Apple wants you to consider its new M1 Max MacBook Pro as a beast of a system — the commercial even uses the word “beast” — but the impending macOS Monterey, which will arrive alongside the new Macs, will unleash its full power. In the operating system’s last beta version, MacRumors contributor Steve Moser spotted a new “High Power Mode” that may “optimize performance to better support resource-intensive tasks,” and allegedly, spin up the fan to compensate. According to MacRumors, Apple has confirmed that the mode is real.
Do you recall when certain high-end computers had a physical turbo button or slider? It appears that Apple does! (Though you can get a similar effect on many Windows machines by fiddling with the power modes and fan curves.)
According to MacRumors, the new feature is only available on the 16-inch MacBook Pro with M1 Max, while a 14-inch MacBook Pro with that CPU is also available. It also doesn’t appear to function with the M1 Pro or original M1 models, so expect to pay upwards of $3,099 for a laptop.
It’ll be fascinating to see if this High Power Mode unlocks more performance or if it’s genuinely necessary to see the kinds of results the firm boasted on stage for extended periods of time. In the past, Apple has had issues with thermal throttling, such as in 2018 when a Core i9 MacBook Pro ran slower than a Core i7 MacBook Pro under sustained loads, though Apple maintained that was due to a flaw that was rectified with an update.
Thermals are getting a lot of attention from Apple these days. The fan was the single most significant difference between the 2020 M1 MacBook Air and the 2020 M1 MacBook Pro, and it was a significant distinction because the Pro’s increased thermal headroom allowed it to maintain peak performance for longer. That’s why I’m not shocked that the 16-inch model has a high-power mode.