How to improve Chrome battery life on the TB 15.4" MBP

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by macbook123, Mar 27, 2017.

  1. macbook123 macrumors 68000

    Feb 11, 2006
    I've suffered a lot with horrible battery life on the new MBP. Getting 2 hours at most. I realize that my tendency to have lots of Chrome tabs open plays a role in this. I'm having a hard time making the transition to Safari though (various extensions missing, no preview image on tabs, overall versatility/interaction with Google services, managing multiple Google account logins, etc, etc) so would like to stick with Chrome if at all possible. What are some good ways to reduce power consumption of Chrome on the MBP? I tried one of the tab sleepers a while ago but it was quite annoying that I had to reload all tabs after they went unused, and couldn't even see the original URLs because they had been replaced by app-specific links.
  2. Sanpete macrumors 68020

    Nov 17, 2016
    Chrome isn't likely to be the main cause of battery life that bad! You should be able to use it and still get 8-9 hours, maybe more. I believe Chrome has a low-energy version called Canary that you could look into.

    If you open your Activity Monitor (Launchpad > Other), what does the Energy tab show about where the energy is going?

    You might also want to check your battery (About This Mac > System Report > Power) and see if the full charge capacity is over 6500 as it should be, and if the condition is Normal.
  3. macbook123 thread starter macrumors 68000

    Feb 11, 2006
    It is chrome. I checked usage. I get 6 hours of light use withou chrome, 1.5 with chrome. If I throw anything real at it like adobe lightroom I get less than an hour of use, it's by far the worst battery life I've seen in the last ten years of mobile computing.
  4. Sanpete, Mar 27, 2017
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2017

    Sanpete macrumors 68020

    Nov 17, 2016
    There's something wrong. You should get closer to 10 hours or more without Chrome. I got over 11 with 17 Safari tabs [ha, not windows!] open, several hours of HD video streaming, light text editing, and iTunes streaming. And I don't see why Chrome alone would make the huge difference you're finding. That's not the experience of others. Many people use Chrome on the MBP and get good battery life, just not as good as with Safari.

    If you'd like to track down where the problems are, you can try the things I mentioned above for a start, and maybe others will have some other ideas for you.
  5. ZapNZs macrumors 68020


    Jan 23, 2017
    Are you running Chrome prior to v57 or 57? 57 introduces changes in how background tabs are managed (supposedly equating to major reductions in CPU usage) but removes the ability to disable most plugins individually. I'm not sure what the battery implications will be, but this may be of interest if you aren't already on 57?

    Have you opened the Chrome Task Manager and observed which tabs are hogging CPU resources?

    In the past I've had rogue extensions/processes eating up a crap ton of CPU resources and were capable of exhausting a 15-inch Uni battery in just about 2 hours - something like half-ish of the available CPU resources were going to the browser and I assumed something was stuck in a loop, but individually removing extensions didn't really help. At one point I became frustrated, removed Chrome (completely-wiping all User files/prefs/lists), and reinstalled a virgin version without any additional plugins/extensions, and then added the extensions one-by-one.
  6. FattyMembrane macrumors 6502a


    Apr 14, 2002
    bat country
    In Chrome settings, under 'Advanced' there's a checkbox called Use hardware acceleration when available.

    I had a TB 15.4 for about a week and a half, and if this box was checked, Chrome would turn on the dGPU and kill the battery life of the machine.

    I found the dGPU and the screen to be the biggest killers of battery life. Leaving the screen above 50% brightness for more than 20 minutes or letting an app turn on the dGPU meant my battery life was going down to 3-4 hours.

    Activity monitor will tell you which apps are actively using the dGPU under the 'High Perf Graphics' column.
  7. CaptRB macrumors 6502a


    Oct 11, 2016
    LA, California
    I use chrome all the time on my TB 15", and I get 8-10 hours.

    Something is wrong.

  8. Altis macrumors 68030

    Sep 10, 2013
    Something seems wrong... my 2010 17" on its original battery gets better life than that.

    One thing is, as others have mentioned, Chrome tends to trigger the dGPU which consumes quite a bit more power. Try turning off hardware acceleration in Chrome settings.

    As an aside, the browser Vivaldi is based off of Chromium (the open-source Chrome) so it can use the same extensions and installs them through the Google Chrome store, but also has some nice battery-saving functionality if I recall correctly.

    Opera browser does too, but it doesn't have Chrome extensions.

    I don't blame you for not wanting to use Safari. It gives me the best battery life but is the slowest and most inconvenient of them all, in my experience.
  9. leman macrumors G3

    Oct 14, 2008
    That is not normal. You should be getting much better run times on battery with light usage. I get approx. two hours if I push my CPU to the max.

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8 March 27, 2017