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New Macbook fan always running
Old 17th July 2019
  #1
Lives for gear
 

New Macbook fan always running

I always had a desktop. I just bought a new MacBook Pro. So dam powerful but I when I am working in Ableton or Logic. The fan is cranking and never stops until it is dormant for a long time

Is this normal or is this bad for the computer? I have a protective case that has a lot of vents and it is on a monitor stand with tons of vent holes. Thanks.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #2
Gear Nut
Quote:
Originally Posted by passionmax View Post
I always had a desktop. I just bought a new MacBook Pro. So dam powerful but I when I am working in Ableton or Logic. The fan is cranking and never stops until it is dormant for a long time

Is this normal or is this bad for the computer? I have a protective case that has a lot of vents and it is on a monitor stand with tons of vent holes. Thanks.
Unfortunately, it is. It depends on how you use it because it’s not only the CPU. I have one from 2019 that’s supposed to have better thermal situation than the one from 2018, at least for the I9. However, the fans also kick in when I start reading many files from the SSD, and the CPU usage is minimal. Typical examples are Google Backup and Sync after reboot, importing a PostgreSQL dump, or searching for files.

I have a retina iMac from 2014 that was also a maxed-out model from that time. In Reaper, its fans kick out much later than the new MBP’s. However, in Ableton Live, the fans of the iMac kick in even if I do nothing. The only reason I can imagine is the GPU usage because the CPU is almost like sleeping. (Empty tracks, no playback).

Sometimes I thought it would have been better to get a Mac Pro or an iMac Pro but I had been waiting for years to get a usable Mac that’s mobile. Then I understood the Touch Bar would stay for decades and that’s life. Although I use as a desktop with a monitor in the 99% of the time, the rest 1% is important.

What you can do is getting an LG Ultrafine. It comes with a thunderbolt cable that’s about 2 meters. The display will not only charge the laptop and save your back and neck. It will also act as a USB hub. Except for the display, you don’t have to connect anything to the MBP. You can put it at least a little bit away. If you are lucky, you can put it inside something that keeps the noise inside. I guess I don’t have to tell you that it should be large enough to not keep all the heat inside. Although, the fan noise comes much sooner than a significant amount of heat.

For Thunderbolt 2, there are 10 or even 60 meters long optical cables. I never had one but peope say they work well for one year and another week. Then they burn out. The warranty period is one year. You don’t have to worry about it because they don’t exist for Thunderbolt 3. There is at least one user who claims that the Thunderbolt 2 optical cable with Thunderbolt 2 and 3 converters support Thunderbolt 3 speed. To me, this claim makes some sense. I didn’t feel to spend a few hundreds on trying it though. Besides, I would need to order the cable from the US. Again.

Although I hate the fan noise (or any noise), I find it more annoying that as soon as you have 10+ plugins on Mac, chances are high that any DAW will crash. Reaper is supposed to not crash together with the plugins. This doesn’t work on a Mac. I have Cubase 9.5, Cubase 10, Live 10, Logic Pro, Reaper and Studio 4. They all crash.

I ended up freezing everything as soon as I can. It reduces the CPU load and the noise as well the crashes.

By the way, Logic had far the lowest CPU usage in my tests.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #3
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by passionmax View Post
Is this normal or is this bad for the computer? I have a protective case that has a lot of vents and it is on a monitor stand with tons of vent holes. Thanks.
That the fans are spinning when the CPU/GPU is getting hotter is normally a good sign. Not bad under normal circumstances. However, I would not use a protective case during operation, at least without not first measuring the temps with it and without. You can measure temps with Intel Gadget during a heavy session.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #4
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mage View Post
Unfortunately, it is. It depends on how you use it because it’s not only the CPU. I have one from 2019 that’s supposed to have better thermal situation than the one from 2018, at least for the I9. However, the fans also kick in when I start reading many files from the SSD, and the CPU usage is minimal. Typical examples are Google Backup and Sync after reboot, importing a PostgreSQL dump, or searching for files.
That's a very shallow analysis. Have you analyzed the core loads and temps during operation? You don't mention temps nor core load. Background processes?
Old 4 weeks ago
  #5
Gear Nut
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mikael B View Post
That's a very shallow analysis. Have you analyzed the core loads and temps during operation? You don't mention temps nor core load. Background processes?
My goal was not to make an analysis that grants me a Ph.D. on the Harward but to help the OP by telling them they don’t need to replace it because unfortunately, it’s normal.

