New Mac Mini Thermal Throttling

DomKud

macrumors member
Original poster
Nov 19, 2018
46
8
The new mac minis are apparently thermal throttling and temps rise to 100C. Not to mention, coil whinning. I have been waiting for a new mac mini for quite some time. When I heard of it's release, I was quite excited. But recently, I have been very disappointed hearing all the problems. Also, with the T2 chips, that's another potential problematic experience.

What is everyone's thoughts on the new Mac Mini? Is it worth to purchase? Waste of money? Or do you all still see it as a viable computer for photo/video editing capabilities?

I am on the fence, and I just don't know what to do!!!!
 

rmdeluca

macrumors 6502
Oct 30, 2018
250
391
RE throttling and temperatures: https://forums.macrumors.com/threads/2018-mini-cpu-speeds-explained-i3-vs-i5-vs-i7.2155878/

My initial thoughts on the 2018 Mini were "thank God, I was going nuts waiting for a headless upgrade to my 2014 Mini." My current thoughts are "hell yes, this is awesome."

I now have one machine that I can attach ludicrously fast NVMe external storage, play games in Windows with an eGPU, run a Thunderbolt audio interface and still use OSX for audio and video production work.

Having two dedicated Thunderbolt 3 controllers and a nice 6-core CPU makes this Mini a knockout IMHO.

The T2 doesn't bother me.

If there's SSD noise (aka "coil whine") I can't hear it, my Mini sits under my desk.

Don't skimp on the CPU when you finally do purchase.

I'd suggest anyone considering using large and/or fast NAS in the next few years to also get the 10GbE port, even if you can't utilize it right now. If you don't, you'll have to spend precious PCIe Thunderbolt lanes to get another fast pipe into the machine.

The 512GB internal SSD is the current "sweet spot" in terms of write performance and cost.
 
Last edited:

archer75

macrumors 68030
Jan 26, 2005
2,700
1,235
Oregon
It's fine. It SHOULD throttle when temps climb above 100c. Even below 100c it's still kicking in turbo boost and you're getting above the stock frequency. Be happy.
The T2 chip doesn't concern me in the slightest. I'm not familiar with coil whine. Probably because i'm not experiencing it.
 

pl1984

Suspended
Oct 31, 2017
2,230
2,603
I haven't seen anything to show the Mini engages in thermal throttling. I've had discussions with some new Mini owners and performed some benchmarks with two of my Mac Pros and I can't say I've seen any indication of thermal throttling. What I've seen so far tells me thermal throttling is a non-issue.
 

Jorbanead

macrumors regular
Aug 31, 2018
116
120
This depends on your definition of thermal throttling. Most would argue that thermal throttling is when the cpu cannot hold its base frequency - for the i7 mini I believe that frequency is at 3.2GHz. I have yet to find someone who claims their cpu throttles below this threshold.

Some argue throttling is anytime the cpu cannot hold its max frequency. For the i7 mini, this is 4.6GHz (for a single core. This frequency goes down with each added core). If this is your definition of throttling, you could argue that yes it does throttle. However, I personally think this is not the way Intel implemented turbo boost, and turbo boost may not always boost to max frequency depending on the workloads.

That being said, if you look around these forums, you’ll find many who are achieving 4.3GHz on 4+ cores. The processor cannot actually boost faster than this speed. So for those workloads, the cooling is actually just fine.
 

clystron

macrumors member
Aug 11, 2011
80
56
Some argue throttling is anytime the cpu cannot hold its max frequency. For the i7 mini, this is 4.6GHz (for a single core. This frequency goes down with each added core)
I agree that lots of people dont realize what the maximum turbo frequency is and expect the cpu to hold that clock with multiple cores active. Personally I define throttling as anything below the base-frequency with all cores loaded, that is also in line with how Intel defines TDP as far as I know. Anything above that is turbo.

For a single core load I think it is reasonable to expect above base-frequency even on a continuous load, based on my experience a single core on max turbo almost always produces less heat than all cores loaded on base-frequency.
 

harvester32

macrumors member
Oct 29, 2012
41
27
The new mac minis are apparently thermal throttling and temps rise to 100C. Not to mention, coil whinning. I have been waiting for a new mac mini for quite some time. When I heard of it's release, I was quite excited. But recently, I have been very disappointed hearing all the problems. Also, with the T2 chips, that's another potential problematic experience.

