5hr battery life...yeahhh...okay

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by PeaceOut, May 19, 2008.

  1. PeaceOut macrumors member

    May 17, 2008
    So Apple claim 5hr of battery life on the new Penryn 15" LED Macbook pro.

    Here's my first test on my brand new MBP (just in case anyone was interested). I forgot my power adapter this morning so I took the opportunity to write down a few numbers.

    Wireless off, screen turn off 2min idle, screen dimmed down to about 75%.

    8:00 - 9:00 (99% - 90%)
    - standby on commute.

    9:30 - 10:30 (90% > 70%)
    - resumed it from standby
    - attached it to an external monitor and ran the calibration for it.
    - idle

    10:30 - 10:45 (70% > 66%)
    - ran itunes, played music (no skipping).
    - disconnected the external because I though it was sucking up the juice.

    10:45 - 11:30 (66% > 40%)
    - viewed and edited a couple pictures on Lightroom
    - imported and viewed photos on iPhoto
    - ran vmware to check something in windows for about 5 min. Shut it down afterwards.
    - played with settings because isight was not working

    11:30 - 12:00 (40% > 30%)
    - idle. Nothing running. Screen turned off.

    12:00 - 12:30 (30% > 17%)
    - itunes playing music (no skipping).
    - tried to fix isight problems by looking in system profiles, settings, etc. (it would not work. Opened photobooth and got the camera with a line diagonally across it).

    12:30 - 12:40 (17% > 12%)
    - shut down and restarted
    - isight works now so I played with it a little (5min). Took 4 pictures.
    - itunes playing music (no skipping).

    12:40 - 1:00 (12% > 6%)
    - itunes playing music (no skipping)
    - looking through system settings for battery information

    1:00 - 1:10 (6% > 2%)
    - idle. Nothing running.
    - kept the screen on to see what's going on my moving the mouse every so often.

    1:15 (0%)
    - MBP goes to sleep.

    This is the first time using the battery. It's been connected to power source 100% of the time since I got the machine last week.

    Overall, it's 3hr 45min of usage. It's nowhere near 5hrs that Apple claims (with wireless on) but not bad. My last laptop gave me 1:45 min max with the screen dimmed down to the lowest setting.
  2. alphaod macrumors Core


    Feb 9, 2008
    Dimming down to 75% is a battery killer; You need to dim to 25% or less.
  3. Neutral Gamer macrumors 6502a

    Neutral Gamer

    I would expect most people to get 4-5 hours of battery life under normal usage with the 15" MBP's. I used to get at least 3:25 for my 17" Santa Rosa machine and that was with wireless on and letting the display auto adjust the brightness.

    You getting only 3:45 with your 15" Penryn with wireless off doesn't seem right.

    However, as you said this is the FIRST time you've used it on battery and had it plugged in all the time before that, maybe you should give it a few more goes on the battery and see what happens?

    And how about calibrating the battery as well? Also certain activities such as running Windows in Fusion and possibly connecting up to an external display may drain the battery quicker than normal.
  4. ayeying macrumors 601


    Dec 5, 2007
    Yay Area, CA
    apple claims it varies with configuration and how a user uses the laptop. So whats the problem here? Its clearly shown that you used it differently then what Apple did when they tested the system.
  5. PDE macrumors 68020

    Nov 16, 2005
    I have to say that the latest Penryn MBPs actually deliver great battery life given the power they pack - perhaps just short of Apple claims, but it really does depend on usage. I've had all iterations of the MBPs and this is by a significant margin the best battery life I've seen.
  6. Bobioden macrumors 68000


    Sep 23, 2007
    I am getting right at 4 hours with my 2.4 MBP, with brightness on it's highest setting.
  7. vincebio macrumors 6502a


    Jun 27, 2005
    that is your problem right there.

    your battery isnt at full operating ability.

    on past experience with powerbooks and mbps, i get best use out of my battery after a few weeks of running the battery almost dry and fully charging it.

    leaving the powercord plugged on constantly isnt letting the ions charge correctly...they need to move to have optimum performance.
  8. Barham macrumors regular


    Feb 5, 2004
    I generally run my 15" Penryn MBP 2.4 with Mail, Webkit, Pages, Numbers, and Omni Outliner spread across two spaces. I hit right around 5 hours with one notch under 75% brightness. I did notice that the battery life improved over about the first two weeks that I had the machine. It's settled in now and gets similar battery life every day.

    Honestly, I was shocked coming off of a 2.33 MBP (w/e was before Santa Rosa, I don't remember). It couldn't touch this machine for battery life.
  9. pacmania1982 macrumors 6502a


    Nov 19, 2006
    Birmingham, UK
    I ran coconut battery the other day on my 16 month old MacBook Pro and it told me I have a capacity of 39%. I get about 45 mins out of it.

    Pretty miffed - but its had good use. Next time I got to the US I'm gonna get a new one

  10. Neutral Gamer macrumors 6502a

    Neutral Gamer

    That's excellent. It looks as though battery life is improving nicely with every new revision. Anyone know what kind of increase we can expect with the upcoming Montevina MBP updates? It'd be great if they could let us get at least 5 hours with brightness at 100%. I'd be extremely happy with that.

