It’s only been out for about a week, but users of the new Apple MacBook Pro are finding that the laptops are running so hot, the firmware has to throttle the processor down below it’s rated base speed to avoid damaging it. But Apple says it’s got the fix ready.
“Following extensive performance testing under numerous workloads, we’ve identified that there is a missing digital key in the firmware that impacts the thermal management system and could drive clock speeds down under heavy thermal loads on the new MacBook Pro. A bug fix is included in today’s macOS High Sierra 10.13.6 Supplemental Update and is recommended. We apologize to any customer who has experienced less than optimal performance on their new systems.” – Apple Statement
So, there’s a bug in the Apple operating system that’s causing an issue. NO! That almost never happens since Tim Cook took over for Steve Jobs, has it? (SNARK). It really blows my mind that the company that once was obsessed with releasing a product that “just works” now pushes a product out whether it’s ready or not, and the new Intel i9 based MacBook Pro looks to be no different.
The bug seems to be missing a digital key used to properly trigger the laptop’s thermal management system, that is designed to throttle down the processor when all it’s available performance isn’t needed, or when the processor’s heat generation is in danger of causing self inflicted damage.
Although Apple is mum on the details, it looks like that without the needed information the OS requires to accurately measure performance under higher temperatures, the processor defaults to the lowest setting, and throttles down to even below idling speeds.
The software fix, which is being seeded to all MacBook Pros with today’s macOS High Sierra update, will provide the missing digital key, that will enable the processor to properly manage the temperature throttling feature.
Results from the custom stress tests for the i7 and i9 MacBook Pro. On average, the i9 is technically slower than the i7, but close enough that, practically, it doesn’t matter. – John Poole, Twitter
Meanwhile, some users are noticing that the i9 version of the MacBook Pro runs slightly slower than the i9, though the i9 has hyped to be much faster. This may result in using multi cores for doing multiple high end applications (like say, rendering vide0). Other single core tests confirm that the i9 is indeed faster than the i7. Poole then reran the benchmark test after applying Apple’s software fix and the gap closed to almost nothing.
The big take away here is, that if you’re using your new MacBook Pro to render video and visual effects while editing, it’s wise to download and install the latest software fix by Apple. And if you haven’t bought one, it may be wise to keep your powder dry until Cupertino shakes out all the bugs.
Hat Tip – The Verge