Holiday return window + 2016 15" MBP battery issues

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by smeek, Jan 4, 2017.

?

Return or not?

  1. Return and get a 2015 15" - waiting for a fix is not worth the risk

    9 vote(s)
    47.4%
  2. You're gonna regret leaving your shiny new 2016 MBP when a fix does come through.

    10 vote(s)
    52.6%
  1. smeek macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2011
    #1
    Hi guys,

    I've been spending a good deal of time lurking here in the past few weeks. I received a baseline 2016 MBP 15" with 512gb upgrade, received in late December. I've tried a bunch of things to fix my 4-5 hours MBP battery life; it seems that I'm in the party who received a MBP with bad battery. I've reset SMC, reset NVRAM, monitored with CoconutBattery (I get ~13W draw with just Safari browsing and Spotify streaming and it seems I should be getting less than 7W).

    The funny thing is 10.12.2 came shipped with my Mac. Of no benefit to the battery. I just did a clean erase + reinstall of macOS Sierra 10.12.2, and SMC rested, and that didn't help my situation.

    I'm probably going to return the Mac and get a 2015 15" with 512gb. Even with the holiday return policy Apple's not giving me/us much room to hang in there for a battery fix. I can't risk waiting for a fix through an OS update, since at this point I have no idea whether it's a hardware or software issue.

    Before copping out, I wanted to note a few things:
    • When absolutely idle, draw goes sub-7W. That's the only time it does. Even fresh startup yields 12W.
    • Turning off WIFI has yielded a few watts' decrease.
    • I don't think it's a problem with user applications; maybe it's a kernel process that doesn't even show up in the Activity Monitor that is consuming the most power. Launching/playing Spotify in addition to Safari hardly impacts the power draw.
    Does anyone have reassurance based on Apple's battery fixes for past MBP's? The first gen rMBP for instance?
     
  2. Qwe9203 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2014
    #2
    The battery is smaller than 2015 and that one was up to 9 hours. There is also a touch bar that consumes energy. There is no way you will get 8-10 hours on the 2016 15" machine. Once they release the updated model with a new battery it might be possible.
     
  3. thesaint024 macrumors 65816

    thesaint024

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2016
    Location:
    suspension waiting room
    #3
    Reassurances, no. And I have NO issue with you returning the 16 to get one that you know gets the battery you need. Spotify inexplicably uses dGPU, or so I've read. Safari needs ghostery or another adblocker for many sites, including MR. If you've tried those, by all means get the 2015. Personally, I doubt it's hardware since many people are getting close to claimed. But it's definitely not your problem to figure this stuff out. If Apple doesn't deliver what you need, get the one that does. You need to assess all the crap on MR yourself and figure out if you think this will work. Good luck.
     
  4. xmonkey macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2016
    Location:
    CA
    #4
    Seriously? It's absolutely possible to get 8-10hours on it. Plenty of people on this forum have gotten that (or more), including me, on the 15". Ars got more than that on their tests.

    http://arstechnica.com/video/2016/11/the-2016-13-and-15-inch-touch-bar-macbook-pros-reviewed/

    [​IMG]
     
  5. MrGuder, Jan 4, 2017
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2017

    MrGuder macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2012
    #5
    While your poll may look nice, in reality it's not going to give you what you already know. It sounds like you need to return it before your time is up. Remember that if Apple is working on a battery fix (and we really don't even know that for sure) they are not playing on our time table, they will release it when they have it not when it's convenient for people's deadlines on returns. That may sound harsh but it's true. Are you really going to take option #2 when complete strangers on here tell you too and then Apple doesn't come through? Can you blame the strangers? It sounds like option #1 is your most logical solution and no poll results will sway that decision.
    --- Post Merged, Jan 4, 2017 ---
    Regarding this test above, what is 200 nits = to % of brightness? There basically claiming the 2016 Macbook Pro 15" using intergrated graphics with 933 mins (15.5 hrs) on wifi using 200 nits, so how much is 200 nits, 50% brightness??
    --- Post Merged, Jan 4, 2017 ---
    Check out the difference on the 2015 model with dedicated graphics for Wifi.
    449 (7.5 hrs) for the 2016
    603 (10 hrs) for the 2015

    [​IMG]
     
  6. Sanpete macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2016
    Location:
    Utah
    #6
    The 2016 has better battery life than the 2015 for light and medium use according to the tests I've seen. I don't know why yours is drawing so much power, could need replacing. Or it could be something you're carrying over after your installs, reindexing after the installs, who knows. I'd go for an exchange.
     
