Almost two weeks ago, Apple released the latest iteration of their long-running MacBook Pro laptop computers, boasting among many new features a powerful 8th-generation Intel Core processor that are supposedly fast in processing even on their base speed. All was well and nice until the first videos came out reporting that the new MacBook Pros get hot really easily, as a result, the hardware cranks down the Intel Core processor into speeds below even its baseline, leading to some very sluggish computing. Apple originally downplayed concerns about it until this week, when they revealed that there was a problem and that they are fixing it.
The Verge tells us that Apple issued an official announcement this Tuesday, July 24, about the truth behind the overheating and slow-processing new MacBook Pros. The computing giant’s statement noted that they have undertaken their own performance testing on the new portable computers. In technical terms, the problem is a missing firmware digital key; this key that was not there was messing with the MacBook’s fan, causing temperatures to spike and for the computer to compensate by reducing the Core i9 processor to slower speeds.
To address this bug, Apple is including a “highly recommended” fix to the firmware on their Tuesday-scheduled macOS High Sierra 10.13.6 Supplemental Update. The statement issued a humble apology: “We apologize to any customer who has experienced less than optimal performance on their new systems.” They then assured MacBook customers that the latest models (with the bug fix) can now run faster twice over in the 13-inch version with Touch Bar, and by 70% for the 15-inch MacBook Pro, as laid out in performance results available on the Apple website.
A follow-up interview call by The Verge with Apple representatives on the issue has them claiming that the heat and processor slowdown manifests only with particular high-level workloads. The first complaints video about the MacBook slowdown was by YouTube user Dave Lee, who noticed the symptoms when he ran Adobe Premiere and rendered 4K video on his recently-purchased MacBook Pro to get its performance down.
When pressed for more details regarding the missing digital key on the firmware, Apple declined to elaborate on these further.
In addition to this heat and processor slowdown, another point that MacBook Pro users are somewhat iffy on is the new keyboard design by Apple, which had included a silicone barrier to muffle key-typing sounds. Several expert MacBook pro users have performed their own tests of the Intel i9 processor, with some results showing it to be fast as advertised.
Image courtesy of Ars Technica