i7 processor, maybe a mistake?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by ECUpirate44, Apr 28, 2010.

  1. ECUpirate44 macrumors 603

    ECUpirate44

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2010
    Location:
    NC
    #1
    When I bought my 15' laptop i was all excited to get the latest and greatest equipment, but now i am having second thoughts. My i7 runs very fast but it gets way too hot and i do not feel like i get great battery life off my machine.

    First off, has anyone else noticed this processor running extremely hot? Like over 100C?

    Second, does anyone else feel like they are not getting good battery life? I currently have the screen on one level before off, the only program that is running is Skype. My battery reads as 2 hours remaining at 70% and my CPU is running at 80C.

    Anyone else noticing the same thing?
     
  2. a4209797 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2010
    #2
    The i7 has the same TDP (max wattage) and voltage draws as the i5. The TDP will also effect the temp, so the temp won't differ much either.
     
  3. mark28 macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2010
    #3
    Skype activates the GT330M GPU :D

    Hence why I'm not buying the new 15 inch i7 MBP yet. I'm waiting to see if Apple can fix this GPU switching issue.
     
  4. a4209797 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2010
    #4
    The fix will likely be a firmware/OS fix, not hardware. So you can buy it and get updates to fix it later. There is nothing wrong with the hardware, the problem lies in the software that controls the hardware. They already have "graphics drivers" listed as one of the things they are improving in the next OSX release.
     
  5. Ghost11 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2010
    Location:
    Mississauga, ON
    #5
    Skype uses Nvidia GPU and it propably drains your battery quicker than it should. There are programs like gfxCardStatus on this forum that u can download and it will tell you what gpu your MBP is using. Also i have i7 15 in and it goes up just for a moment when i use CPU pretty heavy, But then fans start spinning faster and temperature goes down to 85C. You should check other posts for heat and battery. Personally i am pretty happy with my MBP, two things i would change is to fans to kick in earlier and for l apple to give me option to lock into GPU the one i want to use. Hope it helps.
     
  6. ECUpirate44 thread starter macrumors 603

    ECUpirate44

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2010
    Location:
    NC
    #6
    thanks for the posts, hopefully my issue will be fixed with a firmware update.
     
  7. mark28 macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2010
    #7
    I'm also working alot with Matlab and Mathematica. They also trigger the GT330M so I rather wait anyway because the only reason I'm buying a MBP is because of the Battery life.

    But it seems as a software issues yes, should be fixed soon hopefully. Then I'll order mine :cool:
     
  8. mattrothcline macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2009
    #8
    Um, those programs do heavy-duty calculations. They'll probably always use the discrete graphics.

    Skype probably uses the discrete graphics to accelerate videoconferencing.

    First, have you calibrated your battery?

    Second, your CPU is well within its thermal envelope at 80C. Your machine is too hot if:
    1) it's uncomfortable to use
    2) it's crashing

    If either of those things are happening, then you should take your machine in to get serviced. If neither of those things are happening, then everything's fine.
     
  9. ECUpirate44 thread starter macrumors 603

    ECUpirate44

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2010
    Location:
    NC
    #9
    When you say calibrate the battery do you mean complete the process thats on apple.com? if so then yes. I always thought there was just a program that needed to run in order to calibrate the battery. I didnt know it was a process. But yes, i ran it all the way down to 0% then let it sit over night and recharged in the morning.
     
  10. alphaod macrumors Core

    alphaod

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2008
    Location:
    NYC
    #10
    My temperature are around 45ºC normally, so it's not very hot.

    I don't Matlab and Mathematica use the GPU for anything.
     
  11. mattrothcline macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2009
    #11
    So what do you think they use to create the pretty graphs? And if those apps use OpenCL, then they're using the GPU to accelerate calculations even when they aren't drawing graphs.
     
  12. TennisandMusic

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2008
    #12
    Aren't the graphs created in the software, therefore using the cpu? I don't use the programs, but are they real time 3D graphs that you can manipulate etc?
     
