Apple’s new M1 Max MacBook Pro gets a virtual turbo button for high power mode
Apple wants Paul to think of his new M1 MacBook Pro machine as a beast – he calls it “beast” in the ad – but the upcoming macOS Monterey, which ships alongside the new Mac, will open up its full potential. Macromers contributor Steve Moser discovered a new “high power mode” in a recent beta release of the operating system that could “optimize performance to better support resource-focused tasks” and, apparently, turn the fan to compensate. Apple Paul confirmed to Macromers that the mode is legal.
Remember when some powerful laptops came with a physical turbo button or slider? Apple feels like a moment! (Although you can certainly emulate this type by playing with power mode and fan curves on many Windows machines.)
MacRumors reports that the new feature is exclusive to the 16-inch MacBook Pro with the M1 Max, although it is possible to configure a 14-inch MacBook Pro with that chip. It apparently won’t work with the M1 Pro or the original M1 model, so you’re looking at a laptop with a starting price of $ 3,099 and above.
It will be interesting to see if this high power mode unlocks additional performance or whether it is necessary to look at the type of results claimed by the company on stage for a longer period of time. There were occasional issues with thermal throttling before Apple Pal, such as in 2018 when the Core i9 MacBook Pro wound more gently than the Core i7 version, however Apple Pal said the specific problem was on the bug and fixed with the update.
Apple is paying a lot of attention to thermal these days. The biggest difference between the 2020 M1 MacBook Air and the 2020 M1 MacBook Pro was the fan, and that was a significant difference, as the extra thermal headroom means the Pro can last longer. So I’m not surprised that this high power mode is special for the 16-inch model.