Are you the analysis police, or what?
Old 4 weeks ago
  #6
Gear Head
 
Scharpf's Avatar
Another thing to point out is that de gpu make a lot of noise. Most of the times i prefer to use only the Intel iris instead of the Radeon, they are noise. But i don't know why in logic, some plugins activate the radeon and the fans start to spinning.

* I am using the Automatic graphics switching
Old 4 weeks ago
  #7
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mage View Post

Although I hate the fan noise (or any noise), I find it more annoying that as soon as you have 10+ plugins on Mac, chances are high that any DAW will crash. Reaper is supposed to not crash together with the plugins. This doesn’t work on a Mac. I have Cubase 9.5, Cubase 10, Live 10, Logic Pro, Reaper and Studio 4. They all crash.
Well, speak for yourself.
I have been on macs for 15 years, with Reaper, Cubase, Logic, Pro Tools...
I never have crashes!
Old 4 weeks ago
  #8
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mage View Post
My goal was not to make an analysis that grants me a Ph.D. on the Harward but to help the OP by telling them they don’t need to replace it because unfortunately, it’s normal.

Are you the analysis police, or what?
I apologize. It was not my intention to make you feel that way, but I'm very interested in the subject. You brought an observation that I found to be incomplete. That's a development to be expected in a discussion. I am surprised anyone would spend the money and not be interested enough to investigate any issues in depth. With more complete answers you might be able to find a solution.

In my experience with reasonable expectations such issues can be avoided. I do think it's unreasonable to expect a machine to handle Pro audio without fans running. Of course. there's a balance there and if indeed a machine doesn't have a load and fans starts up, there could be abnormal issues.

In your account of your experiences, you only assume you have a low load when fans kick in. What you could investigate by viewing the core and temps is if that is actually true. You could then also see if some of the apps you assume only puts a mild load on CPU resources, actually doesn't ask for more than you thought.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #9
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by Scharpf View Post
Another thing to point out is that de gpu make a lot of noise. Most of the times i prefer to use only the Intel iris instead of the Radeon, they are noise. But i don't know why in logic, some plugins activate the radeon and the fans start to spinning.

* I am using the Automatic graphics switching
Unless you need the dedicated graphics card running — usually one doesn't for audio — then you can use the special build of gfxCardStatus 2.4.4i by Steve Schow (A forked version) to lock to the built-in CPU graphics. I haven't tried this on any modern MBP, but worth a try.

Last edited by Mikael B; 4 weeks ago at 02:01 PM..
Old 4 weeks ago
  #10
Gear Nut
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mikael B View Post
It was not my intention to make you feel that way, but I'm very interested in the subject.

Hello Mikael,

And I think I am a bit sensitive lately since I got a lot of hot and gold in another thread. You were friendly now. I will do the same.

One of the things I do in life is writing software. I have several computers at home of which four are Macs.

I have ADD hence I’m super easy to disturb by noise. I’ve spent a significant amount of time to think about how I could blow up the church next to my apartment. They ring the bell for fifteen minutes at least twice a day.

And the crazy detail is that the less loud the noise is, the more disturbing it can be because I start listening to it. I consider fan noise one of the worst things in daily life, at least, when there is no war, and the church is silent.

Before I bought my new MBP, which is a maxed out 2019 15" model, for the first time after many years, I considered buying something else. The only reasonable option seemed to be an Area-51 17" Dell, maxed out. It has a desktop CPU in it.

Unfortunately, Dell has near to zero support in Europe, and it was with an HD display. I opted out. Then I bought the new MBP after I read reviews that said it has better heat management than the 2018 model.

I still believe it has if you look at it from the aspect that throttles less and offers better performance than the 2018 model. Likely, part of Apple’s solution was that it if you are sitting in front of it, and you do nothing but close your eyes, and you imagine a hot day sunbathing at the beach, you will hear the MBP fans start running because of your fantasy of a warmer day.

Seriously.

I bought an app called Monity when the fan noise started driving me crazy. It can provide you with a lot of thermal data that you hardly can access another way.

In the end, I am not using it because if I look at it, it changes nothing. If the fan is running, it does not help me to know whether it is at 60C degree or 70C degree. It will be still running. But the next time I restart Google Backup and Sync, I will open Monity and look at the heat.

On the other hand, when I hear the fan noise, I always look at the CPU usage.

I can tell you that on my iMac, Ableton Live made the fans kick an about, I don’t know, like 10-20% CPU usage. I am serious. And the 10-20% is not compared to 100% usage.

