Apple Releases Fix for MacBook Pro Throttling Issue: Tests Confirm Improved Performance

Apple Releases Fix for MacBook Pro Throttling Issue: Tests Confirm Improved Performance

You might remember recent issues involving the new line of i9 MacBook Pros in which the systems excessively throttled under heavy load, leading users to believe the MacBook design couldn’t handle the thermal demands of the powerful processor. Apple released a patch to address the behavior, and it appears to have alleviated the issue.

The patch came in the form of a supplemental update to macOS High Sierra version 10.13.6. Originally, the new high-level MacBook Pro exhibited extreme fluctuations in temperature and clock speed, dropping performance below that of previous generation models in some cases. The temperature measurements led some to believe the MacBook was irreparably crippled by a hardware design that couldn’t effectively cool the processor. However, it appears the software fix was all that was needed, with all reports coming in indicating proper performance at the level expected of the hardware, exceeding both the speeds seen before the patch in the new model and those of the previous generation models and generally maintaining very steady clock speeds devoid of the previous fluctuations. 

The news should be welcome to all users of the new MacBook Pro or those considering purchasing one

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18 Comments

“with all reports coming in indicating proper performance“. Which independent reports? It sounds like PR for Apple.

Rayann Elzein's picture

Yeah people just report that the performance is increased, however, they all magically seem to forget that 1) the proc does not work at its design capacity and 2) the temperatures are probably getting much hotter, which will have an effect on the life span of the device.

For such a pricey machine, that's simply not tolerable. I was really hoping the MBP to finally get that little thing that would make the price difference compared to Windows laptops justified to pay, but that's again not going to be the case now in 2018.

Leigh Miller's picture

.....for what amounts to seconds at a ridiculous premium for old technology. On top of that you have to spring for the eGPU...sigh

Przemek Lodej's picture

Bull. I bought the 15" MacBook Pro last week for my fiancee who does voice over recordings and even after installing the patch it still gets stupidly hot faster the before the fix. I'm returning this garbage of a laptop today. First and last Apple purchase. Considering the price this is a bad joke on the customer. At $3200 this is absolutely unacceptable.

Ariel Martini's picture

The fix is intended to make the computer faster, not less hot.

Doesn't this not really fix the issue? Seems like all they did was stop throttling the processor due to heat. Now the system will run faster, but also significantly hotter... which is probably still a problem.

I am not a technician but I wonder how this kind of temperatures affect the life span of a device.
100 degrees Celsius can't be good for a chip.
I checked mine on this extremely hot day for the Netherlands. (35C) but even a max cpu, my pc cpu won't get hotter than about 65C. Normally, it won't go past 50C.

100c is acceptable, it's more concerning for the VRMs as they're operating beyond their 'efficient' mid-point as they haven't been changed from the previous model from all accounts and I've yet to see anything to disprove this. What this means is that those VRMs will likely burn out earlier on higher end systems. How early? That's impossible to know.

My own PC CPU doesn't get higher than 29c even on a hot day and that's an i7 5930, Even my dual Xeon rig doesn't get higher than 75c for each CPU. Current temp in my environment is 28c according to the thermometer.

Paulo Macedo's picture

Ok, the fix has disabled possibly CPU turbo and disabled thermal throtling by allowing higher temperature limits.

It is a known fact that the VRM's on this machine are not capable of feeding this Core i9 properly thus overheating.
It is also known that after the patch, the system runs a bit hotter if not as hot as it did before.

Even if hardware can withstand temperatures up to 100º Celsius, it is not supposed to.

The CPU and VRMs will be killed by this in time, and when the time comes most of these 3200€ laptops will not be covered by warranty. It happened to me once, when i was feeding a 125W CPU with 4-1 lane VRM's The Motherboard brand said it would support the 125W CPU, untill it broke after waranty and i found out that actually i needed to have a 8-2 lane VRM for the CPU. New board for 100€, but that's on the PC world.

