750m Throttling, Retina MacBook Pro Late 2013

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by iStrikeRx, Jan 13, 2014.

  1. iStrikeRx macrumors newbie

    Jan 4, 2014
    Think I've viewed pretty much every thread going for the 650m throttling issues, with no working fix really found. Very few posts on the matter for the 750m as well.

    Basically, after a few minutes of gaming in bootcamp, latest and stock nvidia drivers, the 750m will always throttle from 926MHz core, down to 725MHz, and will constantly fluctuate between the two, causing heavy stuttering. The temperature of the GPU never goes above 80c, usually hovering around the 75c mark. The CPU maxes out at 89c.

    I have tried disabling turbo boost, which merely delays the throttling in most games, and have also limited the CPU to around 1.5GHz (rarely will a game need more than that), using throttlestop. I have also downclocked the memory clocks of the 750m by 500MHz or so, as it has no benefit to me being so high in the first place.

    After all this, it still throttles the GPU. Not to the massive extent without the tweaks, but enough to produce stuttering to the point where games are unplayable.

    This is in stark contrast to the 650m early 2012 retina I had, which could play demanding games for hours without issue.

    Does anyone have a real fix/solution to the issue? I know it's supposed to relate to power draw being too much for the psu, but I can't see how with the limits I've put in place, how this is still possible.

    Ideally Id like to avoid NvidiaInspector to force the GPU to run without throttling, partly due to inexperience with te software, and partly due to the potential damage it could cause to my system.

    Any help is greatly appreciated, thanks!
  2. dusk007 macrumors 68040


    Dec 5, 2009
    Which games? Do you have a screenshot from the clock sensor data?

    The temps appear almost exactly the same to what I get but I can overclock to +135Mhz (1058Mhz) and it never seems to throttle. Usually the CPU is the one that clocks lower as the GPU heats up.
  3. pendragon1984 macrumors 6502

    Oct 24, 2013
    I play borderland 2 on max settings on my rMBP 750m, and my computer just gets somewhat warm not even hot. Don't know if the GPU is throttling itself, but I can't see why it would.
  4. Gav Mack macrumors 68020

    Gav Mack

    Jun 15, 2008
    Sagittarius A*
    I presume you've already done the reset SMC and pram routes.

    When they throttle back too much I've usually found it's a thermal issue. As the default fan controls in bootcamp are pretty useless for gaming, try using an app like Macsfancontrol http://www.crystalidea.com/macs-fan-control to ramp them up faster and see if it still throttles back so quickly. You can set custom triggers to ramp up the fans for different sensors with that app. Using a laptop cooling pad may also help the issue.

    The other option failing those two is a strip down, clean, tint and thermal repaste the CPU/GPU heatpipe using quality paste such as AS-5 or MX-4. Apple's paste application is usually far too much in quantity I've found after stripping them down. Though in your case being so early in the warranty and Apple will say 'not our problem' with bootcamp issues you may want to see if the same happens on OSX gaming by downloading the steam client for Mac to try and replicate the issue in Mac OS which will give you the ammunition to get them to either repaste or swap out the logic board.
  5. 827538 macrumors 65816

    Jul 3, 2013
    I play BF4, WoT to name a few and I haven't experienced any stuttering or throttling issues and I've used GPU-z to monitor a few gaming sessions. Perhaps it could be to do with a faulty driver? Had that a few times (and when I first installed Windows on bootcamp).
  6. dusk007 macrumors 68040


    Dec 5, 2009
    I wouldn't adives on that. Getting inside the retina takes special screwdrivers again and it probably won't change much. I also heard that on the Retina's Apple doesn't use way too much paste any more. I also get the same temps so it probably wouldn't do much. A GPU at 80C shouldn't throttle unless it is furmark, which the GPU driver will simply detect and throttle always.

    I agree with you about the fan control. They ramp up much too slow when the whole system is under load. But that should only be an issue in the first minute and only be noticeable when benchmarking.
  7. Gav Mack macrumors 68020

    Gav Mack

    Jun 15, 2008
    Sagittarius A*
    To an untrained person who has never took one apart I agree, but I've been stripping Macs and PC laptops down for decades and have all the tools. As it's well under warranty too in the OP's case I would let Apple do it anyway regardless. Fortunately I'm friends with the head engineer at my local repair agent who knows contrary to Apple policy how to apply good paste properly so he gets a text with my job number so he can do it!

