Apple is planning to roll out macOS High Sierra 10.13.6 Supplemental Update today, a fix for the recently reported thermal throttling issue on the 2018 MacBook Pro. According to an Ars Technica report, an Apple spokesperson finally confirmed the issue in a statement by saying, “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.”
As we had reported earlier, YouTuber Dave Lee was the first to discover a thermal throttling issue on the new MacBook Pro. In his video, where he reviews the top-end 15-inch model, the computer is seen struggling to cool the processor. The processor on the model reviewed is an Intel Core i9 with a base clock speed of 2.9GHz. According to him, the base clock speed dropped to an average of 2.2GHz just after a “few seconds” of using Adobe Premier. He then compared the same to a Gigabyte Aero 15X that runs a 2.2GHz Intel i7 processor and noted that the machine could get an average clock speed of 3.1GHz thanks to Turbo Boost.
Dave Lee also remarked that rendering time on Adobe Premier went down from 39 minutes and 37 seconds to 27 minutes and 18 seconds when the MacBook Pro was placed in a freezer. He called such a sign of thermal throttling “unacceptable”.
The 2018 MacBook Pro is yet to be released in India. The new MacBook Pro series starts at Rs 1,49,000. For that sum, you get the base 13-inch model. The MacBook Pro series goes all the way up to Rs 1,99,000. Aside from updated processors, which are now the latest eighth-generation Intel Core series models, the MacBook Pros get a TrueTone display and a quieter keyboard. The 2018 MacBook Pros also have an extra layer of silicone under the keys that protects the switch mechanism from gathering dust and eventually, failing.
Owners with complaints about the 2018 MacBook Pro may get a replacement unit for a couple of months if they find any issues that need fixing. The company is currently unable to provide full repairs. News of this thermal throttling issue comes a few days after reports that Apple repair centres will not be able to provide service for major components in the new MacBook Pro models until September this year. It seems to be a bad start for the 2018 MacBook Pro, but things could sort themselves out in the days to come.