My old reliable late 2011 MBP (16 ram, 1tb ssd) might be nearing it’s end. I was hoping to get another year out of it, but according to iStat Menus, it’s running hot at an average 148 degrees F. I run the fans at a “medium” fan setting (4000) that just barely cuts the heat to 128-133F, (fast enough that I can actually feel the exhaust coming up through the keyboard). I keep minimal tabs open on Safari, and generally never run more than 4-6 apps at once.
Is it worth it to try something like changing the thermal paste? Other suggestions welcomed as well.
Side note - if this thing is knocking at death’s door, this might be my push to pick up an M1 MBA, but I’d like to see if this 2011 is somehow salvageable for another few months to a year.
Anything under 160F is fine but I understand your concern. Since you mentioned changing thermal paste I assume you are comfortable opening your machine. The first thing I would do is make blow the dust out. That may be enough but of course you will have to reassemble the machine to check. If it still runs hot you might try changing the thermal paste, or you could get one of those cooling pads. A quick look at Amazon shows prices in the $20-$30 range.
Edit: Before digging into the machine (and after, if still necessary), try resetting your SMC, and run Apple Hardware Test. The diagnostics include testing the fans.
I had success on my 2012 MBP by applying fresh thermal paste. For reference though, my stock 2019 16" MBP hovers around 125F (50C) None of that is bad and I’ve grown accustomed to tracking temps in celsius. If you’re around 50-60C you’re doing just fine. These things will hit 90C+ on the CPU and that’s still within the CPUs tolerances.
I think applying new thermal paste is a good idea at that age either way, but your temps really don’t sound bad.
Your 2011 MacBook Pro sounds similar than mine. I don’t have an SSD in mine. It still runs and is used by the kids for school at this point. I have a 2020 MacBook Air (Intel) that has been up to my tasks with no trouble. I haven’t had any overheating issues on my machine during its whole operating life. I would have thought mine would develop this problem with the additional moving parts. The thermal paste suggestion makes the most sense to me, assuming that the internals are relatively free of lint, hair, or other sorts of fuzz. I have a dog and 2 cats, so that is something I am always conscious of.
Thermal Paste will arrive today, so I’ll get it cracked open tonight or tomorrow and see what’s going on in there. At worse, it will no longer be a daily driver type of machine and will be good for surfing on the couch.