New MacBook Pro getting too hot for my lap

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by woodynorman, Jun 23, 2013.

  1. woodynorman macrumors 6502a

    Nov 26, 2011
    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!
  2. Menge macrumors 6502a


    Dec 22, 2008
    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).
  3. NewbieCanada macrumors 68030

    Oct 9, 2007
    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.
  4. woodynorman, Jun 23, 2013
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2013

    woodynorman thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Nov 26, 2011
    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.
  5. Asuriyan macrumors 6502a

    Feb 4, 2013
    He doesn't have dedicated graphics :)
  6. NewbieCanada macrumors 68030

    Oct 9, 2007
    Oops, missed the "13"

    So bonus tip - there are lots of different laptop trays and holders that will give you some insulation and keep the hot air from blasting your lap.
  7. glenthompson macrumors 68000


    Apr 27, 2011
    When lap computing I use a Logitech tray which keeps my lap quite cool. I could never use mine on my lap without it.
  8. woodynorman, Jun 23, 2013
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2013

    woodynorman thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Nov 26, 2011
    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.
  9. woodynorman thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Nov 26, 2011
    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.
  10. l.a.rossmann macrumors 65816


    May 15, 2009
    pardon my noobish question, wouldn't lowering the fans make it hotter?

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