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Episodes

Home of the most recent episodes of The CultCast including links to topics discussed and coupons from our beloved sponsors.

346: 2018 MacBook Pro performance — after the patch?

Chris C.

  Photo:  iComputer Denver

Photo:  iComputer Denver

This Week!

Apple has issued a patch that significantly increases performance for all 2018 MacBook Pros, but there's one glaring problem it doesn't fix... Plus, we talk new HomePod features from iOS 12 beta, and we wrap up with your emails!


This episode supported by:

  • CultCloth will keep your iPhone 8/X, Apple Watch, Mac and iPad sparkling clean, and for a limited time use code CULTCAST at checkout to score a free CleanCloth with any order at CultCloth.co.



  • We also want to give Kevin MacLeod at Incompetech.com a thanks for the great music you hear on today’s show.


Come say hellooooo!

@erfon / Erfon's YouTube Channel / @bst3r / Buster on Instagram / @lewiswallace / @lkahney


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Consumer Reports says MacBook Pro thermal throttling is a feature not a bug

  • Consumer Reports came to the Apple's defense this week. The consumer-testing organization points out that other laptops with top-tier processors are also subject to thermal throttling.
  • “Most processors have had this capability built in for years,” says Richard Fisco, an electronics testing program leader at Consumer Reports. “I would rather have the system throttle and take a lot longer to do things than just let itself get fried.”
  • They recommend a desktop
  • “If you absolutely need bleeding-fast speed — perhaps you’re a programmer who regularly compiles large applications or someone who edits huge amounts of high-resolution video — a high-end desktop may be a better bet than a souped-up laptop,” wrote Consumer Reports.

Apple issues thermal throttling fix for 2018 MacBook Pros

  • Apple saw Dave Lee’s video, and worked with him to figure out what was going on.
  • Turns out, a major part of the problem was actually a bug in the firmware, which was preventing the fans from coming on as often or as high as they should.
  • “Following extensive performance testing under numerous workloads, we’ve identified that there is a missing digital key in the firmware that impacts the thermal management system and could drive clock speeds down under heavy thermal loads on the new MacBook Pro. A bug fix is included in today’s macOS High Sierra 10.13.6 Supplemental Update and is recommended"
  • Apple went on to say this should result in better performance for every version of the new MacBook Pro, even i7 models.

Core i9 MacBook Pro - After the Patch

  • Dave confirmed that now, MBP fans actually come on, which increased performance on the i9 to the save level achieved with the MBP in the freezer.
  • In his tests, the 2018 i9 model is now 30-35% faster than the 2017 i7 model.
  • It seems like the patch kicks affects fan activation and speed, but also keeps the chip from throttling itself down all the time.
  • But, even patched, this i9 chip still doesn’t hit the clock speed that it COULD hit.
  • This is the same i9 that is used in larger gaming laptops, where it can hit 4.5 or 5GHz and stay there comfortably. In the MBP, its base clock is 2.9Ghz, and it can only boost up to 4.8 in some circumstances.
  • In YouTuber Max Yuryyex’s Cinebench encoding tests, his i9 ran at about 3.2Ghz
  • MacBook Pro is thin, light, and quiet, but its thermal design inhibits the potential of this high-end high performance chip. That’s the cost of thin and light.

HomePod OS 12 Beta Software Said to Support Multiple Timers, New Phone Call Features, and More

  • French tech blog iGeneration reports that a beta version of the software currently in internal testing enables users to make calls and answer them from the HomePod, ask Siri to Find My iPhone, and set multiple timers on the device.
  • The report also mentions that users may also be able to listen to their voicemails, and search their call history over the speaker.
  • Would be cool to allow HomePod to control other devices in your household.
  • Add alarms or reminders to your or your family members iPads and iPhones