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Question: MacBook 16-inch Fan Noise

We are testing two new 16-inch MacBook's before doing a rollout across our organization. Under low loads (25% cpu utilization), fan noise will get annoyingly loud. We're not doing any GPU related and more routine work such as: using web applications, debugging web pages, Microsoft Teams conferencing (audio/video) with a handful of people, Photos downloading from iCloud, Mac Mail downloading a new mailbox from Exchange.


We DID NOT notice this on our 2015 MacBooks and this might prevent us from continuing the 16-inch MacBook rollout in our organization.


Interested to hear others experiences.


Tim

MacBook Pro 16", macOS 10.15

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Feb 10, 2020 12:03 PM in response to maksimyuryev In response to maksimyuryev

I was reluctant from participating anymore in this thread as my comments are getting deleted for no good reason.

But felt the urge to give you shout out for the amazing job you have done to get some work arounds for this consistent issue. Thank you!

You have done something that Apple should have done and acknowledged, but somehow Apple didn't! so again Thank you!

With that said, I don't believe using third party tools to bring a brand new machine to a normal behavior (no noise is expected while the device is idle) is a solution. Add to that if any of these third party tools caused any hardware failure, it wouldn't be fair to expect Apple to fix this failure; so it is better to have official solution so we can hold Apple warranty accountable for the machines.



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Dec 23, 2019 9:27 AM in response to cappuccinodrinker In response to cappuccinodrinker

All,


We are kind of wrapping up all our testing and working with the Apple Business Team to figure out how we move forward.


This thread is getting a little side tracked with monitors and so I wanted to point out that these issues discussed are completely unrelated to brand/model of monitors being used. That said, it IS related to having monitors connected and the internal GPU within the MacBook, along with the CPU and the overall heat that both generate.


In our final testings, we did clean installs with 10.15.2 and primarily tested an eGPU using a Razor Core and a Radeon RX Vega 64 so we could eliminate the internal GPU in the MBP.


It became really clear the combined heat from the internal Radeon Pro 5500m GPU and the i9-9880G CPU is too much for the current thermal management system, especially when using all USB-C ports. (I.e., for power, USB-C hub, USB-C to Display Port video cables).  From all the testing and heat generated by the unit, it looks like our Radeon Pro 5500m GPU is fried because we are seeing artifacts on text (laptop display and external monitors) but not when we use the eGPU.


Just so you understand our configuration with the eGPU:  We have one USB-C Hub connected to the MBP and one USB-C cable connected to the eGPU.  The one USB-C cable to the eGPU is powering the MBP but also the eGPU has the two Display Port cable to the monitors.  Now the MBP has two free USB-C ports.  This was producing about 38 degrees less heat in Airflow on the MBP.


When the eGPU is connected, we can push the MBP to about 60% CPU for sustained periods before hearing the fans at about 4500 RPM. But as many of us have noticed, when we don’t have an eGPU, we’re seeing this at 5% to 10% CPU.


We have installed Parallels and ran Windows 10 on three monitors on separate space and have done Geekbench tests and a variety of stress tests with the eGPU and its operating normally.  


Bottom line, the combination of using the GPU and CPU is pushing the MBP into heat conditions causing the FAN issues and in our case, possibly damage to the GPU.  


Apple had a similar issue with the 2018 MacBook Pro and people were starting to stick their machines inside a Freezer to see if they could avoid the CPU’s from stepping down prematurely.


Hopefully Apple can find a solution because these new 16 inch MBP could be incredible.


Please start a support case with Apple so we can get this resolved sooner than later and it will also protect you a bit more if you need to return your units beyond the return policy. Moving forward, its all on Apple!


Tim

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Nov 21, 2019 12:38 PM in response to TimUzzanti In response to TimUzzanti

One day old MBP 16" i7 version.


My fans are spinning all the time and the top part of the machine gets warm to the touch.