  7. smeek thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2011
    #7
    Thanks for the reply. I can confirm Spotify uses dGPU, but I installed gfxCardStatus to limit my MBP to use integrated graphics always. I had forgotten to install it on my fresh reinstall -- thanks for reminding me -- but that's making a negligible difference. I like everything else about this computer, and the battery is what is causing me to judge the $200+ premium over last year's model.

    It does sound like option 1 makes the most sense. I probably should have gone with my initial hunch and gotten a 2015 15" MBP with dGPU and 512gb while it was on sale for $2199 on bhphotovideo :) But alas, I waited out for the newer one, and it seems like I would have to wait again for a battery fix. At the least, if this is a hardware problem, I would expect Apple's 1 year warranty to cover this. But that's dependent on them... and their secrecy is making me trust that possibility less.

    Checking the polls for battery life that have been posted on Reddit and on here, it seems like a majority of people are getting much less battery than advertised. Only a handful are actually happy with 8-10+ hours usage. I also noticed very low power draw when doing idle things like reading Preview + using Evernote. Like 6-8W. But people seem to be getting that with "average" use. But yeah, if I exchange for another 2016 model, there's no guarantee that I'll get a unit with better battery (plus, this is a BTO model, so I can't exchange right there in store and have to wait a few weeks). If I exchange for a 2015 model, however, that is safest.
     
  8. Sanpete macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2016
    Location:
    Utah
    #8
    People with battery problems (real and perceived) search online and vote in the polls they find. Not so much those who aren't having trouble. The online polls are therefore very highly skewed. (It's also important not to mix the results for 13- and 15-inch models.)

    Getting the 2015 model professional reviewers find to have worse battery life seems less safe to me. If exchange is out, why not return it and wait for either the next model or some pronouncement that makes you more comfortable? The 2015 just isn't as good in most ways.
     
  9. xmonkey macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2016
    Location:
    CA
    #9
    It's greater than 50% on the new MBPs. I've calibrated my 15" at 120 (what I like for photo work) and that puts mine at 3 clicks above 50%. If I had to guess I'd say 200nits is around 75%, but it's hard for me to say without busting out my colorimeter.

    200nits is plenty bright, basically.

    Ya it's definitely an interesting result. In most cases of web browsing you won't be using the dGPU though so I don't find that test all too useful. I'm not sure if Ars tested the 2015 15" on iGPU only, but it would be interesting to see that.

    The 13" results are very comparable to each other and basically the same result 2015 vs 2016.
     
  10. smeek thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2011
    #10
    Why is it that most people settle for the 2015 model as the safer choice? I've heard that since it's been well-iterated on, it's the most reliable, giving easily 9 hours of battery life with average use (for me, mostly software development, schoolwork, and occasional heavy photo/audio production). I'm curious about what professional reviewers you're referring to?

    You're right, I do have a 13" 2011 MBP to fall back on for the moment, but I need to pull the trigger on something. I could really use the 15" retina and better battery soon.
    --- Post Merged, Jan 4, 2017 ---
    The 2016 15" MBP battery life using iGPU for WIFI browsing is indeed super impressive.
     
  11. Sanpete macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2016
    Location:
    Utah
    #11
    It's a good question why people seem to think the 2015 15" gets better battery life. I suppose the answer may be that early battery issues (real or perceived) with the 13" with touch bar led to overreaction in regard to all the new MBPs, even the 15". Reliance on the time remaining function didn't help. There wasn't the same kind of event to trigger mass hysteria in regard to the 2015. But the few professionals who have carried out the same controlled tests on both models when they came out have found better results for the 2016 for normal use.

