Back in January 2020. 9to5Mac reported that Apple is working on a new “Pro mode” to give MacBook users maximum performance while ignoring some power-saving limitations. The latest version of the macOS Monterey beta suggests that Apple is still working on a similar feature, now called “High Power Mode”.
The first references to “Pro Mode” were found in macOS Catalina 10.15.3. Internal macOS code described this option as something to speed up application operation, while warning of reduced battery life and increased fan noise. This feature has never been available to users, and all references have been removed from the macOS Monterey beta – so far.
9to5Mac has now found references to the new “High Power Mode” added to macOS Monterey beta 8, which was released to developers earlier today. Although “Low Power Mode” already exists and reduces the performance of Mac laptops to save battery, “High Power Mode” is expected to do the opposite by allowing users to run applications at full performance even when the Mac is not plugged in.
While there are no details on how exactly High Power Mode works, we assume it will make the CPU and GPU work at their highest performance regardless of whether the Mac is plugged in or not. It could also include fans to prevent thermal damping problems, although they are rarer on Apple Silicon Macs.
Unfortunately, this feature remains unavailable to users and it is not clear whether Apple plans to introduce a high-power mode for all or only certain Mac models. Rumors suggest the company will introduce new MacBook Pro models later this year with an M1X chip with better graphics, so it’s not hard to imagine that High Power Mode could be exclusive to new Macs.
macOS Monterey is still available exclusively to developers and users registered in the Apple Beta software program. There is no word on when the update will be officially released to all users.
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