My Macbook Pro Retina 15"' (2015)'s fans are going crazy even though I'm not pushing it at all

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Paratriplel, Jun 22, 2017.

  1. Paratriplel macrumors member

    Oct 1, 2011
    Hello everyone.

    I decided I had to see if someone on here can help me.

    My Macbook Pro Retina 15" (2015)'s fans are going crazy as soon as I do anything, doesn't have to be more than have an empty project in Logic open and they start going and increasing with every little thing I add.

    It's been like this since I got it and I've got an older MacBook Pro 15" (classic, from 2012) , which still handles more extreme project without getting it's fans going like this newer computer does and only gets this hot and loud when several stuff like youtube and flash-ads or alike are active.

    Is there something wrong with it? Can I do something to fix it on my own? Was thinking about opening it and cleaning it from dust but it has been like this since I got it so I can't imagine it's dust.

    Not sure why I didn't act when I just got it, I guess I figured I'd get used to it or that it might be something that would go away (previous computers of mine have had some issues just like this one but a bit smaller that went away / I learnt to work around).

    It get's hot so the fans are necessary but why is this. I'm a Music/audio-person and does not do anything more extreme than record 10-15 tracks (mostly audio, some software tracks of drums and 1-2 plugins on each channel).

    I hope I'm posting this right, I'm becoming more and more desperate to get this fixed. I've already tried doing a clean install but I'm thinking about doing it one more time (find it kind of relaxing actually) but afraid it won't do any difference. I recently tried some setting I read about "Automatic Graphic-card change" and turned it off but it didn't work to make it calm.

    Anyone got any ideas that could help me?

    Attached Files:

  2. jerryk macrumors 68040

    Nov 3, 2011
    SF Bay Area
    Any monitors attached or other 4K output? Mine spins up when 4K displays or videos are played
  3. Paratriplel thread starter macrumors member

    Oct 1, 2011
    I've got a 27" with the resolution of 2560 x 1440.

    Would external cooling pad work to make the fans quieter? I don't mind a medium hot computer but I really get annoyed by the fans going loud...
  4. HiRez macrumors 603


    Jan 6, 2004
    Western US
    First thing I would do is open Activity Monitor and sort by CPU usage to see what's causing the fans to spin up. It might be Logic, but it might not be. Sometimes Chrome or (less often) Safari will spin the fans on certain pages for no apparent reason. It could be a background process such as iCloud Drive syncing (bird, cloudd) or Spotlight indexing (mdworker), or something else.
  5. Paratriplel thread starter macrumors member

    Oct 1, 2011
    Thanks HiRez.

    In the process tab this is what I see.

    I notice that UA mixer Engine are taking 7 %, but the fans was crazy even before I bought an Apollo Twin Mk2.

    Second is Kernel_task on 6% and WindowServer is close behind with just a couple o 0.x %..

    Logic is on 4 % and so is Coreaudiod. The rest is below 1 %.
  6. jerryk macrumors 68040

    Nov 3, 2011
    SF Bay Area
    Does it do it if your external display is disconnected?
  7. Paratriplel thread starter macrumors member

    Oct 1, 2011
    Yes it does.

    I noticed the one time it's not doing it is when I got one or a couple of safari windows open that aren't more process taking than say macrumors forum or such, though the computer never gets especially hot, could be because the fans are going at it like this.
  8. jerryk macrumors 68040

    Nov 3, 2011
    SF Bay Area
    Ok. Your usage numbers seem low, so it is strange you are having this issue. Are you running any 3rd party system performance, anti-virus, or fan control apps.
  9. Paratriplel thread starter macrumors member

    Oct 1, 2011
    No I'm not running any 3rd party system performance apps or anti-virus or fan control apps.
    Though I thought about getting a fan control app when I first started noticing the fan but realized that I wouldn't be able to lower the fan speed, just increase it, and at that time I didn't feel that my computer got perticular hot so I figured it was just a lot more sensitive on my new computer.

    I've disconnected my external screen and now the fans are going much quieter and slower.
    The problem started before I even had bought that screen so I'm pretty sure it's not entirely because of the external display.

    Is there a way to cool down the computer if it is the screen? It's an Acer K272HUL, maybe Switch from HDMI to DisplayPort?

    I'm not entirely satisfied with the display mostly because it doesn't wake up after sleep properly but I defiantly don't want to spend any more money on a new screen for the moment.

    Is there a cooling pad or other cooling system that works wood with MacBook Pros (especially the Retina-model line)?

    I will try to connect my old computer to this screen and see if I can get it to get as loud and hot as this computer.
  10. v1597psh macrumors regular


    Feb 4, 2014
    Looks like you're always running on a discrete graphics. Especially it is used with pro apps like Logic and when you connect an external display. You can install an app called gfxcardstatus to disable discrete graphics which will definitely cool down your Mac. But it'll come with GPU performance penalty and will not allow you to connect external display. That's the main reason I decided to never buy MacBooks with discrete graphics again, plus it tends to fail frequently.

    You can try to buy a cooling pad for a normal 15" laptop. It might have a positive effect
  11. Paratriplel thread starter macrumors member

    Oct 1, 2011
    That sounds reasonable.

    My older MacBook Pro 15" (2012) also has a discrete graphics and I just tried it with my display, didn't really had time to push it but it didn't even start the fans to the level where I can hear it.

    I've at least downloaded the gfxcardstatus app and will try it out when I get back home (going away for a few days), but if I disable the discrete graphics you say my external display won't be able to connect, are you sure about this? How comes that my work MacBook Air can connect to displays, it doesn't have a discrete graphic.

