2017 MBP: Fan starts running when I play a YouTube video

andromedaan

macrumors member
Original poster
Apr 10, 2010
65
43
I have the new base-level 2017 MacBook Pro 13" (non-****bar). Very often, the fan starts running jstu because I'm playing a simple 720p YouTube video. Even more so when I play it at 1080p so I stopped doing that. The MacBook itself does not get hot, and Activity Monitor does not show any high CPU peaks (CPU stays under ~20% when the is running).

What is going on? And what can we do about it? Any help into the right direction is welcome.
Edit: Oh and I'm using Google Chrome of course.
 
Last edited:

joefoong79

macrumors regular
Jun 23, 2017
178
33
Stop treating it like baby. It's a machine. The fan kick in because it need to, so what you so worry. This is very normal for god sake. Summer time now is hot what you expect. Check back at winter.
 

ljjycss

macrumors member
Apr 2, 2016
66
82
I though all 2017 machines support VP9 hardware decoding. You could try installing h264ify extension in Chrome to force YouTube playback in h.264.
 

Patcell

macrumors 6502a
Aug 8, 2016
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236
Bergen County, NJ
I though all 2017 machines support VP9 hardware decoding. You could try installing h264ify extension in Chrome to force YouTube playback in h.264.
The Kaby Lake chip itself has the ability to decode VP9 in hardware; however, the OS needs to implement that support. macOS Sierra does not support VP9 hardware decode (nor will macOS High Sierra it seems).

I cannot comment on your particular machine, but Chrome is a known resource hog. I have a 2017 15" and playing YouTube videos in Chrome does not trigger the fan unless the video is in 4K, then the fans go crazy. CPU usage around 200-300% (software decoding of VP9)...
 

andromedaan

macrumors member
Original poster
Apr 10, 2010
65
43
Thanks for the replies. I actually already installed the h264ify extension. But I don't think I should have to. I expect my 2017 MacBook Pro to perform better than my 2013 MacBook Air, and it does except on this very important area. One of the main reasons I upgraded was because I wanted to play videos without the fan ruining my experience.
 

Patcell

macrumors 6502a
Aug 8, 2016
552
236
Bergen County, NJ
Thanks for the replies. I actually already installed the h264ify extension. But I don't think I should have to. I expect my 2017 MacBook Pro to perform better than my 2013 MacBook Air, and it does except on this very important area. One of the main reasons I upgraded was because I wanted to play videos without the fan ruining my experience.
Just to test... try running the same videos (in highest resolution possible) in Safari. Usually Safari only allows 1440p streams as Apple does not support software (or hardware) VP9 decode. See if the fan kicks in using Safari. My guess it that it will not, but just to rule out some sort of hardware issue...
 

XrAdEr

macrumors member
Jul 30, 2012
46
2
Under your bed
I have had my 2017 tbMBP for 2 weeks now and even though I watch a lot of Netflix and youtube (1440p videos), I honestly have not heard my fan once. The laptop stays cool even when I'm using it on my bed for hours.
 

Patcell

macrumors 6502a
Aug 8, 2016
552
236
Bergen County, NJ
I just tested this as well out of curiosity... again, not an apples-to-apples comparison because I have 2017 15" model, but when streaming 1080p YouTube videos in Chrome my machine barely even warms up (CPU temperature) to say nothing of the fan kicking on higher than idle speed. If streaming 4K in Chrome, things get very warm and very loud in short order.
 

andromedaan

macrumors member
Original poster
Apr 10, 2010
65
43
I just tested this as well out of curiosity... again, not an apples-to-apples comparison because I have 2017 15" model, but when streaming 1080p YouTube videos in Chrome my machine barely even warms up (CPU temperature) to say nothing of the fan kicking on higher than idle speed. If streaming 4K in Chrome, things get very warm and very loud in short order.
My machine stays cool as well. Even my CPU barely uses any of its capacity (it stays under 20%) although the fan starts running.

I read somewhere that in the new MacBook Pro's, the 13 inch models have 2GB of RAM reserved for graphics, as there is no dedicated graphics chip. In other words, of the 8GB RAM, you effectively can only use 6GB and 2GB is reserved. Not sure if this is true, but it would definitely be an unfavourable feature.
 

