I recently bought the baseline 13'' Macbook Pro with i5 CPU and Lion preinstalled.

I mostly work with Firefox (without Flash), NetBeans IDE and iTerm running and the machine tends to get really hot at the bottom and in the upper left area of the keyboard after few hours of work.

I checked the Activity Monitor and no process is above the 5% CPU usage.

My friend who has the same MBP with Snow Leopard started to have the same issue after he upgraded to Lion yesterday. Lots of threads on Apple.com support forums report the same issue, but without any working solution.

What should I do? Should I bring it back to the shop? Should I try to take some steps to prevent the overheating?

  • MacBook Pro's run REALLY hot. I'm just browsing the web, yet my CPU temperature is over 140ºF. What you are describing is heating, not overheating.
    – spudwaffle
    Sep 28 '11 at 5:14

Because you have a base unit, your machine has an integrated GPU. So just looking at CPU cycles can be a red herring.

You can test this behaviour by turning on Cover Flow in iTunes and scrolling through your entire library for a minute or two. Since it is quite GPU intensive, after some time, your fans will ramp up to bring your chips temperature down. Bt if you consult your CPU usage, it will be quite minimal.

It could be the case (very likely) that Lion is working as intended. Lion introduced much more animations and graphically intensive processes, such as swipe animations when navigating websites using the trackpad, pop-up animations on dialogue boxes, swipe animations when sending mail, etc. Even moving or re-organizing icons in Finder now has an animation attached to it

You are certainly free to take into an Apple Store and talk to a Genius about your concerns, but I'm fairly certain they will test the unit and report that it is very much within "spec."


I've heard a few people complaining about heat problems with the new MBPs and Lion, why it's happening I have no idea as it seems to be different use cases for everyone, but there are two solutions. Solution one is take to an Apple store, tell them it's getting incredibly hot under low load and they'll either swap it or fix it, solution two is take it apart and see if there's anything wrong with the thermal paste.

Going out on a limb I'd say Lion is using the GPU for some specific tasks and it's causing issues, but I've not dug into it too deep.


I have the same machine. The only time I notice it really getting hot (and usually in the upper left corner, as you mention) is when I have it plugged in to charge the battery. If I'm running on battery power, the outside of the case usually doesn't get too hot, even if the internal temperature increases enough to really kick on the fans.


I have a Mac and I don't think I have this problem. I have the same device and OS you have and I hope this answer is able to solve your problem:



People mentioned AGService which causes 100% CPU consumption. I would recommend you to check that out.

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