8 Replies Latest reply: Sep 9, 2008 5:13 PM by Kappy
Verizon Guy Level 1 Level 1
my mac book pro gets really hot when its on is that normal and how do i keep it cool do i have a bad battery or something?

macbook pro, Mac OS X (10.5.4)
Solved by Kappy on Sep 9, 2008 5:13 PM Solved
It's iStat Menu: http://www.macupdate.com/info.php/id/25230/istat-menus
  • PBookie Level 2 Level 2
    The earlier MBPs tend to run a little hot. You can keep yours a little cooler by controlling your fan speed. Try downloading Fan Control at
  • Kappy Level 10 Level 10
    I do not recommend using fan control software as it can cause potential problems that seem to be ignored by most.

    If you have a first generation MBP (a Core Duo model) the fans ran at much lower idle speed than the later models. However, if you have installed the SMC and other firmware updates released for that model then your fans' idle speeds should now be much higher. They are high enough to maintain the system at proper idle temperature and will ramp up as required to cool the computer under progressively higher loads. The design engineers know much better what they are doing than most of the amateurs on the Discussions.

    Keep your room temperature down to 75ºF or cooler. Buy a Targus CoolPad ($25) and keep the computer on it while working to assure adequate air flow underneath. I have two MBPs that work just fine without any fan software - one of which is a first generation model. I've owned both for over two years.

    If the computer is truly overheating then there is something defective that will require you taking it in for repair.

    You can use the freeware iStatMenu - VersionTracker or MacUpdate - to monitor the temperatures to be sure they are within design specs. Normal range is from around 35ºC-85ºC for typical usage from idle to high loads. Thermal shutdown occurs at 125ºC.
  • PBookie Level 2 Level 2
    Hi Kappy,
    I am curious what potential problems are caused by running fan control?
    I have been using this program for a litttle over a year now & it has helped to keep my laptops cooler and as far as I have seen it has caused no harm.
    At times I am forced to work in an environment that is very hot which causes the laptop to heat up, so I need extra help in cooling.
    If something hidden is going on inside my Books because of the Fan Control Program, that hasn't yet revealed itself to me, I sure want to know to prevent any further harm.
    Also want to know so more about what you are warning against so I would no longer recommend this program.
  • Kappy Level 10 Level 10
    Among other things is the possibility of not knowing if you have a real problem because increasing fan speed may mask the problem. Increasing the fans idle speed as well as having the fan run at higher speeds will decrease the life of the fan. If you use a fan control program and then have to take your computer in for repairs you run the risk that Apple will claim the problem may be due to your use of the software to alter the way the system cooling works thus voiding your warranty with regard to the repair. Now, I'm not saying that will happen, but Apple is very particular about the user making modifications that could cause a defect to occur. This is not unlike replacing your hard drive and damaging the motherboard in the process.

    The design engineers ought to know more about what constitutes an adequate cooling system for the computer than any of us are likely to know. So why mess with it. In my experience with a first and second generation MBP the cooling system works just fine. I do not use any third-party utilities like CoolBook or fan control software and both of my MBPs run without any undue heat problems. I've had both computers at least two years now having purchased each when they were first released.
  • Dr Sly Level 1 Level 1
    hmm playing World of Warcraft or Crysis causes my OS X and Vista to go super toasty, in the 82-90 celsius range... I crank up the fans using SMC fan control so that it's as cool as possible before playing.

    Laptop machines, including the MBP, having the silly habit of throttling GPU and CPU speeds to cool down, which is pretty stupid if you require all the power for gameplay or any other processor-intensive use (yes, I said stupid, because when you pay 3000-4000$ for a pro machine, you want every single clock count you can get out of of it for performance, not some half crippled CPU/GPU which underperforms on any given task).

    I have a Targus cooling pad and it is worth nuthin at all... MBP has materials and fan design that does not benefit from that. Just make sure it doesn't sit on a thermal insulator as opposed to a conductor (plastic is pretty bad, doesn't help dissipate heat, glass is bad too).

    So if you play games, max the fan output to 6000 RPM each, turn off all unnecessary software to free memory and clock time, and make sure the vents are all clear. The machine will still be burning hot, but it will work. And it won't try to throttle because the fans are at max output forcefully.
  • discostu514 Level 2 Level 2
    i think it all depends on your definition of "hot". my MBP feels "hot" when using it for prolonged periods of time or if i'm doing some intensive graphics work, but i know the temperatures are well below the maximum limits.

    what are the exact temperatures?
  • Bill.Love Level 1 Level 1
    Hi -

    I've searched both sites for iStartMenu and googled that term and can't seem to locate that software. I'd like to take your advice and monitor my fan and temperature, do you have a link to this software?

  • Kappy Level 10 Level 10