rMBP is scalding hot when gaming!!!

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by bohnje, Nov 19, 2012.

  1. bohnje, Nov 19, 2012
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2012

    bohnje macrumors newbie

    Apr 24, 2011
    Gaming causes my rMBP toget VERY hot esspecially between the keyboard and screen (is there a heat sync there) which gets scalding hot (like extremely hot). I have installed SMC fan control and crank my fans to near max before I start playing any games which helps but it still seems to get hotter than it should.

    I also raise it off my desk using a couple of erasers.

    Does anyone have any tips to help keep it cooler when gaming?
  2. chrisperro macrumors 6502


    Oct 24, 2009
    please search ,is a thousand treads about this topic
  3. bohnje thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 24, 2011
    I have it seems all that I can find is to

    1) use SMC fancontrol (which I do)
    2) raise mbp off of surface (which I do)
    3) invest in a cooling pad (mixed reviews on wether they actually work)
    4) use a bag of frozen peas (not interested)

    I was Hoping someone may have more insight but maybe I just need to search harder
  4. SDAVE macrumors 68040


    Jun 16, 2007
    Just the way things are. These dude's are hot when doing intensive tasks.

    Even watching YT clips, it gets super hot.

    Just get an mStand, it helps cool off the aluminium.
  5. Queen6 macrumors 604


    Dec 11, 2008
    Flying over the rainforest at dawn - Priceless
    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 30K 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, what is far more detrimental is thermal stress, where temperatures rapidly fluctuate 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

    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.
  6. bohnje thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 24, 2011
    Thank you for such a great and informative response! Do you know if "ultra fan" will continue to be at work when I boot into windows. Using SMC fan control I am able to reboot and keep the fan speed up.

    Thanks again :)
  7. Queen6 macrumors 604


    Dec 11, 2008
    Flying over the rainforest at dawn - Priceless
    No UltraFan only works under OS X, you cab however preset fan rpms with SMC Fan Control and then boot into windows and the preset value will remain the same. I also believe that there is a fan control application for windows that will run with Apple hardware.
  8. Daniel L macrumors 6502

    Sep 15, 2009
    This isn't true. Watching YouTube on my Macbook Air the fans turn on and it gets hot but on the rMBP it gets slightly warmer but it's still silent and comfortable in my lap. It only gets noticeably hot when playing games or encoding videos.
  9. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    The Intel processors used in Macs are designed to automatically shut down to prevent damage if they truly overheat. CPU Tjmax = 105C (221F), GPU Tjmax = 100C (212F) on i3, i5, i7 processors. (Source: Intel)

    If you're not already using it, iStat Pro (free) or iStat Menus ($16) will give you accurate readings of your temps and fan speeds, among other things.

    Unless there is a rare defect in a Mac, most temps are well within the normal operating range, considering the workload being put on it. Websites with Flash content, games and other multimedia apps will put higher demand on the CPU/GPU, generating more heat. This is normal. If you're constantly putting high demands on your system, such as gaming or other multimedia tasks, expect temps to rise and fans to spin up accordingly. It's just your Mac doing its job to maintain temps within the normal range.

    It is also quite normal for your Mac to become extremely hot to the touch during intensive operations. The aluminum body transfers heat more effectively than other materials used in computer casings, so you will feel the heat more. This doesn't indicate that it's overheating and will not harm the computer to be hot to the touch.

    Your fans are always on when your Mac is on, spinning at a minimum of 2000 rpm (for MBPs) or 1800 rpm (for MBAs, MBs and minis). iMacs have 3 fans with minimum speeds in the 800-1200 range. They will spin faster as needed to keep temps at a safe level.

    If your fans are spinning up without increased heat, try resetting the SMC.
    (PRAM/NVRAM has nothing to do with these issues, so resetting it will not help.)

    The intake and exhaust vents are in the back of the computer near the hinge on all Mac notebooks (except the new MBP with retina display, which has intake vents along the sides at the bottom). The iMac vent is a slot on the back near the top of the computer. Make sure the vents remain unblocked to allow your computer to perform at its best.

    Learn about the fans in your Mac
    Apple Portables: Operating temperature

    For Flash-related issues:
  10. zakee00 macrumors regular


    Jul 7, 2004
    Anchorage, Alaska
    Yeah, I don't know what YouTube videos that person is watching but I'm not getting anything like that. And OF COURSE this computer gets hot while playing games. Every computer will get hot when playing a game.
  11. mrsir2009 macrumors 604


    Sep 17, 2009
    Melbourne, Australia
    What sort of temperatures is it getting up to?
  12. switon macrumors 6502a

    Sep 10, 2012
    RE: cooling ...

    Hi bohnje,

    Concise answer: Cool the incoming air and you will better cool the computer.

    Most of the heat generated by a rMBP is removed by the exhaust air. When you are pushing the machine to its limits, such as with gaming, then external cooling is viable and helps since the fans are already moving the maximum amount of air possible.

    That said, the best way to better cool your rMBP is to cool the incoming air. Newton's Law of Cooling tells us that the rate of heat removal is proportional to the temperature difference between the air and the computer's components, thus by increasing that temperature difference through cooling of the incoming air correspondingly increases the rate of heat removal from the computer.

    So, figure out a way to cool the incoming air, and you will have figured out a way to remove heat faster from your machine, lowering its temperature (assuming that your machine has not already throttled its CPU so that the additional cooling just allows the frequency of the CPU to go back up generating even more heat).

    There is relatively little heat removed by conduction from the case when compared to the heat removed by the air flowing through the machine. And with that said, most conductive cooling through the case removes correspondingly less heat than the exhaust air, but when the computer is "maxed out" then the conductive cooling of the case does help since the fans can't move air any faster - the fans are at the limit of their heat removing capacity. When the machine is not "maxed out", then conductive cooling through the case only serves to allow the fans to work less hard (the fans's speeds will slow), leaving the internal temperature roughly the same.

    Summary: Cool the incoming air, and you will better cool your computer.

  13. Dyno-Mike macrumors regular

    Aug 19, 2012
    United Kingdom
    Do you play games under boot camp?

    I can get mine to run so much cooler under windows than under OSX because I disable Turbo on the CPU and use lubbos fan control. During games I never see anywhere near 80C and the performance is the same as when turbo is enabled.

    Same game under OSX can reach 100c on the CPU at times, but performance is also worse than windows.

    Might be worth a try for you if your worried.
  14. AppleMacFinder macrumors 6502a


    Dec 7, 2009
    They work, but heavily overpriced. You could easily make your own.
    I made my own for old Dell laptop from some wood planks and old fan -
    now, it doesn't overheat, thanks to this excellent solution.

    Also, I have changed the thermal grease (from old low-end to high-end) and cleaned the dust inside.

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