Concerned - how can I know if the CPU is throttling

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by blurobot, Apr 25, 2015.

  1. blurobot macrumors member

    May 28, 2009
    Just got my macbook. awesome machine but sometimes the ui lag like hell. Maybe it's just because I am setting it up now as it didn't lag when I tested it at an apple store.

    Is there any way to know if the cpu i currently throttling and causing the lag? Right now I have dropbox, evernote and photos downloading stuff. Maybe spotlight is indexing as well but this is pretty horrible performance so far... Can dropbox and spotlight do that damage? How can I monitor this and the cpu throttling?
  2. catalyst07 macrumors member

    Jun 15, 2013
    It's not throttling– Filevault and indexing take about two days to complete.

    Even once they're completed, even the 13" retina macbook PRO sometimes lags with the OSX GUI transitions.
  3. blurobot thread starter macrumors member

    May 28, 2009
    Filevault is off. How can I see status of indexing? I know what you mean but not lag like this. this is crazy 3FPS lag ahaha. my Mac Pro with 3 screens lag too but that's not what I'm talking about....
  4. johngwheeler macrumors 6502

    Dec 30, 2010
    I come from a land down-under...
    Use Intel Power Gadget to check for throttling

    You can download a tool call Intel Power Gadget, which will give you a running graph of the CPU & GPU frequency, power usage and temperature.

    If the clock frequency drops below the base value for your CPU (e.g. 1.1, 1.2 or 1.3GHz), then the CPU is reducing its frequency to reduce thermal overload.

    My definition of "throttling" is dropping below the base frequency for more than a couple of seconds, when the temperatures are high, and when you are running a CPU intensive task. Bear in mind that CPU frequency is designed to drop below its base frequency when the machine is idle in order to save power, so a low CPU frequency doesn't always imply throttling.
  5. cycledance Suspended

    Oct 15, 2010
    definitely check "reduce transparency" in display accessibility preferences.
    wait a few hours so the background processes can finish and restart.
  6. mattopotamus macrumors G5


    Jun 12, 2012
    It's the nature of the beast. There is very noticeable UI lag.
  7. jimboutilier macrumors 6502a

    Nov 10, 2008
    When I set up a new machine I expect performance and battery life to be sub standard for a couple days.

    First because of syncing activities like Dropbox or other cloud storage processes (mail, music, photos, Evernote etc) second because of spotlight that needs many hours after all the syncing is done to complete it's indexing. Much more powerful machines than the rMB will spin up fans and be laggy.

    Activity monitor can tell you what's using your CPU and how much. Google process names you are not sure about. Once your CPU is in the 5% range when idle for a period of time you can assume background processing is complete. Leave your machine plugged in and on with power saving disabled for a couple nights To get there.
  8. blurobot thread starter macrumors member

    May 28, 2009
    Yeah me too but usually it translates to losing 10% efficiency and the fan going crazy. In this case Dropbox and evernote and mail seemed to have finished and the lag has stopped so it seems dropbox was causing it. I'm still a little concerned and I'll have to get used to this new paradigm but overall all seem well now.

    It's just odd that a simple dropbox sync can cause this machine to crawl :/

    Thanks for all the info.

    we'll see...
  9. jimboutilier macrumors 6502a

    Nov 10, 2008
    A Dropbox sync of any large volume of data is pretty intensive. If I look at it with activity monitor it often consumes almost all of one core on my 2013 i7 MBA And it spins the fans up. If it's similar on the rMB which is already slower, you have at best half power left and likely some throttling over that. Smaller or fewer files don't seem to cause this issue for me so only an occasional problem.

    When I rMB I plan to do a fresh install of only my frequently used software and a data copy rather than a time machine full migration. This will avoid a lot of baggage from things I no longer use but had used over the years. Then some optimization tricks I learned from the very first MBA that helped that low powered beauty perform well
  10. blurobot thread starter macrumors member

    May 28, 2009
    Yes that's a good plan and that's exactly what I've done. But I till needed all my Dropbox file hence the never ending sync. Things are back to normal now but now at least I know the way this machine deal with problems is lag from hell vs fan from hell like the other macs do.
  11. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 604

    Oct 24, 2013

    it hasn't got too much choice it has no fan!!!
  12. bjet767 macrumors 6502a

    Oct 2, 2010
    The only real lag I'm starting to see is when something using iCloud is in process.

    Yesterday I was moving a picture from the new "Photos" app to my ancient copy of Photoshop Elements. The Photos app had to talk to iCloud and the old Photoshop seemed to try and grab all the resources it could and it, Photoshop, ground to a snails crawl.

    Oh and the processor wasn't really being used at all, all the lag was in the communications end of the action.

    I am betting my Photoshop Elements 9 (2010 version) is not as compliant with some of the new Yosemite stuff.
  13. matt2053 macrumors 6502a

    Jul 8, 2012
    I think this is incorrect.

    My understand is that under load the CPU will turbo to 2.4 gHz. If the temp reaches the thermal threshold, it will be throttled back to the base frequency of 1.1 gHz.
  14. Newtons Apple macrumors Core

    Newtons Apple

    Mar 12, 2014
    Jacksonville, Florida
    The lag is worst after it heats up a bit and then it really slows down. Took 4 hours to sync Dropbox. Started out pretty fast but then crawled for the next 3 hours. Laptop was very warm.

    After that unless you pushed it, it seemed OK. This is not a higher performance laptop! It is small and thin with pretty good battery but with no fan if you push it will throttle.
  15. Gav2k macrumors G3


    Jul 24, 2009
    This is correct
  16. Dayv macrumors 6502

    Aug 18, 2009
    I haven't really noticed any UI lag, even when I was doing my initial setup.

    I did have an awful time with Migration Assistant, though. That app needs to be rewritten from the ground up.
  17. brand macrumors 601


    Oct 3, 2006

    Because you had issues with a program means that the program should be rewritten from the group up is absurd and completely unreasonable. Do you even know for a fact that the issues you were having were directly because of Migration Assistant and not a function that it calls outside of the app itself? If the issues are directly with Migration Assistant how do you know that they couldn't be fixed with a couple hours of work? Instead lets just rewrite the whole app from the ground up.
  18. Dayv macrumors 6502

    Aug 18, 2009
    Obviously I don't know the internal code and it may be able to be fixed with a smaller amount of work. If you can't handle a bit of hyperbole, you may want to step away from the internet.

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