Salomonander

macrumors member
Original poster
Feb 19, 2020
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this is my first post - so hello first of all. maybe someone is nice enough to help me. im about to buy a mbp 16 and im not certain on which configuration will suit me best.
this laptop is for running cubase only - a music software similar to logic.
i want to get the most silent configuration - ill be recording quiet instruments in the same room. so any fan noise is an issue really. i know there will be some, but i want to keep it as low as possible.
its hard to find any info on which processor will run cooler under say medium load. Can anyone shed some light?

also, cubase mainly needs strong single core performance. Im aware that the i9s perform better even in single core tests. but does this only apply in turbo mode? due to my need for silence ill have turbo turned off most of the time. so could it be, that the i7 would even outperform the i9 in my specific situation due to its higher base speed?

thanks
 

kmahmood

macrumors member
Nov 16, 2019
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I’ve been trying to find out the same actually , although my use case would better suit i9 with 8 cores and turbo - but I just can’t use such a machine to its full potential if it sounds continuously like a jet engine.

Only work around it appears to minimise fan noise other then closing all the apps and minimising workload (which kind of defeats the point of spending so much for a top spec laptop) is to run a turbo sync disabling utility.

Based on what I’ve been reading in a few threads on here and elsewhere , it seems like the i7 is quieter in terms of fan noise - but would be great if someone who has compared i7 v i9 personally can give some more insight.
 
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jerryk

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Nov 3, 2011
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Better to isolate you recording from any devices that make noise. We do voice overs and have the same issues. We switched very directional shotgun mics and using longer cables to move the recording PCs further away.

Another option is to record with silent standalone recording device like Zoom or Tascam and then add this track in during mixing/editing. At that point you won't care how much noise the computer makes. We are planning on starting a YouTube channel and will go this way.
 
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badsimian

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Aug 23, 2015
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I have had both machines. Originally ordered an 8 core i9 64 GB machine and returned it to switch to a 6 core i9 with 32GB.

In terms of absolute noise I couldn't tell that much difference. I did find that the fans ramped up more quickly on the i9 than the i7.

I have taken to generally running with Turbo Boost switcher on all the time. The base clocks of the i7 are higher than those of the i9 anyway and for my use it is still more than fast enough. With turbo boost disabled it is pretty much impossible to make the fans come on I find (unless you are also pushing the GPU)
 
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jdiamond

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Dec 17, 2008
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In terms of absolute noise I couldn't tell that much difference. I did find that the fans ramped up more quickly on the i9 than the i7. With turbo boost disabled it is pretty much impossible to make the fans come on I find (unless you are also pushing the GPU)

I wonder if disabling Turbo Boost would keep the i9 fans down? How do you disable it? Thanks. :). I'm super interested in the 16" but my #1 fear is fan noise.

Ahhh... just Googled it - "Turbo Boost Switcher" is a Mac App. Thanks. :). I'd love it if more people chimed in on this thread - does getting a base model 16" MBP really help much with fan noise?

FWIW, I don't have a 16", but to keep noise manageable, I've been using TG Pro and having it keep my fans at the loudest I can handle all the time. (Which is around 3,800 RPM). This mostly keeps it cool enough that it's never forced to boost the fans up into the audio pain range.
 
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profcutter

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Mar 28, 2019
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I second the idea of a silent recorder. I’ve been using a SoundDevices digital recorder for at least 12 years, it’s silent, 24/96 (or even 192 if you need it) and makes amazing quality recordings. SoundDevices recorders are the gold standard for mic preamps. I got mine years ago on eBay. Still works a champ. Less noise than any scenario with mics direct in to your Mac.
[automerge]1582237421[/automerge]
I second the idea of a silent recorder. I’ve been using a SoundDevices digital recorder for at least 12 years, it’s silent, 24/96 (or even 192 if you need it) and makes amazing quality recordings. SoundDevices recorders are the gold standard for mic preamps. I got mine years ago on eBay. Still works a champ. Less noise than any scenario with mics direct in to your Mac.
Mine’s so old it has a FireWire port!
 
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Salomonander

macrumors member
Original poster
Feb 19, 2020
42
18
Thanks... very interesting. i do have the possibility to record with my ipad in the worst case. Still, id like to find the most silent configuration. any more real user experiences are welcome. so badsimian, they are same noise level but the i7 runs them less often? Did i get that correctly?

also, considering that turbo is off - would the i7 be faster in single core applications? cheers
 
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Salomonander

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Original poster
Feb 19, 2020
42
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Since i did not really find any answer i decided not to buy anything. I can find no info except that basically everyone doing sound complains about these machines being way too loud. I guess ill see if the new 13 does better. Its a shame that apple forces people to use the dgpu. for us sound guys thats a huge minus due to the extra heat... and we dont even need the graphics at all.
 
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MacGizmo

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Apr 27, 2003
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For Cubase, I would go with the i9 for the power.

