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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 9/15/2011 12:01:00 AM , Rating: -1
Well that is a wild guess, since Intel certainly designed Atom in hopes that it would end up in more mobile devices than netbooks. Apple looked and took a pass, as did the rest of the industry.

"None of them even really have vents." No sh1t, sherlock, want to guess why none of them are using Intel chipsets?

On the laptop side, they do have active cooling, but the aluminum cases are part of the heat dissipation mechanism since they don't insulate like plastic. I haven't had thermal issues in my 3 aluminum MacBooks, for that matter. But leave it to Intel to make snide comments on heat dissipation when they're the ones getting hammered for not being able to scale down their processors. Maybe the 3d transistors will help them out, but they're not here just yet.


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
"So if you want to save the planet, feel free to drive your Hummer. Just avoid the drive thru line at McDonalds." -- Michael Asher














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