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mr.sam

macrumors member
Original poster
Jun 19, 2023
35
10
Hey everyone,

I've had my 14" M2 Macbook Pro 30c/32GB for a couple of weeks now. Before purchase I was expecting incredible things for the battery life of the device. You read articles like this one and think "wow, if I got even half of that I'd be stoked". From day 1 I haven't had a day where I've been all that impressed with the battery life.

Take this evening for example, I was playing a game on battery (Dave the Diver - very good), and had a Fedora VM in UTM running in the background (the VM was idle). Look at this curve:
1688822473404.png


Granted, I primarily use this machine docked. Some evening's I'll take it off the dock (around 8pm), and it doesn't really matter what I'm doing I'll be below 50% by midnight.

I need a bit of a reality check, because I've come to the following scenarios:
1. What reviewers consider "high load" is not loading the CPU up at all - considering so many reviews focus on video, I do wonder if it's all hardware acceleration doing the heavy lifting.
2. My workflow is "high load" even when I'm bumbling about in Notion.
3. I've got a dud machine.
4. Everyone else is pedantic about watching the Energy tab in Activity Monitor and closes anything that registers.

As an aside, I saw plenty of reviewers wowed by the "silent" fans that "never come on". They'd put the unit under load and be mesmerised by how quiet in is. If I open a game, or do anything CPU intensive (render in Fusion 360), those fans spin up right away and the MacBook is louder than the air-cooled 5950x machine under my desk. I also contrast with my rather cheap Lenovo E14, which is running an i7 and would have a similar work-load - the Lenovo is probably worse battery wise than the MacBook, but the MacBook is 4x the price.

I like my M2 MacBook, but I've come away thinking a number of the features are a little over-hyped in the reviews.
 
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mr.sam

macrumors member
Original poster
Jun 19, 2023
35
10
Here is also the energy tab from tonight:
1688823467836.png

Battery status:
1688823499398.png
 

dmccloud

macrumors 68040
Sep 7, 2009
3,035
1,790
Anchorage, AK
Your Activity Monitor screenshot shows both Dave the Diver and UTM using more battery than everything else combined, which is expected. Gaming is going to drain any laptop battery quickly - there's just no way around that. Likewise, running an external display while on battery power instead of AC will also contribute to the battery drain. With that being said, when I'm using the laptop for less intensive tasks (web development, browsing, forums like these, social media, etc.), I can go 2-3 days between charges easily. One thing you can do is to go into the battery settings and enable low power mode:


Screenshot 2023-07-08 at 10.01.16 AM.jpg

Just as an FYI, I'm still at 66% despite my machine having been off the charger since just after midnight on Friday, with low power mode set to never.
 

iMacDragon

macrumors 68020
Oct 18, 2008
2,390
724
UK
Games are generally worst case scenario for battery life, they're power hungry and not short and bursty.
 

JPack

macrumors G5
Mar 27, 2017
12,907
24,495
The bulk of the power consumption is due to the CPU and GPU cores. If you load those up, it'll drain the battery in no time. Most reviewers won't test with expensive commercial software like Fusion 360.

Apple Silicon is really excellent at idle power consumption. The processor uses about an order of magnitude less power than comparable PCs at idle. That's why you hear about the silent fans at idle. But when there is a heavy load, the difference is only 25-50%. Still really good, but not spectacular.
 

DHagan4755

macrumors 68020
Jul 18, 2002
2,209
5,955
Massachusetts
You read articles like this one and think "wow, if I got even half of that I'd be stoked".

That article is talking about the battery life doing basic things on a 13" MacBook Pro with M2 — not the 14" MacBook Pro with M2 Max. Had Monica run all the apps you had going, her reportage would be different. Some of the reviewers don't live on the machine as if it's their own because they have deadlines & the computer has to go back to Apple.

The M2 Max is at a disadvantage for battery life in the 14". It's a small computer.

Activity monitor shows why your battery life sucks. Do you need to run all of those apps when you play Dave the Diver? Quit all of them & play the game then tell us how you fare coming from a full charge.

Firefox is a pig energy wise. I've found that Safari is pretty much the champ when it comes to memory & power consumption. And these electron apps like Spotify are based on Chromium which still hasn't gotten their power consumption & memory footprint down to Safari levels (this is why web apps in macOS Sonoma will be a game changer).

When I'm focused on a specific project I quit all of the other running programs.
 

Ozgalusa

macrumors newbie
Jul 9, 2023
2
0
Sydney Australia
That article is talking about the battery life doing basic things on a 13" MacBook Pro with M2 — not the 14" MacBook Pro with M2 Max. Had Monica run all the apps you had going, her reportage would be different. Some of the reviewers don't live on the machine as if it's their own because they have deadlines & the computer has to go back to Apple.

The M2 Max is at a disadvantage for battery life in the 14". It's a small computer.

Activity monitor shows why your battery life sucks. Do you need to run all of those apps when you play Dave the Diver? Quit all of them & play the game then tell us how you fare coming from a full charge.

Firefox is a pig energy wise. I've found that Safari is pretty much the champ when it comes to memory & power consumption. And these electron apps like Spotify are based on Chromium which still hasn't gotten their power consumption & memory footprint down to Safari levels (this is why web apps in macOS Sonoma will be a game changer).

When I'm focused on a specific project I quit all of the other running programs.
Pardon my ignorance here, but reading your comment re: Safari' pretty much 'The Champ when it comes ti Memory and Power Consumption' does that mean Safari uses a ' lot of Battery ' (compared to say Chrome) ? thanks
 
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