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I was playing Trine 2 yesterday and checked the inside temperatures with iStat Pro after playing. It showed the GPU Diode at being 107°C hot. Is that bad for the GPU Diode or other components inside the MacBook Pro?

I was using it at normal room temperature and the MacBook Pro was sitting on a wooden desk.

Right now the GPU Diode is at 6°C and the GPU itself is at 25°C, and all I'm doing is browsing with Safari.

I have the late 2011 17" MacBook Pro.

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What makes you think that's too hot? The system will log messages when things get out of comfort range and will just shut down the mac when things get hot enough to cause short term harm. –  bmike Apr 27 '12 at 16:28
    
Per Intel's description of the i7, max temperature is 100C. Whether Apple should be detecting this or not, 107C is very hot. Source: ark.intel.com/products/52227/… –  Aaron Lake Apr 27 '12 at 18:04
    
Tjunction for CPU is indeed 100C. I don't know GPU specs offhand. Most Intel based portables run within 5 degrees of max these days . The older CPU with 80 C spec had 30 C headroom and shut off at 115 C by design. These newer models run right up to the limits and start slowing if the blowers can't keep things cool. I'm not saying it isn't a problem (or is one) - just that a number like this out of the blue is rarely helpful since Macs have multiple control systems to throttle, log and shut things down before you get into the red zone. –  bmike Apr 27 '12 at 19:06
    
I'm not talking about the CPU, but the GPU (graphics processing unit). I've seen the CPU get pretty hot too, but the highest I've seen it go is 92°C so I hope I don't have an issue there. –  hawk Apr 27 '12 at 20:56
    
@bmike I definitely would not rely on the system to take care of itself. Once my GPU got over 100 °C and I didn't realize it until I started noticing graphical glitches and decided to check the temps. (How it got that hot is another story...) –  WolfLink Mar 12 at 6:16

4 Answers 4

up vote 3 down vote accepted

It's probably not too much of a problem. If the system gets too hot, OS X will know to throttle down or shut down.

If you're worried or this happens too much (or the system declares it's too hot), take your laptop into an Apple Store or Apple Authorized reseller and have them check it out to make sure nothing's wrong.

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Indeed - the manufacturer diagnostics are far better at determining proper temperature under load than the raw sensor details. –  bmike Apr 27 '12 at 19:08
    
Thanks. My impression is that these kind of temperatures are not so optimal and could reduce the lifespan of the graphics card or other components. Actually, I've noticed a very subtle graphical glitch a couple of times since posting my question. Part of the screen flickers white a few times, for no apparent cause, but it happens really fast. I've had other odd graphical glitches on my 2008-iMac for years though, maybe it's an OS X/AMD issue. I just don't want this MBP to get freezing issues like my iMac, where it sometimes, completely randomly, just shows a blank white or gray screen. –  hawk Apr 27 '12 at 20:54
    
I wouldn't trust the system to take care of itself. Once my macbook GPU got over 100 °C, and I didn't know until I started seeing graphical glitches in the game I was playing. (How it got that hot is another story...) –  WolfLink Mar 12 at 6:13

Yes, that is bad.

Apple's fan controls favor quiet over safety and tend to key off the CPU temperature, ignoring the fact that the GPU can go far out of spec even while the CPU remains relatively cool. 3D games in particular can burn out the GPU because of the native control's bias toward CPU temperature.

If you are going to play video games on an iMac or MacBook, I strongly recommend obtaining fan control software and setting a steep profile so that the fans spin aggressively with CPU temperature, thereby keeping the GPU from going out of spec. If you are playing games in Boot Camp, having a separate fan controller is absolutely essential.

It sounds like you may already have some damage to the GPU or motherboard. If you are still under warranty or AppleCare, try to find an artifact that you can reproduce at the Genius bar and get the GPU/motherboard replaced. Remember that the system will be cold when you get there, so it may take a while to reproduce heat problems. The Geniuses like to use the iTunes visualizer as a test case, but if you have an offline game that produces problems that will work as well.

In any case, increasing the fan speed to keep the GPU temperature down while playing 3D games will greatly extend the life of your system.

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Thanks! I asked about SMCFanControl on IRC a while ago and was advised that I shouldn't use it because that can create more problems. But I think I'll opt for using it anyway, because having boiling-point temperatures inside my MBP kind of distresses me. However, I don't think the subtle graphical artifacts I'm seeing are related to this anymore. They seem to occur frequently when I change the angle of the display (while I'm doing it or just after I let go), so I'm guessing there's something not connected properly where the display and the main enclosure meet. –  hawk May 2 '12 at 21:01
    
The one I use is FanControl –  Seth Noble May 2 '12 at 21:48

I have a late 2011 MBP 15", after i switched from my 2009 MBP i definitely noticed that the 2011 runs much warmer and louder (fan). This is regardless of the task at hand. I've spent hours researching this and it looks like the i7s just run hotter than the core 2 duos. If your experiencing issues such as what you described, i highly suggest you take it into an Apple store to be looked at.

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Try the app "Macs Fan Control" and set the right fan to the GPU. I set a max of 65c...seems to never really go above that for me...

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