Apple's new 16-inch MacBook Pro charger uses GaN to stay small

Posted:
in Current Mac Hardware
The 140W charger for the new 16-inch MacBook Pro is Apple's first one to use gallium nitride technology to keep it small, and improve power delivery capacity.




As part of the launch of its new 16-inch MacBook Pro with MagSafe support, Apple introduced a new 140W charger for its hardware. A considerable jump from the 67W and 96W chargers included with the new notebooks, the charger has Apple incorporating new technologies in the accessory for the first time.

The charger is Apple's first to employ gallium nitride, or GaN, the company confirmed to The Verge. GaN is a material that allows for higher voltage capacity and reduced energy loss due to heat, for example.

The efficiency of the material enables producers to create physically smaller chargers with similar capabilities to more conventional production methods.

Apple's new charger is also one that uses the USB-C Power Delivery 3.1 standard, making it cross-compatible with other hardware that adheres to the same standard.

Apple also clarified the fast charging capability of the charger, as it exceeds the previous USB-C Power Delivery cap of 100W.

As the 14-inch MacBook Pro can fast charge at a maximum of 96W, it can do so via both the MagSafe 3 and Thunderbolt 4 ports.

For the 16-inch model, you can recharge using either MagSafe 3 or Thunderbolt 4, but you won't reach the 140W fast charging capability of the new charger unless you use the MagSafe port and Apple's charger -- for now.

The new 140W charger is being sold as a separate purchase to the MacBook Pros, at $99. That price excludes the $49 USB-C to MagSafe cable.

Read on AppleInsider
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 32
    crowleycrowley Posts: 9,095member
    Looks like an old AirPort Express.
    FileMakerFellerwatto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 32
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 33,117member
    crowley said:
    Looks like an old AirPort Express.
    Yes, it does.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 32
    wood1208wood1208 Posts: 2,580member
    Apple should build all of there power bricks to use GaN tech. Not sure efficient but smaller size for the same power output.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 32
    MplsPMplsP Posts: 3,432member
    melgross said:
    crowley said:
    Looks like an old AirPort Express.
    Yes, it does.
    Where’s the 3.5mm audio jack? :tongue:

    wood1208 said: Apple should build all of there power bricks to use GaN tech. Not sure efficient but smaller size for the same power output.

    They may move that way eventually. I’m sure they cost more so the cost-benefit ratio isn’t there for lower power chargers.

    AppleInsider said: For the 16-inch model, you can recharge using either MagSafe 3 or Thunderbolt 4, but you won't reach the 140W fast charging capability of the new charger unless you use the MagSafe port and Apple's charger -- for now.

    The new 140W charger is being sold as a separate purchase to the MacBook Pros, at $99. That price excludes the $49 USB-C to MagSafe cable.

     Well, there’s an answer to the people complaining about the MagSafe port - the USB C ports have a lower power capacity. Theoretically it seems like they should be able to handle more power. I assume there was a limitation with the TB4 controller?

    $100 and $50 for the charger/cable seems a bit pricey. There aren’t any other $140W GaN chargers on the market, though so you really can’t compare but Apple’s straight USB C charging cable is only $20. A $30 premium for the MagSafe connector is a bit steep. The good news is unlike the old MacBook MagSafe chargers, you can simply swap out the cable if it breaks or wears out. (Or get a USB C cable if you don’t need the extra speed/convenience.)
    edited October 19 watto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 32
    I understand why they didn't bring back the flip-out "claws" of the 'naughts chargers, but I wish some accessory maker would step up and make some kind of thingy to hold or store the cable when it's in a bag.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 32
    “The new 140W charger is being sold as a separate purchase to the MacBook Pros, at $99. That price excludes the $49 USB-C to MagSafe cable. “

    My pre-order for the MBP M1-Max comes with the 140W charger.  Not sure what AI is smoking as the high end MBP seem to get the better charger.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 32
    I don't use ethernet much but it would've been nice if the charger came with an Ethernet port like the iMac, for high speed data transfer.
    williamlondon
  • Reply 8 of 32
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 33,117member
    wood1208 said:
    Apple should build all of there power bricks to use GaN tech. Not sure efficient but smaller size for the same power output.
    As I understand it, until recently, and even now to a certain extent, due to chip shortages in general, those GaN chips had been in short supply as they were a fairly new technology, and were more difficult to make. As a result, small manufacturers, who sold a small fraction of the number of chargers that Apple and other large manufacturers made, could get enough, but Apple couldn’t. It’s likely why their first product is a charger for the new 16” MacBook Pro, which will have more limited sales than other models, particularly iPhones and iPads.
    MplsPwatto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 32
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 33,117member
    “The new 140W charger is being sold as a separate purchase to the MacBook Pros, at $99. That price excludes the $49 USB-C to MagSafe cable. “

