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macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jan 17, 2018
With TurboBoost disabled (using TurboBoost Switcher utility), how do the mid-2017 13 inch macbook pro i7, touchbar (14,2) and function keys (14,1) models, compare in terms of fan noise, temperature, and battery life?

I am developer and I want to get the best performant, most comfortable and most portable macbook pro possible. 13 inches is ideal.

After reading online reviews, and the discussions on reddit and macrumors furms, I understood that:

- the i5 nTB model have a fan noise problem when under strain. Presumably because TurboBoost kicks in and the processor gets hot.
- The i5 TB model doesn't have the fan noise problem but can get hot under strain and the battery life is 25% less than the i5 nTb model.
- Turning off TurboBoost improves battery life and reduces temperature at the cost of performance.
- with turboBoost switched off the i7 touchbar model is the most performant, but i am worried about temperature when it is on my lap, and how long yhe battery life lasts
- there is no comparison of performance with the i7 nTB model in the barefeats article. If it performs decently, it would be perfect because the battery life would be longer, and would not get too hot.

Last edited:


macrumors 604
Oct 24, 2013
To be honest you are just getting far to distracted by nonsense here,

The non touch bar a far better battery life because it has a 15w cpu, it gets hot and loud because it has only one fan and has to boost more often. Unless battery life is your biggest concern then you will probably want the touchbar version.

For the touchbar i7 vs i5 there is very little difference performance wise 3-5% if you are maxing it out a lot. They both have the same 28w rating and while the i7 may get a little hotter it will be for a slightly shorter amount of time. The touchbar model has 2 fans and far better cooling as well as two extra TB3 ports.

Basically if battery life is most important get the non touch bar which ever cpu you like it makes practically bugger all difference.

If performance and ports and cooling is what you want get whichever touchbar version you like again it makes little difference.

I would go touchbar for development because sustained performance while compiling is where you will benefit most.


macrumors Core
Oct 14, 2008
One of the cornerstones of the modern high-performant CPU design is on-demand power scaling. As such, the CPUs don't really even have meaningful nominal clock anymore. Rather, their clock will change depending on how much thermal headroom they still have and how much work they need to do. In another words, the modern CPUs are designed to change their performance characteristics so that they can complete the task at hand as quickly as possible without draining your battery in an instant.

From this perspective, disabling turbo boost is like disabling gears on your car. There might be a good reason to do it, but in most cases all you'd achieve would be handicapping your machine without much benefit to it. If you don't need a fast CPU, then just get a computer with an i3 or a Pentium class CPUs. All you'd achieve by disabling turbo would be making your computer considerably slower.

As to the "fan noise problem" with the nTB, thats rather simple. The touch bar version has a more advanced fan design thats better at cooling down the laptop while also being quieter.
[doublepost=1516214737][/doublepost]Ah, btw, I was so busy ranting that I actually forgot to answer your question :D If you want to turn off turbo boost, the best CPU is the one with the highest nominal frequency, since that would give you smallest performance hit. Note: the CPU will still clock down if necessary.


macrumors 6502a
Sep 6, 2013
My 2016 MBP 15” maxed out is whisper quiet. It only gets loud when when pushing cpu to max. For me that’s Final Cut Pro exporting. I don’t see the point of disabling turbo, it makes no sense. Your computer will be slower and take longer to do intense tasks which mean it will use more battery life.
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