Safest amount of time to play games on a MacBook Pro?

ViolentHero

macrumors member
Original poster
Jan 3, 2012
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In order to try and keep my 2009 13" MBP cool, many people suggest trying to shorten the amount of time I play games on it. For those you who play games on your MacBook Pros, how much time do you spend a day playing games? Also, what do you suggest is the safest amount of time?
 

0098386

Suspended
Jan 18, 2005
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I played games and edited HD video on my 12" Powerbook for 4 years, and then I did the same on a 13" MBP for 3 years. Before that I punished a Pentium 4 3ghz laptop (that thing was a portable oven) in a similar way for 2 years.
All three machines are completely fine. They're meant to be used and abused.


For 6 years I overclocked my iMac to such an amount that the next step up would crash my system, and it never broke too.
 

Apple Key

macrumors 6502a
Jan 4, 2012
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Generally the safest amount of time is just below the point where it begins to interfere with your life responsibilities. :)
 

Hastings101

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Jun 22, 2010
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Play as long as you want, I don't think it will seriously hurt it. If you're that worried install one of the numerous fan control utilities and use that.

I think Apple Key's suggestion is probably the best if you're looking for a guideline :p
 

doh123

macrumors 65816
Dec 28, 2009
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make sure you play no longer than about 15 seconds... since when a game is pushing the machine hard, thats about all it takes to get to max temp.

Making sure you have proper cooling and watching the temp is much more important than the length.
 

AppleMacFinder

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Dec 7, 2009
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If the temperature will break the limit, the computer will shutdown automatically to prevent the damage.
Don't worry about that.
 

ViolentHero

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Original poster
Jan 3, 2012
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Also, just out of curiousity, in what kind of enviornment do you folks place your MBP while gaming? I once learned that where you place your notebook and the temperature of that environment could count as factors.
 

bniu

macrumors 6502a
Mar 21, 2010
989
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one of the reasons I bought Applecare was because I run lots of programs that heat up the computer like crazy, utilize all 8 virtual cores, and even cause the battery to drain while plugged in! If my computer breaks from overheating, I'll just stroll over to the Apple Store and get it replaced :D

I didn't buy my 17 inch MBP to be a museum piece, I bought it so I could drive it hard like a slave! Same reason why you'd buy a pickup truck, it's meant to get dirty, get dents, and get all scratched up!
 

Jethryn Freyman

macrumors 68020
Aug 9, 2007
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Australia
As long as you want, I don't get all the worry about "hot" MBPs, it's not like Apple designed them to be so borderline that the end user has to worry about controlling the temperature themselves.
 

0098386

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Also, just out of curiousity, in what kind of enviornment do you folks place your MBP while gaming? I once learned that where you place your notebook and the temperature of that environment could count as factors.
On a desk.
 

edddeduck

macrumors 68020
Mar 26, 2004
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Rule of thumb don't have your laptop on your bed sheets, sofa cushions etc to be honest your exposed lap is not a good idea either. Anything that retains heat or reduces the airflow should be avoided.

If you play on a desk you should be fine if you are especially worried you can use a couple of DVD's to lift your laptop off the desk and leave more of an airflow underneath but that is excessive in most cases (but useful if the laptop is getting really hot).

Edwin
 

The-Pro

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Dec 2, 2010
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i tax my 2010 MBP 100% every day. Fans are at 6000rpm aswell all day (bloody load :D )
after 20 months of use its still works like a charm, the left fan though is rattling :( im not sure if there is some dirt in it or if its starting to break. ill take it apart and check. replacement fans are like 20-30 € on ebay so i might get one of those if needed
 

edddeduck

macrumors 68020
Mar 26, 2004
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i tax my 2010 MBP 100% every day. Fans are at 6000rpm aswell all day (bloody load :D )
after 20 months of use its still works like a charm, the left fan though is rattling :( im not sure if there is some dirt in it or if its starting to break. ill take it apart and check. replacement fans are like 20-30 € on ebay so i might get one of those if needed
Working for a game company we have a lot of laptops under huge load daily we have not had one break so far due to them running hot and breaking. We even had a G4 PowerBook that survived being dropped onto tarmac roads from a car a few times so I would not overly worry as long as you don't play games with your laptop on a blanket or on top of your oven :D

Finally if the CPU gets too hot the laptop will just shutdown to protect itself.

