Retina Macbook Pro temp variance...

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by grasientus, Oct 16, 2013.

  1. grasientus macrumors newbie

    Aug 2, 2006
    Hi everyone

    I have a 15" retina MBP 2.6gHz 16gb RAM. It can run pretty hot. Seems to be the norm... but also seems to vary greatly from machine to machine.

    Been trying some temperature gauge software to get a benchmark of how hot things are getting. I usually use a zbrush dynamesh with aggressive claybuildup action and the computer gets hot and the fans spin up. There's a point it reaches which is pretty much the maximum I see in any usage (but gets there a tad easily).

    Now, my problem comes with actually knowing if the machine is genuinely running too hot for comfort.

    SMCfancontrol reports a temp of around 103C which is pretty scary. Worryingly so if the max temp for the CPU is 105C.

    However, iStat Pro doesn't show any results getting near to this. Highest results are in the 80-90C range which is hot but doesn't feel as worrying...

    Also tried Macs Fan Control and that also reports in the 80-90 range.

    Just gave Temperature Monitor a go and that was reading the CPU cores at around 100-102C

    So... lots of info and not sure what to be looking at...

    Long story short (too late)... to get an idea of whether my MBP is running at a safe level, what should I be using to check the temps and what level is safe...

    Sorry, there seems to be a bewildering amount of info on this subject out there and I'm having trouble nailing it down in a sea of seeming contradictions...

  2. Celedral macrumors 6502


    May 29, 2008
    Los Angeles
    I'm currently running a 2.3 retina and experienced some crazy high temps up to 105c. This was either running RedCine X or Premiere Pro CC. My solution is to re-apply thermal paste soon and hopefully get a few degrees down. I've experienced a few crashes from overheating.
  3. MeUnix macrumors 6502

    Aug 21, 2013
    San Francisco
    From what I understand, MacBook's will turn off automatically if they reach the point where the heat will do damage to your machine.

    - Kyle
  4. Oddbox Studio macrumors newbie

    Nov 11, 2013
    ZBrush/Macbook Pro Retina - Serious Fan & CPU Temp Issues

    I've been trying to find a solution for this issue as well.

    2.6 GHz Intel Core i7
    16 GB 1600 MHz DDR3
    NVIDIA GeForce GT 750M 2048 MB

    Running the the 4R6 version of ZBrush on a spanking new laptop causes the fans to max out and the CPU temps to start hitting the 100 degree Celsius mark. The issue starts even if you are just in the preferences menu playing with the settings. I've used earlier versions of ZB on my 2008 MBP and my 2009 iMac and haven't had a problem. I expected this new laptop would allow me to start working with higher density meshes without the lag my iMac had.

    The issue appears to be common to Mac laptops from what I've been able to find out so far. I've seen posts on the problem dating from 2011. One of the moderators on the ZBrush forums acknowledged they were aware of the problem in December of 2012 but it doesn't look like the issue has been resolved.

    I've sent a ticket to the folks at Pixologic over the weekend to see if they had a fix. The only workaround I found was another user stating that he submitted a ticket about three weeks ago and the solution Pixologic offered was to shut off the Multidraw option under Preferences > Performance.

    I've done that and haven't seen the CPU temps spike in the red and the fans have not hit 6,000 RPM since. The temps do seem a little high (80-90 range) and while the performance seems to be OK it feels like I'm dumbing down my system to compensate for a flaw in the Mac version of the software. I haven't come across similar complaints from Windows users.

    I'll follow up when (if?) I hear back on the ticket.

    Good luck.
  5. Oddbox Studio macrumors newbie

    Nov 11, 2013
    Lower your MaxThreads

    So I heard back from the folks at Pixologic - their position is that it's an Apple issue.

    "Unfortunately it is not something we have been able to correct on our end. It is an Apple issue. It is a situation where it is seeing each core as a separate whole processor, kicking your fans into high gear and making it "think" that it is getting hotter than it actually is. Also, reducing the cores from 8 down to 4 is not going to impact your performance much because ZBrush is software rendered not hardware rendered. A computer that meets the recommended system requirements performs just as well as the most advanced high end computer out there for this reason."

    In the end I had to reduce the MaxThreads from 8 to 1 (under Preferences > Performance - the slider next to MultiDraw). The machine was still running around 80-90 degrees but the fans were keeping around 2,000 RPM so I think I can work with this.

    I'm not sure I believe it's a hardware issue though as ZBrush is the only application I have that does this.

    Hope that helps.
  6. laurihoefs macrumors 6502a


    Mar 1, 2013
    Any software that fully utilizes the CPU will quickly get temperatures rising and fans spinning at full speed on the rMBP. The fans don't really start kicking in until the CPU temperatures are well over 90 degrees, and this is perfectly normal.

    Your fix of making ZBrush use just one thread instead of four or eight means, it's not getting as much CPU time as it was before. This lower CPU utilization leads to lower temps, but also reduced performance.

    So basically you are crippling the software to get fan noise down. Which is of course OK if the reduced performance does not matter.
  7. SimonTheSoundMa macrumors 6502a

    Aug 6, 2006
    Birmingham, UK
    105°C is fine. The CPU will underclock itself if it is in danger.
  8. Doward macrumors 6502a

    Feb 21, 2013
    105C is not fine.

    At no point should a MacBook Pro ever stabilize in temperature over 95C. If it does, you are experiencing first hand Apple's poor quality control concerning their heatsink machining process coupled with entirely too much heatsink compound.
  9. TimothyB macrumors 6502a

    Jun 20, 2008
    I have an Early 2013 rMBP 2.7ghz. In ZBrush, the moment I started to rotate a model, dense or low poly, the fans almost instantly kicked on.

    I haven't done much testing, but viewing the activity monitor at the same time, rotating the viewport showed the CPU graph jump to max immediately. Each time I decreased a core in ZBrush, the cpu equally dropped. I recall having to get to 50% usage before fans would not kick on right away. Though, I had to settle on 1-2 cores to prevent issues. There was an obvious hit in performance with rotating in the viewport.

    And here I swapper ZBrush from PC to Mac because I thought I'd get better performance running on OSX instead of using my PC license in say Parallels with Windows 7, now I have to wonder which is actually better.

    Anyone run ZBrush in Parallels/VM, or maybe bootcamp and still have fan issues?

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