2 months ago for day 210, 2020 with 402 words.

Thermaling

Days sheltering in place: 134.
Exercise: shopping like people of WalMart.
Keyboarding: little time, but a few bars.


One of the major complaints about the Apple MacBook Pro over the last five or more years is that it has a thermal problem. It machine gets too hot and as a consequence the CPU slows down to the point that the machine is painful to use.

It goes like this. When the CPU executes code it generates heat. If the CPU gets too hot to spot it breaking (or exploding or melting) the operating system automatically slows it down the CPU to encourage it from generating too much heat. Of course macs have fans so the fans blow air over the CPU - and it’s heat sink - to try and cool it down also.

My old MacBook mid-2014 suffered from this issue and it was well known.

In March I purchased one of the new 16” MacBook pros, which Apple claimed has better fans and better thermals. From March through today I was of the conclusion that they were right - actually I still think they are right today.

But today, the CPU on my MacBook was finally throttled to the point that the machine was really really sluggish. A quick check indicted the CPU was running all 12 cores at 100%, even though the machine was idle. This is Apple’s way of making sure that nothing else on the machine can use the CPU.

Why was it in this state when it was effectively doing nothing? I had been out of my office for a couple of hours assembling Karen’s new bike and the temperature had risen to 99ºF (37.2ºC) which meant that even though the fans were working as hard as they could, the best that they could do was pump 99ºF air over a hot CPU. Wasn’t helping.

Still, my old machine used to fall apart around 85ºF (the normal temperature limit in my office) so this is a lot lot better.

TIP: If your machine is Intel based and slows down for apparently no reason, check to see how hot it is. Ice packs work in this situation, as does going somewhere cooler or creating a way for the hot part of the machine to dissipate the heat - like using a laptop stand, or a metal laptop tray etc.

dreamer

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By Yorick Phoenix

Chief WriteTogether Bug Finder & character stringer. Generally, to create computer code, but sometimes actual words and paragraphs. Listens to lots of music, takes lots of photos, & invests in stocks for the long haul.

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