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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: Idiots have to be idiots.
By messele on 9/15/2011 4:10:06 AM , Rating: -1
Care to explain how that is a design issue when in fact it's a manufacturing issue?

This "article" directly attacks Apple for poor design, there's a huge difference between that and your claim. It's pretty simple to reduce the amount of thermal paste used. Systematic overheating through poor thermal design...not so simple.

So there were a few isolated cases (out of millions of machines) and those people I am sure were looked after so I think my isolated example is actually more valid than yours.


RE: Idiots have to be idiots.
By Fritzr on 9/15/2011 5:47:59 AM , Rating: 3
Design is not just the artistic appearance of the machine when viewed as an artwork.

Engineering design, includes wiring layout, circuit board design, chipset used in the product ... and all the things that go into venting the heat produced. Fail to execute these hidden design items properly results in a substandard product...such as the MacBook Pro that overheats if the CPU load approaches 100% for any length of time. (Actually lower values for extended periods will cause the CPU to die prematurely due to overheating damage)

The part of the design that the Intel engineer was speaking about was the design of the cooling system. Apple designs it equipment as art first with engineering design being an afterthought is what he is saying.

As Tony Swash said a few weeks ago, Flash is evil it causes my MBP to shut down due to overheating.

My reaction at the time was that a properly designed cooling system will allow the computer to continue operating at max CPU load. His computer was shutting down due to an engineering design flaw, not Flash.


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