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Is the battery life supposed to be so... bad? 16" macbook pro, is mine defective?

iemcj

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Oct 31, 2015
466
156
Battery life seems fine when I'm doing just basic stuff like running excel or using facebook/reddit/youtube. But MAN the battery life is horrible when I'm using zwift. It's a very lightweight cycling program that is designed to even run on low end phones and tablets and still work nicely. I have it only set to 1080p while it makes a super generic graphic enviroment, and my battery went from 99% down to 25% in 48 minutes. Screen is only on 2/3rds brightness.

I also rip a lot of blu rays to .mkv files on a hard drive so I can watch them from any room in the house and I didn't even finish a 2 hour long movie before my laptop literally died. What in the world?? My old 13" macbook pro can play videos like that for 5-6 hours before it dies. This is insane.

I've had it a little over a month so I'm well past that opening day of indexing or background tasks being the culprit. Coconut battery shows 21 cycles and 93.6% of design capacity if that helps.
 

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Psyclism

macrumors regular
Jun 17, 2010
116
99
My suspicion is that the discrete GPU is getting kicked on. Try running sudo pmset -b gpuswitch 0 in terminal to completely disable the dGPU when running on battery and see if that helps.
 
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tarsins

macrumors 6502a
Sep 15, 2009
949
651
Wales
Running a mixture of VMWare Fusion, RDP to several servers, browsing, mail, usually from 7AM to 3PM every weekday and I get well over 10 hours. Must be the app you’re using.
 
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Anonymous Freak

macrumors 603
Dec 12, 2002
5,406
822
Cascadia
Either one of your apps is using *WAY* more CPU/GPU power than it should be, or something's wrong with your computer.

As others have said, check the "Energy" tab of Activity Monitor, and/or the CPU tab while doing whatever you're normally doing. Maybe you're ripping your Blu-rays and playing them back with an app that doesn't have proper codec acceleration, so is brute-force CPU decoding, which will use a lot of power. Or Zwift is badly written and slams your GPU for what should be a fairly simple "game."
 
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Dominus Mortem

macrumors regular
Aug 3, 2011
225
55
48 minutes doing anything, even crazy loads is suspiciously bad. I'd have it checked out by Apple.
[automerge]1580294621[/automerge]
 
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darkmatter343

macrumors 6502
Sep 18, 2017
295
200
Toronto, Canada
you mentioned the ripping of Blu Ray movies, I’m guessing you have an external Blu Ray drive hooked up through the thunderbolt port? Feeding an external peripheral power (unless it has its own power source) will certainly add to the power drain, along with the added CPU/GPU power draw for ripping and converting a movie, so yeah I can see your battery not lasting too long.

Now if your just using Swift (and only Swift during the time of battery drain) for programming, that doesn’t make a lot of sense... as other said check to see how hard the GPU and CPU are being hit, run the Intel power gadget as well as a GPU monitoring program.

Either way 48min seems too low.
 
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Bob-Lee

macrumors newbie
Apr 14, 2020
9
17
Hi iemcj

Yes, tarsins is right, there must be a certain app which drains too much power from your battery.
My biggest battery drain was the Brave browser, therefore I am now just using Safari.

I was struggling to find a solution for my fast battery drain for about 4 weeks.
Started with 2h 14min (from 100% to 6%) and ended up with 11h 44min (from 100% to 5%).

After reading through several forums, having phone calls with Apple experts and doing live testing (without using tons of 3rd party apps) I could finally solve my fast battery drain. Here is how I managed it:

 
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