Apple MacBook Special: Too Hot to Handle?

Fire it Up!

Fire it Up!

Apple's new MacBook Pro notebooks aren't really different in looks compared to say, the first Unibody version, but it's their internals that warrant mention. We'll be covering the upgrades in a separate review later, but for now we're actually taking a look at the reported high temperatures of up to 100 degrees Celsius to see if this is true. We've managed to get our hands on the latest 15-inch Intel Core i7 Apple MacBook Pro and also on an older 15-inch Apple MacBook Pro running on Intel's Core 2 Duo processor.

We'll be running a CPU intensive rendering benchmarking program, Cinebench 11.5, which basically uses all the availabe cores of the CPU (whether actual cores or the HyperThreaded ones). While forcing the CPU to work at full load, we measured operating temperatures using a software that taps on to the onboard sensors. This should give us a pretty good idea on how hot a notebook we'll be handling and whether we should get the frying pan and eggs out.

Now, with the high operating temperatures of the newer MacBook Pro (MBP) being the talk of town, you're probably wondering why we've decided to add an older MBP to the mix. Well, we're not totally sure if the problem can be attributed to a design issue, that is, whether the aluminum and unibody design while pretty, acts as a heat trap instead of cooling the notebook properly. Also, the fan vent is actually located below the screen, and while there's space for the hot air to escape, it isn't exactly blowing straight out. As such, we hope to check on all possibilities in this article. Here's a quick photo shot at the Apple MacBook Pro's vent that's pretty hard to spot if you don't know where to look for it.

We've washed the image out by quite a bit so you can see the vents located right next to the hinge, just above the keyboard.