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Brief Summary

2019 MBP 16" 2.3Ghz i9 shows severe thermal throttling

  • CPU Frequency hovers around 1.9-2.0 Ghz
  • Power draw doesn't exceed 30W
  • Max Temperature only 76ish degrees Celcius
  • Exporting a 5min clip on Adobe Premiere Pro which slams all 8 cores

I've attached screenshots below showing just how much the new MBP 16" i9 throttles. I haven't really had a problem with it until recently... but there are 2 variables:

What's Changed?

  • Catalina upgrade to 10.15.5 recently
  • Applecare service replaced the logic board

Questions

  • Is it likely that the replacement logic board is not up to snuff?
  • I haven't heard any complaints online (reddit, stack exchange, apple support) of thermal throttling lately. How does one test abnormal throttling?

Screenshots

  • terminal output after running pmset -g thermlog
  • intel power gadget showing the aforementioned stats holding steady despite high CPU Utilization.

Thermal Throttling Stats

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  • Have you tried the common trick of moving the power to the other side? – Tetsujin Jun 23 '20 at 12:15
  • @Tetsujin not heard of that one. You mean literally plugging the USB-C power cable on the opposite side of the MacBook? I would have thought the power management (and therefore the heat dissipation) was in one place so would not change the heat distribution. – mhaselup Jun 24 '20 at 7:14
  • Yup, just that, swap which side you connect the power. It's mentioned often on Ask Different - I don't know why it works & don't have a Mac laptop to test for myself. I was trying to find a similar question on here but my google-fu failed me. I was hoping someone else would have found one in the intervening period ;) – Tetsujin Jun 24 '20 at 7:20
  • @treefiddy can you get someone else to run your workload on another identical machine to compare with your experience-that's the only way I think you'll be able to easily make a comparison of thermal performance. Perhaps in the future the Geekbench guys might consider add a "stabilised temperature" column to their results... – mhaselup Jun 24 '20 at 7:22
  • @Tetsujin Yep, I tried on all ports. Oddly enough, attaching the power to the left side of my MBP yields 1.7Ghz instead of 1.9GHz-2.0Ghz, and everything else stays the same. – treefiddy Jun 24 '20 at 12:34
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Thermal throttling is normal behavior for laptops. However, I did not expect the extent to throttling in everyday applications.

While Cinebench R20 shows robustness against thermal throttling, Adobe Premiere Pro thermal throttles right away. The only explanation I can think of is that Cinebench R20 does not engage GPU while Adobe Premiere Pro does. When CPU + GPU are both used in conjunction, thermal throttling happens immediately.

I suppose this is a limitation of laptops.

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  • Does Adobe offer control over the use of the GPU or number of CPU threads? If so you might want to experiment with combinations of these. Heat is going to be a function of the amount of hardware in use. I guess you'll want to get everything running as fast as it can whilst just staying below the throttling temperature threshold. – mhaselup Jun 24 '20 at 12:57

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