Bad GFX performance on MacBook Pro 16-inch

SE0Master

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Mar 2, 2020
9
2
Hello

I'm new to Mac and just got my brand new MacBook Pro 16-inch 5 days ago, and I can't figure out why it is performing so badly? I'm plugged into power, but with just browsing the web, the windows and my workflow has small gfx-lagspikes all the time. Let's say I will drag a window from the one side to the other or enabling full screen mode, all the windoes are lagging with small "gfx lagspikes". It's not a very smooth experience.

Even though I know it's "just" a base model i7 with 16GB RAM and Radeon 5300 GFX 4GB it still performs worse than my MacBook Air 2012. This is really strange?

I know this Mac should have the auto-kick in and enable the dGPU when needed, but it's not even activating Adobe Lightroom if I look under Activity Monitor > Energy. It's like the dGPU is not active at all?

And even though the dGPU isn't active this MacBook Pro 16-inch with Intel UHD 630 GFX should still perform better than an 8 year older MacBook Air from 2012, but it isn't.

Help what's going on?
 
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Vasiliy Kudryashov

macrumors newbie
Mar 2, 2020
14
0
Hi, i have same perfomance problem with window lagging. My mac randomly starts lagging if im browsing.
It is absolutly random, I can open all my programms like cinema4d, blender, figma and its works fine, but most of time when i do simple browsing its lagging
 

SE0Master

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Mar 2, 2020
9
2
Yes it is pretty annoying. And I can't even get my dGPU do activate with Adobe Lightroom, so if Lightroom can't activate the dGPU what can???

I've read that the auto-switching isn't new problems, and if you turn the auto-switching off in Energy Saving Mode you force the MacBook to use the dGPU all the time, but can it really be true??
 
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Z28McCrory

macrumors regular
Jan 20, 2014
109
51
Indiana
Did you start fresh, or did you use Migration Assistant to transfer things over from a previous Mac?

I ask, because when I got my 16" MBP in January, I couldn't figure out why my real world benchmarks (I was using PugentBench) were so much lower than everyone else. It was as if the GPU wasn't being used, even though I turned off automatic graphic switching, etc. No amount of restarts seemed to fix it.

After a lot of frustration, I did a fresh install of Catalina and moved everything over manually (I had previously used Migration Assistant to move over a Time Machine backup of my old MacBook Pro). After the clean install, the performance increased dramatically, and it's been fine ever since.
 

SE0Master

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Mar 2, 2020
9
2
Yes I started completely fresh, unfortunately. So I find this very weird and annoying. So frustrating to use so much money on a premium laptop, that isn't more premium in workflow than my girlfriends MacBook Air from mid-2012, lol.
 

Mark_EL

macrumors member
Mar 20, 2019
44
43
Netherlands
If you read this thread: https://forums.macrumors.com/threads/16-mbp-gpu-panics.2221004/ you will notice that it seems that its the Intel integrated GPU thats giving an issue in some (many? Or all even?) cases.

The OP in that topic seems to have the biggest problem since he gets kernel panics all the time when his computers switches the GPU. However, what you can also read in that thread is that others don’t experience the kernel panics but do notice the bad performance with the integrated Intel GPU. In my case, my computer luckily doesn’t get the kernel panics that the OP gets, but the benchmark performance in Geekbench 5 is not near what it should be. (I am talking about the Metal GPU benchmark test, with the Intel gpu). However, I am running OSX Catalina 10.15.3. In that same topic (third page) someone wrote that he tested with Geekbench 5, while running the Beta version Catalina 10.15.4 and the performance was a lot better. So it seems to be a software thing thats being addressed by Apple in the next Catalina update (?).

In any case, when I launch Lightroom, my MBP does not switch to the AMD GPU automatically either. At least not when I am in Library module. (Not sure about the develop module, but I am typing this on my ipad, don’t have the MBP with me right now so I can’t check). It does switch automatically as soon as I launch Photoshop though....

