New Macbook Pro: Core i7 Models Seriously Overheating

By Jamie Pert - Apr 27, 2010

When Apple revealed their newest MacBook Pros the most noticeable change was the new processor options, these options allow customers to choose Intel’s impressive Core i5 and Core i7 chips.

The Core i7 chips are the faster of the two and are available in the 15-inch and 17-inch models, the particular Core i7 chip available has four 2.66GHz cores, which makes it great for performance, but apparently not so good for keeping cool.

When PCAuthority recently tested the Core i7-based MacBook they noticed that its chassis was extremely warm, when they investigated the excessive heat they noticed it was running at 100 degrees Celcius, which as you can imagine is not at all acceptable.

It would appear as if for once Apple have got the design wrong, as a Fujitsu Lifebook running the same benchmark tests with the same processor managed to keep 20 degrees cooler than the Apple device, in the end PCAuthorty had to resort to standing the MacBook on its side to keep it from overheating.

Apparently unless they stood the MacBook Pro on its side it failed to perform consistently during benchmark tests, which pretty much confirms that the combination of the Pro’s airflow, chassis and heat-pipe may need a redesign.

Does your Core i7 MacBook Pro run hot? If so have you contacted Apple regarding the issue? Did they help?

Source: PCAuthority

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Also See: Lenovo ThinkPad W520 Now for sale: Price competitor for MacBook Pro

  • Some dude

    I'm deeply disappointed with Macintosh products, because I bought this Macbook's model due to last model's battery malfunctions, I lost 3000 dollars with that mac so I really hope Mac solves this concerning issue once and for all. I think it's unfair that they just throw away people's investment like that and get a new model with new problems and malfunctions, so mac people stop committing stupidities in your designs because you're about to lose a lot customers.
    I won't be purchasing another macbook and i'm sure many people think so too

  • Julian

    Had mine for 6 weeks. i5, 500GB, 15". Good for the first week but noticeably hot, especially after about an hour of use. Mind you light use, like surfing the net, syncing ipad etc. Since then it got progressively worse. It cannot be used for more than a few minutes on my lap, and after a day's use, I need to leave it for about half an hour before I dare to pack it in the bag. Took it to the local Mac repair store. They say it is running within parameter. Parameter being upto 100degrees C. I asked how hot mine was, and was told 100 degrees C. So it is running at the highest point of thei limits, but because it is not running at 101 degrees, it won't be fixed. The heat has also affected the HD, and the system is now incredibly lagging, buggy with numerous MS style program collapses.
    This is my first mac, after getting converted by a great iphone 3, an ipad, and iphone 4 over the past 4 months. However, after being told it is normal for the notebook to be too hot to be used on my lap (a problem i never had with my previous 10 or 11 Windows Laptops", I suspect it may well be the last.

  • JuanGuapo

    Had mine for about six weeks (Core i7 15"), no problems. 🙂

  • Jontheman

    This isn't abnormal and is to be expected with the newer Intel i series of processors. Don't expect this to be resolved in the future as it's totally with the operational temperature parameters of Apples notebooks.

    • charque

      This is rubbish. My old (1st gen CD) MBP used to run so hot it was impossible to use. My i5 based Vaio runs cool to the touch, even when doing heavy work like video transcoding. Apple just sacrifices engineering for looks.

  • Cheff

    how we can solve it?

  • Vince

    Here's a tip for you folks: The air intake is on the side you stood it on. That's right, the air intake is through the ports and left speaker. So if you stood it on that side, you suffocated it's airflow. Well done!

  • Driving an external monitor bumps the temps to around 100 degrees. I shouldn't have traded my croe 2 duo Macbook Pro 2009 to that of this one!

  • sadman

    mine just overheated for the first time, while drawing in photoshop. Lost a good 15 minutes of art :[

  • Jonathan

    "It would appear as if for once Apple have got the design wrong,"

    speaking as somebody whose £2000 titanium g4 Mac PowerBook (2001) ran like a tandoori oven, I find the author's ill-informed glibness very annoying.

