Apple’s M2 chip in the 13-inch MacBook Pro may struggle under pressure, noted Max Tech’s Vadim Yuryev youtube. The YouTuber tested the new MacBook Pro to see how it handles extremely resource-intensive tasks.
This resulted in severe throttling at high temperatures, making it clear that Apple’s design choices for the laptop may not be ideal when it comes to cooling. But is that really a big deal for the intended user base of the new MacBook Pro?
We detected STRONG thermal throttling in Apple’s new M2 MacBook Pro, proving that it needs a BETTER cooling system with two fans instead of one.
We exported 8K Canon RAW and saw temperatures of 108°C, more than we’ve ever seen on a Mac, even on an Intel Mac.
But it gets even worse…
– Vadim Yuryev (@VadimYuryev) June 29, 2022
It seems Max Tech has managed to figure out where the limits are for Apple’s new M2-based 13-inch MacBook Pro. The notebook consistently reached temperatures of up to 108 degrees Celsius during a stress test, which led to severe processor throttling and a drastic drop in performance as a result. According to Yuryev, that’s a higher temperature than the YouTube channel has ever seen on a Mac, including Intel Macs.
Thermal throttling can be a problem in both laptops and PCs when (among other things) the cooling simply isn’t sufficient for the task at hand. This is exactly why the M2 MacBook Pro could run into trouble – it only has one fan as opposed to the two in the M1 MacBook Pro, as shown in a another Max Tech video. In this test, the single fan proves insufficient for the workload faced by the M2 MacBook Pro – even though it was running at its maximum speed of 7200 rpm the entire time.
Yuryev reported that clock speeds on the M2 would drop from 3200MHz to 1894MHz on the performance cores and from 2228MHz to 1444MHz on the efficiency cores in a split second. The GPU cores also saw a stunning drop from 1393MHz to 289MHz. As a result, the package power dropped from 29.46 watts to just 7.31 watts. As Yuryev notes, this happened in waves: performance dropped with temperature, and when the MacBook Pro managed to stabilize at 84 degrees Celsius, it began to increase clock speeds again.
It’s certainly concerning to see the M2 MacBook Pro struggling to keep things cool, and such significant drops in clock speeds are impossible to ignore. That said, Max Tech’s workload of choice shouldn’t be overlooked either – the YouTuber used the 13-inch MacBook Pro to export 8K RAW footage. Yuryev himself admits that this is the most resource-intensive test that Max Tech uses to test a computer’s true limits. The question is how many times will users try to do the same with a $1,299 notebook? Probably not very often.
While most users don’t need this kind of performance from their new 13-inch MacBook Pro, it’s still annoying that it can heat up to 108 degrees Celsius and cause severe throttling. Whether you should buy it largely depends on the type of workloads you plan to use. It can probably handle all types of computers, but as the review showed, the extremes seem to be reserved for high-end Macs.
Apple’s recently released 13-inch MacBook Pro is the only device currently on the market that carries the M2 chip. The company also has a MacBook Air in the works, but pre-orders have yet to open. This device is rumored not having a fan at all, so the throttling issues might carry over to the upcoming M2 MacBook Air.
The M2 MacBook Pro seems to have gotten off to a somewhat rocky start. Some reports indicated poor performance in various resource-intensive multitasking apps like Photoshop, Final Cut Pro, and Lightroom. Other sources, including Max Tech, reported that read and write speeds on the SSD in the 256GB version of the M2 MacBook Pro are much worse than the M1 predecessor. However, this issue seems to only affect the entry-level version and users who choose the option with more storage don’t suffer from this issue. It’s most likely related to the fact that when all 8GB of Apple Unified Storage is used up, the M2 MacBook Pro dips into the 256GB reserve on the SSD and uses it as virtual storage.
Given the relatively warm reception of the 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pros, it’s a shame to see that the more budget-friendly version doesn’t fare quite as well. However, as Apple unveils more versions of the M2 chip (and that’s likely to happen soon enough), we might be more impressed with the following devices than the MacBook Pro that debuted the M2.
M2 MacBook Air will hit stores on July 15, according to the report
The upgrade from the Apple M1 to the M2 ends in disappointment
The performance of the M2 MacBook Pro is far worse than expected
A much more powerful Apple M2 chip could arrive later this year
Apple may be preparing for an avalanche of M2 and M3 Macs this year
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