For generations, MacBooks have been seen as a status symbol, used by both casual computer users and professionals alike. One class of users that have not exactly taken to Apple’s notebooks are gamers. For one, the number of high-profile titles for Mac OS X, now macOS, has traditionally been small. For another, MacBooks, even MacBook Pros, have not exactly been noteworthy for their performance especially when it comes to games. That has started to change with the launch of the 16-inch MacBook Pro last year and it seems that Apple will be pulling some software tricks to capitalize on the new notebook’s muscles.
To be fair, previous MacBook Pros have not exactly been underdogs in terms of performance but they often fail to make that last bit of effort for games. The 16-inch MacBook Pro seems to pull all the hardware stops, with its upgrade CPUs and GPUs as well as its new cooling system. Now Apple’s discovered Pro Mode could pull out the remaining software stops.
9to5Mac discovered a few strings in the beta build for macOS Catalina 10.15.3 that talks about a certain “Pro Mode” option users can toggle. It essentially boils down to removing battery-saving restrictions to push the processor to its maximum safe performance. To compensate for that added heat, the fans are expected to spin even faster to prevent throttling, contributing to an even bigger battery drain.
How much this will improve performance will naturally have to be measured when the feature does roll out. CPUs an GPUs are not overclocked so there’s still a hard limit on how much the system will be able to push the silicon. Additionally, Pro Mode will seemingly be turned off automatically the next day, mimicking macOS’ Do Not Disturb behavior.
There’s no definite sign that Pro Mode will make it to the next macOS release yet or what models it will support. It seems to target MacBooks specifically, which makes the 16-inch MacBook Pro the perfect recipient. Given the thermal consequences, it will also probably require more advanced cooling systems than what current MacBook Pros have.