Apple recently introduced its new M3 MacBook, and alongside that, Apple launched a new High Power mode for the 14-inch MacBook Pro with the M3 Max Chip. According to Jason Snell, the Editor-in-Chief in six colors, this feature was previously only available for the 16-inch MacBook Pro with the M1 Max and M2 Max.
Jason’s comments on this High Power Mode while testing with the M3 Max chip:
For some tests, I switched the MacBook Pro into High Power Mode, which is now available on both 14- and 16-inch models in the M3 Max configuration. (Previously, it was only available on 16-inch models.) I didn’t actually find it made much of a difference in the tests I was running, but it sure did make the fans kick in at a very loud volume. With the exception of using some heavy CPU tasks in High Power Mode, the fans on the MacBook Pro were either silent or, in some heavier loads, audible but not obnoxious. But if you stress things out enough in High Power Mode, your laptop will sound more like a hair dryer.
Here is what Apple explains in a support document about how High Power Mode is meant to work:
By default, your Mac is set to Automatic mode to balance energy use and performance. Low Power Mode reduces energy use to increase battery life. High Power Mode allows the fans to run at higher speeds. The additional cooling capacity may allow the system to deliver higher performance in very intensive workloads.
High Power Mode can improve performance in graphics-intensive workflows such as color grading 8K ProRes 4444 and 8K DNxHR video. In video editing and 3D applications, you may experience smoother playback and faster exports in High Power Mode.
In High Power Mode, the fan may run at a higher speed and you may hear additional fan noise. High Power Mode can be used whether your Mac is connected to power or not.
In macOS Ventura and subsequent versions, you can activate High Power Mode through the System Settings app by navigating to Battery settings. Simply click on the dropdown menus next to ‘On battery’ or ‘On power adapter’ and choose the ‘High Power’ option.
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