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Is there really a wrong way to charge a MacBook Pro?

The Apple MacBook Pro is equipped with multiple USB Type-C / Thunderbolt ports for charging and connecting accessories. However, whispers suggest not all of the charging ports have been created equally.

Reports have emerged suggesting that using the left-sided port to charge the laptop exponentially increases strain on the CPU, causing the MacBook Pro models in question to slow down (and warm up) considerably.

A few months back, a StackExchange user consulted the macOS Activity Monitor and found charging using the left port taxed the CPU to 494.3%. It was all due to the kernel_task process, which is designed to help manage the temperature of the CPU (via CreativeBloq). The issue was particularly problematic if a peripheral, such as an external monitor was also plugged into the left side of the MacBook Pro.

Related: MacBook Pro 2020

However, a potential solution published this week may involve simply the right-hand port to charge the laptop instead. Doing so should enable the MacBook’s temperature to drop somewhat and, in turn, make the laptop more usable. Or so say those inconvenienced by the issue.

Indeed a new post on the Apple StackExchange simply reads: “If your MacBook Pro runs hot or shows a high % CPU for the kernel task, try charging on the right and not on the left.”

It’s not clear whether this is an issue Apple is conscious of, or plans to do anything about, the issue, but it might be something the company would consider rectifying with a software update in the coming weeks, should enough users kick up a fuss.

In a support document Apple explains the kernel_task process as follows: “Activity Monitor might show that a system process named kernel_task is using a large percentage of your CPU, and during this time you might notice more fan activity.

“One of the functions of kernel_task is to help manage CPU temperature by making the CPU less available to processes that are using it intensely. In other words, kernel_task responds to conditions that cause your CPU to become too hot, even if your Mac doesn’t feel hot to you. It does not itself cause those conditions. When the CPU temperature decreases, kernel_task automatically reduces its activity.”

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