Paul Kropp reports that Windows Vista makes his MacBook Pro run hot:
I have been experimenting with Windows Vista Ultimate on my MacBook Pro via Boot Camp 2.1 (2.4 GHz Core 2 Duo, 4 GB RAM, 10.5.4).
I have had no real issues with getting everything going, and no issues with Vista itself -- which seems to be nicely tuned and tamed by the Boot Camp drivers.
But I have a real issue with the amount of heat this machine generates with Vista running. I sometimes do video conversions with VisualHub in Leopard. The processor usage can be fairly high, the bottom of the machine increases in temperature noticeably and the MBPro's fans rev up to keep things within tolerances. However, when running Windows Vista this machine heats up very noticeably -- and continuously -- and there's no fan action at all!
I'd like to know what's up with that. This apparently has not been flagged as an issue on your site, so I'm wondering if I'm (relatively) alone in experiencing this behavior or not.
I am reluctant to use Vista without the confidence that the machine can protect itself from overheating.
If you've seen this problem
Rob Frei responded to an August post about a MacBook Pro running very hot when booted from Vista 64 using Boot Camp. He doesn't have the problem when Vista runs in a virtual machine:
I have the same problem. Vista is working fine. I'm running the 64-bit version of Pro/Engineer on my Mac in Vista 64. My MBP runs perfectly in OS X, but it runs very hot in Vista. I'm not sure its safe either, but I haven't found any definitive info on the Internet (including Apple's website).
I have a new 2.53 GHz MBP with 4 GB 1067 MHz DDR3 Ram. I'm running OS X (10.5.5). I have the latest version of Boot Camp, and I believe my drivers are all up to date. I haven't noticed these problems when I run Vista in VMware Fusion. I'm rather sorry I installed Vista at this point.
What could be happening is that in VMware, Mac OS X is handling the power/cooling management, while in Boot Camp, Vista is handling it, or not managing it at all.
If you've seen this
A number of readers have responded to Monday's report of Windows running hot in Boot Camp on MacBook Pros. Several readers report that one solution is to use software to force the MacBook Pro's fan to continue operating while booted in Windows. It appears that Windows is not telling the fan to turn on. Most reports have been with Windows Vista, but we do have one report of hot operation with Windows XP.
Rob Frei, who reported on Monday, believes that on the new dual-GPU MacBook Pro, Vista uses the NVIDIA GeForce 9600M GT processor, the faster (and hotter) of the two processors, and that Windows has no way of allowing you to switch to the cooler 9400M. We have Frei's and other reports below.
Ivan Drucker described two utilities that can keep Windows cool in Boot Camp:
I recently was looking at a client's Windows XP (32-bit) installation in Boot Camp on a first-gen MacBook Pro 17" Core Duo, as he complained that the computer became unnervingly, untouchably hot. It was. Some searching around revealed others with similar complaints, and it does appear to be related to a lack of fan management (though it's unclear as to why an idle Windows XP whose CPU meters report little activity would almost instantly yield higher temperatures than an idle Mac OS X).
In any event, the workaround was to install Input Remapper (donationware).
(The forum comments suggest that it will also work in Vista 64-bit, though I am unable to verify this.) Though its primary purpose is to provide a variety of useful keyboard shortcuts while in Boot Camp (which can be disabled if desired), Input Remapper also provides controls to set the minimum fan speed. I cranked both fans up to max, and, while noisy, my client's MacBook Pro is at least "normally" warm while in Boot Camp.
An alternative solution is to install smcFanControl (donationware) for Mac OS X, which is here: . This allows you to set the minimum fan speed on the Mac side. Whatever they're running at will still apply if the computer is restarted into Boot Camp (it does not persist if the Mac is shut all the way down, however).
If you've tried either of these utilities for the hot Windows problem
Andrew Corner in Austrailia also described how he uses smcFanControl:
It appears that Vista is not handling the cooling at all when running on an MacBook Pro under Boot Camp. I've had to resort to starting up in OSX running smcFanControl to bring the fans upto 3750RPM and then Restarting (not shutting down and restarting) into Boot Camp. This keeps the fans running at 3750RPM.
Rob Frei, who has previously reported the problem, has some information about the causes:
I've done some further research online since writing you. These machines clearly run hot. I have one of the new unibody MacBook Pros. These have two graphics chips (NVIDIA GeForce 9400M and 9600M GT). The more powerful 9600M GT obviously runs hotter.
You can switch between the two chips in OS X. However, I believe Vista defaults on boot to the 9600M GT and doesn't allow you to switch to the 9400M. Thus its always running the high-end graphics, depleting battery power faster and getting quite hot. My MBP runs between 64 C and 81 C when I use Pro/Engineer in Vista (it usually hovers around 75 C). The fans come on, but they don't ramp up drastically.
The new Aluminum unibody design acts as a very efficient heat sink in that it conducts heat away from the cores (where its generated) efficiently.
Bottom line: my MBP is running well, and from what I can tell, within its design parameters. I keep the graphics set to 9400M unless I need the power (I don't do much gaming, but I do use Maya and FCS). I'm keeping an eye on things, but this seems to be life with a new MBP.
Workaround for hot-running Boot Camp a no-go on unibody MacBooks
A couple of readers commented on previously reported solutions to the problem of Windows in Boot Camp running hot on the MacBook and MacBook Pro.
Peter White reports that the InputRemapper solution doesn't work on the fall '08 unibody models:
I bought a late 2008 aluminum unibody MacBook last month specifically to run Vista. A month later I'd love to throw it out the window. Within 30-45 minutes of cold boot the CPU and GPU can both reach 70 degrees Celsius. The heat-conducting aluminum unibody quickly conducts that heat to the keyboard and wrist area, making it unusable for typing without using smsFanControl, as you reported. Yes, this works, if you boot to Mac OS, let the fans ramp up to 5000 rpm then restart in Windows, but fans go off again if machine shuts down or hibernates. So it's awkward.
I tried InputRemapper, but it doesn't work on late 2008 models. From what I've read in various forums it only works on 2007 MacBooks and not the aluminum 2008 models. Above is true before and after the recent EFI and SMC updates from Apple.
I tried emailing the author of InputRemapper, but no response so far. I'm sure if I and 99 others users each donated $10-$20 by Paypal that $1000-$2000 would justify the coding effort to update the software for late 2008 model MacBooks!
A. C. Hendershot had the problem with a unibody MacBook Pro and described his dealings with Apple
I also had this problem on my new MacBook Pro, late 2008 (15" 2.53GHz, 4GB Memory, 320GB hard drive).
From the day I got it, to today with all updates, on Windows XP and Vista (with Boot Camp) both 32 bit. The laptop will just get hotter and hotter without heavy load, until I can't take it and turn it off. If I restart it into Mac, it will turn the fans on full blast for a little while and cool it off and then slow the fans back down. So the Mac side knows that it is way too hot. But the Windows side refuses to cool it off. I did the installations according to Apple instructions, with the Mac DVD as drivers in Windows. I have called Apple tech support a few times and get it escalated, but engineering say this is not an issue that I only have to worry if the thing shuts itself off. It's not being investigated, its not an issue. I replaced my laptop, the Apple store agreed it was way too hot, after running a few minutes with no big programs running. The new one does the same.
I was told this really won't get fixed unless they have a bunch of people escalate it and they hear more reports. I wish they would fix it and not need me to run 3rd party smsFanControl fan control to make my computer stay cool.