Ever find that your Macbook Pro can sometimes get hot enough to fry an egg on?
Overheating can be caused by a combination of factors. The internal factors include running CPU-intensive applications or Mac OS background processes. These include graphics/film apps (editing or viewing), Flash-heavy web pages, large Time Machine backups, Spotlight updates and background downloads (including some non-system Software Updates). The external includes the usual environmental factors: placing your Macbook on a surface that doesn’t help dissipate the heat, like your lap; allowing a build-up of dust on the fans or vents, etc
First, a word on prevention: make sure your fans are dust-free. A sure-fire way to check is to use a can of compressed air to give them a spring clean.
You can keep your Macbook cooler by using a cooling stand (one with built-in fans powered by USB). If you use your Mac on your lap a lot, get yourself a decent laptop cushion, like this one from Belkin. Or if you use your Macbook on a desk, place it on a surface that can help absorb the heat, like a granite slab.
SMC Fan Control is a useful little app that sits in your menu bar, tells you how fast your fans are running and gives you the option to manually switch the fans on or crank them up if you need some extra cooling.
iStat Menu is also a handy app to monitor the temperature of your Macbook Pro and keep an eye on what apps are hogging your CPU.
Switching from Firefox (a bit of a beast, especially with add-ons enabled) to the sleeker Chrome will help too.
If you use Youtube a lot, you’ll know how hot your Macbook can get. Youtube know this too, which is why they’ve launched a “lighter” version of Youtube (with less pull on your CPU), called “Feather”. Check it out here.