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My MacBook Pro only seems to be using half of the available RAM?

741 Views 31 Replies Latest reply: Jan 15, 2013 9:28 AM by nassar8 RSS
  • Michael Black Level 6 Level 6 (17,835 points)

    My late 2008 MBP core2duo cpu normally runs anywhere from 45-50C to 85-90C depending on load.


    Looking at your tempearatures in the picture, and without knowing what the loads are, I would say yours is well within normal operating temperatures.

  • OGELTHORPE Level 7 Level 7 (22,870 points)

    Michael Black, greetings;  You said "Besides an intel i5 or i7 cpu running in the 60's to 80's degrees is  pretty much the norm for those chips,".  I have an i7 MBP and as a test I opened the same applications that I have open on the current one that I an using and found the following information on the iStat pro:


    Screen shot 2013-01-10 at 3.47.00 PM.png

    Note that the CPU temperature is reported at 39 c.  Certainly there may be an error variations, but I would doubt that is could be 50% to 100%.  Again I have to disagree with you based on how my MBPs are operating.  For 'light duty' applications, my experience has been that temperatures in the low 40's is the norm.



  • Michael Black Level 6 Level 6 (17,835 points)

      Maybe the machines I use are working harder - that is, maybe our definitions of "light use" is the issue.


    The i5 and i7 Mac's I've used do not seem to run any cooler than my older MBP at home, seemingly to run on average in the 50-60C range, but as I say, my idea of light use may be very different.


    Either way, the OPs temperatures are well, well within safe limits and I cannot see anything to be worried about with his machine in terms of temperature/heat load.

  • OGELTHORPE Level 7 Level 7 (22,870 points)

    Michael Black, greetings;  'Light use' in both situations that I reported are using Firefox, iTunes, Activity monitor, Temperature Monitor, Macktracker, plus the myriad of minutia applications that operate when the MBP is turned on.  Does this substantially differ from yours?


    Just for chuckles, I booted my Core Duo MBP and the temperature readings for the CPU were 45c + or - a couple,  This may be introducing a bit of an Orange in an Apple environment since there are meaningful differences in the respective builds of the older MBPs with the current Unibodies. 


    Bottom line though, if my MBPs, using the aforementioned applications, experienced temperatures 60c or more, I would be on a fault finding mission.  Now if I were doing some video editing, then that become a different scenario.



  • OGELTHORPE Level 7 Level 7 (22,870 points)

    Post an image of your temperature Monitor and Activity Monitor reflecting the usage at the same time for inspection.



  • OGELTHORPE Level 7 Level 7 (22,870 points)

    Turn off Google Chrome and Skype and use another browser (such as Safari or Firefox).  What happens to the temperature?



  • OGELTHORPE Level 7 Level 7 (22,870 points)

    I do not use Chrome so I cannot give you any thoughts based on personal experience.  However I have read on several occasions on other posts that it is a CPU glutton compared to other browsers.  That is what prompted me to suggest that you turn it off and see what difference it may make.  It appears that is the case.


    If you like Chrome, by all means use it, but understand what the downside is and the relative impact.  Though it will have an affect, it will not destroy your MBP.  Some users choose a browser because of claims of it being the fastest.  Though from a technical standpoint there may be truth in such claims, the impact that a browser has on the entire chain of response time is very, very small.  Best is what suits one's personal preferences.  I use Safari for my business transactions and Firefox for other web related activities.


    If you have looked at my posts of my MBP iStat pro readouts, they clearly are running at lower temperatures than what you report.  It could be that your environment is influencing the temperature.  It may also be useful to open the MBP and look inside to see if there is dust or other contaminants that may be having a negative affect, especially in the fans.


    With all this said, 60c is high but not lethal.  The amount of RAM has no meaningful affect on the internal temperatures.  You can control the temperature to a large by keeping only the necessary applications open.  If you have a need to use 'heavy duty' applications such as Skype, do so.  The MBP can handle temperature to 100c + before shutting down.  I just would not use Skype 24 hrs. a day.


    As I write this response, this is my iStat pro read out.  Not that the temperature is a bit higher than my prior ones.  That is attributable to my downloading some data at the same time.


    Screen Shot 2013-01-12 at 7.49.42 AM.png



  • Courcoul Level 6 Level 6 (11,200 points)

    That is a common problem when operating turbine-type fans in dusty environments. The dust cakes in the curved portion of the blades, ruins the aerodinamic profile and airflow gets severely compromised.


    Since you don't want yet more dust in the computer, the safest bet would be taking the fans out and really cleaning them. You need to find something, the red extension tube on the compressed air can, a piece of wire, etc., that you can use to scrape the bottom of each blade so all the dust gets dislodged. Simple blowing won't do, else why do you think the dust has remained there. Just be careful not to bend or break anything, or damage the motor. Else you'll have to replace the unit.

    MacBook Pro (15-inch Late 2011), Mac OS X (10.7.5), 2.4GHz, 16GB, Widescreen/Anti-glare
  • OGELTHORPE Level 7 Level 7 (22,870 points)

    A clean reinstall can be beneficial to MBP operation.  Obviously back up your files BUT after you have erased your internal HDD, and installed the OS, Transfer only the user data that you wish to retain piece by piece.  If you load everything back in and duplicate what you already have, there will be no gain.  The objective is to leave the superfluous garbage behind.


    Regarding the schmutz on the fans, I see my amigo Courcoul has addressed that issue.  When you clean the fans, I would not be surprised to see a temperature reduction.


    I have hopes that he (Courcoul) will speak also about the thermal paste.  He knows more about that than I do (as well as most other things). 


    Just as an experiment when I just started my MBP, I opened the following applications:  Aperture, iPhoto, Activity Monitor, Mactraker, Safari, Firefox, iTunes and a video. The results show about a 12 degree rise in temperature.  If I kept these applications open longer. the temperature would no doubt rise further.


    Screen Shot 2013-01-14 at 1.22.37 PM.png



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