Worried about heat

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Saidear, Jul 16, 2012.

  1. Saidear macrumors newbie

    Jul 28, 2011
    I have a mid-2011 MBP and I recently moved to a tropical environment. I've noticed that my macbook is running hot, 65C with just browsing, a torrent and a video running (not HD). The case is very warm to touch and on the palm rest. I installed smcFan Control and adjusted my RPMs to a max of 6200 and the temperature dropped to just 58C.

    Is this something I should worry about? Is there anything else I can do to help leech heat away so as to extend the life of my laptop? I know that the i5 tends to run hotter under maximum load but my system is sitting at 90% idle.

    Any suggestions or info would be appreciated!
  2. miles01110 macrumors Core


    Jul 24, 2006
    The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
  3. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    Your temps are perfectly normal. The Intel processors used in Macs are designed to automatically shut down to prevent damage if they truly overheat. CPU Tjmax = 105C (221F), GPU Tjmax = 100C (212F) on i3, i5, i7 processors. (Source: Intel) If you're not already using it, iStat Pro will give you accurate readings of your temps and fan speeds, among other things.

    Unless there is a rare defect in a Mac, most temps are well within the normal operating range, considering the workload being put on it. Websites with Flash content, games and other multimedia apps will put higher demand on the CPU/GPU, generating more heat. This is normal. If you're constantly putting high demands on your system, such as gaming or other multimedia tasks, expect temps to rise and fans to spin up accordingly. It's just your Mac doing its job to maintain temps within the normal range.

    It is also quite normal for your Mac to become extremely hot to the touch during intensive operations. The aluminum body transfers heat more effectively than other materials used in computer casings, so you will feel the heat more. This doesn't indicate that it's overheating and will not harm the computer to be hot to the touch.

    Your fans are always on when your Mac is on, spinning at a minimum of 2000 rpm (for MBPs) or 1800 rpm (for MBAs, MBs and minis). iMacs have 3 fans with minimum speeds in the 800-1200 range. They will spin faster as needed to keep temps at a safe level. If they're spinning up without increased heat, try resetting the SMC. (PRAM/NVRAM has nothing to do with these issues, so resetting it will not help.)

    The intake and exhaust vents are in the back of the computer near the hinge on all Mac notebooks (except the new MBP with retina display, which has intake vents along the sides at the bottom). The iMac vent is a slot on the back near the top of the computer. Make sure the vents remain unblocked to allow your computer to perform at its best.

    Learn about the fans in your Mac
    Apple Portables: Operating temperature

    For Flash-related issues:
  4. Queen6 macrumors 604


    Dec 11, 2008
    Land of the Unexpected
    I have been in the tropics for over two years with Mac`s, previously the Middle East, North Eastern China, Deserts of Western China. Sub Tropics, Europe, US without any problems, what is your ambient temperature?

    I also run SMC Fan Control on my older Mac`s, however in general I don't run high RPM`s I just leave it to Apple`s algorithm. If you are concerned elevation of the rear of the machine helps, as sitting flat on the desk only reflects the head back to the base of teh Mac. You can buy passive aluminium coolers like Rain Designs Mstand or iLap. Most powered coolers are designed for PC notebooks and dont work overly well with Mac`s one cooler that does work efficiently is the Moshi Zefyr 2, as it`s principle of cooling is specifically designed for Apple portables, by blowing the air across the base of the computer.

    Link: Moshi Zefyr 2

    As also stated you can use software to manually override Apple`s own cooling algorithm by manually taking control of fan RPM and setting up power profile presets with SMC Fan Control (needs update for 2012), or you can look at UltraFan which allows you stipulate a preset temperature and the software will automatically raise and lower fan RPM`s to keep the system at the predefined temp.

    Running C2D, i5`s, i7`s
  5. Saidear thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 28, 2011
    35-38C outdoors. I'm in the upper level and the A/C isn't currently working. I do have a fan in the room to help circulate air in order to 'feel cooler' but I'd say it's 1-2 degrees hotter inside.

    I've had a few Moshi products in the past but never came across this one. Thanks! Is there any empirical evidence that most active laptop rests are ineffectual with macbooks though? One would think that cool air against the case would be the same regardless of direction of travel. I only ask because I can get my hands on a dual fan USB cooler extremely cheap here.

    Right now it's running at a nice cool 53C with browsing and Flash while fan hums away at 3200RPM. Granted it isn't yet noon and the sky is overcast; forecast is for a high of 30C. But thanks for the software suggestions!
  6. Queen6 macrumors 604


    Dec 11, 2008
    Land of the Unexpected
    Fans help, A/C is also important for reducing the humidity levels which can be far more detrimental to electronics over time, here it`s in the region of 30C-42C, with humidity 75% - 100%.

    Mac portables use the aluminium case as a heat sync, this is why they tend to feel very hot to the touch in comparison to an equivalent Windows based notebook. PC type coolers tend to focus the air flow which does not result in the same overall cooling. I have even observed the opposite where the Mac`s system has been confused and reduced fan rpm`s resulting in hotter internals due to air flow from the cooler being localised and effecting a specific sensor. The Moshi cooler works by blowing a continuous stream of cool air across the bottom of the Mac "wicking" away heat, result; both bottom & top case remains cool and a reduction in internals can be observed. Truth be know if you get one of these small USB fans and place it strategically it will do the same job as the Zefyr 2, not as elegantly but they do work, at a fraction of the cost ;)

    I use UltraFan on my Early 2008 MBP and set the temp to 60C, which in general the app holds unless the system is full loaded. I run SMC Fan Control on my Late 2011 MBP, really for temperature monitoring and +500 rpm while on charge. I find the 2011 2.4 i7 runs very cool (32C idle, 26C ambient with A/C), however the tremendous power of the i7 once under full load will rapidly generate more heat than any software solution can handle (93C). New rMBP I don't employ any software or monitoring as the system is too new and most monitors are unable to read CPU specific data points, and to be honest so far the rMBP has shown very little in the way high external temperatures.

    Late 2011 Air`s run well with UltraFan, which I prefer over other software solutions as you set your desired temperature and forget it. I also use Rain Designs Mstand`s to elevate and help with cooling. Increasing fan RPM will definitely help. The simple logic being "it`s easier to keep a system cool than cool down an already hot machine" once the case, internals are saturated by high temps it`s very difficult for the cooling system to reduce the temperature and fan rpm`s without a reduction in load, in extreme situations the CPU simply throttles, why performance versus physical size.

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