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maflynn

macrumors Haswell
Original poster
May 3, 2009
73,682
43,718
Is the MacBook Pro 2018 REALLY Bad?

That's the question that Linus asks on his recent Linus Tech Tips video

I will say there's more on what he stated that I agree with, then disagree. I understand he's a PC/Windows guy, but he makes a lot of good points, like the removal the data recovery port on the Logic board.

He also mentions that consistent high temps (in the high 90s) is very bad for the long term health of the computer, something I've said all along, but many people poo-pooed as the chips are designed to handle the temps. The CPU is, but as he points out, the logic board can warp over time, and there are other components that could fail.

I've configured my MBP and I don't really come close to 90c for most of my tasks, which gives me some peace of mind.
 

poorcody

macrumors 65816
Jul 23, 2013
1,328
1,571
Taking the MacBook out of the oven was pretty funny!

I think his take was reasonable. He pointed out the thermal problem exists on Windows laptops as well, but Apple didn't mitigate it with an updated thermal design. I suspect Apple was in a tough spot timing-wise, where either they release a MacBook with the updated processor, or they waited to redesign the line. Since the Mac group probably had their hands full working on the new Macs coming in the fall, they may have decided to compromise as they have.

I think this episode will only increase Apple's motivation to transition to their own processors, so they have more control over performance/heat/battery/timing compromises of the CPU and GPU. In some ways, Intel's design decisions boxed them in.

I think I would thermal limit a 2018 MBP if I had one like @maflynn does. Among the other issues they mentioned, I would also worry about the long-term health of the battery...
 

LogicalApex

macrumors 65816
Nov 13, 2015
1,346
2,100
PA, USA
He also mentions that consistent high temps (in the high 90s) is very bad for the long term health of the computer, something I've said all along, but many people poo-pooed as the chips are designed to handle the temps. The CPU is, but as he points out, the logic board can warp over time, and there are other components that could fail.

I am working so can't peek at the video, but is this based on testing more just his assumption that 90C consistently is too hot for the logic board? Additionally, is the 90C temperature he's clocking the logic board temperature or the CPU temperature. As it is very likely the logic board will be cooler than the CPU by a good bit.

I haven't had any thermal issues on my 2018 15", but I don't plan on doing anything to weaken the thermal stress on my machine. Apple designed this to perform thermally or they'll pay up due to frequent repairs and replacements under base warranty + Apple Care in my view.

That being said, I find thermal issues impacting the logic board to be highly suspect. For more than 3 years I ran an LSI RAID card in my desktop case not a server rack case where it was designed to run and it never failed nor warped and it consistently operating above 100C as it lacks any active cooling. It was so hot that touching the card in anyway would actually burn you. It never failed or ran into trouble.
 

Brookzy

macrumors 601
May 30, 2010
4,976
5,573
UK
With regards to the removal of the recovery port on the logic board... I understand this was due to the nature of the hardware encryption provided by the T2 chip.

The purpose of the recovery port in the 2016 and 2017 models was to facilitate recovery even if the logic board fails. In the T2 era, if the logic board fails then the data is unrecoverable - whether or not there is a recovery port. So it's a security vs. convenience argument, rather than Apple removing it to be a pain, or cut costs, or whatever. Combined with cloud backups and Time Machine, 99% of users who backup regularly shouldn't be affected by data loss due to this.

High temperatures have been part and parcel of Mac notebooks for as long as I can recall and did present a problem with common GPU failures in 15" models over the years. But, for all its flaws, it doesn't seem like this generation of MacBook Pro suffers from premature GPU failure anything like as commonly as the previous gens. I appreciate this generation is only just coming up to two years old, but it's extremely rare to see GPU failure reports on these forums. And this is the first generation where all 15" models have dGPUs!

As for logic board warp and premature battery wear, again I don't see indications of this being a realistic issue in the field. As Linus's video shows, the MacBook Pro actually can cope with the heat of an i9 after the throttling fix is applied, performing in line with other manufacturers' machines that have far greater air throughput.

The Touch Bar-era MacBook Pro is very flawed in many ways, but I don't think the points raised by Linus are especially pertinent criticisms.
 

1096bimu

macrumors 6502
Nov 7, 2017
437
539
I unsubscribed from Linus years ago, since he first started to get big. Too much money, too many distractions, not enough time to really think about what you're doing, and such a large population of angry apple haters to cope with. This means they will be releasing videos to randomly bash on Apple just to get views, even if they don't themselves believe in what they are saying.

