MacBook Pro (mid 2018) throttling

“There is increasing concern that the new 6-core MacBook Pros (in particular the i9 model) throttle under sustained load to the point where they are slower than the old 4-core MacBook Pros,” John Poole writes for Primate Labs. “To test whether this is the case, I wrote a quick stress test. The stress test emulates a developer workload by building Geekbench 4 from scratch ten times in a row. Each iteration is timed separately to see if performance changes over time. The stress test takes between 30 minutes and 60 minutes to complete.”

“Why does this test not replicate the throttling seen in other tests? Part of the issue is the test themselves,” Poole writes. “Premiere uses both the CPU and the GPU, while Geekbench only uses the CPU. If the GPU contributes significant heat, then that will cause the CPU to throttle more aggressively. It’s possible the decrease in performance observed in Premiere is due to a combination of new AMD GPUs with new Intel processors, or to the new AMD GPUs themselves.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: We’ll await more testing and, possibly, maybe even official comment on the throttling issue from Apple themselves, should they so deign.

BTW, if you’re using Adobe Premiere, do yourself a favor: Switch to Final Cut Pro X.

Premiere is garbage.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Fred Mertz” for the heads up.]


  1. The web is full of stories about performance tests showing that the new i9 MacBook Pro throttles after a certain amount of heat build up.

    The insane level of thinness of these computers is not allowing the heat to dissipate. Why does a pro computer have to be so damn thin? Why is there priority on form rather than function?

    Why? Because of Pipeline.

    1. but Jony has the aesthetic key. Jony designs as one wanting to take things to a limit. Designers do that, a lot. Someday Jonae will learn that “pedestal pieces” will cost Apple in the end. It’s a functional item too, Jonae.

    2. The tests that show throttling in the 2018 Core i9 MacBook Pro are done using a workflow in Adobe Premiere.

      The main thing these tests prove is that Premiere is sh*tty software.

      1. Correct. Mine came two days ago and it’s been running my workflow with zero issues. In final cut it & Davinci it rios through stuff. I tried to replicate the premiere tests I’ve seen online and what I came up with is that these people (Dave Lee in particular, who is as disingenuous a person as there is) are deliberately taking the management controls off of the export in premiere, and pegging the processor @ it’s max turbo while simultaneously using GPU acceleration under OpenCL instead of Metal, in other words, the test was deliberately designed to make the device overheat by introducing a usecase that no one would ever do in practice.
        The same clickbait bullshit they did in 2016 with the quad core models, in almost the same fashion.
        (Fun fact, our think pad workstation running. This same test (a much larger machine) also exhibited the EXACT same behavior with the same software…)

    3. Yes, certainly at the direction of pipeline or lack thereof. Steve kept Jony on a short leash, whereas pipeline unleashed him to practically run amok.

      One only has to refer to the Jony coffee table expensive book an ego driven exercise and monument to his designs.

      Jony forgot the gold standard número uno principle of design: “form follows function.” Glad you pointed that out.

      His ego highness and OBSESSION for thinness flipped the gold standard of design on its head to create industrial design museum pieces, defying common sense, resulting in defective keyboards and thermal throttling, lack of ports, etc.

      Form OVER function has got to end …

    4. Nice how you (and others) use this thermal throttling allegation as justification to pile on Apple and Time Cook once again. You will accept and amplify just about *anything* to support your point of view, I believe.

      You must have taken the GOP 101 class in high school – “repeat something often enough and it becomes true” – followed by GOP 102 – “if you believe it in your gut, then it must be true.”

      1. Oh, there is plenty of “justification” to blame on pipeline and Jony his thinness of their own doing. They own it, whether praise or scorn. Even a thin skinned fanboy should understand how the game works. 🙈🙉🙊

        Regarding “GOP 101” they don’t teach that in high school. Seems honesty and accuracy is is never going to get in your way.

        Newsflash to Melvin: BOTH PARTIES practice it. Actually, Democrats are much better at it because they don’t break ranks like Republicans do. Guess you have never listened to Rush or watched Fox News. They broadcast media montages almost weekly and ALL liberal media say the same, over and over, and over brainwashing the public with false information.

        Regarding “GOP 102,” again, they don’t teach that in high school either. “if you believe it in your gut” is just an instinct, and again, both parties practice it. Your implication that GOP immediately accept “gut” as fact is not exclusive to them, patently false and a misinformed stereotype.

        Someone on the right once said something like liberals don’t get mad when you LIE about them, they only get mad when you tell the TRUTH about them …

  2. This article is useless – dude didn’t even test the i9 – has no clue about the difference between the chips – fail.

    “I ran the stress test on several Macs in the Primate Labs office, including a MacBook Pro (Mid 2018) with an i7 processor. While I don’t have access to an i9 model yet, I expect the i7 to throttle similarly to the i9 when running multi-core tasks.”

  3. Pros do not use iMovie Pro X Longhorn Edition d.b.a. Final Cut Pro X.

    Apple screwed the pooch on both SW and HW while they concentrated on rental rap, TV and 4-5 generations of iOS HW. I would not bet my business on the fickle business decisions of Apple. As someone who bought a Mac Pro Workstation, Final Cut Studio, Logic Studio and Aperture and then watched them abandon all of it with no upgrade pricing, they can kiss my ass.

    How many of the top 5 TV shows are edited on FCPX? How many of the top grossing movies made in the last 5 years?
    (sound of crickets)

    1. You’re either blinded by bias or hopelessly behind the times. Final Cut Pro X has become a super-powerful, mature platform and is making huge inroads. Only graybeards refuse to use it.

