I just can't get the expected battery life

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by nalbagli, Aug 6, 2015.

  1. nalbagli macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2014
    #1
    I've had the new Macbook for a couple of months now, and even though I really love all of it I just can't get the around 9 hours of battery life promised. I've tried various usage scenarios and with my normal use, which is 50% screen brightness, only browsing the web in Safari and chatting with messages, and I can't get over 6 hours which is pretty disappointing. I have checked the Activity Monitor and there is no other app consuming a lot of power, when I watch videos with flash, the duration even get's worse.


    Any tips on how to maximize my battery? Is there something wrong with my Macbook?

    I have the 1.2 model.

    Thanks
     
  2. Queen6 macrumors 603

    Queen6

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2008
    Location:
    Enjoying Better Things
    #2
    Much is determined by your usage/workflow, equally there are some options;
    • Movist for video playback as it fully utilises hardware acceleration 7% of CPU versus 30% for VLC
    • Chrome users, switch to Chrome Canary as is far more optimised for OS X
    • Open PDF`s in Quick View or install Skim, the PDF rendering engine in OS X (10.10) Preview is broken and burns a lot of CPU cycles as result, hence why some complain of "choppy" scrolling
    • UBlock prevents unwanted AD`s from loading, reducing the load
    • Skip Flash and the likes period
    • Those that require AV, use ClamXav (now a paid app) and set up sentry & scanning intelligently
    • Avoid persistent system monitors; temperature, disk activity, network activity etc. as they only burn up CPU cycles in the background
    Some system sitting that can also reduce power consumption;
    • System Preferences - Accessibility - reduce transparency
    • System Preferences - Dock - Minimise Windows using "Scale Efect"
    • System Preferences - Dock - deselect "Magnification"
    • System Preferences - Dock - deselect "Animate Opening Applications"
    • Close applications, when not in use, you can deselect "Close windows when quitting an app" in System Preferences - General to bring them back to the same state when opened (those with App Nap are not such a concern)
    • Display 50%-60%
    Q-6
     
  3. zhenya macrumors 603

    zhenya

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2005
    #3
    Can you post a screen shot of the Activity Monitor's Energy tab, sorted by Avg Energy Impact?
     
  4. AppleWarMachine macrumors 6502a

    AppleWarMachine

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2011
    Location:
    Michigan, US
    #4
    you can never get the battery life as promised, unless you compromise your use conditions :(
     
  5. Fuchal macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2003
    #5
    I get a decent 7-10 hours doing general web browsing / development. About 8 hours Netflix. Can't complain. 1.1 model though.
     
  6. tbirdparis macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 30, 2015
    #6
    I've not actually done a real test of running my rMB down for as long as possible to see how long it lasts yet. However, going by the estimated time remaining figures I've seen, the other day there was an estimate of around 11 hours remaining when I was just lying in bed watching a video in mp4 format on QT player. Wifi on, bluetooth off, Safari in the background and I was pausing occasionally to take notes (not with pen and paper but on the rMB itself). Brightness was set to around 70% I'd say because the room was pretty dark, and I had the keyboard backlight off entirely. The movie was 2 hours long, so including my pauses I guess I was at it watching and taking notes for over 3 hours at least. By the end of that the battery percentage was still above 90%. I can only imagine that whatever I was running, it basically let the CPU stay asleep the whole time because it feels like it should have chewed through more battery than that. To be fair - an estimate is an estimate so it could have been way off...

    I'll be traveling tomorrow (3 hour train trip) so I'm going to see how it does off of a full charge for a whole day. 1.3 model btw.
     
  7. zhenya macrumors 603

    zhenya

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2005
    #7
    Mine pretty reliably drops about 10% per hour of use, sometimes even less.
     
  8. Queen6 macrumors 603

    Queen6

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2008
    Location:
    Enjoying Better Things
    #8
    About the same here, seems fairly stable...

    Q-6
     
  9. nalbagli thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2014
    #9
     

    Attached Files:

  10. zhenya macrumors 603

    zhenya

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2005
    #10
    That's a fairly small list of processes, but assuming your screen is not excessively bright, I can tell you that it's Safari that is draining the battery. At that load, I'm not surprised that you are getting 6 hours. I would suggest trying the Click to Flash plugin which will prevent Flash from running except when you need it, which will preserve battery life. Otherwise, try to minimize un-needed open tabs. You may be able to isolate which tab is consuming energy by expanding the entry under Safari from the list you posted.

    Reducing your screen brightness to 30% or so will also gain you about another hour of battery life.
     
