- Apple recently released new MacBook Pro models, which can be configured with Intel’s Core i9 processor.
- The most affordable MacBook Pro with the Core i9 processor costs about $2,800.
- But owners of those new MacBook Pros are finding that their computers are having a difficult time reaching the advertised 2.9 GHz speeds – mainly because the laptop’s built-in cooling system can’t keep up with the intense heat that the Core i9 produces.
You’ll have to put the brand-spanking-new 2018 MacBook Pro with Intel’s Core i9 processor in a freezer to get the advertised 2.9 GHz speeds.
At least, that’s what Dave Lee from the Dave2D YouTube channel did to get the most out of his.
Before Lee put it in the freezer, the 2018 MacBook Pro with a Core i9 processor actually performed worse than a 2017 MacBook Pro running a Core i7.
“This i9 in this MacBook can’t even maintain the base clock speed,” Lee said in his video.
That’s because the 15-inch MacBook Pro’s built-in cooling system couldn’t keep up with the intense heat that the Core i9 produces as a result of its incredible performance.
When it gets too hot, the Core i9 automatically slows down to prevent damaging itself in what’s called “thermal throttling.” Apparently, the Core i9 in the 2018 MacBook Pro throttles itself even before it reaches its 2.9 GHz base clock speed.
Only after putting his Core i9 MacBook Pro in a freezer did Lee get better performance than the Core i7 model.
Indeed, putting the Core i9 MacBook Pro in a freezer would help cool down the processor enough to reach higher speeds without thermal throttling.
It’s something Reddit users have discovered too. And some say they’re canceling their orders of the Core i9 MacBook Pro, returning it, or thinking about returning it.
Reddit user jonlb87 said: “Was supposed to pick up my i9 tonight. Looks like I’ll be canceling it.”
And IDoHaveWorkToDo said: “I returned my i9 2018 MBP today. It never once hit its advertised turbo speed – not even for a fraction of a second. It failed to maintain base clock.”
Lee compared the Core i9 8950HK chip in the 2018 MacBook Pro with a different, less powerful Core i7 8750H chip in a Windows laptop, the Gigabyte Aero 15X.
The Aero 15X was able to surpass the i7 8750H’s rated 2.2 GHz base clock speed up to 3.1 GHz. Still, it couldn’t reach the i7 8750H’s 4.1 GHz turbo boost, showing that Windows laptops can have trouble cooling their processors too.
Summing it all up, it looks as if Apple slapped a Core i9 into a MacBook Pro design that was never meant to support such power and heat.
Redditor bogey-spades said: “What blows my mind is that somehow either Apple was ignorant of this issue, or Apple knew it and released it anyways. It’s either ignorance or belligerence, and neither are good.”