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Apple Notebooks Apple's notebook computers including MacBook Pro, MacBook, MacBook Air, PowerBook, and iBook.

a seemingly dangerous way to prevent overheating


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muffindonor

 
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i have a macbook pro 13-in and when running certain programs for long periods of time, my cpu temp reaches excesses of 160 degrees F. i have a program that control the fan speed, but it just cant cool it fast enough.
i'm wondering if it would be a stupid idea to run my computer without the bottom shell to try and combat overheating.
if it is as dangerous as stupid as it sounds, please tell me. or is it safe and normal to sustain these temps for long periods of time?
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cwa107

 
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I think a big mistake people make, particularly those that come from the homebrew/PC mod camp, is in feeling a compulsive need to monitor temperatures and adjust fan speeds. While that may be necessary for an overclocked gaming rig, modern notebooks are built to precise tolerances and have efficient cooling systems that are designed to keep temps in check.

By running a tool that manually controls your fan speeds, you are essentially thumbing your nose at the engineers who designed your machine. Your fans are thermostatically controlled and the systems management controller (SMC) knows the precise triggers for when the fans need to kick on and at what speeds.

The term "overheating" is over-used. An overheating condition would result in your machine shutting itself down to prevent damage. There is a big difference between running warm (normal) and overheating (doesn't run properly or at all).

Quite frankly, the best thing to do would be to uninstall the monitoring software and fan control and just enjoy your machine as it was designed to work. If you feel the need to intervene, the best thing you can do is to keep the fans and intake/exhaust tracts free of dust with some compressed air (be sure to gently hold the fans captive when you do this, as overspinning them can damage them).

Leave the bottom on. If it's really bothering you, get a lap desk or a notebook cooler (the latter of which is more about keeping you comfortable than your notebook).

Liquid and computers don't mix. It might seem simple, but we see an incredible amount of people post here about spills. Keep drinks and other liquids away from your expensive electronics!
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Also, your CPU is getting up to 71C which is hot but not overheated yet. The CPUs are usually rated up to 90C or 194F before they will turn off due to thermal shutdown.

So do everything @cwa107 said since he's right on the money there..

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Before you go to such dire measures - try a laptop cooling pad first. I use one when my laptop is sitting on my desk. I especially like it in clamshell mode - as the fan exhaust are covered. I have had good luck with Targus but there are plenty of brands/prices/etc out there.

Also - I would open up the machine and use compressed air to clear out any dust. This can also cause cooling issues.
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pendlewitch

 
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I know not everybody has available a compressor with moisture trap but that would be safer to avoid spraying liquid (compressed gas) onto your equipment if you use the can upside down. Also, because of the adibiatic cooling effect, when the pressure is released on the gas, moisture particles are likely to condense on or around the can and it's nozzle inadvertently being sprayed onto your circuitry.

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Quote:
Originally Posted by pendlewitch View Post
I know not everybody has available a compressor with moisture trap but that would be safer to avoid spraying liquid (compressed gas) onto your equipment if you use the can upside down. Also, because of the adibiatic cooling effect, when the pressure is released on the gas, moisture particles are likely to condense on or around the can and it's nozzle inadvertently being sprayed onto your circuitry.
Good point. Short, quick bursts (rather than holding down on the trigger) should avoid this problem... and of course, keep that can right-side-up.

Liquid and computers don't mix. It might seem simple, but we see an incredible amount of people post here about spills. Keep drinks and other liquids away from your expensive electronics!
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pendlewitch

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cwa107 View Post
Good point. Short, quick bursts (rather than holding down on the trigger) should avoid this problem... and of course, keep that can right-side-up.
Yep...that's what I'd do.

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