Traveling with Mac

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by Gattz, Sep 13, 2009.

  1. Gattz macrumors regular

    Oct 20, 2008
    I'm at college and sometimes I want to bring my MBP to class. I first put it in a zip up case, then I put it in my backpack. Going to class takes at least five minutes. I've read that people's Macs have really heated up or something and their Macs broke. How should I handle this? I could just turn it off, but doing that six times a week doesn't sound good for the battery.
  2. Scepticalscribe Contributor


    Jul 29, 2008
    The Far Horizon
    MBPs are portable computers and are designed to be used as such. In other words they are designed to be transported from place to place as needed.

    As these computers are designed to be portable, they don't need to be turned off; however, suit yourself. I usually (but not always) have mine on stand-by.

    Yes, there have been problems with heat. The nVidia chip (8600) in some of the older MBPs has been prone to over-heating with unfortunate consequences. Apple, belatedly, has recognised this, and now users have a three-year guarantee of replacement if that component dies in the three years after the initial purchase of the computer.

    Usually, over-heating comes from intensive gaming (something that is hardly likely to be taking place during class and wouldn't be recommended); MBAs - because of the compromises necessary to create that superb and exquisitely stunning design - have also sometimes had heat issues as excessive heat cannot be dispelled efficiently. Hope this helps.

    Cheers and good luck
  3. Dan73 macrumors 6502a

    Jul 30, 2009
    Uhm, put it to sleep and put in the case and go to class?

    Also why would shutting the computer on and off be bad for the battery?

  4. MooMoo macrumors newbie

    Sep 13, 2009
    Incidentally, at what temperature should you be concerned? I typically set my fan to go faster once it hits 50C, but I crapped myself the other day when I came back into my room and it was at 83C. O_O

    Also, is it ok to use fan altering software? As in, am I shortening the fans lifespan? I'm trying to weigh up whether its better to let it heat up or make the fan go faster and wear it out.
  5. broken-chaos macrumors regular


    Sep 2, 2009
    Toronto, Ontario
    What was it doing to get to >80°C? I've seen this occur in my 2008 Black MacBook (up to 92°C, max - processor temperature only, the other sensors were 20° lower or more), but only when doing a massively parallel full-CPU-using task - encoding a DVD rip. This sort of temperature isn't uncommon for the processor only, when you've got the CPU running at full capacity. If it was doing it when idling, then, yeah, there may be something wrong there. I'd also check, if you can find an appropriate program (I use the iStat nano widget), the other temperatures when it's up that high. I find that the heatsinks, GPU, etc. temperature sensors usually report a significantly lower temperature than the CPU.

    It shouldn't shorten the fan lifespan significantly, if at all, unless you're running it outside the specifications. The fans do naturally spin up to their maximum rate (which, for my MacBook, is 6200RPM) when the temperatures climb high enough. As long as you don't exceed that (and preferably keep it a little lower for normal use), the fans should be fine - though it may hurt your battery life a bit. Also of note is that most fan control programs (I use smcFanControl) only set a minimum fanspeed - not a maximum. So if you set the fans for 4000RPM and the CPU goes up to a really high temperature, they may spin up beyond 4000RPM - they just won't go below 4000RPM.

    For my laptops, I've always been fine keeping them in sleep mode, in a case, in a bag. Laptops produce a fairly low amount of heat in sleep mode, so it should cool off slowly, even if it was running hot before you put it to sleep. The one thing I'd recommend is to just check that the computer does properly go to sleep before putting it away - just wait the extra few seconds until the sleep LED starts to pulsate slowly. I've occasionally had problems (no damage, thankfully!) where the computer hasn't properly gone to sleep when it should have, and it was ran a bit hot in the enclosed space on the trip home.
  6. BobZune macrumors 6502a

    Oct 26, 2007
    OP - you are probably thinking about some posts where the machine failed to go to sleep when the lid was closed. Those are rare events due to some problems -- and we never hear from the tens of thousands or millions whose computer didn't have a problem and is working as designed. As long as your machine has no sleeping problems, you can put it in the coverings you describe and won't have a heat problem.

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