To reduce the temperature of my MacBook Pro I use smcFanControl by Hendrik Holtmann.  Normally my MacBook Pro would run somewhere close the 55-60C mark without doing anything intensive, say a 10-15% average CPU utilization.  I found this somewhat hot for my tastes, especially when using the built in keyboard where it would be uncomfortably hot to touch the speaker/heat dissipation grilles on either site of the keyboard.

I generally run the two internal MacBook Pro fans at 2600rpm each to keep the temperature 50C or below, depending on ambient temperature.  The cost is a little fan noise which is noticeable in a dead quiet room.  If you’ve got any music or background noise, you won’t notice it.  Either way, it’ll blend into the background quickly since it’s “white” noise anyways.

I’m unsure which version is the latest for smcFanControl so here’s another link to smc Fan Control version 2.1.2 in case it’s more recent than the above link.

This post was due to a comments discussion on how to turn off the macbook pro display when using an external display for Front Row.