It’s a four cores machine with HT. It seems eight cores. I believe when I max out the CPU load on each core, it goes up to 800%.

In general, my iMac was way more silent (less likely use the fans) than my new MBP is. But my new MBP does not start running the fan if I do barely anything in Life. I am almost sure that on the iMac, it was the GPU. (I did not have Monity that time). I am not sure that Live behaves the same way now. I will check it out when I have time. (Not in the following days).

On the other hand, my iMac probably never made the fans loud only due to disk IO. The new MBP does it.

The fans are always running in the iMac. If I put it close to a wall, I can hear it in idle and it disturbs me a lot. In a 20 sqm room, I can hear it on idle from any distance. I can hear all of them. I checked it in the store. If I put it in the middle of a huge room, I don’t hear it on idle (unless I really want to suffer).

As far as I know, the fans are also always running in the MBP. (About this one, I am not sure.) On idle, I can’t hear them in this large room, especially as it’s placed in 2 meters away of me without having a sight to it.

Unfortunately, Reaper is not optimized for Mac. (Most of the time, I am using Reaper if I do something related to audio).

If I start Reaper, and I put 30 empty tracks in the project, without any plugins, and without starting the playback(!), the CPU usage goes up to 160-200%. It is true. I opened a thread on the Reaper forum to discuss it. I figured it out that it’s the mixer dock that uses the CPU even on idle, no playback , no plugins. The more tracks you have on the screen, the higher it goes. The track view doesn’t do it only the mixer with many tracks. If you hide the mixer, or you switch to the "Media Library" tab, for example, the problem gets solved.

I try to not have the mixer open, but sometimes, I need it, or I forget to hide it. In the end, the fans are running often when I’m using Reaper. It’s related to the screen size too. I have a 5k external display for the MBP. For this issue, it’s the worst scenario. It seems to be related to the number of the cores too. My 4 cores iMac and 2 cores 2016 MBP are less affected. Still, I can produce it on any of them.

My point is, I look at the CPU usage a lot, but it doesn’t help, because it’s high due to the software I’m using at that moment. The only high CPU usage that happens once in a while without me knowing about it is when there are a few Chrome tabs open. When I see it, I close them, but there is nothing else, and the DAW itself is alone to make the fans run loud.

And let me add that I freeze everything as soon as I can to minimize the CPU usage. I run the DAWS on 88.2kHz most of the time. It used to be 176.4kHz but it was slow, loud, and some plugins can’t handle it well

My most silent/less loud Mac was the 2013 almost basic 13" model. I had to push it to make the fans go loud. Then, I think, it got worse and worse.

It was not the main reason to get the MBP, but I still hoped that it would be more silent than my iMac when I work on audio.

I was wrong.

I tried a few solutions, such as turning off the HT or switching to the integrated GPU and force it for every app. (To do this, I need to disconnect the external display). Nothing made a significant difference.

In the end, I free the tracks. That helps more than anything else.

When I do my "normal" work, or something related to my business, I can almost never hear the fans. Final Cut and more or less any DAW will make them run a lot.

Now I will restart Google Sync and look at the temperatures.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #11
Gear Nut
The first screenshot is at idle, with no audible noise from 2 meters. (My window is open though and we have crickets outside.)

The second screenshot is one minute after I restarted Backup and Sync.

(I took the idle shot later. It doesn’t matter.)

Backup and Sync is not always at 100%. It can move between 50% and 100%. I’ve never seen it go above 100%. (And the full usage would be 1600%, I think.)

You can see in a terminal that the cores have a little load, and every second core does nothing (HT).

I start to find it annoying at 3,800 RPM, but it took one or two minutes to reach 6,000 RPM. The same time, the temperature barely changed. It stated like this until the sync was finished. Then the noise went away in a few minutes.

I think the point is to avoid throttling in exchange for a lot of fan noise unless you do almost nothing.

https://imgur.com/Uq6TtKR

https://imgur.com/VLGhjw2
Old 4 weeks ago
  #12
JDN
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Anyone know how the fans are on the new Mac Minis? I too am using a macbook pro, mine is 2015, fan runs pretty much all the time in Pro Tools while mixing.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #13
Here for the gear
 

Besides looking at CPU usage you also need to figure out if the GPU is being stressed. Some apps seems to cause high GPU usage which also drives fans.