    My pre-order for the MBP M1-Max comes with the 140W charger.  Not sure what AI is smoking as the high end MBP seem to get the better charger.
    They’re just stating that it’s available separately. People lose them, break them, or they go bad. I also like to have chargers in different places so I don’t have to carry mine wherever I go, even if it’s on a different floor of my house.
    edited October 19 MplsPwatto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 32
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 11,759member
    wood1208 said:
    Apple should build all of there power bricks to use GaN tech. Not sure efficient but smaller size for the same power output.
    I would imagine this will happen over time. Apple's scale is much greater than the third-party accessory makers, so I imagine it's a bit more involved than rolling them out overnight in all categories.
    MplsPwatto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 32
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 33,117member
    I don't use ethernet much but it would've been nice if the charger came with an Ethernet port like the iMac, for high speed data transfer.
    I would have preferred another TB 4 port and an Ethernet (10G!) port instead of the barely useful SD card slot.
    sphericwatto_cobra
  • Reply 12 of 32
    MplsPMplsP Posts: 3,432member
    I don't use ethernet much but it would've been nice if the charger came with an Ethernet port like the iMac, for high speed data transfer.
    Yeah that would've been nice but I doubt the MagSafe port on the computer has any other connections besides power and with the 3 TB ports and the HDMI/SD card slot there probably wasn't another port available to use. I'm sure Apple figured that Ethernet use for a laptop is less common and those who use it often sit at a desktop with a dock or hub. (Ironically, I'm writing this at work in a conference room where I plugged my MBP in to the ethernet with a USB C adapter!)

    If that feature is something you'd use on a regular basis you're probably better off getting a portable hub.


    edited October 19 watto_cobra
  • Reply 13 of 32
    MplsP said:
    melgross said:
    crowley said:
    Looks like an old AirPort Express.
    Yes, it does.
    Where’s the 3.5mm audio jack? :tongue:

    wood1208 said:
    Apple should build all of there power bricks to use GaN tech. Not sure efficient but smaller size for the same power output.

    They may move that way eventually. I’m sure they cost more so the cost-benefit ratio isn’t there for lower power chargers.

    For the 16-inch model, you can recharge using either MagSafe 3 or Thunderbolt 4, but you won't reach the 140W fast charging capability of the new charger unless you use the MagSafe port and Apple's charger -- for now.

    The new 140W charger is being sold as a separate purchase to the MacBook Pros, at $99. That price excludes the $49 USB-C to MagSafe cable.

     Well, there’s an answer to the people complaining about the MagSafe port - the USB C ports have a lower power capacity. Theoretically it seems like they should be able to handle more power. I assume there was a limitation with the TB4 controller?

    $100 and $50 for the charger/cable seems a bit pricey. There aren’t any other $140W GaN chargers on the market, though so you really can’t compare but Apple’s straight USB C charging cable is only $20. A $30 premium for the MagSafe connector is a bit steep. The good news is unlike the old MacBook MagSafe chargers, you can simply swap out the cable if it breaks or wears out. (Or get a USB C cable if you don’t need the extra speed/convenience.)
    The TB4 standard only allows/support 100W.

    Price other 140W chargers of any type.  $100 is not bad.  And if you order a maxed out 16" (CPU/GPU), you get the 140W charger included.

    $50 for a custom MagSafe cable isn't bad.  You get one with the laptop.  NOW, because it's USB-C connector on the other end, you can move the cable and leave bricks at home, office, etc.  You can take the cable and use it with any USB-C PD brick (at reduced wattage).

    For a price comparison, look up Apple's old high wattage MagSafe chargers...
    entropyswatto_cobra
  • Reply 14 of 32
    I just saw an article calling it "offensively large".  :D

    The only thing "offensively large" is Apple's profit margin (they're cutting reseller margins, AGAIN!).
  • Reply 15 of 32
    MplsP said:
    I don't use ethernet much but it would've been nice if the charger came with an Ethernet port like the iMac, for high speed data transfer.
    Yeah that would've been nice but I doubt the MagSafe port on the computer has any other connections besides power and with the 3 TB ports and the HDMI/SD card slot there probably wasn't another port available to use. I'm sure Apple figured that Ethernet use for a laptop is less common and those who use it often sit at a desktop with a dock or hub. (Ironically, I'm writing this at work in a conference room where I plugged my MBP in to the ethernet with a USB C adapter!)

