Apple wants you to think of its new one M1 Max MacBook Pro like a machine animal – it actually calls it an “animal” in the ad – but it seems that the upcoming macOS Monterey, which will ship with the new Macs, will reach its full potential. MacRumors Contributor Steve Moser discovered a new “High Power Mode” in the latest beta version of the operating system that “can optimize performance to better support resource-intensive tasks,” and apparently turn up the fan to compensate for this.
Remember when some high-performance laptops came with a physical turbo button or slider? Sounds like Apple! (Although you can certainly emulate these kinds of things by playing with power modes and fan curves on many Windows machines, too.)
MacRumors says the new feature is exclusive to the 16-inch MacBook Pro with M1 Max, although it is also possible to configure a 14-inch MacBook Pro with this chip. It doesn’t seem to work with the M1 Pro or the original M1 models either, so check out laptops starting at $ 3,099 and up.
It will be interesting to see if this high-powered mode unlocks extra power, or if it actually requires seeing the kind of results that the company has been claiming on the stage over an extended period of time. Apple has had occasional thermal throttling issues in the past, such as in 2018 when a Core i9 MacBook Pro ran slower than the Core i7 version under sustained load. although Apple said that a specific problem was due to a bug and fixed with an update.
Apple pays a lot of attention to thermals these days. The biggest difference between the 2020 M1 MacBook Air and the 2020 M1 MacBook Pro was a fan, and it made a significant difference because the extra thermal headroom meant the Pro could maintain peak performance longer. So I won’t be surprised if this high-power mode is exclusive to the 16-inch model.