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captain_to_fire

More details about the throttling issues of the 15" core i9 MacBook Pro, this time with Final Cut Pro X

Oh boy, when AppleInsider says “It’s Real”, shit’s a’brewing

 

 

Freezergate anyone?  

298 members have voted

  1. 1. Who needs to take the blame for the aggressive throttling of the i9 15" MacBook Pro?



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Posted · Original PosterOP

Source: 9to5 Mac

Download the Intel Power Gadget for PC, Mac and Linux https://software.intel.com/en-us/articles/intel-power-gadget-20

 

macbook-pro-freezer.jpg?quality=82&strip=all

Quote

It seems like there’s always some controversy surrounding new Apple hardware. These devices are some of the most popular in the world, which means that they’re bound to get closely scrutinized, perhaps more so than any other tech product on earth.

 

With that said, there’s a brewing controversy over CPU throttling in the new MacBook Pro. Of course, throttling on a laptop as thin as the MacBook Pro is to be expected, but issue has been taken with the amount of throttling present in Apple’s high-end 6-core Core i9-powered machine.

 

Here is my configuration for the test:

  • A four minute, 4K video shot at 60 frames per second with a Panasonic GH5. (Not rendered and unoptimized).
  • Exported with Apple’s built-in Final Cut Pro preset: Web Hosting – H.264 Faster Encode – 3840 x 2160.
  • Same exact setup used with both tests.
  • All other apps, except apps needed for testing, closed.
  • Power plugged in, except for the [spoiler: freezer test.]

First test: Stock 6-core export

Leaving the Core-i9 configured as default, I exported the video in 5 minutes and 30 seconds. Throttling was definitely noticeable during the export, as you can see from the following chart created from Intel Power Gadget log data:

6-core.png

Specifically, notice how aggressive throttling is here, with numerous occurrences of the clock speed dipping to 800MHz. According to Intel Power Gadget data, this is in response to a CPU Hot flag. (Update: these dips are actually the CPU idling)

I didn't know until now that when the CPU goes to just 800 MHz it's not throttling but going to idle. So the dips in the middle is not throttling but some cores are going to idle. Is this some kind of power saving feature or does the CPU knows when cooling solutions suck so it resorts to some cores going to idle?

Quote

Second test: 4-core export

I was curious to see how the MacBook Pro would respond to the same test with only 4 cores enabled. To attempt this, I installed Xcode, and utilized the handy Instruments utility to disable two of the cores.

instrument-reduce-cores-macbook-pro.jpg?

I now effectively had a quad-core machine instead of a hexa-core machine. Would it make any difference for my Final Cut Pro export?

4-core.png

Surprisingly, yes. The export completed in just 5 minutes and 12 seconds, 18 seconds faster than the it did when using all 6 cores.

2018-macbook-pro-i9-quad-core.jpg?qualit

Using just four cores (eight logical cores with Hyper-Threading)

I'd say the result between the simulated quad core and the six core MBP is rather marginal when it comes to FCP X and 18 seconds is not significant in my opinion. The graph shows that even with four cores, it still throttles although not as pronounced as the six cores.

Quote

Third Test: The freezer

For the last test, I switched back to the full 6-cores and put my MacBook Pro in the freezer to keep it cool, à la Dave Lee, who made the excellent video that lended such a big voice to this issue. Unsurprisingly, doing so resulted in the best performance out of the three tests. The video exported in just 4 minutes and 51 seconds, 21 seconds faster than the quad-core test, and 39 seconds faster than the hexa-core test without the extra cooling.

6-core-fridge-macbook-pro.png

The freezer is good for short term performance on the MacBook Pro, but may prove to be an inconvenient/hazardous working environment (condensation is bad, folks).

This is obvious that the freezer cooled MacBook Pro yielded with better results than the air cooled six core and quad core MacBook Pro and all CPU cores don't go to idle. Oddly enough, the iMac Pro with Intel Xeon processors performs slower than the MacBook Pro when it comes to Final Cut Pro X because of the fact that Xeon processors doesn't have a dedicated Quick Sync core unlike other Intel's consumer desktop and mobile processors (including the core m3). So all of that talk about Apple's magical optimization of FCP X often touted by Apple's fans users is just Quick Sync.

