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Vista Runs Hot on Macbook Pro 214

Posted by Zonk
from the sweaty-legs dept.
PetManimal writes "Ken Mingis, Computerworld's Mac editor, has given Vista a spin on his Macbook Pro in order to review and compare hardware performance with OS X. It's not a rigorous benchmarking, but he does notice a few issues relating to power consumption: 'Since installing Vista, I have found that my MacBook Pro runs hot. No doubt Microsoft hasn't worked on power management issues that might affect Apple hardware, which leaves me to wonder whether I'm slowly cooking the motherboard of my laptop. It's not hot enough to fry an egg on the aluminum case, but my laptop is noticeably warmer than when I use Mac OS X. I've also noticed that battery life is substantially reduced. Once again, energy management for Apple hardware is not likely at the top of Microsoft's list. Once Apple writes updated drivers to work with Vista, I'd expect these issues to be addressed.'"
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Vista Runs Hot on Macbook Pro

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  • Wow (Score:5, Interesting)

    by daveschroeder (516195) * on Sunday September 10, 2006 @06:35PM (#16077868)
    Submitter seems to have cherry-picked one thing from the article...

    1. Vista runs hot on MacBook Pro because he's using a beta OS without hardware drivers, using a mechanism for running it that itself is still beta. (And uh, I got news for you: everything "runs hot" on MacBook Pro. ;-)

    But:

    2. Apple doesn't support Vista on MacBook Pro and doesn't make Vista drivers for Apple hardware, but probably will after Vista and Boot Camp are both, you know, actually shipping, supported products.

    Seems like the submitter managed to leave out quite a few things from the article, like the fact that the subtitle is:

    Apple's top-end laptop runs Vista better than a high-end Sony Vaio

    ...and pretty much the entire rest of the article, which is downright positive, and managed to only come up with "Vista runs hot on Macbook (sic) Pro", something only mentioned in a couple of sentences on page 3 of the article.

    The author makes claims that while using an unsupported, beta OS on hardware for which driver profiles don't exist in conjunction with another beta, unsupported product (Boot Camp), he wonders whether he's "slowly cooking the motherboard", even given the hardware safeties built in, and then goes on to say that he expects these to be fixed when Apple releases drivers for their hardware that actually work with Vista, and Vista is no longer, oh, I don't know, a beta product, and not even out yet?

    So, why does the entire submission revolve around the ONE item that likely won't be news, and indeed will be completely moot, by the time Vista ships and Apple actually supports Boot Camp as a product (when Leopard ships)?

    • Re:Wow (Score:5, Funny)

      by Coward the Anonymous (584745) on Sunday September 10, 2006 @06:57PM (#16077937)
      So, why does the entire submission revolve around the ONE item that likely won't be news, and indeed will be completely moot


      You must be new here, welcome to Slashdot.
    • Re:Wow (Score:5, Funny)

      by IvanD (719006) on Sunday September 10, 2006 @06:57PM (#16077938)
      At least it wasn't a Dell, with a Sony battery and a Maxtor HDD! That would probably blow a whole builing!
      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        by lastninja (237588)
        At least it wasn't a Dell, with a Sony battery and a Maxtor HDD! That would probably blow a whole builing!
        Yes it would probably suck big time!
      • by camperslo (704715)
        Maybe they ought to rename those the "September 11, 5th Anniversary Edition"
    • by b0s0z0ku (752509)
      he wonders whether he's "slowly cooking the motherboard", even given the hardware safeties built in

      Hardware safeties will prevent immediate motherboard damage. Running hot might still reduce the lives of components over the long term. Kind of like a car that's running at the edge of the red zone with a quart or two less of oil than it should have. It won't seize up today or tomorrow, but it probably won't last 250,000 miles.

      -b.

    • Funny, everything you mentioned *was* in the submission. In fact, from reading your post, it isn't even clear that you read the article. I think you should have done a search and replace on your post before posting it: s/submission/headline
    • by spoco2 (322835) on Sunday September 10, 2006 @07:27PM (#16078049)
      "Apple's top-end laptop runs Vista better than a high-end Sony Vaio"
      So, the Mac he bought a few months ago performs better than a Sony he bough almost a year ago? How is that not expected? You compare two PC laptops of the same age difference and you're going to get the same result.

