Severe thermal throttling & framerate hitching on rMBP - can you duplicate?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by tanjent, Jul 30, 2012.

  1. tanjent macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2012
    #1
    I spent the weekend trying out various games on my new Macbook (under Bootcamp) and noticed some very annoying problems with framerate hitching - for example, when wandering around Goodsprings in Fallout New Vegas the framerate would be stable for about 5 minutes and then would "hiccup" constantly. Alt-tabbing away from the game for a few seconds and then back would make things smooth again for 10-15 seconds, and then the hiccuping would start again. The hiccuping is not just a frame or two being lost inside D3D, the game goes from running at 60 frames a second to lurching between 60 fps and 1 fps constantly.

    The problem was easily duplicated with Furmark - using version 1.10.1 and the "Burn-in test" button, my GPU would go from around 53 celsius at idle to 85 within 15 seconds or so, the framerate would start stuttering, and then the temperature would drop down to 71 as the fans ramped up but the stuttering would continue. All graphics hang completely for up to a second, the Windows interface doesn't respond, all signs point to the GPU having paused execution due to overheating.

    Before I start thinking about sending it in for repair (or just replacing the thermal paste myself, though I'd rather not void any warranties), could someone with a similar machine (Retina Macbook Pro, 2.7 ghz CPU, 16 gigs RAM) try and duplicate the issue in Furmark and post your results?

    In particular, if someone who has already replaced the thermal paste could provide some feedback that would be particularly helpful.

    -tanjent (new Macbook owner, created an account just to post this)
     
  2. Laryngoscope macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2012
    #2
    The problem is that the fans don't work correctly in bootcamp.

    To fix this you will need to run a third party fan control like luddos

    http://sourceforge.net/projects/lubbofancontrol/

    This still needs to be update for the rMBP as luddos reads the CPU at 90 degC.

    What I do in bootcamp is use throttle stop & nvidiainspector which then autoruns a batch script to overclock the GPU and ramp up the fans for when I want to play a game and another setup which underclocks the CPU/GPU and turns down the fans for when I am running on batteries or not gaming.

    Cheers

    J
     
  3. tanjent thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2012
    #3
    Installed Lubbos, set fans speed to maximum, ran FurMark again - no change. Hitching starts about 15 seconds after the burn-in test begins.
     
  4. tanjent thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jul 30, 2012
    #4
    One last update before I crash - I tried to duplicate the issue under OSX but didn't have much success. I used atMonitor to track GPU temperatures and Diablo 3 and Portal 2 as my test programs. Both games slowed down noticeably as the GPU warmed up, but neither showed the frame rate hitching problems that appear under Windows.

    I'm not sure this is a fair comparison though, as GPU temperatures under OSX never exceeded 69 degrees despite my cranking all the visual options up - perhaps some hardware throttling was not being triggered.

    If there's an OSX equivalent to FurMark please let me know.
     
  5. Laryngoscope macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2012
    #5
    Ah yes,

    I did the exact same as you and found the exact same issues (throttling, FPS hiccups), but to fix you need 3 things.

    1. Fan control so you don't overheat (luddo)
    2. CPU Processor control so you don't throttle (ie throttle stop and set max multi at say 30, depending on your proc it can single core up to x36+ but then draw 45+ watts as reported by throttle stop)
    3. GPU control so you don't throttle (ie use nvidia inspector and force set P1 state so the GPU doesn't throttle - you need to do this on the command line).

    To test that everything is working you need to run 3dMark11 and watch the action. You will see hiccups within about 30 seconds if you got it wrong, and everything will be smooth if right).

    For reference I can game for hours with an overclocked GPU and a 3dmark11 of circa 3000. I have throttle stop profile setup so once loaded all I need do is select a profile from the system tray and it all gets auto setup depending on what I want to do.

    Cheers

    J
     
  6. jcpb macrumors 6502a

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    Jun 5, 2012
    #6
    Don't use FurMark. That program wasn't labeled a power virus for nothing.
     
  7. mdapple macrumors regular

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    Jun 29, 2012
    #7
    I also get frame rate hiccups randomly after an hour of gaming on bootcamp. Sometimes it won't hiccup for 4-5 hours. Only a restart fixes this
     
  8. tanjent thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2012
    #8
    Not much luck.

    Tried all Laryngoscope's suggestions - fans on full blast, GPU forced to P1, max multiplier lowered to 20-something. It seemed to help a little, but after 20-30 minutes of "Orcs Must Die" things still go all choppy. Temperatures didn't even seem that bad - ~70 GPU, ~75 CPU.

    I'm strongly suspecting that this is a CPU cooling problem - running the benchmark utility in ThrottleStop can push the CPU up to 102c (at which point I freaked out a little and stopped the test) if Turbo Boost is on, and that's _with_ the fans on full blast.

    Conversely, with the CPU locked at 800 mhz and FurMark loading down the GPU things seemed surprisingly OK (aside from lack of CPU horsepower).

    I'll do one or two more experiments, and I'll see about taking the Macbook to the local Apple store to see if the folks there have any other ideas.
     
  9. tanjent thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jul 30, 2012
    #9
    OK, loading all CPUs down will hit temperatures of 104c under both Windows (via Throttle Stop's benchmark utility) and OSX (using Marcel Bresink's System Load and Hardware Monitor utilities).

    That seems pretty darn hot.
     
  10. DTKblaster macrumors member

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    Aug 3, 2012
    #10
    Did it actually go down to 800mhz? Mine ignores everything after 1.2ghz.
     
