There are a lot of things to like about the new MacBook Pro, but if you're on the fence
about spending an extra $600 on an M1 Max model, a new macOS
setting might convince you. Along with the battery-saving Low Power Mode introduced in macOS Monterey,
Apple is also offering a High Power Mode that will eke every bit of
performance out of the new chips.
The new setting, which was spotted in the latest macOS beta and confirmed by Apple to Macrumors by Apple, was
originally reported by 9to5Mac weeks before the
new MacBooks arrived. According to the text in the macOS Monterey
beta, High Performance Mode will be used for processor-intensive
tasks such as video rendering and 3D modeling. The text of the
option in System Preferences reads: Your Mac will optimize
performance to better support resource-intensive tasks. This may
result in louder fan noise, so it's clearly designed for extreme
The new feature will presumably be available in the macOS
Monterey build that ships with the new MacBook Pro.
After the M1 MacBook Air introduced a fanless design, Apple's
new MacBooks contain a pair of fans. However, the fan in the
13-inch MacBook Pro rarely needs to spin, and Apple claims that the
MacBook Pro's advanced thermal systems move 50 percent more air,
even at lower fan speeds so you won't hear them very often.
However, High Power Mode will apparently push the processor hard
enough so one or both fans activate.
According to Macrumors, which confirmed details of the new
setting with Apple, High Power Mode will only be available for the
16-inch MacBook Pro with the M1 Mx processor, which starts at
$3,099. It will not be available for M1 Pro models or the 14-inch
MacBook Pro with the M1 Max processor. It's not clear why the
smaller MacBook doesn't have the same feature, but it likely has
something to do with heat and battery life.