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Can I shut down 2 of the 4 cores?

I was just wondering, since the MacBook Pro is a quad-core computer, if anyone knows a way to basically sleep 2 of the 4 cores to get better battery life, or even if this would help with battery life, since quad-cores seem to be pretty power hungry. I still need the quad-core power occasionally, but not while I am in school or taking notes throughout the day.

Thanks

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Good Question!

Sorry to say Intel's chips don't currently allow one to shut down a given core or two.

A different kind of processor will soon be out called a big-LITTLE In this design a less powerful core runs all of the time but the bigger more powerful cores go to deep sleep mode until the little core tells them to wake. Here's a good writeup ARM big-LITTLE Processing. Currently its slated for smartphones. But others are also working on similar architectures for desktop & server CPU designs. Even still you won't be able to control it the OS & the Apps will do the work for you.

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Thanks for the Answer Dave!

I guess I was just wondering, because I remembered that the first gen MacBook Airs would shut down a core if they got too hot, and I didn't know if something like that could be possible on the newer computers. I guess I see if Mavericks can improve the batter life of the laptops by a bit, since it is really good right now, but why stop there.

Anyway, thanks for the answer.

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None of the MacBooks, Pro's, or Airs shutdown a core when they got too hot. What they did do is go into Turbo mode (higher clock speed) when the processing needed it. Otherwise they stay at a lower clock speed. Are you thinking about IBM POWER chips? The mainframe versions (POWER5) had this feature (not the PowerPC which Apple had used). So far no consumer chip offers any means yet of isolation of a core. This gets back to the Asymmetric (AMP) Vs Symmetric (SMP) argument on how CPU's (cores) process. SMP is presently the current direction in all of the single chip/single system consumer computer designs. Main frames & Super computers today use a variable SMP design and can by using hardware logic split processing across different sets of resources (PU's & LPAR's).

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I have just read, and had a few Apple Geniuses tell me that the original macbook air would, as a safety procedure, shut down a core (or just clock it really really low) in order to keep the chips from getting too hot. Like here:

https://discussions.apple.com/thread/180...

and here

http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.p...

where people have mentioned having issues relating to their computers overheating. I just didn't know if there was a built feature like that on the newer mac's that could be force triggered.

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OK, now I see where you are heading here. This is Sleep mode. Truthfully it's not really heat that does it, it's low power so you don't loose what you have. All of the laptops do this and the desktops can also go into this mode as well (just no battery so don't unplug it!) Also there is a thermal sensor that monitors all of the Mac systems so when it gets to a set temp the computer shuts down. While I can see how people think this is the case in the Airs the real cause is power or the heat dissipation for the CPU needs service. Review this Apple T/N Standby Mode which is the next level the Air & Retina systems goes into to save the SSD data from being lost.

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