Higher-End 13-Inch MacBook Pro Models Can Use an 87-Watt Power Adapter, but Won't Charge Any Faster
Higher-end models of the new 13-inch MacBook Pro unveiled this week are able to take some advantage of higher-wattage power adapters, as revealed in regulatory labels for the new machines.
Apple's 13-inch MacBook Pro models have shipped with a 61-watt USB-C power adapter since 2016, with the machines typically rated to draw at that maximum of 20.3 volts and 3 amps. You've long been able to safely use higher-wattage power adapters, but the maximum power draw remains capped by the machine itself, so it won't charge any faster.
For the first time, the higher-end 2020 13-inch MacBook Pro models with 10th-generation Intel processors carry a dual power rating of 20.3V/3.0A and 20.2V/4.3A, meaning that these models can also accept Apple's 87-watt power adapter that previously shipped with the 15-inch MacBook Pro. Many other Thunderbolt 3 and USB-C accessories like docks and displays can also deliver 87 watts to connected computers.
The lower-end MacBook Pro configurations with 8th-generation processors remain rated for 61 watts, and all models ship with a 61-watt power adapter.
While it's reasonable to think that the higher-end MacBook Pro models might be able to charge more quickly using an 87-watt adapter than they do with the 61-watt adapter they ship with, sources tell MacRumors that this isn't the case. The maximum charging speed configured on the machine remains the same, so you won't see any difference.
Where users might be able to see a bit of benefit with a higher-wattage adapter is for those running demanding apps that generate high transient workloads. Under these situations, there's a bit more headroom for an 87-watt adapter to deliver additional power to the machine. Still, the vast majority of users won't be bumping against the limits of the included 61-watt adapter, especially on a frequent basis, so those users won't see any benefit.
So while the change won't have a real-world impact on anyone but a few professional-level users regularly maxing out the capabilities of their machines, those who are curious about the new power ratings stamped on the bottom of their machines at least have an explanation.