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As a software developer I often have to run resource heavy applications for a long period of time. As such my system is able to run the workload without too many issues (uses between 60-70% of CPU max) though my system can get a bit warm (Intel Power Gadget confirms 80 degrees celsius) are there any tactics I can use to reduce the amount of heat generated?

  • I do not run VMs - and macOS uses all available cores. The only way to reduce resource use would be to run less tasks. I asked because I want suggestions for reducing the total power usage - I keep my system on my desk so heat can easily move around (I.e. fabric isn't below system). Generally after a few minutes the fan kicks in and temp drops down to 60C again. Though was wondering if there are any hidden tricks to keep the heat down (it's also summer and that probably contributes somewhat, house AC only helps so much!) – Nathaniel Suchy Jul 27 '17 at 4:56
  • Even if I ran everything in a VM, the system would still have both cores activated. The VM simply wouldn't use one of them and the system would use the other one. – Nathaniel Suchy Jul 27 '17 at 5:09
  • That's not the point the system would still run both cores continuing to generate heat (an entire core won't remain idle) – Nathaniel Suchy Jul 27 '17 at 5:17
  • I give up. Deleting suggestion. – Tetsujin Jul 27 '17 at 5:18
  • You did not say what model Mac you have or which Processor however 80℃ is probably well below the maximum temperature allowed at the processor die, e.g. 105℃ for my Early 2013 MBP, so I don't see it as an issue unless the system is locking up because of overheating. – user3439894 Jul 27 '17 at 5:53
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Firstly, probably worth checking that kind of temperature isn't going to damage your machine. This might be helpful at working that out: http://www.buildcomputers.net/cpu-temperature.html

As you'd likely know, processors and GPUs have an optimal temperature they run at which is regularly around 50 degrees C. Yours is well over that.

It'd be easier to suggest things if we had an idea of the spec and model but these a few general things

Few things to try:

  • Ventilate - ensure that the air vents are clear - this includes dust and things on your desk - it goes without saying that while a laptop has the word lap in it, it doesn't mean use it on your lap. Lots of laptops I've seen with heat damage are from doing things in bed with the sheets blocking the vents.
  • Ensure your fans are operating currently - if they don't sound like they are running at full speed when the CPU is at 80, then your fans or sensors aren't working. To that end, if you are good with physical tools, take the machine apart and clean the fans out with compressed air

If the issue persists take it to an authorised repairer. There could an issue with the thermal paste, and that kind of thing should be fixed by a professional.

If this still doesn't resolve the issue it's likely that you have a machine that is under powered to your needs and you are working it too hard. In other words, it might be time to upgrade to an iMac Pro later this year

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