Hot stuff

by Volker Weber

As much as I like the new Macbook, I am going to stick it out with my iBook G4 until Apple gets to the second revision. I am mostly concerned with the excessive heat reported in various reviews. I have no idea whether it heats up because of the Intel processors, or because Apple does not use the proper amount of thermal paste (Picture 1 and Picture 2).

I also don't like the fact that Apple delivers the machine with no open memory slot. You get two 256 MB modules that you have to throw away to either buy two 512 MB chips, or better yet two 1024 MB modules. A proper machine with 2GB/120 GB, DVD-writer, Mini-DVI-to-VGA adapter and AppleCare sells for 2337 Euro in white and a whopping 2497 in black. At the low end you could have 1GB/60GB, CD-writer, Mini-DVI-to-VGA adapter and AppleCare for 1507 Euro.

Don't even think about saving the 309 Euro on AppleCare for this toaster oven.


I quite fancy one myself. The rest of my family are taking over Ethelred, my iMac G4, so I need a machine for myself ;o)

My thinking was to get the base model, with a slightly beefed-up hard drive. I can pass on the DVD writer (the iMac does that), and it's not worth buying memory from the Apple Store. The ludicrous extra for black I can also do without!

Now, I just have to get this past the financial committee (i.e. the wife). Hmmm...

Ben Poole, 2006-05-21

Comspot offers 36 months protection for 49 EUR. I agree about the RAM modules, though. How long do you think one has to wait for the second revision?

Sebastian Keil, 2006-05-21

We have recently purchased some MacBooks for the family and they only appear to run hot when plugged into the power supply. When they run off battery they do get warm but not too hot.

Bruce Elgort, 2006-05-21

I've been thinking about ordering one of those for a couple of days now (in fact, since last tuesday). Some issues however prevent me from pulling my credit card just now:

1. No External card slot (neither Express Card nor PCMCIA)

2. Internal Graphics

3. Awkward looking keyboard

To me, issue No. 1 somehow kills the MacBook for me, since I'm planning to go for a Base UMTS flat at some point which requires one of these slots. I could probably live with issue No. 2, since I want to work on my laptop and the whole game thing would be left to my windows desktop machine anyway. I'm not sure if No. 3 would be an issue at all. However the new keyboard layout reminds me of those children learning computers and I don't know if that's what I want for writing academic work. It would really, really help if Apple opened a retail store in Germany so we could have a look at these things for ourselves.

By the way, I think I would deal with the 'heat issue' simply by replacing the thermal paste. I know this would probably void warranty, but what the heck: this is still just a 1,000 EUR machine (of course, this also gives you a hint at what I think of spending >300 EUR on AppleCare for these things). Needless to say, things are totally different when we talk MacBook Pros:-)

Martin Switaiski, 2006-05-21

Martin, you can take a look at it in a Gravis Store. I think in almost every larger city there's one.
I'm ordered directly at the Apple Edu Store on last tuesday and it was shipped today. I ordered without Apple Care but I will upgrade within the first year for much less money.

Martin Hiegl, 2006-05-21

@Martin: If you have a chance, could you tell us how you like the keyboard on your MacBook?

Martin Switaiski, 2006-05-22

I personally don't even think about the MacBook anymore since I heard that it had a mirror instead of a usable display. Am I the only one that can't stand these glossy displays? I want to see what's happening on my screen, not what's happening behind me...

Thomas Loetzer, 2006-05-22

@Thomas - nope, you're not the only one!

Colin Williams, 2006-05-22

@Thomas: definitely a concern. But glossy displays have been on other machines for some time. I’ll reserve judgement until I actually see one in action.

Ben Poole, 2006-05-22

Steve has once cratered by selling black hardware. With thermal problems and a display that lets you fit your own face into your word processor and all the little other fuckups appearing on the horizon (Darwin/XNU going closed source, etc.) the odds are rising for him to crater again.

Karsten W. Rohrbach, 2006-05-22

@Martin You can use your UMTS-phone as a bluetooth-modem. Works flawlessly with Nokia N-Series or Nokia 6630 and the freeware gprs-modem-scripts for macs from somewhere on the net (just type in the apn-name instead of the dialing number). With base, you can now choose to have internet and phone-flatrate on one sim-card, not on two. And with umts you can use the same phone for data and voice at the same time.

Christian Just, 2006-05-22

Thanks for the tip Christian. I think I'd rather spend money on an UMTS phone than on an Express card anyway.

Just ordered my MacBook 1.83 GHz through Apple on Campus at an unbelievably low price. No AppleCare. We'll see how this is going to play out...

Martin Switaiski, 2006-05-22

Karsten, 100% agreement overhere.

I am still happily working with my G4 Powerbook, only my 512MB of RAM are calling for an upgrade. I have two 256MB bars, one is fixed and one is removable. In case of an upgrade, what are the chances/price to sell my 256 bar and would it be possible to do the upgrade myself? (I have over ten years of experience tinkering with PC hardware, but never opened a Mac yet)

Philipp Sury, 2006-05-23

I've had a MacBook Pro 15" 1,83GHz for two months now, and I never had any issues with it being particularly hot. It gets warm, yes, but even less than my former Powerbook 15" did, so I am very inclined to say that it is a real front page story for the newspapers you will never admit paying for.

Kim Gammelgård, 2006-05-23

Hi Volker,

seit dem SMC Firmwareupdate bleibt mein MBP erstaunlich "cool". Im Regelfall liegt er bei 29°C und bei mehr Last trotzdem unter 40°C. Allerdings habe ich auch kaum Anwendungen, die die CPUs wirklich dauerhaft auf 100% auslasten, aber wer hat die schon ;-)

Mariano Kamp, 2006-05-24

Volker, mir geht's ähnlich. Aber da Apple derzeit schlicht leugnet, dass das Problem überhaupt existiert - wie erfährt man dann eigentlich, ob Apple das Problem angeht bzw. wann es gelöst wurde?

Hanno Müller, 2006-06-01

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