The data recovery port is gone, that's because Apple can recover your data via one of the Type-C ports.
90 degrees isn't high and has never been high for electrical components, especially solid-state ones, basically everything except the CPU are designed to work at over 100 degrees constantly. It's one thing that I water cool my desktop to under 50 degrees under max load, it's another to understand the physics and engineering, which indicate that such cooling solutions are completely overkill.
Properly treated PCBs will take temps well above 100 degrees, again. Baking this stuff in over 100 degrees is how you consolidate the components.
 

Falhófnir

macrumors 603
Aug 19, 2017
6,146
7,000
I unsubscribed from Linus years ago, since he first started to get big. Too much money, too many distractions, not enough time to really think about what you're doing, and such a large population of angry apple haters to cope with. This means they will be releasing videos to randomly bash on Apple just to get views, even if they don't themselves believe in what they are saying.
If by randomly bash you mean make valid points of criticism which he can back up? I mean I tend to take Apple’s side on the iMac pro thing - he’s opened up a unit that’s not designed to be and they don’t know what he’s messed around with and he wants them to make a repair that they then have to waranty... kinda a dodgy proposition. On this however I don’t think he makes any unfair points.
 

1096bimu

macrumors 6502
Nov 7, 2017
437
539
If by randomly bash you mean make valid points of criticism which he can back up? I mean I tend to take Apple’s side on the iMac pro thing - he’s opened up a unit that’s not designed to be and they don’t know what he’s messed around with and he wants them to make a repair that they then have to waranty... kinda a dodgy proposition. On this however I don’t think he makes any unfair points.
All of his points are either plain wrong or unfair?
 

Falhófnir

macrumors 603
Aug 19, 2017
6,146
7,000
All of his points are either plain wrong or unfair?
I mean, there’s a pretty big body of evidence that heat kills computers over time, these things sitting at 90C is therefore *not* perfectly fine - I mean it's just such a universally accepted fact of computing that arguing otherwise is like trying to argue water isn't wet. It's also not like he singled out the MBP - he even says Apple are one of a number of companies going down this path, so yeah don't see where the bashing comes into it?
 

1096bimu

macrumors 6502
Nov 7, 2017
437
539
I mean, there’s a pretty big body of evidence that heat kills computers over time, these things sitting at 90C is therefore *not* perfectly fine - I mean it's just such a universally accepted fact of computing that arguing otherwise is like trying to argue water isn't wet. It's also not like he singled out the MBP - he even says Apple are one of a number of companies going down this path, so yeah don't see where the bashing comes into it?
No, there isn’t, I have seen zero.
There are lots of universally accepted ********, so being accepted by ignorant people isn’t evidence of its truth.
The mbp and other companies are doing what is rational and perfectly fine. So-called “throttling” is another non-issue and only gamers who think they are tech experts cry about it.
 

SolidGun

macrumors 6502
Jul 24, 2004
338
14
Twin Cities
I agree with everything that he has posted and many of the things said by other Mac bashers. If Mac OS and Final Cut Pro was available on other platforms, I would switch in a heartbeat and I know almost everyone at my work would as well. I miss the days when Apple made things to be great and then released it. Late models of MBPs, iMacs....the failed MacPro says everything I need to know about the company and their thoughts on its consumers. Stop being fanboys and taking what they shove....that is why they can pass off mediocre products and premium prices. If most of the Mac fanboys stopped to think, they would sell better products like they used to. After 20+ Macs and 11 iPhones, I am not staying with Apple products until they show some improvements.
 

Ma2k5

macrumors 68030
Dec 21, 2012
2,563
2,538
London
I unsubscribed from Linus years ago, since he first started to get big. Too much money, too many distractions, not enough time to really think about what you're doing, and such a large population of angry apple haters to cope with. This means they will be releasing videos to randomly bash on Apple just to get views, even if they don't themselves believe in what they are saying.

The data recovery port is gone, that's because Apple can recover your data via one of the Type-C ports.
90 degrees isn't high and has never been high for electrical components, especially solid-state ones, basically everything except the CPU are designed to work at over 100 degrees constantly. It's one thing that I water cool my desktop to under 50 degrees under max load, it's another to understand the physics and engineering, which indicate that such cooling solutions are completely overkill.
Properly treated PCBs will take temps well above 100 degrees, again. Baking this stuff in over 100 degrees is how you consolidate the components.

Can you cite where Apple can actually recover your data via a USB-C in event of a logic board? From Brookzy’s post, it appears you wouldn’t be able to recover it even with the data port due to T2 encryption.

