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Apple adjusts 17in MacBook Pro's fans

Thermal underware update

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Apple has posted a firmware update for its 17in MacBook Pro. The patch adjusts the machine's System Management Controller (SMC), a device that monitors and manages Intel-based Macs' power-related functions.

Its duty roster includes overseeing the battery, the sleep light in the lid latch and monitoring the hard drive's sudden motion sensor. It also runs the notebook's fans and, according to Apple's typically terse update notice, the update "adjusts fan behaviour" on the 17in machine.

Today's release follows similar SMC firmware updates for the 15in MacBook Pro, iMac and Mac Mini released in May. Those updates also addressed "boot issues", Apple said at the time. The 15in MacBook Pro update does appear to have reduced some high-heat issues reported in early machines, though some users still complain the notebook's aluminium casing gets too hot.

As yet, Apple has not addressed the irritating whine some MacBook Pros emit when running on batteries and the dual-core Core Duo processor clocks back under SpeedStep direction. Turning off one core eliminates the problem, but then what's the point of owning a dual-core machine? ®

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