Temperature Test: Apple MacBook vs. Dell Latitude D620

“Due to the recent media hype surrounding the new MacBooks and the lack of actual experimentation, I decided to take matters into my own hands,” Brian Krische writes for Krische onLine.

“Since I work in the IT department of a factory that uses all Dell computers, I was able to borrow a brand new Dell Latitude D620 for a few hours. Also readily available to me was an Oakton InfraPro infrared thermometer and my very own MacBook,” Krische reports. “There has been a significant negative response to the amount of heat emitted from the MacBooks. Since I own a MacBook, why not put it it to the test?”

Krische pitted the Apple MacBook against the Dell Latitude D620 with each laptop playing the same film (The Hills Have Eyes) without interruption while running from battery power. Krische checked the temperature of four zones on both the top-side and bottom-side of each portable and recorded the exact temperatures upon the successful startup of the operating system, after one hour of playtime, and at the end of the movie (1 hour 45 min).

Krische writes, “In the end, it appears to be that, in certain spots, the MacBook is significantly hotter than the Dell, but its average temperature is very close to that of the Dell. Take this information as you will. I ensure you that both laptops were checked with the upmost scrutiny. In my opinion, I think that the MacBook is a great alternative to the PC dominated computer market. It does run a little bit hotter than the Dell, but I remind you that the MacBook lacks cooling fans that are built into the Dell.”

Full article with graphs and charts showing the precise temperatures of both units here.

MacDailyNews Note: The MacBook does indeed have a cooling fan. See video of it in action (and “mooing”) here.

Related articles:
Washington Times: If you want a stylish, great, capable portable, buy an Apple MacBook – July 18, 2006
AP: Apple’s MacBook should give makers of Windows-only notebooks nightmares – July 07, 2006
Survey shows big jump in consumer interest in buying Apple Mac; Dell takes steep slide – July 06, 2006
Boston Herald: Apple MacBook superior to iBook predecessor in every way – July 03, 2006
Report: Apple MacBook shipments stronger than expected; 15-inch MacBook (not Pro) model planned? – July 03, 2006
MSNBC’s Krakow: Apple’s MacBook ‘the best notebook computer I’ve ever used’ – June 28, 2006
The Washington Times: Apple’s new 13-inch MacBook ‘is one powerful, affordable Mac portable’ – June 23, 2006
Apple offers special deal prices on select Apple Certified MacBook, MacBook Pro models – June 20, 2006
Review: Tom Bihn ‘Smart Alec’ backpack for Apple MacBook and MacBook Pro models – June 19, 2006
IT Business Net reviews Apple 13-inch MacBook: ‘Insanely great value, Strong Buy recommendation’ – June 13, 2006
Computeract!ve: Apple MacBook ‘the best of both worlds’ – 5 out of 5 stars – June 13, 2006
Washington Post: Apple MacBook leaves iBook in the dust – June 11, 2006
Mossberg: Apple’s new MacBook surprisingly inexpensive, offers vastly superior Mac OS X – June 08, 2006
Time Magazine on Apple’s 13-inch MacBook: ‘Dell and HP should be very worried’ – June 07, 2006
Apple says MacBook heat issues due to plastic strip – June 06, 2006
Thurrott: Look at Apple’s MacBook and ‘you might just find your perfect notebook’ – May 31, 2006
CNET writer won’t buy Apple MacBook because it lacks 2nd mouse button (uh, two-finger right-click?) – May 30, 2006
Personal Computer World review: Apple MacBook – May 22, 2006
Amazon offers US$100 and $150 rebates on Apple MacBook and MacBook Pro models – May 22, 2006
Ars Technica reviews Apple MacBook – May 19, 2006
iTWire’s Beer: My next notebook is an Apple MacBook – May 18, 2006
Analyst: MacBooks are best consumer notebooks Apple has created, sure to be big winners – May 18, 2006
Apple’s new MacBooks are mobile HDTV media centers – May 17, 2006
Analysts expect Apple’s new MacBook to drive market share gains in near future – May 17, 2006
PC World: Hands on with Apple’s new black MacBook running Mac OS X and Windows – May 17, 2006
Analyst: Apple’s new MacBook costs a bit more than iBook, but will sell strongly – May 16, 2006
Close-up Apple MacBook photos (keyboard, glossy screen, and more) – May 16, 2006
Apple debuts new 13.3-inch widescreen MacBook; replaces both iBook and 12-inch PowerBook – May 16, 2006


  1. I thought so! I knew this MacBook is too hot stuff was crap. They made fans to sit your “laptop” on way before the MacBook was ever made, The way people are talking you would think that all the laptop cooling assesories were made only for the MacBook.

  2. The only area that showed to be significantly hotter was the upper right corner of the bottom. Most of the temps were pretty much the same +/-. Although 14˚is quite a bit more, the Macbook is thinner. 119˚ is quite hot to say the least. The Core Duo’s simply seem run hot in a laptop form factor (regardless of manufacturer). Hopefully the Merom will be cooler?

  3. “it appears to be that, in certain spots, the MacBook is significantly hotter than the Dell”

    Hotter, as in sexier?

    You know, the same goes for girls: Some are significantly hotter is certain spots than others. ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”wink” style=”border:0;” />

  4. With all Intel Core Duo laptops using the same chipsets, CPU, and graphics cards, why would we expect that the MacBook would run hotter OR cooler than any other laptop with the same technologies? In fact, it’s well documented now that Apple has *underclocked* the graphics card – presumably in the very interested of lowering heat output.

    Duh. It’s not an Apple issue. It’s a Core Duo platform issue. Granted, some platforms could vent the heat better than others, but they would by definition need to be louder, as faster fans would be the primary method to draw heat away from a body-contacting surface and out some sort of vent aperture.

    Let’s use our brains. This is NOT a big deal, nor is it a problem unique to MacBooks. If you don’t like it, wait for Apple to release a Core Solo version, or perhaps just go buy an Origami. LOL.

  5. Elequent as ever there Microsoft#1

    LOL is that the IQ level we can expect for Mac haters? ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”wink” style=”border:0;” />

    MDNW – ‘Chance’ What chance is there that Mac haters still buy Apple iPods?

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