Apple fixes 2018 MacBook Pro thermal throttling issues with firmware update

Be sure to download High Sierra 10.13.6 if you are using a 2018 MacBook

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. 

You can join the discussion on Apple fixing the MacBook Pro 2018's throttling issues with a firmware update on the OC3D Forums

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Most Recent Comments

24-07-2018, 17:58:55

It's almost certainly adjusting the CPU power limit, which used to be the Intel default value, which exceeded what VRM could handle.

Reddit thread on a fix a user came up with.

With the core counts going up I suspect the thermal capacity and VRMs of a device becomes just as important a stat as the CPU it contains - since newer CPUs are designed to adapt to worse thermals. Case in point on desktop side is i7 8700, which in some OEM builds has a base clock of 2.2GHz. It can Turbo much higher, but if thermals or VRMs aren't up to snuff, well there we go.

And since Intel's chips already run hot when you "overclock" them to the max single core boost clock across all cores, I guess CPUs with 8+ cores will not be feasibly overclocked without delid solely due to thermal concerns. Low base clock with high single core boost is a disappointing direction.Quote

24-07-2018, 19:19:59

Well at least they have, or at least were able, to do *something*. It was not acceptable, not by any means.

Thing is, if people really are using these things in place of desktops (and they are, the new mac pro thing is stupid and breaks down a lot) then they really need to be up to the task. IDK why they don't get serious, and make them a bit heavier and able to cool themselves. Serious video editors wouldn't give a crap IMO. Especially if they were getting their work done faster.Quote

25-07-2018, 05:05:38

Originally Posted by looz View Post
It's almost certainly adjusting the CPU power limit
We're talking about decreasing overall performance here, as well, right?Quote

25-07-2018, 06:35:33

Originally Posted by Peace Ð View Post
We're talking about decreasing overall performance here, as well, right?
If it doesn't throttle as much under heavy load no. That's what the vague answer they gave suggest they did.

More testing needs to be done to conclude.Quote

25-07-2018, 08:07:58

Well a fix only has to fix the issue at hand.
Next fix is to not put a laptop on your lap so as not to grill your testicles. Lol

Have a feeling this was a bodge job, needed a hardware fix (as it ran fine in a freezer) so the i9 was working exactly as Intel meant it to. Let's see how long it is before some of these start dying.Quote

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