Avoiding Power Hungry Apps

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by Hook85, Aug 1, 2015.

  1. Hook85 macrumors member

    Hook85

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2015
    Location:
    Sheffield, UK
    #1
    Apologies if this has already been covered, but I've searched and not found anything.

    I've noticed in the last 24 hours that some apps are much more power hungry than others, for example Safari seems to drain the battery fairly quickly, but nowhere near as quickly as Chrome does. This got me thinking about which was the best, and most efficient, browser to use on the rMB when on the move.

    Then then made me wonder which were the most power efficient apps in general in order to maximise battery life without impeding performance.

    What apps do people recommend?
     
  2. Queen6 macrumors 603

    Queen6

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    #2
    Much is determined by your usage/workflow, equally there are some options;
    • Movist for video playback as it fully utilises hardware acceleration 7% of CPU versus 30% for VLC
    • Chrome users, switch to Chrome Canary as is far more optimised for OS X
    • Open PDF`s in Quick View or install Skim, the PDF rendering engine in OS X (10.10) Preview is broken and burns a lot of CPU cycles as result, hence why some complain of "choppy" scrolling
    • UBlock prevents unwanted AD`s from loading, reducing the load
    • Skip Flash and the likes period
    • Those that require AV, use ClamXav (now a paid app) and set up sentry & scanning intelligently
    • Avoid persistent system monitors; temperature, disk activity, network activity etc. as they only burn up CPU cycles in the background
    Some system sitting that can also reduce power consumption;
    • System Preferences - Accessibility - reduce transparency
    • System Preferences - Dock - Minimise Windows using "Scale Efect"
    • System Preferences - Dock - deselect "Magnification"
    • System Preferences - Dock - deselect "Animate Opening Applications"
    • Close applications, when not in use, you can deselect "Close windows when quitting an app" in System Preferences - General to bring them back to the same state when opened (those with App Nap are not such a concern)
    • Display 50%-60%
    Q-6
     
  3. Roman2K~ macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2011
    #3
    Good idea for a thread.

    I changed my habits now that I'm using this MacBook, and some are now making their way into my iMac too. Notably:
    • Browser: Safari
      • from Chrome - I've yet to try the development version
    • Ad blocker: uBlock
      • from AdBlock Plus
    • Video player: mpv
      • from VLC
    • OS X: No transparency
      • System Preferences > Accessibility > Display > Reduce transparency
     
  4. tbirdparis macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 30, 2015
    #4
    Great list! (and also Roman 2K's suggestions too).

    I really wanted to use Chrome on the rMB because when I'm on a project I always have a big google sheets page open and it always seemed to work better in Chrome. But I haven't installed it so far, sticking with Safari and it seems to be OK for now.

    Question: I also didn't install flash at all on this machine because I thought now is a good time to forget about it and move on. However, one or two sites that I go to still wanted it so I caved in the end. Does anyone know if there's a flash disabler plug in or add on or whatever that can make it never secretly run, except for sites you have pre-authorised? Or am I talking nonsense?
     
  5. Queen6 macrumors 603

    Queen6

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    #5
    There are plugins for blocking Flash available to Safari, however you don't need it if you have Chrome installed as it has it`s own self-contained Flash. Uninstall Flash and sites that require it, use Chrome.

    Q-6
     
  6. Roman2K~ macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2011
    #6
    +1

    I'd rather launch Chrome for the only sites that need Flash than have Adobe's version of Flash installed (ugh).

    Personally, I opted to avoid Flash completely. No Flash in Safari, and not even Chrome for sites that require it.
     
  7. tbirdparis macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 30, 2015
    #7
    OK good advice guys, thanks. Have to admit I died a little inside when I saw that "install Adode Flash" setup window on my new machine, but I just went with it because I figured that any browser would eventually need it if I still wanted to go to certain sites. Good to know that I could bypass this entirely just by using Chrome for certain things.. so uninstaller here I come. Also in reality, it was only one site now that I think about it that wanted flash and it's totally non-essential, FYI it was the ookla speedtest for determining internet connection speed. Certainly nothing important enough to warrant seeing that awful pop up "time to update flash" thing all the time, like a ridiculous throwback to the 90s...!
     
  8. Queen6 macrumors 603

    Queen6

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    #8
    Same no Flash and no Chrome, and none the worse for it :)

    Q-6
     
  9. Hook85 thread starter macrumors member

    Hook85

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2015
    Location:
    Sheffield, UK
    #9
    Thanks - some really helpful posts in there. I'd already decided to forgo flash, but I'm going to give Skim and a few of the other suggestions a go.

