Take your MacBook Pro's temperature

Take your MacBook Pro's temperature

Summary: If you've used an Apple notebook for any extended length of time you probably have an opinion on its operating temperature. But how do you quantify the temperature of an Apple's notebook? Let's take a look at different ways to measure the temperature in the MacBook Pro.

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TOPICS: Apple
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MacBook Pro TemperaturesIf you've used an Apple notebook for any extended length of time you probably have an opinion on its operating temperature. But how do you quantify the temperature of an Apple's notebook? Let's take a look at different ways to measure the temperature in the MacBook Pro.

You may have noticed that CoreDuoTemp (upper highlight in the screen shot at right), smcFanControl (lower highlight) and Fan Control all report different temperatures on the MacBook Pro. That's because they're measuring different things.

CoreDuoTemp (1.0) is a menu bar application that reads the temperature from the Intel CPU's built-in sensor. The primary purpose of this sensor is to shut down or slow down the CPU if it is in danger of overheating. This sensor is rather simple and can be inaccurate.

Lobotomo Software's Fan Control (1.1) is a system preference that allows you to set an upper and lower temperature threshold for your MacBook Pro. The software then dynamically adjusts the fan speeds to keep your MBP within the temperature range that you define.

Hendrik Holtmann's smcFanControl (1.21a) is another application for controlling the MacBook Pro's fans, and it now displays the temperature. Hint: click on the arrows next to the green temperature bar to change from Celsius to Fahrenheit.

Both fan control applications access temperature data from one of several sensors placed on the logic board through an undocumented Apple API. The logic board sensors are considered to be more accurate than the CPU thermometer.

I previously reported that my Core 2 Duo MacBook Pro runs 40° Fahrenheit cooler than my previous Core Duo MBP... What about you?

Topic: Apple

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5 comments
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  • Core 2 Duo Temperature

    My MBP C2D/2.16GHz/2GB/160GB runs at about 115-120F if
    there is no load (e-mail/web surfing). It goes up to 180F if CPUs
    are load (compiling in XCode, etc).
    roustem
  • holding steady around 120 F

    over the last few days my new MBPC2D has held steady around the 120 F mark. It climbs 140-ish with heavy processing but cools off quickly.

    only oddity i have noticed is what appears to be rosetta crashing and driving the CPU to 100% for a long time which heats stuff up pretty quickly...
    fuzzzblog
  • I'm curious...

    is this the extra productivity I could expect to gain with an OS that never gets attacked by malware? ;)
    NonZealot
  • RE: Take your MacBook Pro's temperature

    Tip: I use the iStatPro dashboard widget (freeware) to display my temperatures, current version shows the various temperature measurements plus the fan speeds - http://www.islayer.com/apps/istatpro/
    ianaaa4
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