    The newest retina MBP I have stripped down for a re-paste was an 18 month old 2012 15 inch and that had far too much paste on as per usual. Dried out and powdery also which isn't good and typical for over application. Temps after a week with proper application of AS-5 dropped 10 degrees on idle!
  8. Godlikes macrumors newbie

    Dec 6, 2013
    If you download a a program for fan control (e.g. Hwinfo64) you can force fans to maximum when playing a game. I wonder if the card would still throttle.

    Can anyone try?
  9. dusk007 macrumors 68040


    Dec 5, 2009
    It would because you can bet that with those temps the fans are already running full speed. Because the CPU quickly goes to 99C with lower fan speeds.
  10. thejadedmonkey macrumors 604


    May 28, 2005
    The rMBP is under Applecare, so my first instinct is to take it to Apple, and ask them to fix it.

    If that doesn't work, well, you bought a mac for gaming. What did you expect? ;)
  11. iStrikeRx thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 4, 2014
    Final Fantasy 14, Tomb Raider, WoW (capped at 30fps, high settings), SC2, BF3, to name a few. Usually using the Nvidia optimised settings.

    I'll try and get a screenshot now. But basically, even in furmark, it starts throttling as soon as the GPU hits around 65-70c, with the CPU clocked at 1.5GHz. Fluctuates from 1026 (what I have the core clock at) to 925 (stock base) repeatedly, then as soon as it hits 75c or so it starts dropping down to the 700s and sits there till I quit whatever app or game that is running and the system cools down.

    At full fan speed, the GPU barely comes close to 70c under full load, and the CPU stays around 85c, despite being limited to 1.5GHz. It surely can't be thermal throttling.

    I also have the power adapter in a well ventilated area, and my room isnt exactly warm (around 10-15c at most during winter).


    Yep tried both pram and smc resets. I also repasted the machine the second I received it with AS5, and the heatsinks cleaned to a point where they were almost mirror-like.


    Yeah, worth mentioning that I also got a similar idle drop temp wise when repasting. Apple are horrific when it comes to this stuff, even worse than Dell.


    Will give it a go as suggested above with fans on full, see how it goes. Strangely, benchmarking apps resulted in the fans not spinning up at all, where as gaming sets them off within 30 seconds or so.

    I actually bought it as a desktop replacement, primarily for heavy photoshop/ilustrator use, and some video editing on the side. Having previously used a 650m retina, and having been satisfied with the gaming performance, I figured it'd be a good machine for bootcamp gaming as well.

    My problem with the whole applecare thing is that most of the time they're too lazy to attempt a repair, and simply replace it. It took me a ridiculous amount of returns to actually get a good LG screen.
  12. Gav Mack macrumors 68020

    Gav Mack

    Jun 15, 2008
    Sagittarius A*
    Couldn't agree more, the service manuals which they send out to engineers for thermal paste has been bad advice for as long as I can recall with only one or two exceptions.

    Have you done a hardware test/ apple diagnostics by holding the d down on power up?

    If nothing obvious is showing there back to Apple it is yet again, mention bootcamp but if the furmark does similar in OSX you have a case for them to look at it properly!
  13. iStrikeRx thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 4, 2014
    Will test it now.

    In regards to furmark in osx, I assume I should see very little throttling? Just basing that on the better thermal optimisations and driver support thats all.

    Also, couple of shots from GPUZ during 2 tests. First being Furmark, throttling as normal, with the fans maxed out using the app you suggested before starting.

    Second is a good 10-15 min stint in a demanding area of FF14, GPU constantly at 99% load, sitting around 70c mostly, sometimes at 71/72. CPU didnt go over 79c on any cores, likely due to throttlestop. No throttling at all on the GPU at +100MHz core OC / -500MHz mem reduction.

    Setting both fans to max definitely helped in regards to keeping temps under control a little better. Not sure how good that will be for the machine in the long run, or how long the temps will stay cool enough to stop the throttling during longer sessions. But its a start :)

    Sorry the screenshots arent in more depth, don't have MSI afterburner so reporting is basic. But you can still see the fluctuations on furmark, which replicates what I usually see during gameplay.

    Attached Files:

  14. iStrikeRx thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 4, 2014
    Not sure how to judge furmark on OSX, but the default benchmark at 720p sat at around 31fps, before dropping to 30fps half way through, then down to 28/29fps towards the end. Lots of stuttering, but again, I'm unsure if that's normal.

    Diagnostics reported no issues at all.