- Check out the GPU history window as detailed here: https://www.techjunkie.com/view-gpu-usage-mac/
- In Activity Monitor, look at the Energy tab, especially to see which apps are requiring "High-Performance Graphics" (if you have a 2nd Nvidia/AMD GPU)
- Do you have an external monitor attached to the Macbook? These can often drive high GPU demands, especially large high resolution displays.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #14
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by JDN View Post
I too am using a macbook pro, mine is 2015, fan runs pretty much all the time in Pro Tools while mixing.
Have you tried my recent gfxCardStatus 2.4.4i tip?
Old 4 weeks ago
  #15
Gear Nut
Quote:
Originally Posted by MrKahuna View Post
Besides looking at CPU usage you also need to figure out if the GPU is being stressed. Some apps seems to cause high GPU usage which also drives fans.
That’s what I also wrote. Ableton Live can make the fans kick in on my iMac with minimal CPU usage. And my 2019 MBP fans can go loud while reading the SSD for a longer period (like one minute).


Quote:
Originally Posted by MrKahuna View Post
- Check out the GPU history window as detailed here: https://www.techjunkie.com/view-gpu-usage-mac/
- In Activity Monitor, look at the Energy tab, especially to see which apps are requiring "High-Performance Graphics" (if you have a 2nd Nvidia/AMD GPU)
- Do you have an external monitor attached to the Macbook? These can often drive high GPU demands, especially large high-resolution displays.
The large display didn’t make a huge difference for me on the new MBP. Note that if you have a dedicated GPU and you use an external display, you can’t force your MBP to use the integrated GPU. It’s a bit strange because the integrated GPU could drive the display too. It does when there is no other GPU.

If you have the dedicated GPU, and you want to force the apps to use the integrated one, you need to disconnect the external display. (And keep it disconnected).

However, in my tests, it didn’t make any difference. It might be a reason that I’m using Reaper that doesn’t utilize the GPU.

Some people recommend to turn off the HT. You can do it if you have XCode installed and you go to the Preferences App. It also didn’t change anything for me.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #16
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mage View Post
I think the point is to avoid throttling in exchange for a lot of fan noise unless you do almost nothing.

https://imgur.com/Uq6TtKR

https://imgur.com/VLGhjw2
I think so too. I wonder though if you could find out if you can delay the fan startup a bit with this model with something like the Mac Fan Tool.

Personally I intentionally run my fans at around 6000 rpm at all times in order to never throttle in my old MBP. With the 2015 model (IG) I don't do that and I don't even hear the fans in music sessions. It might be there but we're playing into a PA most of the time or I'm wearing closed head phones.

I do plan to get the 2019 8-core Model quite soon.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #17
Gear Nut
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mikael B View Post
I think so too. I wonder though if you could find out if you can delay the fan startup a bit with this model with something like the Mac Fan Tool.

Personally I intentionally run my fans at around 6000 rpm at all times in order to never throttle in my old MBP. With the 2015 model (IG) I don't do that and I don't even hear the fans in music sessions. It might be there but we're playing into a PA most of the time or I'm wearing closed head phones.

I do plan to get the 2019 8-core Model quite soon.
My solution for the fan noise is a solution to another issue.

Every DAW I tried crashes on my Mac. I know it’s the plugins. I don’t know it for sure, which plugins do it. Probably too many to remove all of it.

I could make dozens of similar videos:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sUlf...ature=youtu.be

It’s one of the reasons I put every sound into a subproject in Reaper. It’s even better than render/bounce. I will need only mixing plugins in the main project.

The side effect is the reduced CPU usage even at 88.2kHz. The irony is that my fans became loud a few minutes ago since the youtube video I linked is open in another Chrome tab. It’s not even playing. I have kernel_task and WindowServer at 12-15% each, Chrome between 5% and 10%, and the fans have been loud already for five minutes.

(Youtube did a lot of nasty tricks to disable hardware acceleration of the browsers to beat Edge. For example, they’ve put a transparent div above the video for no apparent reason maybe one or two weeks before they announced that "Now Chrome is the fastest browser for youtube".)


Seriously, my fans have been running for ten minutes already at about 4k RPM:

https://imgur.com/fDbrq3g

It’s since I have two youtube tabs open. One is the studio and another is the paused video. CCC might add heat too due to the SSD reading.

So, what should I expect from a DAW?

I think I will put it in a large metal container that will keep the noise inside and let the heat go.

If you don’t want to move it around, the iMac Pro might be a better option. I couldn’t even consider the new Mac Pro due to its design. The Mini wouldn’t be enough.