      1. Yes and that test, as I described above, was deliberately deishne for do what it did. Our thinkpad workstation did the same thing with the same software… it’s not a hardware issue. And Dave Lee is a disingenuous person who uses nothing but Apple products, but gets his highest view numbers from anti Apple content.
        Also he posted a video a day or two before the new ones came out and loooed incredibly stupid, so now he’s trying to save face. It’s crap.

      1. I was especially pleased to see the reviewer discuss the benefits of using a fan speed override utility. I’ve been wondering if Apple simply hasn’t optimized the fan profile for the Core i9 configuration.

  4. The article is potentially about a wide spread Apple problem (again) and MDN’s take? Do yourself a favour and buy from Apple instead of Adobe? Completely irrelevant, and wrong advice. (Again.

  5. If John Poole is right, using an eGPU will unleash the full power of the Core i9 MacBook Pro, even when using the massively non-Mac-optimized Adobe Premiere.

  6. This is the reason Apple will have to make their own chips for the MacBook Pro in the next few years. Thermal issues will decrease when/if Intel and AMD get to 10nm. But Apple is already on 7nm with the imminent release of the A12 processor in 2 months. Plus they [Apple] can optimize for their own software.

    1. Chris,

      But what about users who have to use third-party software? In particular, what about software (like Premier) that is only available for the Intel instruction set? Emulation will just compound the issue of inefficient software.

      Ah, for the days when I could fit the operating system, a capable word-processing program, a simple painting program, and the data files for my current project onto a single 400 kilobyte disk. These days, I probably couldn’t find a way to fit all of that into 40 gigabytes—100,000 times the space. Moving all those bits around carries a performance and thermal penalty.

  7. Watch and weep fanboys. That i9 POS on the right cooking itself to death has no choice but to throttle itself otherwise it’ll end up as a shiny pool of liquid aluminium.

    The era of Jony Ive nonsense must be in sight, design a case that lets cooling air into the device FFS not just what can squeeze between the gaps in the keyboard.

    This is i9 is designed for Mac users with more money than sense who are writing their ‘book’ in the local coffeeshop. For them this will be exactly the right Mac for them.

    1. Thanks for the informative vid. Was going to pull the trigger day one and get the high-end 15” model. Apple is not the same under pipeline and learned it is best to wait two weeks until the fanboy love fog died down and testers like this guy give us the true specs. The gators are piling up and at such a high price simply changed my mind …

  8. Isn’t any amount of thermal throttling the tech gods way of saying “this is not ready for extreme-pro prime time” where consistent & reliable power is paramount? When the tough gets going we don’t want our Macs (or PCs) petering out.

    Oh and while Premiere Pro is not completely ideal it beats the pants off the previous generation Final Cut Pro which was more crash prone than any other software I’ve ever used. I have FCPX and someday I’ll take a closer look but the one thing PP CC has that FCPX doesn’t is the support on multiple platforms.

      1. Yeah Premiere Pro CC. Thanks I have seen this. The frustrating thing as you know is we have no idea, no regular updates from Apple on progress, nada, until this thing is released in an other year. On this one Apple Mac Pro computer device I think they should open up a bit more to get a broad consensus they are headed into the right direction. It’s a smaller but demanding user base who deserves to know more.

        I hope when Apple designs it’s new monitor it’s not 8K on a 27″ screen. I would love a 42″ Ultrawide high resolution screen.

        1. Agree Apple should invite broader consensus from pro and non-pro users alike this time around a couple months away from five-year neglect. Create a consumer comments page on the website and tabulate the feedback to present to project managers.

          Fingers crossed they provide several monitor sizes. I just hope they don’t make boneheaded mistakes that are recently coming out regarding the 15” MBP.

          Needs to be fully upgradeable and last for years after making a pricey investment. Don’t give a damn if it looks like a modern art museum piece, the least of my concerns. Sturdy, boxy and modular is fine with me …

          1. Precisely. As we know an updated Cheese Grater would have been received gratefully by the pro community in 2013 and even 2018. Apple seems to love to make this more drawn out, overthought and complicated than it actually is.

            NO ONE in the pro community really gives a damn about miniaturization and design except for engineering design and ease of swapping components in and out. And lots of ports. THINK Apple who the Mac Pro is for!

            1. My biggest fear is Apple might also change up something with Macs that will artificially shorten the lifespan of the 2019 Mac Pro in any case so it won’t enjoy the long life of my other Mac Pro’s. While Windows is unlikely to suffer that type of paradigm shift scenario anytime soon.

  9. What was acceptable for the smaller Apple of years ago is not acceptable for this superlative powerful Apple company.

    Trying to accommodate the top 6-core into the same chassis as the top 4-core has its consequences. Either Apple should produce the 17-inch model or design a bigger and heavier chassis for the top 15-inch machines.

    I understand a mobile computer is going to have limitations anyway and that is always a compromise but the point is if Apple could do better.

    6-cores are here to stay and the trend is going to be 6 and 8-cores in the near future and we want and need to extract more performance from them.

    1. “Either Apple should produce the 17-inch model or design a bigger and heavier chassis for the top 15-inch machines.”

      They should do BOTH. All should have heavier chassis to eliminate thermal throttling and enlarge the battery.

      Particularly the 13” that may have to be thicker than the 15 and 17 inch models. Now, I don’t know how they can call it a Pro with lower specs. The only difference should be screen size and weight, ideally …

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.