It’s getting hot in here

Over the weekend I saw yet another update by someone on Facebook blaming Windows for the fact that their god-awful HP laptop was overheating, and singing the praises of the Mac they would soon be receiving, in the vain and misguided belief that all Mac laptops run cooler than a penguin’s posterior whilst sitting on an iceberg in the middle of the Antarctic winter. At night.

This is the world in which technologists are now forced now live: one where actual technological advantages are usurped in the eyes of the consumer by mindless and unsubstantiated claptrap put out by marketing. Where buyers believe the only differentiator between laptops is whether they run Windows or OSX, and that sole difference is to blame for everything. The next time someone complains about Windows making their laptop run hot, I’m going to boot it into Linux, fire up MPrime, and stuff it where the sun doesn’t shine. If it happens to be a MacBook… well, we can skip booting into Linux, and they can be thankful for rounded corners.

The even greater irony is that, if anything, the biggest complaint I ever hear about Apple laptops is how hot they run. It’s one of the few complaints Apple owners will ever admit to having, other than being forced to constantly admire their smug expression in the shiny exterior.

A little diversion shortly followed to calm my nerves:

Number of Google search results for x overheating problem, with x being one of the following 5 computer manufacturers, in descending order:

HP 614,000
Apple 525,000
Dell 376,000
Toshiba 273,000
Acer 231,000

Disclaimer: this study is utterly unscientific and these figures mean absolutely bugger all, serving no purpose other than the entertainment of the author. They certainly should not be considered representative of the number of people complaining about Apple laptops overheating, and should absolutely not be considered in the context of Apple having the lowest US market share of the five manufacturers listed here at the end of 2009.

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About The Angry Technician

The Angry Technician is an experienced IT professional in the UK education sector. Normally found in various states of annoyance on his blog. All views are those of his imaginary pet dog, Howard.

3 responses to “It’s getting hot in here”

  1. Mr M says :

    Ah, yes. The Mac. Never overheats. Except for the MacBook Air first generation. In their quest for the ultimate tiny and small, they pushed it way too far.

    But I agree. Separation of software and hardware. A machine overheats for various reasons:

    – insufficient heatsink system
    – components not sufficiently spaced
    – inefficient fans
    – inability for manufacturer to consider how system will be used

    Notice in the above list there is no reference to “software”. That’s because software… er, doesn’t generate heat. CPU cycles INDIRECTLY generate heat. But a system really should be designed for this.

    I for one have just purchased me a snazzy Dell laptop from the renewed Latitude range with an i7 820-QM processor.

    If that thing overheats, I can put my trust in the fact Dell have a superb record in system design regarding cooling.

    And if not, I can trust their 3 year NBD warranty.

    3 Year NBD onsite warranty as standard… can I hear a MacBook enthusiast say those words. No, that’s right, they don’t even offer such a thing let alone as standard.

  2. tmcd35 says :

    Mmmm, MacBooks don’t overheat? Right? Tell you what, go grab yourselves a copy of Handshake and find a DVD to rip, then come back and tell me they don’t overheat. Tenner says the mac turns itself off before the rip is complete!

    I know I used to own one. The fact is Apple deliberately limit the speed of the CPU fan in their laptops to make them quieter. Net result, they overheat quiet spectacularly when you try doing any serious multimedia work. I’ve got 3rd degree burns on my thighs to prove it.

    Of course their are 3rd party utilities available for you to manually adjust the fan speed and correct Apples design flaw.

    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – Apple make the best OS I’ve ever head the pleasure of using. Their hardware build quality on the other hand is extremely pants. Looks pretty, but looks can be deceiving.

    If I could get a Thinkpad to run OS X I’d be a happy man!

  3. Giles says :