      It's like saying 'Gee, my brand new Mac is faster than the old PC I'm replacing, Macs are so much better'

      Bah and humbug.
    • Everything doesn't run hot on every MacBook Pro. I just had my logic board replaced so I have the latest revision and it's a vast improvement. No more whine with my internet, no more toasty battery - just a nice, cool stable, state-of-the-art ferrari-like machine.
    • Seems like the submitter managed to leave out quite a few things from the article, like the fact that the subtitle is:
      Apple's top-end laptop runs Vista better than a high-end Sony Vaio


      How ironic -- when I saw the headline, I thought, "why don't they post the one that was news a couple days ago, about how it runs better than a Sony?"
      That's how off this submission was.

    • by kevmo (243736)
      Vista is no longer, oh, I don't know, a beta product, and not even out yet?

      He was running RC1 - a release candidate is not a beta ... it is supposed to be a feature complete product that is tested for last minute bugs.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by toddestan (632714)
      So, why does the entire submission revolve around the ONE item that likely won't be news, and indeed will be completely moot, by the time Vista ships and Apple actually supports Boot Camp as a product (when Leopard ships)?

      Actually, he should of just written "Macbook runs hot when pushed hard". Vista hogs system resources, which means that the CPU/GPU/HDD have to work harder, which means they use more power and generate more heat. It's about as insightful as saying "Macbook battery life suffers when encodi
      • For the love of pete, SOMEBODY mod the parent insightful! Vista is a hog, everybody knows it, no "power management optimization" is going to change that. Nothing to see here and please move along.
      • This may or may not be a fix for the random shutdowns, but I've had luck solving the problem by cleaning the processor heat sink. Pulled a chunk of lint out of a few Sony Vaios and eliminated the problem (at least for the time being).
  • by Ryan Amos (16972) on Sunday September 10, 2006 @06:36PM (#16077876)
    Why is this news? A beta OS doesn't run at full capacity on a specific piece of hardware? More likely is that Apple needs to release Vista power management drivers. They probably will do so once Vista is officially released. It's not really worthy of a news posting; maybe as a footnote in a larger review of Vista itself.
    • by supabeast! (84658) on Sunday September 10, 2006 @06:45PM (#16077904)
      "Why is this news? A beta OS doesn't run at full capacity on a specific piece of hardware? More likely is that Apple needs to release Vista power management drivers."

      Just think about it this way - posting garbage like this keeps Zonk off the streets, where he's sit around all day leeching power to code useless PPC linux F/OSS apps on a used toilet-seat iBook in-between bottles of Mad Dog 20/20. Be sure to respond to stories like this, or he might go the way of John Katz, and end up out in the real world inflicting himself upon the rest of us.
    • by OverlordQ (264228)
      But it's APPLE. APPLE is like . . ITS APPLE DUDE!
  • Windows.* runs hot (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Archon-X (264195)
    Any flavour of windows seems to run hot on a macbook.
    From what I've seen - unless you've got your minerals made out of .. minerals, there's no way you could bear to use one as a true 'laptop' whilst running windows, of any flavour.
    • I concur (Score:4, Informative)

      by rajafarian (49150) on Sunday September 10, 2006 @06:59PM (#16077946)
      Windows.* runs hot

      Windows runs one or two degrees Celsius hotter on my workstation, (AMD XP-M @ 2.3 GHz, 2 GB RAM, 6600GT) than Linux. {Temperature read off GKrellm in Linux vs nVidia system monitor in Windows.}

      My guess was that Windows' System Idle Process was using CPU cycles even when nothing else was but I stopped caring since I spend so little time in Windows anyway.
      • Re:I concur (Score:5, Funny)

        by nmb3000 (741169) <nmb3000@that-google-mail-site.com> on Sunday September 10, 2006 @07:20PM (#16078024) Homepage Journal
        My guess was that Windows' System Idle Process was using CPU cycles even when nothing else was

        Damned System Idle Process, regularly hogging 100% of my CPU! I bet it uses even more in Vista!

        So I try to end the process and Task Manager gives me some BS about it not being valid. What if I want to use a different idle process? Hmm? Vendor lock-in! Monopoly!

        Just one more reason to drop M$ and Windoze if you ask me.
  • by thegoogler (792786) on Sunday September 10, 2006 @06:39PM (#16077883)
    windows 2000 even always ran hotter than any other OS on my laptops, i remember hearing an explanation a long time ago that they ignore the "wait" cycles or somesuch running the cpu harder than intended.
    • by praxim (117485)
      Uh... what?
    • I think you're thinking of Windows 9x, which (not having a "real" kernel) didn't use the HALT instruction. IIRC.

