Does M1 MacBook Pro Overheat?

Your MacBook Pro might get overheated during intensive tasks. However, with the new powerful M1 chip, does M1 MacBook Pro overheat like other previous models? Well, we ran some thermal tests on both M1 MacBook Pro and M1 MacBook Air in order to give you the best insights.

M1 MacBook Pro Thermal Testing

Does M1 MacBook Pro Overheat?

It’s worth mentioning that we used the based model of the two MacBooks (8GB of RAM) in our tests. Also, while the M1 MacBook Pro still features a cooling fan system this year, the Air doesn’t. Now, let’s move on to the test results!

Cinebench Benchmark

M1 MacBook Air test result

After running a Cinebench benchmark test for 10 minutes straight on both Macs, we noticed some differences in temperature. Using a thermal imaging camera, we could see the heat distribution on each laptop. And, here are the test results after the Cinebench test is complete.

M1 MacBook Pro test result

The M1 MacBook Air reached a temperature of 37.4°C, with its heat concentrated in the middle back area, especially in the upper left. Meanwhile, the M1 MacBook Pro was slightly cooler at 36°C. And, the heat signal only focused along the center and a bit more towards the upper right.

Rendering in DaVinci Resolve

Moving on to the video editing test on Davinci Resolve. At first, both machines started at around 29°C internal and 26°C for the CPU. And, we only focus on the thermal here because, obviously, the Pro has its upper hand thanks to its 8-cores compared to 7-cores of the MacBook Air.

As expected, the M1 MacBook Air got hotter much faster than the Pro when we started rendering. And, it quickly reached 91°C in the first 5 minutes. Meanwhile, the M1 MacBook Pro was only around 65°C. 

Finally, at 1200RPM and 78°C in CPU, the Pro’s fan started to kick in. But still, we didn’t hear any fan noise here. With the results, the M1 MacBook Pro average temperature is 10°C hotter than the M1 MacBook Air in video editing.

Thermal Test During Gaming

Using a thermal imaging camera, we could easily see the M1 MacBook Pro was around 40°C up the top part. Moving on to the keyboard, which is usually the hottest part, the result was not too different with around 41 to 43°C.

On the other hand, the M1 MacBook Air was again about more than 5 degrees hotter on average. Also, above its keyboard, we got about 47°C and we could definitely feel the heat when touching the laptop. 

After 30 minutes of running “Shadow of the Tomb Raider”, the average internal temperature on the MacBook Pro was around 65°C and on the MacBook Air was 74°C.

Multitasking Tests

In this test, we opened quite a lot of apps with at least 20 tabs in Chrome. Not to mention a couple of apps running in the background like Steam.

Surprisingly, with the Pro model, we only recorded 32°C for the CPU and 34°C for the internals. And, it only got hotter when we opened up Chrome again. However, the temperature only spiked up to about 45 to 50°C. And, there was still no fan noise. Honestly, it was very quiet and we were surprised that the M1 MacBook Pro didn’t even need to use its fan in our multitasking tests.

Read more: M1 MacBook Pro Fan Noise: How LOUD are The Fans?

The Bottom Line

Well, there you have it! Overall, we’re very impressed with the thermal performance of the M1 MacBook Pro with the highest temperature only around 70°C. These thermal test results are quite impressive when compared to some gaming laptops on the market. On top of that, the fan only started spinning when it was at 2000-3000 RPM. 

So, what do you think? Let us know in the comments below!

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