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I'm using iStat Menus to display temperature readings from multiple sensors. I want to keep an eye on the CPU temperature to see if the cores are close to their thermal throttling threshold, but there are a lot of temperatures so I am confused.

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Questions:

  1. Which "CPU temperature" should I look at?
  2. At which temperature threshold would thermal throttling kick in?

Note that I'm not asking whether the CPUs are currently under throttling, which has already been answered here. The point is to monitor the temperature so that I can know if they will get throttled and adjust the workload or fan speed accordingly.

Here is the hardware information in case that's relevant.

Hardware:

    Hardware Overview:

      Model Name: MacBook Pro
      Model Identifier: MacBookPro14,1
      Processor Name: Intel Core i5
      Processor Speed: 2.3 GHz
      Number of Processors: 1
      Total Number of Cores: 2
      L2 Cache (per Core): 256 KB
      L3 Cache: 4 MB
      Hyper-Threading Technology: Enabled
      Memory: 8 GB
      Boot ROM Version: 429.120.4.0.0
      SMC Version (system): 2.43f7
      Serial Number (system): XXXXXXXXXXXX
      Hardware UUID: XXXXXXXX-XXXX-XXXX-XXXX-XXXXXXXXXXXX
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  • They're only a few degrees of each other. (Presumably the Proximity one is a bit further away.) Do they vary more as the temp increases? The CPU is only a 2-core i5, so is it really necessary to manually manage the heat? I would just put iStat menus down and let the OS's built-in heat management handle it.
    – benwiggy
    Commented Aug 15, 2021 at 9:47

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