Retina MacBook Pro temperatures and maximum fan speed

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by applepie555, Aug 4, 2013.

  1. applepie555, Aug 4, 2013
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2013

    applepie555 macrumors regular

    Aug 7, 2012
    I just got a retina macbook pro. When gaming on it, it gets really hot. I set the fan speed to 6000 rpm, and it still gets up to 102 Celsius on the CPU, averaging about 95ish degrees celcius. This worries me as the thermal shutdown point is 105 celcius, and while it SHOULD shut itself down, I'm worried that damage could still be done even before that point. Is this possible?

    Also, I heard that it is possible to get the cpu fan speed up to 6500 rpm. Is this true? If so, how can I set it to that speed? Additionally my GPU runs at around 70 celcius, so the fans aren't at full blast. Would maxing out that fan also help decrease CPU temperature, or will it not affect it?

  2. MarcBook macrumors 6502a


    Jul 13, 2008
    United Kingdom
    Don't worry, it's normal behaviour.

    I've been gaming on mine for a year now and seen the CPU Die temperature hit just under 105 Celsius before. The maximum fan speed is actually 6200 rpm and if you want to manually reach that, install a fan control app (such as smcFanControl).

    What I'm essentially saying is that there's no cause for concern. Your Mac will control its power and cooling adequately. In fact, the cooling performance is so much better than the older design's that the CPU and GPU hardly throttle at all under full load.
  3. applepie555 thread starter macrumors regular

    Aug 7, 2012
    Retina MacBook Pro temperatures and maximum fan speed

    I generally game under windows. I'm using lubbos fan control to control fan speed but it only lets me go up to 6000rpm...any way I. Windows to get it to 6200rpm?
  4. MarcBook macrumors 6502a


    Jul 13, 2008
    United Kingdom
    Actually, it seems I was thinking of my old pre-Retina MacBook Pro. The highest I can get my Mac's fans are 6000 rpm for the left fan, 5500 rpm for the right.

    Anyway, your Mac should always pick the fan speed required to keep itself performing well, so there's no need to manually control them. It's normal for the machine to get hot to the touch, so no need to worry.
  5. applepie555 thread starter macrumors regular

    Aug 7, 2012
    So it's okay to run at 94+ celsius for around 3 hours? Won't damage anything..?
  6. nickandre21 macrumors 6502a

    Jun 21, 2012
    nope no damage at all, if it ever does get damaged you have after sales support. If it shuts down after getting hot then that's the time you need to be worried.
  7. applepie555 thread starter macrumors regular

    Aug 7, 2012
    I only have 1 year, but assuming intel is smart the shutdown points are probably several degrees Celsius lower than when damage starts to be done/it starts melting...

    Temps generally during gaming 95 Celsius, turbo always stays on except occasionally which probably is a good thing.
  8. nickandre21 macrumors 6502a

    Jun 21, 2012
    although 95c is hot its the normal temperature when running intensive stuff, plus the retina has a new ventilation design, even the fans are redesigned to carry more air than previous fans in macbook pros at the same rpm.
    You need not worry, in case you still need your doubts cleared do visit the genius bar they will check if anything is wrong.
  9. Doward macrumors 6502a

    Feb 21, 2013
    No, it isn't, contrary to popular belief.

    First, Why your MacBook Pro runs so hot


    Problem is still there with the rMBPs as well.

    When everything is working properly as Apple's engineering team designed it, you should not exceed 90C stable during a heavy workload.

    If you are exceeding 95C, you have a problem.
  10. Queen6, Aug 5, 2013
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2013

    Queen6 macrumors 604


    Dec 11, 2008
    Flying over the rainforest at dawn - Priceless
    Here we go again :p

    OP Search and make your own mind, there plenty MBPr`s that run perfectly fine including my own 15", and a Late 2011 15" MBP. Doward makes the false assumption that all Quad Core MBP`s overheat as his 17" had issue.

    Something more useful coming up...


    If you are concerned about temperature and want to reduce it elevation of the rear of the machine helps, as sitting flat on the desk only reflects the heat back to the base of the Mac. You can buy passive aluminium coolers like Rain Designs Mstand or iLap. Most powered coolers are designed for PC notebooks and don't work overly well with Mac`s if at all. One cooler that does work efficiently is the Moshi Zefyr 2, as it`s principle of cooling is specifically designed for Apple portables, by blowing the air horizontally across the base of the computer, however don't expect miracles.