But no matter which processor you get, turning off TurboBoost is almost a must—otherwise, you're going to hear fan noise. OFTEN. TurboBoost Switcher is cheap—the free version requires you to turn it off at every log-in/start-up, but the paid version retains settings across restarts, as well as allow you to turn it on/off on a per-app basis, as well as a few other handy features.
 
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matram

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Sep 18, 2011
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Sweden
I guess ill see if the new 13 does better. Its a shame that apple forces people to use the dgpu. for us sound guys thats a huge minus due to the extra heat... and we dont even need the graphics at all.

You can switch of the dGPU if you do not need it. If you really need the 13” will not work.

If you need the sustained power of the 16” there will be fan noise. However the thermal design of the 16” is really good so you are not likely to less noise from a 13” without a substantial reduction in performance.

If that suits your needs, yes the the 13” is probably a better choice.
 
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Salomonander

macrumors member
Original poster
Feb 19, 2020
42
18
Thanks, i was really just considering the 13“ because i hoped it might be more quiet - but i found some reports that state the contrary. i guess i will just wait for now. im reading so many horror stories regarding the 16“ that i dont feel like buying at this point. im no expert but it looks like they messed that model up. maybe if they sort out the issues. but so far they seem to simply ignore them (loud fans, random freezes, ghosting for 3k - no thanks).
 
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JimboF

macrumors newbie
May 12, 2020
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0
First post and a little late to this thread, but figured I’d chime in with my recent experience.

I initially bought the baseline i7 6 core and I don’t really remember noticing the fans ramping up a lot just running basic audio recording stuff.

A month later and decided to upgrade and get the i9 2.3 + more ram + AMD 5500 to future proof and this thing and it turns into an airliner every time I run any reasonable amount of instruments and tracks.

Figured out through trial and error that it’s the turbo boost that’s causing the issue. For whatever reason, Mac/Intel designed the control on these computers to default to turbo boosting any time the cpu sees anything north of 10% utilization. I can turn off turbo boost using turbo switcher and the computer still easily handles sizeable audio workloads w the fan at reasonable levels (3000 or below rpm).

Only potential issue ive read with this strategy is that Turbo switcher uses a older kernel extension, which Apple is starting to phase out in future Mac OS versions for a new system extensions scheme. There’s a chance we won’t be able to shut off turbo boost in the near future, at-least with this app.

I’m personally considering returning the i9 for the i7 and just ride Turbo switcher as long as possible. My guess is the i7 probably doesn’t hit turbo boost as quickly due to the higher clock speed.

Anyone else have any recent experiences with the i7 and how turbo boost behaves compared to the i9?
 
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Salomonander

macrumors member
Original poster
Feb 19, 2020
42
18
First post and a little late to this thread, but figured I’d chime in with my recent experience.

I initially bought the baseline i7 6 core and I don’t really remember noticing the fans ramping up a lot just running basic audio recording stuff.

A month later and decided to upgrade and get the i9 2.3 + more ram + AMD 5500 to future proof and this thing and it turns into an airliner every time I run any reasonable amount of instruments and tracks.

Figured out through trial and error that it’s the turbo boost that’s causing the issue. For whatever reason, Mac/Intel designed the control on these computers to default to turbo boosting any time the cpu sees anything north of 10% utilization. I can turn off turbo boost using turbo switcher and the computer still easily handles sizeable audio workloads w the fan at reasonable levels (3000 or below rpm).

Only potential issue ive read with this strategy is that Turbo switcher uses a older kernel extension, which Apple is starting to phase out in future Mac OS versions for a new system extensions scheme. There’s a chance we won’t be able to shut off turbo boost in the near future, at-least with this app.

I’m personally considering returning the i9 for the i7 and just ride Turbo switcher as long as possible. My guess is the i7 probably doesn’t hit turbo boost as quickly due to the higher clock speed.

Anyone else have any recent experiences with the i7 and how turbo boost behaves compared to the i9?

you could try disabling the dgpu being used when running your daw. give that a try and let us know. Cheers
 
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JimboF

macrumors newbie
May 12, 2020
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you could try disabling the dgpu being used when running your daw. give that a try and let us know. Cheers

Yep tried that. I used the gpswitch terminal command (which seemed to take) but then the moment I load Cubase, the Radeon Pro starts being utilized again. Trying to find none-3rd party app solutions to this issue so I can be confident this machine won't be rendered a perpetual jet engine doing audio work.

Interestingly enough, Cubase seems to be the worse culprit. It seems their CPU optimization either relies heavily on turbo boost or maximizing individual cores. Universal Audio Luna seems to do a much better job of optimizing this processor. I can get 25% cpu utilization without pushing past 4k rpm on the fans, vs. like 5000 rpm for 12% in Cubase.
 
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malkovich87

Suspended
May 13, 2020
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If you really require a quiet computer, the MBP 16 really isn’t it. There are much quieter laptops. Personally I’d got for an iMac Pro instead.
 
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JimboF

macrumors newbie
May 12, 2020
7
0
If you really require a quiet computer, the MBP 16 really isn’t it. There are much quieter laptops. Personally I’d got for an iMac Pro instead.

