Alright, so I think this is a fairly common problem with apple products that have closed in fans: I have a 2012/13 Mac Book Pro 15" that I got 5 months ago with the following specifications:

  • Processor: 2.7 GHz Intel Core i7
  • Memory : 16 GB 1600 MHz DDR3
  • Graphics : NVIDIA GeForce GT 650M 1024 MB
  • Software : OS X 10.9.1 (Mavericks)

I mainly use the system for programming, email and other work/school related projects.

My main problem/concern with it is how hot it gets right above the function keys and on the bottom of the computer. I have tried cooling pads & fans but they don't seem to make much of a difference by any means. I don't have excessive processes running either, for the most part I'll have a text editor, terminal and a web browser running.

Does anyone have solutions? And is it odd to see this happening with such a relatively new system?

  • What are the internal temperatures when you are experiencing hotness? What temperature is the case? (the second is harder to measure - but thermal cameras and some contact thermometers are quite accurate). – bmike Feb 22 '14 at 23:53

I would also recommend the advice about using Activity Monitor to see what is using the processor and understand why the computer is getting hot.

A MacBook Pro is made from metal and the case conducts the heat well. It might feel hotter than it really is.

There are a number of temperature sensors in the laptop which can easily be read by software. A search on the internet showed this application which you could use to read the sensors and may give you some idea of where the heat is coming from (although it is probably going to be either the CPU or GPU): http://www.bresink.com/osx/TemperatureMonitor.html

  • +1 for getting a more detailed measure of the internal temperatures. – bmike Feb 22 '14 at 23:54

It shouldn't be getting that hot if you're just web browsing and word processing with some terminal use. If you bought it relatively recently, I'd schedule a visit to your local apple store's genius bar.


Check Activity Monitor for any processes that are running excessively high processor/memory usage, and Console for repeating error messages. I had issues with a few system processes after upgrading to Mavericks; fixing disk permissions and then verifying/repairing the drive really helped. Any system processes that need to modify specific files may get stuck running if the files in question don't have the correct permissions. And definitely check fan speeds; if they aren't running as they should you'll have overheating issues.


It could be an issue with your Mac's SMC. System Management Control (SMC) is what takes care you your Mac's temperature control (not spinning up the fans when either the GPU Diode, or CPU get's too hot). It's very easy to reset your SMC, it's help me with similar issues in the past. Here's the link to Apple's support doc on how to do such; http://support.apple.com/kb/HT3964?viewlocale=en_US&locale=en_US

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