  11. SpazzyMac macrumors regular

    SpazzyMac

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2011
    Location:
    Denmark
    #11
    I noticed that too on my early 2011 MBP :(
    800Mhz while gaming BF3, that sucked majorly :(
     
  12. Dyno-Mike, Aug 19, 2012
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2012

    Dyno-Mike macrumors regular

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    Aug 19, 2012
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    #12
    Ive been testing my rMBP out this weekend to see why it was stuttering/hitching every few seconds in bootcamp whilst gaming.

    Im using the base model with apples drivers.

    I loaded up Furmark and it was ok for a few minutes then became very stuttery.
    The GPU and CPU were not downclocking, but what i noticed in throttlestop was the CO% for the CPU would fluctuate between 60 and 80% on one core, but when i first started the test it stayed at 99%.

    I can see that when Furmark stutters is when the CO% changes

    Its not temperature related because CPU is about 80C and GPU steady on 78C when this test is running

    It seems as if it is a power issue because if use throttlestop to lock the multiplier to 22 or disable turbo boost then furmark will run without a hitch

    Could somebody try this and see if it does the same for you?
     
  13. alphaod macrumors Core

    alphaod

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2008
    Location:
    NYC
    #13
    Did no one read the part where FurMark F's with your GPU when it would not be stressed in such a matter otherwise? :confused:
     
  14. Dyno-Mike macrumors regular

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    Aug 19, 2012
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    #14
    You can fix this by changing the .ini file in the lubbos fan control folder.

    open fancontrol.ini in notepad and replace CPUKey string to TC0F so it reads:
    CPUkey=TC0F

    then start the app and it should show it properly.
     
  15. Dyno-Mike macrumors regular

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    Aug 19, 2012
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    United Kingdom
    #15
    Mine stutters bad during gaming though. So i used furmark to test a few things and try to find out the cause. (to no avail yet)
     
  16. Dustman macrumors 65816

    Dustman

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2007
    #16
    Those are some scary temps to run a MBP at. I'd be too terrified to ever 'stress test' one.

    This is interesting as I've heard the rMBP is excellent for casual gaming.
     
  17. strukt macrumors member

    strukt

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2012
    Location:
    Norway
    #17
    Just want to chime in to say that I have the same issues when playing some games in Windows (bootcamp). It will work great for a while, good framerates and after a while it begins to throttle. This can be everything from 5 minutes to 30...

    I use it with an external display in clamshellmode at 1920x1200. I have monitored the temperature while playing and it never goes above 80C. The graphic card should be able to handle much more than that.

    The drivers I use are the stock ones.

    rMBP, 2.6 / 16GB Ram / 650M 1GB

    This behaviour may be some safeguard Apple put in place to make sure their computer doesnt overheat. But it is of course just speculation..
     
  18. DTKblaster macrumors member

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    Aug 3, 2012
    #18
    It seems that even when forcing P2[its p1 for us] (at stock with "nvidiaInspector.exe -forcepstate:0,1" in a .txt file renamed .bat) and using throttle stop to stay at max turbo speed, if the GPU goes over around 75-78 degrees, then it feels like theres some kind of firmware downclocking, which you can see in afterburner as the clock dropping to 798mhz, then further to 400 something and again to 250ish.

    Just crank them fans and it should be fine (unless you live in the desert).
     
  19. Dyno-Mike macrumors regular

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    Aug 19, 2012
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    #19
    My GPU doesnt seem to throttle. It stays at 900Mhz all the time whilst playing a game,
    but my CPU would change its CO% and throttle the voltage every few seconds causing the stuttering and hitching I see in the game.

    I still think its a power limit issue and the laptop logic board or power brick cannot supply enough power to run both the GPU and CPU at full without throttling back.

    If you run throttlestop benchmark and Furmark at the same time what are your CPU clocks reporting? mine drops to x12 multi on all cores.
     
  20. BigQ macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2012
    #20

    I had tested 2 rMBP.
    All have same problem(2.6G+16G+512G and 2.7G+16G+512G).
     
  21. strukt macrumors member

    strukt

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2012
    Location:
    Norway
    #21
    A small update. I disconnected the external display and only used the Macbooks built-in display. When I do that the GPU doesnt throttle anymore.

    I even managed to overclock it a bit to about 1020 Mhz while still having temperatures below 80C.

    If I connect the external display the GPU starts to throttle again.
     
  22. MagnusB macrumors newbie

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    Jul 24, 2012
    #22
    am i the only one who have a gnu temp off 96-98 degrees C when playing? thats when mine starts to downclock
     
  23. Dangerous Theory macrumors 68000

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    Jul 28, 2011
    Location:
    UK
    #23
    When I overclocked (P3) with nVidia inspector I noticed that my fans would not kick in during a game as they do normally, so the GPU/CPU inevitably gets too hot and the system freezes. The fans seem to then come on full blast. This is only an issue when over clocking. I tried some fan control software but none would work. I haven't tried lubbofancontrol though. Is throttle stop necessary?
     
  24. Speedy Gonzalez macrumors regular

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    Jun 12, 2012
    Location:
    Alligator Bayou
    #24
    you guys only need to do two things set the maximum processor state to 90% in the power options and run fans at full speed with lubbos fan control I can game for hours and the only part that is overheating of my laptop is the power adapter :D

    remember that setting any value lower than 100% CPU state just disables turbo frequencies on the CPU but it won't affect frame rates
     
  25. Doggonit macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2012
    #25
    Yeah, I think that running games on the retina display rather than via HDMI on an external one doesn't kick in the aggressive throttling under Bootcamp Windows.
     

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