I've recently bought an apple cinema display to complement my old MacBook Pro Late 2011 and I've notice the increment in the working temperature of the machine while connected to the display.

I know that the cause of that increment is the continuous use of the GPU when connected. However, I would like to know if the increment of 20ºC in the temperature is something normal. When it isn't connected the machine is usually working around 50ºC and now it's around 72ºC.

Mine is one of those affected for the problems with the GPU. Apple changed de logic for free in 2014 because the computer was covered by Apple Care. I don't know if they swapped the logic for a new one or refurbished. The operation happened in Finland and was made by a Apple Authorized Service.

For that reason I'm a little concerned about the temperature rise. I don't want to change again the board, even more now that it isn't covered by apple anymore.

I just ordered a cooling pad that it's going to arrive today. I'm spending the summer in the west coast in USA, in Oregon. I don't thing the summer is going to be terrible, but I would like to be safe (better safe than sorry).

So the questions are two:

  1. Are these normal temps for the GPU? my temps at 9.44 in a fresh oregonian morning

  2. Should I be worried?

Thanks a lot!

  • I would counter with another question... when was it last stripped & thoroughly cleaned? TBH, those temps aren't too bad, but cleaner airflow means cooler computer at lower fan speeds. – Tetsujin May 26 '17 at 17:09
  • I haven't opened it for at least a year I think and I've never clean it inside. I changed the battery like two years ago, so perhaps they cleaned at the moment. I usually vacuum the outside and the vent every month or so. – lpuerto May 26 '17 at 17:16
  • You'd be amazed how much of a 'duvet' can build up in the airflow, especially at key points like the GPU air intake [that's the internal one, not the one you can easily hoover.] – Tetsujin May 26 '17 at 17:19
  • yeah, I know!! I need to clean, I think I'll do it today and retest! do you recommend me to blow with air? Thanks! – lpuerto May 26 '17 at 17:21
  • I don't know the internal layout of the MBPs specifically enough to be able to know which bit to suck or blow ;-) Best advice is to strip it until you can actually see both sides of all airflow paths. Once you get that far, a brush & blow will usually be sufficient. iFixit have teardowns for just about everything. – Tetsujin May 26 '17 at 17:37

Those temps seem fine to me.

The late 2011 MBP models usually range from about 40ºC (104ºF) to 100ºC (212ºF) depending on whether the CPU is idle or under load. CPU temps (just like ambient temperatures) typically have a bearing on GPU temps too, especially within the extremely confined spaces of a MacBook.

If you're interested, you can check out the Intel Mac Temperature Database for an indication of the various temperatures that Intel Macs run at. Unfortunately the database doesn't separate out GPU temps, but it's still a useful guide.

That said, I do understand your concern considering your Mac's history. I would just keep an eye on those temps when you're in Oregon to see how much the ambient temperature affects things. But a GPU temp in the mid 70s (ºC) or high 160s (ºF) is nothing to worry about.

  • Oh!!! Thanks a lot for the link to the database!! it's really interesting and also helps to keep peace in mind. I've just cleaned the mac inside with a dust blower and then installed a cooling pad and the temperature more close to normal and the fans are really quiet now. – lpuerto May 26 '17 at 22:18

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