So Pro

The 16-inch M1 Max MacBook Pro comes with a 'High Power Mode'

For those moments when you really need some extra gas.

The new M1 Max chip is an absolute powerhouse of a processor, giving the new MacBook Pro lineup more power than any previous models could even dream of. The chip’s GPU performance is particularly impressive, with up to four times faster graphics than the first-generation M1 chips.

There’s more to this power than even what Apple let us in on at its announcement event. The 16-inch MacBook Pro configured with the M1 Max chip will also include a new “High Power Mode,” MacRumors reports. Steve Moser, a contributor to the publication, found reference to the feature while exploring the macOS Monterey beta, and Apple has now confirmed High Power Mode is very much real.

As far as we can tell, High Power Mode will essentially be the polar opposite of the existing Low Power Mode. Like the turbo mode on an old IBM except, you know, without the huge tower.

What’s it even do? — No one really knows much about High Power Mode’s inner workings. Here’s what Moser found in the macOS Monterey beta code:

Your Mac will optimize performance to better support resource-intensive tasks. This may result in louder fan noise.

So… that’s about all we’ve got so far. Apple confirmed the existence of the feature to MacRumors but did not extrapolate. It will be interesting to see how Apple chooses to integrate the flip switch for High Power Mode into macOS. The Control Center is a good candidate for the option.

More Pro than ever — Apple has confirmed High Power Mode will only be available on the 16-inch M1 Max MacBook Pro — those with the 14-inch model are out of luck. It’s likely the 14-inch MacBook Pro’s thermal architecture (which has been updated) isn’t robust enough to handle full-throttle.

With all their new ports and upgraded M1 chips, the new MacBook Pros are very much geared toward those who really need that kind of power. The lowest-end M1 MacBook Pro starts at $1999 — not exactly in the going-off-to-college budget for most. The 16-inch M1 Max model begins at $3,099 (and tops out at $6,099).

So why not go all-in? High Power Mode will give pros more control over the machines they rely on for their high-powered work. And everyone else can go purchase a MacBook Air instead.