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Broko Fankone

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jun 14, 2020
231
224
Hello, as many of you know - some of the 2020 13" MBPs run quite hot. It will always vary depending on which chip you have, but also on the luck you had with chip binning. Chip binning "lottery", as the call it, basically means that some chips can deliver the exact same level of performance for less voltage. This varies between the exact same chip models and is a byproduct of the way chips are made. Some simply fare better than others, while sadly we all pay the same prices for them and must rely on sheer luck to get a well-binned chip. A chip that uses less voltage for the same power will also run colder than one which uses more power. It also has a greater potential to be undervolted, but all macbooks supposedly come pre-undervolted. I wish we had more control over both binning and undervolting, but we don't. With simply doing an efficient undervolt you can shave off 5-10C off cpu heat easily, but let's assume apple did an OK job with that by design.

Taking that into account, the 10th Gen CPUs do run hotter than expected for many users and I am surely one of them. In my daily usage, it seemed that fans would sit at very low RPM until the point where CPU temperatures become very high. At some point I could hear the fans burst into noise and then go silent again. This is quite an unpleasant experience and defeats the purpose of a 'silent' machine.

If you want to sacrifice a tiny level of additional noise in favour of controlling this behaviour in a better way, then download Macs Fan Control. The free version will do just fine, but feel free to support the creator and buy it.

FREE VERSION VARIANT:

Set the Profile to Custom on both fans, and set both of them to be Based on CPU Proximity. Then open the additional configuration for both and set:

Temperature to start increase from: 35-40C
Max temperature: 55-60C

PRO VERSION VARIANT:


With the Pro version you can have two profiles, or more. I've setup a "Normal" profile for daily tasks and low-stress usage, and "Heavy" profile for more cpu/gpu-heavy tasks, where CPU can go at 80-90C+.

Normal (low fan noise and low temps with low usage):
Temp start: 35C-40C
Temp max: 70C

40-70 will let you have a more silent variant and 35-70 will be a tad bit more cool with a bit more noise. I usually just run 40-70.

Heavy (louder fan noise even at low usage but safe for heavy usage):
Temp start: 35C
Temp max: 55C



You can tweak these numbers a bit, depending on where you want to see your thermals go.

These settings will make it so your fans are much more active in the 2-3k+ RPM range before the machine gets a chance to become very hot.

CPU Proximity seems to give a fine balance of a temp reading that does not change super actively, but changes reliably overall.

You could potentially make it quieter by increasing the start temperature above 35C. Do not set max temperature to anything well above 75C on the heavy profile, because it's going to affect the machine and its battery life, unless you are really OK with that. And you do not want it to actually overheat at all, usually, so it's good to have a reasonable max value where fans go full blast. I do not think letting the cpu reach 80-90C is reasonable for a laptop, even if the cpu is rated safe around temps of 100C. Such temperatures affect all nearby components. Heat will also damage the battery. I like to see my battery below 40C at all times, even while charging, although it can reach 50C while being charged and this is considered within safety margins. Still, my MPB is charging right now and you can see the values below.

Right now, I am using Brave browser with a few tabs open, having an external monitor connected, an audio interface connected that draws power from the mac, charging over MV hub (where hdmi goes into), ableton live 10 active, discord active and telegram active, with the following stats:

1594520456469.png


Additionally, here is how the temps look like with the mac having nothing attached to it - all ports free, no charging:

1594529625936.png
 
Last edited:

Navvier

macrumors member
Aug 4, 2018
63
22
Hello, as many of you know - some of the 2020 13" MBPs run quite hot. It will always vary depending on which chip you have, but also on the luck you had with chip binning. Chip binning "lottery", as the call it, basically means that some chips can deliver the exact same level of performance for less voltage. This varies between the exact same chip models and is a byproduct of the way chips are made. Some simply fare better than others, while sadly we all pay the same prices for them and must rely on sheer luck to get a well-binned chip. A chip that uses less voltage for the same power will also run colder than one which uses more power. It also has a greater potential to be undervolted, but all macbooks supposedly come pre-undervolted. I wish we had more control over both binning and undervolting, but we don't. With simply doing an efficient undervolt you can shave off 5-10C off cpu heat easily, but let's assume apple did an OK job with that by design.