  13. mingoglia macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2009
    #13
    I sure hope Apple or some other third party releases a patch or some software that allows us to choose what video we want. Such as a "maximum battery life" profile. My 17" i7 is still waiting to be shipped (should ship tomorrow or Friday) so I can't speak from first hand experience but I've been watching these threads closely. Personally as long as spaces is somewhat smooth on the Intel video I don't see a reason to use the GPU for my purposes. Yeah I tend to hammer the CPU with some of the processing I do but for day to day business use I don't do anything graphic intensive and I suspect many MBP users don't. So let us choose manually. By default leave it to auto... but give the option to choose what we want/need in a custom setting. :)
     
  14. BlackZ macrumors member

    BlackZ

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2009
    #14
    Mine says 2:16 as well on 70% but I have to say that it stays on 2:16 for a long time lol, I think there is something wrong with that timer, it can't really calculate the time. Think it is better to time it yourself instead, I will do it as well.

    I have just itunes open and firefox and skype idling in the background so the Nvidea is running :(.
     
  15. sjinsjca macrumors 68000

    sjinsjca

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2008
    #15
    First, the processor running at 100C is no cause for alarm. The chip is happy at that temperature. Don't worry about the case getting too hot either; that seems not to be happening.

    Technically, the issue relates to some apps which need to be updated, as they are making unwarranted graphic calls that cause OS X to run the discrete GPU when not needed. Skype is one of these. The coding change necessary to optimize battery performance is a minor one.

    Flash is another performance killer from way back. It also will soon be updated to take advantage of new, lower-level graphics-system calls that will be more power-efficient.

    No, the i5 and i7 were no mistake. The behavior is just the hardware getting ahead of the software for a brief moment. Usually it's the other way around, but Apple's been pushing out significant new technologies at a brisk pace, and the development community has a little catching-up to do.
     
  16. sjinsjca macrumors 68000

    sjinsjca

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2008
    #16
    The timer is only accurate if it's been calibrated, otherwise it's a crapshoot. Calibration is simple enough: Every once in a while, run the machine on battery (with sleep timers off) until it shuts down. For a machine as new as the i5/i7 MBPs, I'd have done it at least a couple times by now. This is the only way for the monitoring logic to learn what the battery's capacity really is.

    My current (Core2Duo) MBP's meter got way more accurate after I did that a few times. It's good for the battery, too.
     
  17. DesmoPilot macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2008
    #17
    You're right; I imagine it's perfectly happy running dangerously close to it's maximum rated temp of 105C.
     
  18. m85476585 macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2008
    #18
    Matlab's GPU support was very primitive last time I looked. As far as I can tell, you have to write special code and compile it with a special compiler, and it only works on Windows computers with Nvidia graphics. It uses CUDA, but not OpenCL. Mathematica seems to support some hardware rendering options, but they expired my copy for me, so I can't check if it is there on OS X.

    Matlab uses X11 for its interface, and Apple's GPU switching might just enable the discrete GPU for anything that uses X11 (someone with a new MBP would have to test this).

    The TDP might be the same for both chips, but that's the max power, not the power actually used. That means that the cooling system needs to be designed for 35 watts, but the chip probably doesn't put out that much all the time.

    The i7 is 5% faster than the i5 by clock speed, and its turbo boost is up to 8% faster than the i5's turbo boost. As far as I can tell, the chips are otherwise identical, so that suggests the i7 uses up to 8% more power than the i5, and thus creates 8% more heat. The relationship between clock speed and power isn't necessarily direct, but it should be close enough-- the MOSFETs in CPUs use basically only use power if they are switching. If you were to stop the clock, the CPU would be using nearly 0 power (except for leakage and resistors and things like that).

    Apple's 8-9 hour battery life counts on the CPU being in a low-power state a lot. Doing large calculations continuously in Matlab or Mathematica will easily bring the battery life down to 2-3 hours. For the most part, Apple has been extending the battery life by working on keeping things in a low power state, rather than reducing the power used at 100% use (really only Intel can improve that).

