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2.0GHz, 2.3GHz, or 2.6GHz quad-core Intel Core i7 processor (Turbo Boost up to 3.8GHz) with 6MB shared L3 cache.

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MacBook Pro 15'' late 2013 really hot at normal usage

Hey guys,

my machine: rMBP 15'' late 2013 (2,6 i7; 16GB Ram; Geforce 750M 2GB, 500GB SSD) with macOS High Sierra 10.13.6 (clean install)

The main problem:

The fan goes nuts without any obvious reason (at least to me) just when I plug in an external display. This wasn't the case a year ago, but gradually became worse over the time. My setup and usage hasn't changed, though. I'm a webdeveloper and use the following applications on a daily basis:

Safari, Chrome, Mail, Evernote, Slack, Trello, Mamp Pro, Sublime Text 3, Dash, CodeKit – Dropbox, BetterTouchTool, Bartender 3, Alfred 3

For a couple of years now the system get's annoyingly hot. And when with a second screen (full hd) the fan kicks in, although the CPU activity is lower than 15%

Some more background:

  • On average the machine goes 7-9 hours a day for the last 5 years.
  • Roughly half a year ago I made a clean install of High Sierra
  • I regularly open the back and clean out the dust with a lil camera air blower
  • 450gig of the 500gig HD is full (but he didn't care about that for years..)
  • About 2 years ago I made a PRAM reset

Wild guesses on what's causing the heat-issue:

  • Broken battery?
  • Processor heat conductive paste worn off?
  • operating system sucks up more performance? (please nooh..)
  • SSD drive worn out?

I don't want to try every trick I find on the web, I rather get advice from you guys for my specific situation.

My questions:

1) Is it worth letting a diagnostic tool run over the Mac to see if the hardware is okay?

2) Could the hardware just be worn out like this?

3) How would you suggest I proceed in order to reduce the heat (remember.. the CPU activity is low when the machine is hot)

Looking at the touch bar, butterfly keys and immense raise in price, I find these new MacBooks really unattractive. But leaving macOS is not an option for me, and a Hackintosh Laptop is just too unsafe.

I hope to use this beauty of a laptop for at least 2 more years.

Thank you very much,


EDIT: Here is the coconutbattery

Block Image

Here is the DriveDX Report

Block Image

EDIT2: Here the TG Pro screenshot

Block Image

Update (08/01/2018)

As you asked: I added a screenshot from TG Pro; to me the temperature doens't look so high. Correct me if I'm wrong. (Why are there 2SSDs? One A, one B?) – I now have 80gigs free space (424/500) and still the machine is hot, fan is active and the overall performance doesn't feel as responsive and smooth–

I am making a rough spring cleaning right now, although it's not so easy, because I'm pretty organized already; I don't like my current external drive solution (normal SATA3 hdds with an usb docking station) but will make room for at least 125gigs of free space.

I will see how it performs then; but are you still positive that a new SSD is the solution to the problem? I just don't see why else hardware should degrade to this point; .. or is it really the software that became this much more demanding over the years? .. but then again: my cpu isn't really working, neither is the GPU.. , I guess? So why the !&&* is it getting so hot :D

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Lets check the battery install this app: CoconutBattery Take a snapshot of the main window so we can see the health of the battery and paste it here for us to see Adicionar imagens a uma pergunta já existente


Your SSD is running on the hot side it should be running around 90f/32c as I pointed out the wear leveling count is the worrisome value.

Your SSD has two thermal sensors one on each side of the drive.

If you look at how an SSD works it has a dedicated micro processor (ARM) embedded into it which sole job is to keep the drives data organized and move data blocks around so more worn areas are holding more static files (less called for).

So when you free up space on a tight drive (like yours) it will take a bit of time to clean things up (it could take a few days!) Which is why I prefer to make a backup of the drive, wipe it down and re-install the OS and restore the backup.

Think how much faster it is to do this with a traditional spinning disk drive when the drive has become fragmented. While you can run a disk defragment program the defrag program needs space to shuttle the files around so a tight drive will take a very long time! And as you free up space it will be quicker!

But, the quickest way is to wipe and restore! Just the process of doing this lays the files down less fragmented. The same is true here up to a point!

Here the act of restoring ignorers the wear factor of the SSD's blocks but it still offers a higher probability of writing the data in better placement statistically speaking! So the clean up time will be less!


Oh man, thank you so much for such detailed information. Can I donate some money or support you guys in any way? Your help is very very much appreciated!

How can I defragment the drive on macOS? I'd rather wait with a clean install until Mojave comes out, but still need some improvement right away.

After all this diagnostics, would you still suggest to replace the SSD?

If you say replacing the ssd in combination with a fresh install gets the laptop quite close to it's original performance, I'd definitely do that.

