According to the Apple Support Community forum, some 15-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display users are experiencing major graphic lag after updating their Macs to Apple’s MacBook Pro Retina EFI Update v1.0. We’ve seen reports of decreased video frame rates when playing graphic-intensive games, waking from sleep or running Windows via Boot Camp.
The reported issues are caused by the MacBook Pro’s GPU and CPU being underclocked when hitting temperature thresholds that are apparently set very low. EFI, or Extensible Firmware Interface, is a BIOS standard developed by Intel. EFI updates can control how hot a CPU can get before underclocking or throttling users; this is why people are pointing fingers at Apple’s EFI update for causing the frame rate issue. AppleInsider has reported that the processors used in the MacBook Pro are supposed to start throttling users once they hit 105 degrees Celsius, however, some users are reportedly seeing their GPU throttled when their MacBook’s CPU hits 80 degrees Celsius.
If the EFI issue is indeed what caused the MacBook Pro with Retina display’s performance lag, it can easily be fixed by another EFI update that changes the temperature threshold when the CPU and GPU are supposed to be throttled. Let’s hope this update is released soon.