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I'm using a 13" (late 2011) MacBook Pro and it has been getting so hot that I cannot use it on my lap, even when barely any applications are running. I have checked Activity Monitor and there are no applications taking up significant Memory or CPU power. The heat is concentrated on the upper left corner of the body, around the power inlet. I have noticed some bending of the body in the same area. Having had a swollen battery before I suspected the same thing might be happening again (as sometimes—though very rarely—the battery is not recognized). However, the location of the battery is not the location of the deformation.

What could be the cause of all this and how could I try to reduce the heat and (if there is a connection) reduce further deformation?

EDIT: Here's a picture of the area affected by the mysterious deformation

Area affected by deformation

EDIT: Here are some temperature measurements I have made (in degrees C):

  • 5V/3.3V Proximity: 51
  • Battery TS1: 37
  • Battery TS2: 37
  • Battery TS_MAX: 37
  • CPU Die: 64
  • CPU Die - Digital Core: 62
  • CPU Die - Digital Core 0: 68
  • CPU Die - Digital Core 1: 68
  • CPU Proximity: 61
  • Palm Rest: 36
  • PCH-Thunderbold Proximity: 72 (!)
  • Right Fin Stack Proximity: 51

While I realise that none of these are high enough to do damage to the hardware, the surface is already painful to the touch although the device is basically idle or performing very basic tasks, such as browsing simple web-pages. Average CPU load was around 10% during this measurement while memory was at around 50%. The measurement of 72 degrees (C) around the thunderbolt port confirms my observation that the upper left corner is particularly hot; though I don't know what parts are located there that could cause such heat. I think that the heat originates from this area and the fans only turn on once it has warmed up the entire device. Note also that the heating up occurs whether I am charging the device or not.

  • Without actually knowing what temp your CPU is running at or if your fans are running, it will be next to impossible to diagnose. Try Monit (Free from the App Store) to get some details. – Allan Jun 1 '16 at 20:54
  • How long has this MBP been in use before the problem occurred? Any prior modifications or repairs, did you drop it or did something drop onto it, etc.? – sekdiy Jun 2 '16 at 8:35
  • It was bought in 2011 and not used for a while until I started using it in 2015. There have never been any modifications or repairs, nor has the device ever been dropped or something dropped on it. While not being used it has been stored with the battery half-charged in a laptop bag in a dry and cool place. When starting the device it takes only a few minutes until the heat develops. – Constantin Jun 2 '16 at 9:03
  • Meanwhile I have measured 98 degrees C near the power inlet. – Constantin Jun 2 '16 at 13:39
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There's nothing significant that could cause your Late 2011 MBP to swell in that area. In fact, that area has a fan mounted there, which makes it quite unlikely that something could get hot enough to cause frame damage.

My speculation:

If you've had swelling in the past then your frame is probably still bent from the swelling of the first battery. The initial heat and pressure could have caused the logic board to press against an opposite end. Furthermore, the heat damage could have created soft areas of aluminum that are slowly being modified by the heating and cooling caused by charging.

Here is the parts breakdown for curiosity sake.

  • To clarify, this is a different device from the one whose battery has swollen. Hence why I have no explanation for the deformation in the upper left corner. – Constantin Jun 1 '16 at 20:03
  • I'm not sure that anyone can provide an answer for you then. Perhaps if you took some photos of the affected area some clarifying questions could be asked. – haloux Jun 1 '16 at 20:05

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