You can indeed choose to always use the dedicated GPU, by unclicking the auto switching off, in the Energy saving mode, I am certain that will make your MBP perform a lot better, but it will also drain your battery a lot faster when your not connected to mains... Perhaps you should try the 10.15.4 beta to see if it works any better?
 
Last edited:

Vasiliy Kudryashov

macrumors newbie
Mar 2, 2020
14
0
Did you start fresh, or did you use Migration Assistant to transfer things over from a previous Mac?
Im start fresh
Now im reinstalling catalina, maybe it fix
- - Post merged: - -

You can indeed choose to always use the dedicated GPU, by unclicking the auto switching off, in the Energy saving mode, I am certain that will make your MBP perform a lot better, but it will also drain your battery a lot faster when your not connected to mains... Perhaps you should try the 10.5.4 beta to see if it works any better?
im unclicked check box in battery settings, it is not helped. If reinstall catalina will not help, im trying install beta, thank you
 

SE0Master

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Mar 2, 2020
9
2
If you read this thread: https://forums.macrumors.com/threads/16-mbp-gpu-panics.2221004/ you will notice that it seems that its the Intel integrated GPU thats giving an issue in some (many? Or all even?) cases.

The OP in that topic seems to have the biggest problem since he gets kernel panics all the time when his computers switches the GPU. However, what you can also read in that thread is that others don’t experience the kernel panics but do notice the bad performance with the integrated Intel GPU. In my case, my computer luckily doesn’t get the kernel panics that the OP gets, but the benchmark performance in Geekbench 5 is not near what it should be. (I am talking about the Metal GPU benchmark test, with the Intel gpu). However, I am running OSX Catalina 10.15.3. In that same topic (third page) someone wrote that he tested with Geekbench 5, while running the Beta version Catalina 10.15.4 and the performance was a lot better. So it seems to be a software thing thats being addressed by Apple in the next Catalina update (?).

In any case, when I launch Lightroom, my MBP does not switch to the AMD GPU automatically either. At least not when I am in Library module. (Not sure about the develop module, but I am typing this on my ipad, don’t have the MBP with me right now so I can’t check). It does switch automatically as soon as I launch Photoshop though....

You can indeed choose to always use the dedicated GPU, by unclicking the auto switching off, in the Energy saving mode, I am certain that will make your MBP perform a lot better, but it will also drain your battery a lot faster when your not connected to mains... Perhaps you should try the 10.15.4 beta to see if it works any better?
Thanks for this information. Unfortunately I'm not alone with this issue. I don't experience the Kernel Panics but I for sure experience the bad performance with the stuttering program windows etc. when dragging them across the screen. And that is really sad to me. But I have just checked Lightroom again after I went in Devolop Mode and it activated dGPU now so that is a good thing.
Though it's still pretty annoying the performance is so bad with only the Intel gfx, but we can only hope for a software update can fix this further on with Catalina.

Yes I know I can activate the always use the dGPU, but as you say it will also drain my battery very fast, so I don't want to do that.

I really wish they will fix this very soon. I love this computer, but not at all costs.
 

mouthster

macrumors regular
Apr 22, 2005
178
66
Reinstalling catalina dont fix the issue
i record comparison video with laggy and normal perfomance
That looks like refresh rate. A couple times I've had the refresh changed from 60hz (good)to 30hz (bad) when I plug in an external monitor. This isn't unique to my 16", also happened on my 2019 15".
 

Vasiliy Kudryashov

macrumors newbie
Mar 2, 2020
14
0
i did not plugin any external monitor. It have bad perfomance on native mac screen.Today, i compared my mbp 16" with mpbp 13" 2019 and mbp 15" 2019 with the same load, and only my mac had this laggy frame dropping issue. Now im have installed beta 5.4 and it looks like have the same behavior
 

mouthster

macrumors regular
Apr 22, 2005
178
66
Next time it happens can you go to system prefs -> displays and option-click on "scaled" and see what the refresh rate is? Your video doesn't look like dropped frames, its looks like a low-refresh rate.
 

