11 Replies Latest reply: Aug 12, 2010 12:14 PM by eww
Zaxie Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
I've had this issue for a while, but just ran smcfancontrol.

My mac consistently runs at 70+ degrees Celcius, even when I'm simply browsing the internet. It only goes below that when I'm doing little to nothing on it and have the fans at max.

I even have a burn on my leg from my laptop getting too hot!! (No joke, I can show pictures)

This evening I played a little bit of Team Fortress 2 (no more than half an hour) and noticed my mac being REALLY HOT. 97C to be exact. I had fans on max AND one of those external laptop cooling pads with a fan on it.

The heat is centralized over the esc key and the left speaker.

I'm concerned about the health of my mac... I hear having the CPU get too hot wears it down over time but running the fans on max all the time wears down the fans.

Is there a fix for this? Should I bring my mac in to get looked at? Is it a defect...?

Macbook Pro, Mac OS X (10.6.3), 2.53ghz intel core2 duo, 4gb ddr3 ram, NVIDIA GeForce 9400M
  • Oranges10e Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Hi Zaxie,

    well, you could check the temperatures with iStat and post them here, just to be sure.

    If you are speaking about the temperature of the aluminum chassis, well, I have the same issue as you (MBP 2009 15" 9600m GT). I have also asked around on a few boards and most of them give me the same respond: It should be "normal". Temps on the inside seem to be well within the "normal" working specs that Apple allows. For me beeing a PC user all my life, up until now, those temps seem to be a bit too high @idle. The more heat = the shorter stuff lasts, especially when gaming often.

    Apple seems to use the aluminum chassis to cool down the MBP and to keep the fans as quiet as possible. I believe you with the "legs burned" somehow, because I play on my book as well. I let my girlfriend take my book to her university a few times. One time the MBP came out of suspend in her laptop bag. She almost burnt her fingers while taking it out (they were just red and kind of warm after that).

    We have about 30°C here in Germany since yesterday, and it's getting very difficult to do anything on this machine, without beeing disturbed by the heat the chassis gives away - especially when gaming. Sure, for simple tasks it's well within useable, but for gaming it's just too much. Some ppl say: "take a break when it gets too hot". That is not an option, though. It heats up right after starting a 3D game and stays hot a while.

    Oh, my book heats up on the bottom and to the left speaker and above the esc-f5 keys when doing advanced stuff (video en-decoding or playing games). Play a game or two and try touching that area :P It's very disturbing, because the heat goes down to the w,a,s,d keys after 30-60min of gameplay. I often come in contact with the chassis when pushing those buttons - doesn't feel good at all.

    I hope this helped you. I am thinking of selling my MBP and buying a normal MB in white (with 9400m). I had that one before (gma x3100) and it sounded like a jet taking off under load, but it was actually very cool to the touch (you can actually feel the keys getting cold when the fans kick in). With the extra cash I might get a 360 or PS3.

    Read ya.
  • Espen Vestre Level 1 Level 1 (145 points)
    Zaxie wrote:
    I've had this issue for a while, but just ran smcfancontrol.

    My mac consistently runs at 70+ degrees Celcius, even when I'm simply browsing the internet. It only goes below that when I'm doing little to nothing on it and have the fans at max.


    What you describe is normal, but when you're just surfing the web, you can save a lot of cpu time - and thus avoid heat - by installing a flash blocker. I personally use ClickToFlash, let's me easily click on those flash animations/videos I actually want to watch.
  • Zaxie Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Yeah, I have clicktoflash already installed.

    What concerns me the most is that a friend of mine has a similar MacBook Pro (though with less RAM and the less powerful graphics card) that runs consistently 10-15 degrees C cooler. When he plays the same game I do he only gets to temps of 75C (whereas I get to 97C).
  • ~Bee Level 7 Level 7 (31,200 points)
    Zaxie --
    I have a question for you:
    Where are you using your MBP when it gets hot?
    Is it on a desk, or is it on your lap, or a couch?
  • DCGOO Level 3 Level 3 (760 points)
    My mac consistently runs at 70+ degrees Celcius, even when I'm simply browsing
    the internet. It only goes below that when I'm doing little to nothing on it and have
    the fans at max.


    Something is wrong. Casual use of the Mac should never result in temps that high in a half normal environment. You need to monitor CPU utilization and see if/what is eating up all the resources. You can use ActivityMonitor for that, but I found the "iPulse" utility much better suited to continuous monitoring.

    Only other possible problem is smcfancontrol may have gone bonkers on you. Might have even burned out the fans (which would cause high temps even with low CPU). Personally I found that utility to be very flaky and I ripped it out. I'll stick with the OS temp monitor and fan control.
  • Zaxie Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    All of the above. No matter where I have it - my lap, on a desk, on top of one of those laptop cooling pads - it still hovers around 70C even when all I have open is safari.
  • Zaxie Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    I've looked in activity monitor and there's nothing taking up a lot of CPU. The highest thing is activity monitor itself at 2.4% CPU.

    Right now, smc is telling me that the computer is 71C and fans are 4827rpm. It's currently on my lap on top of a Belkin laptop cooler.
  • DCGOO Level 3 Level 3 (760 points)
    Then you will have to visit the store and talk to a genius. But, I would strongly urge you to remove smcfancontrol first.
  • Espen Vestre Level 1 Level 1 (145 points)
    Zaxie wrote:
    I've looked in activity monitor and there's nothing taking up a lot of CPU. The highest thing is activity monitor itself at 2.4% CPU.

    Right now, smc is telling me that the computer is 71C and fans are 4827rpm. It's currently on my lap on top of a Belkin laptop cooler.


    Hmm. That doesn't sound quite right. My i7 is at 53 degrees / 2000rpm right now, cpu usage about the same.
  • nvsbl kd Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    hy, my macbook pro is also getting ridiculously hot without an obvious reason. *When i check the activity window i notice 'finder' is always on top with about 99%CPU. It might be a dumb question, but is that normal?*
    right now my CPU temp is around 80°c, the left fan 3650rpm, using nothing more than itunes, pages, and safari.
    i find this problem with the temperature very disturbing, i can imagine it's wearing down my machine at top speed... make it stop please!
  • eww Level 9 Level 9 (52,975 points)
    Choose "Force Quit" from the Apple menu, select the Finder, and click the Relaunch button. Does that calm things down?