2016 MBP15 Stuck in a High Energy Usage State

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by dgbarar, Dec 26, 2016.

  1. dgbarar, Dec 26, 2016
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2016

    dgbarar macrumors regular

    dgbarar

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2014
    Location:
    Fountain Hills, AZ
    #1
    Hi All,

    For a little over a month I have owned a late 2016 MBP15 (2.9 GHz, 1 TB, 460). Since the released of OS X 10.12.2 I have found that my battery life to be in the 9 - 12 hour range with light usage (Safari, Outlook, Mail, Messages, and brightness set to 10 clicks). Energy consumption rate was anywhere from 6 - 11 watts as shown by Battery Health 1.3.

    Yesterday, my usage was more heavy. In addition to having several Safari tabs open, I was also working with Excel and using a virtual machine (VM Ware's Fusion). As expected, the rate of energy consumption rate increased to 20 watts plus.

    What I found that was odd as that as I began to turn off these applications, the rate of power never returned to the 6 - 11 watt range and remained relatively high at 17 watts plus. This situation prevailed for over 60 minutes even though I had every application off with exception of Finder.

    I went into the Activity application to see if I could find any application that might be using the discrete graphics card. None were indicated. I downloaded an application called gfxCardStatus v2.3 that shows whether-or-not the discrete graphics card is operational. This application indicates that only the integrated graphics was operational.

    I offer this experience for others that have 2016 MBP15s to obtain their input and thoughts.

    Donald Barar

    BTW. The only way I could get the energy usage rate back down to the 6 - 11 watt range was to re-boot. I should not have to do this. Also, I like everything about this laptop--even the keyboard and touchbar. But, I am concerned about what is I considere to be "flaky" use of the battery. Is this a hardware flaw? Or, can this be fixed with the release of firmware and/or software? I have tried all the usual fixes: PRAM, SMC, etc.
     
  2. dgbarar, Dec 26, 2016
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2016

    dgbarar thread starter macrumors regular

    dgbarar

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2014
    Location:
    Fountain Hills, AZ
    #2
    Hi All,

    Here's another piece of the puzzle. What kicked my 2016 MBP15 this into a high energy usage state is VM Ware Fusion. As soon as I open up a VM Fusion virtual machine, energy usage rate goes to 26 watts plus. Also, I noted that the virtual machine forces the discrete graphics card to turn on. Closing VM Fusion immediately turns off the discrete graphics card.

    However, after closing the VM Fusion window and the discrete graphics card turns off, energy consumption always stays above 17 watts and never returns to light usage readings of 6 - 11 watts.

    I am wondering if this is what the problem with variable battery usage rates are. If the discrete graphics card is ever turned on, energy consumption stays high even if the discrete graphics card is turned off as well as all applications.

    Can someone else that has a 2016 MBP15 attempt to confirm this?

    Donald Barar
     
  3. dyn, Dec 26, 2016
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2016

    dyn macrumors 68030

    Joined:
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    Location:
    .nl
    #3
    What version of VMware Fusion are you using?
    What are you using to read out the amount of Watts?
     
  4. dgbarar thread starter macrumors regular

    dgbarar

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2014
    Location:
    Fountain Hills, AZ
    #4
    Hi D,

    I am using the following:
    • VM Fusion 8.5.3
    • Battery Health 2 version 1.3
    I have just read on another thread that gfxCardStatus does not work with Sierra. Not sure if this is correct or not. Do you know?

    Donald Barar
     
  5. dyn macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2009
    Location:
    .nl
    #5
    I wouldn't rule that one out since development on gfxCardStatus has stopped a few years ago. There will be a point in the future where it simply stops working correctly (which seems to be right now). On the Github page of the app someone has logged an issue with macOS Sierra compatibility, it's about 220 responses long already. If you scroll to the bottom you'll find a post by someone who made some alterations to the code and got it working again.
     