Edwin
 

cluthz

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Jun 15, 2004
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Norway
I've had gaming sessions for 10 hours on my MBPs several times over the years.
THe only machine that had issues was my 2007 SR MBP with 8600mGT, which was known to fail.
I had 3 failed GFX cards. My 2010 MBP with GT330m had no issues.

I also have a desktop, so I'm not gaming much on my MBA, but I do believe that most apple laptops can withstand hours of gaming a day with no issues.
 

malman89

macrumors 68000
May 29, 2011
1,651
6
Michigan
I still occasionally do a gamer marathon on my old brick of a laptop.

Due to my laptop being ancient and my CPU intensive games, I can easily be in the 90s C all day playing on my laptop. Granted, my game playing has decreased significantly over the years, but I still might have one of those days every week or two. Laptop is almost 5 years old.
 

Sythas

macrumors 6502a
Oct 22, 2009
626
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Québec, Canada
Just play on a hard surface, I use a wood piece with a cushion under when I play in the bed. My friend got a nice one with a fan in the middle... Just be sure your laptop can breath, that's all....
 

Apple Key

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Jan 4, 2012
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Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; CPU iPhone OS 5_0_1 like Mac OS X) AppleWebKit/534.46 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.1 Mobile/9A405 Safari/7534.48.3)

Also, just out of curiousity, in what kind of enviornment do you folks place your MBP while gaming? I once learned that where you place your notebook and the temperature of that environment could count as factors.
It's very important to place it on surface that allows it to breathe. Never use it on a pillow on your lap (a friend of mine had their computer overheat and start smoking because of this). You should either use a desk, or one of the various plastic lap desks.
 

The-Pro

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Dec 2, 2010
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Working for a game company we have a lot of laptops under huge load daily we have not had one break so far due to them running hot and breaking. We even had a G4 PowerBook that survived being dropped onto tarmac roads from a car a few times so I would not overly worry as long as you don't play games with your laptop on a blanket or on top of your oven :D

Finally if the CPU gets too hot the laptop will just shutdown to protect itself.

Edwin
Yeh it usually isn't a problem. Like I said my MBP is running absolutely perfect, just need to investigate the fan issue. I cant say its due to the constant 6000rpm its doing or if its dirt in it. it could be possible the fan is breaking because couple weeks ago it didn't work at all. The hottest my MBP reached was 107°C according to iStat menues. I was like WTF? :D but then that doesn't bother me. These machines are built to withstand being under load and if they fail well then ill get it fixed and complain :D. I wont stop doing my job or play games occasionally because the computer gets to hot :D Some old windows laptops of mine shut down due to high temps :D
My older 2007 17" with the 8600M GT is also under load like 24/7 doing renderings and that has not had a single problem. Amazing since thousand of people have there dead 8600M GT after doing like nothing :D
Speaking of G4's, my 17" G4 is still being used intensively and daily. Great machine only added a bigger HDD once thats the only thing that was ever exchanged.
 

ViolentHero

macrumors member
Original poster
Jan 3, 2012
61
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On a desk.
Alright, would the type of desk it is placed on matter? I was browsing around the Apple Community forums and one guy said that it's best to place it on a glass desk because it's surface is good for dissipating heat. I have a wooden desk. How good is wood?
 

edddeduck

macrumors 68020
Mar 26, 2004
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Alright, would the type of desk it is placed on matter? I was browsing around the Apple Community forums and one guy said that it's best to place it on a glass desk because it's surface is good for dissipating heat. I have a wooden desk. How good is wood?
Any desk is fine unless it is made out of feathers :) Heat is not really something that you should worry about unless you are doing something unusual.

Everyone would have a field day if MacBooks broke easily, as a matter of fact you need to abuse them badly to break them. I have had a MacBook run a game for over 72 hours (multiple times at least once a month) with the CPU and GPU at 95%+ and 3 years later the laptop is still fine.

To summarise don't worry about it their are a lot more things that can damage your laptop than overheating. Dropping it while the HD is copying, spilling a drink on it, rapid temperature change causing condensation etc etc

Edwin
 

Apple Key

macrumors 6502a
Jan 4, 2012
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Alright, would the type of desk it is placed on matter? I was browsing around the Apple Community forums and one guy said that it's best to place it on a glass desk because it's surface is good for dissipating heat. I have a wooden desk. How good is wood?
The surface material doesn't make much of a difference, although it's best to place it on top of a surface that has internal continual flowing cold water. But in all seriousness, you should worry more about the desk, and make sure that it can take the heat.