PyerCoffin

macrumors newbie
Jan 20, 2020
15
3
Hello all,
I was about to write about this problem on another thread but this one is more relevant.
I have the exact same issue and sent a report to Apple (via the Feedback Assistant).
Also I'm on 10.15.4 Beta.
I've boiled it down to this (at least on my rig):
Symptoms:
. When the laptop is forced to use the discreet card, either by plugging in a secondary monitor or playing a game or using a graphic intensive software (Blender , Maya, Photoshop,...), the UI becomes insanely slow after a (quick) while, depending on your screen resolution. I've put mine on the scaling left to the default, but if you put it to the right (More Space), the throttling (let's call it that way) happens way quicker.
Oh and @mouthster, the refresh rate is at 60 when this happens. And I've forced the system to use the discreet card (the AMD Radeon Pro 5500M in my case).
Cure:
None so far. I've tried the usual SMC reset, PRAM/VRAM reset, booting in safe mode, com.apple.windowserver.plist removal, ... The only thing that brings back smoothness to the interface is either rebooting, or stopping whatever culprit app and wait a few minutes... But that's hardly a good solution...
Oh and one last curious thing I've noticed: when I go into Clamshell mode (I hook up a secondary screen and close my laptops lid), the throttling does not happen!
I really don't know what that means...

Edited:
Forget my Clamshell comment, it still does it in that mode...
 
Last edited:

Vasiliy Kudryashov

macrumors newbie
Mar 2, 2020
14
0
Next time it happens can you go to system prefs -> displays and option-click on "scaled" and see what the refresh rate is? Your video doesn't look like dropped frames, its looks like a low-refresh rate.
Refresh rate always 60hz, i have checked it
 

Vasiliy Kudryashov

macrumors newbie
Mar 2, 2020
14
0
hm, i reboot my mac with opt+control+r and reinstall catalina to factory 10.15.3. Looks like better perfomance, but im continue wathing
 

PyerCoffin

macrumors newbie
Jan 20, 2020
15
3
Yeah tried reinstalling too, but the laggyness came back.
I'm noticing that sometimes I don't need to reboot for the UI to become smooth again. This thing is driving me crazy...
I'm attaching a couple of Activity Monitor screenshots while the lag is happening.
Nothing seems out of the ordinary... At least to me.
 

Attachments

Last edited:

Vasiliy Kudryashov

macrumors newbie
Mar 2, 2020
14
0
Man, apple agent say me to create a new partition on the disk and install macos as second. And it is looks like perfect, hmmm. I open 5 tabs with 4k video, launch render in cinema 4d, and no issue there
- - Post merged: - -

also i mentioned that my cpu temperature now is between 50-80, and it is better than 80-100 before
 
Last edited:

PyerCoffin

macrumors newbie
Jan 20, 2020
15
3
Man, apple agent say me to create a new partition on the disk and install macos as second. And it is looks like perfect, hmmm. I open 5 tabs with 4k video, launch render in cinema 4d, and no issue there
- - Post merged: - -

also i mentioned that my cpu temperature now is between 50-80, and it is better than 80-100 before
Hi Vasiliy!
I'm not sure I understand...
What do you mean by "as second"?
 

SE0Master

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Mar 2, 2020
9
2
Ouch, that is definitely weird. All I know is that I for sure have the annoying GFX lagspikes all the time when running on the Intel UHD gfx card. But when I plug my external monitor in the MacBook Pro it automatically switch to the dGPU and then everything is more smooth and runs like I expect it to run. But with no external monitor connected and the auto-switch between gfx ON it definitely can't figure out to run it properly. Just to drag a Pages window bigger or smaller or change a program from full screen to normal is lagging like crazy!!!
 

PyerCoffin

macrumors newbie
Jan 20, 2020
15
3
sorry for my english) I mean now i have two installed macos
- - Post merged: - -

I have two partitions:
1)Macintosh HD (i have this issue here)
2) test (new os, i just installed and now everything ok)
Ah ok! Thanks :)
I'll try and build up courage to try what you did...
 
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