      Windows 2000 might have had slightly simpler power management than XP, but more likely it just wasn't configured right or didn't have the right drivers.
  • But for now, I'll let other Mac users be the test dummies for using Vista on a Mac. Both Vista and the needed Mac drivers are too undeveloped for me to want to try Vista on my computer yet.
  • Beta Software (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday September 10, 2006 @06:42PM (#16077893)
    Once Apple writes updated drivers to work with Vista, I'd expect these issues to be addressed.

    Hello, McFly (or dumb reporter) but Apple's beta Boot Camp software is not designed to run Vista. You have no reasonable expectation that these issues will be addressed since Apple did not make Boot Camp for Vista. I will say it again -- Boot Camp is beta and it is not designed to run Vista, an operating system that itself is beta.
  • by MSFanBoi2 (930319) on Sunday September 10, 2006 @06:49PM (#16077912)
    First, why is this even considered news?

    Second, last I checked Vista was not complete. If people even bothered to read the release notes for RC1 you would see Microsoft specifically mentions that the power savings functionality is not yet complete.

    Third, as was mentioned multiple times by the reviewer, Apple has not released drivers for Vista yet. Since when is this Microsoft's fault?
  • by aldheorte (162967) on Sunday September 10, 2006 @07:01PM (#16077950)
    From the article, highlighted in the introduction:

    "my laptop is noticeably warmer than when I use Mac OS X. I've also noticed that battery life is substantially reduced."

    Come on, that's not even the center point of the article, nor is that anything but subjective, anecdotal observation. Of one. As someone else has said here in the past, even the plural of anecdote is not data. Get a surface temperature thermometer, get some real data. Who knows? Does this guy sense a 3 degree difference as a lot or a 20 degree difference as a lot? Would either of those differences even matter? Did he run Mac OS X under the same conditions as Vista - was the room temperature the same? How about the apps he was running? I could care less about Vista, but, really, folks, how is this newsworthy that some one guy thinks his one laptop runs hotter running Vista the one time he tried it?

    And please stop with the Vista posts. We don't need daily updates, thanks though.
  • This shouldn't be a surprise. Windows has always been a resource hog on the PC, and it's always the case that when the hardware improves to handle the current version of Windows, Microsoft goes and releases a new version with some extra bells and whistles that have been bolted on and thus require more hardware capability. There are exceptions of course. I remember the first time I upgraded from NT 3.1 to NT 3.51 and the improvement in speed and responsiveness on the same hardware was amazing! Then they went

    • by drsmithy (35869)
      Windows has always been a resource hog on the PC, [...]

      Compared to what ? Certainly not any OS of comparable functionality.

      and it's always the case that when the hardware improves to handle the current version of Windows, [...]

      Hardware has been more than fast enough to run any current OS of its day since the late '90s. Heck, the only period of time that even remotely resembles your comment was the year or two around 1995.

      [...] Microsoft goes and releases a new version with some extra bells and whis

      • Windows has always been a resource hog on the PC, [...]

        Compared to what ? Certainly not any OS of comparable functionality.

        Commpared to whatever version of windows came on the PC that people are upgrading.

        Windows 3.1 promoted me to upgrade my RAM from 1MB to 4MB

        NT 3.1 then needed 16MB and a new CPU

        NT 3.51 ran great in 16MB

        NT 4.0 prmoted the jump to 64MB and some other new hardware

        With Windows 2000 I think I got up to about 256MB with new hardware

        Right now I'm developing for Vista x64, and I've

        • by drsmithy (35869)
          Commpared to whatever version of windows came on the PC that people are upgrading.

          Only if you assume the newer version delivers no functionality benefits (which it may not, in which case upgrading for the sake of a newer number is a bit silly).

          Right now I'm developing for Vista x64, and I've got 4GB in my machine with Dual CPUs and a 7800GTX video card, and I'm using a lot of the grunt available.

          Developers always do. But Vista will run quite usably on hardware that's been unremarkable for a good year o

  • by AugstWest (79042) on Sunday September 10, 2006 @07:04PM (#16077967)
    I'm running XP in Boot Camp on my Macbook Pro. Battery life is dismal. Heat is outrageous. And if you try to use it like a real laptop, where you close the thing and it suspends, and open it and it resumes, well, you're in for a major disappointment. Half the time the thing goes to sleep, the only way to wake it is by hard rebooting. For some reason, after you shut the thing you hear the USB reconnect sound, and the screen lights up again. While closed. If your commute is very long, you'll arrive home to find a dead laptop battery.