    Link: Moshi Zefyr 2
    A cheap USB fan can achieve the same if strategically placed, not as elegant mind, nor as easy to put in your notebooks case :p but they do help to reduce case temperatures.

    You can use software to override Apple`s own cooling algorithm by manually taking control of fan RPM and setting up power profile presets with SMC Fan Control 2.4, or here with UltraFan which allows you stipulate a preset temperature and the software will automatically raise and lower fan RPM`s to keep the system at the predefined temp, which i personally feel is a far more elegant solution. At the end of the day you want to control your system temperature, not your fan rpm`s. For me SMC is now pretty much redundant with the latest release of UltraFan having manual control of the fans RPM, and subsequently i am starting to uninstall it from my own Mac`s. SMC FC is a great app, however although it`s recently updated, functionality is limited compared to some newer apps, equally SMC Fan Control is rock steady stable and a finished product.

    Strictly speaking Apple`s own cooling algorithm works, albeit at sacrifice of increased temps for quieter operation. This has always been the Apple way and is really nothing detrimental to the system, i have one MBP from 2008 all original barring a recent fan change that has an uptime of over 35K hours. The latest MBP`s need less assistance in remaining cool; for some it`s simply disconcerting the heat generated and transferred to the case, although it`s perfectly normal as the aluminium acts as a heat-sync. i have to deal with elevated ambient temperature so at times a software solution is useful. Apart from the passive cooling the Mstands bring they also offer a very sound ergonomic solution. A passive cooler and UltraFan will maximise the cooling, there is little else you can do short of reducing the ambient temperature or the system load. If I know i am going to push a system i will close all apps that are not essential as this can and does make an impact to system temperature.

    High temperatures in general is not overly harmful to your systems, unless you push to the extremes. What is far more detrimental is thermal stress, where temperatures rapidly cycle by significant margins over a short period of time. Anyone striving for great longevity should look to minimise rapid temperature changes, here UltraFan is your best friend.

    Using a RainDesign Mstand, a Moshi Zefyr 2 and latest version of UltraFan I can reduce temperature by over 20C when transcoding an MKV video file, and that is something worth thinking about;

    • Apple default cooling algorithm 99C - 103C (still on Mstand) fans 4K and escalating :eek:
    • Mstand, Zefyr & UltraFan 79C - 82C fans at 5.8K :cool:

    Recently i have been experimenting with a CoolerMaster Notrepal E1 cooling pad, it has a single very large fan 23CM (9") running at 800 rpm, and most importantly moving a significant 91.25 CFM, this is far more than most other powered coolers i have tried.

    The fan by far takes up the majority of the coolers body, runs slow and quiet. As it`s designed for a PC portable i didn't have any high expectations; the cooler runs quiet as in silent, perfect size for a 15" MBP, has USB expansion, single speed with on/off button and lifts the machine a good couple of inch`s of the desk. I chose my Late 2011 2.4 i7 15" MBP, it`s connected to an external display, runs 24/7 and is generally north of 70C (158F) on any given day. Any software solution only results in the MBP doing a fair impression of a "Turbojet" which we all love to loath, as workloads rise and temperatures increase.

    The important part cooling; well as ever with a Mac a mixed bag, the elevation definitely helps versus being flat on the desk. I have little expectation of any cooler reducing a Mac`s internal temperature significantly, what the Notepal E1 was able to do was systematically reduce fan rpm by a good 1K without any increase in internal temperatures, which is a big step forward. With this cooler and a software solution (UltraFan/SMC Fan Control) it`s possible to have a moderate load and a relatively quiet system, and that counts for a lot. The major downside to the Notepal E1 is the size, it`s clearly designed to be "planted" on the desk. when using the 10 degree angle i use a piece of that rubber you can buy for car dashboards, just to ensure the MBP doesn't slip and slide about, just seems prudent with such an expensive notebook perched on the edge of the desk. The Notepal E1 also unusually blows a stream of cool air out of the front to cool the hands which is well unusual, nevertheless not unpleasant on a hot day.

