Normal idle temp for CPU/GPU?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by oxfordguy, Nov 15, 2011.

  1. oxfordguy macrumors 6502a

    Feb 27, 2008
    Oxford, England
    Hi - what should be the normal idle temperature for the CPU and GPU for an early-2008 Macbook Pro (2.5Ghz Intel Core 2 Duo)? Since having the logic board replaced recently via an Apple Store Genius bar, I've noticed that iStat Pro is reporting what seem like quite high idle CPU and GPU temperatures - usually around 57 degree celsius/135 degrees fahrenheit (CPU) and 60 degrees celsius/140 degrees fahrenheit (GPU) - I don't remember idle temps being this high before, but maybe I'm mistaken.

    Do you think perhaps the Apple Genius guys have been a little over-enthusiastic with the application of thermal paste? If so, not really sure what to do about it, as I don't really feel up to dismantling my Macbook Pro to get at the heat-sinks, hard drive swaps are about the limit of what I've attempted before...
  2. bizzle macrumors 6502a

    Jun 29, 2008
    Either they put way too much or none at all. I've seen both many times as my years as a Genius. I still service Macs and see pretty horrible jobs from the factory too.
  3. snaky69 macrumors 603

    Mar 14, 2008
    Those temps are right on spec, currently running 56C/64C (CPU/GPU)respectively with barely anything open.
  4. ender land macrumors 6502a

    Oct 26, 2010
    Before resetting my pram (or whatever the cmd+option+p+r startup sequence does and the apple person told me ;) ) I was either 100F or 120F.

    Now I'm all over the place, considerably higher normally. I'm kinda annoyed I did that actually :(
  5. thundersteele macrumors 68030

    Oct 19, 2011
    48 CPU
    52 GPU

    usuallly mid 50s with light use, i.e. web browsing and stuff. 2008 17'' pre unibody.
  6. GenesisJLS macrumors regular


    Apr 21, 2009
    What's the ambient temperature where you live, and what operating system do you currently have installed. If you have Lion installed, I can see the temperatures jumping significantly higher than you were used to in Snow Leopard.
  7. MBPDiva macrumors regular

    Nov 1, 2008
    on Orion's Belt
    When idling, my 2008 MBP CPU is 120 degrees. After moderate use the CPU temp hovers around 128-135. The GPU is the same temp and the heat sinks are a little lower, around 100-115. The older MBPs are notorious for running hot.
  8. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    PRAM/NVRAM has nothing to do with battery/power/charging/temperature issues. Resetting it will not help. Only resetting the SMC addresses such issues.
  9. aCondor macrumors 6502

    Oct 20, 2010
    United States
    I stay around 40 C when idling or browsing the web.
  10. Heebeejeebies macrumors regular


    Nov 9, 2011
    New Jersey
    When idling, my computer is about 130F, and during browsing and watching videos it gets up to 140-150F.
  11. omnimoeish macrumors member

    Mar 31, 2010
    This is weird. I and my parents both have a unibody Macbook Pro from late 2008. In a 70F room side by side, there's idles around 33C at 2000 RPM fan. Mine around 65-70C at 3000RPM. I can get mine over 100C EASY if I run stuff like quicktime screen recording and a flash video. (which uses 67% of the processor). There's can run pretty much anything and not crack 70C. My processor is a LITTLE different. I have the Intel Core 2 Duo 2.53Ghz with the 6MB L2 cache. There's has the Intel Core 2 Duo 2.4Ghz with the 3MB L2 cache. There's has a 256MB video card, mine is 512MB. Mine's running Lion, they're running Snow Leopard. Other than that, they are identical in every way. On the same battery, I get about 1 hour and 30 minutes of use, there's runs for 3 hours easy (obviously due to the fans running at different speeds). Does this make any sense? Is my thermal paste messed up? It's still under Apple care until June.
  12. GuitarG20 macrumors 65816


    Jun 3, 2011
    those are a lot of differences. the increase in GHz means more power, meaning more heat. the increase in video card similarly means more power and more heat. in addition, Lion is known to use more system resources, causing more heat.

    for the charge, you need to keep your battery cycles and health in mind.

    and 33C seems exceptionally low for any kind of computer, to be honest. especially older ones, which tend to have more dust and thus tend to have worse heat dissipation.
  13. dusk007 macrumors 68040


    Dec 5, 2009
    In a cool room 33C seems reasonable. Mine (2010 15") idles at around 38C when running on the Integrated Intel GPU. 23C room temp.
    But switching to dedicated means 65C (still 2000 rpm) just sitting there.