    Wait, are you talking about buying a whole new MBP or simply buying a new battery? :eek:
  11. PeaceOut thread starter macrumors member

    May 17, 2008

    Anything below 60% is too low for a decently lit room.
    I had the screen sleep if idling longer than 2min and there were quite a few instances where that happened.

    I wasn't expecting 5 hours, because marketing always stretches the truth. but I'm glad to hear that Barham is actually getting 5 hrs. As you said, It's probably because it's the beginning of the battery life cycle that I got less time. I'll be doing more testing. Just thought I'd throw up some test data for others to see.

    I also seized the opportunity yesterday (forgot charger at home) to condition the battery by letting it sit for 5+ hours after battery low sleep before connecting to power adapter.

    I understand that it'll be different with different users and configurations but I had the wireless off which is a big battery sucker and I barely did anything for the most part other than listen to music (by the way has that static noise which is driving me up the wall) and tinker with some settings. I think I did considerably less than what a typical user would do. That span of time where I ran vm, imported and viewed a few photos was when I was showing a colleague what this machine can do, so it was really brief.

    Would like to hear more people claiming a good 4-5 hr battery life. But as I mentioned before, this is way better my previous laptop so I'm actually pretty satisfied.
  12. Beau10 macrumors 6502a

    Apr 6, 2008
    Downtown San Diego
    I'm baffled by some of the claims here, they seem way too good to be true.

    I have a base Penryn (2.4, 200 gig, etc) with a battery that shows 5500mAh battery that was actually putting about 5350 after calibration (about 30 cycles).

    On idle w/ nothing running, screen dimmed to the lowest notch, keyboard light off, reporting 42 C CPU/50 GPU, less than 5% load, I've seen it report up to 4:45 max. With maybe the lightest web surfing possible (ie. no flash) I've seen it report up to 4:15.

    To anyone who is seeing like 5+ hours with alot of brightness, can you tell me what your actual battery rating in mAh is? The only thing that makes sense is some folks must have a 5600 battery that is calibrating way north of that (like at least 5700), OR the battery times reported by the OS are pessimistic. I've never timed it myself.

    I'm a software dev and usually hammer the machine pretty hard running Fusion for .NET development. It seems that many times I'm not even putting in 3 hours before its out of juice, and I almost always am about 30-40% brightness.
  13. katorga macrumors regular

    Oct 28, 2006
    My 2.4Ghz santa rosa, averaged 4:15-4:45 when I first got it. After a year that dropped 30-40 minutes. My new battery seems to hold at 3:30-3:50.
  14. dacreativeguy macrumors 68020

    Jan 27, 2007
    You can get close to that on a brand new machine/battery. But your display needs to be at the absolute lowest setting just above no backlight, you can't use the optical drive, and you can't do any intensive processing that causes the HD to spin.
  15. mgacam2 macrumors regular


    Jul 27, 2007
    So I just checked my SR 2.2 Ghz MBP battery life with a new battery I got from Apple about a month ago and i get around 3 hours 30 mins battery life with bluetooth off, display at 50% and adium and airport on for web browsing. With the screen at the lowest setting with airport off i get 4.5 hours it says.
  16. wgilles macrumors 6502


    Feb 21, 2008
    I've done 3-4 hours of solid photo editing on just battery power. Both Photoshop and Aperture open with the screen only slightly dimmed.
  17. higgalls macrumors regular

    Mar 20, 2008
    If I dim my screen to almost all the way down, and turn off WiFi, I will get about 6 hours of battery life (and I find it is still fine to use the screen that low).

    With my brightness turned up, and wireless on, I recon I still get around 5 hours.

    I have one of the 2.4Ghz Penryns (15inch screen)
  18. Chundles macrumors G4


    Jul 4, 2005
    With WiFi on, screen turned down a bit and using NetNewsWire, Safari, Mail and occasionally Dashboard I get easily 4:30 from my Penryn MacBook.

    It's amazing how long this battery lasts, my iBook G4 is still getting about 4 hours but it's nowhere near as grunty as this little beauty.
  19. taylorwilsdon macrumors 68000


    Nov 16, 2006
    New York City
    I get a solid 4 hours doing normal things with wifi and brightness up. You had it connected to an external monitor and used lightroom. You can't even pretend that, even if it was only for a short time, those are "normal" uses for a laptop use benchmark.
  20. bart rijksen macrumors regular

    Mar 1, 2008
    i have a very good battery life with mine. if i turn of wireless and bluetooth, and dim the screen to 1 bar, i get about 5 hours.
  21. snaky69 macrumors 603

    Mar 14, 2008
    In college with wi-fi on and word + excel working in a lab, I average 4.5hours on my penryn 15'' MBP"
  22. Inconsequential macrumors 68000

    Sep 12, 2007
    I've got 4 hours out of a 2.4 June 2007 on MSN with screen at minimum with wireless on :eek:

    3 hours running Safari.

    I do think 5 hours is pushing it tho on a Penryn :p
  23. soms macrumors 6502


    Dec 10, 2007
    I get right at 4hrs with wireless on an screen at 50%
  24. dblissmn macrumors 6502

    Apr 30, 2002
    Problems here, any suggestions

    In general web use, with a couple of other applications open (Mail and Bookends), about 3 hours and 20 minutes on a Penryn, and that's with the display at half brightness and no external monitor. OK, I do tend to flip pages, but there's no flash there or anything.

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