2018 MacBook Pro Performance Throttling Is a Bug, Fix Available Now

2018 Macbook Pro1 Credit: EverythingApplePro
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Apple today confirmed that performance throttling issues with some of its new 2018 MacBook Pro models were the result of a bug — and a fix is now available.

That fix comes in the form of a new supplemental update to macOS High Sierra 10.13.6. As of the writing of this article, it should be available to download on impacted 2018 MacBook Pro models.

How Did This Start?

The controversy kicked off earlier this month when YouTuber Dave Lee conducted his own testing on new MacBook Pro models equipped with Core i9 processors.

According to a video he posted on July 17, thermal cooling with the MacBook Pro chassis caused new models to be throttled. For comparison’s sake, Lee showed off that a 2017 MacBook Pro was able to render a video in Premiere Pro faster than the models released this year.

The issue seemed to primarily impact high-end 15-inch MacBook Pro models with a six-core Intel Core i9 CPU. Or, at the very least, it seemed to impact that configuration more than others models.

Lee wasn’t the only user to report throttling issues with the new premium Apple notebooks. A handful of threads on Reddit seemed to paint a similar story.

While some thermal throttling is to be expected on a notebook as thin as new MacBook Pro models, Lee contends that the amount present in 2018 notebooks was unacceptable.

Apple’s Response

Today, July 24, Apple gave its first response to the throttling controversy.

Apple said it contacted Lee about 48 hours after the video had been posted to work with him and replicate the throttling.

The Cupertino tech giant said that the throttling was the result of a firmware bug, and was not intentional or due to the new design of the MacBook Pro models.

“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,” an Apple spokesperson said in a statement.

While six-core Core i9 models seemed to be affected the most, Apple said that its other MacBook Pro configurations were also impacted by the bug.

Apple followed up its public response by announcing today’s supplemental update, which it says will completely patch the issue.

How to Fix 2018 MacBook Pro Throttling

The macOS High Sierra Supplemental Update (BN 17G2208) should now be available to 2018 MacBook Pro users.

Because of its narrow focus, users of previous MacBook Pro models will not be able to download the update.

It can be found in the Software Update tab in the Mac App Store for impacted models. A direct link to download the update is also available on Apple’s support website.

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