Friday, Oct 22, 2021, 16:39 Hardware

MacBook Pro 2021 & "High Power Mode": Only Max Configurations Supported

Almost two years ago, the first hints of a "High Power Mode" (an obvious, inverse complement to the battery saving "Low Power Mode") appeared on macOS. However, there wouldn't be another update until one of the last phases of macOS Monterey's beta. Meanwhile, information has leaked, revealing that the feature is intended for M1 devices. A string from the battery settings describes the feature, "Apps may run faster, but battery life may decrease and fan noise may increase." Thus, it appears to be an option that will provide "full gas" for more resource-intensive operations. However, users will have to tolerate louder-than-usual fans.

High Power Mode Only For Max Configuration MacBook Pros
Now, there's even more information available concerning the new mode – which won't be making its way over to all M1 devices. As per MacRumors, the feature will only be supported on the 16" MacBook Pro, and the basis 16" MacBook Pro's M1 Pro processor won't cut it – users will need a MacBook Pro 16" with at least an M1 Max and 32 GB of RAM; which will cost another US$800. The base price of such a "High Power Mode"-capable configuration would be US$3,499.00. It's still unknown what manner of effect the mode has on rendering or other resource-intensive processes. However, once our M1 Max-equipped MacBook Pro finally arrives – we'll be sure to run some tests.

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More Weight Due To The Cooling System
"High Power Mode" seems to explain why the M1 Max version of the MacBook Pro is around 100 grams heavier than the M1 Pro version, especially since the chip alone isn't enough to account for the entire weight difference (although negligible at best). Apple likely equipped the M1 Max variant with a slightly larger cooling system specifically designed to cool the device during extended periods of maximum load. It likely won't take long until iFixit releases its first tear-down video of the MacBook Pro and provides us with some clarity. The theory that Apple simply used a slightly larger battery doesn't appear to be true. For starters, the official specifications document the same battery in both models, and Apple can't use a battery with more than 100 watt-hours due to air travel requirements.

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