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BARE FEATS LAB - real world Mac speed tests

Does the 2019 MacBook Pro 15-inch 8-core exhibit thermal throttling?

May 29th, 2019 by rob-ART morgan, mad scientist
3:30 PST: Tweaked the LuxMark test.
June 7, 2019 - added screen shots that showed cpu utilization

We 'flogged' the 2019 MacBook Pro 15-inch 8-core to see if would drop below the 2.3GHz base frequency. Would we see 'thermal down throttling'?


2019 MacBook Pro 2.3GHz 8-core Intel i9, Turbo Boost up to 4.8GHz, 16GB of 2400MHz DDR4 memory, Radeon Pro 560X GPU (4GB GDDR5 memory)

Intel Power Gadget was used to monitor core frequency during testing.

DaVinci Resolve 6 - Deliver

We used the Deliver function to transcode a 468 frame 5K R3D project to ProRes 4444 XQ 5120x2160. It took 54 seconds to complete. We made four runs. In the fourth run, the core frequency dropped steadily to 2.6GHz as the temperature rose to 100C. In two of the four runs, the core frequency dropped as low as 2.39GHz, a tad above the base frequency of 2.3GHz.

Blender 2.80 - CPU only

The render of the pavillon_barcelone_cpu.blend scene took 14 minutes. The core frequency stayed above the base 2.3GHz.

LuxMark - CPU + discrete GPU

UPDATE: The most extreme test was running LuxMark's two minute rendering a scene using all 8 CPU cores (16 threads) and the discrete Radeon Pro 560X GPU. As a reader pointed out, adding the Intel integrated UHD Graphics 630 GPU didn't make sense. Too artificial and unrealistic. I also switched to the more demanding Hotel Lobby scene with 4973K triangles (instead of the LuxBall scene with 217K triangles).

This is a re-run of the LuxMark Hotel render with dual internal fans set to "High" using iStat Menus.


It could be argued that as long as you remain above the base frequency (or 2.3GHz in this case), your 2019 MacBook Pro is not experiencing 'detrimental' thermal down throttling.

At a Twitter follower's suggestion, we used iStat Menus to manually set the dual internal fans to "High." It did raise LuxMark's lowest frequency by 17%.

Though we have yet to benchmark the 2.4GHz 8-core version of the 2019 MacBook Pro, according to the three stress tests above, the 2.3GHz 8-core does NOT suffer from thermal down throttling below the base frequency.

Comments? Suggestions? Feel free to email me, Follow me on Twitter @barefeats.

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copyright 2019 Rob Art Morgan
"BARE facts on Macintosh speed FEATS"