Not to mention that the SSD's are soldered to the board and Apple removed the only possible way to backup the data inside them, by removing a port on the Logic Board (motherboard in Applish).

This computer is far from fixed, limits were increased by software and hardware is till "broken".

Wonder how MacBook Pro 2018 users will react in 2020, when their macbooks go bust out of the blue.

Kirk Lawrence's picture

Sheesh, so much animosity towards these machines and Apple! I upgraded my 2008 MBP to a 2018 i9 MBP and I'm a happy camper. Realistically, I see myself getting 5 years out of it (only because by the then newer technology will tempt me). By the way, yes, that's a TEN year old MBP I'd been using. Absolutely no problems with it except it ran LR slower than I'd like. It never "went bust out of the blue" as Paulo Macedo says. I would've been on my third Windows machine at this point.

Ariel Martini's picture

"I would've been on my third Windows machine at this point." Can you explain this? If you mean the windows machine you bought would be obsolete faster, you're wrong since they use the same processors. If you mean the windows machine would break/deteriorate faster you're also wrong since Mac's also break and deteriorate, though it depends on the manufacturer, the way you handle it and luck. I have many friends that had their macs broken beyond repair. Your single success experience do not make the product infallible.

My Z620/Z820 from 2013/2014 is still working fine as is the Surface Pro (original) which just got retired.The Zx20 get hammered for rendering/editing video and medium format imagery, That's on top of two self-builds one from 2010, and a Dell 7010 from 2012 that I use for day-to-day admin. I also have a 8770W and a Zbook 15 that I use as mobile workstations when needed.

So PC's are fine, and all bar the Surface Pro is repairable (and upgradeable) without having to go to their manufacturers. I expect that the Z workstations still have plenty of life in this as does my SP 2017 which I replaced the original SP will likely last the 4 years I tend to replace my mobile hardware. The workstations also have been transitioned to Win 10/Linux with no issues.

The animosity towards Apple is well justified as they're abusing the goodwill they've gained over the years with hardware that's demonstrably worse than the competition, the lagging behind of features (such as touch or alternative inputs), and most importantly quality control in both hardware and software. The previous MBP had numerous faults from logical boards, power issues and most famously the keyboard. Long gone is the days where PCs put out inferior hardware especially if you compare like-for-like.

Paulo Macedo's picture

Kirk, the thing is, most of windows machines that go bust are in the under 1000$ price tag. My laptop uses windows and is doing great since 2014. Now, paying 6000€ for a MacBook Pro with the i9, for it to break due to overheat issues? No thank you.
Now, if I'd tell you that I don't like OS X I would be lying straight. Actually I love OS X, but, the latest computers are filled with flaws, from chips that drop out the logic boards, to keyboards that fail within 1 year of use and now VRM issues feeding the CPU.
Then i love the sleek design of the MacBooks, but it was not meant to cool down such beasts as the i7 and i9.
Now, my money takes a lot of work to earn, and I'm not willing to spend 3000+ € on a computer that i know will fail in the near future, specially when the brand producing it allways blames the users.

user-197338's picture

Why would so many people waste their time trying to tell Mac users they are stupid for buying a Mac? If you don’t want one that’s fine, but don’t abuse others who have different tastes and needs.

The fact is Macs are more expensive but work out much better value over the total lifespan.
https://www.endpointprotector.com/blog/why-macs-have-a-lower-tco-than-wi...

Paulo Macedo's picture

I haven't called anyone stupid. So, quit putting words into other people's mouth. I would like to be advised that my laptop was prone to die in a short time, due to a bad build, because a 3200€ laptop should not have this kind of issues. Specially cheap VRM's, which is essential to feed the CPU. If fanboyinsm can't make you see that, then go ahead and buy your needs. Also :) i've stated clear that I like (atually love) OS X, and i'd rather have it over Windows 10.
I also love Canon, but if someone would tell me back into 2013, that the 6D had issues due to overheat, bad shutter or defective CPU, i'd never lay hands on it.
It's better to be aware of a flaw, than it is to be caught by surprise.