Topic: FF 400 - macbook pro - temperature / fan issue

Hi,

the fan of my MBP is getting ridiculously loud when plugging a FF 400, even with no audio applications running and CPU less than 2%. It is VERY annoying. This does not happen when using the MADIface, with audio active and several audio applications moderately drawing CPU. It is clearly related to the use of the firewire port. I googled a couple of threads out there and there seems to be an issue with audio devices that use the firewire port on the MBP and latest updates of the system.  Except for the noise, everything else is working fine. I borrowed the FF400 from a friend to see if I would consider it as alternative to my MADIface but there is no chance for me to use the FF400 in this conditions.

MBP 6,1 Intel core i7, 2.66, 17", 8GB
FF400 driver version 2.93
OSX 10.6.7

Is this a know issue? What are the perspectives?

Thanks for your feedback
gigi

Re: FF 400 - macbook pro - temperature / fan issue

Hi Gigi,

I have a new 2011 macbook pro with 8 giga intel quad core i7 and I am having the same sort of issue. The fans kick in as soon as I hit play in Reason, Record or Live. I do not have this issue in Itunes using the Fireface 400. I am not sure about the reason behind this issue.

3

Re: FF 400 - macbook pro - temperature / fan issue

Over in the http://www.rme-audio.de/forum/viewtopic.php?id=1475 thread, there has been an ongoing discussion about Macs and temperature. Since that subject is more on topic to this thread, we should all continue the discussion here.

Timur posted a link to a gearslutz discussion about this subject, which has some informative information and links to some software solutions.

http://www.gearslutz.com/board/music-co … proof.html

Frank Lockwood
http://LockwoodARS.com
Fireface 800 - Firmware 2.77
Drivers: Win7, 3.125; Mac, 3.36

Re: FF 400 - macbook pro - temperature / fan issue

The 2011 MBP should neither get louder nor hotter by simply plugging in the Fireface. Only when you are using it temperatures of the CPU increase, because OS X turns off most of the CPU's power-savings.

Now, when you are using the FF for system sounds then it will be activated for at least 30 seconds (or better to say, OS X turns off the system sound device after 30s inactivity).

I am on 10.6.8 though, so maybe .7 is a bit different.

Re: FF 400 - macbook pro - temperature / fan issue

Timur, I have the 10.6.8. I have done several tests and my macbook works as you described only when fireface is unplugged. Did you disable power management? I suspect that there could be a population of defectie Macbook pro than.

Re: FF 400 - macbook pro - temperature / fan issue

Nope, I did not deactivate power-management. I'm using an utility called MSRTOOLS that reads out CPU registers. It is not fully compatible with the i7 Quads, but enough to get a picture (seeing how clock-rate gets fixed at +1 Turbo bin etc). When I'm using a FW or USB interface for simple stereo playback or a single audio clip the CPU temps stay more or less the same (maybe +2 °C), but the fan-speed increases by around 200-300 rpm, which is better than expected. Still not sure about the C1E state, but C1 definitively works, else your fans would go crazy (tested on Windows).

I will have a look at power-consumption at the power-supply next time and post some screen-shots.

Re: FF 400 - macbook pro - temperature / fan issue

Furthermore my CPU run at 74 degrees with simple internet browsing. I still think that there is issue could be due to the a defective macbook pro. Mine was produced in the second week of June 2011.

Re: FF 400 - macbook pro - temperature / fan issue

Fl, thanks for pointing to the thread on gearslutz. It is definitely related to the problem I am reporting.

Timur, I downloaded MSRTOOLS but the application is not working on my MBP. After shortly reporting "intializing...", the main screen just displays no information. Please let me know if I can do something else to help RME to make a precise diagnostic of the problem.

Mauritek, lets keep this thread focused. I'm not sure about your MBP but this has nothing to do with internet browsing. My MBP runs very well doing audio with the MADIface but the FF400 makes the fan go up, even though CPU is below 2% and not playing a single channel of audio.