 

imac-pro-cpu-benchmark.png

 

Then the last few words from the author is somewhat misleading and disingenuous in my opinion especially the one in bold.

Quote

The results of this test are by no means a recommendation to stay away from the high end MacBook Pro. A machine should be judged on all of its merits and further testing is required before I’m able to do so. That said, the optics aren’t particularly good for Apple; it’s reasonable for users to expect more cores to equal better performance, especially with an app that was built from the ground up with Mac hardware in mind.

 

All blame shouldn’t rest on Apple’s shoulders, though. Intel needs better performing chips from a thermal perspective. It’s one major reason why Apple’s rumored transition to ARM Macs could prove to be a great thing for future laptops coming out of Cupertino.

I don't think Apple engineers are oblivious of the consequences of putting something as hungry as a core i9 to their laptop while retaining their skinny design and putting shitty cooling solutions. And yet the 9to5 Mac author tries to shift the blame towards Intel? This is some not-so subtle shilling from Jeff Benjamin and I don't think bringing up the rumored ARM powered MacBook would prove his arguments that Intel is somehow responsible for the throttling issues  of the MBP and I don't think Intel's alleged thermal issues (according to Benjamin) is the reason why Apple might transition to their in-house ARM chips for the 2019 MacBooks.


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If others can make it not throttle then Apple is to blame but the new processors seem significantly harder to cool which would be Intel's fault. So both it is.

 

And moving to ARM doesn't really solve much. It reduces heat and power consumption but you lose performance. And good luck without QuickSync; it'll make FCP look so much less impressive and I'm sure it'll cause a shit storm in Apple land.

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Posted · Original PosterOP
1 minute ago, Morgan MLGman said:

It's all Apple's fault.
Yeah - Intel should make better chips in terms of power draw and thermals, but Apple KNEW what they bought from Intel and they should have designed the cooling solution appropriately to the chips thermal specifications.

That's why any attempt of shifting the blame towards Intel is nothing but blind fanaticism imo


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A bit ridiculous to blame Intel on this one. Apple must have made a conscious design choice to keep the laptop thin at the expense of cooling. Intel chips are pretty good from an efficiency perspective, and being the first 6 core laptop chips are always going to be thermally dense to start with.

Also, bringing up the ARM mention is pretty absurd (performance compared to an 8th Gen 6 core Intel CPU is not going to be in the same league!)

 

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2 minutes ago, captain_to_fire said:

That's why any attempt of shifting the blame towards Intel is nothing but blind fanaticism imo

If this was the case with the MacBook Air - I'd get it. It's a thin ultrabook etc etc. But the Pro version aimed at professionals (and costing appropriately to that)?
That's unacceptable IMO. Especially if they use the "WE HAVE THE CORE i9 IN OUR MACBOOK PRO" in their ads etc.


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Unless Intel's TDP rating is way off the mark (because  say apples cooling solution meets Intel's TDP rating) then it is apples fault.   That is why Intel have a TDP for their chips.


QuicK and DirtY. Read the CoC it's like a guide on how not to be moron.  Also I don't have an issue with the VS series.

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Posted · Original PosterOP
2 minutes ago, Trixanity said:

If others can make it not throttle then Apple is to blame but the new processors seem significantly harder to cool which would be Intel's fault. So both it is.

Actually it's all Apple's fault because they're aware of the kind of processor the i9 is and its issues and yet they decided to put in their 15" MBP but kept their skinny design and not so good cooling. It's just Apple bragging to everyone that they can do an i9 too just like their PC competitors but at least most of them like have the decency to put proper cooling.

2 minutes ago, Morgan MLGman said:

If this was the case with the MacBook Air - I'd get it. It's a thin ultrabook etc etc. But the Pro version aimed at professionals (and costing appropriately to that)?
That's unacceptable IMO. Especially if they use the "WE HAVE THE CORE i9 IN OUR MACBOOK PRO" in their ads etc.

Even if I had the money to buy the 15" MBP and I'm the kind of person who needs that kind of power, I'd rather have proper cooling and I/O than have very fast read/write NVME SSD speeds.


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Posted · Original PosterOP
2 minutes ago, mr moose said:

Unless Intel's TDP rating is way off the mark (because  say apples cooling solution meets Intel's TDP rating) then it is apples fault.   That is why Intel have a TDP for their chips.

