Apple has admitted that there is some thermal throttling taking place on the new MacBook Pro. However, it has stopped short of saying that the move is intentional. Instead, claiming that it was caused by a software bug.
The company claims that there is a missing “digital key in the firmware” that was causing the throttling to reach substantial levels. In this case, a fix has been released with the macOS High Sierrra 10.13.6 update. Which should return the Intel Core processors to their advertised minimum clockspeeds, and more.
News of the new MBP’s performance issues appeared last week, where a YouTuber noticed that he wasn’t getting the advertised minimum clockspeeds out of the Core i9 equipped machine. This was traced back to a thermal regulating issue, where computing power was dialed back to ensure that nothing would overheat.
In this case, the throttling was so severe that there was no different in performance between the MBP 2018 and MBP 2017.
Reducing performance in order to maintain a stable performance is nothing new for electronics. Running all those calculations produces a lot of heat, which could ultimately damage the components themselves. Which is why a lot of machines shut themselves down if they cross a certain temperature threshold.
The problem with the MBP was that the throttling dropped the performance of the CPU below acceptable levels. Meaning that there really was no benefit to consumers who paid good money to upgrade to a more powerful machine.
Apple has already published the patch to resolve the issue, and all MBP 2018 users are advised to get on it. According to a statement from the company, “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.”