The efficiency of Apple Silicon has allowed Apple to offer the same chip options for the 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro, with the highest quality M1 Pro and M1 Max configurations available for both sizes.
However, there is one small difference: High Power Mode is exclusive to the 16-inch model. The larger 16-inch chassis for the MacBook Pro allows Apple to further increase the thermal envelope, allowing the M1 Max to maximize its performance.
In a support document, the company says High Power Mode can improve performance for grueling graphics-intensive tasks. High Power Mode efficiently allows fans to operate at higher speeds. Better cooling inherent in a larger laptop allows the M1 Max chip to be taken to the extreme.
However, it doesn’t seem like most people should be too worried about leaking extra juice. There is an improvement in the high-power regime, but it is still subtle and specific to the choice of workflows. First, it does not seem that CPU-focused work will benefit. The upper power limit appears to be mainly used to run 32-core GPU cores at their full potential.
For example, Apple suggests that High Power Mode may be useful to users who do high-speed transmission in 8K video color grading. General export of videos and 3D applications can also work a bit faster in high power mode. We hope to see some tests in nature soon and benchmarks on how much of a difference it makes.
Of course, this additional increase in performance comes at the cost of additional fan noise and faster battery discharge. (High power mode is available when you’re on the go or when you’re connected to a wall charger.)
How to Enable High Power Mode on a MacBook Pro
- On a 16-inch MacBook Pro with an M1 Max chip, open System Preferences.
- Open the battery settings pane.
- Select the ‘Battery’ or ‘Power Adapter’ option on the sidebar and change the ‘Energy Mode’ setting to ‘High Power’ as needed.
In the macOS control center, you can open the Battery section to see if you are currently working in high power mode.
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