On a recent Twitch stream, an Ableton session I was working on was acting up and freezing. The graphics were tweaking, and this has been something I’ve been dealing with since I started streaming. I’ve been having glitches and that kind of thing. I started to research how to stop MacBook Pro Fans from going crazy while using Ableton.

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I have an external monitor plugged into my computer and the stream plugged from my computer, into a secondary computer, that uploads to OBS. When I’m regularly working on my MacBook Pro and in Ableton, there’s typically no problems. Sometimes it gets hot, but I have Turbo Boost Switcher Pro. If you haven’t already gotten it, I recommend you do. That turns off the turbo boost, which keeps your laptop running cool and that prevents the fans from spooling up too much. 

When I did streams, I had my monitor plugged in the stream output from my production computer to my streaming computer. Because of that, it was making the GPU get hot. And those of you who don’t know, Ableton taxes your GPU. It uses a lot of GPU power. If I just have one monitor plugged in, usually I can kind of get away with it. But if I have my streaming computer plugged in and my monitor plugged in, Ableton tends to overheat my computer. And I’m running a fully specked out 16” MacBook Pro. 

The solution

After continuing to research how to stop MacBook Pro fans from going crazy while using Ableton, I came across a video that talked about a Mac Mini user who bought an eGPU, knowing that Ableton graphics performance is kind of taxing for the computer. A lot of people challenged this theory and said it wouldn’t work, but I decided to give it a shot. I got the Black Magic eGPU and there are others available on Amazon. I hooked it up through a thunderbolt cable and plugged in my 4K Monitor and my streaming computer into it. I was so happy to find out that this completely fixed the problem. And not only that, but now Ableton runs quietly.

Ableton has been running amazing and I’ve been testing it with the monitor plugged in and the streaming computer plugged in. Not only does it run flawlessly, but it runs quietly. The fans are not spinning up. I did a side-by-side test, running the signal to my streaming computer from my laptop and having the external monitor plugged in and the fans spin like crazy. And I was looking at the power draw. It was taking out like 27 watts of power with Ableton running with the GPU. With the Black Magic eGPU, it only uses like 4 watts of my internal GPU power. So, the fans are slowed down, and it’s running cool. 

This completely changed the game for me. I finally feel like I cracked the code and figured it out. I wanted to put that out there for you guys, for any of you struggling with the same problem. I thought that this might be helpful.

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