I have an early 2011 (8.2) MBP ([email protected]) which I've upgraded to 16Gig memory and 512 Gig SSD.

I am a heavy CPU and IO user: vagrant, Vmware Fusion, external display, Office, various IDE's (Xcode, Eclipse derivatives for Scala, Ruby,Java), IntelliJ, Webstorm, databases - Postgres, Mongo, MySQL. The main pigs are my VMs (esp win 8 ) which crucify the Fan; I am going deaf but it is so annoying that the fan just ramps up and down the whole time, the machine gets quite hot too but I have an external keyboard and mouse which mitigates that unpleasantness. Geekbench seems to suggest that I will be 25% better off in raw performance terms with a later machine.

Will the noise/heat/performance be any better if I get a late MBP with an equivalent spec?

  • 1
    One question per question is best. Also hardware shopping is generally off topic, so try to stick to how to diagnose or measure your workload and then you can apply that knowledge (as can others) to people that want VMWare (or whatever other) workload to run well.
    – bmike
    Jun 17, 2014 at 19:35
  • Ok @bmike, edited to 1 question, Jun 17, 2014 at 19:40
  • Very excellent edit. I'll have an answer this evening in all likelihood on the benefits for more modern CPU with the assumptions you are on SSD and have plenty of RAM.
    – bmike
    Jun 17, 2014 at 21:07
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    Moving from 2GHz to 2.4GHz will give 20% processing power, BUT if you are already running at full demand, the heating/cooling will not be improved. For that you need to wait (2014/2015) for the new generation of processors with 14 nm technology.
    – Ruskes
    Jun 17, 2014 at 23:43
  • agree with @Buscar웃, the Broadwell architecture is what you need in term of heating and speed Jun 18, 2014 at 6:56

4 Answers 4


You can do something to try to make your macbook run a bit cooler:

Also, make sure you have trim configured on your SSD.

  • Do not use a powerful magnet... Jun 18, 2014 at 8:22
  • Thanks, trim is on. I do need 2 monitors though; good suggestion though, have noted that it runs significantly cooler when no external monitor attached. Jun 19, 2014 at 1:05
  • I can confirm that turbo boost switcher has improved matters no end, Intel power gadget recommended by Buscar is also worthy addition to toolset. Jun 22, 2014 at 3:50

You know that your computer is as fast (hardware) as it was originally.

We know it is you who demands more and more.

So you have the: Core i7” processor (2635QM)

Intel has made a nice tool for you to see what are you doing to the CPU. It even has a log function.


I recommend you use it to observe how is your CPU suffering.

Also your Activity monitor will tell you that.

Why do that?

Well, it will help you making the decision if you are using 100% all the time or are there a breather periods (as observed by your fans cycles up and down. Nobody knows you better and your habits the you.

While talking about the Fans: All of your MBP is super high tech, the cooling technology is still prehistoric.


We basically use grease as heat transfer media, and a large metal block for heat dissipation, and then we use rotating blades to move the air around. Dyson has made rotator free fans (no noise) but they do not fit in to your MBP.

The Microprocessor technology is trying to reduce the heat generate by the CPU using designs and technologies (dynamic thermal management ect..) but that only goes as far. Good example is the Haswell CPU on MBA, it has much reduced power consumption (longer battery life, less heat) while delivering equal or better computing power.

So when do you get newer hardware.

Look at this: Next-gen faster Haswells chips out as soon as next month, could find their way into upgraded MacBook and iMacs.

Haswell refresh

That is next generation Haswell-refresh (core i7-4790). So it is better then the one in MacBook Air and it will stay cooler (less power consuption. Is it the right one for you? maybe! it will handle the 1000 Mb/s SSD's ? and can do this

Cores 4 Threads 8 Clock Speed 3.6 GHz Max Turbo Frequency 4 GHz

When is Apple going to come out with it ?

If you are using the current at its max all the time that is a good indicator.

But if you are like me (limited budget) I would skip a Intel's CPU generation at least once or twice, to then get in to something it will clearly give me happiness -at least till next time :)

What can you do meanwhile while waiting:

There are lots of home remedies out there to keep your computer cooler.

Surprisingly there is one that does the best job without going insde of your Mac (it does not look pretty but who cares).

Gel- Pack Investment $15, application- set it under the MacBook Pro housing, (buy 2 so you always have a fresh one in the freezer)


Assuming you have a 15" laptop, a new one with equivalent spec will be $2,499.00. I'm not sure it worthing it because it's the same processor architecture. The only way to reduce heating a little is to buy a CPU with higher frequency (+ $500).

So spending $3.000 to save your ear may not be the best thing to do... Maybe working with music in order to cover the sound of the fan will make you save a lot of money


Short answer: No

I was in the same situation as you. A laptop (not just a mac) is not really designed to be used under such heavy load for extended periods of time. With Macbooks getting smaller, there is precious little ventilation available now. This means that the fans will kick in even under minor sustained CPU load.

Unless you really MUST run everything on a laptop I would STRONGLY suggest that you get yourself a desktop; that's what I did.

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