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View Full Version : Which drains the battery more: wi-fi or TB gigabit?




kylera
Mar 25, 2013, 10:31 AM
My university's wi-fi seems to have random quality depending on where you go - some parts are just dandy while others make you want to rip your hair out. For the latter, I'm considering on getting a Thunderbolt gigabit Ethernet adapter as coincidentally, there is Ethernet access in the places where wi-fi isn't so great.

That raises the question, though: would the Air's battery drain significantly quicker when using the TB adaptor as opposed to connecting via wi-fi?



GGJstudios
Mar 25, 2013, 10:34 AM
My university's wi-fi seems to have random quality depending on where you go - some parts are just dandy while others make you want to rip your hair out. For the latter, I'm considering on getting a Thunderbolt gigabit Ethernet adapter as coincidentally, there is Ethernet access in the places where wi-fi isn't so great.

That raises the question, though: would the Air's battery drain significantly quicker when using the TB adaptor as opposed to connecting via wi-fi?
WiFi would likely draw a bit more, but not significantly. Your screen brightness is a much bigger factor than either of those. There are many factors that impact your battery life. See the BATTERY LIFE FROM A CHARGE section of the following link for details, including tips on how to maximize your battery life.

The link below should answer most, if not all, of your battery/charging questions. If you haven't already done so, I highly recommend you take the time to read it.
Apple Notebook Battery FAQ (http://forums.macrumors.com/showpost.php?p=9875442&postcount=23)

justperry
Mar 25, 2013, 10:34 AM
Wifi uses more than standard ethernet connection.

RoastingPig
Mar 25, 2013, 12:05 PM
not much of a difference in power consumption at home i use it on ethernet thunderbolt and i can't notice a thing

quasinormal
Mar 25, 2013, 01:03 PM
If you download the freeware app, Coconut Battery (http://www.coconut-flavour.com/), it will tell you the wattage the battery is drawing.

2IS
Mar 26, 2013, 11:47 PM
I don't know about TB, but on my 2010 the USB Ethernet adapter uses more power than wifi.

dyn
Mar 28, 2013, 04:20 PM
I think the average use on the laptop makes it nearly impossible to detect because it varies too much. There are too many factors that have an impact on battery use so it is very hard to tell. In real life my battery usage was as I expected when using either wifi or the tb-eth adapter. It's not like it drains the battery considerably. Network cards (both wireless and wired) now have techniques to use less power.

In this case I'd recommend the adapter simply because it solves the problem of an unreliable wifi connection. That you'll definitely notice. The difference between wifi and the tb-eth adapter concerning battery use is very difficult to notice.