Does Macbook Pro Battery suffer if I install windows on it

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by diesel47, Oct 8, 2014.

  1. diesel47 macrumors newbie

    Oct 8, 2014
    I've heard that Macbooks will have worse battery life if somebody uses bootcamp to run windows on them. This was from and old source.. But is this still true?

    Users that would be getting like 9 hours on OSX, would be getting 2-3 on windows bootcamp.

    If so, Is the only solution to wipe OSX and install only windows on the machine to get the 9 hours battery life?
  2. 556fmjoe macrumors 65816


    Apr 19, 2014
    No, battery life is not affected by the number of operating systems you have installed. Simply installing Windows has no effect on anything but storage space.

    Whether Windows runs with worse battery life or not is a different story that I don't know the answer to. It certainly would have no effect unless you had booted into Windows.

    Now, running virtual machines concurrently with OS X will reduce battery life, but that's different from Bootcamp.
  3. diesel47 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 8, 2014
    I'm only asking about when you actually run windows with bootcamp, I know battery life isn't affected by using disk space.
  4. 556fmjoe macrumors 65816


    Apr 19, 2014
    In that case, it may be worse, but definitely not that much worse.

    I was addressing your last question of whether deleting OS X and only having Windows on it will improve battery life.
  5. diesel47 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 8, 2014
    Because people have said that bootcamp uses unoptimized BIOS emulation that doesn't use things like AHCI and full speed PCI-e when running windows. But this was 2 years ago. I'm wondering if it is the same now. If so, the only solution would be to get rid of OSX?
  6. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 604

    Oct 24, 2013
    It will be worse under windows

    It will be worse under windows although version 8.1 is supposed to be much better optimised for battery life.

    Having both OS's makes no difference, if you run windows you will have less battery life if you run OSX you wioll get more.
  7. Stetrain macrumors 68040

    Feb 6, 2009
    The biggest difference is in whether or not you have a model with a dedicated graphics chip.

    Under OSX it will switch between integrated and dedicated graphics depending on what you are running, but in Windows it will always run the dedicated graphics. That could cause a much reduced battery life over OSX.
  8. dusk007 macrumors 68040


    Dec 5, 2009
    The drivers are just not very well optimized for battery life and if you have dGPU like in the 15" MBP you also suffer from not being able to use the integrated GPU.

    Basically it is like a cheap windows notebook in battery life. A Samsung with the same battery capacity and similar chips will run a third longer to almost twice as long. It just not a good idea to use a Apple notebook under windows, though personally I think the poor touchpad drivers are more aggravating.
    Performance is fine you get full PCIe performance and full speed everywhere but the platform cannot power down as low as it does under OSX. When sitting idle it just sucks more under Windows. That isn't Windows's fault but Apples. Samsung gets with proper power optimized drivers the same power consumption out of Windows as Apple gets from OSX.
    You can help it some if you set Windows to the battery optimized power plan. That kills some of the peak performance and scales back on responsiveness slightly and still doesn't make up the difference.
    You will just have to live with it.

    This all has nothing to do with the EFI and bios optimization. You can install Windows 8 in EFI mode which works well. Back when you could not do that installing only Windows would have done anything. Because how the OS talks to the hardware (BIOS basic input output system, EFI is the new version) can only work one way on certain hardware. The problem are the bootcamp drivers. They are stable and performance is fine but power optimization for windows was just not high up on Apple's priority list. Touchpad drivers are crap too. If you want to use predominantly Windows buy a good Asus or Samsung notebook, they are just better at it.
  9. 827538 macrumors 65816

    Jul 3, 2013
    It's very simple.

    Take my Retina Macbook Pro for instance. I have both OS X and Windows installed via bootcamp. If I choose to run Windows then my battery life does go down to 2-3 hours. But if I boot into OS X then I get my completely normal 8-11 hours of battery life.

    Having both installed doesn't affect the battery life in any way, it's completely dependant on which OS you are using at that given time. Windows is not as efficient an OS at Mavericks/Yosemite and on my Mac it uses the dGPU as default rather than switching between the iGPU and dGPU like OS X does.
  10. monoorb macrumors newbie

    Oct 10, 2014
    Yes, Windows via bootcamp will give you horrible battery life. On my rMBP, Windows will use the dedicated video card instead of the integrated video card.
  11. snaky69 macrumors 603

    Mar 14, 2008
    In my personal experience, I get about half to a third the battery life I get on OS X while in Windows.

    It's simply a question of driver and OS integration and optimization. Since windows has to run on just about anything, it can't be optimized for specific hardware like OS X can be.

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