updated 11:50 am EDT, Mon April 26, 2010
Temperatures surpass boiling point in tests
The Core i7 versions of Apple's new MacBook Pro may run extremely hot, data suggests. In performance testing, a 17-inch Pro using a Core i7-620M is initially reported to have done poorly in Photoshop. Because a second test ran better when the Pro was sat on its side, it was suspected that heat was hampering the computer.
Running a subsequent Dwarf Fortress test in Windows is said to have pushed temperatures from an idle 50C to 84C, spreading heat from the area directly underneath the CPU to the rest of the computer's base, making the system "almost too hot" to touch, according to PC Authority. The situation became still worse during testing with Cinebench 11.5, which unlike Dwarf Fortress can take advantage of multiple cores. CPU temperatures hit 90 and 95C in Mac OS X and Windows, respectively, verging on the boiling point of water.
The barrier was in fact broken a day later, as both Windows and Mac OS X hit 101C during a repeat of Cinebench. PC Authority argues that there may be something inherently wrong with the Pro's cooling design, as a Fujitsu Lifebook SH760 with the same CPU is reported to have got no hotter than 81C, even after running Cinebench three times in a row. Unlike Apple's system, the SH760 uses a copper heatsink that vents out of the left side of the chassis.
New mid- and upper-range Pros in general may also be over-reliant on dedicated graphics. Their GeForce 330M chipset is allegedly being activated for very simple tasks, such as running Tweetie, or even iGoogle in a web browser. Regularly making use of the high-end video hardware could be contributing to excess temperatures.