What sucks the most is that the i9 MacBook Pro performed slightly better with the two out of the six cores disabled using XCode.


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1 minute ago, captain_to_fire said:

What sucks the most is that the i9 MacBook Pro performed slightly better with the two out of the six cores disabled using XCode.

Which is kinda proof that their cooling solution is not up to the i9 requirements. 


QuicK and DirtY. Read the CoC it's like a guide on how not to be moron.  Also I don't have an issue with the VS series.

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All blame shouldn’t rest on Apple’s shoulders, though. Intel needs better performing chips from a thermal perspective.

While I wouldn't mind if Intel makes better chips from a thermal perspective, this is Apple's fault. There's plenty of information out there that the Core i9 8950HK runs very, very hot, especially when boosted, and can consume up to 150W of power.

 

If Apple had done proper testing of the machine, they would have seen the throttling. Which brings some questions.

 

1) Did they even test it properly? And if they did;

2) Did they actually think it was acceptable to have a laptop with a super high-end processor that performs worse than the 7820HQ/7700HQ in demanding workloads due to the woefully inadequate cooling solution and thin chassis combo?

 

On a side note, the new Core i7 8850H models performed better than the i9 8950HK models, but not by much. Compared to the 7700HQ, it's on average 13% better, less so compared to the i7 7820HQ.


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9 minutes ago, Morgan MLGman said:

It's all Apple's fault.
Yeah - Intel should make better chips in terms of power draw and thermals, but Apple KNEW what they bought from Intel and they should have designed the cooling solution appropriately to the chips thermal specifications.

It's not like they haven't tested the chip before applying it to the MacBook Pro or that they just slapped it onto the motherboard and YOLO'd it... They're engineers goddammit.

Yeah, it should be false advertising that Apple sells it as a "pro" laptop but can't handle a sustained workload.

Either the engineers knew it would throttle but aren't expecting you to use the CPU that much, or Apple caring more about profit margins decided to save a few cents on cooling. It reminds me of the butterfly keyboards, which they still won't admit is inferior to a scissor switch that every other manufacturer uses and instead slap a silicone membrane on it to say their keyboards are perfect.

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Posted · Original PosterOP
2 minutes ago, leadeater said:

NO! It's not!

0.61" MacBook Pro + core i9 (6c/12t) + mediocre cooling = yes it will thermal throttle


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You're using it wrong


Awareness is key. Never enough, even in the face of futility. Speak the truth as if you may never get to say it again. This world is full of ugly. Change it they say. The only way is to reveal the ugly. To change the truth you must first acknowledge it. Never pretend it isn't there. Never bend the knee.

 

Please quote my post in your reply, so that I will be notified and can respond to it. Thanks.

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So the laptop comes with an 87W power adapter.

 

I'm sorry, but I don't think that's enough for an i9 8950HK + Radeon Pro 560X combo.


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3 minutes ago, captain_to_fire said:

0.61" MacBook Pro + core i9 (6c/12t) + mediocre cooling = yes it will thermal throttle

True, I just object to their stupid statement about it being expected for a laptop "as thin as" a MacBook Pro. Pff MacBook Air and you might have a point there guys, but no we don't generally expect our CPUs in laptops to throttle down past the point of being useful and a lower SKU actually being overall better.

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12 minutes ago, mr moose said:

Unless Intel's TDP rating is way off the mark (because  say apples cooling solution meets Intel's TDP rating) then it is apples fault.   That is why Intel have a TDP for their chips.

TDP for Intel chips is pretty useless. It's for base clocks but I would assume they tell their partners what their various boost power states are like and if not that Apple's engineers can figure it out.

10 minutes ago, captain_to_fire said:

Actually it's all Apple's fault because they're aware of the kind of processor the i9 is and its issues and yet they decided to put in their 15" MBP but kept their skinny design and not so good cooling. It's just Apple bragging to everyone that they can do an i9 too just like their PC competitors but at least most of them like have the decency to put proper cooling.

It's still Intel's fault to some degree. Cooling or not, it should still have a modicum of power management that even Apple can't mess with. And Apple messes with such things more than Steve Irwin used to mess with crocodiles. That an i9 becomes slower than an i7 is unacceptable. It's fine if the throttling resulted in the same performance but that is not the case.

