Macbook fans flaring up at 10% CPU load.

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Redstoneq42, Dec 8, 2014.

  1. Redstoneq42 macrumors newbie

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    #1
    My Macbooks fans start flaring up pretty significantly at about 10% CPU load. For example, the CSS animation http://www.reddit.com/r/XboxOne will cause my fans to get noticeably. Sometimes a single YouTube video will get them going. So loud that I can't hear a video with 3 volume increments.

    I've got the 2014 15" 2.5GHz, 16GB RAM, 500GB SSD, Nvidia GT 650m Macbook Pro Retina. Its only about 2-3 months old and its been doing it since I got it. My old 2011 MBP was dead silent. This Retina MBP was a lot worse until I turned off automatic graphics switching. It managed to bring temps down a bit since it lightened to load on the CPU by letting the GPU handle graphics exclusively. Chrome is my default browser (No, I don't want to switch to Safari).

    I've tried an SMC reset, but I'm not entirely sure I did it right so maybe someone could walk me through ti for this specific laptop.
     
  2. reery macrumors regular

    reery

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    Sep 18, 2012
    #2
    Plug in your power adapter and hold down the left side shift-control-option keys. While doing this press the power button. Light may change on the MagSafe connector for a second.

    Then you can turn your Macbook on again.

    I've seen two different rMBP's behaving differently on load:

    Mine with a 650M is dead silent most of the time. Even a lot games don't kick in the fans as they only start to crank up above 79 C GPU temperature. Even under high load the GPU will never overtake 79 C and the fans will never spin over 4-5 k rpm.

    In a friend of mines rMBP (same 650M) the GPU is at 90 C + on load and his fans are almost on the whole time.

    I think they messed up with the thermal compound on his device. So reading temps is the key to understand if there is something wrong with your TC.

    On YT videos my rMBP is cold and quiet, even when streaming 1080p. CPU temps are around 40-50 C and internal temp is about 30-35 C.
     
  3. Redstoneq42 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #3
    Watching a 720p or 480p YT video, my MBP is around 70C. Do you reckon it could be thermal compound related? I'm idling at 62C right now.

    Is changing the thermal compound something I can do myself? I've done it on my desktop Gaming PC a few times (new CPU cooler and faulty CPU cooler). Perhaps I could send it into my local authorised repair shop (No actual first party apple repair centres near me) and have them do it?
     
  4. reery macrumors regular

    reery

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    #4
    You'll need a pentalobe screwdriver, found at iFixit for around $10 to open the rMBP.

    Unusual high temperatures are 90%+ because of thermal compund and 10% hardware fault.
     
  5. ha1o2surfer macrumors 6502

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    Sep 24, 2013
    #5
    Before you go opening it up, go ahead and check Activity Monitor and be sure there are no processes using more than 5% CPU. You might think your Macbook is idling because you're not doing anything but there could be programs running in the background causing higher than usual temps. Idling under 50c is something any Macbook can easily achieve bad thermal paste or not..
     
  6. Queen6, Dec 14, 2014
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2014

    Queen6 macrumors 603

    Queen6

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    #6
    2012 2.3 Retina, idle for mine is around 50C, thats with a lot of app`s open not just a fresh restart. Agree before you breakout the tools, investigate Activity Monitor, as the system or an app may just be busy. If you have Flash installed it can also push up temps.

    50C now with iTunes, Mail, Calendar, 11 Spaces, who know`s how many webpages open, AV, VPN, Network Monitor, Dropbox, Skype, bunch of other background activities etc, equally it`s not using a lot of CPU. Ambient is around 23C-24C, adding YouTube video @ 720P CPU Core temp raises to around 60C, 1080P much the same, note no Flash on this Mac.

    If I really push the CPU & GPU, can hit 90C (with Macs Fan Control, 100C with Apple) if there is any issue in the cooling the CPU will throttle down, My 2012 2.3 256Gb Retina can pump out a solid 3.1Ghz all day long @ 43W power consumption (CPU only) and that is good enough for me and my 2014 13" 2.8 512Gb Retina is the same with a solid 3.3Ghz no throttling :apple:

    At a point now where the new 13" Retina runs cool enough that it likely wont benefit from any third party cooling solutions a definite positive for just having the Dual Core & iGPU

    Q-6
     
  7. Redstoneq42 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jul 13, 2013
    #7
    Its idling at 57C now with 99% of the CPU idle according to Activity Monitor. Chrome and Activity monitor are the only things that are really using the CPU, although a process called WindowServer seems to crop up to the top every now and then hitting up to 10.7 on % CPU as does kernal_task. Assume thats normal?
     
