how do you guys get good battery life out of your 'books?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by MUCKYFINGERS, Feb 17, 2006.

  1. MUCKYFINGERS macrumors 6502a

    MUCKYFINGERS

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2005
    Location:
    CA
    #1
    i have a 14" ibook g4 (latest rev) but i can't seem to get the fantastic 4 hours of battery life everyone raves about. i always have it on battery saver but it still doesn't work. what gives? :eek:
     
  2. Glenn Wolsey macrumors 65816

    Glenn Wolsey

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2005
    Location:
    New Zealand
    #2
    Well I'm on an iBook G4 right now (friends brand new machine), and to conserve battery life I generally set processor power to "better battery life" and turn the display brightness down.

    You will need to know that overtime the iBooks battery capacity drops dramatically however.
     
  3. mad jew Moderator emeritus

    mad jew

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    Apr 3, 2004
    Location:
    Adelaide, Australia
  4. MUCKYFINGERS thread starter macrumors 6502a

    MUCKYFINGERS

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2005
    Location:
    CA
    #4
    itunes, safari, word, excel, terminal, ichat/adium, maybe some quicktime here and there and that's about it.
     
  5. mad jew Moderator emeritus

    mad jew

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2004
    Location:
    Adelaide, Australia
    #5
    Okay, well my original G4 iBook gets four hours plus with the screen set to default brightness (just below full on battery settings), volume at 50% and AirPort turned on. I make sure I calibrate it once a month but other than that, I don't do anything special to get good times.
     
  6. AppleTalk Aust macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2006
    Location:
    Australia
    #6
    1. Set to "Better Energy Savings"
    2. Turn brightness down as far as I can handle it
    3. Turn off the sound card (ie: mute)
    4. Turn off Bluetooth
    5. Have screen calibrated correctly
    6. Calibrate battery every other month

    Doing this ensures I get about 4.5 hours of battery life on my 12" Rev D Powerbook.
     
  7. DannySmurf macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2005
    #7
    1. Turn Airport on only when I need it for something; leave it off the rest of the time
    2. Dim the screen to about 2/3 normal

    Doing just those two things, I get about 6 hours of life out of every full battery charge. Airport is the biggest one. Having that on constantly really cuts the battery (this is true of any laptop wireless card). Just popping online when you need something, and then shutting the card down again will save you TONS of battery life.
     
  8. steelphantom macrumors 6502a

    steelphantom

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2005
    #8
    I usually set screen brightness on my iBook to a little less than half, make sure Bluetooth is off, and also turn of Airport if it's not necessary. With Airport off, I can get nearly 6 hours of battery life, and with Airport, around 4. Just turning your screen brightness down to as low as you can while still being able to use your iBook comfortably considerably increases battery life.
     
  9. DSL Steve macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2005
    #9
    Calibrating once a month is too often. Li-ion batteries do not like deep discharging--- calibrating once every three or four months is better.
     
  10. calebjohnston macrumors 68000

    calebjohnston

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2006
    #10
    A huge, huge factor in increasing battery life is turning screen brightness down to about 60%. you'll get a huge chunk of time you wouldnt have otherwise
     
  11. mad jew Moderator emeritus

    mad jew

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2004
    Location:
    Adelaide, Australia
    #11

    Maybe, but here's what Apple says on their notebook battery page:


     
  12. eva01 macrumors 601

    eva01

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2005
    Location:
    Gah! Plymouth
    #12
    brightness all the way down when unplugged.

    Only 2 programs running at once. very rarely go to widgets, and barely ever use expose.

    also never searching the computer for things so i don't have to make the HD spin up often.

    have monitor shut off after 2 minutes of inactivity
     
  13. mrichmon macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2003
    #13
    Significant users of power in a laptop (in rough order of significance):
    • LCD backlight -- keep the screen brightness turned down as much as you can handle,
    • CPU frequency -- turn down frequency to "energy saving" settings,
    • Hard Drive spinning -- avoid searching the hard drive, loading new programs, loading/saving data as much as possible,
    • Optical drive -- eject that CD/DVD if you are not using it,
    • Wireless networking (bluetooth and airport/802.11) -- turn it off if you don't need it,
    • USB and Firewire devices that do not have their own power supply.

    Of course, all of this is a trade off. You should easily get 4 hours of battery life if you turn down the screen brightness, turn off wireless networking, and only spend 4+ hours typing into TextEdit without saving.

    A more common mix of activities will decrease battery life. For example, if you have iTunes playing mp3's constantly then your hard drive will always be spinning since it only spins down by default after 10 minutes of no drive activity. If you are surfing the web then you probably have airport turned on and will also have the drive spinning since web browsers cache the pages you load locally on the hard drive.

    If you really want to extend your battery life then you need to think about what parts of the laptop is being used by the software you run.
     
  14. Kingsly macrumors 68040

    Kingsly

    #14
    Does anyone know if Apple's switch to LiPo batteries in the MBP will affect battery life (make it better)?
     
  15. MUCKYFINGERS thread starter macrumors 6502a

    MUCKYFINGERS

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2005
    Location:
    CA
    #15
    i put my laptop on mute and dimmed the brightness to all but the very last setting for "dimness" (if that is even a word, lol), and i easily got 4.5 hours of battery life. thanks for all your help everyone. this included surfing the web and using ms office to finish a report on herbivory and predation for my botany class...
     
  16. yg17 macrumors G5

    yg17

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2004
    Location:
    St. Louis, MO
    #16
    Turn the brightness almost all the way down...typically 2 bars (bright enough for me, but I have pretty good eyes)
    Turn off Bluetooth
    Turn off Airport when not using it

    I can usually get 3.5-4 hours out of my PowerBook when doing all of the above
     
  17. Mass Hysteria macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2005
    #17
    The amount of RAM installed had made a huge impact on battery life for me. It's the stuff that cooks my lap when doing intensive work so I can see why. Unfortunately it's not easy to change this! It would be good if there was a panel to shut half of it off when you liked.

    The other thing you could do is get yourself a spare battery, especially if after all of these settings/adjustments, the time you get out of the PC is only just enough. As the battery gets older, this will become just not enough!
     
  18. yg17 macrumors G5

    yg17

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2004
    Location:
    St. Louis, MO
    #18
    I would think more RAM=more battery life. Since the more RAM you have, the less the HD will need to be accessed for virtual memory.
     
  19. psendeavor macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2005
    #19
    and don't use MS Word, it really eats up battery life on my PB...
     

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