Core i7 hits 100C on MacBook Pro, aluminum shell to blame?

By on April 26, 2010, 2:00 PM
Earlier this month Apple finally updated its MacBook Pro notebook line with Intel's latest chips and several other improvements across the board. But while there were noticeable performance improvements, and slightly better battery life, apparently the good didn't come without a few problems on the side. According to tests run by PC Authority, Apple's new notebook was found to climb over 100 degrees Celsius when pushed to the max.

Specifically, the site claims the 2.66 GHz Core i7 620M inside Apple's laptop reached 84 degrees in the Dwarf Fortress graphics benchmark and 100 degrees in the Cinebench 3D rendering benchmark. The processor generated so much heat that some of the tests started to run slow, and PC Authority actually had to run the MacBook Pro on its side so more air could go through the vents. The aluminum shell proved ineffective at dissipating the heat as well as the similarly equipped Fujitsu Lifebook SH760, which was able to finish the Cinebench 3D test at 81 degrees.

The site mentions that these high temperatures are only seen in extreme circumstances and normal everyday use should be no problem. Still, the heat output while running at full load is definitely a cause for concern. On the other hand, Engadget's own testing found that the new MacBook Pros were actually cooler than previous models.

User Comments: 9

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Zilliak said:

I wish the whole world could see that apple too has its failures.

matrix86 matrix86 said:

Hm...let's see...based on everything that's happened so far with Apple, I wonder who they'll put the blame on this time, lol. Seriously...the last two or so issues Apple had, they put the blame on someone else.

See people...Apple is not perfect. They have issues and make mistakes as well, believe it or not.

Guest said:

It's intel's fault.

yukka, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Thanks Techspot for bringing these little glimmers of happy to my attention

princeton princeton said:

Guest said:

It's intel's fault.


Jibberish18 said:

Macbook Pros, if I'm correct have always had problems, one of them includes excessive heat. The reason back in the day was that Apple plants glopped on too much Thermal Compound, which is a bad thing. Some people took pictures to prove it. But really, their laptops all run hot from what I've seen. My Macbook with a .65 nm Merom 2.0Ghz Core2Duo can run up to 187*F depending on how hot the ambient temperature in the room is. I took the computer apart, clean all of the heatsinks and chips. Added a conservative dose of Arctic Silver Ceramique and my temps stayed about the same. It's just not very good cooling. Cooling on Macbooks all seem to be loud and lousy. That and the Macbook Pro has the dedicated video card and the article states they were using Cinebench 3D which I'm sure caused the Macbook Pro to use the Dedicated Card at it's max. No? Open up a Macbook and check out the cooling. On the older Macbooks it was a Metal Plate over the chips, with a tiny heatpipe traveling to the fan which pushes air out of the book. Open up my Fiance's Vaio and she has 3 heatpipes and 2 fans and it's super quiet.

SNGX1275 SNGX1275, TS Forces Special, said:

Something isn't right ... the fans are at 2000rpm when they are getting those unusual temperatures: [link]

When things are operating correctly the fans should be maxed out or close to at that point, so a few possibilities exist: they could be using something to limit the fan speed, they screenshotted the temps early on before the fans had a chance to kick up to full speed (evidence this may have happened is that the other components are too cool for the CPU to have been that hot for very long), or they have a defective unit.

Now, waiting to kick up your fans until that temperature might not be the best way to do things, but in response to this news story lots of people on mac forums are posting what they see when duplicating the tests and they see a pretty high temp (high 80s to 100) initially and then a drop as the fans speed up. The i7 in that notebook is also rated to 105 on Intel's spec sheet, so its still within the range it is supposed to.

As reported (very last) here, nobody else testing the 17" i7 MBP noticed any cooling issues.. I think the PC Authority article may have just been selective reporting to generate web traffic.

Guest said:

I've been using the new i7 MBP since it came out and the temp for the CPU during typical use is between 40c and 60c...occasionally it can go up to 80c, but that's when I've got a whole load of applications loaded...including iTunes and Skype.

T Junction for this processor is it's not a real concern.

nismo91 said:

i got a handful of friends who owns the 2009 MBP. the one with T9550 and 9600M GT. most of them, always had these overheat problems in windows. I guess, the 9600M GT may be often throttled to full speed, causing this overheat problems together with their pathetic exhaust at the back.

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