Last week we brought you news that YouTuber Dave Lee observed some shocking thermal throttling in a MacBook Pro fitted with an 8th generation Intel Core i9 processor.

At the time Lee’s was the only video which showcased how heavily the Core i9 inside the notebook was throttled when it got hot but over weekend we had a few more examples to look at.

YouTuber Marques Brownlee of channel MKBHD published his thoughts on the i9 MacBook Pro, embedded below.

It show that the i9 MacBook certainly is able to perform tasks like editing 8K footage in Final Cut Pro even with thermal throttling. Indeed the performance figures we see in the video do showcase that the i9 MacBook Pro is a capable machine, albeit it a hot one.

The trouble is that it’s only slightly more capable than previous generations.

“For someone who already has the 2017 MacBook Pro or already has a 2016 machine that’s already high end, you’re probably – because of the thermal throttling and because of the slight limit in performance – not really going to need to spend the money on this one,” explains Brownlee.

He goes on to say that Apple could get better performance from this machine if it were to update the design of the MacBook to allow for better cooling.

While Brownlee urges buyers to do their homework before buying anything, he says that many users may end up skipping this version of the high-end MacBook because the performance improvements are very incremental.

Then, in a livestream held at the weekend Linus Sebastian of Linus Tech Tips showed how quickly the i9 MacBook thermal throttles. “In a realistic work load this thing throttles in a matter of less than a minute. And then under an unrealistic workload it throttles in about 3 – 5 seconds,” reports Sebastian.

So from what we have seen from Brownlee, Sebastian and a few others is that this MacBook thermal throttles like a beast but it does still perform well compared to previous generations, despite how incremental that performance gain is.

What has become clear through this whole debacle (which isn’t over yet mind you) is that Apple needs to pry itself away from making it’s Pro notebooks thin and light. Please Apple, next year give us a Pro notebook that doesn’t thermal throttle with enough cooling to take advantage of the beefy CPU inside.


Brendyn Lotz writes news, reviews, and opinion pieces for Hypertext. His interests include SMEs, innovation on the African continent, cybersecurity, blockchain, games, geek culture and YouTube.