MacBooks may gain a new 'High Power Mode' in macOS Monterey: What we know

Apple MacBook Pro (13-inch, M1, 2020)
(Image credit: Future)

macOS Monterey is on its eighth developer beta now with the final release expected later this fall, but new features are still popping up.

The latest discovery by the team at 9to5Mac is a "High Power Mode" in macOS Monterey beta 8 that is believed to be the evolution of a "Pro Mode" originally spotted in a macOS Catalina beta last year. It allows a MacBook to deliver maximum performance even when it is running on battery (via MacRumors). 

There are no details available in the code on "High Power Mode" beyond simple references to it. However, it is reasonable to assume that it will match "Pro Mode" and, as the new name suggests, act as the opposite of the existing "Low Power Mode" with the MacBook ignoring power management in favor of max performance.

Even if you grant those assumptions, it still leaves a lot of questions to be answered. Will the feature be able to run on any MacBook with macOS Monterey? Will it be limited to Apple Silicon chips? Could it be just intended for the new M1X chip coming with the new 14-inch MacBook Pro and 16-inch MacBook Pro (2021) models?

Right now, it's anyone's guess, and unless Apple is keeping this as an ace up its sleeve for the MacBook Pro reveal, the fact that it is still completely inaccessible in a beta release this close to the macOS Monterey launch isn't instilling a great deal of confidence that it will be ready in time. However, given the amazing thermal performance and battery life we've seen thus far from Apple Silicon MacBooks, it's easy to see the value in a "High Power Mode" and hopefully we see it arrive sooner than later.

Sean Riley

Sean Riley has been covering tech professionally for over a decade now. Most of that time was as a freelancer covering varied topics including phones, wearables, tablets, smart home devices, laptops, AR, VR, mobile payments, fintech, and more.  Sean is the resident mobile expert at Laptop Mag, specializing in phones and wearables, you'll find plenty of news, reviews, how-to, and opinion pieces on these subjects from him here. But Laptop Mag has also proven a perfect fit for that broad range of interests with reviews and news on the latest laptops, VR games, and computer accessories along with coverage on everything from NFTs to cybersecurity and more.