  8. Neodym macrumors 65816

    Neodym

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    #8
    Do you have any external devices or adapters (e.g. Ethernet, FireWire) connected?
     
  9. Redstoneq42 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #9
    Nope, just the charger.
     
  10. maratus macrumors 6502a

    maratus

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    #10
    I'd suggest you to run 8 windows of "yes> /dev/null" cycle in terminal (or "yes> /dev/null &" to launch them one by one in the same window)

    After 10 minutes you'll need 3 temps:

    1. CPU die digital (or the highest DTS of all 4 cores)
    2. GPU die analog (when 650M is inactive it's pretty good to measure the real heatsink temp)
    3. Something that is proportional to your ambient T: DC in proximity airflow, Battery TS and Palm Rest sensors are pretty good.

    use iStat menus 5 to read all sensors (free 14 days trial)

    It'd also be useful to have those temps while idling with no load.
     
  11. kolax macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2007
    #11
    Do you smoke? Taking the case off the bottom and inspection the fans won't void your warranty. I knew a friend who smoked and his Mac's fans were clogged and not drawing hot air out as well as they should.

    Otherwise, poor thermal paste application and something Apple should fix for you under warranty.
     
  12. Queen6 macrumors 603

    Queen6

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    #12
    That`s hotter than my 2.3 2012 Retina by approximately 10C, it`s 90% idle (CPU, ambient 20C); elevation helps as well as a Mac portable just sitting on the desk tends to heat up the area below it, and the heat reflects back to the base of the system. An aluminium passive cooler is generally best, allowing greater airflow. Even just lifting the rear of the computer as little as 1/2 - 3/4 inch off the desk can help. As a rule, powered PC coolers don't provide enough air flow to make a difference, nor their plastic construction.

    Applications like Macs Fan Control can help to reduce thermal "soak" by spooling up the fans sooner, slowing the heating of the logic board, chassis etc. Mac portables have always run hotter than their PC counterparts, due to the reduced thermal envelope of the thinner chassis, PC`s generally are thicker, heat sync`s have a larger surface area have greater ventilation.

    I have a new 2014 13" 2.8 Retina and that does run very cool, equally I don't have any real world comparisons. Apple right now has a depreciating record with portables with discrete GPU`s, personally I believe this is much related to the minimal cooling. Many with 2011 15" MBS are starting to suffer GPU failure, with little recourse other than to replace the logic board with an equally flawed unit, or have the board repaired by a specialist which may be the better option frankly.

    Elevation and a more aggressive "fan" profile do help to reduce overall temperatures, some have had mixed results with "repasting" the thermal compound on CPU & GPU. Personally I have decided to avoid Mac portables with discrete GPU`s although none of my own Mac`s have had issue, I do know those that have, and there is far too much anecdotal evidence that it`s a repeating cycle. For me a system going "dark" in the field would be far too much of a headache, needing to revert to a smaller, less powerful backup, and that I don't need.

    Back to the original question, the fans are spoiling up due to increased thermals, or a faulty sensor which is not likely. You can try and run Apple`s hardware test;

    http://support.apple.com/en-us/HT201257

    And look at the result, may also be worthwhile also running EtreCheck

    http://etresoft.com/etrecheck

    As this app gives snapshot of the systems hardware and software environment. I would also compare your system to a comparable machine and see if it is running hotter or not. Nor sure what Apple will do as your Mac is running ok, and not shutting down due to over-temp, you can test for throttling by installing Intel`s Power gadget and observing the CPU frequency under 100% load over time.

    https://software.intel.com/en-us/articles/intel-power-gadget-20

    Showing Apple that your system is throttling may help, as neither of my Retina`s throttle under full load irrespective of duration, so why should yours.

    Q-6
     
  13. Redstoneq42 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jul 13, 2013
    #13
    Here are my temps from iStat Menu after 10 mins and while Idling with a few Chrome tabs open.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    ----------

    I don't smoke at all and nobody else in the house as smoked for about 2 years, which is about 1.5 years before I got the macbook.

    Apple Hardware Test tells me that there is nothing wrong.
     
  14. maratus macrumors 6502a

    maratus

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    #14
    Looks like your heatsinks are simply full of dust. Open up your laptop (just remove the bottom cover) and clean both radiators with a dustblower. No need to repaste, don't remove the heatsink at all.

