Late last month, Apple surprised everyone by releasing the 2019 MacBook Pro lineup with faster 9th gen. Core processors from Intel. What surprised many was the fact that for the first time the top-end 15-inch MacBook Pro shipped with an 8-core 2.4GHz Intel Core i9 processor. Apple went with an 8-core chip on the 2019 MacBook Pro despite the 2018 MacBook Pro suffering from thermal issues.
With no major internal changes, many worried that the 2019 15-inch MacBook Pro with 8-core chip would suffer from even worse thermal issues than the previous year’s model. As it turns out though, Apple has made two small changes internally which ensure this does not happen.
As testing from LinusTechTips shows, the 2019 15-inch MacBook Pro with its 8-core Core i9 processor does not suffer from any kind of thermal throttling even under an extended period of load. The laptop comfortably runs around 2.6GHz — 200MHz more than its base clock, with no issues whatsoever.
So, how exactly did Apple achieve this? The company could not really redesign the internals of the MacBook Pro lineup for better heat dissipation as that would have meant changing the external design as well. So it did the next best thing possible — used a higher quality thermal paste. Most PC OEMs are notorious for using low-quality thermal paste on their laptops. This includes Apple as well as various YouTube videos have shown that using a higher quality thermal paste on 2018 and older MacBook Pro models have greatly helped in improving their thermal performance.
For the 2019 MacBook Pro lineup, Apple has used a higher quality and more effective thermal paste which helps with better heat dissipation. It is a small change on Apple’s part but one that has a major impact on the overall performance of the 8-core 15-inch MacBook Pro. Apple has seemingly also undervolted the CPUs which helps in lower temperatures and better thermal dissipation. This can be confirmed while running Windows using BootCamp as the same 8-core MacBook Pro starts throttling way below its base clock for the same heavy workload.
Overall, these two small changes have a massive change in the thermal performance of the 2019 MacBook Pro. The improvements mean that despite coming with a more powerful processor and two extra cores, the 2019 MacBook Pro offers better thermal performance than the 2018 6-core MacBook Pro.
With a seemingly more reliable Butterfly keyboard and better thermal performance, it looks like Apple has finally gotten around to fixing all the issues of its MacBook Pro lineup that have plagued it since its redesign in 2016. I guess if you really want a portable beast, you can now go for the 8-core 2019 MacBook Pro without worrying about its performance being heavily bottlenecked due to thermal constraints.