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Drivers & Software

Adept I

Macbook Pro 16" is HOT & NOISY with an external monitor! :(

Macbook Pro 16" laptops with the 5300M and 5500M dedicated GPUs run with Radeon High Side at 20W when connected to an external monitor. This causes the machine to run VERY hot and the fans to spin to over 5000rpm.

The EXACT SAME LAPTOP running the Windows drivers through Apple bootcamp do not have this issue.

The MacOS drivers for the Radeon 5300M and 5500M need to be updated to fix this!

Here is a thread with over 2300 replies about this WIDESPREAD problem:

49 Replies
Journeyman III

I have the same problem. The Moment I connect my MBP 16" 2019 (5300m) to an external monitor the GPU immediately begins to draw about 18W resulting in a temperature increase of 20C in normal usage and higher fan speeds. This happens only when the lid is open and the GPU therefore has to power 2 or more screens (internal + external in my case). The GPU memory usage also jumps to 100% and stays there the whole time and no matter how light the workload is, which might be the reason for the 18W power consumption. This can't be right. Memory usage shouldn't be at 100% at idle, especially not with a powerful dedicated GPU. I don't know whether it's the driver or not but one thing I know for sure: A machine like the MBP 16" should NOT be struggling with simple tasks like using it together with an external monitor and the AMD GPU should definitely  NOT draw 18W at idle. Please fix this.

Journeyman III

Same problem here, very annoying, and please update the drivers.

Journeyman III

I have the same problem described above. With a MBP 16" 2019 5500M 8Gb the GPU power usage is ~18W when using an external monitor. This causes the MBP to run extremely hot. AMD, please check whether a driver update could mitigate this issue. 

Journeyman III

Yes, totally confirmed. Macbook 16 inch Radeon pro 5500 8gb, overheating with external monitor, and overall high wattage consumption. It stands very hot in games, even in simple ones, which leads to CPU throttling

Mine is getting hot and noisy immediately upon connecting to external display without any CPU/GPU tasks running at all. I'm using Samsung HDMI to USB type-c adapter btw. If I disconnect external display - it cools down fast and I can't hear fan noise after that.

Journeyman III

I am having the same issue. 

MacBook Pro 16 5500 4GB VRAM

External Monitor: LG 27UL850 (have tried with another different resolution monitor, 1080p, same results)

Connected via USB-C. 

Situation #1

With laptop screen closed GPU draws 5-6w idling and fans stay at base speeds 1700-1800 and temps below 55 degrees Celsius (ambient temperature 25 degrees Celsius).

Situation #2

Open laptop screen, GPU draw rises to 18-20w idling (as in not running any applications), just staring at the screen. Fans speed start increasing to between 2500-2800 while no activity is being done on the laptop. General temperature also rises to above 65 degrees Celsius.

From my research this seems related to AMD card locking higher memory clock speeds when 2 monitors are being used even if no demand is being required from them.

This probably can be addressed with drivers being released as from other people's reports this does not happen on the same machine running Windows.

Please fix the GPU issue as this gives AMD a very bad image in the Apple community.

Feel free to ask me any questions or contact me if you need any logs dumps or reports.

Journeyman III

Same issue on 16-inch MacBook Pro i9 with AMD Radeon Pro 5500M 4 GB. Tried two different external displays - same problem. Very annoying to have this in a laptop with such high pricing.

Adept I

MACBOOK PRO 16 - Noisy and Hot
AMD Radeon Pro 5500M

- MacBook cooling fans are very loud and distracting when MacBook is connected to external display (2500 - 5500rpm) even with light loading (only Chrome with 2 tabs open)
- Loud fans and high temperatures are experienced even during light work (only Chrome browser running with 2 tabs open)

- CPU temperatures often reach 90+ deg c with external monitor connected (usb-c to displayport)
- MacBook very hot to touch above Touch Bar, at lower part of screen and underside close to hinge

- My old 2015 MacBook Pro was silent and cool when connected to the exact same external display doing the same light work
- This Dec 2019 MacBook 16 needs to be silent, otherwise it is unsuitable for my work and not fit for purpose
- I had hoped that this CHF 3000 Core i9 MacBook pro would power through my light tasks effortlessly and without showing any stress (like my 2015 Mac did). Unfortunately it does not and indeed shows clear audible and thermal signs of significant stress. Such stress cannot be sustained over time and I am concerned about the longevity of this computer
- This Mac was supposed to be better than my 2015 Mac in every way, but instead I am sad to say it simply makes me want my old 2015 Mac back again
- Customers should not need to hack a $ 3000 MacBook in order to simply get it to run at a reasonable temperature and volume, but whilst there is no solution or ownership from Apple or AMD we are forced to seek our own solutions
- As a long-time Apple fan and loyal customer, I trust that Apple and AMD can solve this problem and restore my confidence in Apple products


Thank you for working to solve the GPU issue

I am happy to answer any questions or participate in user testing

your avatar of a flaming macbook connected to external monitor - ROFL!!!

