Battery Life while in Windows XP on Boot Camp

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by Daveecee, Dec 14, 2008.

  1. Daveecee macrumors regular

    Nov 12, 2008
    Hey, I just want to know if my new Unibody MacBok is behaving normally while booted into XP. On my Mac side, I can easily get between 4-4.5 hours, sometimes 5 hours if I manage my activities well. On Windows, according to the battery meter, I'm getting only between 2-3 hours. Is this normal performance, or is something going on here?
  2. Tallest Skil macrumors P6

    Tallest Skil

    Aug 13, 2006
    1 Geostationary Tower Plaza
    Windows sucks at power management. It's normal.
  3. DYER macrumors 6502

    Oct 4, 2008
    London, UK
    2-3 HOURS u lucky sod...
    i am getting 1-1.5 IF I AM LUCKY.
    and im not even doing intensive stuff 42 mins batterey life if I play CSS ^^
    windows and batterey performance do not go well together
  4. eye.surgeon macrumors 6502

    Jul 12, 2007
    I think it's more accurate to say that Macs running vista and battery life don't play well together. There are many Vista machines that get 5+ hrs of battery life and some that get 7+. I wish Apple could do as well.
  5. VSMacOne macrumors 601


    Oct 18, 2008
    yeah right, maybe with bigger batteries...
  6. tubbymac macrumors 65816


    Nov 6, 2008

    True but...

    This is more accurate.

    Windows sucks more at power management than OSX, which slaughters both Windows and Linux in power management. However, on HP/Lenovo/Dell machines that come with well tuned drivers for Windows, it doesn't suck as badly when compared to Apple machines running default bootcamp drivers. So although it's normal for it to suck, it wouldn't suck this bad if the drivers weren't so terrible. That's not really Windows fault per say, but the fault of Apple for providing bad drivers.

    My Macbook Aluminum gets about 4 hours in OSX and 2 hours in Windows +/- half an hour of battery life. My Sony Vaio TX gets 7.5 hours under XP and my Sony G11 gets 8.5 hours under Vista - both have the standard batteries and each weighs only 2.5 lbs compared to my 4.5 lbs Macbook.

    Macbooks are great for many things but total battery life is not one of them. Most Windows notebooks in the same portability class (not your cheapo huge bricks from Walmart/Best Buy) last longer than Macbooks. Sony in particular kills Macbooks on battery life.

    But although Windows notebooks can last longer, because Windows power management sucks, Macbooks drain much less battery life while sleeping. Windows you're pretty much forced to hibernate your notebook or else you lose like 2-3x more battery life while sleeping your notebook overnight compared to OSX.
  7. eye.surgeon macrumors 6502

    Jul 12, 2007
    Quite the opposite. My Sony Vaio weighed less than 3 lbs and ran vista for 5-7 hrs. There are Vista machines that have 12 hours of battery life that I just read about on engadget this morning. I've yet to see a Mac notebook that could touch high end PC notebooks for battery life. Frankly I wish that Apple would put as much thought into weight and battery life into their notebooks as they do design. Love my new macbook but it's 25% heavier than it should be and the battery life is 25% less than it should be.
  8. ayeying macrumors 601


    Dec 5, 2007
    Yay Area, CA
    Not true. Windows sucks for power management because it doesn't know how to manage the power correctly on the MacBook (Pro/Air). For a normal PC notebook, they have proper drivers for managing power correctly for optimal use.
  9. Davidkoh macrumors 65816

    Aug 2, 2008

    Nah, a PC with same specs and same Wh in the battery will usualy get less then the Mac. Also, Vista sucks for battery life. Installing XP on a Vaio TX gave 1.5 extra hours of battery life compared to Vista.
  10. eye.surgeon macrumors 6502

    Jul 12, 2007
    There are a dozen or more Vista notebooks on the market that will get DOUBLE the battery life of any Mac notebook and yet weigh less. Does any clear thinking person interpret this as meaning Vista power management sucks? Who cares about Wh...the reason Mac doesn't give you more Wh is because their machines are overweight and can't accommodate a bigger battery. I love my Macbook but I truly miss the 100% more battery life my Vaio had with it's "sucky" vista power management.
  11. tubbymac macrumors 65816


    Nov 6, 2008
    Vista's default install indeed sucks for battery life. The reason for this is that Vista has two services running by default that suck the life right out of your batteries. One is called Superfetch, and the other is called Windows Search. Both of these things constantly try to access your hard drive when your computer is idle, the former trying to cache stuff into your ram, and the latter indexing through your files. Because of this constant hard drive activity the notebook doesn't get to turn off the hard drive. By disabling those two services from running and with a lot of other tweaks, I've been able to get Vista within 30 minutes of XP on battery life on my TX. XP still lasts 30 minutes longer but you can get Vista to not suck as much as XP with some tweaking. Having said that, Vista is dog slow on a TX so it's kinda moot as most people would prefer XP anyway.

