battery charging won't keep up to game play???

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Brows, Jun 5, 2011.

  1. Brows macrumors member

    Jul 16, 2010
    Hi im a new apple user and I have a new macbook pro that i just bought. 17" i7 and i've been playing some games in OSX like assassins creed and before i start playing the battery is at 100% and plugged in to the wall charger apple supplied. The icon in the top bar indicates its charging. anyways while i play the charger won't keep up to battery drain while playing the game. is this normal? seems odd to me i would think that plugged in it should keep up regardless what im doing. its not a super fast thing but if i game for any length of time i can drain the battery while its plugged in. like 5-6 hours game time. any info would be appreciated.

  2. Tomb01 macrumors 6502

    Jan 6, 2009
    Colleyville, TX

    Yep, working as designed. The power requirements for the system when using all the capabilities (full processor usage, graphics card, display) are more than the power supplied by the charger so the system supplements its power with battery. So if you do game for a LONG time, yes you may run out.
  3. palpatine macrumors 68040

    May 3, 2011
    That does suck.

    But, 5-6 hours game time? You need to unplug dude.
  4. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
  5. palpatine macrumors 68040

    May 3, 2011
    I don't think his question was answered there. At best, it was only suggested in the last line.

    This is news to me, and I am kind of surprised that the computer would actually run itself to death by remaining at peak operation for hours on end.
  6. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    Yes, it is answered in the FAQ. Under the AC POWER section, if you click the link:
    It says:
  7. palpatine macrumors 68040

    May 3, 2011
    I guess I am kind of dense, then, because I still don't see it.

    First of all, I wouldn't have clicked on a link that seems to have nothing to do with the issue. His battery is in. In fact, is the battery ever out? You'd have to physically open up your computer to remove it. Is this a common scenario?

    Anyhow, I don't see it saying anywhere that extended use at peak capacity (drawing on both the AC and battery) will potentially drain the battery to 0 before the computer reduces processor speed.
  8. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    If the computer uses the battery "if it demands more power than the A/C adaptor alone can provide", then it stands to reason that if it consistently demands more power, it will consistently use the battery. Since the battery in the OP's MBP isn't removable, the processor speed is not reduced, continuing to draw power from both AC and the battery. It's a well-known fact that MBPs do this when extreme demand is placed on the system. Usually, it's only moments at a time, unless you have extensive game playing, as is the case here.
  9. palpatine macrumors 68040

    May 3, 2011
    Yeah. I get that. Of course, you could infer that this would happen from the information given. I don't think it is so obvious, though. I would have expected the computer to give a warning message or reduce processor speed if the peak power usage continued for a long period. I am glad the OP made this thread, because I would not have considered the implications of this feature otherwise.
  10. Brows thread starter macrumors member

    Jul 16, 2010
    Yah i also think thats kinda a vage answer... as i said in my original post im a new mac user and that is a "hint to" answer really. It doesn't happen in the PC laptop i have so i wasn't expecting something like this to happen on a mac.
  11. palpatine macrumors 68040

    May 3, 2011
    In defense of the link to that post, we tend to get A LOT of battery questions here. Instead of searching, people just pop on here and ask the same questions over and over again. It is an endless stream, and I think we all get pretty annoyed by it.

    But, in this case I felt like your question was different, and not quite answered by that post. Like I said, I am glad you asked it, because it hadn't occurred to me that someone could run the computer at peak performance for so long.

    I am surprised no one has suggested a solution along the lines of reducing processor power. Perhaps, if there was a way to run the game at slightly lower performance, you could retain the charge.
  12. edifyingGerbil macrumors regular

    Feb 13, 2011
    There's the option of undervolting but I haven't researched it at all so I couldn't say what consequences there are or if it's even viable long-term.

    Another option, for the Windows side, is to go to the high performance power opitions>advanced options>processor power management and then change maximum processor state to 99%; this effectively disables turboboost which is utilised during gaming.

    I'm pissed off that this ~1500 laptop I bought is supplied with an inadequate powersource.
  13. Looon macrumors 6502a


    Jul 10, 2009
    Prepare to keep having more and more of these feelings
  14. palpatine macrumors 68040

    May 3, 2011
    Is it inadequate? Really, I don't know. But, it seems to me that there is potential for an app / game to call for more power than the processor (in any laptop) is capable of providing. Rather than forcing the user to accept slower performance, Apple ingeniously incorporated the option of drawing on both battery and AC power to work through the demands. It might be possible that another laptop would just force you to play at lower levels and not even give you the option.