    Sorry for all the spam, but a post I found here indicates that a lot of people are experiencing issues with throttling when connected to an external display for gaming: http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1414533&page=2

    I'm running mine to a U2412M with everything at 1920x1200, similar to a couple of people on that old thread.

    I really hope this isn't just a really old problem that Apple haven't bothered to fix :(
  15. iStrikeRx thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 4, 2014
    Well good news. Macs Fan Control seems to have solved all the issues. Even at full load I have the GPU temp sat at a max of 72c, with the maximum overclock possible (via evga precision anyway) always active @1061MHz. Been running Bioshock Infinite Burial At Sea for an hour now, and not a single drop in clocks outside of me alt tabbing once or twice.

    Also worth noting that I hadn't realised anything below 1.5GHz on throttlestop was automatically discarded. Since I've increased the limit to 1.5GHz, the CPU seems to sit around the 75c mark at full load with those settings. This helps quite a bit in keeping the whole package below 80c, every little helps.

    Can't thank Gav Mack enough for the SMC app suggestion :D

    Oh and for reference, I tried a couple of demanding 3D games in OS X as well, and whilst the performance was poor due to the fact that very little Mac ports actually run well, there didnt appear to be any throttling. Heck, the macbook itself barely got warm. Fans had nothing to do. I suppose it shows just how much effort Apple put into the optimisation side of things where adapting to new hardware is concerned.
  16. Godlikes macrumors newbie

    Dec 6, 2013
    The gaming performance in MacOsx is terrible, you can't use that to test as it probably won't even max out your card.

    Try in Windows Bootcamp so the games run at full speed and push your CPU/GPU to the limits.

    Beggars belief how a billion dollar company can't get gaming right on MacOSx.
  17. Gav Mack macrumors 68020

    Gav Mack

    Jun 15, 2008
    Sagittarius A*
    Happy to help, makes all the other posts worthwhile where I'm banging my head against the wall reading that :cool:

    I did say that bootcamp fan control is shocking at the very start! Windows thermals is one thing that has been consistently rubbish by apple since they went Intel across the whole range, bar maybe the Mac Pro 1-5,1 but that has got much bigger thermal tolerances than all the others. As it uses admin privileges I run mine to start at logon using task scheduler to avoid the annoying UAC prompt!
  18. iStrikeRx thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 4, 2014
    I'm ashamed to say that a lot more of the issue may have been caused by the non-functioning 1GHz throttlestop clock than I first thought.

    Left Bioshock running in the background for around an hour longer, temp on the GPU had been sitting at around 87c for a good while, with no throttling at all.

    This was just due to me setting the sensor options wrong (one fan was set to the wrong diode, so wasnt spinning up much), as it doesnt usually run anywhere near that hot.

    I hope for the sake of all the heartache and effort gone into this thread that this whole issue wasnt caused by a simple bug in throttlestop. Then again, most people seem to report that simply disabling turbo in windows power plan settings necessitates the need for throttlestop altogether. Either way, having some SMC control has improved the thermals significantly in windows. And if the fans burn out, so be it, I have 3 year applecare.

    Regardless of what is wrong here, none of us should have to tinker with so many different settings and have to download 3rd party apps just to fix it.
  19. dusk007 macrumors 68040


    Dec 5, 2009
    As far as the furmark tests go. I think when furmark is running the GPU automatically changes to the PM mode 1 which is per default at 750Mhz. It doesn't matter what the cpu is doing or what the temps are.

    I doubt it has to do with optimizations. The cooling system is hardware and cannot get optimized and the chips will create just as much heat when used to the same extent. If OSX runs cooler that probably just means the clocks are lower or the utilization is lower.
    Starcraft 2 which is one of the few games that used to run farily okay on OSX does push the fans quite often to max. Vsync is a pain though so I cannot activate that.
  20. ha1o2surfer macrumors 6502

    Sep 24, 2013
    You could always use this program called "Nvidia inspector" (Windows Only) and limit frame rate to 40-55FPS. Obliviously it can depend on the game what FPS you would like it to run at. I can write up a small how to on how to do it. This can help keep power usage to a minimum which is why the 750m is throttling. The tj of the 750m is 105c so thermal throttling is obviously not an issue here
  21. iStrikeRx thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 4, 2014
    I was tempted to use it but I avoided it due to how many apps I'm already running just to control it.

