Severe Apple iPhone 15 Pro Max thermal throttling reported as A17 Pro appears to push surface temperatures to 48°C during gaming
When Apple revealed the new A17 Pro chip for the iPhone 15 Pro and the iPhone 15 Pro Max, the company proudly announced that AAA games like Resident Evil Village and Assassin’s Creed Mirage will come to these devices next year potentially cementing the iPhone 15 Pro and 15 Pro Max as handheld gaming champs.
However, it now appears that the iPhone 15 Pro Max overheats and, as a result, thermal throttles quite heavily during intensive tasks like gaming. The findings came to us courtesy of Chinese reviewer Geekerwan’s review of the iPhone 15 Pro Max (via Wccftech).
Geekerwan showed that the iPhone 15 Pro Max’s surface temperature can shoot up to 48°C while playing Genshin Impact with very high graphics at 25°C room temperature with 300 nits of brightness. After a 30-minute run of the title, the A17 Pro inside the iPhone 15 Pro Max managed an average frame rate of 59.1 FPS with a power consumption of 4.13 W. The A16 Bionic in the same scenario averaged at around 56.5 FPS with a consumption of 4.32 W.
So despite Apple's emphasis on the GPU prowess of the A17 Pro, the iPhone 15 Pro Max is only about 4.4% ahead in average FPS while consuming 4% less energy. These findings could be an indication that either the iPhone 15 Pro Max is choking due to insufficient thermal headroom or the reports about the A17 Pro being a slightly tweaked A16 Bionic with one more GPU core may have some truth to them or both.
Moving on, after sideloading and running Resident Evil Village on the iPhone 15 Pro Max at 1,560x720p resolution, Geekerwan displayed that the phone thermal throttles quite aggressively and the frame rate falls from mid-40s to around 30 FPS. Interestingly or rather disappointingly, the A17 Pro performance drops to lower than the A16 before recovering to the 30 FPS-level.
All in all, it seems that the A17 Pro produces a lot of heat while under stress and the iPhone 15 Pro Max’s cooling solution is not able to contain it resulting in significantly reduced performance. It will be interesting to see how the iPhone 15 Pro and 15 Pro Max handle upcoming big AAA games that are bound to be a lot more intensive than the mobile port of Genshin Impact.