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Print 76 comment(s) - last by evo slevven.. on Sep 19 at 5:49 PM


We attended Intel's cooling presentation this morning.

Intel's engineer complains that Apple is more concerned about making its products pretty than fixing their overheating problems.
What can Intel do to stop companies like Apple from selling overheating designs? "Nothing", presenter says.

In the quick IDF 2011 notes category, we wanted to share a humorous exchange we had with an Intel Corp. (INTC) engineer.  Joshua Linden-Levy is a "Mechanical Pathfinding Engineer" at Intel and delivered a terrific presentation on cooling in Oak Trail, the Intel Atom platform that replaces Pine Trail.

In the presentation Mr. Linden-Levy discussed how the target temperature for laptops was 58 Celsius, according to industry standards.  Given the high temperatures long suffered by various editions of Apple, Inc.'s (AAPL) MacBook Pros, we wanted to ask him how Intel plans to keep its partners (like Apple) from violating the proposed thermal guidelines on Oak Trail and its other product lines (Apple is unlikely to use Oak Trail, but typically uses other Intel's mainstream notebook and desktop processor lines in its models).

During the Q&A session Mr. Linden-Levy acknowledged hearing about Apple's laptop thermal issues.  What can Intel do prevent partners from committing such thermal botch jobs?  "Nothing," says Mr. Linden-Levy, "[the manufacturer will] just get a bad reputation among consumers."

As we discussed the issue further he added, "Well as you know, with Apple their chief priority is always form and looks -- everything else, including cooling design is an afterthought."

We found the presenter's informed, earnest unscripted dialogue about one of his company's largest partners refreshing.

Currently the thermal problem-plagued MacBook Pro models sell for almost twice the price of comparable hardware models from ASUSTEK Computer Inc. (TPE:2357).  Of course ASUSTEK's laptops lack the special aluminum unibody -- but when that unibody can get as hot as 100 degrees Celsius, it's hardly a selling point.

To be fair, less pricey models from 
Sony Corp. (TYO:6758) and Dell, Inc. (DELLhave suffered from similar issues [1][2].  Unlike these companies, though, Apple often refuses to recall or fully patch its faulty products.


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RE: That explains it
By snakeInTheGrass on 9/14/2011 9:55:36 PM , Rating: -1
Sure, magpies.

I guess that's why it doesn't strike you as strange for Intel to be blaming Apple for not taking heat into account while they simultaneously lose the entire mobile market because Intel chipsets can't manage decent thermal characteristics. Last time I checked, Atom didn't make it into the iPad. Or androidPad. Or HPPad. And the Windows8Pad has Intel - and a fan. Schweet!


RE: That explains it
By Jotatsud1 on 9/14/2011 10:02:41 PM , Rating: 3
It was a total suprise to Apple's engineers and the industry in general that i7 chips generate heat adn therefore you must design proper ventilation systems.

Need more rope?


RE: That explains it
By fcx56 on 9/14/2011 10:18:45 PM , Rating: 1
Quit being dramatic. The previous poster is clearly referencing Atom-class environments. i7 in a tablet? Please, that's what ARM is for.

I just wish Intel would have had the foresight to hold on to XScale, if only as a stopgap. Or even better they could have used it as an additional core in a modular architecture.


RE: That explains it
By TakinYourPoints on 9/14/11, Rating: -1
RE: That explains it
By erple2 on 9/15/2011 9:36:53 AM , Rating: 3
Look, buddy, that puzzle game with the apple logo shouldn't make your laptop spin up it's fans like that.


RE: That explains it
By TakinYourPoints on 9/15/11, Rating: -1
RE: That explains it
By TakinYourPoints on 9/15/2011 5:13:06 PM , Rating: 1
Hmm, downvoted because I say that the MBP temps are well within tolerance and that the noise from the fans is no more than Asus or Alienware gaming laptops that I've used, or downvoted because I've been playing the Diablo 3 beta since day 1?

Someone's jealous either way...


RE: That explains it
By Dradien on 9/14/11, Rating: 0
RE: That explains it
By snakeInTheGrass on 9/15/11, Rating: -1
RE: That explains it
By Dradien on 9/15/2011 1:35:01 AM , Rating: 2
"No sh1t, sherlock, want to guess why none of them are using Intel chipsets?"

I'd wager that they weren't designed to? Atom and ARM are utterly different markets as of now, so I don't see where you're getting this idea it was made for crap like the iPad.

"But leave it to Intel to make snide comments on heat dissipation"

Maybe snide, but not unfounded. There are numerous reports of the MacBooks doing just what they are being snide about. Your anecdotal story about having three and none of them burned you doesn't prove anything. Three out of a ridiculous amount is such a small and insignificant number.


RE: That explains it
By Fritzr on 9/15/2011 5:56:56 AM , Rating: 5
Another anecdotal story was from Tony Swash a few weeks ago taking a swipe at Flash

Flash shuts his MacBook Pro down ... due to overheating

He assumed that Flash caused the overheating. He was wrong, the failure to properly cool the CPU caused the overheating.


RE: That explains it
By messele on 9/15/11, Rating: -1
RE: That explains it
By FITCamaro on 9/15/2011 7:25:08 AM , Rating: 2
Intel eventually wants to get Atom into those devices. But it realized it would need several years to get power usage down enough to compete with ARM.

As far as the troll responding to you, Atom uses more power and thus produces more heat because it is an x86 based CPU which is far more complex than an ARM CPU. It's benefits are that it can run x86 applications. Once Intel can shrink its manufacturing processes enough, it might be able to threaten ARM. And while Atom may not be in any tablets yet, it has been pretty damn successful in netbooks which get 10 hours of battery life.


RE: That explains it
By Targon on 9/15/2011 4:09:08 AM , Rating: 2
Atom didn't make it because the only real advantage to the iPad is that it runs the same apps as the iPhone does(plus the fact that Atom sucks). If you were looking at a new architecture, then evaluating what is out there and picking the best price/performance chips makes sense, but if you want a device that is fully compatible with another device, you want the chips to be as similar as possible.


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