I was wondering if I should by a CoolerMaster X3 cooling pad for my mac. I got a Late 2011 mac which reaches temp 80 degrees C even at 720p video buffering in browser and goes bonkers if I switch it up to 1080p or above or any quality at 60FPS.

It also gets hot while running simple programming softwares. Should I buy the cooling pad? Is it worth it?

I'm not looking forward to performance boost, I have to use this mac for a few more years. I just don't want it to get damaged due to heat effects in that time!

  • When was the last time it was stripped & cleaned? – Tetsujin Sep 10 '17 at 6:15
  • @Tetsujin what do you mean by stripped? I opened it on 27 Dec 16, cleaned it with a brush and smooth fan. Didn't unscrew the Motherboard to change thermal paste or something. I did clean the vents though. – Alpha Mineron Sep 10 '17 at 6:21
  • I mean taken apart far enough to access the entire airflow, not just the bit you can see with the cover off. If the airflow is completely clean, then Amit's answer is the way to go. – Tetsujin Sep 10 '17 at 6:25
  • @Tetsujin oh no, just what's visible with the cover off. I was hesitating as if the connectors are quite fragile and I don't wanna break something and end up paying a huge amount getting a repair(You know Apple). So I was wondering whether a cool pad is worth or not. – Alpha Mineron Sep 10 '17 at 6:34
  • If the airflow is compromised you're wasting your time, & money. If the airflow isn't compromised, it shouldn't need one. – Tetsujin Sep 10 '17 at 6:35

You actually don't need a cooling pad. You can manually change the fan speed on Mac with this utility called smcFanControl. You can get it here. You may also want to try to reset SMC to make sure that your fan is working properly.

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  • I've used it before, It a buggy software. Plus, I read somewhere that unnecessary use of System fan will cause wear and tear. That's why, I'm restraining from using that. – Alpha Mineron Sep 10 '17 at 4:06
  • I highly advise against this path. Slowing your fans reduces heat dissipation meaning the CPU is subject to more heat and thus subject to throttling. It's better to throttle the CPU – Allan Sep 10 '17 at 12:39
  • It shouldn't slow down your fan. You should be able to manually change the fan speed so that you can increase it whenever you want. I also only use it occasionally when running games or virtual machines, so you shouldn't keep it on all time (that's probably why it causes wear and tear). – Amit Kulkarni Sep 10 '17 at 14:50
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    @Allan: but this about increasing rpm of the fans if related to AlphaMineron, and Amit only says that said SW is not needed. AFAIK smcFC does never rotate slower than Apple's algo would. – LаngLаngС Sep 12 '17 at 17:21

I’m using a MPB 15 Mid 2013 (the first retina MacBook). It has a Core i7 CPU (”Ivy Bridge“) with a maximum specified temperature of 105 °C. When using it, it’s mostly running at temperature levels of 90 to 100 degrees. There never was any hardware issue and it still performs perfectly. In other words, this is normal.

A late 2011 MacBook Pro also has a Core i7 (”Sandy Bridge“) CPU. It’s maximum allowable temperature is 100 °C which means that 80 degrees is more than acceptable. From the processor’s point of view this would almost be ”cool“...

Apple has gone to great lengths implementing proper power and cooling management. I’d therefore strongly recommend you refrained from using any of those third-party tools which fiddle around with temperature management. I spent 15 years of educating prospective Apple Service Technicians the proper techniques of servicing Mac desktops and portables. And I cannot remember a single incident of a Mac dying from overtemperature.

The only temperature level you should really be aware of is that of your hard disk (provided you don’t have a SSD built in). This is probably the only component in your Mac which would seriously suffer from extended periods of high temperature. But this topic has enough potential for a separate AskDifferent question.

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