New_Mac_Smell

macrumors 68000
Oct 17, 2016
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Thanks for the replies. I actually already installed the h264ify extension. But I don't think I should have to. I expect my 2017 MacBook Pro to perform better than my 2013 MacBook Air, and it does except on this very important area. One of the main reasons I upgraded was because I wanted to play videos without the fan ruining my experience.
Sounds like you should've brought a 12" rMB, no fans on that to become so concerned about. You should become concerned if the fans don't kick in, as the machine would quickly overheat and shut down.
 

Ries

macrumors 68020
Apr 21, 2007
2,215
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Sounds like you should've brought a 12" rMB, no fans on that to become so concerned about. You should become concerned if the fans don't kick in, as the machine would quickly overheat and shut down.
The CPU is perfectly cable playing 4K video without the chip going above stone cold. It's just Apple ****ing him over by not supporting the feature and therefore the fans are going into max turbine mode instead of a silent enjoyable user experience. You know, the usual Apple profit above user experience we've become to know and grown accustom to.
 

New_Mac_Smell

macrumors 68000
Oct 17, 2016
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The CPU is perfectly cable playing 4K video without the chip going above stone cold. It's just Apple ****ing him over by not supporting the feature and therefore the fans are going into max turbine mode instead of a silent enjoyable user experience. You know, the usual Apple profit above user experience we've become to know and grown accustom to.
*That you've become accustom to apparently...

Personally, I understand technology and don't blame Apple for limitations and physical shortcomings. I think you expect too much from Apple, they make computers, they don't design the components; they are human and not some shiny deity. Get one of these processors and take away the fans, then play a 4K video, see what happens (If you believe it'll remain stone cold). Also not sure how cooling something so it doesn't overheat and damage the system is related in anyway to a company prioritising profits, surely if they let the things overheat then people would have to buy more, which would mean even more profits! :eek:
 
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Ries

macrumors 68020
Apr 21, 2007
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*That you've become accustom to apparently...

Personally, I understand technology and don't blame Apple for limitations and physical shortcomings. I think you expect too much from Apple, they make computers, they don't design the components; they are human and not some shiny deity. Get one of these processors and take away the fans, then play a 4K video, see what happens (If you believe it'll remain stone cold). Also not sure how cooling something so it doesn't overheat and damage the system is related in anyway to a company prioritising profits, surely if they let the things overheat then people would have to buy more, which would mean even more profits! :eek:
Personally you think you know technology. There are no limitations or physical short commings playing 4K VP9, only Apples unvillingsness to add the codec support. Kaby Lake can play 4K VP9 using 0.8w, a.k.a stone cold. A heat sink without fans running can dissapate that without any problems.

 

New_Mac_Smell

macrumors 68000
Oct 17, 2016
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Personally you think you know technology. There are no limitations or physical short commings playing 4K VP9, only Apples unvillingsness to add the codec support. Kaby Lake can play 4K VP9 using 0.8w, a.k.a stone cold. A heat sink without fans running can dissapate that without any problems.

Maybe Google should add h.265 support then, let's throw this 4K p***ing contest back at them and see what happens.

P.s. I'm pretty sure the processor will be doing a lot more than just decoding that codec, and so using a lot more than just '0.8w'.

P.p.s. why is it so imperative to view 4K content on a screen that isn't 4K anyway?
 
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Birkan

macrumors regular
Sep 11, 2011
108
81
Germany
Google probably will not add H.265/HEVC anytime soon as licensing fees for it are so much pain in the ass. IIRC there are not only one but several patent pools requesting royalties for H.265/HEVC. Another reason is H265/HEVC requires service provider(In this case Youtube) to pay royalties in addition to hardware decoder royalties (Intel,AMD,Nvidia etc) compared to only hardware decoder royalties for H.264. I wish Apple just included support for VP9 playback to Safari if native hardware playback is available just like H.265/HEVC or Microsoft Edge (VP9 is enabled by default if there is hardware decoder support, otherwise disabled).
 
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Patcell

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Aug 8, 2016
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Bergen County, NJ
VP9 is open source, right? Or are there licensing fees associated with that also?

I do wish that Apple would implement support for VP9 hardware decode (for Kaby Lake machines). But I don't totally blame them either... it is the eternal pissing match between Apple and Google. 4K YouTube used to play just fine in Safari until Google all of the sudden dropped support for H.264. I have an external 4K monitor I use daily and I would very much like to play 4K YouTube videos on it without having to switch to Chrome (which I hate) and have the CPU hit 90C with the fans going full blast. HEVC & VP9 hardware decode were part of the reason I ditched my 2014 Pro and upgraded to the 2017.
 