 

Apple has a policy that the fans don't do shit until the CPU reaches 100 degrees which is stupid but at that point the power management should already have kicked in. Apple needs training wheels to not crash the bicycle. It's daddy Intel's job to provide that unless they're fine with appearing like irresponsible parents.

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Posted · Original PosterOP
5 minutes ago, leadeater said:

MacBook Air

It was my first Mac experience (2011 Sandy Bridge MacBook Air) and I liked that laptop a lot. Snow Leopard in many aspects is better than Windows 7 imo and it went with me through thick and thin until it died in 2015


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2 minutes ago, captain_to_fire said:

It was my first Mac experience (2011 Sandy Bridge MacBook Air) and I liked that laptop a lot. Snow Leopard in many aspects is better than Windows 7 imo and it went with me through thick and thin until it died in 2015

My first Mac was a 2009 MacBook Pro

 

I still have it with me actually and it still looks really fresh, though obviously now very underpowered by 2018 standards with the Penryn P8700 C2D clocked at 2.53GHz. The 5400RPM HDD obviously makes it even slower still.


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25 minutes ago, captain_to_fire said:

What sucks the most is that the i9 MacBook Pro performed slightly better with the two out of the six cores disabled using XCode.

Best part is they also chose the easiest but least obvious test possible to show the issue in best case under what appears to be a somewhat high end test when it's not really. A video without any transforms, overlays, colour correction etc etc just a straight export and using a product that uses Quick Sync.

 

Do the test again but this time with something actually being done to the video instead of a blank timeline or I know, do a Blender test then see how bad it actually is.

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2 minutes ago, leadeater said:

Best part is they also chose the easiest but least obvious test possible to show the issue in best case under what appears to be a somewhat high end test when it's not really. A video without any transforms, overlays, colour correction etc etc just a straight export and using a product that uses Quick Sync.

 

Do the test again but this time with something actually being done to the video instead of a blank timeline or I know, do a Blender test then see how bad it actually is.

I know something better

 

Discord Screen Sharing. :P


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Samsung Galaxy Note8 SM-N950F

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34 minutes ago, captain_to_fire said:

Oddly enough, the iMac Pro with Intel Xeon processors performs slower than the MacBook Pro when it comes to Final Cut Pro X because of the fact that Xeon processors doesn't have a dedicated Quick Sync core unlike other Intel's consumer desktop and mobile processors (including the core m3). So all of that talk about Apple's magical optimization of FCP X often touted by Apple's fans users is just Quick Sync.

I've been saying this for years, but uneducated, ignorant fanboys always assume that Apple software is created with black magic and that's why it performs so well.

Nice to see even more confirmation that it is the case.

 

28 minutes ago, Trixanity said:

And moving to ARM doesn't really solve much. It reduces heat and power consumption but you lose performance. And good luck without QuickSync; it'll make FCP look so much less impressive and I'm sure it'll cause a shit storm in Apple land.

I don't think it would. The Apple fanboys would find excuses for why it isn't Apple's fault, or why it doesn't matter.

Maybe they would all of a suddenly care a lot about the lower image quality produced by hardware encoding.

 

 

22 minutes ago, mr moose said:

Unless Intel's TDP rating is way off the mark (because  say apples cooling solution meets Intel's TDP rating) then it is apples fault.   That is why Intel have a TDP for their chips.

The old i7 (4770HQ) and the i9 (8950HK) have more or less the same TDP. 47W vs 45W.

 

 

16 minutes ago, Blademaster91 said:

Yeah, it should be false advertising that Apple sells it as a "pro" laptop but can't handle a sustained workload.

The Macbook Pro has never (as long as I have followed them) been able to do heavy CPU loads for any longer period of time without throttling.

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4 minutes ago, captain_to_fire said:

It was my first Mac experience (2011 Sandy Bridge MacBook Air) and I liked that laptop a lot. Snow Leopard in many aspects is better than Windows 7 imo and it went with me through thick and thin until it died in 2015

Generally speaking I usually only have positive things to say about the MacBook Pros and Airs, had to support many many of them and they always hit the all round generally good to great mark for all aspects.... not recently though.

 

It speaks volumes to how good they are when it was extremely common for Windows users to buy MacBook Pros and install only Windows on them, very common.

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