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Switcher Hangout The place for switchers to discuss their new machines, and how to work with OS X. General support can be had here for newbie stuff, like "How do I restart my new iMac?" :)

Overheating on Age of Empires 3, etc


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rsunusi

 
Member Since: Apr 12, 2007
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I got a MacBook Pro Core 2 Duo, and its great for common usage, email, browsing, word processing, voip, etc productivity tasks.

I also have to mention I'm a first time Mac user, and am happy with it overall-- there is one area however where my MacBook Pro sucks -- and thats gaming . I don't know whether the problem is general or my MacBook Pro has specific issues.

For most graphic intensive games, within just a few minutes the fans start on furiously and starts overheating. It happens again and again and either automatically quits the game or I have to quit or my Mac will start cooking.

This happened when playing even the Chess game pre-installed. It happened when playing Age of Empires 3, as well as Tribal Trouble.

Whats the use of downloading and playing these games if the fans go craZY and dont stop after just a minute. This isnt right -- is this a MacBook Pro issue, a Mac issue, or a fan problem.

IWell, Supertux plays fine without the fan turning on. Looks like Macs just overheat like mad when playing graphic-intensive games-- i thought Macs were good at that =

Anyone with a take ?
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Alexis

 
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Your Mac won't start cooking and PC laptops often start the fans whirring when you play games.

How are games automatically quitting? Do you get a message?
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rsunusi

 
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OK, when i play AE3, fans come on within minutes,, and stay on.

After 10 minutes with the fan speed getting louder and more insistent, the game quits without any error messages and back to the desktop = so i relaunch it again to play and again it fans on continuously.

Yeah, i dont see anything wrong with fans turning on occasionally,theyre job is to cool down the system, but if the fans come and and keep going without stopping then not a good job is being done to cool the system --

I could just ignore the sound but is it really normal to have fans whirring away without letup accompanied by overheating? I know my Dell laptop\s fans come on and off but not to the level experienced with my new MBP C2D- Specs 2.33 Ghz, 2 GB RAM.

Its obvious the system overheats quickly and the fans arent able to cool it down enough quickly, otherwise the fans would stop whirring ominously in the background.

The original MBP CD had well documentated fan and heating issues -- and this problem just happens with games, not movies, or the apps i use --

So do all u MBP C2D users just get used to an always on fan when playing things like WOW, AG3 etc or or are my fans not doing a good job to cool my system --
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Audio.Trench

 
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You're gaming on a system that is compact and about 1/50 the size of a desktop. With all the components packed together closely, things will get hot when you do intesive work, whether it be gaming, 3D rendering or Photoshop and the like.

The fans are set to a threshold and once the temp goes above that, they kick in till the temp cools down.

Especially with gaming, this makes your hardware work a lot harder than if you were browsing the Net or talking on MSN.

I can't explain the game crashing, as I've never had this problem. I have an Xbox 360 for gaming so I have no need to game on my computers.
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When did you buy your mac? is your software up to date, i.e. 10.4.9? Is your firmware up to date? Are any other programs running while you are playing this game(that would include widgets)? Are you using boot-camp or parallels?
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rsunusi

 
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I got my MBP C2D in January, its updated 10.4.9, now the game doesnt crash all the time, but just the fan is always on --- so I guess having fans on for intensive work is normal for MacBook Pros -- though even my little Dell Inspiron fans dont get so worked up even with high usage -- i think Apple are erring in the design over function aspect -- trying to build it to look in a certain way and dimensions while letting down in heat dissipation issues -- sure it'd need to get bigger,, but i think more preferable than a haywire heating issues in a thin case -
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rsunusi

 
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Oh, I'm not running anything in the background,, and am running Age of Empires 3 on Mac OS X, not Boot Camp ==

Once i stop playing the game, fans turn off quickly --

I believe Apple should rethink their case design and focus on heat dissipation-
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I'm guessing you're playing this with an external monitor/keyboard setup with the LCD closed on your MBP. Opening the LCD would go a long way keeping it cool. I play Counter Strike Source via Bootcamp and usually play with the LCD open so it will stay cool, however the fans still run pretty constantly. I downloaded a demo of Halo the other day and played the multiplayer demo for some time with the lid closed. It played fine, but when I opened the lid it was pretty hot to the touch, but it never shut down.

