IDF 2011: Intel Presenter Complains Cooling is an "Afterthought" for Apple
September 14, 2011 6:26 PM
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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
notes category, we wanted to share a humorous exchange we had with an Intel Corp. (
) engineer. Joshua Linden-Levy is a "Mechanical Pathfinding Engineer" at Intel and delivered a terrific presentation on cooling in
, the Intel Atom platform
In the presentation Mr. Linden-Levy discussed how the target temperature for laptops was 58 Celsius, according to industry standards. Given the high temperatures
by various editions of Apple, Inc.'s (
) MacBook Pros, we wanted to ask him how Intel plans to keep its partners (like Apple) from violating the proposed thermal guidelines on
and its other product lines (Apple is unlikely to use
, 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.
thermal problem-plagued MacBook Pro models
sell for almost twice the price of comparable hardware models from
ASUSTEK Computer Inc. (
). 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. (
) and Dell, Inc. (
have suffered from similar issues [
]. 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.
9/15/2011 11:38:00 AM
Sheep rarely question their masters.
Perhaps that explains the actions of Windows PC buyers, but how does that explain the behavior of Apple buyers?
My experience is that Mac buyers tend to be the least forgiving owners. There were certainly a lot of complaints about the faulty NVIDIA chipsets in MacBook Pros a few years ago, as well as a lot of complaints about heat output.
The issue with Apple is that they are always pushing the design envelope. By this I don't mean the CPU or GPU, but the physical design (e.g. the unibody aluminum). It's a major part of the company's philosophy. In the same way that Frank Lloyd Wright's houses had leaky roofs, Apple's MacBook Air and Pro lines have struggled with heat dissipation. They seem to have gotten the formula right in 2011, at least with the MacBook Air. However, it's pretty clear that they think Intel should be part of the solution by delivering more powerful ULV chips. I agree with that. Clearly consumers want thinner, lighter notebooks with better battery life.
RE: Idiots have to be idiots.
9/15/2011 9:43:49 PM
Apple could release a laptop that literally rapes the owners wife, girlfriend, and/or mother. People would still line up to buy one. And the next one.
PC owners know Windows has flaws. But it does its job well and we can put it on any hardware we like for a cheap price. Not just the few pieces that Apple decides on for a drastically higher price.
RE: Idiots have to be idiots.
9/17/2011 8:34:11 PM
That's why the G4 Cube was such a smashing success, and why the $10,000 20th Anniversary Mac sold like hotcakes. Oh, wait a minute...
Windows does offer a choice of hardware (even Macs, for that matter). However, that's not to say that there aren't advantages of Macs. The MacBook Air is very competitively priced, as evidenced by the struggles of competing manufacturers to significantly undercut Apple's pricing with comparable technology (companies like Acer are relying on Core i3s or HDD/SSD hybrids to undercut the $999 MacBook Air price).
"Paying an extra $500 for a computer in this environment -- same piece of hardware -- paying $500 more to get a logo on it? I think that's a more challenging proposition for the average person than it used to be." -- Steve Ballmer
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