rMBP: gaming, fans, and temperature

Discussion in 'Mac and PC Games' started by swartzfeger, Apr 17, 2016.

  1. swartzfeger macrumors member

    Feb 9, 2012
    Gang, bought a new (on clearance) mid-2014 retina MBP this past Christmas. On the gaming side of things, it's fine -- it runs WoW with no complaints (granted, I don't raid or PvP at all -- mostly solo content, dump stuff on AH, lather rinse repeat).

    My concern however is CPU/GPU temps. Warcraft always keeps temps in the 80°-85°C range, which seems awfully high. I tweaked the fans to be a little more 'pro active', and the temps will occasionally dip below 80°, but overall the temps are higher than I feel comfortable with or extended periods.

    I've changed settings -- low-res/fair graphics really don't bother me -- but nothing seems to make a drastic difference. FWIW, Civ V and other games seem to ramp up the heat/temperature almost as much as WoW.

    Am I being too cautious, or is this a serious issue that can cause long-term effects/damage? Just how much heat can a logic board/cpu/gpu take over extended periods?
  2. throAU macrumors 603


    Feb 13, 2012
    Perth, Western Australia
    The intel CPUs are rated for over 100 degrees and will throttle if need be to keep within spec.

    GPUs are probably similar.

    If you want a gaming machine, a thin notebook is probably not ideal, but it should prevent itself from incurring damage, it will just run the fans loud and throttle if required.
  3. swartzfeger thread starter macrumors member

    Feb 9, 2012
    I apologize for jumping the gun, after posting I saw some similar threads. It looks like 90-95° isn't unusual.

    Only reason I'm a little gun shy is my Ti MBP (2007?) was worked over daily with extended WoW sessions and when it finally croaked in 2010 I was pretty sure the constant heat probably did it in (I forget if it was the left I/O board or the ATI GPU that fried). Who knows, I never had it properly diagnosed as to the final cause of death, so maybe my fear of heat may be unwarranted!
  4. Paulk macrumors 6502


    Feb 10, 2008
    I never even thought of the temperature may be too high. My Mac (see below) didn't last more than three years of intensive use. I didn't do much gaming on it either.
  5. Exhale, Apr 24, 2016
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2016

    Exhale macrumors 6502

    Sep 20, 2011
    While heat doesn't necessarily damage the processors, be aware that the battery does not like warm temperatures. To keep temperature and noise level in check, i advice you apply a framerate limit.

    For laptops, I generally apply a framerate limit of 30FPS. This is still a reasonably high framerate that'll work for the majority of games - but remember that unlike an uncapped average of 30 FPS, this won't be done with any deviation (it is a precise at-all-times 30), which can actually make it seem smoother than an uncapped framerate which hovers between 40-60.

    The framerate cap can trivially be configured in wow either via in-game settings, or by chat commands (/console maxfps 30).
    Civ unfortunately doesn't have built in support for framerate caps (which is idiotic), and you'll need to check for specific instructions on other games. Its not unusual that you'll need to modify a config text file.
  6. Paulk macrumors 6502


    Feb 10, 2008
    As far as I could tell the battery was OK to the end. But I lost contact to the internet. Checked the provider (Telia, Sweden) and the internet was fine, so the fault was with my MacBook. Anyway now I have a windows 10 machine, but will return to Mac as soon as this computer's life ends.
  7. DadBod630 Suspended

    Oct 13, 2015
    I also play WoW on my 2015 MBP and it gets pretty hot. I'm not too worried about it because as was stated the internals will let you know if things are getting dangerously warm.

    Just play on a hard surface and not on a pillow or something and you should be fine.
  8. JoelTheSuperior macrumors 6502


    Feb 10, 2014
    London, UK
    I wouldn't worry about the temperatures. MacBooks aren't even close to the best gaming machines but they shouldn't kill themselves in the process.

    Regarding your old 2007 model, that was a known issue with poor chip packaging. That issue shouldn't affect any newer models.
  9. hiddenmarkov macrumors 6502a

    Mar 12, 2014
    Played eve online on a late 11 for several years. Unless temps spiking to wth is this range prolonged gaming should not be an issue. Eve can be a graphically intense game.

    Now on a mid 15. Game of choice of late seems to be diablo 3. Seasonal play so if schedule allows can be long sessions as well, first its get to 70 ASAP for paragon and its farm farm farm for better gear to push greater rifts more. Did I mention your can can farm a fair bit? Sad but true I farmed for the last bits of gear I needed to setup nice and got some of them the very last day of season 5. RNG gods...gotta love em.

    My usual recommendations include:

    run the mbp off a raised stand. It can rely on air cooling so getting some air under it of help usually.

    If game supports it, run in windowed mode if concerned about temps. Should see a few degree temp drop. make that window as almost as large as the screen. Seems to be some voodoo magic where true full screen kicks it up a notch for some games and windowed setup just a few hairs smaller runs cooler.

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