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Why does my 2018 MBP run so hot all the time?  

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Fellow Geeks,

The area between my keyboard and the display hinge is too hot to touch even during "normal" operation. This is a 2018 MBP i9 32GB ram. All 6 CPU cores "idle" at 155F, same for the GPU. The fans don't think it is a big deal since they are cruising at less than 2500 rpm. Same thing with a test account. It ran a bit toasty at times before Catalina but seems to run at 155 all the time now but I cannot say it started with the Cat.

I know there is a bit of cruft left but I have removed old/un-needed StartupItems, LaunchAgents, and LaunchDaemons. I turned graphics auto-switch back on but I was running the dedicated GPU always before w/o a problem. 

The photoanalysisd process chews up about the same CPU time as WindowServer but this puppy stays hot even when that drops back to 0% CPU usage.

I know I can ramp up the fans w/ iStat but would like to resolve the cause, not just deal with the symptom. A screenshot of the temps with only Mail running is attached.

Possibly unrelated but it has been crashing with CATERR panics often since the heat has been elevated. Coincidence???

Thanks for any suggestions,

2018 MBP temps

 

@macmonkeyboy
Short comment on CATEER panic. See https://blog.asset-intertech.com/test_data_out/2018/09/debug-of-intel-caterr.html for info

I would be contacting Apple about this particular panic. They should be made aware. I see some reports of folks seeing logic board replacements.

I can't find an Apple Repair Extension program for your machine at https://support.apple.com/exchange_repair but this doesn't mean Apple doesn't have internal ones or some other measures in place for the CATEER symptom.

I would encourage you to call AppleCare, report the problem. Don't worry if your machine is out of warranty. AppleCare will determine on the call if you should be paying or not, then again you can always counter their position on whether you should pay, you can ask for a support exception especially if you validate the reason.

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2 Answers
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Can you download and run the free EtreCheck. A google search will bring it up.

I appreciate the report screenshot but viewing temps on their own won't help understand what is happening. EtreCheck can help us help you. You should be able to save the report when EtreCheck completes and attach it here and at least I will look at it but of course you can too.

Try an SMC reset. https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT201295

You mentioned a specific panic (CATERR) but I can't find specific info on this. Rather than focusing on what the panic means let's focus on the heat issue.

When does your machine get hot? Is it after some time of use? Is it a specific app? Might it be an external device that is connected? Did the machine ever operate without going through a heat issue as reported?

Have you tried to shutdown, power up and leave it idle to learn if the heat elevates without user interaction?

Are you using the computer on a desk or on your lap?

Have you reported this issue to Apple?

Do you have a clean install of the most recent OS on an external drive? If so, boot from it to test whether heat begins to elevate as described in your report. Learning more about heat via booting from a second drive could help understand if the issue is related to software on the internal boot volume or if this is simply hardware related. We can rely on this only if we can't fix what we always like to assume is a software issue so don't go out of your way to make a bootable external drive.

Report back with some answers and hopefully an etrecheck report so that we can begin to isolate the issue.

Kind regards

—Alex

This post was modified 1 month ago 2 times by Alex Santos
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Ran a few tests, these Macs really should be used for two things, either heavy workloads or extremely light ones. Using Chrome my dGPU was always active, adding about 15c to my overall heatsink temp. For what, there was no need for it, soon as I switched over to Safari it was fine, keyboard is cool. It runs great. My MBP shouldn't be running at 60c when just word processing with Spotify in the back and few webpages.

Switching over to Safari brought that down to 40c, which I'm very happy with.

It can be expected during heavy workloads that the CPU rises to high levels. That was expected without a doubt, I think it's the in-between loads when it becomes silly.

Chrome is just awful. Uses too much power for no reason, sure the MBP can handle it, but it's just daft.

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