    I'm not bitching, I love this thing, and I'm only using XP to run Eve. Unfortunately, that's turned into "most of the time." I'm just suggesting that people remain realistic about Apple's driver support. Their development time is better spent elsewhere.
  • by aitikin (909209) on Sunday September 10, 2006 @07:16PM (#16078010)
    Everyone I know who has a windows laptop of any form has always found that the battery drains quickly. Granted I don't know too many people who condition their batteries properly or anything of the sort, but it kind of leads me to believe that Windows doesn't do a whole lot with power management over all.
    • by Bert64 (520050)
      Windows has pretty good power management functions in many ways, but they aren't very flexible...

      In particular, windows is very keen on accessing the disk, to the extent that the disk is often kept spinning constantly under normal use... Linux however, supports "laptop mode" whereby any writes to the disk are cached and delayed (potentially dangerous, but you know how much battery life you have so theres no chance of a power cut) and either written when the disk is forced to spin up anyway (for a read etc)
  • I have a 1.5GHz Pentium M Dell with 128M Radeon 9600 mobility and 1GB RAM. It's an old laptop, but it runs XP (and Linux) well. I've installed Vista on it and my observation is that I get about 30% less battery life with it. On top of that the laptop runs much hotter (it'd barely get warm under normal use in XP) and never stops its fans (it'd rarely even start them in XP). I think that because Aero uses 3d features of the graphics adapter, it starts to consume a heck of a lot more power, which drains the ba
    • by toddestan (632714)
      I have a 1.5GHz Pentium M Dell with 128M Radeon 9600 mobility and 1GB RAM. It's an old laptop, but it runs XP (and Linux) well.

      Bah, kids these days. I have a Pentium 120 with 16MB of ram and some Cirrus Logic 1MB video card. Now *that's* an old laptop. And it still runs Windows 98, but not all that great.
  • by oohshiny (998054) on Sunday September 10, 2006 @07:38PM (#16078076)
    I think any laptop that overheats because of software is badly designed. Critical functionality, like running the fans etc., should not depend on the operating system. If the OS can influence the behavior of such hardware functionality, there should be smart failsafe mechanisms.

    Note that even supported operating systems can get wedged, either because of bugs in the OS, or because of driver problems or other hardware issues; you don't want your laptop to go up in flames when your Ethernet card develops a fault and makes the kernel hang.
    • You're right of course -- And Apple computers have these failsafes. If your G5 tower kernel panics (or you take the inside of the case out), the fans spin up to full speed.
      • by cmacb (547347)
        I think you slightly missed the point of the GP which was:

        "Critical functionality, like running the fans etc., should not depend on the operating system."

        You, and Apple have made an exception to this which is: "It is OK for the OS to slow the fans down."

        Why the exception? Why can't the temp sensor feed directly to the fan speed control?

        Couldn't someone write a program to turn the fan to its lowest setting and then do something in a loop?

        I'm still puzzled as to why anyone would think this a good idea.
        • by jo_ham (604554)
          Because the hardware still has a veto on the fan controls - if the software is unable to manage the temperature inside a certain range for any reason (either through kernel panic or some piece of malicious code that stops the fans but reports to the OS that the fans are running normally) then the hardware will take over when the temperature becomes dangerous, either by forced shutting off, or spooling up the fans to full power.

          Why it's no all hardware based all the time is a mystery, presumably it's easier
          • Because the hardware still has a veto on the fan controls

            If this is true (rather than your wishful thinking or guess), then it must be documented somewhere in the developer docs. Could you please point us to the documentation?
    • by g0at (135364)
      Critical functionality, like running the fans etc., should not depend on the operating system.

      And they do?

      If the OS can influence the behavior of such hardware functionality, there should be smart failsafe mechanisms.

      And there aren't?

      -ben
      • by oohshiny (998054)
        And they do?

        Well, the article implied that they might.

        And there aren't?

        I dunno. You tell us. Are there hardware failsafe mechanisms for fan control in the MacBook Pro? If so, where are they documented (reference to developer documentation, please)? If they aren't documented, then, to be safe, we have to assume that they don't exist.
    • by hackstraw (262471) *
      I think any laptop that overheats because of software is badly designed. Critical functionality, like running the fans etc., should not depend on the operating system.

      I disagree on both counts here.

      Mac laptops (and I guess others as well) have software controlled fans. Fans take electricity to run and make noise. I monitor my CPU usage and promptly re-turn off flash if one is pegging my CPU at 100% so that I can view a nice advertisement or something (a clear example of poor software that is overheating m
  • ...considering the hardware is designed and manufactured by *ASUS*? The Asus W2Jb is the non-Apple version of the 17" Macbook Pro (and is superior in my estimation - even sports a built-in TV tuner).

