Touch vs non-touch - heat and fan noise

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by trekor, Dec 7, 2016.

  1. trekor macrumors newbie


    Dec 7, 2016
    I've been thinking about getting one or the other. From what I can understand the non-touch sport a one fan design, but with lower tdp vs two fans with a higher draw. Anyone had the chance of comparing one to the other while under stress? I usually work in photoshop, unity etc., and would think the two fan design would allow lower rpm despite the higher tdp.
    Im not really super hooked on the touch display, especially considering that I acually use the esc and f-keys alot while working. On the other hand, noise emission would factor quite high as well.

  2. Wowereit macrumors 6502a

    Feb 1, 2016
    According to notebookcheck, who usually are a trustworthy source, the nTB runs cooler and quieter.

    With my own nTB I can say that there isn't any fan noise at all for the most part.
    If you push CPU to the max with low to medium GPU load fans will come on after about 2 minutes.
    During anything other than max load fans aren't spinning.
  3. trekor, Dec 7, 2016
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2016

    trekor thread starter macrumors newbie


    Dec 7, 2016
    Thanks for the reply wowereit. I read though the reviews (both) on notebookcheck, but found it hard to do a direct comparison based on what they wrote. It seems when under heavy load the nonTouch runs a tad higher rpm "we noticed a linear increase to 40.4 dB(A) at 5870 rpm", while the touch version runs lower reps "After about 15 minutes, the cooling system runs at 4150 and 4500 rpm, respectively, and a quiet 36.8 dB(A)".
  4. Milan777 macrumors newbie

    Oct 18, 2016
    I have the nTB base i dont notice any fan noise or heat under light use.

    But when i run Hearthstone the fans kick in and the laptop gets noticably hot. I am thinking of upgrading to the TB base to see any difference in performance.
  5. keviig macrumors 6502

    Jun 7, 2012
    I've had both now, and the TB version is definitely quieter. Under full CPU (18-20W) load it's barely audible, and even under full CPU+GPU (33-35W) load (heaven benchmark) it's not annoying. The nTB i had would go to 6k RPM fan speed (CPU+GPU load), at which point it got distracting and annoying.

    In addition to the lower noise levels, the frequency of the noise is lower too, there's less of that high pitch fan noise you get with the nTB. If noise is a concern to you (like it is to me) i'd definitely go for the TB model.

    Also, the TB model managed to keep GPU boost speed of 1GHz, while the nTB i had would throttle to around 600MHz. So gaming performance should be better, along with less noise.
  6. mercedes27 macrumors member

    Jun 5, 2012
    On my 13" TB version - I can´t hear fans, when playing Hearthstone. When iddle - they should both be quite - you can´t hear fans, but under medium load TB version should be better.
  7. trekor thread starter macrumors newbie


    Dec 7, 2016
    Interresting. I was under the impression neither version was throttling much, though it was kinda expected on the 15w tdp.

    Given what ya'll said about the fans the TB does seem favorable.
  8. keviig macrumors 6502

    Jun 7, 2012
    When people say the nTB version doesn't throttle, they've only tested CPU load.

    - nTB CPU Load: 16-18W PWR (No throttling)
    - nTB CPU+GPU load: 25-28W PWR (Throttling CPU to 1.8-2.0 GHz and GPU to 600-700 MHz)

    - TB CPU Load: 18-20W PWR (No throttling)
    - TB CPU+GPU Load: 33-35W PWR (No throttling)

    So what we have here is a roughly 10% higher power draw at full CPU load and roughly 30% higher power draw during CPU+GPU load. Considering the TB version has double heatpipes, heatsinks and fans, it's not that surprising that it's quieter :)
  9. trekor thread starter macrumors newbie


    Dec 7, 2016
    Seems the TB is the way to go then. Thanks alot for the comparison keviig.

  10. montanaco macrumors 6502


    Nov 1, 2016
    Seems you've made your mind, but I work on Photoshop and Illustrator pretty often, and I've yet to even hear the fans on my 13" Touchbar model. I've been really happy with the performance so far, and figured I'd add my 2 cents :)
  11. mikeo007 macrumors 65816

    Mar 18, 2010
    My TB 13" is silent if I'm just web browsing; I don't even know if the fans are on during low usage like this. Tried playing Cities Skylines yesterday and the aluminum case did get warm, but I could barely hear the fans at all.

    Also, +1 to the mention about CPU+GPU load. While I didn't buy this machine specifically for gaming, I do like to fire up the odd game. I'd note that the TB version gets significantly better performance during heavy CPU/GPU utilization. I think most game benchmarks show something around 15-25% better performance on the TB version.
  12. prism macrumors 6502a

    Dec 6, 2006
    Wow, that kind of sucks for the nTB MBP, at least the battery life is vastly superior to that of the TB.
  13. s4snail macrumors newbie

    Nov 2, 2016
    Could you tell where did you get such information?
    May be some proof link for nTB throttling tests?
  14. keviig macrumors 6502

    Jun 7, 2012
    My source is my own personal testing. The CPU+GPU load scenario was tested using WOW in MacOS, at the new Dalaran flight path area. Resolution was 1280x800 and graphics setting was set to "5". Vsync was off. Temperature was roughly 90c. Ambient temperature was 20c. Fan speed roughly 6k.
  15. s4snail macrumors newbie

    Nov 2, 2016
    Interesting. Thank you so much.
    I actually have a nTB model.
    Under a heavy load (gaming first of all) it is so noisy.
    But I do not know how to estimate the CPU/GPU frequency under mac os?
  16. keviig macrumors 6502

    Jun 7, 2012
    My pleasure! Yeah i found the nTB to be quite noisy too while gaming. The TB version is a lot quieter in my testing so far.
    You can monitor CPU/GPU frequency, along with temperature and power draw with Intel Power Gadget.
    Download here:

Share This Page