Can't figure out my battery

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by junglepunk, Sep 30, 2009.

  1. junglepunk macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2009
    #1
    I just bought my first mac ever only 3 days ago. I'm a longtime windows user but I'm so far finding the switch easy. I only have one problem I can't figure out and google has failed to provide me the answer.

    I have the 13" MacBook Pro with the beefiest processor and a 500GB HDD. When I bought the machine, I quizzed the guy at the store about a couple of things. In particular I asked about the battery life. He told me apple claims that this machine should have 7 hours of battery life when doing light tasks, but that he personally was able to squeeze out over 8 hours of battery life with simple web browsing.

    My problem is that I can barely get 3,5 hours worth of batterylife out of the machine before it gives up the ghost. And this is with the backlight on the display turned down to 1/3 of full brightness. And all I'm doing is browsing text webpages with no flash.

    Is this normal? Or have I simply overlooked some basic power option that I need to toggle?
     
  2. ijyt macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2009
    #2
    Maybe you have Bluetooth turned on, I heard that drains power a bit, and Flash for Mac is awful, and will drink from the battery like a thirsty baby.
     
  3. junglepunk thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Sep 30, 2009
    #3
    Nope. No bluetooth and no wireless. This is wired browsing I'm doing.
     
  4. miles01110 macrumors Core

    miles01110

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    The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
    #4
    Are you sure there's nothing else running on your machine while you're browsing? Open Activity Monitor and check.
     
  5. junglepunk thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Sep 30, 2009
    #5
    [​IMG]

    I've attached a screenshot of activity monitor so you can see what's running on my machine. It looks pretty basic to me, but I don't know what's normal on a mac. What I do notice though is that the machine is not sitting idle when I'm not doing anything. I don't know why though.
     

    Attached Files:

  6. miles01110 macrumors Core

    miles01110

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    #6
    Could you change the drop down menu to show "all processes" ?

    edit: and sort by CPU.

    Also, you can drag the "User" column off the screen so you dont have to blur it out ;-)
     
  7. junglepunk thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Sep 30, 2009
    #7
    Is this helpful?

    [​IMG]
     

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  8. miles01110 macrumors Core

    miles01110

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    #8
    Firefox seems to be taking up an abnormal amount of processor. I just watched my Activity Monitor for a few seconds and CPU usage for FF never went above 10%.
     
  9. junglepunk thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Sep 30, 2009
    #9
    Yeah, you're right, firefox uses a huge amount of resources. I've seen it go all the way up to 60% cpu with only 8 tabs open. What could be causing it? I only have a very few extensions installed too.
     
  10. Consultant macrumors G5

    Consultant

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2007
    #10
    Try Safari or a flash blocking app.

    OS X is not windows. You can safely use the pre-installed, standard conforming Safari browser.
     
  11. junglepunk thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Sep 30, 2009
    #11
    It's not that I don't like Safari. I actually like it a lot. But xmarks and lastpass extensions for firefox makes my life really easy, and it is really annoying to surf the web without adblock.
     
  12. Consultant macrumors G5

    Consultant

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    Jun 27, 2007
    #12
    There are ad block for safari.
    There are flash blocker for safari.
     
  13. junglepunk thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Sep 30, 2009
    #13
    As I understand it, adblock for safari only works in 32bit mode, but really, it is the other two extensions that are important. I'll try and disable all my extensions and reenable them one by one and see if there is a real culprit there or if firefox is just poorly written for mac.
     
  14. miles01110 macrumors Core

    miles01110

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    #14
    You could take ad blocking even farther and install NoScript. It's kind of annoying at first but once you build your list of scripts to block I find it helps performance a lot (on FF).
     
  15. junglepunk thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Sep 30, 2009
    #15
    I think we've trailed a little off-topic here.

    My problem is that I get barely half of the advertised battery life when doing simple web surfing. My machine is barely a week old and have noting fancy installed.

    I have the impression that FF for mac is really poorly written. I've compared FF and Safari on my macbook and found that even with all extensions disabled FF generally uses more resources than Safari.

    I have also compared FF on OSX10.6 vs FF on Win 7. FF on OSX with 8 tabs uses about 250mb RAM and between 10 and 60% CPU time constantly. On Win 7 I can run FF with 14 tabs open (the same 8 as on the mac plus an additional 5 random ones) and only use 150mb RAM and only between 0 and 2 % CPU time constantly.

    But really, this is not important because the mac remains fast and responsive. What is a problem is the dismal batterylife. Or is it actually normal for a macbook pro 13" to only get 3.5h of betterylife?
     
  16. dmiller macrumors member

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    Aug 11, 2008
    #16
    battery life fluctuates. after a couple charge cycles the battery will improve and after a lot the battery life will decrease. Eight hours is unrealistic even though that's what apple says it can get. that number was tested under absolute ideal conditions and in the real world it would be difficult to recreate.
    You could always fiddle around with the energy saving preferences and install programs like coconut battery or istat menus but personally i would love to have a battery that lasts for three and a half hours. I say just be patient and if battery life doesn't improve to your liking call apple.
    It doesn't seem like you are running any applications out of the ordinary although firefox extensions, though great, do have affect on the use of system resources and therefore the battery life of the machine.
     
  17. junglepunk thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Sep 30, 2009
    #17
    I took my machine back to the apple store today and told them about my problems. They ran some diagnostics on the battery and told me it was fine. They then suggested that I try to re-install OSX and see if that changed anything.

    I have now just re-installed OSX and iLife09. I've also added VLC and Handbrake, but that's it.

    I'm now browsing the web using Safari, but I have installed xmarks and lastpass for Safari. I did not previously have these extensions for Safari.

    The first thing I can tell you is that Safari with these two extensions on a fresh install of OSX uses noticeably less resources than vanilla Safari used on my previous install, and A LOT less resources than FF did on my last install.

    The second and most important thing however is that my batterylife is pretty much doubled.

    I'm not contributing this change only to the fact that I'm now using Safrai instead of FF, because as I've said, even Safari uses less resources now. Therefore, I actually suspect that Growl might have been the problem, as it is the only app I can think of that in some way interfaces with both Safari and FF.

    Does anybody have any thoughts on this? I might be way off here but it is the only thing I can think of.
     
  18. gamer.pro.2000 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2009
    #18
    [EDIT]
    Never mind. I didn't read your last post. It was probably just something running previously that wasn't being nice. It might also have been a borked up Power Management Profile that you had running.
     

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