Journeyman III

Guys, I am not sure, but seems Apple is responsible for drivers on OSX, not AMD. 

I am almost sure Apple receives driver from AMD and then it gets embedded into OSX. Still AMD and Apple should work together since it's clearly AMD hardware causing the issue.


I agree. This is a very fundamental issue which would have been quickly identified by any user after several minutes connected to an external monitor. Total schoolboy error and rookie mistake to miss such a glaring problem. Not a good look for Apple and/or AMD




True or not, AMD is the one getting the bad reputation. As a customer I feel like I would never want an AMD anything in my future computers. BECAUSE IT DOES NOT WORK.

AMD can fix it. Apple can fix it. I don't care who does the work.


Correct AMD hosts some Apple drivers as a courtesy they are Apples drivers and the same ones you get there.

Apple supplies all support on their hardware using AMD graphics if it is Mac OS or Windows under boot camp.

The OP should talk to Apple Support and or an Apple Forum as fellow Apple users may have good advice. 

So I had enough and sold my $3200 2019 Intel i9 MacBook Pro 16 and bought the cheapest $1040 2020 M1 MacBook Air. Below are my initial impressions after 1 week with it

To see how disappointing my experience was with the the MBP 16, here are a few of my initial posts in this thread and my letter to Tim Cook..

Thread Posts

Letter to Tim Cook

2020 M1 MacBook Air
Initial impressions after 1 week

- Incredibly cool
- Bottom panel and case section above keyboard rarely even gets warm to the touch

- Completely and totally silent
- I don't miss those Intel i9 MBP 16 fans constantly spinning at 2-4k RPM

- Significantly more responsive than my Intel i9 MBP 16
- Noticeable with every task I carry out

- Battery life is so good that I have started to forget about it while working
- This is how all mobile devices should be

This video sums up my thoughts and experiences very well..

Apple have completely redefined what is possible and totally humiliated Intel and AMD in the process, who now need to take a good long look at themselves in the mirror.

For me there is no way back to the past and it's obsolete technology. M1 is a quantum leap for computing and renders everything before as simply irrelevant. If this first "worst" generation of Apple silicon is so fast, cool, quiet and efficient and already soooo far ahead of the competition, I can't wait to see what the future holds.

I am happy to answer any questions you guys may have

Journeyman III

I experience the same with the base MacBook Pro 16" with 5300M GPU. Single external full HD display raises the GPU power usage to 18W when the device is idle. This makes the laptop very difficult to use for longer periods of time.

Journeyman III

Same issue wuth 16 inch MacBook Pro i7 Radeon PRO 5300M 4Gb. Fans is very loud with external monitor and laptop is hot when iddle. Without external display using dGPU, fan noise is quiet and laptop is cool

Journeyman III

I have the exact same issue below.

The Moment I connect my MBP 16" 2019 (5300m) to an external monitor the GPU immediately begins to draw about 18W resulting in a temperature increase of 20C in normal usage and higher fan speeds.

With the laptop screen open and external monitor connected, using chrome, and a code editor, the MacBook it's overheating with fan activations and overall high wattage consumption.

MacBook Pro 16" (2019) - AMD Radeon Pro 5300M 4 GB
External Monitor: 24" Asus VS 247 - 1920x1080 / 60hz
Connected by original Apple adapter USB-C to HDMI

Journeyman III

I also have this issue.

Macbook Pro 16, base model with 5300M.

AMD has to take care of it ASAP. Apple ignores us, they labeled it as a low priority issue. 

Journeyman III

I have this same issue with the 5500m 8GB.
It's very annoying that I'm not able to use the built-in keyboard when using an external display because how hot it gets.


anybody look on the apple forums for solutions


excellent link, thank you! The subject and first few posts in that thread don't allude to the external monitor / GPU driver being the suspect, but obviously they arrive at that same conclusion - after TWO HUNDRED AND FOUR PAGES OF COMPLAINTS as of this writing.

AMD and Apple - looking at you! DO SOMETHING!

ateslik wrote:

excellent link, thank you! The subject and first few posts in that thread don't allude to the external monitor / GPU driver being the suspect, but obviously they arrive at that same conclusion - after TWO HUNDRED AND FOUR PAGES OF COMPLAINTS as of this writing.


AMD and Apple - looking at you! DO SOMETHING!

