13 Replies Latest reply: May 20, 2006 5:52 PM by Binaryspiral
cecil lynn Level 1 Level 1
My MBP gets so hot that I cannot place my palms on the case to type. It also gets so hot that I cannot lift it or move it without placing a towel underneath it. I've read several of the posts here regarding the heat, but there are always those who say that the MBP is a heatsink and designed to get hot. Well How Hot is Too Hot? Seriously, if I can't type on it or pick it up. Why not just buy a mini or an imac? I called Apple and they are gonna take a look at it, but I was rather concerned with the tech's comment that I should buy an external keyboard. If I need an external keyboard, what's the point of the keyboard on the MBP?

Your thoughts?

MBP, Mac OS X (10.4.6)
  • Robbie_DB Level 1 Level 1
    That is way way too hot in my view... my MBP gets warm like a towel that has come out of the dryer... that's about how hot it get's where my pamls sit when typing... the underside and by the F keys does get considerably hotter... but not like i can't touch it... not that hot.
  • Robbie_DB Level 1 Level 1
    As i mentioned in another thread... I think the surface you have the laptop standing on will have some bearing on how well your MBP dissipates heat. We need a materials expert to contribute to the forum, but so far I reckon glass/wood are the best surfaces since they don't reflect heat back into the MBP so well.
  • Jens H Level 2 Level 2
    Your mbp definitely gets too hot when the system becomes unstable, i.e. it crashes. So as long as that doesn't happen, it's probably even working within it's specifications.
    Moreover, apple defines it's mbp as portable computer, not laptop. Meaning: you can carry it anywhere and use it there. But not on your lap! So in their eyes it's not a problem when it gets too hot to rest it on your lap or somewhere similar.

    On the other hand though: when it gets so hot that it is uncomfortable for you to touch it where you are supposed to touch it, then I think, something is wrong with it. If you are a little more sensitive then others, it may of course be, that the mbps are not designed for you. But I can barely imagine that.

    What you can do in the meantime:
    - run the extended apple hardware test. During that test, both fans will spin up. You can hear them. If you don't, they might be damaged. On how to do that test, use the search function, please. I don't know the exact steps and don't want to lead you in the wrong direction.
    - Put your mbp somewhere else. Try something made of glass. Don't put it on some kind of blanket. Those prevent proper ventilation (although the fans should spin up then).
    - Maybe you want to get a thermometer to measure the actual heat. I think 120 degrees fahrenheit were measured and deemed "normal". But that's only something I have in the back of my head.
  • limun Level 1 Level 1
    My MBP also gets hot, but it never got so hot that it was uncomfortable to put my palms on it. Above the F keys however, it gets so hot that I cannot touch it longer than a few seconds.

    However, if I shut my MBP down, it gets cool within only one or two minutes, so the aluminium case seems to be a very efficient heatsink. I assume that the heat is very well carried away from the internal components during operation. As long as you don't get any malfunction due to the heat, your MBP's case is just doing it's job. It takes the heat away from the inside. Innovative thermal design, I would say!
  • cecil lynn Level 1 Level 1
    I appreciate the feedback. My MPB is always on my desk which is made of wood. I don't seek out other places to put it on because Apple should have designed it to comfortably rest on a wood desk.

    I don't put it on my lap, but not because Apple defines it as a "portable." I think that we are kidding ourselves if we accept the logic that since it is called a "portable", it is somehow not suitable for one's lap. The label has nothing to do with it. It's just too hot for the lap.

    Indeed, my MPB is not even a "Portable" because it gets too hot to pick up with one's bare hands, even when running bootcamp. I will definately run the hardware test. I wish I could get my hands on a temp. gauge to really see how hot it is getting. I expect the shipping package from Apple any day now so I'm hopeful to gather some data now so that I have something meaningful to compare it to when my MPB gets back.

    I am not a hater (i've owned everything from the original PB100 on up), I just never expected that Apple would design a product that was so uncomfortable to use, or had so many "workarounds" as to be impracticable.
  • Bunsen Burner Level 1 Level 1

    Make sure you let your MBP get as hot as it does under your normal use then immediately reboot into the AHT. Many troublesome MBPs will pass the extended hardware test when cool but will fail when hot.