    On the Intel GPU it needs a lot of load to really reach higher fan rpm. On dedicated all it takes is a little load and it is at 2700 some more and it is far beyond that.

    If yours are both 15" MBP and it is only that tiny CPU difference (and VRAM) but with the same GPU and the GPU switched on, the difference would be way to big. One Notebook runs a dedicated GPU the other doesn't or something is seriously off with the sensors or the cooling.
  14. thundersteele macrumors 68030

    Oct 19, 2011
    Why don't you tell this exact same story to Apple and have them look at it.

    Sometimes there are issues with the thermal paste, but that can't be diagnosed over the internet...
  15. macdudesir macrumors 6502

    Jan 16, 2011
    Blacksburg, VA
    My iMac idles at 26C...web browsing its up to 28C...full load, 50C IMO 33C is just fine lol;)
  16. happle macrumors 6502a

    Jun 20, 2010
    my CPU idles at 97F
    my GPU idles at 86F

    thats with safari open, iTunes (not playing), and ichat
  17. thermodynamic Suspended


    May 3, 2009
    17" early-2011 MBP.

    CPU temps only, as I don't game enough and GPUs get very hot to begin with:

    Absolute idle: 38C

    Web browsing: 42C

    Photoshop: 44~56C depending on task

    Dreamweaver: ~46C

    Using Visual Studio in Windows XP (Parallels, 768MB RAM, 2 cores): 60C.

    Unreal Tournament 2004 in Windows XP (Parallels, same config): 66~72C

    3D rendering, video editing, or compiling Flash game: 91C

    Anything under 80C is perfectly fine by me, but as a rule "the lower the better" is preferable.

    But my 2009 MBP (17") got up to 100C when compiling Flash, so to see ~91C is pretty neat on its own...

    In the factory where these things are made, even under ideal conditions, some bunk units come out. But there is enough of a case that can be made for the 2010 and 2011 models, especially when a proper amount of good thermal grease lowers temps 10C on a 2011 model. This does boil down to manufacturing and that website isn't the only one to point out issues... Apple really needs to change their manufacturing contractor or eventually their reputation will fall. People do expect more than a perception of quality when spending $2800+ (with AppleCare), but in Apple's defense - and from repute - they are VERY good with AppleCare policies, which does make up for the hapless customer getting one of the aforementioned bunk models.

    I know, on Apple's own forums, somebody got a Genius tech to clean up their MBP and apply a proper amount of thermal grease... I've been tempted to call the local Apple store, but my temps never get above 60C -- and laptops will get warmer in the first place. (Even high-end HP laptops costing $3000 have heat issues as well. The Elitebook 8640 if I recall rightly...)
  18. omnimoeish macrumors member

    Mar 31, 2010
    Thanks, I can try that but I pretty much guarantee they'll say something vague to get me to leave about how the heat and temp depends on so many factors and blah blah, but I'm pretty sure it shouldn't top 100C running quicktime screen recorder. I know it's not a sensor error, they're laptop never feels warm unless it's at full tilt boogy, mine feels warm just idling. I'd gladly underclock mine to 2.4Ghz if it doubled my battery life. I don't game on this thing very often as I have a gaming rig.

    I wonder if mine isn't switching out of dedicated even though it says it is. Not likely, but it would explain it. I'll have to try running theirs on the standalone Geforce 9600GT to see the temps.
  19. -aggie- macrumors P6


    Jun 19, 2009
    Where bunnies are welcome.
    I highly doubt your numbers.

    My lowest idle is at 42 C and it can get to ~70 under a full load, but normally it never exceeds 52 for day to day stuff.
  20. GuitarG20 macrumors 65816


    Jun 3, 2011
    Ah. iMac = bigger = more heat dissipation.
    MBP = smaller = less places for the heat to go. my MBP only is at 33C when I just turn it on.
  21. Queen6, Dec 25, 2011
    Last edited: Dec 25, 2011

    Queen6 macrumors 603


    Dec 11, 2008
    Putting out the fire with gasoline...
    I agree this is pretty average for a Penryn, my own 15' Early 2008 2.4 generally runs a little hotter than this, admittedly it`s time for a teardown, new fans and thermal compound. Not too bad considering it`s been running basically 24-7 since I bought the machine in less than forgiving climates.

    Out of interest the new 2.4 i7 that has replaced the Penryn MBP idles at a cool 33C - 35C :apple:

Share This Page