Please note that My MBP was bought in 2010 (Model identifier MacBookPro6,1). According to the thread on gearslutz i5/i7 machines are also runnning hot on plugging audio firewire devices (but not as much as pre i5/i7). Not sure if this particular problem also affects the newest 2011 MBP's.

Cheers

Re: FF 400 - macbook pro - temperature / fan issue

Hi Gigi. I run an additional test this morning and my macbook pro quad core runs great when not using Fireface 400. I need to test an usb card to confirm that the fans kick in only with firewire audio device.

Re: FF 400 - macbook pro - temperature / fan issue

MSRTOOL: Need to be run in 32 bit mode. The main thing you are interested in is the current CPU frequency. Behavior depends on which audio device is set as current system output (or actively being used by an application).

Internet browsing: Can cause additional heat because of the Flash player plugin, or rather how it is implemented in specific broswers. I.e. on Windows with Firefox the *presence* of the Flash plugin makes FF increase timer resolution to 1 ms, which in turn keeps my CPU from entering C7 deep sleep state. Internet Explorer 9 on the other hand only does that when a Flash video is actively being shown.

11 (edited by gigi 2011-08-07 14:02:06)

Re: FF 400 - macbook pro - temperature / fan issue

Timur wrote:

MSRTOOL: Need to be run in 32 bit mode. The main thing you are interested in is the current CPU frequency. Behavior depends on which audio device is set as current system output (or actively being used by an application).

Actually the Activity monitor shows "MSR tools"  is running in 32 bit mode. But the application panel still does not display any information.

By the way, I upgraded to Snow 10.6.8 wit the same results.

regards

Re: FF 400 - macbook pro - temperature / fan issue

I meant 32 bit kernel mode. In 64 bit kernel mode MSRTOOL stays blank as it seems. It's not perfectly fit for the setup anyway, but there are little to no tools for profound analysis on OS X available, so we have to take what we can get.

Re: FF 400 - macbook pro - temperature / fan issue

Timur wrote:

I meant 32 bit kernel mode. In 64 bit kernel mode MSRTOOL stays blank as it seems. It's not perfectly fit for the setup anyway, but there are little to no tools for profound analysis on OS X available, so we have to take what we can get.

I normally run my MPB with the 32 bit kernel, so unfortunately I don't know why MSR tools (v1.0) is not working for me. However...

Re: FF 400 - macbook pro - temperature / fan issue

...I tried the FF400 with the 64 bit kernel and even though the MBP fan is not completely silent, my first impression is that it is no running so hot. Even though I suggest to take this first observations with care, I think i am noticing an improvement in comparison with the 32 bit kernel:

- When using the FF400 the fan is not so loud. It is still there, but I would say that the speed is not so high and it is more constant than before. Actually if I unplug the second monitor I would say the fan slows down to something close to an acceptable level. For me this is a significant improvement, because before the combination of the second monitor and the FF was not usable.

- I use OSX Spaces for an extended desktop and in 32 bit mode I was occasionally experiencing dropouts when swapping from one desktop to another and high CPU load. With the 64 bit kernel, the audio stream seems to be less sensible to changing desktop in spaces (or at least i could not make it glitch this way until now).

Do you think there could be arguments that would speak in favor of an improvement in the interaction between firewire audio / video in the 64 bit kernel compared with 32 bit mode?

Cheers

Re: FF 400 - macbook pro - temperature / fan issue

Hi Gigi,

I run the Fireface on 64 bit kernel. At the moment for me the fireface is unusable - the temperature is too high and fans run for a while.  I am waiting to get an usb test this issue.

Re: FF 400 - macbook pro - temperature / fan issue

I wouldn't say unusable, but personally I give up the possibility of subtle listening with the FF400 and a second monitor on my MBP 2010. On the other hand, leaving out the additional monitor the fan is not a big deal when listening to music, but just enough to make me feel irritated at times when working on the details in the silent studio. If you push the CPU hard enough, there's surely a point were you won't feel good about the noise level of the MBP at home either i think, but maybe you are fine if working in an environment with higher background noise and are not so picky about MBP ventilators as I am, or if you rather listen through headphones...

