I've been trying to solve my overheating problem for quite a long time, but had no luck, so I will try to describe it to you and hopefully, someone can come up with some solution. I've also read numerous topics about heating problems, but that didn`t help me at all. My specs are Core i7 2,3Ghz with nVidia 650GT, 8GB RAM, 500GB HDD, OSX Mountain Lion 10.8.4. SMC reset is not helpful in any case, did OS reinstallations many times with no noticeable effect. MBP is 1 year old, I have cleaned it up from dust and also did the thermal plaste reapply (Arctic Cooling MX-4). I use iStat pro on Dashboard and iStat menu for temperature monitoring in OSX and Mac fan Control along with Real Temp in Windows 7 (Bootcamp). Room temperature is pretty cold and I use two table fans directed to the MBP to help cool the alu case and also, MBP is elevated about 1,5cm in the back and 0,5cm in the front for better heat dissipation.

Now for the temps and issue itself: In OSX, it usually idles at about 45C average with default 2000rpm fans, quite no problem with that. All cores are +-3C around 45C. which seem quite fine. When really idling for few minutes, sometimes it goes lower even to 37-40C. I do not really game in OSX, but when I do (GRID 2, DIRT 3, and other more demanding games on low to mid settings) I set the fan speeds always to max 6200RPM. But even if I do, temps usually wobbles around 95C and I experience thermal throttling sooner or later. Temps do not stay at 95-100C but they oscillate, probably due to thermal throttling. Temps are generally better in OSX as it should be, but I made another test with Prime95 under both systems. OSX: I use torture test (in-place large FFTs: maximum heat and power consumption as stated), all four cores go 100% load, which are supposed to. I set fans to 6200rpm everytime I test this. Starting from idle temperatures and MBP case pretty cold, temps are like this: After 3 minutes, C1 is 88C, C2 96, C3 99, C4 95 After 5 minutes, C1 is 91C, C2 99C, C3 101C, C4 98C Then it goes celsius by celsius up and up, about 20sec/1C more. Core 1 is usually able to stay under 95C, while C2 and C3 are running up the most, even to 104-105C, C4 is a bit lower, about 101-102C.

Same torture test under Windows 7 shows similar pattern, except idle temps are about 55C and load temps go up little faster, while gaming under W7 (Battlefield 3 on lowest setting except resolution, which I use native) is experiencing throttling and Realtemp shows reaching 104-105C eventually on C2 and C3.

Of course, I'm worried about my MBP and I do not want it to suffer any heat damage, so I stopped playing for now and hoping for some solution you guys may help me with. Please notice, that MBP is not under warranty and there is NO apple store in Czech Republic, where I live. I did few thermal paste replacements before this one and I believe I made it correctly. Temperatures before the paste replacement we're slightly worse than I have now.

Thanks for reading and your help.

  • That is a lot of heating experimentation :) I would suggest to first calibrate the temperature readouts to make sure you are getting the right temp. Next I would use a jell pack out of deep freezer and put it under the Mac. No run your tests again.
    – Ruskes
    Sep 1, 2013 at 11:35
  • Thanks for reply, how do I do the temperature sensors calibration? Could not find anything via Google.
    – Packleader
    Sep 1, 2013 at 11:41
  • Here is a very good article for you to compare your results to. notebookcheck.net/…
    – Ruskes
    Sep 1, 2013 at 11:47

3 Answers 3


I understand your concerns (justified or not), you love your Mac and want to keep it alive as long as possible.

Here are some home remedy (Do it Yourself)-- (also available where you live).

If you want to keep your Mac cooler during HOT games, go to pharmacy and buy what they call a gel-pack (gel balení). Freeze it!

Then put it under your Mac with a towel in between (to prevent freezing).

That will provide additional cooling for few hours. Have second gel-pack if you want to continue gaming for 24 hours a day :)

As for your temperature reports, so far they look normal based on this example.


This test wouldn't be complete if we didn't address the subject of throttling. Prime 95 and Furmark can extract the maximum performance out of the hardware. When both programs are run simultaneously, the core frequency drops (caused by Prime 95) to 1.2 Ghz. Running Prime 95 alone, we measured temperatures between 92 and 104 degrees Celsius (197.6 and 219.2 degrees Fahrenheit), and the word "Throttling" flashes repeatedly in HWiNFO. Furmark on its own cycles through all available Turbo Boost steps. After about one hour, the temperature settled at a fairly consistent 85 degrees Celsius (185 degrees Fahrenheit) with the fan system running. We never measured above 100 degrees Celsius (212 degrees Fahrenheit) with Furmark. This limitation might be due to the power adapter: in the above scenario, the system would require 86.6 watts - but the power adapter can only supply a maximum of 85 watts. Immediately after running our different tests, we subjected the system to 3DMark 06 and CineBench R11.5. The results were identical to after a cold boot.

The fastest way to quick check is to use the surface temperatures as shown here.

enter image description here

  • Thank you Buscar. The most thing that is weirdest for me is, that the Core 1 can maintain the temperature quite well, Core 2 and 3 are the worst, they have for about 8-10C more in average more under load than C1. Only thing I can think about it some heatsink imperfection.
    – Packleader
    Sep 1, 2013 at 16:48
  • Not necessary the CPU heatsink, it could be the temperature diode or the conversion software inaccuracy.
    – Ruskes
    Sep 1, 2013 at 17:21
  • Okay, I will have to leave it like this it seems and hope for it does not fry soon. I am planning to have it for another three years.
    – Packleader
    Sep 1, 2013 at 17:45
  • Could you close your question (the check mark) since there is not much one can do other than discussed.
    – Ruskes
    Sep 1, 2013 at 20:16

I have old Macbook Pro and very recent one and overheating problem only got worse. And that is for the brand new one, so it doesn't depend on the model.

What I try and partially works, beyond restarting, is to watch my CPU performance in the Activity Monitor and kill whatever process I can. Itunes are pretty hungry, so getting rid of it often helps.


cooling fan pad with usb under the laptop.

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