Apple’s 13-inch and 15-inch MacBook Pro models with Touch Bar have been announced this month, but if you’ve ventured near the Internet over the past few days then you will no doubt have spotted that there is something of a storm brewing regarding, particularly 2018 MacBook Pro‘s Intel i9-equipped monster of a notebook.
Due to the fact that, the MacBook products included plenty of new features and oft-requested spec bumps, it also came with some massive thermal throttling. Multiple reports already noted that the portable computer had a tendency to severely limit their CPU speed when placed under heavy strain, causing the systems to artificially limit their capabilities when they got too hot.
That exact thing led to plenty of coverage regarding the issue. This also saw the max-specced MacBook Pro running down into performance issues that made the Core i9 option seem like a less worthwhile option than the Core i7 variant. However, it turns out that Apple may have a fix in mind.
Now Apple has released a supplemental macOS software update that claims to address the issue. As said, the Cupertino-based company will be releasing an update for the mid-2018 MacBook Pro with Touch Bar today, as the company says will address the thermal throttling issue.
Before you go and download/install the update over-the-air, here’s what Apple is saying about it. According to Apple, its new MacBook Pros were incorrectly limiting clock speeds when under heavy thermal loads, which shouldn’t have been happening and was a software flaw, rather than a hardware design failing.
Apple also provided the following statement:
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.
The above statement appears to confirm that the bug, or the missing digital key in the firmware, isn’t just located in the Core i9 variant of the 2018 MacBook Pro, but also the other variants, too. The limiting of clock speeds when CPUs get hot is nothing new and is actually a sign of the chips working as designed.
Apple’s latest and greatest MacBook Pros appear to have been getting a little carried away, reducing the speeds too aggressively and resulting in the often sub-800MHz speeds that some users were experiencing. Up to this point, heavy workloads have been throttled by the hardware to prevent overheating, which apparently impacted performance.
Users can download the new macOS update now, and we expect to see a whole new round of comparisons being run and test out how it actually impacts performance in order to confirm just whether this software fix hits the thermal throttling spot, or not.
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