Battery dies too fast

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by audiokeeffe, Apr 18, 2012.

  1. audiokeeffe macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2010
    #1
    If I start watching a movie on my laptop when it's at 100% charge, it's almost down to 15% by the time the movie is finished. I want to be able to take my laptop on a plane or somewhere that there isn't any power outlets. Is there any way I can watch videos/movies and make the battery last longer?
     
  2. miles01110 macrumors Core

    miles01110

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2006
    Location:
    The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
    #2
    Don't watch them fullscreen, or watch low-res versions. Since battery life is dependent on usage and watching movies takes up a lot of CPU it's perfectly normal that your battery only lasts ~2 hours.
     
  3. simsaladimbamba, Apr 18, 2012
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2012

    simsaladimbamba

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2010
    Location:
    located
    #3
    Also don't watch at full brightness. And Flash videos suck the battery dry quite fast, due to the high CPU usage.

    ______________________________________________________
    This should answer most, if not all, of your battery questions:
    Apple Notebook Battery FAQ by GGJstudios
    The F.A.Q. includes the following topics:
    • BATTERY INFORMATION
    • BATTERY LIFE FROM A CHARGE
    • AC POWER
    • CALIBRATION
    • BATTERY LIFESPAN
    • CHECKING STATUS AND HEALTH
    • CHARGING
    • WHAT IS A CYCLE?
    • BATTERIES ARE NOT COVERED
    • BULGING OR SWELLING BATTERY


    ______________________________________________________
     
  4. heisenberg123 macrumors 603

    heisenberg123

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    Oct 31, 2010
    Location:
    Hamilton, Ontario
    #4
    yes dim the screen to about half way, and no full screen and it should last about 3 hours
     
  5. arctic macrumors 6502a

    arctic

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2008
    #5
    Unfortunately battery tech is not that advance yet for our machines to be able to run longer in video playback. And geez, some of the kids here are even praying for a thinner design :rolleyes:. Anyway, if budget isn't a concern and if you love videos on the go, invest on an iPad, even the first generation wi-fi only. They're priced nicely these days in eBay, Amazon or Craig's.
     
  6. Interstella5555 macrumors 603

    Interstella5555

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2008
    #6
    quit all programs except what you're using to watch the movie
    turn brightness down
    watch movies of internal hdd and not dvd/external drive

    I can get 3 or 4 hours on planes like this, it's not too hard.
     
  7. hafr macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2011
    #7
    Which MBP do you have? What's the battery's health? How many charge cycles has it been through? Which app are you using to watch movies? What resolution is it? What's the bitrate?

    There are loads of questions to answer before anyone can tell you whether or not it's perfectly normal.
     
  8. /user/me macrumors 6502

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    Feb 28, 2011
    #8
    All that information fluctuates frequently and is unreliable at best.
     
  9. heisenberg123 macrumors 603

    heisenberg123

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    Hamilton, Ontario
    #9
    its not that unrealible, the higher the quality of the video the more battery consumption it would use. im guessing his point is to give as much detail as possilbe when asking a problematic question
     
  10. hafr macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2011
    #10
    Haha, really? Which MBP he has definitely isn't going to "fluctuate", the battery health will give a good indication of whether or not the battery is in good or bad health - 97 or 92 % isn't really important, the number of charge cycles will only increase with the number of charge cycles and won't really fluctuate, different apps use different amount of power, resolution and average bitrate is quite important as well. All of these questions, and more, will together give a good image of whether or not 15 % battery after a two hour long movie is acceptable or not.

    But please, do inform me of how "All that information fluctuates frequently and is unreliable at best".
     
  11. audiokeeffe thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2010
    #11
    Here's my info:

    Full charge capacity (mAh): 5967
    Cycle count: 632
    I use either quicktime or vlc to watch movies on.

    So with this info, what is your opinions?
     
  12. simsaladimbamba

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2010
    Location:
    located
    #12
    What ?MacBook Pro? 15" or 17"? Full brightness?
    Open Activity Monitor and select All Processes and then sort by CPU to show you the process(es) eating up your battery life during video playback.
     
  13. audiokeeffe thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2010
    #13
    It's 15" and ya, I usually have it on full brightness, which I know does not help my situation.

    Stupid question, but does it still drain the battery fast if the movie is kept on pause in the background? Or does the movie need to be playing?
     
  14. /user/me macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2011
    #14
    I wasn't talking about apps or even charge cycles. I was talking about the phenomena of the battery health fluctuating wildly depending on its mood that day. The battery health isn't set in stone like you said with your own words that I quoted. I was merely saying that the battery health varies, and any report of it should be taken with a grain of salt.
     
  15. simsaladimbamba

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    Nov 28, 2010
    Location:
    located
    #15
    The battery is drained faster the more CPU is used. If playing back a movie uses more CPU than pausing the movie, pausing the movie will you get more battery life.

    Have you looked at that FAQ yet?
     
  16. audiokeeffe thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2010
    #16
    Ya I have. I understand it a little better now and can make changes.
     
  17. hafr macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2011
    #17
    I guess you meant to answer a completely different post than the one you quoted then...
     
  18. /user/me macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2011
    #18
    Nope. Pretty sure that's what I was referencing.
     
  19. hafr macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2011
    #19
    You are pretty sure about it, but I can't read minds. Do you understand why someone would think that you were talking about all five questions when you quoted all five and said "all that information", without pointing out in any way that you were just talking about one out of the five?
     
  20. /user/me macrumors 6502

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    Feb 28, 2011
    #20
    I conpletely understand, and in retrospect, I should have been more specific, but I don't like to alter quotes in a reply, hence the unintentional vagueness
     
  21. Mr. Retrofire macrumors 601

    Mr. Retrofire

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    Mar 2, 2010
    Location:
    www.emiliana.cl/en
    #21
    Make sure that you use only MP4 videos (.m4v and .mp4 extensions) which contain a H.264 video stream. MediaInfo can show you this info. Some tools can copy the H.264 and AAC streams from MKV files to MP4 files.

    The QuickTime X Player on Mac OS X 10.6.3 and newer can use the GPU (integrated or discrete) of your Mac for the hardware accelerated decoding of the H.264 video stream (from the file). QuickTime X does support this hardware acceleration only for certain file extensions (yeah, strange, i know).

    AFAIK newer versions of VLC do support hardware accelerated H.264 decoding for MKV and MP4.
     
  22. SaggyBagz macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2012
    Location:
    St Petersburg, FL
    #22
    ^ totally agree.

    To squeeze out more battery time, you can download a small program called "gfxCardStatus" which let's you force the system to use the intel gpu when playing videos.
     

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