There's probably some truth in your opinion about the form-factor and cooling ability. The system is not meant for gaming, which is probably the most demanding and heat-producing function you can do, but it should be a consideration in the design process. I remember I bought one of the first Alienware Area-51 systems, which were pretty much targeting gamers, and I was lucky to find out that getting the optional upgrade in the fan system was basically required to avoid overheating on it. (except for a new power unit, I still have that system and it still runs great)

If gaming is important to you, you may want to consider a separate system for gaming, or try opening the LCD when you play. There are a lot of stands available which help cooling by allowing more airflow around the system too.
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rsunusi

 
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I guess the solution is obvious .. MacBook Pros don't go with modern games .. well maybe mario like games and puzzle stuff ,,, oh well i use my MBP for work anyway, I'll leave the games for Alienware -
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well i believe macbooks etc are more targeted at design people e.g photoshop users/3d apps and not gamers. I agree with your argument about the design, i wouldnt mind having another fan on the side or so to keep my MBP cooler, although it doesnt bother me too much. I personally would rather have a cooler but louder laptop than quiet and red hot one but i cant complain much. Im very happy with my macbook so far. It keeps me away from games which basically stops me wasting time and getting on with work
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Smell The Glove

 
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Hmm...I don't like hearing that. I've been planning on getting a MBP and would be playing games via Boot Camp. I don't game as constantly as I used to do, but I'd like to play some games without potentially overheating the system. I've pretty much primed myself to make the switch, so I'd hate to back out and end up with a new pc notebook after all.
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rsunusi

 
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If you don't won't to worry about fan/heat issues with MBP, don't play graphic intensive games frequently.

Mario is alright. Any games without 3d rendering and fancy stuff will run without heating, but playing WOW and others on a MBP i feel will eventually mess it up --- stick to PCs for games, pc laptops arent constrained by design and usually have better heat dissipation designs-
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Smell The Glove

 
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Well, the stuff I play is pretty much 3D RTS and shooters. I was willing to figure I might just get a gaming desktop somewhere down the road to play games in the future, but want to be able to play some stuff now. I've gotten myself too much into a Mac mindset already. I don't play games for hours and hours on end, so for short bursts, I think it will be ok. If it really is a problem, I can always get a cooling pad to help the fans out when doing more graphics intensive stuff.

I once jury-rigged a pc laptop that was having fan problems (and shutting down from overheating) by placing the back end over the a/c unit in the hotels when I was on the road. Pumping cool air inside kept the thing cool and running when it otherwise would have been shutting down if I hadn't done that.
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Alexis

 
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Any laptop should be able to play intensive games until the cows come home.

It certainly isn't good enough if it keeps crashing. I'd take it to an Apple store or something if possible, or give them a ring.
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If it is crashing, something is not right.

Now, this is my first laptop, so I can't speak to what other laptops may or may not do related to heat issues.

I can say I have played WoW and a couple of other graphic intensive games, 4-6 hours straight on numerous occasions. Yes, the fans come on. Yes, they run pretty much continuously while the graphics card is being pushed to the max. Yes, the bottom of the case gets, I would say, pretty warm, not hot, although I don't think I would want to hold it against skin for a prolonged period of time. Aluminum is quite an excellent heat conductor and I think a part of the design build to dissipate the heat in these thin and light weight machines and plastic cases would not be any where near as warm as these.

Personally, this is acceptable and I think normal. As an avid gamer and hardware enthusiast, have been building my own high end desktop machines since '95, I would be greatly concerned if the video fans didn't run almost continuously while doing this type of graphics intensive activity. Haven't seen an ATI card since about the 9800 that didn't run almost all the time during heavy gaming sessions.

I do agree with Alexis, that your machine should be able to play any game as long as you want to play it without crashing. If AE3 is the only game that is crashing, think this would have more to do with the game than the heat issue. A heat related issue of the video card would cause system wide problems with the video. It would not cause only one program to crash. If other games are also crashing, definitely take it to an Apple store to let them check it out.

If you do, as I do, have the MBP in your lap all the time, do make sure the rear of the machine is unobstructed.

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