A few months ago I bought the new Macbook Pro Retina 15" with a 2.7GHz I7 cpu.

So far it's been working fine, but as soon as just 1 of the cpu cores is at 100% the thing heats up like crazy. Heating the keyboard area up to the point of being uncomfortable to type on. Is it normal for Macbooks to heat up to the point of being painful to type?

My previous laptop (IBM Thinkpad) would only get this hot when running at 100% cpu + 100% gpu load in the burning sun... otherwise it wouldn't get close to being this hot (and noisy...).

The temperature indicates about 65 degrees Celcius right now with slightly more than 1 core filled up (i.e. 15% cpu load).

  • 1
    While I'm not saying if that is normal behavior or not, a couple friends have regular MBPs which get really hot. One of them picked up amazon.com/Logitech-939-000181-Portable-Lapdesk-N315/dp/… and is happy with it. Nov 21, 2012 at 2:13
  • Thanks for the tip but I'm not sure if it would help. It's not really my lap that's getting too hot (I have it on a desk usually) but more my keyboard that gets too hot. I could of course carry a keyboard with me but that kind of beats the purpose of having a laptop.
    – Wolph
    Nov 21, 2012 at 3:00
  • 2
    If the CPU temperature is at 65 degrees, surely you are exagerating maybe just a bit when you say typing nearly burns your fingers? A CPU temperature of 65 degrees is actually nothing out of the ordinary, it can go up to well above 80-90 degrees under heavy load within normal operating conditions.
    – Gerry
    Nov 21, 2012 at 6:28
  • @WoLpH, sorry, got your situation reversed. Nov 21, 2012 at 13:08
  • @Gerry: yes, but that's with only 15% cpu load. With 15% cpu load it is simply uncomfortable, with 100% cpu load it's indeed much warmer and actually painful at times.
    – Wolph
    Nov 21, 2012 at 16:34

2 Answers 2


From what I've seen so far from others with the same laptop is that it's normal.

One possible fix/improvement to this is the latest Apple SMC update which contains some fixes for this: http://support.apple.com/kb/DL1559

It also reduces the amount of noise your fans start making with even a little bit of load so it is quite useful.


From my experience apple prioritizes quietness over cooling. I see my MBPr frequently reaching 95C on medium loads, if SMCFancontrol's stats are to be believed. You can use that app to manually increase fan speed and provide more comfortable cooling. I raised mine to 3000rpm from 2200rpm on my 2012 Retina 15".

On a personal note, I'm very grateful for the "silence first" approach. It's nice that it's quiet by default and that it supports unofficial fan control apps.

  • For a laptop this thin it might be pretty quiet but it's definitely much noisier than my previous laptops. Simply connecting an extra monitor makes the laptop quite noisy already.
    – Wolph
    Oct 19, 2014 at 8:45

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .