i5 vs i7 (2011 MBA 13'') battery life

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by garleanu, Jul 31, 2011.

  1. garleanu macrumors newbie

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    #1
    Hi.
    I came across a discussion in this forum (http://forums.macrumors.com/archive/index.php/t-1193406.html) that touched on the battery-life impact of the i5/i7 choice, but did not offer the ultimate answer. Can anybody compare battery lives of i5 and i7 (13'')? I have seen a number of detailed i5 battery tests, but none for the i7. For long flights, I would forego the i7 if the i5 beats by as little as 5% (20 minutes / 400 minutes), I think -- almost certainly if by 10%. Having both configurations and running the same tasks would give a great idea, but not many people have access to that.
    Thanks!
     
  2. Apple Expert macrumors 65816

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    #2
    Do you need the i7 extra power? If not then get the i5 which will be cooler and should have a better battery charge.
     
  3. garleanu thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Funnily enough, I am trying to figure that one out, too. Given that now I am using a 5-year old Panasonic T4 as laptop (and some pretty old Dell as desktop), I'll probably be blown away by any of the two configurations. Highest use I can imagine would be running some computation program (say, matlab) and viewing a video at the same time.

    That said, it would still be nice to have a quantitative idea of the difference (I saw the data posted -- by you, even, perhaps? -- on the temperature, so that's probably taken care of). I had also seen some claims, though, that the i7 might have a better power management that could result in _longer_ charge cycles, so some ambiguity may remain. Did you actually notice the difference by comparing with your wife's computer? (I hope I am not confusing you with someone else; sorry if I am.)

    Anyway, thanks for the prompt answer. I think that I'll follow your advice, even if only to play it ``safe'' (as I know what the i5 is supposed to be like from, the reviews).
     
  4. Jaro65 macrumors 68040

    Jaro65

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    #4
    I carry a small 60 Wh HyperMac battery with me on long flights. Extra 30 minutes (or whatever) that I would get out of an i5-based MBA wouldn't help a whole lot anyway.
     
  5. Apple Expert macrumors 65816

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  6. Cynicalone macrumors 68040

    Cynicalone

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    On light load the battery difference would be insignificant.

    Under heavy load would be another story.
     
  7. garleanu thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #7
    That's not too bad, either -- shows how out of time I am not to have known of these things. Any idea how light one can go on these things? And do I infer right that, in theory, this should more than double the battery life?
     
  8. Jaro65 macrumors 68040

    Jaro65

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    #8
    Well, in theory it should, considering that a 13" MBA has a 50 Wh battery and the small HyperMac I carry has a 60 Wh one. I also have another 150 Wh HyperMac unit that I used to carry with my MBP on long flights. Nowadays though I also always carry my iPad. When I load it with PDF's and other documentation, and in conjunction with my laptop, there are plenty of hours of use between those two devices for even the longest flight.
     
  9. garleanu thread starter macrumors newbie

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    I am sure that is the case. One fear I have, though, is that my most common flights -- WC-EC -- might conceivably just put me on the margin between i5/i7 w/o external battery. Anything intercontinental would require extra help (or upgrade ;-).

    BTW, I was also looking at these external things, and it appears that they need about three different cables/adapters -- is that right?
     
  10. Jaro65 macrumors 68040

    Jaro65

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    #10
    HyperMac used to buy Apple power supplies, cut the magsafe adapter, and then splice it onto the cable that connects their battery with the laptop (MBP or MBA). Apple through whatever legal means enforced them to stop this practice. So...it used to be a single cable. Now, that they are compliant with Apple's demand, the connectivity is a bit more complex. You could just try looking on eBay and see if you can buy one of the original batteries with a cable. These are Li-Ion batteries so it should be pretty safe to buy something 2nd hand (given that the seller has a good track record).

    Or...depending on your use case, you could consider picking a 2010 13" MBA from Apple's refurbished stock. If the apps you use don't have a high CPU requirement, the 2010 MBA may be good for you. Frankly, I have both of them (2010 and 2011) and I don't really perceive any difference in day-to-day use, meaning browsing, iTunes, Pandora, MS Office for Mac apps, etc. The only difference is that the 2010 MBA gives me an extra couple hours of battery life. Now obviously, flying business you wouldn't have to worry about any of this....
     
  11. h00ligan macrumors 68030

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    #11
    Unless you are driving full force you'd notice a greater impact with one bar of brightness.
     
  12. KPOM macrumors G5

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  13. garleanu thread starter macrumors newbie

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