Apple’s high-end 2018 MacBook Pro can offer less performance than its 2017 counterpart

Apple's high-end 2018 MacBook Pro can offer less performance than its 2017 counterpart

Fitting an i9 processor into a MacBook Pro wasn't a great idea…

Published: 18th July 2018 | Source: Dave Lee – YouTuber | Author: Mark Campbell

Apple's high-end 2018 MacBook Pro can offer less performance than its 2017 counterpart

Apple's high-end 2018 MacBook Pro can offer less performance than its 2017 counterpart

Apple's Mac and MacBook Pro systems have been the mainstay of many creative professionals for the last decade, with some coming to rely on the Apple ecosystem to maximise their productivity or to meet their small form factor mobile requirements.
The 2018 MacBook Pro lineup promises to deliver more computational horsepower than its predecessor, offering powerful new 6-core Coffee Lake processors to provide increased processing performance alongside several minor hardware upgrades.
Sadly, it appears as if Intel's upgrade to Coffee Lake has not come without issues, especially with their high-end i9-8950HQ-based models. Several reports have claimed that these new systems can throttle under load due to high thermals, making the system slower than its 2017 counterpart in video rendering workloads.
Below is a video from the YouTuber Dave Lee on the issue, finding that Apple's i9-8950HQ-based MacBook Pro can take over four minutes longer to complete the same workload as his i7-7920HQ-based 2017 MacBook Pro. The Quad-core 2017 MacBook Pro can beat the 6-core 2018 MacBook Pro, something that can't be seen as anything other than a disservice high-end MacBook users.

Dave Lee found that his 6-core MacBook was frequently running at 2.2GHz, a 700MHz drop from the i9-8950HQ's base clock speed of 2.9GHz. To prove that this was thermal throttling, Lee ran the same workload inside a freezer; the notebook was able to complete his work significantly faster. His render time in Premier Pro dropped from 39 minutes 37 seconds to 27 minutes 18 seconds, showcasing an insane amount of performance degradation.
At this time it seems unlikely that Apple will be able to address their thermal issues without a hardware change, as a change of thermal paste is unlikely to have a large enough impact to mitigate this issue entirely. Apple could also attempt to fix the problem by setting up a custom clock speed profile on this specific MacBook Pro configuration, though at that point the processor effectively ceases to be an i9-8950HQ.
You can join the discussion on the thermal throttling issues faced by Apple's high-end 2018 MacBook Pro on the OC3D Forums.

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