YouTuber Dave Lee was the first to bring this issue into light. He discovered that during very intensive tasks, the MacBooks run so hot that the eight-generation Intel Core processors inside them just can't handle the heat and are throttled down to their base clock speed.
Apple says the thermal throttling issues root from a software bug, and it has now issued a software update designed to address it. The Cupertino company has also apologized to owners of the new models.
"We apologize to any customer who has experienced less than optimal performance on their new systems."
MacBook Pro Thermal Throttling Issues
The company says it discovered the throttling issues in the wake of Lee's video, which revealed scenarios Apple failed to replicate during its own testing. Representatives told The Verge, however, that throttling only occurred under specific, highly intense workloads, which is why Apple didn't see it before releasing the new models to consumers.
The said software bug affects all new-generation MacBook Pro models, including the 13-inch and 15-inch variants. It affects all the Intel chip configurations as well, not just the fancy Core i9 models. Previous generations, however, are fortunately exempt.
The representatives pointed out the most MacBook users won't run into throttling issues because it typically affects intense, extended jobs, such as encoding and rendering long videos, which is probably why Lee encountered it in the first place, given that he's a content creator.
Missing Digital Key
Apple has declined to give more specifics on the software bug but did say a "missing digital key" is what's impacting the thermal management system. Nevertheless, the company is sticking to its stated performance claims on the new models and will even add one more benchmark graph on the official MacBook Pro page to reflect newer tests.
For now, the MacBook Pro thermal throttling issue seems to have come to an end, but it remains to be seen whether Apple's software update really does solve the issue.
New Keyboard On MacBook Pro
Besides underperformance and throttling issues, another thing that put the new MacBook Pros in the headlines recently is what's believed to be a newly improved butterfly-style keyboard, which was discovered upon iFixit's teardown of the machine. Apple has apparently slipped in a silicone membrane layer under each key but failed to disclose that refinement. Fans speculate that it's for preventing dust and other particles from entering, but Apple insists it was applied to make the keyboard quieter — even with patents explicitly illustrating how the silicone layer keeps dust away.