Brightness vs. Battery Life - Diminishing Returns?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by der36, Jul 25, 2008.

  1. der36 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2008
    #1
    So I'm a long time lurker, first time poster bla bla bla...

    I'm trying to figure out the best way to balance screen brightness and battery life. Twice a week I have a university class that requires me to work on my MBP (SR 2.4Ghz, 4gig ram) for three to four hours, and I need to squeeze every ounce of power out of this machine as possible. But I am having a hard time finding what brightness level yields the best brightness to battery ratio. I have noticed at some point maybe midway in the spectrum there does I don't seem to be gaining any more efficiency than if I was at a higher brightness.

    Has anyone else noticed this? Where do you set your brightness when you are not "plugged in"?
     
  2. sushi Moderator emeritus

    sushi

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    #2
    I keep my display set to full bright.

    Maybe carry a spare battery with you?
     
  3. soberbrain macrumors 65816

    soberbrain

    Joined:
    May 9, 2008
    #3
    Screen brightness is only one factor that affects battery life, you may have different results depending on what you are doing.

    Have you seen this? http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1446
     
  4. duncanm macrumors member

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    Jun 7, 2008
    #4
    Brightness at middle, wifi off, bluetooth off, set energy saving preferences for better battery life. 4 hours shouldn't be a problem.
     
  5. sushi Moderator emeritus

    sushi

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    #5
    WiFi is definitely a battery drainer.
     
  6. alphaod macrumors Core

    alphaod

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    #6
    Just manually set your brightness to mininum, select 'Better Energy Savings" and leave WiFi on and it should give you 4 hours; if you need more, charge whenever you can or bring an extra battery with you; personally I do both; carry a spare battery and my charger.
     
  7. sushi Moderator emeritus

    sushi

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    #7
    Sometimes a nice small easy packable extension cord can come in handy as well.
     
  8. alphaod macrumors Core

    alphaod

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    #8
    Yeah a friend of mine packs that especially when he is going to the airport... Everyone chuckles when he takes it out... :D
     
  9. der36 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2008
    #9
    Yeah, I usually turn off my wifi and BT, but what I am really interested in knowing is if anyone has found a point where, under normal conditions (No wifi and BT), reducing the brightness a few notches does not seem to affect overall battery life. Anyone?
     
  10. alphaod macrumors Core

    alphaod

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    #10
    Like I said leave WiFi on, set brightness to minimum, and power to "Better Energy Savings" mode and I can get 4 hours.
     
  11. kockgunner macrumors 68000

    kockgunner

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    Sep 24, 2007
    Location:
    Vancouver, Canada
    #11
    and like the op said, what is the point where screen brightness has no effect on battery life? i don't know the answer, but at least i can read ;)
     
  12. Radio Monk33 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2007
    #12
    Er I would like to know how you would magically generate energy: the screen brightness is directly related to battery life.

    I believe the OP is asking what is the minimum screen brightness that you can use (maximizing battery power) while still being usable. Dimishing returns for visibility vs dimishing returns on battery life.
     
  13. kockgunner macrumors 68000

    kockgunner

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    #13
    i'm not saying that energy magically appears, just that at some point the affect of screen brightness will not have a significant effect on battery life. it seems that wherever you put the screen brightness in the first half of the brightness meter, it doesnt really seem to make a difference.
     
  14. alphaod macrumors Core

    alphaod

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  15. scotty96LSC macrumors 65816

    scotty96LSC

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    Charlotte, NC
    #15
    That is how I have my mbp set as well. How old is the battery? I bought a new one and no problem running for four hours.
     

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