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

Macbook Pro heating past 100C


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SoulRed12

 
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Basics of my machine: I have a 2012 MBP non-retina 15" model with 2.3 GHz i7 processor running OSX 10.8.4. Also, I replaced the original HDD with a Crucial-brand SSD.

For some reason, when I do things like playing games or screen recording (even if I'm only done one resource-intensive thing at a time), my MBP will heat up tremendously even when resting on hard, flat surfaces, up to temps of 70, 80, 90, even 100 plus degrees C. Today I was playing a game and it hovered around 101-103 (admittedly it was sitting on my bed when that happened), so I had to set smcFanControl to turn my internal fans on 5000 RPM. Frequently my MBP will even shut itself down. (though it might have been even higher than 100 when it did this because when it shut down I was never paying attention to the temp. But one time after it shut down I started it back up immediately and checked the temp, and it was at 101.

Any ideas why this is happening? Is it a hardware issue, perhaps one known to affect my particular machine? Should I take it to the Apple store or will they just charge me $135896199020002831573? I'm out of warranty.

(before anyone says "get a PC for gaming", I have one, but it's 5 years old and I don't have money to get a new one. I needed a Mac because I only use GB for music and I need Xcode)
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pigoo3

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SoulRed12 View Post
For some reason, when I do things like playing games or screen recording (even if I'm only done one resource-intensive thing at a time), my MBP will heat up tremendously even when resting on hard, flat surfaces, up to temps of 70, 80, 90, even 100 plus degrees C.
70, 80, even 90C I wouldn't be too concerned...but exceeding 100C is a bit unusual...especially since it's such a newer model computer.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SoulRed12 View Post
Any ideas why this is happening?
What's the room temperature when the computer temp issues get close to 100C?

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SoulRed12

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pigoo3 View Post
70, 80, even 90C I wouldn't be too concerned...but exceeding 100C is a bit unusual...especially since it's such a newer model computer.



What's the room temperature when the computer temp issues get close to 100C?

- Nick
It's usually about 77F in the room. (25C)
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Thanks for the info. Other than you (sometimes having) the computer on your bed (which may impead cooling air flow)...I'm not seeing much wrong.

Usually I would say the issue is a defective fan or the computer is dirty inside. There really isn't too much else that it can be (assuming the room temp is not too high & the computer is used on a flat surface with nothing obstructing the computers vents).

If the fan is operating properly...then it's not the fan. Only thing left is dirt/fuzz inside. On a 2012 computer I would think that this is unlikely...but it may be the only thing left to investigate. Which means opening it up & checking.

- Nick

- Computer slow, too many "beachballs", read this: Beachballs
- Computer seems slower than it used to? Read this for some speedup tips: Speedup
- Almost full hard drive? Some solutions. Out of Space
- Apple Battery Info. Battery
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You should never set your notebook on the bed... nor any other soft surface - like carpet, etc. unless you have it on some type of a stand.

You are blocking the air flow out of the machine which is at the hinge. No wonder it was above 100C.
It's going to get over 90C even on a hard surface with proper air flow.

Putting it on the bed or anywhere else that blocks the hinge side of the machine (and the air flow) while you're doing any sort of CPU/GPU intensive tasks, you're only asking for a reduced life span on the machine. At least use a book or something to raise the rear of the machine off the bed to maintain the air flow. Using SMCFanControl is not going to do you any good while the vent is blocked except to possibly shorten the life of the fans.

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SoulRed12

 
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So, just to report back after some testing -

I've been using my MBP on only hard surfaces for a while and it does seem to be helping it max out at 90 degrees rather than 100+. It seems to mainly be one game I was playing a lot that caused it to go further even when on a hard surface.

Quick question though - if I set smcFanControl to have the minimum fan rpm to 4000rpm, will that damage the fans if I just have it on like that while I do something CPU intensive (like playing a game)? I don't want my computer to get too hot (especially if that reduces the lifespan!!), but I also don't want to burn the fans out. Any guidance you can give me? (For some reason the default for my MBP seems to be 2000rpm all the way up to 90 degrees, and then past that it goes up to about 2800rpm. I'm a bit uncomfortable with that, I think the fan should get faster earlier but again not if it will damage anything.)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SoulRed12 View Post
So, just to report back after some testing -

I've been using my MBP on only hard surfaces for a while and it does seem to be helping it max out at 90 degrees rather than 100+. It seems to mainly be one game I was playing a lot that caused it to go further even when on a hard surface.
Thanks for the update!

90C is on the higher end...but acceptable. When you're pushing the upper end...anything but perfect conditions will cause that 100C temp.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SoulRed12 View Post
Quick question though - if I set smcFanControl to have the minimum fan rpm to 4000rpm, will that damage the fans if I just have it on like that while I do something CPU intensive (like playing a game)?
I like to think that Apple designed things well enough to keep cooling optimized without this app.

- Nick

- Computer slow, too many "beachballs", read this: Beachballs
- Computer seems slower than it used to? Read this for some speedup tips: Speedup
- Almost full hard drive? Some solutions. Out of Space
- Apple Battery Info. Battery
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Coming from a hardcore overclocker background when I got my first Mac - I watched the fans and temps for quite awhile - and used SMCFanControl. Ultimately I gave it up after watching my MBP sit at 90+ for 4-8 hours at a time. That MBP is now 7 years old and still going.

I no longer use a 3rd party app to work around the design of the machine and don't recommend it. There are some others here that do use it. For those that want to use a fancontrol - I'd say don't use it all the time. If you want to start it up and maintain a minimum fan speed when you start up a game or doing some video encoding, etc. that's CPU/GPU intensive - don't see that as a problem.

If you do have to replace a fan down the road (like maybe 4-6 yrs) - it's really not that big a deal and not that expensive - cost me $20 a couple months ago to replace one in my wife's MB.

