Dell, Apple and Intel's Heated Dilemma

The Core i9 version of the new Apple MacBook Pro has come under some scrutiny due to the built-in throttling required to keep the 8th-generation Intel processor from frying itself. The also-sleek Dell XPS 15 has found itself in a similar situation.

These are "pro" high-performance and expensive laptops, built as lightweight portable powerhouses. Unfortunately, perhaps because of Intel's inability to perfect a promised lower-power CPU to improve upon the 14 nm  architecture, both laptops seem to be struggling to consistently deliver all that the Core i9 promises.

The Core i9 can offer multi-step "boost" performance when needed to handle tough tasks, but if things become too hot (which they will do, in a slimline, lightweight laptop) then the processor will throttle back, and you lose some of the benefit of using that expensive processor in the first place.

All this very much depends on what tasks these machines are being asked to do of course, but if you target professional users (programmers, videographers and the like) and have them pay a premium price, one would hope they get a product that can consistently keep up with the workload they bring - and that seems to be in some doubt at the present.

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