Tech by VICE

Apple Says It's Going to Fix the MacBook Pro Throttling Problem

Apple says the problem is with firmware, not hardware.

by Matthew Gault
Jul 24 2018, 5:55pm

Image: Apple 

Thin and light laptops are great, but can cause a host of performance problems. Last week, Apple released the MacBook Pro 15, which included a model with a powerful Intel i9 chip that it marketed to professionals. One problem—the i9 runs hot inside the little laptop and the system throttles down its speed to keep the system from overheating.

YouTuber David Lee was the first to discover and publicize the problem via his YouTube page, but other customers with i9 MacBook’s found the same problem. Lots of people with i9s experienced throttling during intense computations such as rendering a video—the kinds of jobs you buy a powerful CPU like an Intel i9 for.

Apple has responded to the controversy, issuing a statement that it’s aware of the problem and plans to release a software patch to fix the issue. “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,” Apple told Motherboard via email.

“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. Customers can expect the new 15-inch MacBook Pro to be up to 70% faster, and the 13-inch MacBook Pro with Touch Bar to be up to 2X faster, as shown in the performance results on our website.”

According to Apple, the bug affected not just the Core i9 model, but the Core i7 and 13 inch versions of the MacBook Pro as well.