I know there are plenty of articles here about CPU reaching very high temperatures but I am still concerned about mine.

I bought a used MacBook Pro Retina, 13-inch, Early 2015 (i5, 2.7 Ghz) computer this week. This is not my first MacBook Pro (I had 2012 non retina model) but it has never reached 100C unless I played games or did some video rendering.

What makes me really worried is that CPU temperature easily reaches 100-105C when I open Adobe Bridge and click "Space" keyboard button to generate a 100% image preview. I know that it's using CPU graphics processor for this task but is it really normal for the temperature to get critical when doing such a simple task? The fan runs at around 2000 RPM until the CPU temperature reaches <100C. Then the fan starts running really fast and keeps the temperature at around 95-100C if I continue doing my tasks.

I know that MacBooks are built to work under high CPU temperature but I also know that high temperatures are not good for the lifetime of hardware. Should I be concerned about CPU temperature getting critical values so easily?

The temperature of my MacBook is around 40C when idle, 50-70C when I am browsing or watching online videos, I can never hear the fan until the temperature reaches critical 100-105C values.

Is it really normal? I don't want to believe that a 1 year old MacBook Pro can have a big amount of dust inside the fan or thermal paste to be dried out so quickly.

Thank you and I appreciate your comments.

1 Answer 1


As a starting point I would reset both your NVRAM and your SMC. See below for instructions.

Reset your NVRAM

Newer Macs use Non-Volatile Random-Access Memory (NVRAM). It may be worth you resetting this. Here’s how to:

  1. Shut down your machine. Yes, a full shut down, not just logging out.
  2. Press the power button and then press the commandoptionpr keys. You have to make sure you press these keys before the gray screen appears or it won’t work.
  3. Hold those keys down until your Mac reboots again and you here the startup chime.
  4. Let go of the keys and let your Mac reboot normally.

Note: When you log back in you may need to readjust some of your system preferences (e.g. mouse speed, time and date/timezone, etc).

Reset the SMC

Your computer's System Management Controller (SMC) can also be reset. To reset this on your particular MacBook Pro, here’s what you do:

  1. Shut down your computer
  2. Keep the power cable plugged in.
  3. Press at the same time shiftoptioncontrol (on the left side of the keyboard) and the power button
  4. Let go
  5. Turn your computer back on with the power button.

After doing both these, let us know how you go.

Compare CPU temperatures

Also, as a point of reference, this resource (which can be filtered) will give you an idea of the wide range of temperatures that Macs can work with. However, after you've reset both the NVRAM and SMC you can monitor your CPU temperature and then use this resource to compare your temps to other comparable models.

  • I agree! It sounds like either an SMC problem or a monitoring problem.
    – NoahL
    Jan 26, 2017 at 8:08
  • Thank you for the comment. Unfortunately, after resetting both: SMC and NVRAM, I am still getting the same temperatures. They seem to be OK when idle, watching movies or browsing the internet, but I don't like the fact that the temperature reaches 100C so quickly when 90-100% of CPU is used for a short period of time..
    – Dain
    Jan 26, 2017 at 8:30
  • I think I already know the cause. My old non-retina MBP has never reached such high CPU temperatures because it had only 1280x800 resolution display. When I open Adobe Bridge and try to generate a 100% image preview, my new MacBook has to render 4 times more pixels on my 2560x1600 resolution screen. I tried to open Adobe Bridge in low resolution settings and it seems like CPU temperature does not get higher than 70C. The only question is how MacBook Pro is tolerant to these extremely high temperatures.
    – Dain
    Jan 26, 2017 at 22:01
  • Some questions for you: (1) How are you measuring your temperatures? (2) Have you tried starting your MBP in Safe Mode to see whether the issue persists? You can do this by pressing the SHIFT key immediately after switching on your MBP and waiting for it to start booting. Check whether there is any difference to temps while in Safe mode, and also check again after restarting the computer normally. (3) Have you run any hardware diagnostics?
    – Monomeeth
    Jan 26, 2017 at 22:57
  • 1. I use Macs Fan Control to measure the temperatures. 2. After booting my MBP in Safe Mode with graphics driver disabled I am getting the same temperatures. Maybe the temperature is 5-10 lower but I really cannot feel the difference. 3. I tried to run Geekbench 4 before buying the computer. The results were good compared to another users and the temperature was normal during the test.
    – Dain
    Jan 31, 2017 at 8:52

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