The good news is that the FF400 + MBP combination is feeling REALLY rock-solid. Even more since running in 64 bit mode, I believe (thanks Timur!) In my experience, just like all RME products I've had the chance to get my hands on, not a few. From what I've read in Gearslutz and what Timur says, it may seem that Apple could be more cooperative when contributing to a solution to firewire-audio overheating.

For a more silent rig I prefer the MADIface because there is no ventilator when MB idle, and it will kick off later if the CPU gets pushed. Unfortunaltely for a portable multichannel solution I do not know of any MADI converters as small as the FF400. Any perspectives that RME will be includng a half-rack, passive-cooled unit it in their MADI catalog in the near future?

Cheers

Re: FF 400 - macbook pro - temperature / fan issue

Just posted a topic with element of this - http://www.rme-audio.de/forum/viewtopic.php?id=11977

Any input or advice appreciated
Thanks

Re: FF 400 - macbook pro - temperature / fan issue

And I would add that for me it is not just a fan problem but also the cpu is working too much with minimal DAW projects. This is not quite right for a Quad Core processsor! My early 2008 works great with FF400 and Mac 10.6.8 - and considering that it is a 3 years old processor it only works under stress with very heavy project and loads of plug in opened in Logic or Live. This is not possible on my Quad Core on the MBP 2011.

I am looking forward test any usb audio card to determine the issue.

Re: FF 400 - macbook pro - temperature / fan issue

mauritek wrote:

And I would add that for me it is not just a fan problem but also the cpu is working too much with minimal DAW projects. This is not quite right for a Quad Core processsor! My early 2008 works great with FF400 and Mac 10.6.8 - and considering that it is a 3 years old processor it only works under stress with very heavy project and loads of plug in opened in Logic or Live. This is not possible on my Quad Core on the MBP 2011.

I am looking forward test any usb audio card to determine the issue.

Out of interest - mbp 2008 , Is that on a Ti FW chipset?

Re: FF 400 - macbook pro - temperature / fan issue

Hi Jrobot1, yes my macbook pro early 2008 has the TI Fw chipset.

Re: FF 400 - macbook pro - temperature / fan issue

Hi Timur,

Just a quick update. I spoke with Propellerheads that tested my project in Reason 4 and Record 1.5. They did not experience any issues with other brand audio devices. They have received information on the issues with the latest i7 quad core. I am waiting to test a USB device.

I will keep you posted.

22 (edited by jrobot1 2011-08-12 11:47:07)

Re: FF 400 - macbook pro - temperature / fan issue

mauritek wrote:

Hi Jrobot1, yes my macbook pro early 2008 has the TI Fw chipset.

interesting.. good`ol TI... thanks mauritek

@Timur,, thanks for that .. please do..

Re: FF 400 - macbook pro - temperature / fan issue

Hi jrobot,1
Some people are reporting that the last units produced in July do not suffer from the quick overheating. on this website http://www.chipmunk.nl/klantenservice/applemodel.html
you can check when your laptop was produced. Mine was produced in June 2011

Re: FF 400 - macbook pro - temperature / fan issue

thanks for that mauritek ..

Re: FF 400 - macbook pro - temperature / fan issue

Hi,

I've been monitoring temperatures and fan speeds with smcFanControl comparing the FF400, Madiface and Multiface and here are the results:

FF400

1. Idle

50° C, both fans 2000 R.P.M everything silent.

2. Connect the FF400:

62° C, both fans 2000 R.P.M.

