MacBook Air for gaming - running the CPU close to Tjunction over extended periods of time?

macieksw

Honorable
Nov 18, 2013
3
0
10,510
0
Hello,

I asked this question over at the Verge, but I think I'll have a better chance of getting a meaningful reply here.

So I recently got a 2013 MacBook Air and out of necessity (some work tools) had to instal Windows on a bootcamp partition. Having installed Windows I decided to test the machine's gaming capability so I installed Mass Effect 3 (just a game I already had). The game is perfectly playable but of course it tasks the machine to the maximum. I downloaded a hardware monitor utility and sure enough it showed the CPU cores peaking at 100% load and 99 degrees celsius. The fan, naturally, spins up to full speed after a minute in the game.

However, after an hour or so I didn't notice any hiccups, my machine did not overheat and the game continued to run fine.

My question is - will keeping the CPU at such high temperatures for extended periods of time (i.e. gaming sessions of a couple hours) have a negative impact on my machine? Like reduce longevity or increase the risk of the CPU dying on me sooner? Or is it perfectly safe?

Oh, and as a sidenote, I did this in clamshell mode, with an external monitor and the MBA in a dock (the vents in the hinge are note covered).

Thanks in advance for your thoughts.
 

zkp

Honorable
Oct 25, 2012
11
0
10,560
0
Get a laptop cooler, which is basically a pad with fans that you put under your laptop that can cool it off. Macbooks weren't made for gaming, and mass effect is a pretty demanding game.

ANSWER TO YOUR QUESTION: it can shorten the life of your CPU, but considering how long cpus last anyway, by the time your CPU dies out, it will already have been time to upgrade your laptop.
 

macieksw

Honorable
Nov 18, 2013
3
0
10,510
0


Thanks for your reply! Unfortunately, a cooler is not an option since the MacBook is in a dock. But I really don't intend to game on it, just wanted to check if it could and then I remembered how awesome Mass Effect was and got an urge to re-play it. :)

Could you explain what you mean by "considering how long CPUs last anyway"? I was thinking about keeping the machine for 3-5 years.
 

zkp

Honorable
Oct 25, 2012
11
0
10,560
0


What I'm saying is that as your Macbook gets older and older, that CPU is going to be the last thing that fails. CPU's are pretty solid unless you extreme overclock it. I'd say your CPU will last about 5+ years until it starts slowing, and probably over 8-10 years for it to ACTUALLY die.

Sidenote: When your CPU gets so hot that it starts to damage, your motherboard will automatically shut down to save it.. If this hasn't happened yet I'd say you're a little safe.
 
Thread starter Similar threads Forum Replies Date
J MacBooks 1
R MacBooks 0
R MacBooks 0
X MacBooks 3
S MacBooks 0
S MacBooks 1
M MacBooks 4
CalvinMenezes MacBooks 1
Desertrobot MacBooks 9
R MacBooks 5
7 MacBooks 4
D MacBooks 5
T MacBooks 3
A MacBooks 2
G MacBooks 2
K MacBooks 1
F MacBooks 23
K MacBooks 2
A MacBooks 6
J MacBooks 12

ASK THE COMMUNITY