Tests Confirm Apple's Throttling Fix Improves Performance for 2018 MacBook Pro Models [Updated]

Discussion in 'MacRumors.com News Discussion' started by MacRumors, Jul 24, 2018.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    Apple today released an important bug fix for 2018 MacBook Pros, which was designed to address an issue that caused the machines to excessively throttle when doing system intensive tasks.

    The bug fix came in the form of a supplemental update to macOS High Sierra 10.13.6, which many new MacBook Pro owners have now installed on their machines. Multiple MacBook Pro owners and media sites have been testing the new patch, and the results appear to be largely positive -- the throttling issue has been resolved for the most part and the machines are performing better.


    CNET for example, did some before and after testing with a video encoding test. Prior to the patch, the Core i9 machine the site tested saw frequent fluctuations in internal temperature and CPU clock speed, while after updating, the CPU throttling in the Core i9 MacBook Pro ceased, with the clock frequency of the cPU and internal system temperature remaining stable.

    Original throttling tests showing frequent fluctuations on left, after patch test on right. Image via CNET

    Macworld shared some preliminary test results from its 4K Adobe Premiere test and had similar results, with even clock speed at or above base rather than spiky throttling. Macworld estimates that prior to the patch, the 2018 Core i9 15-inch MacBook Pro was 11 percent faster than the last year's comparable 2.9GHz Core i7 MacBook Pro. After the patch, "it's more like 20 percent faster."

    Dave Lee, who highlighted the throttling problem in the first place, tweeted some post-patch test results and said the performance was much better.

    Geekbench Labs founder John Poole tested the 2018 Core i9 MacBook Pro after the patch and found that it was faster with a more stable processor frequency. It was slightly slower than the 2018 Core i7 MacBook Pro. Poole says that while long running heavily multi-threaded tasks are going to see similar performance on the Core i9 and Core i7 machines, single and lightly-threaded tasks should be faster on the i9.

    MacRumors reader Aea shared pre-patch and post-patch Cinebench benchmarks done with the 15-inch MacBook Pro with Core i9 chip showing the jump in score following the update.


    Multiple Reddit users with 2018 MacBook Pro models have been sharing their benchmarking and testing results after installing the supplemental update and have seen significant improvements. This image from Reddit user XNY, for example, depicts a before and after from a 13-inch 2018 MacBook Pro with a Core i5 chip.


    Another Reddit user (apple_) confirmed that following the update, his Core i9 machine is performing consistently better.
    The throttling issue was first discovered just a few days after the MacBook Pro models were released, when YouTuber Dave Lee tested the top-of-the-line 2018 15-inch MacBook Pro with 2.9GHz Core i9 chip using Adobe Premiere Pro and found that it was underperforming compared to a 2017 MacBook Pro due to what Lee said was an "unacceptable" level of throttling.

    Apple reached out to Lee to and worked with him to replicate his workflow, getting to the source of the bug. Apple discovered that there was a missing digital key in the MacBook Pro firmware that impacted the thermal management system, driving down clock speeds under heavy thermal loads. This was a problem that appears to have affected all 2018 MacBook Pro models.

    The problem appears to have been successfully addressed in today's macOS High Sierra supplemental update, and Apple has issued an apology to customers who experienced less than optimal performance on their new 2018 machines.

    Customers who have a 2018 MacBook Pro and have not installed the update should do so immediately to see the performance improvements for themselves.

    Update: Dave Lee, who first found the throttling issue, also uploaded a new video and says the supplemental macOS High Sierra update has successfully fixed the throttling issues that he saw prior to the patch.

    Using the same Adobe Premiere render time test, Lee found that the Core i9 MacBook Pro was significantly faster than the 2017 Core i7 model that had beaten it prior to the patch.

    Lee went even further and tested six laptops equipped with an i9 from various manufacturers. Unsurprisingly, thicker laptops with better cooling did outperform thinner laptops, including the MacBook Pro. The Alienware 17 R4, Acer Helios 500, and Asus G703 (all very thick) saw higher average clock loads.

    The Dell XPS 15 and the Zenbook Pro were right on par with the 2018 MacBook Pro. None of the laptops tested beat the MacBook Pro when it came to noise level though, with the MacBook Pro winning out as the quietest of the bunch. Lee says that overall, the Core i9 MacBook Pro is performing the way that a 6-core MacBook Pro should, but he wishes Apple had engineered a better thermal solution for the i9.

