Macbook Pro with Ableton runs extremely hot

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supadisco
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Macbook Pro with Ableton runs extremely hot

Post by supadisco » Mon Mar 30, 2020 3:06 pm

My relatively new MacBook Pro (2019, 15”; latest Catalina update) gets extremely hot (75+ celcius) running Live after less than 30 minutes and this is with only a few tracks going and the CPU saying “10-25%” at most and running no other apps at all. (I’ve tried to replicate the problem using other apps but so far this only happens with Live.)

It’s become so uncomfortable with the metal burning my wrists that I can’t work for more than an hour at a time, and I'm a little worried about what other damage it might be doing to the machine.

One thread here suggested using the Turbo Boost app and/or resetting the SMC of the laptop. So far, neither have provided much help. I've searched all over, but haven't found much. Most issues arise from older machines with dirty fans, etc...

Anyone experience any similar issues or know of any remedies? Thank you sincerely for any advice.

J :)

Mark Williams
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Re: Macbook Pro with Ableton runs extremely hot

Post by Mark Williams » Mon Mar 30, 2020 5:22 pm

Yep,
buy a PC
Live 10,Push 2, KK S61 MK2, Focusrite Scarlett 18i20, Softube Console 1 Mk2, Deepmind12D, Eventide H9, Komplete 12, Hydrasynth, NDLR, Bass Station2, Jupiter Xm Alesis Multi Strike Pad

TLW
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Re: Macbook Pro with Ableton runs extremely hot

Post by TLW » Mon Mar 30, 2020 6:47 pm

It’s possibly a side-effect of how Live 10 hits some Mac’s Windowserver system leading to it running the gpu absolutely flat out all the time. There’s a thread in the “tips and tricks” section of the forum which might help with that, try searching it for “Windowserver”.

My i7 MBP typically hits around 60-65 degrees, mostly because the audio driver immediately pushes one core into Turbo mode and holds it there, which is still below where the cpu self-throttles. Before I reduced Live’s frame-rate it was getting hotter than that as the Intel graphics struggled to keep up with the demand.

It also has to be said that the i9 MBPs do have a reputation for generally running a bit on the hot side, and Live for whatever reason puts more strain on the cpu generally than does e.g. Logic. MacBooks use the solid aluminium block they’re machined from as a heatsink so the user tends to notice heat more than from e.g. a polycarbonate PC laptop, especially in the area around the cpu/gpu. Intel’s power gadget is useful for monitoring temperatures if you’ve not downloaded it. It’s also worthwhile checking the design thermal limit of the processor in question, though I suspect it’s higher than you’re seeing.
Live 10 Suite, 2020 27" iMac, 3.6 GHz i9, MacOS Catalina, RME UFX, assorted synths, guitars and stuff.

jonljacobi
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Re: Macbook Pro with Ableton runs extremely hot

Post by jonljacobi » Mon Mar 30, 2020 7:10 pm

There are always issues with laptops and thermals. To a lesser degree, iMacs. I'd say style over substance, but most users never come close to experiencing issues with their light workloads. If you don't mind more fan noise, you can push off the inevitable with Macs Fan Control. Otherwise, minimize panes, use returns, and whatever else you can do to lighten the load.

Or, as the man get a computer you can cool the snot out of.

jonljacobi
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Re: Macbook Pro with Ableton runs extremely hot

Post by jonljacobi » Mon Mar 30, 2020 8:47 pm

There are a couple of other threads around the Web on this. There are some other remedies that escape me at the moment.

jestermgee
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Re: Macbook Pro with Ableton runs extremely hot

Post by jestermgee » Tue Mar 31, 2020 1:04 am

Yeah it's unfortunately a side effect of having such a slim profile with more emphasis on style than function.

I have a Macbook pro i5 2019 model but am more of a PC user, just use Macs for dev and testing, but I have similar issues sometimes just using Chrome where the fans go crazy and I can heat my lunch up.

The exhaust on the thing is completely stupid where the screen kind of blocks the exhaust ports when it is open causing the exhaust to heat up the screen too. I have a feeling the whole laptop body is now part of the heatsink so it's designed to just get hot.

Rolo Tomasi
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Re: Macbook Pro with Ableton runs extremely hot

Post by Rolo Tomasi » Tue Mar 31, 2020 5:43 am

With a MBP like that I doubt it's because of Live. Have you tried opening up your Activity Monitor in your utilities folder? Try that. Something else is running that is eating up all the CPU I guarantee it. Dropbox will do that for example.

I have a 2016 MBP very similar to yours and Live runs fine and my laptop stays as cool as the other side of the pillow for hours. Same with Logic.

supadisco
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Re: Macbook Pro with Ableton runs extremely hot

Post by supadisco » Tue Mar 31, 2020 5:42 pm

Thank you SO much for the helpful replies. Really appreciated. I have some trouble shooting to do. I'll report back with my findings.

Last night it occurred to me to see if Garageband caused the same issues and it also got nearly as hot just as quickly, so it's not only an Ableton thing. Ok, thanks again. If i can't get this figured out I think i'll sell this thing and get a slightly used one.

