Apple fixes 2018 MacBook Pro thermal throttling issues with firmware update

Apple's high-end 2018 MacBook Pro can offer less performance than its 2017 counterpart

Apple fixes 2018 MacBook Pro thermal throttling issues with a firmware update

Apple released their 2018 MacBook Pro with the promise of increased performance, upping the system’s maximum core count from four to six while also delivering the series’ first Intel i9-class processor. 

While this sounded great for productivity on paper, things were a little more complicated in reality, as users started to report decreased performance over the system’s quad-core 2017 counterpart thanks to thermal throttling related issues. 

After almost a week of radio silence, Apple has finally released a response to their performance woes, releasing a firmware update that will offer users higher performance levels under high thermal loads. Apple has called the issue a bug in their thermal management system, where a missing digital key caused clock speeds to throttle unnecessarily. This fix is now available in macOS High Sierra 10.13.6, which is currently available for download. 

Below is a statement from Apple to Mashable regarding the thermal throttling issues;

    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.

Apple has reported that this issue has affected users outside of their ultra-high-end i9-powered MacBook Pro, though at this time the company has not commented on the devices thermals, aside from stating that their new 2018 systems where throttling unnecessarily.

It remains to be seen whether or not the new MacBook Pro will run hotter thanks to this new OS update, a prospect that will leave some users concerned about the longevity of the new systems. Fan noise could also be impacted by this update, if Apple has added a new fan speed profile for the system. 

Apple fixes 2018 MacBook Pro thermal throttling issues with firmware update  

Apple’s firmware fix is obviously good news for all 2018 MacBook Pro owners, as this should alleviate the device’s performance issues. However, this event has left Apple with a scar on their reputation, as a software bug like this should have been spotted before their latest systems shipped worldwide. 

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