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Gonna throw in another 2 cents regarding temps & SMCfancontrol.

The fans on Apple notebooks seem to have roughly 3 speeds (at least these are the 3 speeds I typically see when I check):

- ~1600rpm (fan(s) are silent)
- ~4400rpm (you can hear the fans)
- ~6000rpm+ (fan(s) are screaming)

If a laptop computer is running at 90C (for example)...the computers fan/fans will already be at maximum rpm. So SMCfancontrol will be of no help.

If the computer is running at a lower temp (let's say 70C)...and if the fan rpm is at 4400rpm...using SMCFancontrol to increase the fan speed may help cool things a bit.

But...if the computer NEEDED to run cooler than 70C...then the fan speed would be maxed out at 6000+rpm already (but it's not). Which is how Apple designed it.

- Nick

- Computer slow, too many "beachballs", read this: Beachballs
- Computer seems slower than it used to? Read this for some speedup tips: Speedup
- Almost full hard drive? Some solutions. Out of Space
- Apple Battery Info. Battery
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SoulRed12

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pigoo3 View Post
Gonna throw in another 2 cents regarding temps & SMCfancontrol.

The fans on Apple notebooks seem to have roughly 3 speeds (at least these are the 3 speeds I typically see when I check):

- ~1600rpm (fan(s) are silent)
- ~4400rpm (you can hear the fans)
- ~6000rpm+ (fan(s) are screaming)

If a laptop computer is running at 90C (for example)...the computers fan/fans will already be at maximum rpm. So SMCfancontrol will be of no help.

If the computer is running at a lower temp (let's say 70C)...and if the fan rpm is at 4400rpm...using SMCFancontrol to increase the fan speed may help cool things a bit.

But...if the computer NEEDED to run cooler than 70C...then the fan speed would be maxed out at 6000+rpm already (but it's not). Which is how Apple designed it.

- Nick
Thanks for the responses, I really appreciate it!

Anyway, my concern is that my RPM remains around 2000 until I get to the 90-100C range, then it goes up to...only like 2800rpm. It almost never gets up to 4000rpm on its own, even when it hits 90+. I'm just worried that it's not increasing rpm fast enough, as if maybe Apple made a mistake programming my model of machine by miscalculating the heat output of my particular hardware or something. Idk. But what I'm getting from you guys is that I should just trust Apple's settings. I can't find any info online about any "known issues" for overheating for my particular machine, so maybe I'll just do that.
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Quote:
Anyway, my concern is that my RPM remains around 2000 until I get to the 90-100C range, then it goes up to...only like 2800rpm. It almost never gets up to 4000rpm on its own, even when it hits 90+. I'm just worried that it's not increasing rpm fast enough, as if maybe Apple made a mistake programming my model of machine by miscalculating the heat output of my particular hardware or something. Idk. But what I'm getting from you guys is that I should just trust Apple's settings. I can't find any info online about any "known issues" for overheating for my particular machine, so maybe I'll just do that.
That tells me there could be one of two things wrong or possible both....

1. Fan bearings are failing and the fan will not go above 2800 RPM

2. Bad temperature sensor on the logic board (temp sensor controls the fan speed)

If you decide to change the fan, I would also change out the temperature sensor at the same time. See the ifixit site for instructions: iFixit: The free repair manual
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Hear is a good read about overheating NoteBooks
The Official "My MacBook/Air/Pro is overheating, what do I do?" Guide.

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Quote:
Originally Posted by chscag View Post
That tells me there could be one of two things wrong or possible both....

1. Fan bearings are failing and the fan will not go above 2800 RPM

2. Bad temperature sensor on the logic board (temp sensor controls the fan speed)

If you decide to change the fan, I would also change out the temperature sensor at the same time. See the ifixit site for instructions: iFixit: The free repair manual
Well the fans will go above 2800 rpm when I use smc to force them to do so. So I guess it's the second one? Maybe I'll take it to a Genius tomorrow.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SoulRed12 View Post
Well the fans will go above 2800 rpm when I use smc to force them to do so. So I guess it's the second one? Maybe I'll take it to a Genius tomorrow.
I guess that there's always the possibility that newer model MacBook Pro fans don't spin as fast. I'm familiar with up to Early 2011 MacBook Pro's (and earlier)...and like I mentioned above...when the fans are at max...it's something like 6000+ rpms.

Right now I'm doing some online gaming...cpu temp is 85C...and both of my fans are around 5000+rpm.

- Nick

- Computer slow, too many "beachballs", read this: Beachballs
- Computer seems slower than it used to? Read this for some speedup tips: Speedup
- Almost full hard drive? Some solutions. Out of Space
- Apple Battery Info. Battery
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So, I did some more testing. Based on what you said pigoo3, it looks like there might be something wrong.

I had my MBP export a video project I've been working on from Camtasia 2. The CPU started at about 47C. During the export, it went all the way up to 95C before the fans even started speeding up past 2000rpm. Then it just went to about 2800rpm, as before. The CPU got up to 100C, and started hovering around 101-102C, and the fans were only at 3000rpm, if that. When it went to 103C I got nervous and had smcFanControl manually crank my fans up to 5000rpm, and that was literally the only way to get it to go back down to around 95C while it continued exporting. Even 4000rpm had it hovering around 99-100C.

That doesn't really sound normal to me...especially when yours, pigoo3, were at 5000+rpm at only 85C. And besides, what if I had been doing just one other thing while this was happening? The computer would probably have shut itself down. I bought this MBP with top of the line hardware and I upgraded it to 8GB of RAM so it could handle me doing more things, including a few things at once...I never thought I'd be limited by CPU temperature. It's a bit frustrating.
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