  • thomas

    That is really disturbing ! Here i was thinking about getting the 2010 15" but now im not so sure anymore…. hmm

  • Marnie

    I just got a new macbook pro and it's overheated three times already and I've only had it for a few months. I do a ton of work on Photoshop, it's incredibly annoying. Once it's over heated, I can't get it turned on until the battery life is dead, it's cool and I can plug in and reboot. Sometimes that is over five hours that I can't access anything, which is unacceptable. As I type my temp. is at 102 degrees. I have just installed the smcfancontrol to see if that works..

  • witt

    mac is the new PC, or will be.. soon.

  • Tommy Hogan

    I've had the MBP for 3 months and have used it with numerous high-end photo editing programs and have not noticed a temp of over 90C…that's with the processor running at 100% for over an hour. The fans do speed up, but that's normal…I've never used it on my lap because it's just not that comfortable for me, so perhaps body heat during warm temps is adding to the problem. Performance is super also under virtual machine windows, while running Mac with Adobe Photoshop and InDesign and such. The only problem I encountered was with an old version of Flash…after installing updated version, the issues disappeared. Highly recommend IStat to monitor CPU temps, etc.

  • dude

    Notebooks are not designed for usage in your lap. It is a common misconception. In fact because of their compact design Most manufacturer in the manual will clearly tell you that you need to have the system on a clean, clear, hard surface to allow for air flow. They will also tell you that if you do venture into using it on your lap you should use a laptop stand to ensure that the system again maintains proper airflow.

    • Alex

      Thanks for your comment in reply to mine. It was of course a tongue in cheek comment and not supposed to be taken to literally. Having said this though as a photographer and fortunately one that still has work I only really use this machine on location as I have a mac pro and 2 imacs back at my studio and office. For exterior work the only safe a sensible place to use this machine is on my lap, better that than on wet ground or precariously placed on a wall. This model does not have any lower venting area as it is a uni body construction. I am afraid and more disappointed than anything else that apple has gone main stream chasing every dollar and is forgetting there core principles e.g. quality above anything else. Iphone 4 is a real mistake, do you think they had a £25 bumper ready that could solve the signal issue by coincidence. Just like this macbook pro, design is great but reliability is paramount. I have expounded my highest regard for the mac products for many years, I feel that they have gone mass saturation over quality.
      Being a design leader does mean secrecy but not to test properly and release to early with excuses is not on. IMAC 27" problems with screen, IPHONE 4 major issues, Snow leopard not tested properly with adobe, Magic mouse and bluetooth keyboard battery problems, that's just what I have suffered in the last year or so. I could go on.

  • Alex

    My Macbook pro 17" i7 runs extremely hot after any prolonged use. I have noticed it especially bad after any prolonged use of video streamed from the net. I assume this is using a moderate to high processor load. I have not at any time noticed the fans kicking in.
    The rear of the body gets to a point where it is to warm to have sitting on your lap. I find that I have to elevate it on small books to alleviate the situation.
    I do believe if you are going to describe a £2099 laptop as a laptop it should be usable on your Lap.

    Or is this why they call it a notebook to avoid trades description problems?

  • Dave

    I have a 15" i7 Macbook pro and found the following.

    Both in Windows (via bootcamp) and in OS X

    running an external monitor causes my mac to really heat up, to the point I had to get a notebook sand with a fan… but not hot to the point it crashed.

  • Simon

    My 15" i7 sometimes runs very warm to the touch, but not so hot I *can't* touch it. If I run the Boinc distributed data processing tool, allowing it to run at 100% processor usage, the fan kicks in fully and the body remains quite hot. I've not let this go for more than a couple of hours, and I've not had the machine do anything like lock up or slow-down. I'd expect full processor usage to make the laptop run warm->hot and for the fan(s) to kick in.
    During normal use (and I pretty much work at the machine, running browsers, editors and a virtual machine, a whole working day) processor usage never goes over about 40% and it never gets that hot.

  • Derek

    I got my 15" i7 macbook pro two weeks ago and have used it at least 8 hours each day and have not experienced any overheating yet. I will let you know if that changes.