As for heat, it is more about VRM failures rather than say a CPU failure - and there seem to be quite a lot of evidence of it around going by authorised repairers of VRM failures due to heat. I don’t have numbers though but I’m sure it isn’t fictional. I guess time will tell if these MacBooks are affected, would probably be the final nail in the coffin for Apple loyalists if there is another Apple repair programme in 2020/21 to address these machines.
 

1096bimu

macrumors 6502
Nov 7, 2017
437
539
Can you cite where Apple can actually recover your data via a USB-C in event of a logic board? From Brookzy’s post, it appears you wouldn’t be able to recover it even with the data port due to T2 encryption.

As for heat, it is more about VRM failures rather than say a CPU failure - and there seem to be quite a lot of evidence of it around going by authorised repairers of VRM failures due to heat. I don’t have numbers though but I’m sure it isn’t fictional. I guess time will tell if these MacBooks are affected, would probably be the final nail in the coffin for Apple loyalists if there is another Apple repair programme in 2020/21 to address these machines.
One of the ports is connected to the T2 chip so that the hardware encryption key in the T2 chip can be used to recover data. I forgot where this information came from so I can't cite it for you.

VRMs usually have working temperature ranges of over 120 degrees.
Obviously it is better to run them cooler, but why would you need excessive lifespans anyway?
Besides, I have yet to see a laptop with VRM heatsinks, so the MacBook doesn't even have any hotter VRMs than anybody else.
 

Glockworkorange

Suspended
Feb 10, 2015
2,511
4,184
Chicago, Illinois
Is the MacBook Pro 2018 REALLY Bad?

That's the question that Linus asks on his recent Linus Tech Tips video

I will say there's more on what he stated that I agree with, then disagree. I understand he's a PC/Windows guy, but he makes a lot of good points, like the removal the data recovery port on the Logic board.

He also mentions that consistent high temps (in the high 90s) is very bad for the long term health of the computer, something I've said all along, but many people poo-pooed as the chips are designed to handle the temps. The CPU is, but as he points out, the logic board can warp over time, and there are other components that could fail.

I've configured my MBP and I don't really come close to 90c for most of my tasks, which gives me some peace of mind.
I don't know. What percentage of users need or use that data port for recovery? I have to think not many, although admittedly I do not know.
 

Ma2k5

macrumors 68030
Dec 21, 2012
2,563
2,538
London
One of the ports is connected to the T2 chip so that the hardware encryption key in the T2 chip can be used to recover data. I forgot where this information came from so I can't cite it for you.

VRMs usually have working temperature ranges of over 120 degrees.
Obviously it is better to run them cooler, but why would you need excessive lifespans anyway?
Besides, I have yet to see a laptop with VRM heatsinks, so the MacBook doesn't even have any hotter VRMs than anybody else.

I know desktop motherboards have anything up to around 150 degrees rated/working temperature but the guidelines for “safety” aka longevity seems to be around 80-90. I would presume the limits for a laptop motherboard may be less? VRM/Moffset failures are too common for them to be as durable as the rates temps seem to indicate.

Anyway, Apple have had a bad history of reliability on the machines, the following video seems to point it down to engineering issues by Apple, never to do with Nvidia or Intel it appears) so we will have to hope this doesn’t turn into some big issue.

As for excessive longevity, it is probably a subjective term - I’d say for the price most users would hope that last 5 years easily, even if they may upgrade before that period. No one likes £3000 paperweights when there are cheaper products which have and continue to last a decade.
 
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NT1440

macrumors Pentium
May 18, 2008
15,037
22,002
I know desktop motherboards have anything up to around 150 degrees rated/working temperature but the guidelines for “safety” aka longevity seems to be around 80-90. I would presume the limits for a laptop motherboard may be less? VRM/Moffset failures are too common for them to be as durable as the rates temps seem to indicate.

Anyway, Apple have had a bad history of reliability on the machines, the following video seems to point it down to engineering issues by Apple, never to do with Nvidia or Intel it appears) so we will have to hope this doesn’t turn into some big issue.

As for excessive longevity, it is probably a subjective term - I’d say for the price most users would hope that last 5 years easily, even if they may upgrade before that period. No one likes £3000 paperweights when there are cheaper products which have and continue to last a decade.
That’s all well and good, but is there any evidence whatsoever to come to the conclusion that the 2016+ chassis machine will have any lesser lifespan than the rest? My 2015 13” mbp is running strong, my sister’s 2009 is faster than ever with an SSD I installed, same goes for my friends 2010 (same upgrade).

