Reports that Apple’s new line of MacBook Pros was running so hot that they were slowing themselves down went viral on Reddit earlier in July. Now, the company has acknowledged the issue and rolled out a software patch that seems to have fixed this throttling.
In a written statement sent to Inverse, the company stated the issue was due to a missing component that interfered with the laptops’ cooling system.
“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,” wrote an Apple spokesperson. “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 statement went on to say that users should now expect the computers to perform as advertised on Apple’s website. Specifically, the 15-inch MacBook Pros should be “up to 70 percent faster” and the 13-inch models should be “up to [two times] faster”
Dave Lee, the YouTube tech reviewer who was one of the first users to spot this throttling issue, claims this update delivers on its promises. In his initial video, he noted that the throttling was especially bad in the MacBook Pro souped-up with the 6-core 2.9 GHz Intel Core i9 processor (in other words, among Apple’s fastest advertised laptops for this year).
“They fixed the issues I was seeing in my workflow,” says Lee in his most recent video. “My videos now render at significantly better speeds, even better than using a freezer before the patch. Instead of being slower than the 2017 MacBook Pro, the new i9 is now like 30, maybe 35 percent faster, than the older model.”
These MacBook Pros are the most expensive renditions, and are advertised to graphic designers and animators willing to splash out big bucks to get the heavy-duty performance. The fact that a potentially $6,699 laptop was being outperformed by lower-cost computers had understandably left some customers frustrated by the new models.
Apple has apparently navigated itself out of rocky waters this time.