Thought you might have missed that. I am on the Apple forum regularly.

Journeyman III

I have the same problem! AMD needs to update its drivers, it has already been half a year and nothing changes!

APPLE MacBook Pro MVVL2RU/A, 16", IPS, Intel Core i7 9750H 2.6ГГц, 16Gb, 512Gb SSD, Radeon Pro 5300M - 4096 Mb

Journeyman III

I have the same problem as mentioned above. Basemodel 16inch MBP i7 5300M.

As soon as i connect an external Monitor to the Macbook (open lid) it gets realy hot and the fans start to get loud, even in idle system state. Batterylife is also cut down in half with a 2. monitor!

A machine that is supposedly able to drive up to 4 4k screens should not use 40% of its gpu tdp to drive something as light as a 720p projector. 

I know that those 18-20 Watts „radeon high side“ are the due to 100% memory clockspeed triggered by multiple monitors to avoid tearing, but there has to be another way to handle this.

Maybe introduce some sort of scaleable idle memory clockspeed depending on the amount of monitors connceted:

Internal: stock clockspeed

Internal + 1 external: 50% clockspeed

internal + 2 external: 75% clockspeed 

internal + 3 or 4 external: 100% clockspeed

(I hope this makes sense)

Some people report of those 20 watts with 1 external monitor (macbook in clamshell mode) so there has to be  a driver issue,

This behavior is inacceptable in a Laptop in this pricerange, i hope AMD and Apple work on a driver fix.

Also, Bootcamp-windows suffers from similar issues, a driverupdate is long has been more than 6 Months!!!

Journeyman III

Holy cow this issue is so annoying. Zoom calls with fans blasting away is awful.

Is AMD every going to update the drivers for the macbook Pro 16"??? I think we're still on the same drivers as day 1

Adept I

During appointment today at the Apple Store Genius Bar..

Me to Apple Service Manager:
"Are there any MacBooks in the current Apple product lineup which would not have this same heat and noise issue in the same scenario?" (Scenario: Clamshell, USB-C to DP, 2560x1440, 60Hz)

Apple Service Manager to me:

Read my full letter to Mr Tim Cook here

Journeyman III

Created an AMD account just to like this page.  It is a very annoying problem.  AMD Please fix!!!!!!!

Journeyman III

AMD has to do something with it. I know that they don't care about MacOs drivers but at the end of the day this issue related to their GPU. Their reputation has been damaged because of Apple.

AMD, Please do something! 

Journeyman III

As has been said above, this excessive power draw of GPU memory due to a single display connected is simply lazy implementation. Have a look at this link, where trying to adjust certain resolution/refresh rate configuration causes the GPU to switch to lower memory clock speed [1250MHz (~19W) => 150MHz (~4W)].

Promised link here: 

Journeyman III

I just created an account to express my frustration and helplessness with this annoying an OBVIOUS bug. What a disgrace AMD, what a disgrace Apple that you are blind about your customers problems. And please don't joke that this is an expected behaviour because it's not! 

I was observing Macbook sensors data via iStat Menus with several configurations and it looks like below:

  1. Macbook Pro without external display connected: Radeon Pro 5500M: ON, GPU Power consumption (IDLE): 4-6W
  2. Macbook Pro with 1440p 27" 60Hz DELL 2720DC screen connected: Radeon Pro 5500M: ON, GPU Power consumption (IDLE): ~18W
  3. Macbook Pro with the DELL screen connected in clamshell mode: Radeon Pro 5500M: ON, GPU Power consumption (IDLE): ~18W

All the connections have been done directly via USB-C connectors without any dongles.

You wanna tell me that it's normal that 3072×1920 Macbook screen is 3 times less heavy on discrete Radeon GPU than 2560 x 1440 DELL monitor which has much lower resolution? Furthermore, when I'm opening 4k video on Chrome using my single Macbook screen, GPU power usage is ~11W which is still way better than with lower resolution external display connected doing absolutely nothing! Come on AMD.

My 2019 16" Macbook Pro is literally louder and hotter than my 2013 Macbook Pro 13" with integrated graphics with the exact same monitor plugged in.


Hello Apple are your reading this? What are your plans to face this issue?

I want to send mine back to you and I want my money back! For the last decade i was always a fan of your products but this so really dissapointing. Spent more than 3000€ on my heat blowing machine..

Despite the annoying noise all the components are lasting much shorter. Additionally we users all together have an higher energy consumption which is absolutely unnecessary..

Please reply and assume responsibility!

Journeyman III

I have the exact same issue as others and am really hoping AMD/Apple address it soon (driver updates seem to be a common suggestion, hopefully it's not a hardware thing) when using any External Monitor.