I’ve seen nothing to indicate in my ownership and being in charge of 300+ Macs for a university that Macs have anything but exceptional operational lifespans barring a component failure which is far from guaranteed on any Macs from the last 10 years.

That’s all anecdotal but if there was a study to indicate otherwise you’d be certain that throughout the tech press it would be the go-to talking point (and meme from tech forum trolls) for years. The data simply doesn’t exists, Macs have great lifespans for average users.
 
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1096bimu

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Nov 7, 2017
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I know desktop motherboards have anything up to around 150 degrees rated/working temperature but the guidelines for “safety” aka longevity seems to be around 80-90. I would presume the limits for a laptop motherboard may be less? VRM/Moffset failures are too common for them to be as durable as the rates temps seem to indicate.

Anyway, Apple have had a bad history of reliability on the machines, the following video seems to point it down to engineering issues by Apple, never to do with Nvidia or Intel it appears) so we will have to hope this doesn’t turn into some big issue.

As for excessive longevity, it is probably a subjective term - I’d say for the price most users would hope that last 5 years easily, even if they may upgrade before that period. No one likes £3000 paperweights when there are cheaper products which have and continue to last a decade.
That is obviously another one of those Apple hate videos mostly geared towards people who can't afford Apple products.
Obviously Apple have made products that weren't 100% reliable, like every other manufacturer ever.
You can't just point to a bunch of issues on Apple products and draw conclusions. It just shows that you don't understand statistics, which have always shown that Apple products are consistently more reliable than the competition.

Desktop boards aren't any higher quality than what you should expect in a MacBook simply because of sales volumes. Also there are no VRM temperature sensors so how do you know they are running out of spec?
 

Ma2k5

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Dec 21, 2012
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That’s all well and good, but is there any evidence whatsoever to come to the conclusion that the 2016+ chassis machine will have any lesser lifespan than the rest? My 2015 13” mbp is running strong, my sister’s 2009 is faster than ever with an SSD I installed, same goes for my friends 2010 (same upgrade).

I’ve seen nothing to indicate in my ownership and being in charge of 300+ Macs for a university that Macs have anything but exceptional operational lifespans barring a component failure which is far from guaranteed on any Macs from the last 10 years.

That’s all anecdotal but if there was a study to indicate otherwise you’d be certain that throughout the tech press it would be the go-to talking point (and meme from tech forum trolls) for years. The data simply doesn’t exists, Macs have great lifespans for average users.

It’s one of those things where numbers aren’t provided by Apple - we can only make hypothesis and see how it goes in a few years time with respect to these models (e.g. if a repair programme is introduced). I mean it is easy to say things are overblown, but many times this has been the narrative (including the keyboard issue) only for Apple to end up providing a repair programme. No one could give numbers on any of the dGPU, Staingate or keyboard issues and everyone was accusing the forums of being hyperbolic of the (non)issue.


That is obviously another one of those Apple hate videos mostly geared towards people who can't afford Apple products.
Obviously Apple have made products that weren't 100% reliable, like every other manufacturer ever.
You can't just point to a bunch of issues on Apple products and draw conclusions. It just shows that you don't understand statistics, which have always shown that Apple products are consistently more reliable than the competition.

Desktop boards aren't any higher quality than what you should expect in a MacBook simply because of sales volumes. Also there are no VRM temperature sensors so how do you know they are running out of spec?

I’m not a fan of him, but he does make valid points and let’s be honest he doesn’t have an affordability problem with MacBooks. He repairs a lot of these machines and he follows engineers who are very knowledgable on the matters of circuitry etc. Apple sell premium devices so they will be under more scrutiny naturally than say Acer (and even then, those other manufacturers get a lot of crap too for making design compromises). I don’t know what you mean by you can’t point to a bunch of issues on Apple products and come to a conclusion, I mean they have had to offer what I would say is an unhealthy amount of repair programmes, I don’t know what other manufacturer was forced to do that so many times in a relatively short period of time. This would be understandable if they was Acer, but this is Apple.

As for your VRM question, the throttle issue was occurring due to the VRM overheating and unable to power the CPU, the patch was applied so to limit this from occuring. This tells me that it was already working too hot (since it power throttled) and now the patch has rectified the power throttling but it is safe to assume it must be pretty toasty even post patch. It isn’t the only laptop to suffer and a lot of it is down to how power hunger the CPU is, but it does cause worry that the VRM is working a lot harder than say the equivalent models of a few years ago and this could easily translate to higher failure rate.