But if you say a fresh install on my current SSD plus keeping 125gigs free won't make a huge difference over a new SSD, I'd save the money for a new MacBook in 1-2 years.


Just aim others our way thats all you need to do for payment. We're unpaid volunteers offering our skills out for free! I still work servicing a few clients and I'm about to retire in a year or so time.

SSD's don't need defragmentation like traditional disk drives. The point I was stating was the way SSD's work forces them to move the data around when you have too little free space so a given area gets over worn. This is done in background (often called house cleaning) this is the process which is running on the micro-controller in the SSD, a computer within your computer! To lessen its work load we can force the SSD to be completely re-written by erasing the SSD and re-installing the OS and your stuff.

Now this gets into a bit of math as to why this is better than just letting it run as it is now. If you've reduced the amount of your stuff to lets say 1/2 of the drives space then the probability of dropping a file on a block that needs to be moved due to wear is less.

Right after you do this you won't see any change! As you still need to let the house cleaning process restart to go through the more worn blocks but it will be a short amount of time vs leaving it as it is now.


Weird, I have the same issue on the same machine. But my ssd is cold, dust is cleaned and heatsink is ok (I even swapped it!)

On idle it’s 55, while rendering it goes to 98 and throttles to 2.8 despite 3.4 is normal. I can’t get the reason ;(


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How many times was the logic board removed to clean dust from fans and heatsink and replace thermal paste ? With a 7/9 hrs a day of professional use, for 5 years, I'd have recommended that a couple of times to be on the safe side ;)

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@arbmakkah I have never removed the logic board and never replaced thermal paste. I haven't considered it so far. I only blowed air from the outside using a lil air blower for camera lenses like this one.


This is just not powerful enough to be that useful.

You'll want to get a can of can'ed air and a soft paint brush to lightly scrub the logic board, case and the fan blades. Then short blasts of the can'ed air to push the debris away.


Is it necessary to remove the circuit board for what you are describing? I don't feel too comfortable doing this. Maybe you know a video that shows how to properly clean the inside of a MacBook?


@katerlouis You can try with just fans and heatsink, where most of the dust concentrates, that should make quite a difference if they're clogged. removing and cleaning the logic board is a plus but not as necessary.

Here are the guides that can help you do the job properly:

MacBook Pro 15" Retina Display Late 2013 Heat Sink Replacement

MacBook Pro 15" Retina Display Late 2013 Left Fan Replacement

MacBook Pro 15" Retina Display Late 2013 Right Fan Replacement


Thank you! The links you provided talk about changing these parts–

So are you saying to clean my current parts or to exchange them?


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While cleaning the dust build up is important I don’t think thats it. And as your CPU is not running heavy re-pasting the thermal paste is not called for here either.

I’m suspecting you likely have two issues:

The first we can check out using CoconutBattery as I’ve stated above. Given the systems age you may need a new battery. Once we know its health we can see how much more life you have in it.

The other is the system has something running hot this is likely your SSD drive. As you have such a full drive I think you’re SSD is going nuts trying to even-out its wear. Apple does not over provision their SSD’s very well so you end up needing to replace them more often when you are running tight on space as you’ve been doing. A 500 GB drive needs about a quarter left free for the OS to use for virtual RAM and paging. That means you need around 125 GB free. So what happens here is the 50 GB of space gets over worn.

You should be able to see this by using two methods. The first is seeing the temp of the drive using TG Pro. The next method is to use a SSD evaluation tool like: DriveDX Using the “SSD Lifetime Left Indicator” function.

I would strongly recommend you make a full backup of your SSD using TimeMachine then using an external USB thumb drive reformat the drive and re-install the OS. Here’s how to setup the OS installer drive: How to create a bootable macOS Sierra installer drive I would stick with Sierra as your drive is SATA based. If you think you want to replace it (it may need it). Here is a good reference for the Apple SSD’s The Ultimate Guide to Apple’s Proprietary SSDs Your system is a Generation 3 SSD.

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Coconut battery image is in the updated original post. Thank you!


Not to bad! Your over the half way point! This systems battery has 1000 cycles. Not to say you'll get that many but your batteries condition is still quite usable.

Hows the temp of the drive?


I've also uploaded a screenshot of the DriveDX Report, since I'm not allowed to upload txt files in here. I am worried :'( everythings green– but there must be a reason for the heat..


Look at the 'Wear Leveling Count' under 'Important Health Indicators', thats the issue here.

As I stated the system is working hard to move things around to even out the wear. Basically your drive is too full. If you really need everything on your drive you'll need to think about upgrading it.

If you had TG Pro running you could see the higher temp on the SSD.


I'll look into TG Pro later;

Phew– okay. Would you, personally, invest the 400$ for a new ssd?

If I would buy a 1TB, I guess this one couldn't be ported to a newer MacBook when I decide to buy one?


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Kater Louis será eternamente grato(a).
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