6 Replies Latest reply: Sep 7, 2007 10:50 AM by cjcampbell
Dorian O. Level 1 (55 points)
After using simple applications like iphoto, mail and firefox I notice my laptop getting quite hot around the speakers and the top bar.

Any suggestions as to why sudden heating occurs?


2.16 Ghz 15.4" Macbook Pro, Mac OS X (10.4.10), Intel Core 2 Duo / 120 GB / 1 GB RAM
  • Rajesh Sharma Level 4 (3,730 points)
    Does everyone buy these computers solely for the purpose of resting their fingers on the top bar? Perhaps I'm missing out on something.

    This issue has been discussed on these forums and elsewhere millions of times. Perhaps billions by now. If you do a search under "heat" in the search box you'll find endless discussions and multitudes of suggestions as to why the sudden heating occurs.

    Best of luck.
  • Dorian O. Level 1 (55 points)

    If your going to get all frustrated and pissy about what someone asks then do us all a favor and don't answer the post.

    I'm sorry I made you upset by not looking at all the other posts. 99% of the time people are more than happy to answer a question regardless of how many times it has been discussed.

    just a tip for next time.

    Thank you.
  • Rajesh Sharma Level 4 (3,730 points)

    Fair enough.

    I shouldn't have written that reply the way I did and I apologise unreservedly. You're quite right to reply the way you did. I do usually try to be as helpful as possible, so my reply to you isn't really representative of my normal responses. No excuses. I was being stupid.

    As for your original question - they just tend to run hot, and the aluminium tends to conduct the heat better than plastic. The processors are rated to run at over 100 degrees C. Without knowing exact temps it's difficult to know whether there is a problem. You might consider running istat menus - you'll find it in Google - which will put the cpu temps as well as fan speeds in your toolbar at the top. As I write this, my CPU temp is 49C and my fans are idling at 1998 rpm. It usually runs in the mid 50s unless I'm doing something really intense.

    Using this might give you an idea of what normal is for your machine.

    Other than that, there was a lot of discussion when the Core Duos came out originally - they were very hot indeed, and people got into all sorts of theories, fan speeds were lower certainly, but then discussion of thermal paste also - although that's never been conclusively proved.

    If the machine is generally too hot, you might also take a look at a fan control utility, which would enable you to set the fan speed a little higher. There is also a utility out there for reducing the current to the CPU - underclocking and thereby reducing the heat - which sounds nice, but is a bit more drastic than I'd consider unless I still had a 1st gen Core Duo - then I'd be all over it

    Anyway, the short answer is they run hot. Apple specify using them on a hard surface to allow cooling and most of the PC machines of similar spec are pretty hot too. Just lots more processing power in a small enclosure - personally, I'd sacrifice a little thinness.

    I hope that helps a bit. Once again, I'm really sorry for my original reply and I hope it didn't offend you too much, or put too much of a dampener on your day. I shouldn't have written it as I did and I wish I hadn't. I appreciate your tip.

    Best wishes and best of luck.

  • infinite vortex Level 7 (21,405 points)
    You might want to formally quantify exactly what you mean by "hot" with a tool like Temperature Monitor…


    For all we know what seems hot to you may not be that hot when it comes to your MBP. Everyone's tolerances are different so knowing number will help. Even one's own tolerance will change based on ambient temperatures where it feels hotter in Summer even though the actual MBP operating temperature is exactly the same all year round.
  • Dorian O. Level 1 (55 points)
    Rajesh Sharma,

    Thank you for your kind reply. For the record, I didn't mean to be rude either by mentioned that you got all 'pissy'. I just wanted to make a point. I just have replied in a more professional fashion also.

    Thank you for your helpful answer.
  • cjcampbell Level 1 (5 points)
    Yeah. It is worse on hot days, too. The MacBook Pro (and the PowerBook before it) get hot around the speakers and top bar. Perhaps the heat dissipation there is poor, or it has something to do with heat generated by the wi-fi circuits. Still, if it is too hot to touch, you might want to run it in to an Apple Genius just to make sure you have not got an overheating battery. You don't want your laptop bursting into flames at an inopportune moment.