MacBook Pro Heat Generation (Updated)

Posted by:
Date: Tuesday, February 28th, 2006, 10:00
Category: MacBook Pro

With the disclaimer that this isn’t at all scientific, I wanted to comment on the heat generated by the MacBook Pro, a frequent question. I tested the PowerBook G4 (1.5GHz, 2GB, 120GB) and a MacBook Pro (2.0GHz, 2GB, 120GB) running all night while sitting on a Podium Coolpad from RoadTools. The ambient temperature on the bottom rear middle of the PBG4 was about 112 degrees and the MBP was about 104 degrees Fahrenheit (as measured by a digital thermometer).
In practice the MBP seems to get about as hot as my PowerBook G4,15-inch when used extensively on “Normal” power conservation, especially when plugged into AC power.
UPDATE: 2006-0228:
After running the MBP for about six hours straight last night the surface temperature at the top of the keyboard (above F2 and F4) was as high as 126 degrees Fahrenheit (as measured by a digital thermometer). The bottom temperature was about 106 degrees at the hottest location (running on a Podium Coolpad). It appears that the MBP is no cooler than the PowerBook G4 and may, in fact, run hotter.
What is your experience with the temperature on the MBP?


MacBook Pro Airport Reception Improved

Posted by:
Date: Saturday, February 25th, 2006, 13:57
Category: MacBook Pro

A lot of people have been asking about the Airport reception in the new MacBook Pro and I’m happy to report that it’s at least 25 percent better than my PowerBook G4 (1.5GHz) in most situations. When the two ‘Books are next to each other the MacBook Pro consistently gets one more bar of Airport reception than the PowerBook G4 – sometimes two. So when the PB has three bars the MBP will have four; when the PB has two, the MBP has three (or four), and so on.
The improved Airport reception is probably partly due to the new location of the Airport antenna on the MacBook Pro. Although its location in the display hinge is significantly lower in altitude that the PowerBook’s antennas (which are located in the top edges of the display bezel) the antenna area is much larger.
Another factor that could contribute to the increase in Airport reception on the MBP is that the Airport card is now allegedly connected to the PCI Express bus – although I have not confirmed this yet.


MacBook Pro Self-Surgery

Posted by:
Date: Thursday, February 23rd, 2006, 14:25
Category: MacBook Pro

MBP-intel-cpu.jpgiFixit, maker of the Fixit Guide series, has posted the first MacBook Pro disassembly instructions and photos. The MacBook Pro disassembly is online at
The MacBook Pro disassembly guide contains high resolution photos of the MacBook’s internals, including the Intel Core Duo processor. The MacBook guide complements iFixit’s revolutionary do-it-yourself laptop repair manuals, the Fixit Guide Series. Fixit Guides are available for every laptop Apple has made since 1998. All Guides are available free online at
iFixit also sells a full line of PowerBook and iBook parts. “I’m proud to announce that we have over 600 different Mac parts and upgrades in-stock and ready to ship. We couldn’t be more excited about our market position,” said Kyle Wiens, iFixit’s CEO.
Fixit Guides are available for these computers:
– MacBook Pro
– Mac Mini
– PowerBook G4 Aluminum (867 MHz – 1.67 GHz)
– PowerBook G4 Titanium (400 MHz – 1 GHz)
– PowerBook G3 (233 – 500 MHz)
– iBook G4 (800 MHz – 1.42 GHz)
– iBook G3 (300 – 900 MHz)


MacBook Pro Dissected

Posted by:
Date: Wednesday, February 22nd, 2006, 10:11
Category: MacBook Pro

A new OWC record. MacBook Pro 15″ 2.0GHz received about 10:30 2/21/06 – and already fully taken apart, pictures taken, and posted to the web by 1PM.
Even Kodawarisan would be proud. Click through for 19 gory pictures of the MacBook Pro disemboweled.


