Changing screen setting improves battery life on MBP

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Blondie :), Jul 3, 2011.

  1. Blondie :) macrumors 6502a

    Blondie :)

    Joined:
    May 12, 2010
    Location:
    Prescott, AZ
    #1
    Hello all,

    I just wanted to let everyone know that I found a little trick earlier today that helped me increase my battery life by about an hour.

    I went into my preferences today and messed with my screen settings in preferences>display>colors. I went through and clicked on "calibrate" and set up a new profile. when the screen comes up, check the "expert mode" box. Calibrate your screen to your liking, you may be surprised with the results.

    After calibrating my screen, it's now more comfortable for me to look at, and it increased my batter life by a little over an hour while listening to iTunes, modifying code with dreamweaver, using Microsoft Word, mail, and browsing with safari. Here is a photo of what my settings are after calibration:
     

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  2. miles01110 macrumors Core

    miles01110

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2006
    Location:
    The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
    #2
    Did you actually measure it, or are you just going by the "time remaining"? If it's the latter, the calibration likely did nothing. Battery life is dependent on usage, and changes frequently.
     
  3. Blondie :) thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Blondie :)

    Joined:
    May 12, 2010
    Location:
    Prescott, AZ
    #3
    I'm going off of what I have noticed before. Before I calibrated my screen, using the same applications I currently am, I would get around five hours of use. Now that I have calibrated, I am getting slightly over six.
     
  4. gr8tfly, Jul 3, 2011
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2011

    gr8tfly macrumors 603

    gr8tfly

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2006
    Location:
    ~119W 34N
    #4
    If the display ended up darker overall after its calibration, that would actually Increase power consumption. The darker a pixel is, the more power us needed - in other words, it requires more voltage to make a pixel (actually, sub-pixel) darker. However, it's probably a relatively small percentage weighted towards black at most, and even an all black vs. all white display only accounts for a few percent difference in overall display power consumption.

    However, you can save much more power by simply turning down the backlight level. Dropping the backlight from 100% to 70% can save around 20% of the overall display power consumption, without much difference visually.

    So, bottom line, I would suggest more than just color calibration is responsible for the improvement. To make an hour difference, I would guess you would need to change the backlight by as much as 50%. I don't think just a difference in sub pixel drive could account for that much difference. IMO, it will tske actually measuring the life (run it until the low power warning) for both calibrations several times before you have some hard data.
     
  5. miles01110 macrumors Core

    miles01110

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2006
    Location:
    The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
    #5
    You didn't answer my question. Did you actually leave it on for 5 (and now 6) hours, or are you just going by the almost-meaningless "time remaining" ?
     
  6. Blondie :) thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Blondie :)

    Joined:
    May 12, 2010
    Location:
    Prescott, AZ
    #6
    Sorry for not being more direct haha. Yes, I have actually left it on for these amounts of times. The reason that my battery life has increased is because the screen has become more comfortable for me to use at lower brightness settings. Before I had to have the screen brighter in order for it to be usable. But now it's more comfortable for me to leave the brightness lower and I get more usability out of my battery :)
     
  7. 2hvy4grvty macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2011
    #7
    Why stop at screen brightness? You can increase battery life if you change your wi-fi settings too. :p
     
  8. Blondie :) thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Blondie :)

    Joined:
    May 12, 2010
    Location:
    Prescott, AZ
    #8
    lol I can't work without the internet though :'(
     

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