How is the 15'' rMBP for heavy use?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Purant, Oct 24, 2012.

  1. Purant macrumors 6502

    Aug 26, 2012
    I am interested in buying the 15" rMBP.

    I have one issue that worries me. I have read that a lot of the rMBPs throttle comparatively easily. Since I intend to use mine to let it compute stuff over the night (being at 90+% cpu for 12 hours straight or more), I really don't want it to throttle thus making the calculations take longer. I have an old (2006) Macbook Pro and I had it work at max cpu 3 days straight and it never throttled (although it was uncomfortably hot).

    So my question, how prone are the rMBP to throttling? Is the situation I described above sure to make it throttle? Maybe I will better off with a cMBP? (since it's slightly bigger so maybe it cools more reliably, and it doesn't need to throttle as much).

    Thanks in advance.
  2. Maczor macrumors regular

    Oct 23, 2012
    LU, Switzerland
    Sorry, but you don't really seem to know what you're talking about...
    What exactly are you doing so that your CPU is at 90%+ for 12 hours ?
    Please... enlighten us.
  3. Purant thread starter macrumors 6502

    Aug 26, 2012
    3D rendering of animations and lightmap baking... Why is it important what I do?
  4. agaskew macrumors 6502

    Dec 3, 2009
    Not everyone's usage is the same, why are you being so offensive?

    I don't do 3D modelling and rendering stuff, but I can only say that the 2.7 16Gb rMBP flies through stuff like Handbrake video reencoding.

    I'm currently running the Handbrake CLI in a for loop against 150+ AVI files, reencoding to mp4 via streaming. These files are reencoding at about 600fps and the overall CPU usage is 25-35%, load avg about 2.8. Handbrake may not be the greatest multithreader ever, I dont know, and this isn't taxing the GPU at all, so the workload doesn't really match yours too well. But, its really fast!
  5. Maczor macrumors regular

    Oct 23, 2012
    LU, Switzerland
    It was important because in my eyes, no proper professional would do what you're doing. 3D rendering is an extremely intensive task ( talking about professional level and not simple models with a few polys )... choosing to perform such tasks on a notebook ( even if it's a Mac ), to me, is just an extremely poor decision. But well, it's your time... If I were you, I'd do the modeling on the notebook and the rendering of complex scenes / model on a powerful desktop / server ( it would most likely still be cheaper than the rMBP and you won't have to worry about throttle or anything similar that much - or at all ). But yeah, I'm not you and you're not me...

    Anyway... If your current, old notebook stays at 90%+ CPU then the 15" Retina will surely be quite below that... I'd say around 35%-40%... It will handle rendering a lot better, that's a fact.
  6. Angelo95210 macrumors 6502a


    Jan 7, 2009
    Paris, France
    You can probably do this on the rMBP but for sure it's not the ideal machine for this. I would add an external fan (base, support) to keep it cool if I was doing this.
  7. Purant thread starter macrumors 6502

    Aug 26, 2012
    What do "professionals" do when they are on the go and don't have access to a desktop / server...?

    I travel a lot, so if needed I want to know that the laptop I'm choosing can help in a pinch.
  8. Maczor, Oct 25, 2012
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2012

    Maczor macrumors regular

    Oct 23, 2012
    LU, Switzerland
    They do the same thing I've mentioned... at least, the ones that really do heavy rendering. You can do the modeling on your laptop and render stuff in low quality for testing ( so it's fast and you can see the approximate result ), but once the final render, you could easily connect to your remote desktop / server, upload the models you want to render and start the rendering on that machine.

    That way, your notebook ain't struggling and you can still continue to use it without a problem. The remote desktop / server is taking care of all the heavy lifting...

    Also, I don't think that it's that common for 3D artists to travel a lot and work on notebooks ( do complex renderings I mean ). The ones I know at least, and their friends and their friends' friends all work on quite powerful desktops and not from the beach or on the train. Sure, your case is seemingly different, but you can still do the rendering remotely and not push your notebook to it's limits when it was clearly not designed to be a power-house for 3D artists. If you do use it, then it will most likely manage more than decently in many cases, but you do have other options you know...

    PS: I doubt you sit 24 hours on a train each day and you're never in internet range ( be that 3G )... I also doubt that employers are expecting you to render stuff while sitting in a Metro or driving your car. That's all your decision... Remote rendering is still the way I'd go for complex stuff ( that you know require a lot of power and time to render ) if you're on the go. Simple / medium complexity stuff you can easily do on the 15" rMBP...

    Your decision man... you can keep on pushing your notebook if that's what you really want...
  9. Purant thread starter macrumors 6502

    Aug 26, 2012
    You are making a ton of assumptions that I won't bother correcting.

    My question is clear and we discussed a lot of things around it but not the issue: I intend to push the laptop for a lot of hours straight. The reasons don't matter. I was able to do that with an old Macbook Pro without having any throttling for a lot of years and the laptop is still working. I have done that with windows laptops for years without any problems.

    How prone is the new 15" rMBP to CPU throttling? Is the new cMBP better in that regard?
  10. BeachChair macrumors 6502a

    Apr 11, 2008
    Copenhagen, Denmark

    It is less prone to throttling, according to Anandtech's review.
  11. Purant thread starter macrumors 6502

    Aug 26, 2012
  12. Exana macrumors regular

    Mar 15, 2011
    I first got a mid-2012 MacBook Pro 15,4 2,6 GHz than a Retina 15,4 2,3 GHz. The Retina is quieter, less heat and I never see it throttle. I also do 3D rendering and Cuda calculation witch bring CPU and GPU at +90% for one to two hours. Performances stay at the same level when I run short work all day long even if the Mac gets more hot. So if it throttle, it's not very often or not noticiable. I really enjoy the Retina for heavy load.

    My MacBook Pro 15,4 early 2011 was heating so much that I did not keep it. Throttle + heat + fan noise => back to Apple.

    PS : I did not run more than 2 hours rendering or calculation.
  13. leman macrumors G3

    Oct 14, 2008
    Well, it seems to be doing fine with 6+ hours of continuous gaming ^^

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