2012 Quad Core MacBook Overheating?


I’m running 3 instances of gig performer, lots of sample tank backspaces loaded, Guitar Rig, and the 3rd instance recording 18 tracks and processing vocals with Waves Autotune Real Time. At the end of the first set, my piano samples transposed. I think it may have even been a different transpose interval depending on which midi channel. I ruined my bands performance.

I think I may have just had too much going on as I had done this with 2 computers before. But one fell of the stage and damaged the screen recently. Gigging can be a rough business.

I am using a cooling fan under the computer and it was running. I restarted gig performer, went down to recording only 2 tracks (instead of 18) and it lasted the rest of the night.


Be careful as to how you use a cooling fan under the computer: Make sure that you are not blowing air back into the outtake slot; you do not want to prevent the hot air from being blown out of the machine.

As an aside, the rear of a MacBook should never be blocked; the vents are located there (no vents under the machine).

Hope this helps,



2011/2012 macs run inherently much, much hotter than the modern ones. I use my trusty 2011 on stage as well, but it always feels 2-3 times as hot as my 2018 one.

Cooling under it does help, but as @mikedee12959 suggests - never block the back of it and make sure you are not blowing air back into the intake slot (most likely you are not doing this though)


Quite a valid point, Nebojsa. Ever since I have upgraded my MBP with two 1TB SSDs, the internal fan tends to run whenever I copy/paste large files or perform a backup. Although the computer does not get hot to the touch (warm, perhaps), I use a small battery-powered fan to blow air across the keyboard area in the hope of dissipating any hot air that may rise out of the machine (as the internal fan does its job, blowing out the hot air through the rear vent). Does the external fan help…does it make the slightest difference? I haven’t a clue, lõl…I’ll simply call it peace of mind, else, a “placebo” effect. :laughing:

Although there are no moving parts to generate heat in SSDs, I would expect the onboard chips to become hot, especially during intense reads/writes. For this reason, I have not become overly concerned with the internal fan running…and it does stop a short time after the drive reads/writes have completed (the external fan most likely being no more than an “insurance policy”).




I use something called iStatMenus https://bjango.com/mac/istatmenus/

Have it set up to always show my temperature so if you use something like that, turn the fan off, wait a little, note the temperature, turn the fan on and see if there’s any improvement. I bet there will be a small, but measurable improvement.


Thanks for this info; I had not heard of iStat Menus before. $11.99 is a reasonable price. :slight_smile:

I forgot to mention that I was using a convection style (fanless) device under my PC laptop during live gígs. I am considering one for my MBP as well. Unfortunately, I cannot remember the name of the unit, nor the site from which I purchased it. I’ll let you know if/when I find it.




Thanks to all for this insight. My laptop sits on a music stand on up stage right where I can see it while I’m playing guitar. Yes guitar- I’m playing gigperformer and samples with Fishman Tripleplay.

The fan I use sucks in from the side and blows against the bottom of the 2012 MacBook Pro. Sucking in from the side is good since it is sitting flat on a solid surface. I like it that way because Velcro helps secure the laptop.

It is comforting to know I’m not the only one that has had heat issues.

With gigperformer 3, I’ll be able to put my set list in and use predictive loading. I could not use it before because variations were locked in under rack-spaces. This may help run cooler as less memory is used and all those rackspaces, even though no signal, seem to use some cpu.

Additionally I plan to switch to Kontact to replace SampleTank 3. In an initial test, it seemed to use less cpu when idle with no signal (as are most loaded patches).

Is this consistent with your experience?


Wow! You have a lot going on there…I’m surprised you didn’t have worse issues.


Without going into details but based on my own experiences, I would just say this an excellent plan :wink:


Nebojsa, I’m about to purchase iStat Menus. Any CPU consumption issues with this utility running continuously in the background? Will it interfere with audio/music applications?

Also, the fanless cooling pad I have for my PC laptop is an xPad. It was a bit pricy at the time (around $25)…and it might not be available any longer. However, there appear to be other options currently.




I haven’t found any and I’ve been using it for about 3 years. It has been running in every rehearsal and every live show I performed at on few different laptops.
I do customize its look so that it only shows me the data I need like the CPU usage, Temperature, Memory status and so on.


ÉXcellent…thanks again, Nebojsa! :smile:




Installed iStat Menus 6…

Whoa! I had no idea that my CPU temperature could jump from approximately 140°F (60°C) to over 200°F (>93°C). :exploding_head:

The small fan did seem to help a bit…however, I think I’ll look into a USB-powered fan-based cooling pad. (Being that the MBP’s vents are in the back only, having fans blowing underneath the machine will be no cause for concern.)

Just my éXtra 2¢… :wink: