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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 FITCamaro on 9/15/2011 7:14:31 AM , Rating: 2
I run Windows 7 on the MacBook Pro I have from my company. I can definitely tell you can get hot. Just from doing nothing graphically intensive even.

Part of the problem is that Apple didn't release drivers for graphics switching. So you're always using the discrete GPU vs the onboard when doing things like surfing the net. This is probably because they don't want Windows coming close in terms on battery life on their hardware.

Just compiling Java code with 30% CPU utilization (sandy bridge i7 quad core with HT) can get the laptop rather hot not only from the CPU doing work but the hard drive spinning. And if you think to yourself "well at least its quiet", wrong. It gets pretty loud when its stressed. Right now just sitting here its relatively cool. But I haven't started doing much yet.

Once I get my IDEs and database running, it'll be warm to the touch. But again, that is in large part due to the discrete GPU always being on.


RE: Idiots have to be idiots.
By jecs on 9/15/2011 11:34:03 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Part of the problem is that Apple didn't release drivers for graphics switching. So you're always using the discrete GPU vs the onboard when doing things like surfing the net. This is probably because they don't want Windows coming close in terms on battery life on their hardware.


Yes, I think Apple does care very little to bring a Windows experience on par to OSX on any Mac. Also Windows has proven to consume any battery faster than OSX. There are some test in Anandtech. But any overheating problem on Macs is Apple's responsibility.


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