New MacBook Pro getting too hot for my lap

woodynorman

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Nov 26, 2011
659
299
I just replaced my 2011 Macbook Air with a new Macbook Pro 2.9 GHZ/8gb/512SSD 13" retina. I use my computer on my lap 90% of the time.

The Air ran pretty cool, but did get warm when I had a lot of apps open. The new MB Pro runs pretty warm ALL the time. Even just surfing the web it gets almost uncomfortable in my lap.

My question is which would run cooler...a 2.9 GHZ/8 GB Macbook Pro 13" retina or a 2.4 GHZ/8 GB Macbook Pro 15"?? I'm not opposed to returning the 13" for the 15" if it runs at a more tolerable temp.

I believe I saw a reference somewhere that the 15" with the quad core processor would run cooler that the dual core 13"?

Any input? Thanks!
 

Menge

macrumors 6502a
Dec 22, 2008
608
2
Amsterdam
Usually higher clock speed = higher temp.
The Airs run cool because they're mostly sub-2GHz with modern technologies.

I don't think going from a 2.9GHz processor to a 2.4GHz processor is going to make much of a difference in comfort. It will be better, but not ever cool as an Air. If you want a cool laptop, you should stick to the Airs – which have pretty low clock speeds.

Intel processors these days also auto-overclock to the point of lap combustion when needed and then underclock back just when your leg hairs are about to burst into flames (this is called Intel Turbo Boost). I always thought this was stupid to do on a laptop (due to... you know... the lap thing), but Apple seems to leave that enabled (yes it can be disabled).
 

NewbieCanada

macrumors 68030
Oct 9, 2007
2,574
34
Two things I've found that make it run cooler on the lap:

1. Don't have it plugged in and charging.

2. Use gfxCardStatus to force it to use the integrated graphics.
 

woodynorman

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Nov 26, 2011
659
299
Thanks for the replies. I really like my new rMBP, I guess I was just spoiled coming from the MBA and the comfortable temps while using it in my Lazyboy recliner, which is where I do most of my work on the computer.

I was looking at prices at MacMall (where I bought my current unit) and a similar 13" 8GB/512GB MBA goes for $1844, which is $45 more than I paid for the 13" rMBP I'm typing on now. I think I should just stick with what I got. The screen is really nice....

So I guess the new title of this thread should be "how to make my rMBP run cooler"....

I'm not sure how to use gfxCardStatus. I will look into it. I'm not so tech savvy...I need easy!

Any more tips on how to keep my lap cool? :)

EDIT: It seems as though the gfxCardStatus program is for 15-17" MBP's only.
 
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glenthompson

macrumors 68000
Apr 27, 2011
1,929
128
Florida
When lap computing I use a Logitech tray which keeps my lap quite cool. I could never use mine on my lap without it.
 

woodynorman

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Nov 26, 2011
659
299
just downloaded smcFanControl and it seems to help. I cranked up the fan rpm's to 4000. I can barely hear them and it seems to run a bit cooler now. I'm sure my battery life may suffer but it's a good compromise I think.
 
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woodynorman

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Nov 26, 2011
659
299
Update: played with the fan settings so they are not quite so high. Was able to keep the temps quite tolerable and maintain great battery life.