I have noticed that Chrome is a problem since it by default will use the GPU and that has keep my previous two MBPs busy and hot. Settings -> System -> Use hardware acceleration when available is set to OFF and work pretty fine for my daily use (I'm a web-developer in JavaScript)

Never had any issues with Safari, but the developer tools stinks so my daily driver is Chrome.


My previous MBP 15" i7 mid-2018 was a bit smaller and didn't start the fans this often.

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Nov 21, 2019 12:38 PM in response to TimUzzanti In response to TimUzzanti

One day old MBP 16" i7 version.


My fans are spinning all the time and the top part of the machine gets warm to the touch.

I have noticed that Chrome is a problem since it by default will use the GPU and that has keep my previous two MBPs busy and hot. Settings -> System -> Use hardware acceleration when available is set to OFF and work pretty fine for my daily use (I'm a web-developer in JavaScript)

Never had any issues with Safari, but the developer tools stinks so my daily driver is Chrome.


My previous MBP 15" i7 mid-2018 was a bit smaller and didn't start the fans this often.

Nov 21, 2019 12:38 PM

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Nov 21, 2019 1:00 PM in response to TimUzzanti In response to TimUzzanti

Dear TimUzzanti

Thanks for posting your problem in Apple Discussions. You came to the right place !. In this case your MacBook Pro may be defective. I recommend you to contact Apple Support ASAP. Apple also has 14 days return policy and you can get the MacBook replaced with 0 cost or refund.

Sincerely,

OK4

Nov 21, 2019 1:00 PM

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Nov 24, 2019 9:38 PM in response to TimUzzanti In response to TimUzzanti

I have the 8 core version, the fans are inaudible under normal loads and it stays cool to the touch. Under really heavy loads it can heat up fast, but the sound the fan makes isn't annoying to me. More like a gentle soothing white noise. ;)

Nov 24, 2019 9:38 PM

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Nov 24, 2019 9:44 PM in response to Mattias Sandstrom In response to Mattias Sandstrom

On my Windows desktop at work, a relatively powerful machine, Chrome would start about 7 instances of its Software Reporter software and pin the CPU at 100%. I had to add two registry keys to disable Software Reporter. I love Chrome's developer tools as well, but Google.... I wonder if it was doing something similar on your Mac.

Nov 24, 2019 9:44 PM

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Nov 27, 2019 2:03 PM in response to OK4 In response to OK4

I had the same issue, and already ordered a new one and will send the defected one. I didn’t get a replacement with 0 cost (at least temporarily I have to stay without a laptop and pay the price twice since it is a CTO device)

Nov 27, 2019 2:03 PM

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Dec 13, 2019 10:57 AM in response to TimUzzanti In response to TimUzzanti

I'll join the chorus as one experiencing frequent and load fan noise. I came from a 2018 15" MBP that rarely made audible fan noise, and when it did, it was understandable (Premiere export, live streaming, etc.).


Granted, the new 16" MBP's loudest noise is likely not as loud as the 15", it is certainly occurring more often. I just opened Premiere—opened the app!—and the fans went on a 5 minute tirade. Most of the other occurrences are seemingly random and unexplainable as well.


There are other issues with this MBP as well that are off topic for this thread, but that are making me seriously consider returning the machine. They all seem comical for a ~$4,800 setup.

Dec 13, 2019 10:57 AM

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Dec 13, 2019 11:16 AM in response to TimUzzanti In response to TimUzzanti

This just in!


In response to User concerns, Apple appears to have taken some new MacBook pro 2019 13-in models into the back of a lab somewhere and tried to find out why they were troblesome. The initial findings were published as this article, which contains MANY insights, but they are subtle.


You may need to charge these machine initially for more than EIGHT HOURS and do a software update cycle (new firmware updates?) and maybe an SMC reset as well.


If your MacBook Pro (13-inch, 2019, Two Thunderbolt 3 ports) keeps shutting down - Apple Support


These recommendations may apply to there models as well.