  11. nalbagli thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2014
    #11
    thanks for the tips, actually I only turn on flash when I need it, and screen brightness is at 50-55%, so I really can't understand why safari is consuming this much battery, I only have like 4 open tabs. Really frustrating
     
  12. chriscrowlee macrumors 65816

    chriscrowlee

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2015
    Location:
    San Diego, CA
    #12
    Amen to this. Anyone who claims they get the stated battery life is lying. Well maybe not lying, but exaggerating or doing things that aren't the normal usage.

    It's always funny when the first responses are telling you to disable 10 different features in the OS. I don't want to disable 10 features of the OS. Nothing in Apple's pitch said anything about having to disable features in the OS. I get it some things are obvious like weak WiFi signal means more output power so the computer drains faster, having bluetooth on etc... but those are obvious things.

    I should be able to open the box, and use the computer as setup out of the box and get the stated battery life. If I have to turn the brightness down, they should have config'd it that way when it shipped... otherwise sure seems like an exaggeration to me. They ship it with brightness at 75% and bluetooth and wifi on, so clearly they feel they're important features, yet in order to get the battery life they state, I have to turn it and 10 UI elements off? Absurd.
     
  13. zhenya macrumors 603

    zhenya

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2005
    #13
    The conditions of the testing that they achieve these numbers are at very clearly outlined in the Tech Specs section of each product. As they say there, battery life varies by use, which is exactly it. You could have a single program or website that you have installed or frequent that is alone responsible for your inability to meet those numbers, but overall, Apple has by far the most realistic battery life estimates of any computer company. I have half a dozen Apple devices, and I generally get better than advertised battery life on all of them, without doing anything special to any of them.
     
  14. Queen6 macrumors 603

    Queen6

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2008
    Location:
    Enjoying Better Things
    #14
    Same here, battery life on my 1.2 is fine, I only have what I don't want or need turned off, for the most part am too busy to be concerned about it, the MacBook gets me through the day when I needs be, and that`s good enough.

    Q-6
     
  15. chriscrowlee macrumors 65816

    chriscrowlee

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2015
    Location:
    San Diego, CA
    #15
    Don't get me wrong... I am 10000% satisfied with the battery I get (6-8 hours depending on intensity of tasks) on my 1.2.... I just would LOVE to get the "up to 9" they advertise.

    I have looked through all of the sell-sheets online for the various apple products, as well as the "About Apple Batteries" and how to get the most out of batteries, and I would love for someone to point out where Apple states how they test the battery to determine how many hours they advertise. As far as I can tell, it's a pie in the sky number like MPG on a car, so please, someone point to where Apple states you can be surfing the web at 75% brightness and achieve that number.
     
  16. Queen6 macrumors 603

    Queen6

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2008
    Location:
    Enjoying Better Things
    #16
    It`s solely down to your usage patterns & workflow, what else to say. I rarely see the full battery life on the 15" equally I am generally pushing it hard as that`s what I bought it for, equally I have been way past 10 hours on the 13" Retina. New MacBook seems to read the battery percentage a little differently, however the runtime is fine and within my expectations, 6-10 hours depending on the use.

    Q-6
     
  17. zhenya macrumors 603

    zhenya

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2005
    #17
    http://www.apple.com/macbook/specs/

     
  18. chriscrowlee macrumors 65816

    chriscrowlee

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2015
    Location:
    San Diego, CA
    #18
    That makes more sense then. I always wonder how people say they get 12 hours. I'll get 12 hours too if I turn on iTunes and the computer sits idle playing music. I can get the stated battery life if I load a webpage and let it sit, or start a movie and let it sit. The things that tax processors are launching apps, opening new web pages, starting and stopping movies. Now my 6-8 hours sounds great knowing Apple's benchmark for battery life. Not sure how people think that's realistic. It's like getting MPG ratings in a wind tunnel without factoring in that the human foot naturally accelerates and decelerates. I guess there's got to be a benchmark... and if they posted real world of someone sitting there opening and closing spreadsheets, opening and closing web pages etc, nobody would be impressed. "The competition exaggerates 'real world usage' so we have to also"
     
  19. zhenya macrumors 603

    zhenya

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2005
    #19
    I don't know how much more realistic you can get than consistently opening web pages at a set brightness until the battery runs out. That's probably the most common activity that a laptop is used for. Constant web reloading is actually rather taxing - it's not like playing back Flash video or editing photos, but anyone who thinks that either of those activities should give them the advertised battery life is out to lunch.

