I've a MacBook Pro 15" late 2013. For a long time I have encoded videos with handbrake and the CPU was very hot for hours. The clock speed was about 2.8GHz (I have the 2.3GHz model) and the temperature was over 95°C. In one of the last updates of High Sierra I think there was some modification such that now the CPU speed while encoding a video is about 1.8GHz and the temperature is always lower than 80°C. What can I do? I've lost about the 35% of the power of my mac....

1 Answer 1


MacBooks do indeed tend to have some issues with their thermals. What I'd try to do in your case would be downloading an App to control your fan speed like Macs fan control. It's free, you don't have to buy the paid (donate) version. You can set your fans to spin up higher than the stock values Apple implements.

Just for testing, you could set the fan to 100% at a CPU temperature of over 70°C and see if it does make a difference in performance.

I also do have a MacBook that's 5 years old now and while I don't do rendering or video conversion like you do on it, I had very high temps aswell just compiling code or browsing some heavy webpages with loads of JS. What I did was open up the laptop and replace the thermal paste. The stock paste that was applied was very badly (see this example from a MacBook Pro 2015). Sadly this seems to be fairly common and while these CPUs do sustain temperatures under 100°C pretty well, the OS often throttles it instead of running the fans on maximum.

Using TG Pro (just a personal preference, the tool linked above does the same thing) and reapplying my thermal paste I went from 60°C in idle to around 38°C and from 90-95°C to 80-85°C under heavy load.

That being said, the computer does get pretty noisy on maximum fan speed and reapplying thermal paste is not something everyone should just try. But the former should be worth a try.

  • Hi, I have changed the thermal paste every year since I bought the laptop, with the Artic MX-4. The strange thing is that the worsening of the performances was very fast, and in some days I had a MacBook that under maximum load passed from (98°C, 2,8GHz) -> (77°C, 1,8GHz), always with the fans at maximum speed and with turbo boost enabled. Commented Aug 13, 2018 at 21:05
  • I have some doubts that the story of the new MacBooks having problems like that had some implications on the frequency management of other models.... Commented Aug 13, 2018 at 21:10
  • Well, depends on the timing, I wouldn't rule it out... If you never had any issues before that particular update for the latest MacBook Pros (around 3 weeks ago I think?) you can almost be sure it's that. You could try to downgrade your macOS though that might not be the best workaround. Commented Aug 13, 2018 at 22:03
  • Yeah, at the moment this is the only solution I could think of, thank you :) Commented Aug 13, 2018 at 22:11

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