    Post your results once you're done! ;)
     
  15. Queen6, Dec 19, 2014
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2014

    Queen6 macrumors 603

    Queen6

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    #15
    Truthfully your temps look ok to me, yes it`s idling a little hotter, your ambient temperature looks to be a little higher than mine at present. I would say that at idle your MBP is idling at most 5C greater than mine, which to be honest is not a big deal, nor are they identical models. As long as the system is not throttling I wouldn't be concerned, as for the fan spikes likely driven by spikes in CPU activity, for that you just need to isolate the offending application.

    Dust etc. can and does reduce thermal efficiency by reducing airflow through the cooling fins, equally this generally take years to accumulate. I have spent years in a desert environment & the Tropics for work, we live in the sub tropics, and have not observed an appreciable difference unless the system is over five years, and pretty much been run hard 24-7.\

    If your systems CPU does throttle, take it back to Apple as it`s a good indication the cooling system has issue and let them deal with it, they can run further diagnostics etc.

    Q-6
     
  16. maratus, Dec 19, 2014
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2014

    maratus macrumors 6502a

    maratus

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    #16
    You said that your laptop is only 3 months old, but Apple stopped producing 650M models more than 1 year ago (late-2013 models were already coming with 750M).

    Judging from the thermal sensor arrangement, it looks like you have a brand new MGXC2LL with 750M onboard. Please make sure to indicate your model without mistakes because the actual age of your computer is important when dealing with potential dust problems.

    It's also very important to know because these machines use different CPUs and their actual TDP envelops are different as well.
     
  17. Queen6 macrumors 603

    Queen6

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    #17
    Not in a matter of a few months, years yes, 2-3 months highly unlikely, no need to break out the hand tools just yet. Have cleaned out the cooling fins in my Early 2008 once and it spent 3 years running 24-7 in Qatar, where the very fine dust from the desert gets into everything :)

    Q-6
     
  18. maratus macrumors 6502a

    maratus

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    #18
    I don't want to speculate. I gave a recommendation based on the data I received. It's by far the easiest thing to start with. Of course it's also possible that there's no dust at all. But if opening the laptop is a big deal then I don't see any point in this thread.
     
  19. maratus macrumors 6502a

    maratus

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    #19
    Looks like I wasn't specific enough: when I mentioned dGPU as "inactive" I assumed you'll force Intel iGPU during the test because it'll pretty obviously affect temps in a bad way. I noticed you didn't do it and 750M was switched on during the test and hence your idle temps are 7-10 higher than they could've been.

    In this case your MBP runs hot because 750M is active when you don't need it. And most likely no dust issue either.
     
  20. Redstoneq42 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jul 13, 2013
    #20
    Actually, I had to force me Macbook to always use the GPU. The CPU was running really hot for youtube video (can't remember exactly, but it was in the region of 80C+). It shouldn't be dust, but I guess it doesn't hurt to check. As for programs running, I usually only have Finder, iStat Menu, Chrome and sometimes Activity monitor.
     
  21. maratus macrumors 6502a

    maratus

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    #21
    It makes sense then. The recent Flash 16.0 update is absolutely ridiculous: it can fully load 1-2 threads to play a mere 720p video. Knowing adobe flash track record, I wouldn't be surprised if in the next release it requires more resources to play than what Handbrake uses for complete encoding :D :D

    Abode is acting like a bunch of teenage amateurs (and obviously they do it on purpose). When you need a workstation class performance to play ****** youtube videos, it's time to question their sanity.
     
  22. Redstoneq42 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #22
    I've set YouTube to use the HTML5 player when possible and I'm not sure I've got Flash installed.
     
  23. MagicBoy macrumors 68040

    MagicBoy

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    #23
    Try using Safari (just for testing) and report back.
     
  24. Queen6 macrumors 603

    Queen6

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    #24
    Check System Preferences you will see Adobe Flash there if it`s installed "Flash Player" uninstall if you don't need via the installers DMG

    Q-6
     
  25. snaky69 macrumors 603

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    Mar 14, 2008
    #25
    Chrome comes with its own Flash build preinstalled and runs one instance of flash per tab. If I was a betting man, I'd say Chrome is your problem. I'd get rid of it. Heck I'd get rid of it for ethical reasons.

    Unless you're running Windows where the default broswer is IE (which does indeed suck), I don't see why so many people insist on using an alternate browser.
     

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