Apple Claims MacBook Pro’s Thermal Throttling Fixed With New Software Update

Posted on July 24, 2018 by Mehedi Hassan in Apple, Hardware with 26 Comments

Apple’s new MacBook Pro came with some beefy spec upgrades. The company has not only included new six-core Intel 8th gen Core processors on the new MacBook Pro, but it’s also now offering models with 32GB of RAM. Unfortunately for Apple, though, the company faced some criticism when YouTuber Dave Lee discovered a major flaw in the new MacBook Pros.

When under pressure, the Core i9 model of the machine gets incredibly hot, likely because of the thin design that makes heat dissipation a lot harder. As a result, intense workloads result in the processor and the device becoming increasingly hot, resulting in automatic CPU throttling to help cool down the hardware. The throttling was so extreme, however, that the clock speed went below the base clock speed expected.

Apple says that’s all cause of a software bug. The company is releasing an emergency patch for macOS that will help fix this problem that resulted in unexpected thermal throttling, according to the firm. Apparently, a missing “digital key” in the firmware of the new devices caused an issue with the thermal management system, resulting in users experiencing “less than optimal performance” on the new MacBook Pros.

“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 told The Verge.

Apple continues to stand by its promised performance numbers for the 2018 MacBook Pro, stating that the new 15-inch MacBook Pro is up to 70% faster, while the smaller 13-inch MacBook Pro is up to 2X faster.

Users with the Core i9 variant of the MacBook Pro will likely still experience some levels of thermal throttling when dealing with heavier workloads, however. The internals of the system is cramped inside an incredibly small and thin body that makes it difficult to keep the system cool, and so it’s almost impossible for the device to run at the optimal performance level all the time without stopping the thermal management system for kicking in. Aesthetics have started becoming a priority over functionality for Apple, and this is not the first time. 

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