Two Retinas running same software, one is 30 degrees F hotter?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by heythisisdave, Jan 20, 2013.

  1. heythisisdave macrumors newbie

    Jan 20, 2013
    I recently bought two Macbook Pro Retina's for work (both are the same spec, 2.6/16GB/256GB). I've installed the exact same software on both and when I run them next to each other, I can see one is running about 30 deg F hotter than the other one.

    The hotter one also has problems running my home monitor configuration which comprises of 2 1600x1200 Dell 2007FP with a 2560x1600 Dell U3011. I've turned off the Retina display itself (using SwitchResX so I can keep the lid open to let it vent - not sure if that really turns the monitor off or just covers it with a black screen since I still see a backlight).

    In this configuration, the computer never goes below 180 deg F, which means that as soon as I start doing stuff, the fans start revving and eventually it starts throttling.

    I took the hotter one to Apple (I got AppleCare on both) and they ran the Cooling test and it came back OK. Are these just standard manufacturing differences?

    I'm considering re-applying the thermal paste in the hotter one (that's the only thing I can think of that's making such a difference) but I don't know if that really helps the resting temperature or the temperatures under load. Also, even though I'm comfortable with the procedure, I'd prefer to not take the risk if it was unlikely to help.

    Any ideas? Are there configuration things that I might have overlooked that would cause such a temperature difference?

    I'm using iStat Menus to monitor the temperature.
  2. jmeadlock, Jan 20, 2013
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2013

    jmeadlock macrumors newbie

    Jul 2, 2012
    How about more detail on what is hot?

    I'm wondering which temp sensors are hot for you.

    I run 2 1080p displays plus the MBPR-15 @ default res often without temp issues, and I'm running a 27" cinema + MBPR display @ full res (2560x1600) now... running cool.

    How are you running 3 external monitors?

    Mine gets very hot when it works hard, but here is how it looks right now:

    Attached Files:

    • temp.png
      File size:
      33.8 KB
  3. ybz90 macrumors 6502a


    Jul 10, 2009
    Fahrenheit confuses me when it comes to computer temperatures and anything scientific as my brain doesn't store reference #s in that unit for these things, just as Celsius confuses me when it comes to weather temperatures for the same reason.

    On topic, 180F is ~82C. For an idle temperature, that is not normal. What did Apple's cooling test consist of? What did they do/report and were you there for it? Honestly, if you're not happy with it, even if it passes their "cooling test" you can/should ask for a new one. Just point out clearly that 80C+ is NOT an acceptable idling temperature in any realm, real or imaginary.
  4. kylera macrumors 65816


    Dec 5, 2010
    I would assume he/she is using two Mini DisplayPort converters and an HDMI converter or monitor.
  5. jmeadlock macrumors newbie

    Jul 2, 2012
    I still don't get the 3 monitor thing

    "2 1600x1200 Dell 2007FP with a 2560x1600 Dell U3011"...

    Isn't HDMI 1920x1080? So running at least one monitor at a less than native resolution?
  6. el-John-o, Jan 21, 2013
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2013

    el-John-o macrumors 65816

    Nov 29, 2010
    Only the very first revision (1.0) of HDMI was restricted to that. The current revision is 10.2Gbps and can handle up to 2560x1600 presently, although they are already working on HDMI handling 4k video (3840 × 2160) at full speed.

    Presently HDMI 1.4 technically supports up to 4096 × 2160, although that's restricted to I think 24fps. Most high resolution computer displays are at 60fps (or 60hz). 4096x2160 is the current digital cinema standard in move theaters. Version 2.0 should bring out the same resolutions, but be able to bring them up to full 60hz speeds meaning it could be used along with 4k monitors in video production, or future 4k televisions running at 60hz for things like video game consoles (that in a few years may be running at 4k resolution).
  7. heythisisdave thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 20, 2013
    Thanks for the responses. I've tried removing/adding a bunch of software but it still seems to run really hot.

    I've attached a screenshot of what's running. This is when it's mostly at rest. From what I've observed, it's always the CPU Die and GPU Die that are above 180 (and rarely go below).

    I run the three monitors as

    Thunderbolt (closest to power jack) -> Dell U3011 (using mini-DP to DP cable)
    Thunderbolt -> Dell 2007FP (using mini-DP to DVI converter)
    HDMI -> Dell 2007FP (using HDMI to DVI converter)

    My temperatures are as follows:


    Right now, the reason my internal fans aren't running above 2000 is because I'm pointing a huge fan at the computer which is whisking away the ambient heat :)

    Here's a pic of my current setup:


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