    I still rate the Moshi Zefyr 2 as the best powered cooler for a Mac portable simply due to it`s continuous horizontal air flow, however the pricing and availability make it a tough choice. 1K reduction in fan speed may not sound that big a deal, however if that keeps the Mac below the "Turbojet' threshold then it`s a worthwhile investment for anyone seeking the quieter life :p

    What i have observed over the years is the best solution for a Mac portable is a combination of software, and powered cooler, on my Late 2011 15" MBP (2.4 i7) running both internal & external display`s i run; Ultrafan set to 66C, AdBlock and it sits on a CoolerMaster NotePal E1 this results in a reasonably cool and quiet system. My Retina is better behaved thermally and i just run UltraFan, AdBlock and it sits on a Rain Design Mstand.

    Note: the CoolerMaster Notepal E1 moves a very considerable volume of air, over 90 cubic feet per minute (CFM) a regular PC cooler moving say 40CFM will have little to no effect on an Apple portable, my recent observations are undertaken in an ambient temperature of 25C to 28C, so you may not need to go all the way to achieve a cool, quiet Mac.

    Assembly can and does play it`s part, and some systems do get overly hot under moderate loads, old systems can benefit from cleaning out the cooling system & fans. In some cases reapplying thermal paste can drop temperatures; some members have seen decent drops, some have seen nothing. High temperatures are generally driven by the software load, games for one will fire up a MBP rapidly. My own Mid 2012 Retina generally doesn't exceed 85C while gaming, equally I run UltraFan, it`s elevated and much depends on the load the game places on the machine.

    The old adage still applies; it`s easier to keep a system cool, than cool-down an already hot machine. This being said it`s not strictly necessary, equally it`s nice to know that there are options for reducing temperature out there.
  11. Doward macrumors 6502a

    Feb 21, 2013
    I think you're mistaken in my stance. I never stated my 17" 'overheated' - just that the thermal signature seemed off.

    I investigated, and found multiple issues related to the cooling system, ran some tests, engineered improvements, and ended up with a substantially better system for it.

    All the data points to the same things:

    1) Apple's design is for the MBP to run a maximum of 90C stabilized under full load.
    2) @ 95C Apple's system goes into full-cooldown mode (fully ramped fans)
    3) @ 100C Apple begins throttling the system
    4) @ 105C+ Thermal shutdown is supposed to occur

    *IF* everything is working as designed, your system should never exceed 95C. I stand by the statement that over 95C stabilized, unthrottled full load, you have thermal issues that need resolution.
  12. Anonymousmac329 macrumors newbie

    Oct 15, 2014
    Lol, it's true

    The max rpm of the new mac air I'm using could go until 6500 rpm. If I'm gaming, which I quit recently, it goes up until 90 Celsius and then decreases. I use Macs Fan Control for my control of the mac fan. But I've seen it go over 6500 rpm, so min 2000 rpm and the max 6500 rpm is for the safe range for the mac fan and the motherboard. So it's true that the fan can go over 6500 rpm. (P. S. I believe I uploaded the zip thing for the macs fan control I'm using, so try if it works.
  13. someoneoutthere macrumors regular

    Jul 27, 2014
    The Great Lakes State
    I have iStat Menus installed. Under "Fan Control", "leftside" max is at 6156 rpm and "rightside" max is at 5700 rpm.
    Speaking of your temperature readings... It happens to me when I am "building smart previews" on Lightroom 5 for couple hundred/thousand photos.
    Same goes for video editing, as well as gaming.
    I got used to it. If it gets too hot, it will shut itself to prevent damage.
  14. Tech198, Nov 2, 2014
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2014

    Tech198 macrumors G5

    Mar 21, 2011
    Australia, Perth
    Isn't this a mis-normer ??

    Why say its normal, when a machine running with fans on full screed is not normal.

    Regardless weather it does it all the time or not,,,,,

    If your on a laptop, then u have more confined space.. and more heat which would be why fans spin up, because they need to "cool" components down ?? Would be a direct link to the problem..

    Computers have changed when i was learning..... I came from a PC background, so maybe's old habbit, but i can't believe a company can be the only one that can tolerate heat.

    Every machine needs to be cooled. Apple still says "Make sure air vents are not blocked", so they still care about ventilation.... but they allow heat to build up ??

    I can see why components fail on Mac more then any other system.....I've had PC laptops for years, and my Mac has been in for more repairs in one year than i could even say..

    And this is considered normal ?? Its just a problem, waiting to happen..

Share This Page