Again, it’s one of those things which we will see materialises in 2-3 years time.
 
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Don’t care much about LinusTechClickBait. But that’s probably because I’m twice his age and my first computer wasn’t a Pentium III.

In one of his recent videos he didn’t know where to find the Activity Monitor app. Most knowledgeable people know how to pull up task managers in every OS.

YouTube experts pffff
 
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maflynn

macrumors Haswell
Original poster
May 3, 2009
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The data recovery port is gone, that's because Apple can recover your data via one of the Type-C ports.
He admitted to his knowledge, so far there's no acknowledgement that there's another way. I hope there is, don't get me wrong.


Most knowledgeable people know how to pull up task managers in every OS.
Not necessarily, he's a windows, some of his staff does use Macs and he does use a iMac Pro, but I don't believe everyone who is knowledgeable needs to know the details of each OS.
[doublepost=1535625831][/doublepost]
I mean, there’s a pretty big body of evidence that heat kills computers over time, these things sitting at 90C is therefore *not* perfectly fine - I mean it's just such a universally accepted fact of computing that arguing otherwise is like trying to argue water isn't wet. It's also not like he singled out the MBP - he even says Apple are one of a number of companies going down this path, so yeah don't see where the bashing comes into it?
Agreed, heat kills computers and by and large I do think he hits the nail on the head regarding the issues with Apple.
 
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Faelan

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Sep 12, 2014
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To my, albeit limited, knowledge on the subject, the problem isn't so much the part about running something at 90c for long periods of time. It's the constant 40->90->40->90->40 rollercoaster that causes things to expand and contract over and over. Please correct me if I'm wrong.

This heat thing is not unique to Apple though. It's the thin laptop trend in general. Some are frankly even worse. Look at the Microsoft Surface Book 2. You can get the 13" with a passively cooled quad core I7-8650U (4.2GHz). It will throttle quite a lot after a while because it has to. The 15" version (same CPU, but with a fan in the screen/tablet section to allow higher power boosts) comes with a GTX 1060 6GB in the keyboard base which is about as thick as the base body of the MacBook Pro. It has a 95w power supply from what I can gather and that's supposedly not enough to completely cover the power demanded by the system when pushing the system to its limit, causing the battery to drain while gaming and what not. The only saving grace here is the fact that the CPU and GPU cooling solutions are separate. For some reason though, I don't see a bunch of YouTubers taking the Surface Book 2 out of an oven or putting it into a freezer just to make a statement. I wonder why...

Not trying to give Apple a free pass on this, I'm just saying that if you're going to bash one company over something, then please be fair and bash all the other companies doing the same thing as well.
 

Ma2k5

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Dec 21, 2012
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To my, albeit limited, knowledge on the subject, the problem isn't so much the part about running something at 90c for long periods of time. It's the constant 40->90->40->90->40 rollercoaster that causes things to expand and contract over and over. Please correct me if I'm wrong.

This heat thing is not unique to Apple though. It's the thin laptop trend in general. Some are frankly even worse. Look at the Microsoft Surface Book 2. You can get the 13" with a passively cooled quad core I7-8650U (4.2GHz). It will throttle quite a lot after a while because it has to. The 15" version (same CPU, but with a fan in the screen/tablet section to allow higher power boosts) comes with a GTX 1060 6GB in the keyboard base which is about as thick as the base body of the MacBook Pro. It has a 95w power supply from what I can gather and that's supposedly not enough to completely cover the power demanded by the system when pushing the system to its limit, causing the battery to drain while gaming and what not. The only saving grace here is the fact that the CPU and GPU cooling solutions are separate. For some reason though, I don't see a bunch of YouTubers taking the Surface Book 2 out of an oven or putting it into a freezer just to make a statement. I wonder why...

Not trying to give Apple a free pass on this, I'm just saying that if you're going to bash one company over something, then please be fair and bash all the other companies doing the same thing as well.

The thing is, there is a lot of "bashing" on pretty much every Window laptop if you look for the video's on youtube or on say a forum like notebookreview.com. You are on MacRumours, so you will see criticism mainly of Apple products. I have seen dozens of critical video's and reviews of Window laptops and they don't hold back. If anything, a lot of articles/video's have sometimes underplayed an issue on a MacBook, but the identical issue on a Window's has been marked as a huge negative.
 
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