An overheating or crashing MacBook Pro or iMac can be an extremely frustrating situation, but it doesn’t have to be. Thanks to the free, GPL-licensed smcFanControl utility for OS X, developed by software consultant Hendrik Holtmann, you can manually increase the minimum speed of the built-in fans within your Mac.
If you are planning on gaming or using intensive applications on your Mac, this tool is the ideal solution for keeping your Mac running cool. You can view the temperature of your machine in both Celsius or Fahrenheit, along with fan speed in RPM. You can also set fan speed presets depending on your power source, battery or charging.
If anything, this program presents a unique opportunity to experiment with the speed of the built-in fans on your MacBook Pro, MacBook Air, iMac, Mac Mini or whichever notebook or desktop model you have. There is little downside to using this program, as it will not allow you to lower the speed of your fans below the minimums recommended by Apple.
The latest version of smcFanControl supports up to OS X Mountain Lion, and is compatible with the MacBook Pro with Retina display. You will still need an Intel-based Mac running OS X 10.5 or later at the minimum. As an open program, the source code for smcFanControl is available on GitHub for anyone that is interested in poking around.