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YouTuber says insufficient cooling causes performance throttling in i9-powered MacBooks

By midian182 · 20 replies
Jul 18, 2018
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  1. Dave Lee made the claims on his tech-focused YouTube channel. He says the 2.9GHz processor has limited performance due to the MacBook’s design, with thermal throttling kicking in quickly.

    Lee says an i9-powered MacBook running Adobe Premier Pro showed very serious throttling after just a few seconds, dropping the average clock on load to around 2.2GHz.

    "This i9 in this MacBook can't even maintain the base clock speed," Lee said. "Forget about Turbos and all that stuff, it can't even maintain the 2.9GHz base clock, which is absurd. This CPU is an unlocked, over-clockable chip, but all of that CPU potential is wasted inside this chassis, or more the thermal solution that's inside here."

    Lee went on to show Premier Pro render times that revealed a 2017 MacBook Pro with an i7 can outperform the new i9 model by four minutes, rendering a clip in 35 minutes. A Windows laptop—Gigabyte’s Aero 15X—can do the job in just over 7 minutes, though he does point out that Adobe Premiere isn’t as well optimized for MacOS as it is for Windows.

    Lee also demonstrated the thermal issues by running the same test in a freezer. It dropped the i9 MacBook’s render time down from 40 minutes to 27 minutes, which suggests Apple's thermal solution isn’t doing a very good job.

    It’s worth remembering that the tests were carried out by one person using a single, unoptimized app, so we’ll have to wait and see if further examinations show similar results before drawing any solid conclusions.

    Permalink to story.

    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 24, 2018
  2. petert

    petert TS Evangelist Posts: 344   +150

    You took it with a grain of salt? I mean, you don't say it specifically in the article, I assumed it by the way you worded the title
    Clamyboy74 and Reehahs like this.
  3. Mawthra

    Mawthra TS Rookie

    This has less to do with macOS than it does with the fact that Premiere leverages CUDA processing on NVIDIA GPUs heavily during render time and certain post effects. But purely from a CPU standpoint, that i9 is definitely getting the throttle if the freezer run was that much faster... while not supported right out of the box, you can put an NVIDIA GPU in an eGPU enclosure in macOS and get that performance boost... but if you're running Premiere, might as well be on a Windows machine anyway!
    Reehahs likes this.
  4. Uncle Al

    Uncle Al TS Evangelist Posts: 4,875   +3,315

    I would have expected Apple to be wise enough to design it with more attention to the heat issue but then again, we are talking about Apple, arn't we .......
    Panda218, Godel, IAMTHESTIG and 4 others like this.
  5. seeprime

    seeprime TS Guru Posts: 335   +354

    A nice laptop cooling stand should help it run as expected.
  6. Fearghast

    Fearghast TS Booster Posts: 43   +31

    Since the older gen. with quadcore has the same issue, I am really not surprised throttling is more pronounced with a 6 core version.
    Thinner and lighter is not such a great idea for a workstation notebook.
    Knot Schure, killmess and Teko03 like this.
  7. trparky

    trparky TS Evangelist Posts: 465   +335

    Well no sh*t Sherlock! Apple has always been about how the device looks and not about how it actually works. Face it, the MacBook "Pro" is a "pro" device in name only.
  8. Nobina

    Nobina TS Evangelist Posts: 1,768   +1,270

    Macbook and throttling, name a more iconic duo.
  9. ChuckyDhaBeast

    ChuckyDhaBeast TS Enthusiast Posts: 48   +29

    What's the price difference between that macbook and the aero 15x? Can't find it

    IAMTHESTIG TS Evangelist Posts: 1,641   +735

    Wouldn't surprise me.... not the first time Apple has had this issue. They need to fire their thermal solutions designer. They'll probably blame it on Intel again though.
  11. MrCus976

    MrCus976 TS Rookie

    It's not overheating, they're just holding it wrong...
  12. texasrattler

    texasrattler TS Evangelist Posts: 548   +200

    Your average consumer will and could careless as these wont be in many stores. Too expensive and mainly for business use.
    Apple Store and Apple.com will be the main source and a few online retailers. BestBuy wont have it in many of their stores, if any, it'll be order only.

    No one really even needs a i9. It's just a i7 on steroids. A i7 will be all anyone needs for now.
  13. GregonMaui

    GregonMaui TS Enthusiast Posts: 90   +25

    I hear the Dell XPS with i9 has similar thermal problems if not worse, and they have a hotter GPU which should mean more throttling, or more premature failure. The Razor is "hot enough to fry a steak" by some accounts. Maybe we could leave the snark, snark behind and comment like adults. It sounds like I9s with GPUs in ultra thin enclosures are definitely not workstations.
    iABDOzz Mustafa likes this.
  14. GregonMaui

    GregonMaui TS Enthusiast Posts: 90   +25

    wow so funny. Dell has this problem too and Razer is super bad.
  15. GregonMaui

    GregonMaui TS Enthusiast Posts: 90   +25

    yah check out the Dell XPS 15 with i9, super thin, faster graphics, and more throttling, a real winner. Or the i9 razor, doubles as a hot plate so you can make tea!
  16. trparky

    trparky TS Evangelist Posts: 465   +335

    How about this idea? Don't make it so stinkin' thin!!! If the notebook was bigger they could quite possibly put a more capable cooling system in the notebook. This whole "thin for the sake of thin" is getting stupid already. What? Can't pick up a 15 pound notebook? Maybe you need to do some light weight training to add some muscles to your arms.
  17. HafizNafes89

    HafizNafes89 TS Booster Posts: 28   +14

    You're half right, but in both defense of Dell and Razer they can at least maintain their base clock speed. The dell still suffers from thermal throttling in the I9 but it isn't nearly as bad as in the 2018 MBp. In spite of all the performance issues due to heat in the Dell XPS, it still outperforms the 2017 model by a considerable amount. This can be rectified by just purchasing the core I7 model whereas the 2018 MBp15 still throttles below base clock speeds even when using the core I7-8850h. Andreas Osthoff at notebookcheck.net performed a test using the core i7 2018 MBp-15 and still found it to be even slower than the baseline dell xps 15 using the quad-core.

    Knot Schure and waterytowers like this.
  18. MonsterZero

    MonsterZero TS Evangelist Posts: 546   +297

    Comparing a Macbook Pro to Gigabyte Aero 15X is like comparing a Toyota Camry to a Ferrari.
  19. LemmingOverlrd

    LemmingOverlrd TS Addict Posts: 86   +40

  20. koblongata

    koblongata TS Booster Posts: 148   +36

    You are using it wrong.
  21. HafizNafes89

    HafizNafes89 TS Booster Posts: 28   +14

    Razor doesn't have an I9 in their laptop.

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