    And for what it's worth, I agree with you on the whole "laptop/notebook" nomenclature silliness.


    MBP 2.0   Mac OS X (10.4.6)   1st MBP to Houston twice, may it rest in pieces. Replacement on the way!
  • Lorne Duerr1 Level 1 Level 1
    When my MBP arrived the first thing that I did was to stick on 4 rubber feet that the wife purchased from a dollar store. This allows at least twice the ammount of air underneath the unit. I can appreciate why Apple wants to have a "1 inch thick" portable, but this is my machine and I want it to run as cool as possible. Also it takes much more effort to slide it on a flat surface.

    Apple does NOT sell laptops. They are portables. I have no pity for people who misuse them by putting them on surfaces that do not allow for proper airflow.
  • Digital Dude Level 4 Level 4
    Every portable I’ve owned over the years has been warm to hot. I have owned Toshiba, IBM, Apple and the battleship of all portables, the old Dell Inspiron 750. This behemoth of a portable, if you can call it that, was equipped with two very large and noisy turbo-props that drowned out my travel hair dryer (back when I had hair) and it actually dimmed the hotel room lights when they kicked in! In any event, the MBP does run hot and it’s a bit of a pain but that’s where it is. If we want power and speed then we have to accept some consessions until Intel comes up with a better mouse-trap.

    2.16 GHz MacBook Pro (W8612...), Dell 620 WorkStation (XP Pro)   Mac OS X (10.4.6)   G4 Tower (OS 9/10), Dell 620 WorkStation (XP Pro), Gateway P4 (XP Home)
  • tribe Level 4 Level 4

    It is obvious that your machine is hotter than normal. Even if you are very sensitive to heat you should be able to do ALL operations on your new computer without ANY discomfort. Be sure to tell this to the Apple rep.

    His comment that you should buy an external keyboard is of extreme foolishness. Hard to not respond to his suggestion with an epithet...

    Good luck!
  • Jens H Level 2 Level 2

    I don't put it on my lap, but not because Apple
    defines it as a "portable." I think that we are
    kidding ourselves if we accept the logic that since
    it is called a "portable", it is somehow not suitable
    for one's lap. The label has nothing to do with it.
    It's just too hot for the lap.

    I hope it didn't come across as if I agreed with that kind of understanding. I think it's hilarious. I just wanted to point out, that this might be the way of argumentation you could be facing when returning your laptop. Some other guy here on the forums experienced this. Your case seems rather clear to me though. Good luck with your replacement!
  • Roman Schwaller Level 3 Level 3
    @Digital Dude:
    great answer...:-)))))
    Also used to have a DELL "laptop"...your description is just perfect!!
  • Janos Renz Level 1 Level 1
    Hi all,

    Looking at the dates of the posts, this seems to be a fairly dead forum.
    For what it's worth check out the link below for a few suggestions.



    PS The apple rep said what? I thought he worked for Apple not M$...

    PowerBook G4 15   Mac OS X (10.4.6)  
  • Binaryspiral Level 1 Level 1
    It's true, every generation of laptops (or portable computers... depending on which side of the support call you're on) has run warm or hot.

    You take a desktop worth of hardware and shove it into a portable case and you're going to cook something. It's up to the engineering staff and design folks to shed this heat in a manner that is least offensive to the user of this machine.

    I have a G3 powerbook, Lombard... and for the longest time it was running at well over 170F... it would cook my legs if I used it as a laptop. Reseting the power management helped reduce this heat - but still it runs very warm. I've opened it up and found very little "engineering"... it's actually a very inexpensive (cheap) and poorly implemented design.

    I also use a Thinkpad R52 for work. It stays very cool - even when thrashing it with games or other cpu/gpu intensive tasks... I know it produces a lot of heat - but it sheds it using a cooling fan and blows it out the side. The case is also very well insulated - preventing excess heat from reaching my hands. If I leave an ice cold can of soda next to it, it'll be too warm to drink in about 20 minutes. Likewise, the same can would stay very cool next to my G3... but the actuall device gets roasting hot.

    Apple can do better, and all it takes is for customers to call them on it. If you stand idle and accept what you're given... then well, you have your answer.

    Personally, I still enjoy my G3 more.

    Powerbook G3   Mac OS X (10.2.x)