3. Launch audio app

66° C, both fans 2300 R.P.M. almost silent

4. Connect second monitor

72 °C, both fans 2500 RPM. almost silent

5. Start working with audio

75 °C, both fans 3000 RPM. fan obvious

After a while, the machine will stay around 80-85 °C if not pushed too much, but may reach 99°C on the four cores if some serious porcesses running, in that case the fan goes up to > 5000 which seems the max temperature that smcFanControl can measure, and makes terrible noise.

MADIFACE

1. Idle

51° C, both fans 2000 R.P.M everything silent.

2. Insert cardbus +  connect multiface
51°C, 2000 R.P.M everything silent.

3. Launch audio app

55°C, 2000 R.P.M. everything silent

4. Connect second monitor

61°C, 2000 R.P.M. silent

5. Start working witha udio

68°C, 2000 rpm, silent

At some point the fan will kick in too but I can push the machine much harder before it gets uncomfortable.

Did the same tests with the Multiface and obtained same results as with the latter. So it would seem that using firewire audio would represent a temperature offset of 10°C, regardless of everything else.


I can also confirm that since I am running my setup with the 64 bit kernel enabled audio is much more stable. I have not experience any glitches changing Spaces even with very high CPU strain as was the case sometimes when running 32 bit kernel. 2010 MBP's apparently don't come with 64 bit enabled by default, so It might be worth to give it a try if you happen to have one of those too.

Cheers

Re: FF 400 - macbook pro - temperature / fan issue

Gigi, what mbp do you have? 2011 or 2010? you say .....may reach 99°C on the four cores if some serious porcesses running....you have a Quad core?

Re: FF 400 - macbook pro - temperature / fan issue

Thankyou Gigi, interesting reading,,

Re: FF 400 - macbook pro - temperature / fan issue

gigi wrote:

Hi,

I've been monitoring temperatures and fan speeds with smcFanControl comparing the FF400, Madiface and Multiface and here are the results:

FF400

1. Idle

50° C, both fans 2000 R.P.M everything silent.

2. Connect the FF400:

62° C, both fans 2000 R.P.M.

3. Launch audio app

66° C, both fans 2300 R.P.M. almost silent

4. Connect second monitor

72 °C, both fans 2500 RPM. almost silent

5. Start working with audio

75 °C, both fans 3000 RPM. fan obvious

After a while, the machine will stay around 80-85 °C if not pushed too much, but may reach 99°C on the four cores if some serious porcesses running, in that case the fan goes up to > 5000 which seems the max temperature that smcFanControl can measure, and makes terrible noise.

MADIFACE

1. Idle

51° C, both fans 2000 R.P.M everything silent.

2. Insert cardbus +  connect multiface
51°C, 2000 R.P.M everything silent.

3. Launch audio app

55°C, 2000 R.P.M. everything silent

4. Connect second monitor

61°C, 2000 R.P.M. silent

5. Start working witha udio

68°C, 2000 rpm, silent

At some point the fan will kick in too but I can push the machine much harder before it gets uncomfortable.

Did the same tests with the Multiface and obtained same results as with the latter. So it would seem that using firewire audio would represent a temperature offset of 10°C, regardless of everything else.


I can also confirm that since I am running my setup with the 64 bit kernel enabled audio is much more stable. I have not experience any glitches changing Spaces even with very high CPU strain as was the case sometimes when running 32 bit kernel. 2010 MBP's apparently don't come with 64 bit enabled by default, so It might be worth to give it a try if you happen to have one of those too.

Cheers

Are people getting similar results using FW and USB audio devices with older dual core machines circa 2009? any experience anyone?
thanks...

Re: FF 400 - macbook pro - temperature / fan issue

mauritek wrote:

Gigi, what mbp do you have? 2011 or 2010? you say .....may reach 99°C on the four cores if some serious porcesses running....you have a Quad core?

Sorry for the confusion its indeed a 2010 model (see specs above). It has two cores - four threads. I must have got confused cause I also used Marcel Bresink's Temperature Monitor and it was reporting temperature for CPU cores 1-4.

cheers