Skip to main content

Apple’s High Power Mode could mean MacBook performance boost

In January 2020, it emerged that Apple was working on a so-called Pro Mode for its Macs. While that never became an official MacOS feature, it looks like it could be making a return under the name High Power Mode.

According to 9to5Mac, MacOS Monterey beta 8 contains references to High Power Mode in its code. Unlike the Pro Mode leak, there are no details as to how exactly this would work. However, Pro Mode itself could give us some clues.

Man using a Macbook Pro at a desk.
Ash Edmonds/Unsplash

That’s because when it was discovered nestled inside MacOS Catalina 10.15.3 code, Pro Mode was accompanied by text explaining its expected effects. For instance, one line mentioned “Apps may run faster, but battery life may decrease and fan noise may increase.” There was also a mention of “Fan speed limit overridden.”

If High Power Mode is indeed a continuation of Pro Mode, we would expect a similar outcome. That should mean better performance across the board, at the expense of battery life and fan noise. With that last factor in mind, it will be interesting to see whether High Power Mode gets enabled on the MacBook Air, which since its switch to Apple Silicon no longer needs a fan at all.

The apparent addition of High Power Mode brings MacOS in line with Windows 10, which contains the rather dramatically named Ultimate Performance mode. This tweaks your system settings to ramp up CPU power management to 100% and disable sleep mode for your hard disks, among other things. Some PC laptop manufacturers offer similar tools through fine-grained fan control tools.

The High Power Mode leak comes at a good time for Mac users, as Apple is widely expected to launch revamped MacBook Pro models at an October event. These will likely come with an updated M1X chip, offering higher performance than the current M1 model. Then next year, a high-end iMac and half-sized Mac Pro are in the cards, both of which would likely benefit from High Power Mode.

That means if you’ve been looking for a way to eke every last drop of power from your Mac, there may not be long to wait. In fact, if you want to see the code for yourself, you can download the MacOS Monterey public beta right now.

Editors' Recommendations

Alex Blake
In ancient times, people like Alex would have been shunned for their nerdy ways and strange opinions on cheese. Today, he…
MacBooks could finally get Face ID to boost your security
Apple's 15-inch MacBook Air placed on a desk.

Apple is working on bringing its Face ID authentication system to MacBooks, in what could be a major move to boost your Mac’s security. That’s according to a newly granted patent (number 11727718) that describes the benefits of Face ID and how it could be added to Apple’s laptops.

In the patent, Apple explains that computers are capable of a great deal of different tasks, and many of them can involve storing or handing over your sensitive information -- information that should not fall into the wrong hands. To stop that from happening, some form of authentication system (like Face ID) could be implemented into laptops to toughen up their security.

Read more
Apple could soon kill off the Mac Pro, new report claims
Apple's new Mac Pro sits on display in the showroom during Apple's Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC).

It’s likely we are now only a few weeks away from seeing Apple’s first Macs loaded with M3 chips, but the entire lineup has apparently just been leaked for all to see. And there are a few big surprises among the rumored Macs.

We’ve gained these revelations thanks to journalist Mark Gurman, whose reports are usually impressively accurate when it comes to upcoming Apple products. Gurman’s latest report is allegedly based on chip configurations Apple is testing internally, so things could change in the future.

Read more
The MacBook Pro 14 still obliterates this Windows laptop
Lenovo Slim Pro 9i 14 front view showing display and keyboard deck.

Several of Apple's latest MacBooks are on our list of the best laptops around, and the MacBook Pro 14 is arguably the best 14-inch laptop you can buy today. Any new machine that wants to compete has to offer an incredibly compelling combination of features and value.

Lenovo's Slim Pro 9i 14 is a laptop that's obviously aimed directly at the MacBook. It has some powerful components inside and it performs just as well. It's also less expensive. Unfortunately, even those things fail to give it a leg up.
Specs and configurations

Read more