Something like this could help:

https://cdn.connox.ch/m/100107/17821...967-kupfer.jpg

A larger one with a smaller hole on it.

Update: I closed the youtube tabs. It took the fans maybe three minutes to get silent again. I see no significant difference in CPU usage. I changed nothing else. The extra GPU load combined with the CCC disk IO was enough to keep them loud. I can still hear them whispering. That must be CCC.

It’s two meters from me. No sight. (It’s behind the desk). The room is huge, the walls are far away, there are only two tasks a little bit above 10% CPU, and I hear the fans running on 3800 RPM.

It wouldn’t disturb me in my work. For audio, it’s horrible.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #18
Gear Nut
The highest temp sensor says 53C degrees. Most of them are between 36 and 38C. My laser reader says 34C (the MBP surface outside). It took it about half an hour to get silent after I had a youtube tab open with a paused video, and I’m copying files over the network. It was silent only for five minutes.

The fans change between 2200 RPM and 3500 RPM. Now, I can hear it again.

CCC is the only task that does anything, and nothing is using the CPU.

I think I will go to the IKEA, get the cheapest and largest metal box they sell, drill a hole on it for the Thunderbolt cable. Its look will be perfect to express what I think about it.

I want Steve Jobs back.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #19
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mage View Post

It’s since I have two youtube tabs open. One is the studio and another is the paused video.
Maybe try with Epic Browser that uses the same code base as Chrome. I got around 3800 rpm with 68°C with it using 2 youtube tabs, but I also had 70+ open tabs in Firefox and some other open apps in a very different 2011 MBP in my Kitchen Studio.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #20
Gear Head
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mikael B View Post
Maybe try with Epic Browser that uses the same code base as Chrome. I got around 3800 rpm with 68°C with it using 2 youtube tabs, but I also had 70+ open tabs in Firefox and some other open apps in a very different 2011 MBP in my Kitchen Studio.
On macOS, Safari is usually the least resource-hungry browser. If you’re trying to save on temperature, I’d recommend you stick with it.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #21
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by gcsmusic View Post
On macOS, Safari is usually the least resource-hungry browser. If you’re trying to save on temperature, I’d recommend you stick with it.
Usually when people use Chrome, they do so for a reason. Of course, Epic isn't made specifically for speed or resource use, but it has the Chrome advantage with no or only a few of the drawbacks.
Personally, I use Firefox and these days it's a toss between Firefox with hundreds of tabs and Safari.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #22
JDN
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JDN's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mikael B View Post
Have you tried my recent gfxCardStatus 2.4.4i tip?
I don't really understand what this is and what it will do for my situation. I did click on the link you provided previously in this thread, but didn't really scrutinize. Honestly, I've just dealt with it by putting it on the floor a few feet away. It's crazy what a difference it made, the desk it was on was making it resonate to the point of being unusable for critical mixing/mastering in that configuration.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #23
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by JDN View Post
I don't really understand what this is and what it will do for my situation. I did click on the link you provided previously in this thread, but didn't really scrutinize. Honestly, I've just dealt with it by putting it on the floor a few feet away. It's crazy what a difference it made, the desk it was on was making it resonate to the point of being unusable for critical mixing/mastering in that configuration.
OK. What I use it for is to make sure my apps don't switch to my dedicated graphics card. Which in practice means less heat, less fan noise* and less or no throttling. So what the 2.4.4i version — in contrast to the main release of gfxCardStatus— does is assisting me in setting it to the internal graphics and keeping it there no matter if the app I use normally asks for the dedicated card.

It can be a little more involved than that and one might need to do some resets of the OS, before it works out, but this app gave me back my machine during a period when one of my fans was malfunctioning.

*I don't care about fan noise myself so I am controlling fans separately.

Last edited by Mikael B; 4 weeks ago at 11:27 AM..
Old 4 weeks ago
  #24
Gear Nut
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mikael B View Post
Maybe try with Epic Browser that uses the same code base as Chrome. I got around 3800 rpm with 68°C with it using 2 youtube tabs, but I also had 70+ open tabs in Firefox and some other open apps in a very different 2011 MBP in my Kitchen Studio.
Thank you. I’m not trying to find a better browser I use every major browser due to my work. It was only an example of how easy it is to make the fans loud on the new MBPs. It’s not the end of the world for me but an answer to the OP that it’s not only their unit.

I will get a huge metal container for it when I have time.
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