J

TLW
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Re: Macbook Pro with Ableton runs extremely hot

Post by TLW » Tue Mar 31, 2020 9:19 pm

jestermgee wrote:
Tue Mar 31, 2020 1:04 am
I have a feeling the whole laptop body is now part of the heatsink so it's designed to just get hot.
Macbooks have used the big lump of aluminium they’re machined out of as a heatsink for many years. iPads and iPhones use their aluminium alloy backs as heatsinks and get quite warm sometimes. A MacBook case is actually a decent heatsink - a heatsink that doesn’t end up get somewhere near to the temperature of what it’s attached to isn’t working properly.

Polycarbonate cased PCs often have very poor internal cooling, but you don’t feel it because the case doesn’t get hot, just what’s inside it.

i9s do seem to run quite hot, which implies their power usage maybe isn’t as efficient as would be ideal but they are what they are and it’s unlikely Intel, Apple or any other manufacturer with a reputation to worry about would knowingly build products that overheat. The question is whether the cpu/gpu routinely gets so hot it starts to self-throttle. The i9 is also touted by Intel as a kind of cheaper alternative to the Xeon W range, the Xeons being designed to run hard for hours at a time without problems while the i9 is more intended for applications that sometimes benefit from the extra speed but where it still gets lots of time at or close to idle - unlike the cpu in a DAW that has to run a low audio buffer and do a lot of thread processing non-stop.

The hottest-running cpu I’ve personal experience of was a Pentium D which ran really hot while using much more power than any quad core i7 and had a lower thermal limit and no ability to self-throttle. It took a big heatsink with two big fans plus two big case fans to get the temperature and fan noise down to acceptable levels. One of my nephews recently had an i9 gaming PC laptop for his birthday and it runs like a little with the fans whining away all the time. I have some doubts that i9s in particular are a good processor for anything that pushes the cpu into much of a sustained load in any laptop or if fan noise is an issue - they’re also battery eaters, even more so than the i7 in my MBP, which I think of more as a portable computer than a laptop for hours of use running on the battery.
Live 10 Suite, 2020 27" iMac, 3.6 GHz i9, MacOS Catalina, RME UFX, assorted synths, guitars and stuff.

djyroc
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Re: Macbook Pro with Ableton runs extremely hot

Post by djyroc » Tue Apr 21, 2020 8:14 pm

Turbo Boost Switcher Pro can help with this, it's available on gumroad. I don't recall the details, something about these 2019 mbps always runs overclocked and it disables this so it doesn't sit there ready to use resources that it doesn't need to. after running this the temp stays much lower, fan stays off, and macbook battery lasts for a 2 hour flight.

that said, i'm having a weird issue where live's CPU report is way off of osx's. 1% in live is 10% in osx, 10% is 50%, etc.

TLW
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Re: Macbook Pro with Ableton runs extremely hot

Post by TLW » Wed Apr 22, 2020 4:49 am

Live’s “cpu meter” isn’t a cpu meter. It’s an attempt to assess the total load on the DAW-related parts of the system. Sometimes it’s useful, sometimes not. It rarely agrees with the measured cpu load in my experience.
Live 10 Suite, 2020 27" iMac, 3.6 GHz i9, MacOS Catalina, RME UFX, assorted synths, guitars and stuff.

frabo
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Re: Macbook Pro with Ableton runs extremely hot

Post by frabo » Wed Apr 22, 2020 9:51 am

Sorry, but I'm sure it is definitely Ableton Live, that makes my MacBook Pro 16" running hot !

I work as well a lot with protools, and the MacBook Pro is so quiet all the time... just switch to Ableton, with a blank session, without any plugins and the ventilation starts running, and the book getting hot ...

Ableton have to look at this ... !! Or, sooner or late I will move ...

miyaru
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Re: Macbook Pro with Ableton runs extremely hot

Post by miyaru » Wed Apr 22, 2020 10:44 am

Someone stated: get a PC. I have a specialized PC in a 19 inch housing. There is a special cooling inside - very oversized, and it is never running hot. The only time I heard the fan was last summer when it was extreme hot in my music room (about 37 degrees celsius). In two weeks airco will be placed in our house, so that will not happen again, as my musicroom get's airco too.

A 19 inch housing ain't as nice looking as proberly every Mac out there, but it does the job, it ain't mobile though, as it is quit heavy.

If you work from a static workspace, being it at home or studio, I would opt for a PC like mine - in this case there is no benefit for a Mac in my humble opinion. If you are musically on the go, that would be a different story.
Greetings from Miyaru.

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[jur]
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Re: Macbook Pro with Ableton runs extremely hot

Post by [jur] » Wed Apr 22, 2020 3:54 pm

frabo wrote:
Wed Apr 22, 2020 9:51 am
Sorry, but I'm sure it is definitely Ableton Live, that makes my MacBook Pro 16" running hot !

I work as well a lot with protools, and the MacBook Pro is so quiet all the time... just switch to Ableton, with a blank session, without any plugins and the ventilation starts running, and the book getting hot ...

Ableton have to look at this ... !! Or, sooner or late I will move ...
Are you using an external monitor?
Ableton is seriously looking at it, but we need as much info as possible from the affected users so please send a bug report to support@ableton.com
thx
j
Ableton Forum Moderator

frabo
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Re: Macbook Pro with Ableton runs extremely hot

Post by frabo » Thu Apr 23, 2020 8:07 am

Hi Jur,

yes, I use an external monitor.
Good to know, that Ableton will look at it. And, I send a bug-report as well... (request #2401289)

Let me know, If you need more Info, or if I can help...

atb

f.

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