    The reason Vista's power management is considered to be "sucky" is that you lose a lot of battery life on the same machine when switching from XP to Vista's default install (and assuming the drivers were decent for both XP and Vista). With some fiddling around Vista approaches XP but still doesn't beat it in battery life. On top of that, installing Windows 7 build 6081 on the exact same machine, battery life beats both Vista and XP by over 15% from a simple system timer tweak (it now pulses every 15 milliseconds instead of every 1 millisecond, allowing the CPU to stay in lower power mode longer between pulses).

    That the battery life can improve by 15% or more with a simple timer fix pretty much confirms that Vista did indeed suck, in all meanings of the word, when it comes to power management. They still haven't fixed the sleep suckiness though. XP, Vista, and Windows 7 all drain at least 2-3x more battery life than OSX.

    PC manufacturers have impressively been able to workaround this suckiness with denser batteries. When I had a Thinkpad X60s, with it's extended battery it still weighed less than my Macbook (it was about 3.5 lbs compared to 4.5 on the Macbook). That machine was incredible. I got 11 hours of battery life on it with XP, and that's if I were to sit down for 11 hours and never stop using it! Standard use where you stop and start and move away from the machine it would last 2 days easily.
  12. Jiten macrumors 6502a


    Jul 16, 2008
    My Vaio Z running Vista can easily last twice as long as the Macbook in battery life. So I agree with the others, its is not that Vista/XP power management sucks, it is due to the fact that Bootcamp do not have optimized drivers to run Windows efficiently on the Macbook.
  13. yatman macrumors member

    Oct 11, 2005
    Drivers and video

    The issue is two-fold:

    1 - Drivers were not developed for the macbook's hardware so the power management is not optimized. Under Vista/XP the system exclusively uses the 9600GT video chipset.

    2 - The default chip being used on the new unibody is the 9400 Nvidia chip which is a low power, low-end-performance chip. So it draws less power and the battery lasts longer. Under OSX, if you switch to the high-performance mode, which utlizes the 9600GT chipset, then you will see a drop in the battery life; at least 1.5 hours to 2 hours less of life.
  14. Mackan macrumors 65816

    Sep 16, 2007
    There is no 9600M GT in MacBook, only the Pro version.

    But it is true that Apple will never have interest in making Windows work perfectly on their notebooks. A typical thing is power management. It's very naive to jump out and say that Windows sucks because of this, like some people here do. It's more likely a combination of non optimized drivers provided by Apple, and Windows. It's more in Apple's interest to not provide a perfect power saving experience in Windows since it makes OS X looks better in that way.

    And there basically exists no tools for power management measures (like how many Watts your system is drawing on battery, and cpu frequency monitoring in OS X), it's been almost impossible to do a fair comparison and actually find out what is drawing more power on Windows on a MacBook, and the reason for it.
  15. Roadking macrumors 6502

    Feb 27, 2008
    Maybe you can purchase an extra battery just in case you need it while operating in bootcamp.
  16. tubbymac macrumors 65816


    Nov 6, 2008
    These tools exist actually. Under OSX system profiler will display the power draw. Under Windows a free utility called RMClock does the same thing.
  17. yatman macrumors member

    Oct 11, 2005
    Bad assumption

    Good Point MacKan.

    I made the assumption we were talking about a Macbook Pro when I referenced the 9600GT. You are correct if we are referring simply to the macbook that it's the 9400 processor.
  18. Molopo macrumors regular

    Jul 23, 2008
    In my experience, that battery meter in windows XP is almost never very accurate. At 75% it might read off like 1:15, and then at 50% it'll say I have 1:30 left. Just go by percentage and not what the little timer says.

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