT as cool running or as cool looking!

    Can anyone help me puhlease! :(

    and whats with the tingling feeling, am i being electrocuted?
  14. Coolvirus007 macrumors regular

    Apr 27, 2004
    I had the same problem. To fix this, I set the processor level in the energy saver preferance panel to automatic. This will reduce the heat emission of the powerbook.
  15. el greenerino macrumors regular

    Jul 7, 2003
    Sounds like someone is ready for the powerbook battery exchange program!
  16. PeterD42 macrumors member

    Jul 5, 2004
    Perth, Australia
    Sounds like someone is ready for the powerbook battery exchange program

    Just in case you didn't get it :)

    Dear Apple Customer:

    In co-operation with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC)
    and other international safety authorities, Apple is voluntarily
    recalling certain lithium ion rechargeable batteries that were sold
    worldwide from January 2004 through August 2004 for use with 15-inch
    PowerBook G4 (Aluminium) notebook computers. Apple has initiated an
    exchange program and will provide you with a new replacement battery,
    free of charge.

    Issue - The affected batteries could overheat, posing a fire hazard.
    Apple received four reports of these batteries overheating. No
    injuries have been reported. Apple urges you to stop using your
    battery and to order a replacement battery immediately. If you
    continue to use your battery, do not leave it unattended and check for
    signs of overheating.

    Product - The recalled batteries have the Model Number: A1045 and
    serial numbers that begin with: HQ404, HQ405, HQ406, HQ407, or HQ408.
    Batteries with the affected serial numbers contain cells that were
    manufactured by LG Chem, Ltd. of South Korea during the last week of
    December 2003 only. The model and serial numbers are located on the
    label on the bottom of the battery, and can be viewed by removing the
    battery from the computer. The serial number is printed in black
    lettering beneath a barcode. The battery is approximately 12
    centimetres long by 9.5 centimetres wide by 1.9 centimetres high. The
    label located on the bottom of the battery reads in part, "15-inch
    PowerBook G4 Rechargeable Battery" and "Model No: A1045."

    No other PowerBook or iBook batteries are part of this recall.

    What to do To begin the battery exchange process, go to Apple's
    website at: (

    You will be asked for the serial number of your 15-inch PowerBook G4,
    the serial number of your PowerBook battery and a ship to address.
    After serial number verification, a new battery will be shipped to you
    free of charge. When you receive the replacement battery, please use
    the same shipping envelope and included prepaid shipping label to
    return the recalled battery to Apple. If you do not have access to the
    website listed above, please call the following numbers between 9.00
    a.m. and 6.00 p.m., Monday to Friday:
  17. gear02 macrumors member

    Aug 18, 2004
    I got myself a targus laptop cooler. It's just a base that goes under the pbook and has little fans. The temp goes down slightly, but more importantly it protects the surface of the table (or your lap) from the heat. For me it's good since I had it on top of a plastic table ;)
  18. Abstract macrumors Penryn


    Dec 27, 2002
    Location Location Location
    Seriously guys, don't tell people that 65C is a normal internal's not. My laptop fan turns on at 50 C, but generally, it'll run at 50 C if I'm using programs like Word, Excel, Preview, Safari, and iTunes at once. This is when the temperature outside is 22-25C. If its night, cool, and I leave my window open, the operating temperature is around 43C. Same is true if it's winter and I'm in Canada. The hottest my laptop has ever reached is around 55 C ...... and I was already scared.

    I have the 12", not the 15", but such a large discrepency shouldn't exist. I use Temperature Monitor to check the temperature of my computer. Download it at

    Your battery may be fcuked as well if it was made by LG Chemicals or whatever in late December.
  19. Champale macrumors member

    Jul 23, 2004
    Chicago, USA

    In case you never do get your PB cooled off, try this:

    I have one.

    I like it quite a bit.

    My wife used my 15" PB all last night on eBay with the ilap and never complained a bit about any heat issues. My credit card, however, is a little scorched...
  20. Eevee macrumors 6502a


    Aug 10, 2004
    New Haven, CT
    Mine is hot, too.

    I just got my 15" PB last week (80 G @5400 rpm, 2GB RAM, 128 MB Video RAM) and I love it. But like Vinny, it's just hot! I don't think it's the RAM issue since I max out mine (2GB needed for graphics at work). And I don't believe I need to replace my battery since the serial number is not the same as the ones described on the Apple Website. I also set the engery saver on automatic. Last night when I was importing songs from CDs to iTUNES using the battery, the bottom of my PB got hot in about an hour, and was unbearable on my lap. So Energy saver didn't help me much.

    Champale suggested the iLap, which seems like it'll work. But it's $50. Don't have a lot of $$ for the moment, so I guess I will try to bear the heat.

  21. cb911 macrumors 601


    Mar 12, 2002
    BrisVegas, Australia
    wow, i didn't even know that the AlBooks had the temperature sensor hardware. :confused:

    so i've had a Al PB all this time and never even knew about it... hmmpphh. :rolleyes:

    hey Eevee, congrats on the new PB. and nice going with the 2GB RAM! :D :cool: don't see too many people that max out their RAM like that... i've got 1.5GB in my 15" as well. :cool:

    i wouldn't be worrying about it too much... i've never had much of a problem with it. i've hardly even used it on my lap. i mean, for work, be it PhotoShop, whatever, you'll need a mouse, and that's usually alot more convenient to use at a desk anyway.
  22. iNetwork macrumors member

    Jul 20, 2004
    New Mexico
    What good is it

    What good is buying a laptop that you have to reduce the cpu speed to use? Also what good is a computer that you cannot utilize 100% without worrying about heat? Sounds like apple has a problem here..


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