Battery for New Powerbook

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by .:*Robot Boy*:., Feb 24, 2005.

  1. .:*Robot Boy*:. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2005
    Location:
    New Zealand
    #1
    Hey,
    I used my new PowerBook (15"/1.67GHz/2GB RAM) out in the wild for the first time today, I was using it to take notes during a lecture. The problem I have is that the battery went dead before the two hour lecture was over. Admittedly I had ripped a couple of CD's beforehand and was running Freehand, Calculator, MSN, Firefox, Airport and Bluetooth (Mouse) at the same time, but surely I should've been able to get more than two hours out of it! The guys next to me on their iBooks were getting about six or seven! (I know, slower HDD, less RAM, less intensive VRAM, slower processor, etc, etc.)

    Anyway, now I'm thinkin' I should invest in another battery. For now I can find a power outlet, but I'm going to be recording in remote locations with Pro Tools throughout the year and I need to know that my PB's not gunna die on me.

    So... does anyone have any experience in the battery market? Is it at all like the RAM market (heaps of brands, varying prices), or is it pretty limited?... Also, I was checking out MacSales.com and they had batteries which promised 11% more battery life... is it worth paying more for these 'extra capacity' batteries, or are they dodgy?

    Any help would be great!

    Tim.
     
  2. mcgarry macrumors 6502a

    mcgarry

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2004
    #2
    The first and most obvious thing to do is make sure you are following Apple's recommendations, especially for calibration.

    Secondly, yes, the 15" will have worse battery life than either iBook or the 12" PB. My 12" PB gets 3-5 hours depending on usage, with 4 or so for normal mixed use with Airport on but BT off. Your laptop simply has a lot more going on without an extra-large battery to ease the load. That said, getting close to two hours of intensive use is not uncommon for a 15", just going from my second-hand experience reading these boards.

    In the future, I think the best steps you can take to maximize battery usage are (in order):
    - decrease screen brightness
    - turn off Airport when not necessary
    - turn off BT when not necessary
    This is just from my limited experience, others might have more educated views on the subject.

    And sorry, I don't know anything about those aftermarket batteries.
     
  3. cypher macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2003
    #3
  4. mcgarry macrumors 6502a

    mcgarry

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2004
    #4
    It's worth a look, but I don't think that applies to his new PB:

    "Apple is voluntarily recalling certain lithium ion rechargeable batteries that were sold worldwide from January 2004 through August 2004 for use with 15-inch PowerBook G4 (Aluminum) notebook computers."

    His just came out last month.
     
  5. .:*Robot Boy*:. thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2005
    Location:
    New Zealand
    #5
    Hi,
    Thanks for your help. I've never had to worry about battery life before 'cause I've only ever used desktops. I just realised I had my screen brightness on full, which seems to suck a hell of a lot of power. I've got it right down now and Energy Saver's telling me I've got four hours left, which is what I'd expect from my PowerBook.

    As for Bluetooth and Airport, how much power do they consume? I can probably go without the mouse and I can turn Airport on and off, depending on when I need it. Does waking from sleep, turning AP on and off, etc. require an initial, uhh, burst(?) of power to get it going, or does it drain power in a linear fashion when starting things up?

    Tim.
     
  6. mcgarry macrumors 6502a

    mcgarry

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2004
    #6
    You're welcome.

    I know screen brightness can be big, but I don't have any definite idea about any of this. It's just my experience over time, not the result of extensive testing or anything. I suspect the AP, BT stuff offers incremental, not massive benefits for turning them off, but if you are after battery maximization above all else, you'd best turn them off, as they do use at least some power. AP has a reputation around here for being a battery-hog, which makes sense.

    Also, this might have been so obvious I didn't mention it, but have you adjusted the settings in your "Energy Saver" Control Panel? You have separate settings for on-battery and on-plug. You can even diminish processor performance if you want.

    By the way, is your name a GBV reference by chance?
     
  7. .:*Robot Boy*:. thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2005
    Location:
    New Zealand
    #7
    Hi again,
    I've got the processor running on 'Reduced'... I don't actually know what that means... obviously it reduces elements of the processor performance, but what is it doing to the processor to make it consume less power? Energy settings are set on Battery/Longest Battery Life.

    I think everything's sorted now, I think my biggest problem was definately the screen brightness. I'm getting about 3:45 with all the aforementioned apps open, AP on and BT off.

    So... hopefully I can hold off getting another battery for a little while longer.

    Cheers
    Tim.

    PS: mcgarry, Robot Boy is, of course, taken from 'Gold Star for Robot Boy' by GBV. You're the first person to pick that up, and I use this screen name for all the forums I vist, as well as MSN and eMail!!!
     
  8. kiwi-in-uk macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2004
    Location:
    AU
    #8
    For what it's worth, AP seems to reduce battery life on my 17" PB by about 30 mins.
     

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