Dec 13, 2019 11:16 AM

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Dec 16, 2019 7:11 AM in response to TimUzzanti In response to TimUzzanti


Hello.


I must also join the chorus about the MacBook Pro 16 inch's fan noise. Mine was received 10 days ago and I've connected it to two 1440p monitors. When doing anything with the machine the fans speed up. This is the somewhat same behavior I have experienced with my old late 2013 MacBook Pro 15 (only its other problems are more severe, reasons why I was looking for a replacement.) I also have a Mac mini 2018 which I planned on selling after purchasing the MacBook. When doing the same tasks on the mini the fan speed didn't go up at all. I am curious as to why the Mac mini with its much less body and worse GPU doesn't have a problem with connecting to two 1440p monitors but the MacBook Pro 16 inch does.

This inconsistency makes this machine seem like it is not reliable enough for me to invest over 3200 dollars (this is what it costs in my country) for the base model. This is why I am returning the MacBook.

Dec 16, 2019 7:11 AM

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Dec 16, 2019 7:25 AM in response to Erik A A Moe In response to Erik A A Moe

Yeah, definitely something going on with the external monitors. Looking in Activity Monitor I see that the WindowServer process has more than 7 days of GPU time - this on a machine with an uptime of only 3 days.

Dec 16, 2019 7:25 AM

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Dec 16, 2019 7:31 AM in response to Erik A A Moe In response to Erik A A Moe

Just noticed:

Are you running any applications in OS-native full screen mode? I noticed that when I run my IDE (Jetbrains PHPStorm) in fullscreen - the GPU is taxed like crazy and the system heats up so the fans start spinning.

Running PHPStorm in non full-screen and the system is cool and the fans stop.

Dec 16, 2019 7:31 AM

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Dec 16, 2019 8:56 AM in response to Mattias Sandstrom In response to Mattias Sandstrom

I did a complete OS reinstall and just watched some YouTube in Safari with the two monitors connected and installed iStats menu. It didn't take long until the fans were up to 3300 rpm and stayed there. Just watching YouTube in Safari. When doing the same thing in my Mac mini the fan went up around 2200 and then quickly went back down to around 1700. And the mini had lots of apps installed.

I installed Lightroom and just viewed some RAW photos taken with Olympus MFT camera the fans went up to over 4000 and stayed there until I quit Lightroom. Did the same thing on the mini, the fan stayed at around 2000 and went up in spikes when doing some editing, but quickly went back down.

This is incredible. The mini costs almost a third of the Macbook. I'll just upgrade my mini with an eGPU and more RAM, and it'll be an amazing machine.

My mini is the base i5 with 8GB RAM, the Macbook is the base i7 with 16GB RAM.

Dec 16, 2019 8:56 AM

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Dec 16, 2019 6:42 PM in response to cora259 In response to cora259

Running only Safari and my fans are running on high. I get this a lot on the new 16" MacBook Pro. Tempuratures as high at 215°F. It can take awhile to cool down. On of my fan's max RPM speed is 5616 and the other is 5200. I don't know why the fans are different but they are. The min is 1836 on one and the other is 1700. You'd think Apple would put in identical fans.


Right above the touchbar my maxed out 16" MBP gets super high. So hot it can burn your fingers. Even the touchbar itself gets hot.


What is strange is the machine runs hot when it's only running Safari. This is a farce. I have a 2008 Mac Pro that has way more fans inside and it doesn't make any noise. And I have been able to run Mojave and Catalina on it. I just wanted to have something solid and reliable moving forward as Apple has been removing things like Display Port support on the 2008's natively and I really did not want to hack it any further to keep using it. So I bit the bullet and got the best 16" money could buy but I don't think Apple ran it through its paces before giving it the green light.


I have been in touch with Apple and I really don't want to return this thing. I am hoping the heating issues and fan noise is something that can be fixed via a software update from Apple.



Dec 16, 2019 6:42 PM

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Question: MacBook 16-inch Fan Noise