MacBook Pro overheating after upgrading to Big Sur

UPDATE! This is definitely a Big Sur problem. All good after going back to Mojave. I’ve edited this post to make it easy to find.

My MacBook Pro (13-inch, 2017, 2,3 GHz Dual-Core Intel Core i5, 8 GB, MacOS 11.0.1 Big Sur) becomes very hot very quickly running any Renoise project, no matter what the CPU load is. Just after a few minutes the fan is very loud and I start feeling the heat through the keyboard. So I close Renoise and everything goes back to normal right away.
None of it affects audio performance or reflected on the CPU meter (it’s around 3-15% with the latency from 3-20 ms).
Reaper and Reason are running smoothly.

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which osx do you have installed? i have also 13’ 2017 mbpro (16g ram) but running mojave 10.14.6, and have no issues even with intensive projects. Cheers

I’ve recently updated to Big Sur (11.0.1). Sorry, just noticed I didn’t put this in my post, I’ll fix it. I’m not sure this problem is new, haven’t used Renoise much on this machine before.

Not using the CPU% meter in Renoise, but using an external task process/activity monitor…What is the average CPU% while Renoise is idling and playing a song?

Good tip, thanks, but, as I said, I don’t have this problem with any other software I use

Empty project - around 46%, playing DemoSong - Daed - Bears - 80-90% on activity monitor

I assume you mean no playing (i.e. idling) Renoise.

What happens if you go into the Renoise preferences and under the GUI tab there might be a ‘Limit frame rate to’ option(?) If so, what happens if you click that option on and say set it to a low(er) value, does the idle CPU% drop?

Yes, it drops to 25%.
Activity Monitor can show values over 100%, when I play some more demanding projects in Reason, but it doesn’t result in overheating.

I recall that there was a “Monitor Profile Color” issue with Macs - changing to sRGB or something like that might help - there’s a post or two in the forum, I think?

Its then because the GUI is drawn mostly by CPU on macos, at a refresh rate of 60hz or so (depends on audio buffer size in Renoise). mac users usually have a much higher screen resolution, so it has to draw a lot more of pixels. I guess Renoise isn’t really utilizing any GPU support. It uses CoreGraphics, but CoreGraphics still can be drawn on CPU, if macos decides so. Strangely after I updated my GPU (which has a much higher idle frequency) it also seems to lower the CPU usage of the Renoise GUI. I am confused.

The main problem is that the macbook 2017 is poorly cooled. But 46% of one core (remember on macos, if you have 8 cores, the maximum is 800%) permanently usage isn’t so nice either.

Screenshot taken on a macos 10.15.7

Wow, this helped, thanks! Renoise below 40% on Activity Monitor and no overheating playing DemoSong - Daed - Bears

sRGB IEC61966-2.1 seems to solve the most obvious problem in my case, but empty idling project at 60 fps is still around 25%

Yes, an empty project not playing is around 25% on Activity Monitor. Renoise is showing “CPU: 01:8%” at the same time.

Well, I’m not sure how this works, but disabling Retina HiDPI support results in 41% on Activity Monitor.
Disabling everything you mentioned gets me to 10%. 6% if I limit FPS to 15, but it’s already silly :slight_smile: Nothing changes the internal CPU load much, it’s 1-2%.

It’s workable already with a different colour profile, thank you, but seems like it’s something for the developers to look into, since other DAWs are fine on the default settings.

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