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Released June 2012 / Core i7 processor with Turbo Boost / Up to 1 GB DDR5 Video RAM

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CPU Stuck at 1.4Ghz in macOS, 1.2Ghz in Windows

I recently found a 2012 15in Unibody Macbook Pro from an e-waste bin, and managed to fix it back up enough to where I’m using it daily. I noticed that it would run slow sometimes, especially for compiling code compared to my friend’s 2011 15in Macbook Pro. Upon closer inspection with Cinebench, Task Manager, and Intel Power Gadget, somehow my CPU will not go over 1.4Ghz. I’m nowhere near thermal throttling (my temps are in the 50s, 60s at most), I’ve tried restarts, PRAM resets. I’ve tried doing an SMC reset, but I’m not sure if the system is responding to the keyboard inputs since the magsafe light isn’t changing. I’m just wondering if anyone else has this problem, is this a SMC issue or is it software, and is the fact that a SMC reset doesn’t seem to be working be the fact that I have a faulty SMC? Most of what I can find online tends to be Alienwares with similar CPUs that had wrong power settings in Windows (I’ve tried in bootcamp, didn’t help)

Here’s what Intel Power Gadget tells about my CPU speed, I have the base i7-3615QM with the 512mb version of the GT650m.

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Your system is running in Safe Mode. This is a condition when a sensor on the logic board is not working properly or a failure condition has happened.

Let's run diagnostics to see if an error pops. Restart your system and Press the D to launch it. Tells what the error code you get

Reference: Mac startup key combinations

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@danj I ran into the "Cannot Load EFI/Drivers/TestSupport.efi" error, I'm going to try to run AHT on a USB drive like some suggestions. Interestingly, when I boot into macOS, it shows up as "normal" instead of "safe".

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Ouch! Apple did mess up the onboard diagnostics with a firmware update.

Not sure I follow you on the Safe Vs Normal, did you try to start it under Safe Mode?

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@danj Oh yeah, I tried booting in safe mode too, I couldn’t get intel’s power gadget to launch properly to show what cpu speed I was at, but I did geekbench and the scores are definitely still at 1.4ghz

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@danj Interestingly the CPU seems to spike up above 2.3 base clock when I'm logging in, at least that's what the Intel Power Gadget is telling me

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OK, we’ll need to use a different method to test your system. If you install this app TG Pro the full version will offer some diagnostics for SMC issues. Lets see what it tells us.

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Forgot TG Pro had that feature, I already have the full version before, and I double checked, everything looks green from the diagnostics. Still haven't gotten around to hacking the AHT tests, but will try that next, or try installing High Sierra to see if that makes a difference.

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Replacing it back to the original battery somehow solved this. I don’t know why Apple’s OEM batteries are device specific.

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