So I made a discovery ( I think) today about the MBP 13 inch

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Young Spade, Aug 8, 2011.

  1. Young Spade macrumors 68020

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    #1
    To lay the groundwork I have a baseline 13 inch MBP. i5 and a HD3000. Nothing too fancy.

    So I'm running the machine in bootcamp, Windows 7 of course, and I'm playing games.

    Nothing too demanding; Portal 2 in medium settings, Torchlight in low, Oblivion in low... but I have an application on the side that shows the varying temperatures inside the machine.

    What do I see? The 1st and 2nd core hitting 93+ every single time I start up and play a game. Doesn't matter if it's Oblivion, Portal 2, Torchlight, in ANY setting. Low, medium, high, it plays them all flawlessly but obviously the CPUs are burning up.

    Because I just got the machine two days ago, I decide to freeze some water in a bag of ice, make it as flat as possible, and that's what my MBP is sitting on right now: A flat block of ice that's about the same size as the MB.

    What are the results? The cores are STILL 90+ C while the rest of the machine is pretty cold. The bottom is cold to the touch; the only hot places are barely in the top left corner and above the airvent, below the MacBook Pro logo.

    This leads me to believe that the CPUs are isolated in MB to allow them to run hot while leaving the rest of the machine out of danger of overheating.

    Any thoughts? Or maybe I have a bad MBP?
     
  2. slime73 macrumors newbie

    slime73

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    Aug 8, 2011
    #2
    All of the 2011 MBP CPUs automatically overclock (and underclock) themselves based on certain conditions, including power, voltage and heat (it's called Intel TurboBoost 2.0 I believe). The base model is listed at 2.3GHz but has a max automatic overclock speed of 2.9GHz.

    I have a 15" 2.2GHz 2011 Macbook Pro, and it will underclock itself to 800MHz when it's not doing much, and overclock to a maximum of 3.3GHz when gaming.
     
  3. Young Spade thread starter macrumors 68020

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    #3
    Ah, see I knew that but I guess it just slipped my mind; it's one thing to recite specs and the conditions of varying processors but when you finally get one it's a whole new thing lol

    Thanks for that information; glad to know my units aren't just overheating and getting ready to blow (And yea it is TurboBoost) :)
     
  4. GuitarG20 macrumors 65816

    GuitarG20

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    #4
    Kinda along these lines; is there software that shows the clock speeds of the different cores (and virtual cores)? I am using MenuMeters and iStatPro (on the dashboard) but neither does this...

    EDIT: shows the clock speeds they are running at.
     
  5. kolax macrumors G3

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    Mar 20, 2007
    #5
    You really thought putting a bag of ice under your MacBook Pro would cool down the CPU?

    What is the fan speed at that temperature?
     
  6. Adamantoise macrumors 6502a

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    Aug 1, 2011
    #6
    I know.

    That almost killed me of laughter.
     
  7. Lennyvalentin macrumors 6502a

    Lennyvalentin

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    Apr 25, 2011
    #7
    The CPU is rated to function normally up to 110C, and I would expect there to be some margin of error on top of that as well, so...you're OK. :)

    The i-series of Intel CPUs contain an integrated realtime hardware diagnostics unit that monitors stuff like temperatures, voltages and current draw throughout the chip. If it detects something is going out of spec, it will downclock the cores and reduce voltage automatically and transparently. The risk of your CPU dying a thermal death is very low. :)

    Anyway, your system should be able to play Torchlight with everything maxed. I run it on my 13" MBP with all the good stuff turned on including anti-aliasing - under OSX admittedly, which has a much better optimized GMA 3000 driver than windows.

    That's about what's to be expected, since the CPU has no direct contact with the rear cover of the laptop... First of all all major components of the logic board are facing upwards (i.e., towards the keyboard side of the laptop), and then there's a gap of air between the logic board and the rear cover. So your ice will have a very minimal cooling effect. It will chill down the battery a bit though, which isn't an entirely bad thing with games running... :) Ultimately though, freezing water to cool your laptop is a very energy inefficient, clunky and bothersome way of going about things (and, unnecessary too since the integrated fan is sufficient.)

    They all seem to run pretty hot, but like I said, it's well within the operating envelope of the CPU, so it's nothing to really be concerned about. Laptops are cramped and the Sandy Bridge series of CPUs are very powerful, meaning it will get hot in there. It's unavoidable.
     
  8. Young Spade thread starter macrumors 68020

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    #8
    It actually did cool down the laptop; aside from the cores, everything was down in the lower 50s to the 20s (in Celcius). It wasn't like I did this as some last ditch effort or something, just wanted to see what would happen; and now I know.

    But the fan speed would kick up around 80 and stay at 6000RPM.

    It's always a good time trying something new you know? Of course it was well covered so no moisture got on the laptop itself, however I do know how to cool it down if I ever need to do a lot of hard rendering and the AC is out or something.

    But to the last poster, thanks for the info; I did run Torchlight on high at first, along with Portal 2 and got great results. The temps were the only thing worrying me. Actually, I have no idea why people say the HD3000 is a bad graphics card. I'm about to start up Starcraft 2 in a minute but aside from those two games, I get fluid gameplay with no lag at all.

