I have a late-2013 Retina MacBook Pro, and it gets really hot really easily. I've monitored the temp with htop and iStat and they both show the same readings. It's supposed to be able to play some pretty graphics intensive games, at least that's the impression I got. I tried playing Rust (very basic graphics for those unaware of the game) on medium settings, and my cpu temp was hovering around 100. I also tried playing Endless Legend, and my cpu temps were hovering around 100 before I even got into the game, just looking at the menu, in windowed mode, at 1280x800 resolution, with low graphics settings, with no other applications running. Is this normal? Is the game performance of the Retina MBP this bad usually or is mine unusually bad? Are these temperatures safe or will they decrease the life of my computer if sustained for a few hours at a time?

EDIT : Check out the performance trying to play a game of chess here. You can see the CPU temp spike to over 100 degrees in seconds

  • 1
    Two questions: Are the fans running as they supposed to (like at max speed at those temp). Second question. What does your Activity monitor shows as CPU usage.
    – Ruskes
    Commented Nov 9, 2014 at 4:11
  • Are you playing Rust on Steam ?
    – Ruskes
    Commented Nov 9, 2014 at 4:46
  • also, Celsius or Fahrenheit? 100ºF is nothing 100ºC is pretty hot.
    – dwightk
    Commented Nov 9, 2014 at 5:15
  • Cpu is around 70% on all 4 cores, playing Rust on Steam, and 100°C Commented Nov 9, 2014 at 5:32
  • Get the airflow cleaned out & buy a cooler pad. 100˚C won't do it much good at all.
    – Tetsujin
    Commented Nov 9, 2014 at 8:28

4 Answers 4


100C (212F) is the thermal limit for the intel processor in your machine. The computer will shut itself down to prevent damage if necessary. This means a sustained and significant increase above that threshold. Not a spike. The temperatures you report are within normal operating temperatures based on the usage. Tips, moving forward:

  • Keep your Firmware up to date.
  • Make sure the back vents are not covered or obstructed in any way. This ensures proper ventilation.
  • Don’t manually adjust the fan settings, or the like, using applications like “iStat Menus." The firmware in your machine is very good (better than you, or I, or any human being) at keeping the machine cool and dissipating the heat produced from CPU/GPU intensive processes.

Bottom Line: This is completely normal behavior and nothing to worry about.


This recently happened to me, and I found the answer (It was in Apple's forums somewhere, I am searching for it and I will source it once I find it).

  1. Check your Activity Monitor, it is located in ~/Applications/Utilities/.
  2. Under CPU, click the "% CPU" button and make sure the arrow next to it is pointing down.

If Safari is using most of your CPU, here is what you can do:

  1. Open Safari
  2. Go to Safari Preferences (⌘+,)
  3. Make sure both "New windows open with" and "New tabs open with" are not set to "Top Sites"

If you want to view your Top Sites after this

  1. Secondary click Safari's NavBar (where the Searchbar/URLbar is)
  2. Click "Customize Toolbar..."
  3. Drag "Top Sites" icon to where you want.

It's because your computer have probably an APU (CPU and GPU on the same die). When you play a game, the CPU and the GPU are used, so it's more difficult to refresh them in only one die.

That change nothing to decrease graphics, because a frame is more easy to make, but in return the GPU make more frame. The only way to change this is to turn on the frame limiter if you have one.

But don't be afraid by the temp, the processor have a security for shutdown the computer if he is too hot. In my computer, I've the same problem. With iStat menu you can try to fix the fan at 100% for a better ventilation.


My late 2013 suddenly became hot when charging. No problems previously. I reset the SMC (google it to find how it's done) and it cooled down within minutes. Phew - sorted!. Some posts refer to new machines and I have heard of this fix working on newer machines. Yeah you'd think it would be sorted on a new machine - but sometimes it's not or a glitch happens on setup. Good luck!

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