Apple firmware update fixes MacBook Pro overheating; jury still out on ‘whine’

“Apple Computer Inc. quietly issued a firmware update Tuesday for its Intel-based systems that users said fixed overheating problems in the MacBook Pro notebook, which has been plagued with heat and noise issues since it was introduced in February,” Gregg Keizer reports for TechWeb. “The firmware fix — available directly from Apple’s download site or retrieved automatically via Mac OS X’s Software Update mechanism — was released without fanfare and with virtually no details. The update’s explanatory page, for instance, neglects to actually say what the update does or is supposed to fix. That left Mac users guessing. The title of one thread on Apple’s own support forums told the tale: ‘What the **** is this new SMC Firmware update for MBP?'”

“Although Apple said that the update was to “System Management Control (SMC)” firmware, it was up to MacBook Pro (MBP) users to figure out that SMC is the specialized controller that manages thermal and power conditions, and is in charge of running the portable’s fans,” Keizer reports. “Within hours of the update, users began reporting that the update seemed to increase the MacBook Pro’s use of its fans, and using diagnostic tools, claimed that their machines were running up to eight degrees cooler… Other MacBook Pro complaints — that the portable makes an irritating whining sound, which in some cases is joined by a mysterious “mooing” noise — have or haven’t been fixed by the update, depending on which forum thread one reads.”

Full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “LinuxGuy” for the heads up.]

MacDailyNews Note: We tried to apply the MacBook Pro SMC Firmware Update to a recently-shipped 17-inch MacBook Pro unit (arrived May 10th) and a dialog box told us the firmware update was not necessary for our MBP. We have had no overheating or whine or any other issues with this new 17-inch MBP – except that it routinely causes people’s eyes to bug out when unveiled in public.

[UPDATE: 9:09am EDT: Our 17-inch MBP runs all day (and night). While it does get warm at times, it doesn’t come anywhere near the realm of causing a burn or pain.]

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21 Comments

  1. Apple’s going all aviator on us with its love of TLA’s.

    Also, for a second there, I had thought that the update somehow redistributed the thermal paste that had seemed to be the culprit…

    first post?

  2. I did notice my MBP 15 1.83GHz is cooler, but didn’t think anything of it until I read this report. I applied the patch last night. Unfortunately, the squealing is still there and perhaps more prominent. I haven’t been bothered much by it lately, except last night and this morning it was setting my teeth on egde again. Maybe a fluke, or maybe the update made it worse.

    I hope the new MacBooks don’t have these issues. What fabulous machines!

    Yeah, my MBP is MUCH cooler now. Fans are running and I’m not used to that, but I’ll take cool with a very quiet wind. It was so bad before that I found myself blowing on it in a vain attempt to cool it.

  3. The first MDN take I have ever agreed with.

    My 17″MBP is running quiet and cool. Its a fanny magnet too!!!

    Frankly its the best computer I have ever owned and now I understand why all you Macheads rave about OS X. My word it has grown up since I first used it on version 1. It was utter shit then but now it is fantastic.

    I have no intention of installing Windows. There is no point. Bootcamp is not for me…

  4. MDN.”While it does get warm at times, it doesn’t come anywhere near the realm of causing a burn or pain”

    Try running something other than the webbrowser and clicking on an ad on your website. Try running a processor-intensive game or do a good-sized 3D render.

  5. Switched said: My 17″MBP is running quiet and cool. Its a fanny magnet too!!!

    Frankly its the best computer I have ever owned and now I understand why all you Macheads rave about OS X.

    No … that isn’t why we rave about OS X … that’s why we rave about Macs! Geez! Next thing you know someone will claim there’s an ‘exploit’ for the new MacBook cases – just the black ones. ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”wink” style=”border:0;” />

    BTW: just because you’re a wimpy liberal-artsy Mac-using geek does not mean you can’t kick the PC out of a trash-talking Windows Dude looking for free iPod stuff. ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”big surprise” style=”border:0;” />

  6. Geesh, cut switcher a break. Welcome to the world of Mac OS X my friend. I’ve been here since OS 10.1 and the dual USB iBooks, and I’ve never left. Even if OS X wasn’t great originally, it was better than my experiences on Windows for all those years. I’m just glad that Apple keeps making OS X better and designs ‘cooler’ hardware. ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”wink” style=”border:0;” />

  7. My MBP is effing fantastic. The fans are definitely on now and the temps are way down – might try it on the lap this evening (and the MBP..!)

    The Moo Cow I used to have inside has dissapeared as well!

    Apple come up trumps once again…

  8. Mine, too — no increase in fan noise, but no perceptible decrease in heat. (If you are concerned about cooling off the underside of your MBP 15″, by the way, I recommend the Griffin iCurve. I bought it to position the laptop screen higher up on my desk, and to go back to using a regular Apple keyboard, to get the forward delete key back. But the thermal properties are a nice benefit.)

  9. My 15″ Macbook Pro temperture wise runs just fine and never overheats. The one problem I do have is the annoying whine. The firmware does not fix any whine problems people are having.

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