Birkan

macrumors regular
Sep 11, 2011
108
81
Germany
VP9 is open source, right? Or are there licensing fees associated with that also?

I do wish that Apple would implement support for VP9 hardware decode (for Kaby Lake machines). But I don't totally blame them either... it is the eternal pissing match between Apple and Google. 4K YouTube used to play just fine in Safari until Google all of the sudden dropped support for H.264. I have an external 4K monitor I use daily and I would very much like to play 4K YouTube videos on it without having to switch to Chrome (which I hate) and have the CPU hit 90C with the fans going full blast. HEVC & VP9 hardware decode were part of the reason I ditched my 2014 Pro and upgraded to the 2017.
Yeah, VP9 is open source. There were some patent issues but they were fixed by Google as I remember. Google also offers legal protection for using VP9. Microsoft Edge, Firefox and Opera already implemented VP9 support in Windows. Safari is the only web browser which lacks support for VP9.
 

Patcell

macrumors 6502a
Aug 8, 2016
552
236
Bergen County, NJ
Yeah, VP9 is open source. There were some patent issues but they were fixed by Google as I remember. Google also offers legal protection for using VP9. Microsoft Edge, Firefox and Opera already implemented VP9 support in Windows. Safari is the only web browser which lacks support for VP9.
That kind of pisses me off. Especially because there is not rationale given by apple other than, "Google could have chosen to continue support for H.264."
 

andromedaan

macrumors member
Original poster
Apr 10, 2010
65
43
It's just Apple ****ing him over by not supporting the feature and therefore the fans are going into max turbine mode instead of a silent enjoyable user experience.
To be fair, the fan just starts running very lightly. The fan is not going into 'max turbine mode' luckily.

Though to me, It's still a slight nuisance worthy of solving. Especially to prevent any dissonance regarding my decision to buy this product. I upgraded my MacBook specifically because I did not want the fan to kick in when I play 720p YouTube videos. A €1500 machine (Apple's retail price in The Netherlands) should easily do this.
 

Böhme417

macrumors 6502a
Mar 11, 2009
635
765
That does seem a little odd. I can play 1440p YouTube videos on my 2016 without the fan coming on. Since owning the machine, I think I've heard the fan once.
 

hajime

macrumors 603
Jul 23, 2007
6,094
840
I have this problem when watching YouTube on my 2010 MacBook Pro. Forum users mentioned that my computer is too old and the latest ones support some kind of codec that this should not have happened.
 

andromedaan

macrumors member
Original poster
Apr 10, 2010
65
43
Disclaimer, I do have a 1080p external display connected to my MBP at all times. And yesterday I added a second 1080p display. Maybe the external displays also further affect the performance negatively?

I should have mentioned this earlier.
 

Patcell

macrumors 6502a
Aug 8, 2016
552
236
Bergen County, NJ
Disclaimer, I do have a 1080p external display connected to my MBP at all times. And yesterday I added a second 1080p display. Maybe the external displays also further affect the performance negatively?

I should have mentioned this earlier.
External displays will put additional stress on the iGPU, but a single 1080p external display in addition to the built-in shouldn't be much strain (I wouldn't imagine). Two displays may increase temps a bit more.

I can't speak for the nTB model, but I would say the fan is easily justified by running two external 1080p displays in addition to the built-in display while playing a YouTube video (of any resolution). My two cents...
 

andromedaan

macrumors member
Original poster
Apr 10, 2010
65
43
External displays will put additional stress on the iGPU, but a single 1080p external display in addition to the built-in shouldn't be much strain (I wouldn't imagine). Two displays may increase temps a bit more.

I can't speak for the nTB model, but I would say the fan is easily justified by running two external 1080p displays in addition to the built-in display while playing a YouTube video (of any resolution). My two cents...
I think you have a point. And to be fair, most of the time the fan is not running, even with two 1080p displays connected. to it.

Next year I plan on replacing the displays with two 4K displays, wish me luck. #LOL
 

Patcell

macrumors 6502a
Aug 8, 2016
552
236
Bergen County, NJ
I think you have a point. And to be fair, most of the time the fan is not running, even with two 1080p displays connected. to it.

Next year I plan on replacing the displays with two 4K displays, wish me luck. #LOL
Good luck! Haha

It should power two 4K displays without a problem. I would expect temperatures to go up a bit, but that’s normal in that case.
 
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