Apple’s new top-end MacBook Pro 15-inch, with the optional Core i9 CPU, is markedly slower than last year’s Core i7 design despite fielding two more CPU cores. That’s the result of empirical tests of the system, which show that under full load, Apple’s redesigned MacBook Pro can’t handle the heat its top-end CPU dissipates. It also means Apple has copied one of the worst habits of the boutique PC laptop industry.
Here’s a fact about boutique laptops that doesn’t get nearly enough attention: Generally speaking, the manufacturers of these systems will cheerfully outfit them with CPUs and GPUs that demand more cooling performance than the laptop can provide. As a result, the highest-end systems available often throttle back their own performance to avoid damage.