What is everyone's thoughts on the new Mac Mini? Is it worth to purchase? Waste of money? Or do you all still see it as a viable computer for photo/video editing capabilities?

I am on the fence, and I just don't know what to do!!!!

Hello, I came from a 2012 i7 with SSD upgrade that I did myself. While my uses are not "powerhouse" by any means, I do run some intensive apps (parallels), Handbrake, etc. and while doing so I don't like to feel like my system is having an issue. The 2018 mini I got was a BTO i7, 512GB, 16GB and it's been very nice. No issues with whine, and can't say whether thermal throttling is happening (it could, but it's so much faster than the 2012 with SSD that it's a give or take that I'd gladly give!)

Overall, I can't complain...port selection is better than most macs. They've DEFINITELY improved the sound of the fan as it's moving as much air but whisper quiet compared to the 2012. I wish they'd been able to keep 4 USB ports, but I had a hub so it was no issue.

Overall, very positive!

Ken
 

ElectronGuru

macrumors 65816
Sep 5, 2013
1,492
360
Oregon, USA
You are experiencing ‘early adopter proxy anxiety.’ Lots of uncertainty + little information.

Take 2 months off the boards for dust to settle then come back and see what’s real. Or just put away your credit card and enjoy the ride!
 
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ixxx69

macrumors 65816
Jul 31, 2009
1,119
634
United States
You are experiencing ‘early adopter proxy anxiety.’ Lots of uncertainty + little information.

Take 2 months off the boards for dust to settle then come back and see what’s real. Or just put away your credit card and enjoy the ride!
So true. This forum is just an unending whine fest about issues they've never experienced first hand... anyone who didn't know better would be surprised that Apple is able to stay in business. By most accounts here, Apple products are unusable piles of hot mess that no one can afford to purchase in the first place, and if they can, they're mindless sheep for doing so. :rolleyes:
 

harvester32

macrumors member
Oct 29, 2012
41
27
Question for everyone...is it normal for the new i7 processor to throttle while NOT under load? I thought this would always be at 3.2ghz and then Turbo boost up to a certain limit (thermal or otherwise) when under load. Mine is sitting around 1.75-1.9 unless a demand kicks in. The case is cool and there is no load so I'm thinking it could be demand based, but that seems rather weak to do that as even light loads can benefit from a fully engaged processor (think recent improvements to iOS 12 where they boosted the processor any time there is instant demand). See the pic attached
Image 11-21-18 at 10.49 PM.jpg
 

Spectrum

macrumors 65816
Mar 23, 2005
1,342
703
Never quite sure
As far as I know Intel CPUs have been downclocking to save power when there is no work to be done since at least the launch of the core i3/5/7 series around 2010-2011. Perhaps Core2duo did it as well. Saves power, reduces heats, and prolongs battery on mobile. It is totally normal.

If you reduce sampling time of the intel power gadget, you will start to see your processor hitting up to 3Ghz+ for tiny bursts even when idle. There will always be some small job that the OS is doing.
 
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Jorbanead

macrumors regular
Aug 31, 2018
116
120
It’s called sleeping! ;). Thank you for all the insight. I didn’t know that especially since this is a desktop class processor. Good to know it’s not defective.
I think they were referring to Domkud who started the thread originally.
 

ixxx69

macrumors 65816
Jul 31, 2009
1,119
634
United States
That is totally normal on any current CPU. The clock speed goes up as soon as you start doing something.
As far as I know Intel CPUs have been downclocking to save power when there is no work to be done since at least the launch of the core i3/5/7 series around 2010-2011. Perhaps Core2duo did it as well. Saves power, reduces heats, and prolongs battery on mobile. It is totally normal.

If you reduce sampling time of the intel power gadget, you will start to see your processor hitting up to 3Ghz+ for tiny bursts even when idle. There will always be some small job that the OS is doing.
Didn't I just say that? ;)
Spectrum did add additional detail. ;) And frankly, since these misconceptions on these forums about throttling get repeated over and over again, a little confirmation doesn't hurt.

And to add a little more detail - Intel calls it "SpeedStep", and the earliest version dates all the way back to 2000 with the mobile P3. Enhanced SpeedStep (EIST) introduced the "dynamic" frequency scaling all the way back in 2005 with the last P4 iteration. (wikipedia). AMD has their own version(s) as well. All these technologies fall under the Dynamic Frequency Scaling (wikipedia).