    That might change when I end up booting CoD or something though.
     
  9. getz76 macrumors 6502a

    getz76

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    #9
    You would want the ice near the air intake instead of the bottom of the unit if you want to cool down the CPU. You need to watch your moisture level, though.
     
  10. Young Spade thread starter macrumors 68020

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    #10
    I know that. However, seeing as the Aluminum acts as a heat sink, making that ice cold did lower temps across the board, as I posted above. The air comes in through the keyboard; I could have put dry ice on that but I doubt that would have been any better :rolleyes:
     
  11. getz76 macrumors 6502a

    getz76

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    #11
    Not for the CPU. You want to lower the ambient temperature at the intake point if you want to lower your CPU. You lowered the local temperature where it did not make a difference in cooling the CPU.

    Roll your eyes all you want, but air is not coming through the keyboard unless you have a broken MacBook Pro.
     
  12. Driver8 macrumors newbie

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    Jul 18, 2011
    #12
    the whole heat sink thing is a myth. If you look at ifixit, there is foam insulation between the case and the logic board. If it were a heatsink, there would be a direct thermal bond.
    Instead if ice, I would just put it inside a small refrigerator and play with it with door open, maybe with special "gaming" mittens
     
  13. Young Spade thread starter macrumors 68020

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    #13
    If the overall temperature of the system is lowered, the cpu was affected as well; heck you're telling me I'm wrong when I saw a 5 degree drop in C from doing it. I'm not here trying to tell others to do it, I just stated what I did along with some questions as to why the temperature was so high.

    No need to try and make me seem like an idiot; I obviously did something I thought would help, it DID HELP, and I posted my results with some concerns here.

    If you aren't going to say anything constructive nor actually worth saying, please don't say anything.

    Jesus christ; you try and do one thing different to actually COOL SOMETHING DOWN and people jump down your throat. The darn thing worked. Get off my back.
     
  14. 2hvy4grvty macrumors 6502

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    Jun 17, 2011
    #14
    You lowered ambient temperatures. That's all.

    You put your thousand dollar laptop over a bag of ice; hopefully you lost a dare or something, and that wasn't a "serious" attempt at anything.
     
  15. Lennyvalentin macrumors 6502a

    Lennyvalentin

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    #15
    It's bad (like, REALLY bad) if you compare it to a mid-range or better discrete graphics card. If you accept it for what it is - an integrated GPU sharing main memory for textures and frame buffer - then it's fairly OK actually as long as you keep the screen resolution down and don't go overboard with the settings.

    I too have played Portal 2, and it runs pretty well. It's not an action game though, so a bit of judder here and there doesn't matter. Left4Dead or Team Fortress 2 are a jerky mess however for some reason. Like, everything frequently stops for a second (or even several), including the sound, it makes the games totally unplayable. TF2 in particular, but you'll be screwed good in L4D too if it happens right when a special zombie is attacking or during a swarm.

    By the way, the MacBooks suck in (and exhale) air at the screen hinge. Just FYI. :) Anyway, good luck with your new laptop, and have fun with it. :)
     
  16. macdudesir macrumors 6502

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    #16
    Hmm, speaking of turbo boost...Turbo boost monitors the temp, as you said, and will determine how much to over clock or under clock based on that....So maybe, you are cooling the cpu with the ice and turbo boost is over clocking it for more performance :D
     
  17. wegster macrumors 6502

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    Nov 1, 2006
    #17
    He cooled the case, and saw a few degrees of ambient temperature reduction, nothing wrong with that, although I hope that bag is sealed *well*. The chassis may not have a direct thermal interface to the logic board, GPU or CPU, but it certainly heats up by the temperatures inside, and radiates into the surrounding air. People with the thermal 'chill pads' with the material that absorbs heat and goes from crystal to liquid (can't quite recall their name), is generally worth a few degrees difference; this isn't much different except I'd prefer my Mac to not be 'on ice.' :D

    I'm interested along with the other poster if anyone knows of a way under OSX to show the current operating CPU frequencies, as well as if there's a way to pin the maximum turbo boost multiplier? Part curiosity and part knowing I'm likely to keep the machine for years - I'd have few work/performance issues in pegging the max turbo boost to 2.5GHz or so, and am curious as to the temp difference with the cpu maxxed out over time.
     
  18. 2hvy4grvty macrumors 6502

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    #18
    Laptop coolers generally offer minimal gain, but that becomes completely negligible when it comes to MBPs and their ventless designs.
     
  19. randomrazr macrumors 65816

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    Jan 1, 2011
    #19
    is it worth the 350 dollars extra over the 2.0ghz macbook pro?
     
  20. slime73 macrumors newbie

    slime73

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    Aug 8, 2011
    #20
    It depends what you want to do with it. The video card that comes with the 2.2GHz quad core is massively better than the video cards that come with the lower end models, so you'll be able to play modern and future games at medium-high settings. That was a requirement for me, so in my case it was definitely worth it.

    There isn't a huge amount of difference with the CPU though, plus I very rarely use all my processing power even when playing games, although it's nice that I have so much.
     

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