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I have this MacBook Pro (3,1). I know there are maximum temperatures at which the system will shut itself down in order to prevent damage. I know this because I have seen it happen a couple of times

When I run Windows, apparently the OS doesn't care to throttle power in order to reduce dangerous heat like Mac OS X does. I now have a program that monitors CPU and GPU heat when I run Windows 7, and it will sound an alarm if they reach a pre-set ceiling.

My question is, how do I know what the emergency shutdown temperature is so I can set the alarm limit appropriately (low enough to trigger before catastrophe, but high enough that it doesn't trigger when things are still okay)?

This page from Intel seems to be telling me that the CPU should not go above 100°C ...does that seem like the number I'm looking for?

Nvidia doesn't seem to say anything about temperatures on the product page. User forums seem only to speculate on what is or isn't safe with no real specifications to back them up.

How can I find these numbers, either from Intel & Nvidia, or from Apple? Or, is there a general ceiling that I can go by to make sure my alarm warns me before an emergency shutdown?

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    Shut down or not, make sure it doesn't go above 660.4° C, the melting point of aluminum.
    – Daniel
    Commented Jul 21, 2012 at 3:15
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    Apple starts throttling also due to other sensors beyond the CPU temp. If you work in 30-35 degrees celsius with a MacBook Pro 11,5 (2015) you'll have throttling when using skype video conferencing already. I think they prevent the aluminum body from getting above 35-40 degrees and that get's problematic in such environmental conditions. Plastic (windows) notbooks have no such problems. I would say: CPU temperature is mostly never the issue for MacBook therm throttling - apart from your fans being broken which you would hear. Bottom line: In warmer climates MacBooks require air conditioning.
    – Georg
    Commented Jul 27, 2018 at 7:52
  • To add to my comment: MacBook Pro 11,5 with additional GPU and GPU enabled (e.g. big external screen connected).
    – Georg
    Commented Jul 27, 2018 at 15:41

6 Answers 6

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I have a pre-2009 Unibody MacBook Pro. My Mac went over 105°C and still worked.

Typing was about 200% slower—around one word per minute—but I was playing a Flash-based game and have noticed the game raises the temperature to around 90°C in about 5 minutes of playing.

So I think the maximum temperature is around 110–120. Then it shuts off automatically.

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  • By trial and emergency-shutdown-error, I think this is about right. I'm usually running Windows when it gets hot, which, without the Mac OS X kernel extension to throttle processing power and keep things cool, the temperature can go up to about 110 C, but more than that and it tends to shut down. Of course, I don't know exactly, because I'm playing games to get it to go that high, not watching the temperature read-out. I keep my temperture warning noise set to 109 C and I usually have enough time to cool things down when I hear the warning go off.
    – iynque
    Commented Jan 4, 2013 at 22:44
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I monitor my graphics card, CPU, and HDD temperatures and elevate the fan speeds (with SMC Fan Control) if one of them exceeds that.

60 degC is (rough rule-of-thumb) the hottest temperature we can stand to touch, and in the absence of published specs, I arbitrarily took that as a conservative upper limit, assuming that materials can stand a higher temperature than I can. While it may be unnecessarily conservative, it's not likely to have the consequences an insufficiently conservative limit would have.

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My 2010 Macbook Pro will go from 80 - 175 degrees if I use it for more then two hours and wont turn off. so I would geuss it shuts down at 200

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    Is that 200°F or °C? 200°C sounds a bit...extreme. Commented Apr 13, 2018 at 0:27
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running handbrake makes my i7 cpu goes up to 94° per core but still works flawlessly


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I frequently have my MacBook around 80 degrees C (when rendering video), having a program like smcfancontrol can be used to manually raise the fan speed, and help lower CPU temperature in advance of a period of high CPU usage. I find that the shut-off point of my MacBook seems to be around 90 degrees

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  • While I'm in Windows, my fans are pretty much at 6000 RPM constantly (the max my fans can go). I have to have a small fan blowing across the aluminum case (which is on a raised platform to expose the bottom surface too) to prevent it from shutting down while I'm actually doing anything intensive with it. It usually runs between 160F (a browser) and up to and over 200F (intensive 3D programs). While playing Tribes, I can usually stay under 212F and my Mac doesn't shut down yet at that point. I'm just wondering if there's any hard data on the ceiling for my particular MacBook Pro (or any model).
    – iynque
    Commented Jul 21, 2012 at 19:18
  • I don't know how much those temp values are (we use the more logical C here lol) and i'm not even gonna both converting it… but maxed fan speeds like that are not normal
    – Alexander
    Commented Jul 21, 2012 at 19:42
  • 160F = 71C, 212F = 100C. Maxed fan speeds are normal if it's hot.
    – iynque
    Commented Jul 23, 2012 at 0:11
  • 100 is wayyy too high, at maxed CPU+GPU load for 10 mins or more i only get up to around 80 degrees
    – Alexander
    Commented Jul 23, 2012 at 2:00
  • Agreed. 100C is way too high. I said I stay under 100C, but I get close sometimes.
    – iynque
    Commented Jul 29, 2012 at 21:18
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per apple it is this: "Operating temperature: 50° to 95° F (10° to 35° C)"

the info is here: http://support.apple.com/kb/SP13 scroll down to "Electrical and environmental requirements"

That's the outside temperature you should operate it at or use it, not the internal temperature.

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    That is the operating temperature of the environment around the outer case, not the CPU or GPU, which frequently go much higher.
    – iynque
    Commented Jul 21, 2012 at 19:17

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