    Frame rates generally aren't an issue for me. While 60 is ideal, I find that I can cope with using adaptive vsync when available, at half the refresh rate. Unless the game is demanding and drops into the 20s, responsiveness is usually unaffected for the most part.

    Obviously any competitive FPS game I'd lower the settings accordingly to always hit 60fps anyway.
  22. goldsaint macrumors member

    Feb 25, 2011
    I had the same problem on the gt650m (retina macbook pro) and i fixed it this way :

    1- get a different Mobile driver than the Stock that comes with bootcamp drivers. For this, i go to Laptopvideo2go.com

    2- From there, get the 331.93 driver for windows 8, 7 64bits. Its the best driver out there with crazy performance for gaming under win7.

    3- Download and install 331.93 and let the resolution be 1680x1050. This is the medium best res for your desktop, and i do recommand to use it for games too.

    4- Go to Control panel, Display and select ''Smaller - 100%''.

    Then you'll be amazed by the performance and your desktop graphic quality.
    This is the exact setup i am using and i couldnt be more happy.;)

    P.s : my Windows exp index score is 7.3 :

    Processor : 7.6
    RAM : 7.8 (8gb)
    graphic : 7.3
    Gaming graphic : 7.3
    primary hard disk : 7.9 (256gb ssd)
  23. dusk007 macrumors 68040


    Dec 5, 2009
    Then you only run 1680x1050 which may be enough but I doubt anybody has performance issue on the desktop. I never noticed any performance problems because of high dpi settings. For games it makes no difference what you desktop resolution is or what DPI setting you have. All that matters is the res in the game which should be 1680x1050 or 1920x1200. The latter imo still looks somewhat better but going higher really is never worth the performance.

    What stirkes me as odd is how bad 1440x900 is. I tried some strong contrast paint tests. 1440x900 should just make 4 pixels into one but it doesn't it washes out and looks really bad. 1680x1050 and 1920x1200 scaling is really good though. I compared it to my old native 1680x1050 and there is really no reason to complain.
  24. bigpizza macrumors newbie

    Sep 9, 2012
    Hey! I'm happy for your success. Could someone be willing to throw together a quick guide for us not so tech savvy on how to do an OC on the 750m and an underclock for the CPU? What voltage did you use?

    You've used 3 softwares: Evga precision, mac/SMC fan control and throttlestop. Correct?

    Also, haven't you considered using a cooling pad?

    Would be great to get some performance out of this laptop... So I don't have to get another computer for gaming.
  25. dusk007 macrumors 68040


    Dec 5, 2009
    The easiest way to underclock the CPU is to switch the powerplan to battery savings in Windows. This will basically disable all Turbos and if you go into the powerplan settings and set the max cpu to around 70% it will also effectivly cap it at around 1.6Ghz I think. In many games it will never even bother to run any higher than 800Mhz as speedstep is set to aggresive power savings. It may cause some lag though. You don't need any extra tools.
    I don't think that is really needed except when you want fans to run slower because they bother you while playing older not too demanding games.

    For the GPU. Just download MSI Afterburner or NvidiaInspector. Afterburner is better imo but Inspector works as a standalone app (You don't need to install anything, just run it).
    All it allows you to do is set +/-135Mhz on the GPU core clock. You can change memory clocks too but that won't do much one way or another. Turbo clock rate is what I would like to be able to change but I don't know how.
    Only change clocks on PM-State 0, don't touch the others. 0 is for full load, 1 is furmark and medium load, 2, 3 are the very low power states.

    Beware though. Furmark doesn't work for testing heat or stability. Some games cause less heat then others at the same clock, so don't automatically assume that heat is fine just because one game runs cool enough.
    It also makes sense to activate the higher performance profiles only for the games that need them.

    The tools are easy to use as the +/- 135Mhz slider is really all you can make use of and that is a maximum of 14% additional performance. For me that pushed GPU temps only by 3-4 C and at times seemingly not at all.
    On a normal real 750M GPU like the one in the Dell XPS 15. You'd have a base clock of 950Mhz and a turbo clock of 1058Mhz. +135Mhz would mean that if the heat stays in check the GPU would go to 1200Mhz. DDR3 750Ms can even clock to 1300Mhz without much issues. You will never run into stability problems (these chips are nowhere close to their max clock) and heat technically won't be an issue either because if there is too much heat in the system it just forces the CPU to throttle first and as mentioned before most games would still have enough CPU speed when the Quad Core is throttled to 1.5Ghz.

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