For me the Radeon High Side (iStat Menu) power draw is Always a minimum of 18-20W and just by plugging in my one (1) Dell U2518D (at its native resolution 2650x1440), including while the computer is fully just at idle (CPU like 1-3%), no apps are open, no sneaky processes using in the background .... All the temps rise from the 40C's to the 60C's, and then just stay higher with higher fan speeds as its new "baseline" at idle.  It's amazing to just watch the temps rise with an idling computer with 1-3% CPU usage JUST by connecting the Dell Monitor.  In contrast, working in a coffee shop just with MBP and many apps open CPU & integrated GPU easily stay in the mid 30's to high 40C's and low fans.

The AMD GPU's 18-20W for me is the same whether clamshell'ed or not. Have also tried many of the proposed solutions online such as reducing refresh rates between 48-55Hz, using DisplayPort connections (with USB-C-mDP cable), and tried HDMI (using Apple's USB-C - HDMI adapter), and the Radeon GPU is always drawing 18-20W.  Never have seen it drop to 5W like a few seem to have achieved in clamshell or with other tweaks.  Have also disabled Turbo which keeps CPU temps a bit restrained when doing more taxing computing but obviously at the expense of performance.

So overall machine runs much hotter than it needs to with just an external monitor as a factor and this Working From Home scenario is a million times better using an external monitor/keyboard/mouse.  Teams or Zoom calls (and that's it) cause fans to run way too high and noisily that actually disturb from the call. (including with Turbo off).  Now I'm try to find ways to move the MBP further away and behind something to minimize fan noise while on calls. 

Now if I'm doing something intense like viewing a huge industrial 600MB 3D Model using Navisworks app inside of my Parallels Windows 10 virtual machine - which is quite smooth - I expect fans to be running high (and they do).

Otherwise the machine is great but this one is quite annoying and seems like it's one that could be fixed with driver/software updates.

Really hoping AMD/Apple can address this AMD GPU w/ External Monitor issue asap.

MBP16 2.3Ghz 8-Core Intel Core i9 32GB RAM with AMD Radeon Pro 5500M 8GB

Dell U2518D Monitor

Journeyman III

Thanks for pointing out that the cause is the MBP 16'' outputting to multiple monitors, even to just one external monitor in addition to the built-in monitor. I don't know why the issue didn't surface earlier during the 7 months I have been using my MBP 16''. Maybe it's due to the heatwave we have in Europe right now, or the 4K Dell U3219Q monitor that I bought (but I have used this monitor for 2 months without any issues, I have to say). I also tried to use the original 4K resolution without scaling but it still didn't work. Radeon High Side is constantly ~20W and kernel_task kicks in in no time.

Apparently the Apple community thread pointed out that the ultimate solution would be to actually use an eGPU, which I believe doesn't make sense for most people. Also, Apple only supports AMD eGPU, but since the next generation RDNA 2 is coming out very soon, I don't want to buy an outdated GPU now.

For now the only thing that has consistently worked for me is to disconnect all the other (non-4K) monitors and close the laptop, so that the laptop outputs to only this one 4K monitor. Now Radeon High Side is constantly ~10W and everything is fine again. It impacts my productivity a lot but is still much better than having kernel_task using 1000% of CPU and having everything ground to a halt...

One thing I would like to confirm though: I see that a lot of affected users are using 5500M with 8G of RAM, which is the case for me as well. Has anybody who uses 5300M or 5600M encountered the same issue (5600M is only offered as an option this June so understandably there are probably few users)?

Journeyman III

Any news?

Adept I

So, I just got myself a 2019 MacBook Pro 16 with the 5600M and the i9 9880h and I don't quite have this issue, but that seems to be inline with my experience on PCs with HBM2 cards vs GDDR5 cards. I also drive two 5k displays in addition to the display on the laptop. Almost all of the draw is probably coming from clocking up the VRAM and when you're not plugged into an external monitor it's probably using the iGPU on the Intel CPU while power gating the dGPU.

Every AMD GPU I've used has to clock up VRAM to provide a smooth experience with multiple monitors and the reality is that GDDR6 uses a lot of power for the bandwidth it provides compared to a dGPU using HBM2. So, if you care about running multiple monitors while keeping the machine relatively quiet, then you probably should have invested in a dGPU that is up to that task, like the 5600M.

Journeyman III

Happen to me too Mac Pro 16", getting hot even if the monitor go to sleep . Please fix it, it's very annoying!

Hi guys, i have same MacBook Pro 16, and connect it via original Apple usb-c -hdmi adapter to ASUS PA248! 




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