When running a computer there is a balance to be struck between speed, temperature and battery life.
Too much power drawn from the processor will result in higher temperatures, which in turn means cranking up the fans to noisier levels, and seeing a major dip in battery life. Be too conservative and battery life will be excellent, but performance could be unsatisfactory.
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Now, according to lines of code spotted in the latest beta build of macOS Catalina - version 10.15.3 - Apple could be exploring the option of giving users more power when they need it. Called 'Pro Mode', this would let owners of battery-powered Macs crank up the performance and let the fans run quicker than normal.
First spotted by 9to5Mac, mentions of Pro Mode buried in the beta state: "Apps may run faster, but battery life may decrease and fan noise may increase." There is also a mention explaining how the new mode would let users override macOS's usual fan speed limit, and that it would be reset to normal the following day.
It isn't clear exactly which Mac computers will benefit from Pro Mode, although 9to5Mac speculates that it might just apply to the new 16-inch MacBook Pro for now, as that laptop features a new thermal design.
Pro Mode found in macOS Catalina beta9to5Mac
We can see Pro Mode being useful for anyone who needs to occasionally get some intensive work done, but doesn't mind a brief increase in fan noise and battery use. Say you need to quickly render some 4K video and are up against the clock; switch on Pro Mode, get the work done, then switch it off again to go back to normal.
Such 'overclocking' has been commonplace with gaming computers for years, where players are happy to sacrifice fan speed and noise in return for extra graphical and processing power.
In other Apple news this week, the company has just registered a new model of MacBook. This is expected to be an update to the 13-inch MacBook Pro, which will likely feature the same new 'Magic Keyboard' as the new 16-inch model. This laptop will potentially have the new thermal design too, and be eligible for the new Pro Mode.
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