TL;DR Does MacBooks degrade faster for developers due to poor thermals?

I’m developing on a 15” MacBook Pro for work. I got it new last year. Now I’m experiencing that it crashes when punishing my CPU with my hardly CPU optimized scripts.

My thought that the poor thermals MacBooks has could be the reason. I mean, Macs are sort of known for their reliability, however I punish my CPU a lot more for many more hours, every single day than the average MacBook user.

Could the instability really be due to a fact that last gen 15” MacBook Pros have poor thermals, thus bad design for programmers, making the CPU unstable due to degradation?

  • 1
    I've never really seen a lot of data that shows 'laptop degradation' generally. Sure there's SSD stats but man you REALLY gotta be hitting those hard to kill them and in that case... you're probably getting your money's worth already ;)

    I kinda suspect your laptop will freak out over time more from just ... being dusty than any inherent degradation of hardware.

    There's a lot of theoretical discussion out there of these kinds of things but I've seen very little real world kinda study...
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    Could be the "pump-out effect" in action, which would be solved by re-applying the thermal paste, or even better (though more dangerous) replacing with liquid metal.
  • 0
    I thought too it didn’t feel correct. I’d believe more people would’ve written about it online if it actually was a thing.
  • 2
    As far as I know silicon degradation is a myth

    But other components like caps and even the solder points themselves can degrade and fail over time
  • 0
    Technically that’s true, but I haven’t noticed a real world difference. I always go hard on my work stations, I need every project, every design, every chrome tab on quick access.

    It does slow down if you don’t take care of the thermals, yes, but as soon as you lift the back side and make sure your screen is angled properly so the most airflow can occur, it quickly goes back to expected performance.

    I use an triangular scale ruler to lift the Mac book, works great. Otherwise, I have a metal stand at work so some of the head can dissipate through the stand.
  • 0
    I don't have any issues with a similarly aged macbook. Make sure to power it on the right side. The left side will cause heat to spike.
  • 0
    idk but that crap is sitting at 80c after a 30second build 💀💀💀
  • 0
    No, that's normal.
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    I mean, it basically only happens during high load such as building, streaming, long running python scripts.

    I don’t know if it is CPU related, but that was my guess, as it only happens for CPU intensive tasks. Not even necessarily when utilizing all cores. Today I’ve been running a single core script which without fail causes kernel panic after about 90 iterations (each iteration does a lot of different things)
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