    Matlab is notoriously inefficient, and it's not hard to write programs that take minutes or more to execute on large data sets. I used a matlab script once that, given a 20MB wave file input, would instantly take 2GB of RAM, which caused MATLAB to stop with an out of memory error, since apparently it is 32 bit on Macs, so there is a 2gb limit. With a slightly smaller data set, it would take about 2-3 minutes for the same program to analyze the file. Of course, giving it the data in pieces and putting the results together gave the same result as doing it all at once, so I don't know what all the memory use was for.

    Skype may be CPU-intensive if you are video chatting. It has to encode the video in real time to send over the internet, which isn't simple if you want good quality video with a low bitrate.

    Also look for things in the background that may be causing the CPU to not be idle. For example, Firefox uses 10-30% of my CPU all the time when I have several tabs open, and iStat Pro makes the DashboardClient process use ~2% of the CPU if it is showing a CPU and memory graph.

    100C is near the 105C limit. If the fans are not ramping up, there may be a problem with you cooling system.
     
  19. Doc69 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2005
    #19
    Fan noise?

    At what temperature does the fans start running loud? I don't mind a hot laptop but hate it when the fans start sounding like a jet engine...
     
  20. wirelessmacuser macrumors 68000

    wirelessmacuser

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2009
    Location:
    Planet.Earth
    #20
    I'm really enjoying my new i7 MBP. So far it runs cooler than my mid 2009 MBP. I really like everything about the Unibody MBP line, except the cooling issue. At just less than 1" thick there is a distinct lack of room for cooling. Then factor in the aluminum case and it's not exactly designed to run cool.

    Looking cool seems to be Apples first priority.

    My _identically_ configured ThinkPad runs only slightly warm, less than 100 degrees F. The case is vented on two rear corners, with a great thermal management system. The case is composite carbon fiber reinforced plastic, and just 1.3" thick. It's got good structural rigidity, with Windows 7 it's quite good.

    However that said I still prefer my Macs and OS X and have been using Apple Laptops for years as my personal machine. Too bad they are still running so warm. If Apple increased them to 1.2" thick, engineered a good thermal management system with vents and dual fans, then we would have a really great machine. Especially since I paid 50% more (by choice) for my Core i7 MBP. Apple positions this as a premium computer in the market place, yet when one selects the upgrade choice of a 500GB 7200rpm hard drive you get a cheap OEM Seagate and not a Hitachi Travelstar. Not exactly a great feeling.
     
  21. c.e.p macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2010
    #21
    Would be perfect for someone to release a tool to select which graphics card you want to use. Or better yet select the programs that trigger the graphics card..
     
  22. Azathoth macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2009
    #22
    I see no reason why it needs to be done more than once. And no, deep cycling is not good for the battery.
     
  23. Azathoth macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2009
    #23
    Or Apple could just give us *users* (== customers) a simple little applet to allow us to choose the gfx chip. Problem == solved.
     
  24. apolloa macrumors G3

    apolloa

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2008
    Location:
    Time, because it rules EVERYTHING!
    #24
    If you find your computer running too hot as Apple like them to be quiet then go and download the free app SMC Fan Control. Google it, it gives you total control of both fans from practically zero to full speed.
     
  25. sjinsjca macrumors 68000

    sjinsjca

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2008
    #25
    Are you at all aware at how you're contradicting yourself?

    o Your new machine runs cooler than your old one. But:

    o You are concerned about cooling.

    Huh?

    Then you say, "Then factor in the aluminum case and it's not exactly designed to run cool." Again: huh? Aluminum is a marvelous conductor of heat, and the MBP case is a solid, unbroken piece. There are few things that would be better to design a laptop case out of.

    My advice: enjoy your machine and ignore the baseless natterings of clueless trolls in the peanut gallery.
     

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