Is your Macbook Pro overheating to the point where you can’t even hold it in your lap? The issues go beyond your discomfort– computers operating at higher temperatures won’t last very long, as the components tend to wear out faster than a computer operating at normal temperatures. Keeping your computer at a reasonable temperature is good for both your comfort and your pocketbook.
Thankfully it’s easy to fix issues with an overheating Macbook Pro.
We also recommend that you read this very popular post of ours on how to speed up Macs. Some of these tips can help reduce the load on your system, thus helping you keep your computer’s temperature in check.
A simple setting change in your system preferences
Try out this system tweak to lower your computer’s temperatures:
System Preferences -> Energy Saver -> Uncheck “Automatic Graphics Switching”
Believe it or not, that is one of the simplest and most effective ways keep your computer’s temperature in check.
This simple settings tweak changes how your computer delegates graphics processing. Your computer will only use its graphics hardware to process your on-screen graphics. This will make sure your computer’s components will only do the work they’re optimized to do, instead of switching between multiple components for higher graphics performance.
This tweak isn’t available on all models of the MacBook pro, only ones with a discreet graphics card. Try this tweak instead if you can’t turn off automatic graphics switching:
System Preferences -> Energy Saver -> Graphics -> Choose “Better Battery Life”
This setting will lower the your computer’s performance slightly, thus increasing your battery life and decreasing how hot your computer will become. If this still isn’t enough, there are some other things to try outside of software tweaks:
Using laptop cooling fans to reduce your MacBook Pro’s heat
Your MacBook Pro has built-in fans that work to keep your computer at stable temperatures. The fans do their best, but the computer will start to suffer if temperatures reach higher than 75 C, something that can happen when using taxing graphic processing software like Final Cut Pro, Adobe Photoshop, or Blender 3D modeling. This is especially true in the case of the MacBook Pro with retina display as the high-resolution display is very taxing on the computer’s hardware.
This is where external fans can be a godsend, keeping your CPU and other critical components at a stable operating temperature.
Understand that most of these fans work off of USB power from your MacBook Pro. In other words, using these fans will drain your computer’s battery more quickly. The good news however is that the power draw is not very significant. In other words, if you can get your MacBook Pro to last you around 4 hours on a full battery, the laptop cooling pad might bring take you down to 3 hours and 40 minutes. This trade-off is worthwhile due to the fact that you’re helping keep your computer at stable temperatures.
Laptop cooling pads come in many shapes, sizes, and even color options. If you’re interested, check out this page on Amazon for some great options.
We have compiled a few quick notes on the most popular cooling pads out there, cooling pads that are compatible with your MacBook Pro.
Cooler Master NotePal X-slim – Check out this option at Amazon.
This option supports 15′ and 17′ MacBook models. It comes in a slim profile, including two height settings for ergonomic use. It sports one fan that rotates at about 1500 RPM.
Cooler Master NotePal X2 – Check out this option at Amazon.
This option is very similar to the NotePal X-slim, but it includes a blue LED light for a very different visual effect. Some people prefer the LED-lit-look (we don’t, but it’s a personal opinion) Give it a shot for a cool-blue styling.
Targus Space Saving Lap Chill Mat – Check out this product at Amazon.
This is a very popular cooling fan for the MacBook Pro. The fans on this cooling pad operate at a very low noise level and the USB cable is integrated into the product so you don’t have to worry about a dangling cable with this cooling pad.
Cooler Master NotePal U2 Plus – Check out this option at Amazon.
This cooling pad allows your to adjust the fans to the optimal points on your laptop. Your MacBook Pro, just like any other laptop, has certain hot spots that reach higher temperatures than other parts of the computer. With these fans, you can specifically target these hot spots, resulting in more efficient and localized cooling.
People who have used this particular laptop cooling pad have said that it can drop CPU temperature by as much as 20 C, making it a very effective and worthwhile purchase for your computer.
Other ways to prevent your MacBook Pro from overheating
Avoid using your MacBook Pro on soft surfaces like a bed or a couch. These surfaces have a tendency to trap heat under the computer’s body and make it very easy for the computer to overheat. Try to use your computer on a flat surface like a table or a bench or the surface of a cooling pad. This allows your computer to direct heat away from the body as it was designed to do.
Try to also use your MacBook Pro in rooms that are not abnormally hot as room temperature can affect how quickly your MacBook Pro overheats.
You can also try using a metal surface or object as a heat sink. Any metal surface will help draw away and dissipate heat away from the computer.
Try resting your computer on a cool pan or metal table. The conductive properties of the metal will help draw heat away from your Macbook’s aluminum body. The computer should take much longer to reach dangerous temperatures.
How to monitor your MacBook Pro’s CPU temperature?
There are many free apps that help you monitor your MacBook Pro’s core temperatures.
We like these apps for monitoring your MacBook Pro’s temperatures:
These apps will give you individual temperature readings for your CPU, processor, graphics card, memory, battery, and even your hard disk.
There is also software available for your MacBook Pro that will allow you to control your MacBook Pro’s fan speed. You can program your MBP’s fans to work harder when it is doing CPU intensive tasks. One of the most popular programs for regulating and controlling fan speed is smcFanControl for Mac. We however would recommend it only for advanced MacBook Pro users who know what they are doing when adjusting fan speeds. Adjusting the speeds to be too low can have negative effects on your computer.
Tell us if we were able to help you with your MacBook Pro retina overheating problems. Are there any other fixes that worked for you? Share your comments and thoughts and we will be eager to publish them for all our readers to see.
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