    If that feature is something you'd use on a regular basis you're probably better off getting a portable hub.


    They could've made it connect with ethernet if you chose to charge via TB since the charger is USB C
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 16 of 32
    MplsPMplsP Posts: 3,432member
    nicholfd said:
    MplsP said:
    melgross said:
    crowley said:
    Looks like an old AirPort Express.
    Yes, it does.
    Where’s the 3.5mm audio jack? :tongue:

    wood1208 said:
    Apple should build all of there power bricks to use GaN tech. Not sure efficient but smaller size for the same power output.

    They may move that way eventually. I’m sure they cost more so the cost-benefit ratio isn’t there for lower power chargers.

    For the 16-inch model, you can recharge using either MagSafe 3 or Thunderbolt 4, but you won't reach the 140W fast charging capability of the new charger unless you use the MagSafe port and Apple's charger -- for now.

    The new 140W charger is being sold as a separate purchase to the MacBook Pros, at $99. That price excludes the $49 USB-C to MagSafe cable.

     Well, there’s an answer to the people complaining about the MagSafe port - the USB C ports have a lower power capacity. Theoretically it seems like they should be able to handle more power. I assume there was a limitation with the TB4 controller?

    $100 and $50 for the charger/cable seems a bit pricey. There aren’t any other $140W GaN chargers on the market, though so you really can’t compare but Apple’s straight USB C charging cable is only $20. A $30 premium for the MagSafe connector is a bit steep. The good news is unlike the old MacBook MagSafe chargers, you can simply swap out the cable if it breaks or wears out. (Or get a USB C cable if you don’t need the extra speed/convenience.)
    The TB4 standard only allows/support 100W.

    Price other 140W chargers of any type.  $100 is not bad.  And if you order a maxed out 16" (CPU/GPU), you get the 140W charger included.

    $50 for a custom MagSafe cable isn't bad.  You get one with the laptop.  NOW, because it's USB-C connector on the other end, you can move the cable and leave bricks at home, office, etc.  You can take the cable and use it with any USB-C PD brick (at reduced wattage).

    For a price comparison, look up Apple's old high wattage MagSafe chargers...
    Thanks for the info on TB4 - It appears the TB4 spec preceded the latest release of the USB Power Delivery spec so that's probably why it's limited to 100W even though USB PD technically goes higher.

    Re: power supplies, the highest GaN supply I saw was 100W for $60. You can get a 85W MagSafe power adapter from Apple for $80, and that includes an 85W supply and the cable, so yeah $50 still seems a bit steep but like you said, you get both with the machine, so it only matters if you have to replace them.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 17 of 32
    melgross said:
    “The new 140W charger is being sold as a separate purchase to the MacBook Pros, at $99. That price excludes the $49 USB-C to MagSafe cable. “

    My pre-order for the MBP M1-Max comes with the 140W charger.  Not sure what AI is smoking as the high end MBP seem to get the better charger.
    They’re just stating that it’s available separately. People lose them, break them, or they go bad. I also like to have chargers in different places so I don’t have to carry mine wherever I go, even if it’s on a different floor of my house.


    but that’s not what they are saying.  In the article they are referencing the 67W and 96W chargers as “included”.

    “A considerable jump from the 67W and 96W chargers included with the new notebooks….”

    then they said: 

     The new 140W charger is being sold as a separate purchase to the MacBook Pros, at $99. That price excludes the $49 USB-C to MagSafe cable. ”

    So their article specifics you get the 67W or 96W included but have to buy the 140W charger separately, which is not the case from Apple’s website and order.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 18 of 32
    Eric_WVGG said:
    I understand why they didn't bring back the flip-out "claws" of the 'naughts chargers, but I wish some accessory maker would step up and make some kind of thingy to hold or store the cable when it's in a bag.
    I have had one of these for a few years now:
    https://fusereel.com/products/the-side-kick
    FileMakerFellerwatto_cobra
  • Reply 19 of 32

    to stay small

    What does this even mean when it's clearly far larger than previous charger bricks?
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 20 of 32
    MplsPMplsP Posts: 3,432member

    to stay small

    What does this even mean when it's clearly far larger than previous charger bricks?
    We’ll ‘small’ is relative. A ‘small’ elephant is gargantuan compared to a huge mouse. 

    Clearly the point is that it is smaller than a traditional brick would have been. 
    muthuk_vanalingamwatto_cobra
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