I have a 13 inch MacBook Pro retina (bought new in 2013).

When running normally (which is usually online downloading and editing in Eclipse - nothing too heavy, often 90%+ processor idle) it runs fairly warm. To the touch it's hot in the top-left above the keyboard (where everything plugs in) and iStat gives the CPU temperature as between 50-70 degrees C (CPU Die, CPU proximity usually 2-3 degrees less).

I see from various searches this seems pretty normal for MBP and shouldn't in itself damage anything.

My question though is about the fans - they're always just plugging along around 2000 rpm.

If, using iStat, I set them to use a profile with say minimum 4-5000 rpm then, naturally, everything cools right down. With the default profile I get the temperatures above.

So, is this right? Presumably when I say 'default' it's using Apple's determination for fan speeds. But is it normal for it to get to 70-degrees or thereabouts without the fans automatically speeding up?

And as a supplementary question assuming it is working correctly in not speeding up for those temperatures; is it a good idea to perhaps use iStat to have the fans speed up when charging/plugged in (when it gets the heaviest use via Thunderbolt connectors)? Other than battery life being less my guess would be running everything cooler would give a longer life to components?

Many thanks in advance for reading my long and meandering question!

  • If it is at 90% idle it should not get hot at all
    – Ruskes
    Commented Jun 15, 2013 at 1:33
  • It's anywhere from 70-90 idle over a longer period I've just checked (normally around 80). Temperature of CPU Die is 68-70 degrees. I think it may be that when I have it plugged in I've got the power, two thunderbolt (VGA and Ethernet) and a USB mouse all at the top left (which is where it's hottest).
    – Dave
    Commented Jun 15, 2013 at 23:27

4 Answers 4


What you are experiencing is quite normal for MBP. It may vary quite a lot with an ambient temperature above 28 degrees C. The only inconvenience with the high speed of the fan is the noise. Rather than that, you can keep it faster and the MBP will be cooler. Obviously also the fan life will be slightely reduced but they are so performing that most probably you will not see the end of the fan life. Another trick is to make sure the MBP is placed on a surface that can dissipate temperature. A wooden table or a glass table as well as your legs are not the best heat dissipators.


enter image description hereYou should check the fans(s) in a MBP on a somewhat regular basis. There is a grid in the exit that channels the air coming out of the fan which tends to plug with lint. Remove the bottom cover of the machine and remove the fan(s). You will probably find a wad of lint obstructing the grid.


I don't think there's any reason for the fans to go above what Apple recommends at that temperature. My CPU has been at 85-90% idle for a while now and the CPU temp is 145-155˚F (62-68℃), with the fans at just a little under 4000 rpm. That's completely normal. My laptop has been this way for three years and never had any issue, and same for the laptop I had for four years before that. If you're at that temp, I see no reason why the fans would need to be above 2000 rpm. 68-70℃ for a CPU is not really hot.

In my (admittedly not expert) opinion, what you're experiencing is perfectly normal and harmless.


I have an old style 15" 2.6Ghz Macbook pro and I did not like the way Apple doesn't run the fans until the laptop gets above 75 degrees celcius.Then the fan speed goes up and down over and over again.

So I use SMCFancontrol to keep the fans at 1600rpm this keeps the laptop at 60 degrees celcius to 70 degrees celcius. It still allows the fans to speed up but it's higher than the base speed Apple has set up to 3000 rpm and the fans are almost slient.

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