    Cheers, I know the battery is pretty good on the rMP but sometimes small tweaks make a big difference. As Team Sky would say: marginal gains.

    I didn't know that - that's a brilliant solution. I really don't wanna install flash on this machine, but there are some websites I need to use that require it. If I'm at home I can use my iMac, but out and about Chrome will be the, almost perfect, solution. (Only almost perfect because the world would be a better place if Flash had died already)
     
  10. tbirdparis macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 30, 2015
    #10
    OK I just nuked flash. That felt good. Almost as nice a feeling as when I deleted all songs by Moby that came pre-installed on a Nokia not so smart phone back in the day...

    Just installed Chrome and sure enough, it runs that one flash site I wanted with no flash installed on my system. So great, it's there when I want it and does not live on my system in any way. As it should be.

    Question: I also installed u-block today, which seems to be working fine. Am curious though.. In the tab it shows on safari with a number showing how many requests for ads it has blocked (some pages are alarmingly high, over 40 attempted ad serves), anyway this seems to show that it's working fine. But, for people who have experience with using it - does it actually reduce battery leaching and keep things lean? I mean as a plug in it's obviously running all the time itself, so I just wonder if the brick wall it puts up against ads actually saves you more power (by them not loading and running), than what it uses itself by being on constantly in the background? I'm guessing it must be advantageous otherwise people wouldn't use it right?
     
  11. Queen6 macrumors 603

    Queen6

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    #11
    That`s what is really about, as nothing here in isolation that will bring significant returns, however combined it does add up...

    Q-6
     
  12. Roman2K~ macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2011
    #12
    It's not really running constantly in the background, it's run like a filter on every page load. I don't have the answer to your question but you have to take into account that ads don't have to be drawn (and animated in the case of GIFs) and it not only blocks text- and image-based ads but also Javascript ones, which may use a lot of CPU if badly written.

    Also, I would use it even it used more CPU for itself than it saved from blocking ads, since it means not having to bear with the visual noise (I'm always amazed by what people put up with when I see what pages look like without an ad blocker).
     
  13. Queen6 macrumors 603

    Queen6

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    #13
    It`s difficult to quantify, however U-Block is pretty fugal on resources and it helps to speed up load times. My own reasoning is that I would run it anyway as I find the constant barrage of unrequested advertisements irritating. U-Block is less "heavy" on CPU usage than some other adblockers and it has a lot of options which I find useful. All in all I believe it stands up as U-Block does prevent a massive amount of unwanted content being loaded and in some cases played. One way found to observe was the memory footprint of Safari dropped significantly with the Ads blocked.

    Q-6
     
  14. tbirdparis macrumors 6502

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    May 30, 2015
    #14
    Thanks guys, yep I also like it for the removal of visual pollution. And given how many awful junky animated ads appear, even on respectable sites like certain newspapers I read online, I'm sure it's saving resources by stopping them from loading. I'm going to use it for a while and see how it goes, for now I'm into it.
     
  15. east85 macrumors 65816

    east85

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2010
    #15
    Thoughts on Safari:

    Install Click2Plugin for Safari. It will not autostart videos and automatically block flash, but leaves flash open for use if you allow it to run. If you opt to play content most files they are redirected to HTML5 which is far more efficient. I also have Adblock installed, which helps reduce demand. Ghostery is another add on I have installed, which blocks tracking cookies and scripts, saves considerable bandwidth and CPU.
     
  16. Queen6 macrumors 603

    Queen6

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    #16
    You can achieve the same with solely U-Block, as it can also block tracking servers etc. U-Block has a great deal of options for blocking lists, including some country specific ones which is useful if you travel, however you wold need to compare to see which is the better.

    Q-6
     
  17. east85, Aug 2, 2015
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2015

    east85 macrumors 65816

    east85

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2010
    #17
    Thanks for the heads up. I'll give it a test run to replace ABP, as it is said to have lower overhead. As far as I can see it can't replace Click2Plugin for me. It just doesn't have a number of things I use click2plugin for including downloading content.

    http://i.imgur.com/I9LvTOJ.png
    http://i.imgur.com/Sn90hSy.png
    http://i.imgur.com/005dpCc.png
    http://i.imgur.com/7R2O4iz.png
    http://i.imgur.com/VAMLK2d.png
     

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