I just went to Apple's website (July 2019) to find the maximum processor spec of a 15-inch Macbook Pro to be: 2.4GHz 8‑core 9th‑generation Intel Core i9 processor, Turbo Boost up to 5.0GHz

However, my Macbook Pro (15-inch, 2018) has a processor spec of 2.9 GHz Intel Core i9. Update: After reading the answer where six cores is important, I found the more official spec from Apple: 2.9GHz 6-core Intel Core i9, Turbo Boost up to 4.8GHz

Why has the processor speed gone down? Does it have anything to do with the heat problems I heard about in 2018?

  • I think you're wrong with your specs! The MBP 15" 2018 has an i7 CPU (6 cores) and not an i9 like you state. So... The specs of the new MBP are better than your 'older' one.
    – Dakta
    Jul 27, 2019 at 0:52
  • 1
    @DaktaMoriamé You could buy a custom, build to order, 6-core i9 starting in July 2018 as indicated in the answer.
    – fsb
    Jul 27, 2019 at 3:18
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    Quit voting down! This is a legit question. Computer consumers have been sold on the more GHz the better for over 2 decades. Now that is not the case there are lessons to be learned and taught. Jul 27, 2019 at 4:53
  • @ThomasNelson it’s not ok to tell people how to vote here. This is on thin ice as it’s about why Apple did X and if someone edited it to be less about why Apple did X and instead since Apple did X, how do I understand a specific benchmark Y will run, that would get upvotes IMO since it would be a good subjective question instead of a “share your opinion” question.
    – bmike
    Jul 28, 2019 at 20:41
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    Wonderful edit, I just took the why out so people can see this is about learning and dispelling FUD and not spreading it. +1 from me with the latest edits.
    – bmike
    Jul 28, 2019 at 20:53

1 Answer 1


Your question is actually based on a wrong assumption, namely that you're interpreting the specs of the current 2019 MacBook Pros as being lower than those for the 2018 models.

Using your specific example, you're citing the 2.4GHz processor in the top 2019 model and comparing that to the 2.9GHz processor in the top 2018 model. However, you're only looking at part of the picture:

  • The top 2018 MacBook Pro has a 2.9GHz (Core i9) processor with six cores.
  • The top 2019 MacBook Pro has a 2.4GHz (Core i9) processor with eight cores.

At the risk of oversimplifying things with this analogy, having eight cores compared to six cores is like having eight people v six people trying to do some heavy lifting. In most cases, eight people each capable of lifting 50kg each is better than having six people each capable of lifting 60kg each. Worse, not all problems can be evenly or efficiently divided, so having 7 people standing idle while one works is more the norm and the entire system balance is far more important than any fractional increase or decrease in core count or speed measuremen. Those only matter when all the other primary factors are perfectly equal which usually happens only in benchmarks or hours long video rendering exercises.

To put this into perspective, testing both these MacBook Pros using the same benchmarking tests, we get the following results:

enter image description here Information on how to interpret these results is available here

In summary, the above chart shows:

  • 2018 MacBook Pro (2.9GHz) achieves a single core score of 5,335 and a multi-core score of 22,432
  • 2019 MacBook Pro (2.4GHz) achieves a single core score of 5,658 and a multi-core score of 30,151

So, as you can see, the newest MacBook Pro specs are not lower than those of the 2018 models.

  • 3
    That was pretty simple ;-) ... There is also a big boost in the architecture between processors as well. This is why the 2.4GHz is 5% faster than the 2.9GHz at the single core level. Jul 27, 2019 at 4:49
  • Can anyone edit in the generation or nanometer process for the fastest chips? Even nanometer process isn’t a good proxy for actual workload measurements, but Intel markets their 10nm as 18% faster when the clock rates are equivalent. theverge.com/2019/5/28/18639317/… and en.wikipedia.org/wiki/7_nanometer
    – bmike
    Jul 28, 2019 at 20:51
  • + on single core the newer is faster fpor some measurements. , I think the processor does more per clock - and definitely for some time it will be faster as the Turbo Boost speed is higher, although after a time the chip will slow down.
    – mmmmmm
    Jul 28, 2019 at 21:16
  • As usual with all speed the only speed that matters is what do you use the machine for and measure the speed of doing that.
    – mmmmmm
    Jul 28, 2019 at 21:17

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