  6. dgbarar thread starter macrumors regular

    dgbarar

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2014
    Location:
    Fountain Hills, AZ
    #6
    Since there is question about the validity of gfxCardStatus there is no point using it for analysis. I have removed if from my computer.

    Donald Barar
     
  7. poorcody macrumors 6502

    poorcody

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2013
    #7
    I did experience this once, when I first got my touchbar-15"... something forced it into a high power state and I had to reboot to bring it down. Don't know what it was though, and I haven't seen it since (about a month ago).

    If it's of any use, when I run Parallels 11 with Widows 10, it does not automatically start the dGPU (stays on integrated), and wattage can stay south of 10w with nothing running under Windows (currently at 7w right now).
     
  8. xraydoc macrumors 604

    xraydoc

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2005
    Location:
    192.168.1.1
    #8
    I'm wondering if this is a reason for some people reporting very poor battery life on the 15" machines. Something activates the dGPU and the OS never turns it off. Fortunately that would be something that could be solved with a software update... presuming this is the case and Apple discovers it.
     
  9. dgbarar thread starter macrumors regular

    dgbarar

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2014
    Location:
    Fountain Hills, AZ
    #9
    That's what I am thinking. But the situation seems to be variable. I was working in Photoshop today, gfxCardStatus reported (if you can believe it) that the discrete card was on. Energy consumption rate did not get that high--about 13 watts. When I exited Photoshop, discrete card turned off, and the energy rate dropped back to the 6 - 11 watt range. Whatever is going it, is highly variable and difficult to track down. The closest I have been able to get to finding a switch is VM Fusion running Windows 10. That always seems to create a high energy usage state from which I cannot recover without a re-boot.

    Donald Barar

    BTW. The good thing is that I am less dependent on VM Fusion than I was couple of months ago with the release of Quicken 2017 for Mac (another high energy consumer). Occasionally, I still need Excel for Windows when I can not get what I need from Excel for Mac.
     
  10. xraydoc macrumors 604

    xraydoc

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2005
    Location:
    192.168.1.1
    #10
    I've been using Parallels 12 (or whatever the latest version is) with Win 10 and fortunately I've not seen it locked the dGPU in an active state when quitting. It does activate it when running, but appears to gracefully deactivate when I exit the app.
     
  11. poorcody macrumors 6502

    poorcody

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2013
    #11
    I actually don't think the "high energy state" it gets locked into necessarily has to with the dGPU. When I experienced it, the dGPU was off.
    --- Post Merged, Dec 26, 2016 ---
    I believe you can prevent the dGPU from coming on in Parallels based on some graphics performance settings (can't remember where at the moment...)
     
  12. xraydoc macrumors 604

    xraydoc

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2005
    Location:
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    #12
    True, but the VM performance (window scrolling, etc) is much, much better with it on.
     
  13. littlepud macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2012
    #13
    In VMware Fusion, you can change the graphics acceleration setting in the VM properties to use the iGPU only.
     
  14. dgbarar thread starter macrumors regular

    dgbarar

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2014
    Location:
    Fountain Hills, AZ
    #14
    Thanks. I will give that a try.
     
  15. Creep89 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2012
    #15
    My MBP did something similar some minutes ago. Disconnected external display, iGPU kicked in. However I could observe > 30W power usage and 10W for the dGPU. So if iStat Menus reads all sensors correctly there is definitely something wrong.
     
  16. AdonisSMU macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2010
    #16
    You should file a report with Apple so they know about this issue.
     
  17. northernpaul macrumors member

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    Feb 20, 2008
    #17
    Hi - interesting findings. I'm curious - what do you use to track watts?
     
  18. poorcody macrumors 6502

    poorcody

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2013
    #18
    I personally use Coconut Battery. It's free, puts the wattage up in the menu bar so you can watch it interactively, and it updates the value every 60 seconds.

    Other battery apps also monitor it, as well as iStatsMenu which is popular.
     

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