Diablo® III

Heat on Macbook Pro 13" Mid-2012

Hey! I've been reading threads across these forums and the web about the heat that's produced when playing Diablo III on a Macbook Pro. These are the specs for my machine (Macbook Pro 13 inch, mid-2012):

Processor: 2.9 GHz Intel Core i7
Memory: 8 GB 1600 MHz
Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 4000 512 MB
Software: OS X 10.8.2

Anyways, on the default settings, I haven't had any performance issues at all, but I noticed the machine gets crazy hot. I got paranoid, and lowered my settings, but it doesn't seem to make that much of a difference. The GPU is easily over 90 degrees Celsius when playing, fans are at 6000. Is this normal/ok? Again, the game's performance was fine, I just don't want to roast my poor computer. I play in a normal temperature room, on a wood desk. Thanks!
Edited by Sweeneyish#1658 on 11/17/2012 9:01 AM PST
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the default settings blow. they cap fps at 150 which is way too high. i'm not sure if vsync is on or not. but if it is that may cap it at 60 but still think it's too high for that weak gpu and low amount of shared memory. I suggest turning vsync off and capping fps at 40 and seeing how it does.
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i have the same issue but with constant lag..
i use a MacBook Air 13" mid-2012
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Hey! I've been reading threads across these forums and the web about the heat that's produced when playing Diablo III on a Macbook Pro. These are the specs for my machine (Macbook Pro 13 inch, mid-2012):

Processor: 2.9 GHz Intel Core i7
Memory: 8 GB 1600 MHz
Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 4000 512 MB
Software: OS X 10.8.2

Anyways, on the default settings, I haven't had any performance issues at all, but I noticed the machine gets crazy hot. I got paranoid, and lowered my settings, but it doesn't seem to make that much of a difference. The GPU is easily over 90 degrees Celsius when playing, fans are at 6000. Is this normal/ok? Again, the game's performance was fine, I just don't want to roast my poor computer. I play in a normal temperature room, on a wood desk. Thanks!


This is fairly normal. you are about 20-30 degrees Celsius outside of the "danger zone" for computer hardware. The unibody basically acts as an additional heatsink for your computer. Your GPU gets so hot because it is a very low end card. The frame cap isn't going to help that much, as the card is only going to be able an average N frames per second based on what it has to render on the screen. As most stuff comes on-screen (explosions, monsters, fireballs, etc) it needs to render more and it takes more time to do so. THis lowers the overall frame per second output. Now, regardless if you cap at 150, 60 or 40 frames per second, your card is still only going to be able to output a total of N. If N is lower than the cap then you will see no change at all. However if N is higher than your set cap then you will see a trivial change in temps, because you are still having to render the same content over multiple seconds. The cap will lessen the direct strain on the graphics card in terms of per frame processing. What this will not change is overall render quality. To lower temps it would be much more effective to lower overall resolution or game quality.

Now, that said MBPs do get hot sometimes they do seem to get VERY hot. Sometime to keep in mind, is that while that does seem extremely hot and probably unsafe for the computer there are built-in measures to prevent hardware damage from heat. So long as you are not blocking the air vent on the hinge then it will be fine. if you are playing on a desk then you have nothing to worry about. If you are under warranty still then you could bring it into an apple store and see if they could check for dust or anything that might be blocking the air-flow inside.
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Thanks Omegal and DirkGently, I appreciate your replies and insight! Thanks especially for that in-depth explanation about FPS, and the strain on the graphics card. Cool stuff! It sounds like I'm probably ok if I'm still 20-30 degrees outside of the danger zone for hardware. I tried capping the FPS at 40, and also putting all settings to low, and still had some pretty intense heat (I checked after a few minutes, and the GPU was at 99 degrees Celcius, but I guess the fan probably hadn't kicked in at full yet). The computer is pretty new, so I'm thinking it is probably pretty dust free. Is it worth trying everything out at a lower resolution, or do you think I should let it be?
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TBH I think you are fine. I can understand your caution with it. I wouldn't sacrifice everything to lower the overall heat marginally.
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If anything the biggest problem with macbooks is fact apple waits too long to kick fans up. they try their hardest at battery life and low noise to the point that they let it get hotter than they really should. they literally wait until it's closing in on temp thresholds before even trying to cool it. this i hate. On my macbook pro i override fan settings iwth smc fan control and choose not to run at such obnoxious temps. that's an option for you too.
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11/18/2012 12:51 PMPosted by Omegal
If anything the biggest problem with macbooks is fact apple waits too long to kick fans up. they try their hardest at battery life and low noise to the point that they let it get hotter than they really should. they literally wait until it's closing in on temp thresholds before even trying to cool it. this i hate. On my macbook pro i override fan settings iwth smc fan control and choose not to run at such obnoxious temps. that's an option for you too.


This is because it is bad for the hardware to immediately rev up from low to really high. It has to ease up to full speed. By running them so high pre-maturely you are shortening the fan life.
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fan life is easy. i can replace those for a couple dollars. granted probably not quite an option with the terrible retina ones, but non retina ones are great and easily servicable.. you are shortening the life of gpu/cpu more by letting it run hotter than it needs to and that matters the most.
Edited by MysticalOS#1981 on 11/18/2012 5:52 PM PST
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11/18/2012 05:52 PMPosted by Omegal
fan life is easy. i can replace those for a couple dollars. granted probably not quite an option with the terrible retina ones, but non retina ones are great and easily servicable.. you are shortening the life of gpu/cpu more by letting it run hotter than it needs to and that matters the most.


My post was also ignoring the fact that it cannot tell when it should rev up fans based on application usage, it adjusts based on temperature parameters not based on application usage or requirements. The fans are adjusting and spinning at appropriate speeds for the respective temperature at the time.

Since you brought up hardware temps, those temperatures are within operating norms. If you really feel anal about this then please quote me specifics as to at what temperature bracket do you start to see significant hardware lifespan degradation of the GPU and CPU. I am not going to deny those ranges exist, but the lifespan of the hardware wouldn't be degraded to the same degree fans can be over a similar timeframe.
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Thanks again for the tips, guys. I tested around a little bit, and whether I had all settings on low and FPS capped at 40, or all settings on low and FPS capped at 60, the GPU seemed to fly up to around the same temperature (99ish degrees celcius). I'll just continue as it is now. Maybe I'll try out a cooling pad or something like that. Thanks again for your advice!
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11/20/2012 11:38 AMPosted by Sweeneyish
Thanks again for the tips, guys. I tested around a little bit, and whether I had all settings on low and FPS capped at 40, or all settings on low and FPS capped at 60, the GPU seemed to fly up to around the same temperature (99ish degrees celcius). I'll just continue as it is now. Maybe I'll try out a cooling pad or something like that. Thanks again for your advice!
The cooling pad works, I'm using that. I had to do so because D3 melted my power adapter..... Very scary.
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Get the smcFanControl application and set a high default fan speed and just cool the system while you play. Also play on a table or one of those laptop lap pads so the computer can breathe and you dont burn yourself.
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