Taking that into account, the 10th Gen CPUs do run hotter than expected for many users and I am surely one of them. In my daily usage, it seemed that fans would sit at very low RPM until the point where CPU temperatures become very high. At some point I could hear the fans burst into noise and then go silent again. This is quite an unpleasant experience and defeats the purpose of a 'silent' machine.

If you want to sacrifice a tiny level of additional noise in favour of controlling this behaviour in a better way, then download Macs Fan Control. The free version will do just fine, but feel free to support the creator and buy it.

Set the Profile to Custom on both fans, and set both of them to be Based on CPU Proximity. Then open the additional configuration for both and set:

Temperature to start increase from: 35C
Max temperature: 75C


You can tweak these numbers a bit, depending on where you want to see your thermals go.

These settings will make it so your fans are much more active in the 2-3k+ RPM range before the machine gets a chance to become very hot.

CPU Proximity seems to give a fine balance of a temp reading that does not change super actively, but changes reliably overall.

You could potentially make it quieter by increasing the start temperature above 35C. This is my preference and I don't mind the noise. Do not set max temperature to anything well above 80C, because it's going to affect the machine and its battery life, unless you are really OK with that. And you do not want it to actually overheat at all, usually, so it's good to have a reasonable max value where fans go full blast. I do not think letting the cpu reach 80-90C is reasonable for a laptop, even if the cpu is rated safe around temps of 100C. Such temperatures affect all nearby components. Heat will also damage the battery. I like to see my battery below 40C at all times, even while charging, although it can reach 50C while being charged and this is considered within safety margins. Still, my MPB is charging right now and you can see the values below.

Right now, I am using Brave browser with a few tabs open, having an external monitor connected, an audio interface connected that draws power from the mac, charging over MV hub (where hdmi goes into), ableton live 10 active, discord active and telegram active, with the following stats:

View attachment 933078

Additionally, here is how the temps look like with the mac having nothing attached to it - all ports free, no charging:

View attachment 933109
Great post!

Here are my stats on MBP 13 2020 with your MFC settings and 2 virtual machines running (Linux with docker containers and Windows 10). Fans are almost silent. Palm rests are cool.

1594559690099.png


Next, I'll try the same case on charger.
 
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Broko Fankone

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jun 14, 2020
231
224
Glad it is working out for you as well :)

I have made an adjustment now - max temp. should be set to about 55-60C! 75C is too high for cpu proximity. If this increases the fan noise under normal load it could be tweaked further or two profiles can be used - one for normal usage and one for heavy load (profiles are in the pro version). And the lower value can be bumped up a bit, for example to 40C to compensate for the increased RPM from the max value.

I stress tested the mac with Cinebench and cpu temps immediately spiked to 100C, but proximity remained closer to ~60C so 75C is not enough to trigger the full blast needed at that heat level.

An additional way to reduce thermal stress is by disabling Turbo boost when you do not need the CPU to perform at its max - Turbo boost switcher can do that.

The MFC profile can surely be tweaked further to some weird values that could provide the ideal balance, so I'll update again if I find better ones. Feel free to test for yourselves under heavy load and normal usage and report your findings as to what numbers provided the best ratio of low fan noise and adequate cooling. I am especially worried about heavy load since proximity slowly ramps up but fans need to start blasting on full RPM when CPU temps reach 90C+.
 
Last edited:

Broko Fankone

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jun 14, 2020
231
224
So far I think the best way to do this is with two profiles. Getting the pro version is worth it for that. I've described the two profiles in the opening post. Been using the mac like this for a few days and it's been reliable. The heavy profile would be fitting for gaming, rendering, compiling code, etc. But for audio work, watching videos, browsing, using "normal" apps and so on, the normal profile works really good and temps barely get higher than 70-80C at most (like when using ableton 10 with external monitor) but generally sit comfortably between 50-60C. Having many things and a monitor attached to my mac does indeed create extra stress, so the laptop on its own should behave even better with lower temps.

Compared to the "auto" mode i was using at first, this is way better and keeps the mac at very decent temperatures for a model with this CPU.
 
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