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I live in a hotter climate and am very sensitive to heat in a laptop, and want to get one that causes no problems for me with respect to sweaty hands and fingertips while typing and tracking. I have read that the retina Macbook Pros run very cool, but now I am trying to understand the thermal differences between the higher-spec and lower-spec models.

From the Apple store website, as of 7/22/2014:

Lower spec 15" Retina Macbook Pro:

2.0GHz quad-core Intel Core i7
Turbo Boost up to 3.2GHz
8GB 1600MHz memory
256GB PCIe-based flash storage1
Intel Iris Pro Graphics

Higher spec 15" Retina Macbook Pro:

2.3GHz quad-core Intel Core i7
Turbo Boost up to 3.5GHz
16GB 1600MHz memory
512GB PCIe-based flash storage 1
Intel Iris Pro Graphics
NVIDIA GeForce GT 750Mwith 2GB GDDR5 memory

Will the additional RAM, video card, and processor speed make the higher-spec model run hotter in any noticeable way? Is there perhaps a corresponding upgrade in its internal cooling capacity to compensate?

My normal usage is slightly more CPU or GPU intensive than a typical office worker. Productivity apps, web browsing, coding in MacVim, running linux development servers in VirtualBox, plus occasional bursts of CPU or GPU usage in the form of compiling code, watching short videos, etc.

Thanks for your insights.

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closed as off-topic by Ƭᴇcʜιᴇ007, and31415, James, Kevin Panko, Garrett Jul 24 at 0:38

This question appears to be off-topic. The users who voted to close gave this specific reason:

  • "Questions seeking for hardware shopping recommendations are off-topic because they are often relevant only to the question author at the time the question was asked and tend to become obsolete quickly. Instead of asking what to buy, try asking how to find out what suits your needs." – Ƭᴇcʜιᴇ007, and31415, James, Kevin Panko, Garrett
If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

    
The difference will be negligible for your situation. Get an AC unit for the room instead. Regardless, this is a shopping recommendation request vs. an actual computer problem, and so is off-topic (IMO at least). –  Ƭᴇcʜιᴇ007 Jul 22 at 20:22
    
"Questions seeking for hardware shopping recommendations are off-topic because they are often relevant only to the question author at the time the question was asked and tend to become obsolete quickly. Instead of asking what to buy, try asking how to find out what suits your needs." –  Ƭᴇcʜιᴇ007 Jul 22 at 20:22
    
I can see how this question is off-topic, I was not sure tbh. The answer does become obsolete as the hardware line ages, but the core question is how a higher spec laptop affects thermal output. The shopping decision is the inspiration for the question, but I find it interesting in it's own right, shrug. Thanks for the feedback. –  Yetanotherjosh Jul 22 at 21:55

1 Answer 1

up vote 1 down vote accepted

The more power that it consumes then the hotter it will be. Your main source of heat between the two is the Intel Iris Pro vs. the Nvidia GT 750.

The memory (8GB -> 16GB) and flash storage (256GB -> 512GB) would produce negligible heat differences other than drawing more power from the battery so your battery might run 1 degree hotter, idk.

Intel Iris is built into the CPU so the source of heat is limited to that physical spot.

Nvidia GT 750 is a dedicated piece of hardware separate from the CPU so now you have two sources of heat.

I have not researched it but I would bet that the GT 750 consumes more energy so take my first sentence into consideration.

If the laptop supports GPU switching then odds are that the GT 750 will be completely disengaged unless you do something demanding like photo editing or play games.

One last consideration would be the placement of these heat generating components. If it is where your palms usually rest then you can probably expect sweaty palms.

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Thanks for this perspective. I have been looking into the issue of GPU switching, and the laptop supports it, but it seems that some apps (at least historically) needlessly end up triggering a switch to the discrete GPU. Most people complain about that due to battery drain, but it would have obvious heat implications as well. –  Yetanotherjosh Jul 23 at 5:11
1  
No problem, I've went ahead and found a few resources that might be useful in terms of manually disabling the GT 750 if heat and battery power turn out to be problematic. discussions.apple.com/message/23712870 | discussions.apple.com/thread/4573687?start=0&tstart=0 | apple.stackexchange.com/questions/111192/… –  MonkeyZeus Jul 23 at 14:34

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