    In addition to the Ars Technica results given above, here are the results from Notebook Check:

    New MBP

    WiFi Surfing, v1.3, 140 nits: 10:02
    Big Buck Bunny H. 264 1080p, 140 nits: 8:36
    Load (max brightness): :55

    Old MBP

    WiFi Surfing v1.3, "about" 150 nits: 7:12
    Big Buck Bunny H. 264 1080p, about 150 nits: 6:53
    Load (max brightness): 1:45

    There may be a slight difference in screen brightness (140 vs "about" 150 nits) in two of the tests, but not enough to account for the differences. The new MBP gets smoked in the maxed-out test, but it also has a much brighter maximum on the screen. For the browsing and video playing, it does better.

    http://www.notebookcheck.net/Apple-MacBook-Pro-15-Late-2016-2-6-GHz-i7-Notebook-Review.185254.0.html
    http://www.notebookcheck.net/Apple-MacBook-Pro-Retina-15-Mid-2015-Review.144402.0.html
     
  12. smeek thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2011
    #12
    @Sanpete Thanks for those review links!! I've been looking everywhere but arstechnica's reviews were the best I could find. These are satisfyingly comparative, and concise. Good stuff.

    Interesting that the 2015 model has less than half the idle battery life of the 2016 model. That's an astounding feature of Skylake processors. But I suppose the Wifi v1.3 test are more telling? It's weird that I hadn't before noticed how the 2016 model trumps the 2015 model in Wifi browsing battery life.
     
  13. jun180 macrumors regular

    jun180

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2010
    #13
    @smeek, in the exact same situation as you.

    I have the 2016 15" with the 2.6ghz cpu, 16gb RAM and the 460 GPU. Battery life in light usage is consistently 3~5 hours. My battery draw ranges between the 12-25 watt range, sometimes even higher. I have never seen the wattage <10w unless all applications are quit, or from a cold start. Completely unacceptable for a machine like this to have such terrible battery life on basic usage patterns.

    FWIW - the same usage patters on a 2013 13" MBA gets me around the 8 hour mark on a battery with average health.

    I will be returning my 2016 15"...considering a 13" NTB (which I have owned previously and got 7+ hours on the same usage patterns), or the 2015 15"
     
  14. sunapple macrumors 65816

    sunapple

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2013
    Location:
    The Netherlands
    #14
    I love my 15" 2016 MBP (base w/ 460) but I think the value is going to drop too much due to the bad reputation it has gotten. That would make the thing even more expensive! And the fact I have the 256GB SSD is not helping either.

    I'll probably return it and get a base 2015 model second hand. Would love the one with the graphics card, but they're hard to come by (which indicates no one upgraded or everyone got the old model instead of the new one). 2015 is a proven model, much safer bet.

    Such a shame, hoping for an updated model this year with bigger battery and lower price points. I love everything else about it!
     
  15. smeek thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2011
    #15
    @jun180 Yep, exactly same usage pattern as me. If I'm doing anything heavy the wattage goes much higher to 30s. I could definitely use the 15" for various media production work so I'm going to go for last year's model (used maybe), which could possibly save $600 or more.

    @sunapple Agreed, especially with how long I've been waiting for this thing to come in. Apple's refurb store doesn't stock up for very long. Oh well, I enjoyed the couple weeks of use that I got out of it. If not for constantly monitoring battery life.
     
  16. MrGuder macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2012
    #16
    I saw a 2015 15" with graphics card in the refurb store yesterday it went in about 30 mins. No kidding.
     
  17. jun180 macrumors regular

    jun180

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2010
    #17
    The 2015 option is tempting, the larger screen size is great. I am torn between that 2015 15" and the 2016 13" non-touch bar model + a large display.

    I know that both are capable of 7+ hours battery. I like the new design on the 13" and its portability, however the 15" is proven and the screen size is great, but less portable compared to the 13".
    --- Post Merged, Jan 5, 2017 ---
    There are three on the UK refurb store right now, never seen them there before.