    I don't really mind the GPU performance getting less good as long as it's not terrible and irritates my eyes.
  12. v1597psh, Jun 23, 2017
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2017

    v1597psh macrumors regular


    Feb 4, 2014
    That's because MacBook Pros with discrete graphics have DisplayPort and HDMI hardwired to discrete GPU . That's been the case with every MacBook Pro with discrete GPU. Unfortunately there is nothing you can do about it other than enabling GPU every time you plug your external display.

    I have MacBook Pro Mid 2015 base model with Iris Pro graphics only, the one that Apple still sells and only time my fans spin up is at heavy loaded tasks like exporting video in Final Cut Pro or playing games. I've never heard my Mac while working with Logic Pro.

    I'm sure that at some point Apple will release a new MacBook Pro with integrated graphics only, replacing the base Mid 2015 model. Especially when there is a native eGPU support coming in High Sierra, it'll completely eliminate the reason for me to buy a MacBook Pro with discrete graphics.
  13. Paratriplel thread starter macrumors member

    Oct 1, 2011
    Okay I need to sort this out, I'm getting crazy about this.

    My MBP is getting hot and fans are spinning after 3 mins of connecting it to the external display.

    What solutions are out there?

    Getting a computer stand cooler?
    Changing my display to another that doesn't demand so much of the dedicated graphic processor?
    Doing another format and see if that solves it?

    Please I need to sort this out because this is not okay for a computer that costed 25 000 SEK (2500$/€).

    Someone must have gotten crazy about it and solved this?!

    Please help me! I'm getting desperate.
  14. Queen6, Aug 20, 2017
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2017

    Queen6 macrumors 603


    Dec 11, 2008
    Putting out the fire with gasoline...
    Being an owner & user of the 15" MacBook Pro since forever; Over the years the 15" has frequently struggled with it`s thermals, especially when an external display is connected as the dGPU engages by default, internal temperatures soar, equally there are some steps that can be taken to reduce the systems temperature;
    • Elevate the rear, aluminium passive coolers generally work best (I use RainDesign`s mStand & iLap)
    • Increase base fan RPM to 3K or as much as you are comfortable with (MacsFanControl or SMC Fan Control)
    • Limit the dGPU`s usage with gfxCardStatus
    • Swap out Chrome for Chrome Canary as it`s generally more optimised for OS X and will extend battery run time, reduce thermals
    • Swap out VLC for Movist as again it`s a reduced load on CPU/GPU
    • Uninstall or block Flash
    • Install an ad blocker Wipr or AdGuard works well
    • Powered coolers are very much a "mixed bag" when it comes to Mac portables, you need one that has a high capacity (100 CFM minimum) and preferably a large single fan, this can help to keep the 15" internal fans below 4K which for many is good enough as often it`s this point and beyond where the fans become intrusive. Don't expect a powered cooler impact internal temperatures, beyond a couple of degrees
    • Older notebooks can benefit from cleaning of the cooling system
    • Retina`s can benefit from cleaning of the cooling system, as the heat syncs are far smaller and loose efficiency faster, due to build up of dust
    • Replacing the thermal paste has been hit & miss, some with very positive results, some with no improvement over stock. Personally I would only do this on a Mac Portable that was either very old, or one that I can confirm was definitely running hotter than stock.
    • If your MBP has a discrete GPU, it will fire up when an external display is connected as default, temperatures will rise rapidly.
    • Consider a specific vertical stand when using a MPB in "Clamshell" mode allowing for greater circulation of air. Some recommend inverting the MBP in the stand with the exhaust at the top & intake at the bottom (Retina`s)
    • Another option for static setups is a USB powered fan strategically placed so it blows across the MBP keyboard deck (air flow L-R above & below)
    The key to a quiet life with a 15" MacBook Pro is several incremental changes that can and do add up to reduce thermals. From my experience over the years if your going to push a 15" hard the fans are going to max out fast, with associated temperature & noise. If your using it with a moderate load, life can be made quieter. For the most part your MBP runs hot as that`s how Apple designed it, this is the trade off for form over, function, thin & light...

    Like it or loath it, there's good reason why the majority of Windows MBP counterparts have significantly more cooling/vents, nor is it due to their design teams being inept. Apple simply place form over function first in many circumstances.

    Primary culprit here is the dGPU, combined with Apple's more aggressive fan curve for the 2015/2015 15" (dGPU) models, likely to stave off another round of mass dGPU failure. There is no way to disengage the dGPU when an external monitor is connected, all one can do is take small steps to reduce the overall temperature to a level where the fans will not spool up to an unacceptable level, generally 4K RPM+.

    The old adage still applies; it`s easier to keep a system cool, than cool-down an already overly hot machine. This being said it`s not strictly necessary, equally it`s nice to know that there are some options for reducing temperature out there, and a quieter life.


  15. Paratriplel thread starter macrumors member

    Oct 1, 2011
    Hello Queen6z I actually got in a chat with a support employee from Apple (no idea they are working late on Sundays!) anyway. I talked to him and Anders hos questions and he was intresserad with everything I've tried.

    He came to the conclusion that I should bring it to an Apple certificate technician to have a look, he said it was not normal behaviour. I asked what the cost would be for a troubleshoot and he said since it was bought at June 2016 it still har warranty and that I should not accept paying for it and use my consumer law rights to get it sorted out. Though the apple store didn't have any available times so I'll have to go to a apple certificated store to do it. Which i hope is quite as understanding as he was.

    I'm hoping there's a solution and I will defiantly have a look at RainDesign`s mStand.

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