That’s actually not entirely true. With turbo boost disabled, this laptop is pretty quiet (I’ve confirmed this) and still plenty powerful for music production. The problem is the computer defaults to turbo boosting automatically, even when not necessary, and Apple of course doesn’t offer a direct option in the OS to go to low power mode/disable turbo boost. You have to use a kernel extension (3rd party app like Turbo switcher), which Apple is starting to phase out. There’s no guarantee that they will provide a new system extension to replace this kernel extension, so turbo boost disabling apps may be ineffective in future OS versions. If I knew Apple would keep this ability in future OS versions I wouldn’t even think twice about keeping this.
 
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Camarillo Brillo

macrumors 6502
Dec 6, 2019
400
362
Yeah I just read that it's likely the turbo boost switcher will be incompatible with future updates, and that's such a major bummer to hear. That might be enough to make me stay on Catalina for a while, but man I really hate Catalina and was really looking forward to the next big release hopefully solving some of the problems with it.

I've been on battery power working all day and the battery life on the 16" is EXCELLENT with turbo boost disabled, the CPU doesn't go over 40 celsius, it stays totally cool and there is zero fan noise. I hope that it's just a rumor that it won't work in future versions, I really do.
 
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JimboF

macrumors newbie
May 12, 2020
7
0
Yeah I just read that it's likely the turbo boost switcher will be incompatible with future updates, and that's such a major bummer to hear. That might be enough to make me stay on Catalina for a while, but man I really hate Catalina and was really looking forward to the next big release hopefully solving some of the problems with it.

I've been on battery power working all day and the battery life on the 16" is EXCELLENT with turbo boost disabled, the CPU doesn't go over 40 celsius, it stays totally cool and there is zero fan noise. I hope that it's just a rumor that it won't work in future versions, I really do.

Yeah. I think it’s just that people are worried it will go away as kernel extensions are phased out, but I don’t think there’s been any actual indication from Apple that they won’t have a new system extension for it. My guess is that if enough developers ask for it, Apple will add the system extension for it. I can’t see how disabling turbo boosting is a security concern, which is why Apple is phasing out kernel extensions. I did talk to the guy who makes the endurance app, which basically uses the same kernel extension for disabling turbo boost, and he said even if Apple removes this ability, there are ways to limit CPU usage by applications, so there will be ways to throttle in the future w their app.

I just returned the i9. Gonna try the i7 again. My thought/hope is that the higher baseline clock will mean that it won’t turbo boost as quickly. I admittedly wasn’t paying attention the first time I had the barebones i7 model, but I don’t remember the fans ramping up this much.

I’ll follow up once I have done some testing just for anyone curious in the future.
 
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SAdProZ

macrumors 6502a
Mar 19, 2005
566
278
I just returned the i9. Gonna try the i7 again. My thought/hope is that the higher baseline clock will mean that it won’t turbo boost as quickly. I admittedly wasn’t paying attention the first time I had the barebones i7 model, but I don’t remember the fans ramping up this much.

I’ll follow up once I have done some testing just for anyone curious in the future.

Any update on this?
 
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JimboF

macrumors newbie
May 12, 2020
7
0
Yep. Sorry forgot to check back on here. So I bought the baseline i7 again and the fans are indeed a little bit quieter, but when you really do anything with a cpu load (turbo boost kicking in) it still ramps up the fans to fairly noticeable levels. Its not quite as annoying, but its not night and day or anything.

I ended up just going with the base i9 in the end as Best Buy had a really good deal on a used one. Im just going to ride with turbo boost disable as long as its supported to get the fans to reasonable levels, and buy a desktop down the road for more silent audio recording.
 
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simonmet

Cancelled
Sep 9, 2012
2,666
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Sydney
Are you guys making custom fan profiles because I heard Apple made the profile more aggressive on the 16” than previous 15” models.

Also, I don’t know if adding more RAM or opting for the slightly faster GPU (with or without 8 GB VRAM) makes any noticeable difference to power consumption and therefore heat and noise ramping up more quickly.
 
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JimboF

macrumors newbie
May 12, 2020
7
0
I've messed around with the mac fan control app but the CPU gets close to 100 C pretty quickly once it turbo boosts. For me just disabling the turbo boost when you don't need it is the easiest solution for the time being.
 
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interbear

macrumors regular
Sep 5, 2012
185
110
UK
I've messed around with the mac fan control app but the CPU gets close to 100 C pretty quickly once it turbo boosts. For me just disabling the turbo boost when you don't need it is the easiest solution for the time being.

So I'm increasingly annoyed with the noise my i9 MBP 16 makes. Might look into this turbo switch app if it will help.

But it raises the question - what do you need the turbo boost for?

My usage is simple - Connected to a USB-C monitor, Office for Mac, Microsoft Teams, Zoom, Chrome, Safari, Apple Music. I'm fed up with my jet engine fans making it a problem for people on Teams/Zoom conference calls, not remotely acceptable. If switching turbo boost stops that, I'm in, but I'd like to know if there are any downsides.
 
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