MacBook Pro Battery Benchmarks (Update 6)

Posted by:
Date: Tuesday, February 21st, 2006, 11:06
Category: MacBook Pro

macbook-pro-battery.jpgI did my first real test of the controversial MacBook Pro battery today.
I wanted to test the MBP battery in an unattended scenario because I have not yet migrated my data over from my PowerBook G4 1.5GHz and I needed to be productive today on my main machine. Another thing to keep in mind is that the new MacBook Pro battery has not yet been calibrated according to the instructions in the MBP User’s Guide.
Page 24 of the User Guide recommends calibrating the MBP battery as folllows…
Read more for that and the results…


MacBook Pro Benchmarks (Update2)

Posted by:
Date: Tuesday, February 21st, 2006, 09:26
Category: MacBook Pro

ALERT: According to Ladd at Xbench: 10.4 attempts to limit screen updating to 60 frames per second, and will throttle applications that exceed this limit. Normally, this is the correct thing to do, but for a benchmarking application it doesn’t work out so well. In the meanwhile, you can turn off beam sync in Quartz Debug.
They’re working on an update to resolve the issue. I’ll be posting updated benchmarks soon…


MacBook Pro Unboxing Pictures

Posted by:
Date: Monday, February 20th, 2006, 19:02
Category: MacBook Pro


My MacBook Pro just arrived at PowerPage world headquarters 10 minutes ago and wanted to post a couple of pictures. Look at the size of the box! I’m going to start a fire, set up my tripod and post some unboxing photos soon. Stay tuned. Mad props to Everett and the entire crew at Springboard Media in Philadelphia, PA. He got five units in today and I managed to grab the last one.

Post your specific questions in the comments below and I’ll do my best to answer them.
See 28 photos of the new MacBook Pro unboxing on my ZDNet blog – The Apple Core.
Digg this story.


My MacBook Pro Shipped

Posted by:
Date: Sunday, February 19th, 2006, 14:39
Category: MacBook Pro

Apple-Store-MBP-Shipment.jpgI take back all the nasty comments about Apple’s shipping delays with the MacBook Pro – mine shipped yesterday!
It looks like Apple’s “February 28th” revised shipping date estimate is another case of Apple under-promising and over-delivering. Obviously your milage may vary. If you haven’t pre-ordered a MBP already you may want to call your local Apple retailer and ask them about availability. Several authorized retailers tell the PowerPage that a small batch of their initial MBP orders also shipped this weekend.
Let the games begin! I’m going to bed now as I’m expecting a very busy week 😉


Apple Upgrades MacBook Pro to 1.83, 2.0 and 2.16GHz (Updated 2x)

Posted by:
Date: Tuesday, February 14th, 2006, 10:37
Category: MacBook Pro

Apple announced that the the first wave of MacBook Pros began shipping today. In a surprising move Apple quietly speed-bumped the original 1.67 and 1.83GHz MacBook Pro configurations to 1.83 and 2.0GHz today without advanced notice. 2.0’s will begin shipping “this week” according to Apple, 1.83’s “next week.”

All models of the new MacBook Pro will ship with faster Intel Core Duo processors than previously announced, delivering even greater performance at no additional cost. The $2,499 model now includes a 2.0 GHz Intel Core Duo processor, up from the previously announced 1.83 GHz, and will begin shipping this week. The $1,999 model now includes a 1.83 GHz Intel Core Duo processor, up from the previously announced 1.67 GHz, and will begin shipping next week.

Users with orders in queue at the Apple online store will automatically get upgraded to the faster configuration. A representative from the Apple online store told me that “emails are going out by the end of today (to customers with pending orders) about the new configurations.”
Apple also added a third top-of-the-line 2.16GHz MacBook Pro configuration today (Good, Better, Best, anyone?) that will cost an extra US$300 or US$2799. (UPDATE) The 2.16GHz model is available in 1-3 days according to the Apple online store. You simply need to place an order for the 2.0GHz model, then supersize it to 2.16GHz.
A rep from the Apple store told me that customers who ordered online will be getting their MacBook Pros before they arrive at Apple retail stores across the U.S.

Happy Valentine’s Day MacBook lovers!


MacBook Pro Delays

Posted by:
Date: Friday, February 10th, 2006, 20:07
Category: MacBook Pro

It appears that is not the only store now reporting longer delays for the arrival of the MacBook Pro. Some retail stores are pushing back their delivery date as well.
The day his holy Steveness (peace be with him) announced the MacBook Pro, I pre-ordered it from the University of Pennsylvania’s computer store for the sweet academically-discounted price of US$1799. (Aaah, the perks that come with the US$40,000 tuition!). At that point they told me it would come in “early February.”
Alas, later visits revealed that the first batch of MacBooks was pushed back by Apple to “late February,” and then even further to “the first week in March.” God knows if it will be pushed back even further…meanwhile my ancient TiBook is apparently trying to see how many components it can make malfunction before I throw it out the window (currently eight busted parts and counting).
Why the delays?
Read More…