Zwift heats up my Mac

Is this normal? I’m running OS Catalina 10.15.7 with latest Zwift. 40 minutes on Zwift and the laptop is burning hot.

Laptops do run hot especially under duress. Make sure they are on a flat surface, best with a small block under each corner to increase the gap between the laptop and the surface, that way the expelled air has more room to escape. Unless it vents from the side of course but most laptops draw air from underneath also.

Also check the fan is spinning.

Heat is a killer for laptops so if you do have real concerns have somebody look at it sooner rather than later.

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Thanks Stuart. Is Zwift particularly hard on laptops? I’ll put blocks under; it is on a flat surface. How do I know if the fan is spinning; listen for the whirr? I usually notice when I’m off Zwift; it cools down very quickly

I’m not familiar with your particular laptop but you may be able to see a fan through a grill when you look underneath.

When you first turn the laptop on you should hear it spin briefly or be able to detect the air flow by putting your cheek against the vent.

Zwift will be hard on laptops, there’s a lot going on for the laptop to process. Constant screen refreshing, constant network traffic etc…

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I use a Windows lap top and the exhaust air heats up with in 2 minutes of starting Zwift.
I put mine on a cooling pad.

Good to know. I have a Mac and same thing. What is a cooling pad? Something special?

It’s basically a pad you put underneath the laptop between it and the hard surface. The pad has a series of fans blowing air upwards onto the base of the laptop and thus providing additional cooling.

Relatively inexpensive to purchase and could be the difference between spending many hundreds replacing a burnt out laptop.

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I’ve never heard of this but looked them up and they sound great. I may buy this one… Thermaltake Massive TM. Which one do you have?

I don’t run Zwift on a laptop, I have a dedicated PC for it. I’ve looked at the Thermaltake and it’s very suitable, expensive compared to others but will certainly offer some benefit.

I got a cheap one and it works great.
Super light weight.
I even use it when I’m working on the couch.
It keeps my legs cool too.

Which one did you buy Tim?

I’ll check and get back to you.
I’m not home right now.

I’ll not admit to reading Zwift Forums at work.
My wife says that what an “obsessed” person does!

I found the brand from reviewing the search I did at the time- again I apparently was not searching from home!!
I bought a Technet ultra slim 2 fan version.
I was surprised that the airflow was not as strong as I expected but it works.
The area of max air flow seems to be in a fairly narrow band across the pad.
This happens to line up well with the vents on my laptop.
That might be why the 6 fan versions are around.
If buying today, I might try the Ice Coorel 6 fan pad.
I’d stick around $20.
Mine doesn’t have an adjustable tilt.
That maybe a good thing. Very sturdy and light.
I’ve only seen or held the one so that’s all I can offer.

Hello Tim and thanks. And I must be obsessed as I’m doing this at work-LOL. I think my air vents are near the hinge of the laptop. I’m glad you asked this because I never thought about it. But I’ve also read that gaming heats up the laptop very fast. I never thought of Zwift as gaming but that is exactly what it is. I’ll check out the Coorel 6. Thanks so much for your help.