Apple recently updated its MacBook Pro lineup for 2018 to feature the latest 8th Generation Intel Core processors.
This is a good thing, the latest silicon inside Apple notebooks means better performance, lower power draw and decreased operating temperatures as a result.
At least that was the idea, the execution of this appears to have failed in at least one iteration of the MacBook Pro, namely the version which sports a hexa-core Intel Core i9-8950HK processor.
YouTuber Dave Lee discovered this after purchasing a MacBook Pro 2018. Upon closer inspection he discovered that the chassis of the notebook was unable to cool the Intel hexa-core processor inside resulting in thermal throttling and as the YouTuber tells it, it’s bad.
“This i9 in this MacBook can’t even maintain the base clock speed, forget about turbos and all that stuff, it can’t even maintain the 2.9GHz base clock which is absurd,” says Lee.
The Intel processor in question is rather powerful especially in the context of notebooks because it can be overclocked. The trouble is that if Lee is to be believed, this MacBook can’t even deal with the heat the processor kicks out when operating at base clock speeds. While stressing the CPU Lee noted average clock speeds of 2.2GHz and thermal temperatures between 91 and 100 degrees C. In case you’re wondering 100 degrees C is the highest temperature that an Intel processor is designed to withstand.
The ‘Tuber goes on to show off some render times in Premiere Pro using the 2017 MacBook Pro i7, 2018 MacBook Pro i9 and a Gigabyte Aero 15X. Despite having the beefier processor the 2018 MacBook took the longest time to render only improving when Lee put it in a freezer.
“This degree of thermal throttling is not acceptable. This is not something Apple should put out onto the market and blindly sell to people because a lot of people that purchase this device will never know that their laptop is throttling to this degree,” says Lee.
Of course while Apple may be at fault here Lee might have received a lemon which doesn’t have thermal compound on the CPU. It’s a reach, we know, but outside of Lee’s report we haven’t seen much mention of these latest notebooks experiencing thermal throttling even in this review done by an engineer at NASA.
We will have to wait for Apple to respond to this to find out what the story is here, in the meantime maybe hold off on purchasing a 2018 MacBook Pro with an Intel Core i9 processor, just in case.
You can check out Lee’s video which details the thermal throttling he experienced below.