    So, is it inadequate, or a misunderstood superior feature?
  15. bpeeps macrumors 68030


    May 6, 2011
    The latter, but I don't know if they'll see it that way.
  16. edifyingGerbil macrumors regular

    Feb 13, 2011
    Well when I "disabled" Turboboost in Windows using that trick I mentioned in my previous post my MBP ceased drawing energy from the battery and I didn't notice any lag in the game I was playing (Mass Effect 2).

    I suspect if Apple had provided a power source that outputted more energy this issue would never arise; it's not a superior "feature", it's just that previous MBP models whose CPUs/GPUs had a lower wattage had more than adequate energy coming in. Omitting to upgrade a plug commensurate with the needs of the machine could not be considered a feature lol

    Besides, you can use MBA power sources for MBPs and vice versa (although I'd be cautious about using a MBP power source on a MBA). So I don't see why they couldn't have increased the power output.
  17. Icy1007 macrumors 65816


    Feb 26, 2011
    Cleveland, OH
    Wirelessly posted (iPhone 4: Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_3_3 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/533.17.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.0.2 Mobile/8J2 Safari/6533.18.5)

    MBP come with 85W AC adaptors not the humongous 200W AC bricks that come with PC laptops.
  18. Brows thread starter macrumors member

    Jul 16, 2010
    i duno about you but im fine with the size of the power supply that comes with the pc laptop i have that keeps up to power demands... maybe even if they would make power supply's on option when purchasing so you could go with a bigger one if you wanted ... or even as a buy a bigger one option if that one came standard. I'd buy another bigger one in a heartbeat if it would keep up. I cant imagine that another 50 watts would make it that much bigger really.

    also for a company that prides itself on a laptop battery that lasts longer than the competition and then they go for a solution that reduces that battery duration because its charger cant keep up ... just seems like a step backward not forward
  19. timish macrumors regular

    Jul 16, 2002
    Has the OP tried another charger? Maybe the one he has is defective or borderline charge challenged.
  20. edifyingGerbil macrumors regular

    Feb 13, 2011
    Yeah... the MBP doesn't need 200Ws of power so likely they could just increase the wattage but keep the same slim power adapter that comes with the MBP already.

    I'm fine with the size it's just that the wattage gets on my tits (as they say in the UK, and they don't mean bluetits)
  21. silverf1re macrumors regular

    Mar 3, 2011
    I honestly can't believe that this issue is acceptable by apple and the apple community. I love my MacBook Pro but I went out of my way to find a new 2010 model because of this specific issue. I play wow on my MacBook Pro between classes and that can be a couple hours. I do not want to go to class where there is no outlets with a drained battery. I really don't see how this design lives up to the high standards that I have come to love from Apple. :mad:
  22. palpatine macrumors 68040

    May 3, 2011
    I can see why people would be annoyed. Would any MBP battery be drained in two hours from a game, though? It seems inconceivable to me that you couldn't play a game for a couple of hours and still have enough juice to attend a lecture.

    Also, do PCs have an issue with being underpowered for the games, do they give lower performance to conserve power (instead of eating into the battery), or do they just run better?

    I am not a gamer, so I guess I am not pushing my MBP as much as others might, but I have never had any issues with the battery or power supply.
  23. edifyingGerbil macrumors regular

    Feb 13, 2011
    It doesn't just affect gamers, if you were to do something with an application that used the full power of the GPU and the CPU it would still drain.

    Before I did the 99% maximum processing power trick I highlighted earlier Windows would cause the MBP to lose about 5% of battery power after 1.5 hours or so on Mass Effect 2, after I changed the max processor power it stopped draining the battery (I also noticed the fans weren't as loud).

    In OS X by contrast, Dragon Age II drained the battery a lot, after 4 hours of playing I was down to 89% plugged in.

    Perhaps Turboboost is the culprit, who knows?
  24. thunng8 macrumors 6502a

    Feb 8, 2006
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_3_3 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/533.17.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.0.2 Mobile/8J2 Safari/6533.18.5)

    It's only happens in the 2011 quad core models. They use up to 40w more power under heavy load than the 2010 model. Apple however in their wisdom did not upgrade the 85w power supply.
  25. fat jez macrumors 68000

    fat jez

    Jun 24, 2010
    Glasgow, UK
    I wonder if Apple used the TDP for the i7 and 6750? In theory, a chip can draw more power than the TDP rating when under heavy load, which could have lead to them underspeccing that power supply.

    e.g. the TDP for the i7 is 45W, leaving only 40W spare (based on an 85W power supply) for the screen, hard drive, logic board and GPU.

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