    Article Link: Tests Confirm Apple's Throttling Fix Improves Performance for 2018 MacBook Pro Models [Updated]
  2. farewelwilliams macrumors 68020

    Jun 18, 2014
    Yet Dell still has yet to fix their i9 throttling issues. But no one is going to talk about that, right?
  3. DrJohnnyN Suspended


    Jan 27, 2010
  4. now i see it macrumors 68040

    Jan 2, 2002
    Boring. It was more fun bashing apple w conspiracy theories
  5. Heineken macrumors 65816


    Jan 27, 2018
    It was good while it lasted, the conspiracy i mean :D :D
  6. garylapointe macrumors 68000


    Feb 19, 2006
    Dearborn (Detroit), MI, USA
    Sigh... All that good complaining has gone to waste.
  7. mozumder macrumors 6502a

    Mar 9, 2009
  8. TechGod macrumors 68040


    Feb 25, 2014
    New Zealand
  9. omihek macrumors 6502


    May 3, 2014
    Salt Lake City, UT
    Not on Macrumors.
  10. bladerunner2000 macrumors 68020


    Jun 12, 2015
    Apple dug themselves into a big hole on their own, there's still PLENTY of reasons to hate the company. I don't see the need for your comment.
  11. bwillwall macrumors 6502a


    Dec 24, 2009
    This is good news. The throttling issue was unacceptable considering it made it worse than the i7. Will love to see the youtube comparisons.
  12. Andres Cantu macrumors 68030

    Andres Cantu

    May 31, 2015
    Rio Grande Valley in South Texas
    Could have been easily avoided by proper quality assurance, although perhaps all this talk about the new MacBook Pros might even benefit Apple, it gets people more interested in the product. At least it's been fixed.

    It just seems that for every new Apple product lately, there's a big issue since the day they're released.
  13. polterbyte macrumors 6502


    Sep 24, 2012
    Of course every youtuber who ganged up on the #throttlegate mob will now post a heartfelt apology video for jumping the gun.

    Yep, any minute now...
  14. alpi123, Jul 24, 2018
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 24, 2018

    alpi123 macrumors 6502a


    Jun 18, 2014
    Dell has a lot of issues. They don't give a **** about them, nor about their customers.

    PS: Their throttling is usually fixed by undervolting and Reddit users rant about many more issues.
  15. Wowereit macrumors 6502a

    Feb 1, 2016
    Because nobody cares.

    It's just the way it is, everything Apple is headline news, who would click an article about some random Dell laptop they've never heard of before?
  16. alpi123 macrumors 6502a


    Jun 18, 2014
    Or they will not make an apology video, well because... hating on Apple brings them a lot of views.
  17. diplodocus macrumors newbie


    Nov 12, 2015
    This throttling thing won't push me to upgrade my 2012 rMBP soon. Moore law seems so 1990 now...
  18. BWhaler, Jul 24, 2018
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2018

    BWhaler macrumors 68030


    Jan 8, 2003
    Nice work Apple on the quick fix.

    Suggestion for your post Morten: how could your customers find this bug so quickly and easily, and you miss it internally?
  19. seadragon Contributor


    Mar 10, 2009
    Maybe on a Dell forum?
  20. BlargKing macrumors 6502


    Apr 17, 2014
    NewBrunswick, Canada
    Still though, they seem to be running the i9 MBP pretty close to the line. Will be interesting to see what the longevity is on this generation when used under heavy load a lot, especially since the CPU power delivery components appear to not have much in the way of heat removal.

    On high end machines, you can't just cool the CPU, you need to cool the parts responsible for feeding the CPU its power.
  21. Darmok N Jalad macrumors 68000

    Darmok N Jalad

    Sep 26, 2017
    No, I’m sure the blame would be dumped on Intel in that situation, and that Dell should have gone with Ryzen!
  22. anaudiopro macrumors 65816


    Mar 7, 2017
    Of course not! Don't you know this is Apple bashing land.
  23. mcfrazieriv macrumors 6502a


    Jan 30, 2012
    Irvine, CA
    Must be a slow rumor mill out there if a blog posts like 4 posts all on the same story in the same day.
  24. G5isAlive macrumors 6502a

    Aug 28, 2003
    Thanks for making his point :)
  25. jgbr macrumors 6502a

    Sep 14, 2007
    Being very quiet about the 2017 i7 3.1 ghz...why it can keep its speed at a better temperature and get similar results.

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493 July 24, 2018