The reports are disconcerting .

If one uses a 2017 or 2018 MacBook (Pro) as a dual-purpose machine, with an external larger monitor at home, and on its own on the road, then a temperature of 90C is now deemed to be a normal operating temperature when driving a second display, even when the laptop is otherwise just about idle.

In my experience an older MacBook (Pro) is noticeably cooler if it is raised on a stand .

Have you confirmed whether a 2017-2018 MacBook that is connected to an external monitor, and that is otherwise left idle, reports some cooler temperatures?

  • Everything you've listed there shows the MacBook working within it's operating parameters - 90°C has always been within operating spec; there's no issue. The only way to determine if it's actually cooler on a stand is to actually put it on a stand. If you're hesitant to buy a stand to try out, put it up on something temporary like some blocks so you can get some airflow; then make your determination.
    – Allan
    Feb 5, 2019 at 18:29
  • @Allan I'm hesitant to buy the Macbook, not the stand. Now we are told to just accept 90C as "normal". I know all too well that Macbooks are cooler on a stand. I once used a 2011 Macbook resting on a table rather than a stand, and its logic board had the infamous meltdown. That was after being treated so badly at an Apple store for complaining that the characteristic sign of the 2011 Macbook GPU defect happens regularly, but unpredictably (multicolored pixel-lines flashed across the screen). "Did you take a photo?" they asked. Sure enough, it melted right after the repair program was closed.
    – Calaf
    Feb 7, 2019 at 11:45
  • @Allan (Yes, yes, I should have always used a stand. Ironically I was then not driving an external display.)
    – Calaf
    Feb 7, 2019 at 11:45
  • @Allan As a buyer, I'm only a little nervous, but otherwise willing to grant that in 2019 90C can be declared a "normal operating temperature" for a CPU/GPU. As an engineer, especially one who has been previously bitten, I have little respect for designers who build a machine that reaches 90C when the machine is idle, just because it's driving an external display. What happens when I start running something other than Emacs!?
    – Calaf
    Feb 7, 2019 at 11:45
  • @Allan And what if I select an external display whose resolution is not even higher than the built-in screen, what warrants steaming the machine?
    – Calaf
    Feb 7, 2019 at 11:46


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