    It seems more likely that, since *ASUS* makes and sells these as Windows laptops, they will be quick to support Vista (and possibly already do).

    For the latest drivers for the 17" Macbo^H^H^H^H^H Asus W2Jb, check this site:

    http://support.asus.com/download/download.aspx?SLa nguage=en-us [asus.com]

    Select the W2000 series and
    • So ASUS designed the MacBook Pro?

      Okay, that's clearly rubbush. They manufacture for Apple, they don't design.

      You should be careful about throwing around the insult "fool" while making factually incorrect statements.
    • It is incumbent on an OEM to provide drivers for all the features of the hardware they put in their device. In most cases, their drivers are just repackaged versions of the manufacturer drivers, but sometimes tweaks seen to be made. Either way, that's what you've got an OEM for. I can (and do) build my own system but then it's up to me to make it all work. The point of buying a prebuilt is that they test everything and provide all the drivers necessary.

      Well, if Apple is going to choose to officially support
    • Actually, the Macbook is made by Asus. The Macbook Pro is made by Quanta, the same company that made Powerbooks previously.
  • Upgrade?! (Score:3, Funny)

    by cashman73 (855518) on Sunday September 10, 2006 @07:46PM (#16078096) Journal
    All slashdotters that actually intend on upgrading ANY computer to Windows Vista please,. . . STAND ON YOUR HEAD!!!!
    • by elrous0 (869638) *
      I did it because I wanted to use my Xbox as a media center extender. And why spend the $$ on XP media center edition when I can get the Vista beta for free (for a year, anyway)?

      -Eric

  • by tomz16 (992375)
    Vista RC1 runs hot on my Dell Inspiron (WITH proper drivers and WITHOUT aero). I would imagine that enabling aero would easily halve battery life on any laptop out there!

    THIS OS IS BAD NEWS! There is not a single tangible feature about it that I have liked. Apart from being DRM'd up the wazoo. They took XP, and just shuffled and "context-ified" all of the menus to make it as inefficient as possible for any power user. It is absolutely dumbed down to the point of being insufferable. I mean there are LI
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Daltorak (122403)
      One of my degrees is in comp sci. I've taken a GUI design theory classes. It took me > 3 minutes to figure out how to add something to the new start menu (right click, create shortcut isn't there... explore (all) user(s) and I don't have permission to write. I can't drag a shortcut in... hmmm)

      I really want to make a snarky comment about how comp-sci majors tend to know jack shit about user interface design, while also thinking that they know *everything* about computers because they have a comp sci degre
    • by Ash-Fox (726320)
      Vista RC1 runs hot on my Dell Inspiron (WITH proper drivers and WITHOUT aero).
      I can't find the vista driver downloads on Dell's website. Could you show me?

      Another thing is, wasn't one of the recommended requirements for Vista, a graphic card that supported dx10?

      At the moment, I am assuming new machines sold with Vista that are Vista certified will not have this problem, nor will hardware that is vista certified.
  • That's like me bitching because Photoshop causes my computer to run hotter. Or that searching for a file makes my hard drive noisy. What "power management" features is he on about? Is there some sort of speed-step that isn't being utilized that otherwise would be in MAC OSX?

    This is some sort of deranged attempt at bad mouthing Vista, so far as I can tell. I mean, my laptop gets "noticibly hotter" because of all sorts of shit. Even just playing videos increases the temperature kicking the fans in at mar
  • There isn't a whole lot hardwarewise about the MacBooks that is Apple specific anymore. So if Vista isn't power friendly on one system with Intel cpu+chipset then it's likely not going to be power friendly on any systems with the same cpu and chipset. Apple isn't the only one using these chips in a laptop.

    I suspect it's just Vista not being ready yet.
  • One thing I expect to come out of future Vista - OS X comparisons is a demonstration of the performance delta. I don't think many OS X users yet realize how slow it actually is. I'm no fan of Windows or Microsoft (or for that matter OS X or Apple), but I can't help but notice how slow OS X is every time I've used it.
  • Give away the Vista betas to ordinary end users rather than "selected" IT media professionals (!?) who tries to install it on Apple Macintosh machines and some weirdly configured laptops and whine as it didn't work right.

    I really started to think Apple has very strict NDA policies on OS previews exactly because of potential of reviews like that. Imagine a guy posting review(!) saying it surprisingly didn't work on his home built PowerPC machine :)

    I remember to have postponed my Macintosh buying decision be
  • Vista still hasn't been officially released. How many programs much less OSes do you know of that are fully optimized while still in Beta?

    The story's an interesting observation, but doesn't really say anything about the final OS yet.

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