The Core i9 MacBook Pro Has a Serious Throttling Problem

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Update July 19: This story has been updated to reflect new speed-test results.

Apple’s new 15-inch MacBook Pro has displayed impressive performance. But that performance comes at a cost.

It turns out that the Intel Core I9 configuration of the new 15-inch MacBook Pro's cooling mechanism isn't sufficient to maintain those top speeds while doing time-consuming work (such as video editing or rendering). In other words, the laptop gets way too hot. 

The first report came from YouTuber Dave Lee, a tech reviewer with over one million subscribers. Lee found that in regular conditions, the older i7 MacBook Pro took four fewer minutes to render a video. However, in the freezer, the newer model retained its speeds, and rendered eight minutes faster.

Further tests support Lee's results. NotebookCheck found the MacBook Pro 15 to be slightly faster than its 2017 predecessor, but the increased heat still kept it far behind competitors like Dell's XPS 15. Meanwhile, in AppleInsider's tests, the i9 model matched the i7 model's base speed while performing 3D rendering. 

MORE: MacBook Pro 2018 Keyboard: How Good (or Bad) Is It?

It's disappointing that the i9 processor won't live up to its full potential in the new MacBook Pro, and that Apple either didn't perform these tests or is intentionally shipping units with reduced performance. 

That said, even with its potential cooling problems, the new MacBook Pro is shaping up to be a strong addition to Apple's lineup. It comes with a quieter keyboard and a screen that’s easy on the eyes. Its TouchBar offers a lot of interesting functions for creative professionals, and you can even control it with Siri.

Best of all, the 13-inch MacBook Pro destroyed competitors, including the Dell XPS 13 and HP Spectre 13, on our speed benchmarks. We look forward to seeing how the 15-inch variation stacks up once it hits our labs.

 

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3 comments
  • D. Srinivasa rao Says:

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  • John IL Says:

    Apple has always played with fan spin up criteria to keep noise levels down. In order to keep the i9 at more stable peak levels the fan should kick in earlier and its not doing so. maybe Apple can fix this in firmware but in reality it just shows that the base model is probably good enough for most and the i9 upgrade isn't worth $400 unless you want bragging rights or have some misguided thought that the i9 is more future proof.

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