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Apple's patch fixes the thermal slowdowns in the 2018 i9 MacBook Pro

Apple's patch on Tuesday seems – though not all – to fix the speed increases that the 15-inch MacBook Pro had under load. AppleInsider delves into the situation, keeps track of numbers in some real-life applications, and talks about what got us to that point.

  2018 MacBook Pro

How It Begins

Intel's 2.9GHz Core i9 Processor with Six Cores With Turbo Boost speeds up to 4.8GHz, the Apple offers 15-inch MacBook Pro with Touchbar 2018 a premium option for $ 300, but according to Lee, the chip can not use its full potential due to the design of the notebook.

In a video posted on his YouTube channel Tuesday, Dave Lee shows the top MacBook Pro running Adobe Premiere Pro at surprisingly low clock speeds. Tests showed that the average clock rate of the processors under load at about 2.2 GHz, well below the announced 2.9 GHz.

"This i9 in this MacBook can not even maintain the basic clock speed," said Lee. "Forget turbos and all that stuff, it can not even hold the base clock at 2.9 GHz, which is absurd, this CPU is a non-locked, overclockable chip, but all that CPU potential is wasted in this case or more Thermal solution that's in here. "

Apple apparently worked with Lee to identify the issues and release the patch on Tuesday.

Benchmarks and first tests before patch on Tuesday

Lee's test ran on Adobe Premiere – a real world test, albeit with software that works better with an Nvidia GPU than with an AMD graphics card.

  MacBook Pro 2018 Geekbench

We have chosen a different benchmark for our own test series. With the Cinebench 15 ran 10 runs on the i9 MacBook Pro.

Immediately after the start of the first test, the clock rate of the CPU increased to 4.17 GHz. It quickly dropped to 3.86 GHz until it reached the critical chip temperature of 100 ° C. It then dropped almost immediately to 2.57 GHz and dropped to 84 C almost immediately.

The speed of the processor fluctuated between 2.33 GHz and 2.9 GHz in general, with a steep drop to 2.02 GHz, and then the range fell to a peak of 2.65GHz

The first time we performed the test, it reached 921. The second time, it scored an 877, with an average over the 10 tests of 906.

We have performed the same tests on the MacBook equipped with the Base i7 Pro and have relatively similar results – which should not be the case given the difference between i7 and i9. Out of the gate, the i7 jumps to 3.8GHz, just below the announced increased clock frequency of 4.1GHz for this chipset

After several back-to-back tests, we were able to keep the processors warm and let the fans run we get regularly impressive values up to 916. With the Intel Power Gadget, we achieved a processor speed averaging 2.3GHz and 2.6GHz, much the same as the i9.

Both test runs before Apple's patch application remained the same when tested against Intel's latest version of the CPU monitoring tool Power Gadget, which was released over the weekend.


The Geekbench test was about the same as in the first series – but that

We have the same Cinebench test with the MacBook Pro with the Core i9 processor under the same conditions and the same ambient temperature repeated. The first run of the test beat 953 with a 10 run average of 945. The clock rates remain high, with only very short rashes below the rated speed.

In the Core i9 model, a speed of 3.5 GHz was maintained, with most speed excursions falling to only 3.1 GHz.

Current Projects

Profits are not just in a synthetic benchmark.

A five-minute 4K project with effects in Final Cut Pro X rendered in three minutes and 39 seconds before the update, and three minutes and 29 seconds later. Premiere Pro achieved big gains, from 24 minutes and one second rendering time before the patch to 21 minutes and eight seconds for a big project.

A one-minute 4.5K Red RAW project with effects took eight minutes and one second to render before Apple's patch and six minutes and 59 seconds after applying the fix to Premiere Pro.

What is fixed?

We still do not know what Apple has specifically changed. Theories, including our own, have changed, including overheating the voltage regulator module and inadequate thermal design.

Originally we said that the most obvious solution for Apple is to get the processor's maximum speed by changing the performance chip. If you slow down the processor's maximum speed, it may be able to perform tasks faster, as it slows down to keep the CPU cool. But it does not seem like Apple did that.

Another possibility was that Apple could change the fan speed thresholds to achieve higher CPU utilization by being set up faster and faster than before. It did not exist at launch, but that does not seem to be the case.

A third theory claimed that Intel's monitoring tool was somehow flawed, but updating the software over the weekend did not change the results. We know it because we tried.

The patch fixes some or all of these things exactly, or has a software bug been fixed elsewhere. However, it does not matter what happens because it seems to be fixed now.

Compared to other i9 machines running Windows, the Cinebench test on the i9 has lagged behind a bit. But the real tests are not much, if any. We will continue to look into the situation and carry out other tests.

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