Apple Software Fix For 15″ MacBook Pro 2018’s Throttling Claims 35% Performance Boost


After a week of silence, Apple's finally chosen to comment publicly about the 15" MacBook Pro 2018 with Intel's Core-i9 8950HK's throttling problems. Youtuber Dave Lee brought the issue to light when he reviewed his brand new notebook. Lee's tests displayed that the new Core-i9 MacBook Pro from Apple performed worse than its predecessor - the Core-i7 MacBook Pro 2017.

As is with all things Apple, the internet was quick to jump the gun. Users lambasted Apple for sloppiness and speculation surrounding the cause of these problems started to emerge. Well, Apple's shown its hand today, choosing to release a software update to resolve the problem it believes is caused by a bug. Take a look below for more details.

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Apple Claims That the 15" MacBook Pro 2018 With Intel's Core-i9 Throttles Due To A Missing Digital Key In Its Firmware; Releases macOS Sierra 10.13.6 Update To Resolve The Issue

Right off the bat, as soon as these issues surfaced, Apple had a couple of options at its disposal. For the moment, it seems to have taken the easy way out by introducing a software patch. This update comes a handful of days after Intel's Power Utility application for macOS became temporarily unavailable for download and was then upgraded.

Now, Apple claims to have extensively tested the problem and narrowed down its root cause. According to a statement issued by the company:

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.

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.

Additionally, Cupertino also claims to have worked closely with Dave Lee to sort out the problem. Apple contacted Lee and replicated his methods to replicate the problem. The company then proceeded to investigate the problem and discovered the problem highlighted above. After the update, the Core-i9 MacBook Pro 2018 allegedly demonstrated up to 35% improved workflow - according to Apple's statement.

Apple's Official Statement For The 15" MacBook Pro 2018's Throttling Problems Specifically Points At A Software Change But Will It Truly Resolve The Problem?

Now that the statement is out with its corresponding bug fix, present and future users of the 15" MacBook Pro 2018 with Intel's Core-i9 should breathe a sigh of relief - but only a small one. While we hope that the problem is as described by Apple, this might not be the case. Apple has decided to fit in a hexa-core processor with a stricter TDP definition into a chassis that's designed to work with quad-core processors and a somewhat laxer TDP definition.

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Which, makes us wonder that is the addition of a missing digital key the only thing the latest macOS High Sierra 10.13.6 update will fix? Or will Apple sneakily adjust VRM specifications as well? After all, 'impacts thermal management system' is a sweeping categorization and can also include stricter TDP enforcements on the Core-i9. Additionally, Apple's tradition of late-kicking fans for the MacBook Pro lineup might also have been changed, with the fans now set to kick in sooner.

Of course, all this is once again speculation unless testing of the 15" MacBook Pro 2018 with Intel's Core-i9 is carried out with this update and with extended use. If Apple's software fix that tweaks the processor and cooling system's specifications works then the company will have responded to a problem quickly and efficiently. Kudos to the management for staying on top of things. Thoughts? Let us know what you think in the comments section below and stay tuned. We'll keep you updated on the latest.