MacBook CPU pegged at turbo speed for no apparent reason

I’m wondering if anyone else has seen a similar problem. I haven’t called Apple about it because I’m worried that the answer will be to re-install everything. Not keen on doing that again.

Here is the situation.

I have a 2016 MacBook Pro 15” with the 2.9GHz CPU. Recently (on Mojave and now still on Catalina) when I’m not doing much at all. No apps running taking up CPU cycles, my fans will spin up to max. When I look at iStat it shows the CPU running at 3.4Ghz continuously. I also have kernal_task running at around 140% of CPU (I assume this is to keep the CPU cool, but I guess something could be running). The fans keep running to keep the CPU below 100 degrees, but the frequency doesn’t go down.

If I reboot things will settle down, but eventually the CPU will peg again. This could take a day or two.

This machine did get a new Logic board a few months ago but things seemed fine until a few weeks ago because of a bad SSD. I thought it might be a issues with the paste on the CPU causing it the heat up but since it can take a while for it to occur I don’t think that’s the answer.

Has anyone heard of this happening? I’ve done the Google thing and nothing some up that seems to fit my issue.

Did you happen to turn on FileVault lately, or begin encrypting an external drive?

Have you checked to see which apps are using significant energy?

1 Like

FileVault has been on since the beginning. I don’t remember checking energy though. I’ll try that when it happens again.

1 Like

I was thinking that as well but it’s so random. The system will operate fine for a long time. I’ll have to bring it in just not looking forward to that.

Okay, just saying it out loud, the laptop isn’t on a fuzzy blanket/pillow/cat when the fans speed up?

1 Like

This happened to me today on my work MBP. There’s not much I can do about it; Flash is installed amongst MDM software and VPNs. It just happened for the first time today and my office is rather warm with the sun beaming in the window.

It was so random. My MBP touchbar is often pretty warm which kind of concerns me.

HA! No. Good airflow and the Cat isn’t allowed near the computer!

1 Like