When Does Your MacBook Get Hot, And How Hot Does It Get?

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by rhyzome, Nov 4, 2016.

  1. rhyzome macrumors regular

    Apr 2, 2012
    MacBooks (12 inch) are no longer brand new, so users have had ample time to experience their limitations. So now that the honeymoon period is over,

    When does your MacBook get hot? What tasks, loads, etc?

    How hot does it get? Does it become irritating to keep it on your lap?

    Also, under what tasks and activities do you experience lag, wait times , etc with the MacBook that are significant enough that they're noteworthy to you and make you wish it had more power?
  2. mariotr87 macrumors regular

    Aug 12, 2011
    The MacBook is perfect for bursty workloads, which is basically what most of all do, most of the time: browsing the web, watching videos, office/work stuff, coding, light photo editing, etc.

    It shows its limitations (and gets significantly warm, sometimes I would say hot) with anything that requires sustained performance for more than a couple of minutes: video editing, any sort of intensive number crunching, perhaps using certain CAD software, FPGA development...I haven't tried any games, but I would assume this is the sort of workload that puts it under significant stress. You can run compute intensive tasks just fine, you just have to be patient and put up with the increased heat and lower battery life. I've run pretty demanding tasks on my 2016 m7 even under a virtual machine, and it can do the job.

    It's by far the best computer I've had, and I'm definitely not planing on moving away from this form factor. Currently it's my main and only machine; if at some point my needs change and I require something that can do compute intensive stuff faster and more frequently, I think I'd just get a high-end iMac. No point in sacrificing portability in my opinion, even if you just want it to move around home.
  3. kwandrews macrumors 6502

    Mar 7, 2012
    Colorado, USA
    I have the 2016 m5. Mine gets a bit warm if I'm on an hour long Skype video meeting for work. During those sorts of meetings, if I have a spreadsheet open, multiple Safari tabs, MS remote desktop open, etc. the audio and video can stutter a bit. Since this is something I do ofter for work, I may just need to move to a MBP.

    For Photos and some iMovie, I haven't had any issues. The only game I play is the older Civilization V with all settings a medium and running at 1440x900 to match the display setting. I don't do large maps, but it's up to the task, gets a bit warm (not hot at all) and has not had any performance issues during game play at all.

    Overall, this little machine is wonderful and works great. It's just the stuttering under what I consider a moderate business load interfere with productivity for me and hearing colleagues (a big deal in a meeting).

    I have NEVER had a warning about heat, RAM, etc. and don't recall any throttling. My old 2012 MBA 13" and 2012 Mini never had stuttering, so I'm a bit shocked by this.
  4. fisherking macrumors 603


    Jul 16, 2010
    ny somewhere
    i haven't hit any bottlenecks yet (i use the MB mostly for writing, surfing, email; some photo editing). gets warm sometimes, but (so far) never what i would call 'hot'. so no real cpu-intensive work, and in my use, never feels sluggish.
  5. kb3tzt macrumors member


    Nov 1, 2016
    i run my 2015 rmb 1.2 in clamshell mode. i have it sitting in a 12 south stand that allows good air flow. ive run a 14 hour stress test and it only felt warm, not hot to the touch. it also remained stable. i also used safari and did some other tasks during this time, and the machine did slow down, but this is an extreme case. i do photo editing with mine in ps and lr for hours at a time, plugged in and on battery. i will say that on battery it got very warm but not hot hot. ive already had laptops that burn your legs when put through basic tasks, my rmb hasnt done that. I will say, out of trying all the laptops from this through to the 15 mbp, this is the only machine next to a mini and a pro not to throttle and it ran
    at 100% during my stress testing. next to the mini, i think this is one of apples sleepers. always looked over by the sales staff for more expensive equipment. just mho.
  6. nightsurf macrumors newbie


    Oct 14, 2016
    I did get notification that my macbook was getting too hot so the performance will be reduced. on that day I did gaming, open safari and itunes. also I was using my macbook on top of my pillow, so maybe that's the reason
  7. macintoshmac macrumors 68030


    May 13, 2010
    Most likely, the poor little thing got pillowed. :D

    Now, were you having Safari and iTunes open in the background while you also started playing a game? If yes, that might also have been a helping hand in reducing performance. What kind of games do you play on the little fella?
  8. T'hain Esh Kelch macrumors 601

    T'hain Esh Kelch

    Aug 5, 2001
    With my m3, it usually get kind of hot whenever I do something continuously, whatever it is. All those small bursts bring up the heat and it doesn't have to come from something heavy. But it is not something I feel is annoying or impacting by battery life significantly.
  9. macintoshmac macrumors 68030


    May 13, 2010
    Do you download ahem, torrents? My MBP 15 Late 2011 sits and sips it all the night without getting "hot". Warm, surely. If you do, what is it like on the rMB m3?
  10. PsychicRutabaga macrumors member


    Apr 19, 2015
    I've got a 2015 and have been happily using it for about 16 months.

    Usually the only time mine ever gets hot is when i'm playing StarCraft 2.
    Occasionally Flash will spin out of control, but that's why I only allow it on a few sites (Pandora, CNN). Restarting Safari clears that up in a Jiffy.
  11. nightsurf macrumors newbie


    Oct 14, 2016
    yes, safari, itunes, also playing football manager while charging.
    I tested doing those in my desk and now no "reduced performance" notification for me
  12. evec, Nov 12, 2016
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2016

    evec macrumors regular

    Jun 8, 2016
    I just put a coolmaster x-lite 2 on the base when we need intensive continuous running (handbrake conv video to h.265)
    , this can let the MacBook run 2ghz continuous and the machine not getting hot, my machine is Core M 1.1ghz based model.

    The system will slowing down when temp react above 47C on motherboard or 40C at battery, the temp. of CPU not so high (around 75-85C)
    , system restricted by the motherboard temp and battery temp.

    When i put the cooling pad on the base, the CPU can run up to 95C and the temp of motherboard around 43C and battery around 36C, it can make the CPU run on higher freq and maintenance relative cool for motherboard and battery.

    The CPU will easy to slow down when charging because battery is easy to react 40C and system will slow the computer down.

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