    I would prefer the iGPU version but there is only a 256gb version available. Tempted to pull the trigger on a 2015 15" with the 370x
     
  18. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2009
    Location:
    Boston
    #18
    What's the price difference? I assume you'll save some extra money.

    Is the battery the only issue that is impacting you?

    I think the 2016 model as the following positives:
    Ports, yes people are complaining about USB-C but its a superior port then the legacy USB port.
    Thinner and lighter while I do think Apple has an unhealthy fascination towards thinness, the 2016 model is a bit more mobile.
    Performance - While this may be a bit debatable, I've seen various reviews that show an overall improvement in performance over the 2015 model.
    Touch Bar - many view this as a gimmick but it could be useful.

    So if those positives don't motivate you to keep the laptop, then get the 2015 model. If it were me, I'd opt for the 2016 laptop with the expectation that the battery life will be rectified.

    To provide some perspective, MS released the Surface Book last spring and it too a few months (several?) to correct the flaws, but now its a solid computer. If you're willing to wait it out, I think your patience will be rewarded - just my $.02
     
  19. sunapple macrumors 65816

    sunapple

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2013
    Location:
    The Netherlands
    #19
    What kind of prices are the asking? In The Netherlands we don't have a refurb store from Apple, but I can get my hands on either a second hand 2.5/R9 model for 2000€ or new sealed for 2200€. These prices seem a bit steep to me.
     
  20. sziehr macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2009
    #20

    This is exactly what I fear that the value of the machine in the secondary market will be almost nothing due to the rep it has obtained.

    Though I will remind you that the 2012 had a very nasty Rep for the motherboards but it did not seem to impact the value of the unit strongly.

    So what will happen who knows
     
  21. sunapple macrumors 65816

    sunapple

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2013
    Location:
    The Netherlands
    #21
    What you're saying is true but they also raised the price quite a bit and I fear they'll lower it with the next gen (maybe by offering 512GB as standard for example). Along with better battery life for next gen (battery size + processor efficiency), the value could take a bit of a dive.

    Of course I really hope they lower the price because I'm going with the 2015 model for now. :p
     
  22. augustya macrumors 68020

    augustya

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2012
    #22
    And the updated model would not be any sooner than fall of 2017 which will have a Kaby Lake Processor right ??
     
  23. sunapple macrumors 65816

    sunapple

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    #23
  24. Sanpete, Jan 5, 2017
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2017

    Sanpete macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2016
    Location:
    Utah
    #24
    For those considering resale value, keep in mind that the 2015 15" model is selling at a premium now, due to the largely unfounded reaction against the new model. That may not hold up over time, though, because the new model is clearly better in most ways. Here's a list I made for a customer review at Amazon. You can find details about each point in the comments I attached to the review, if you want more info.

    The new MBP 15" is clearly better than the 2015 model in:

    -- Screen
    -- dGPU
    -- SSD speed
    -- External monitor support
    -- Heat
    -- Quietude
    -- Speakers
    -- Touch ID
    -- Touch bar
    -- Size/weight

    It's also mostly better in regard to:

    -- Battery life

    Mixed:

    -- Ports (the new machine has by far the more powerful and flexible ports, but the 2015 has by far the more convenient ones for most people not yet living in the future)
    -- Keyboard and trackpad (the new ones get mixed reviews compared to the old)

    The one area in which the 2015 model has a clear, unmixed advantage is:

    -- Replaceable/upgradable SSD (and if the motherboard fails, you won't need Apple's help to recover your data)

    Details at:

    https://www.amazon.com/review/R27MBWO99H5LZJ/
     
  25. sziehr macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2009
    #25
    I do not see a large change to Kabby. The change your thinking about is the mid cycle refresh where they move up the standards.

    They did this in the 2012 to 2014 units where suddenly 16 gigs was the standard on 15 units.

    So I think that is a bit farther down the turn pike.

    They are going to lower the price of the 15 until the mid product cycle refresh in 2018 when the chips support 7 stream 5k on the IGPU.

    Thanks intel for making all of us who just want 5k displays buy 400 dollar more expensive machines cause you could not muster the "Courage" to make an IGPU worth a damn for a few product cycles.
     

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