Check if your MacBook’s CPU speed is limited because of inadequate cooling, and monitor the processor’s temperature from the menu bar
MacBooks in recent years have been plagued by thermal throttling issues. Apple is trying to squeeze every last ounce of performance out of their Intel-powered laptops while keeping noise to a minimum, which can only lead to overheating.
The company’s in-house processors, Apple Silicon, are expected to solve these issues, but they won’t be out for a while longer. Until then, an app that can monitor CPU throttling while under load could be very useful.
Menu bar CPU speed limit monitor
Hot isn’t a classic CPU monitor in that it doesn’t track your processor’s speed. Instead, it checks if the chip’s processing power is being limited by the OS in order to avoid damaging the unit due to temperatures exceeding its safety threshold.
Throttling is quite common in recent MacBooks, usually when running an intensive process over an extended period. While the laptop’s cooling can handle high loads briefly, sustained loads will generally lead to throttling.
Could work as an unobtrusive temperature monitor as well
The app’s menu bar icon can display the CPU’s current speed limit, or both the speed limit and the processor’s temperature. If the limit drops below 60%, the application can colorize the menu bar text for extra visibility.
Hot won’t be of much use if your particular device doesn’t normally thermal throttle, as the current speed limit can’t be hidden from the menu bar. If that option were available, the app could serve as a minimalistic temperature monitor too.
Helpful for Intel-powered MacBooks
Until Apple rolls out their ARM-based CPU’s, we will have to deal with the limitations of Intel’s rather outdated architecture. If you feel that your MacBook gets a little bit too sluggish during sustained loads, but you aren’t quite sure, Hot can provide a definitive answer and help you monitor CPU temps as well.