    I've said it before - I easily match the advertised times for web browsing, and generally best them by keeping my brightness at or below 50% most of the time. I also use the excellent tools available to me to monitor if any process has gone rogue and is using up extra power. It takes only a second, and a program that is open in the background but not being used can easily cost you an hour or more of battery life if left open, so it's well worth closing it until you need it again.

    Contrast this to my experience with my Surface Pro 3 that gets on average, just 5.5 hours of battery life, even with excessive management on my part. A far cry from the promised 9 hours of wireless web.
     
  20. chriscrowlee macrumors 65816

    chriscrowlee

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2015
    Location:
    San Diego, CA
    #20
    I guess I'm abnormal. I don't spend 9 hours nonstop web surfing. I'll have one browser open, load a page, close it, have mail open where I'll compose an email, reply to an email, open a spreadsheet, edit it, save it, send it... maybe have iTunes open in the background playing music... maybe do an iPhone backup. I would say that sort of usage is far more realistic than 9 hours of a movie playing with nothing else going on.... or opening and closing web pages for 9 hours straight. Not saying they're wrong for doing it, I don't know what the solution is really, considering there are things like flash that many users use and many would consider "common tasks" that'll halve that battery life.... so I can understand the disconnect between expectations and reality.
     
  21. zhenya macrumors 603

    zhenya

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2005
    #21
    I do all of those things as well, and none of them impacts my battery life in any meaningful way. Certainly not playing music or dealing with email. On occasion Excel will go rogue and start consuming some battery, but I'm on Office 2015 which is barely out of beta. At that point I shut it down if I'm not using it. An iPhone backup will certainly impact your battery life as it's having to charge and power the phone, plus write a lot of data to disk. That could easily suck up an hour's worth of battery time on its own.

    Get to know the Energy tab of Activity Monitor. Anything that routinely uses an average of over 1 is going to have a noticeable impact on your battery life and you should assess whether it really needs to be running. Safari is almost always my biggest user - at between 30-60 average when in use. You are using Safari right? Also, I use Click-to-Flash to prevent Flash from running in the background or anywhere I don't explicitly allow it.
     
  22. chriscrowlee macrumors 65816

    chriscrowlee

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2015
    Location:
    San Diego, CA
    #22
    I assume you mean Office 2016, which was just released.

    So you're exempt from the Flash battery drain I suppose. And your apps launching don't affect processor use\battery life like everyone else. Oh well. Can't argue with that.

    I'm beginning to think some people really do sit and surf the web for 9 hours straight. LOL
     
  23. zhenya macrumors 603

    zhenya

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2005
    #23
    yes, 2016. A few seconds of energy use to launch an app is better than leaving it open with a slow drain for hours. And as I said, I don't run flash except when I specifically need to, don't watch that much video in the first place, and don't expect great battery life if I am watching flash video.
     
  24. sfscott macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2008
    #24
    I recently upgraded from a mid-2012 MBPr and one of the reasons was better battery life. On my old machine, I routinely got 6-8 hours of use unplugged.



    On my new mac, I am lucky to get 3-4. All settings are the same, and both machines had SSDs. I am mainly running Safari and MS Outlook 2015 and occasionally stuff like Evernote, Spotify, Music and MS Office 2015 apps.



    Outlook 2015 has been remarkably unstable and I would not be surprised if it was not very power efficient. I took the MBPr to the genius bar, and the battery and hardware passed all checks. Looking at the activity monitor, there was nothing out of the ordinary, and we removed a couple of background apps that I really did not need.



    I would not have been surprised if the battery life was the same, not the advertised 20% better, but I am worse off.



    Thoughts?
     
  25. wchigo macrumors 6502

    wchigo

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2015
    #25
    I actually don't have Flash installed on my rMB, even though I did on my rMBP. I have my work desktop that can run Flash, as well as a desktop PC at home, and in the event that I really DO need Flash on this I pop open Chrome for that time before going back to the more energy efficient Safari.

    I haven't tested this thing out rigorously yet but the battery life is definitely better than the late 2013 13" rMBP that it replaced. Currently I'm at 97% battery with an estimated time left of 10:06 but I assume that number won't go down linearly as I open more apps and do more things. I also generally keep the screen around around 50% brightness or just under as I don't really enjoy the super bright screens; that's generally the case with all my electronics including my iPhone and iPad as well.

    Not installing Flash and using mpv/Quicktime instead of VLC to watch videos has been my biggest habit changes since switching to the rMB, which I admit isn't a lot, but I will say that the battery gets me through a full working day and then some which was not often the case with my rMBP.
     

Share This Page