Macbook Pro 15 Battery life NOT 8 hours.. more like 4.5 hours

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by octavemc, Jan 13, 2011.

  1. octavemc macrumors newbie

    Jan 13, 2011
    Im disappointed with my macbookpro 15 2.66 i just bought.

    Its said the battery life over 8 hours but after i unplug it fully charged and change the battery icon to show the time.. it tells me less than 5 hours even with the screen darkened right down

    Anyone else experience this? Should i return it? Faulty battery?
  2. iBookG4user macrumors 604


    Jun 27, 2006
    Seattle, WA
    You should be happy that your MacBook Pro lasts that long, my non-unibody MacBook Pro has a 2 hour battery at this point. Want to trade? :p

    And just so you know, the time for the battery metre isn't always accurate and the 8-9 hours is under ideal circumstances.
  3. octavemc thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 13, 2011
    What ideal conditions when the screen is off completely and no programs running very useful

    Its a downright lie.. and false advertising

    I get 6 hours battery life from my $300 netbook
  4. blackburn macrumors 6502a


    Feb 16, 2010
    Where Judas lost it's boots.
    That's odd, in my macbook I had close to the 7 hours when unplugged and doing nothing and brightness almost to minimum. But I only get about 4 to 5 hours really depending on the use. (Sometimes I don't even get 3 hours)
  5. bigjobby macrumors 65816

    Apr 7, 2010
    London, UK
    Its not very useful starting a thread of complaint and not giving much information. Things like what your settings are, what apps are you using etc etc.

    If I was encoding some media content, I'd probably get about 2hrs out of my battery. On the other hand, I've had 7.5hrs on different occasions when I've been coding, with screen brightness right down (environment still allowed me to work comfortably), WiFi and bluetooth off, onboard graphics on and any unnecessary apps off.

    Also, has your battery been calibrated properly?
  6. waynep macrumors 6502

    Dec 31, 2009
    I am new to the mac world, just for a MBP 17 Saturday. But I have have been using laptops with batteries for over 12 years. It's marketing . . It depends on what you are doing and how you have things set. I already know on my MBP with the screen brightness up, running a online backup over wireless, keyboard backlight turned up high, battery life is a 2-3 hours. Turn the screen brightness down, turn off the backlit keyboard and shutdown the backup, the battery meter goes up to the 6 hour range. You have to balance the marketing numbers with real life. To get the marketing number, you would have to turn the screen all the way down, to almost off, probably turn wireless networking off, turn the backlit keyboard off and do work that's easy on the CPU . . . But that case these days is probably not likely for most people.
  7. croooow, Jan 13, 2011
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2011

    croooow macrumors 65816


    Jul 16, 2004
    It's basic marketing. Apple tells you about the maximum life possible with their products, not regular use:

    If normal, real world, use of a MBP produced 8-9 hour results but they could make it last even longer by turning everything down, they would use those larger numbers.

    I'm pretty sure this means they charge the laptop, open up Safari and Pages (with nothing else running) type a few words, connect to a couple various web sites(nothing with video or processor intensive content, probably simple ASCII text!) and then turn off wireless and turn off the keyboard light (They say "middle setting" for display, so I don't think they can turn it down more) then stop using the notebook and let the energy saving settings kick in (probably set to kick in a minute later so the display dims itself quickly preserving the "middle setting") they do everything they can to save power but still technically say the laptop is being "used" and get the maximum life out of a charge for the "up to" measurement.

    I also have the 15" i7 2.66 MBP. I was surprised to see this in the fine print regarding battery life:
    I was sure they used the base 15" MBP with the 2.4GHz i5 chip, rather than the 2.66 i7.

    I have noticed that my battery life is greatly increased when the Intel graphics are being used compared to the NVIDIA graphics. Dynamic switching seems to favor the NVIDA chip for just about everything and I've noticed (after forcing the Mac to use it) the Intel chip does a fine job with most of the tasks that would make it switch to NVIDA.

    Get gfxCardStatus to monitor and control when the chips are being used.

    I've also turned down monitor brightness (to a comfortable level, not too dark) and turned off the keyboard light unless needed. That helps as well.
  8. millerb7 macrumors 6502a

    Jun 9, 2010

    I have gfxCardStatus and have it set to use intel when I'm on battery power and nvidia when I'm plugged in (when I'm plugged in I have an external monitor plugged in as well, which requires nvidia)
  9. newdeal macrumors 68020

    Oct 21, 2009

    yes it is a lie because if you run the cpu or gpu hard the battery life goes way down. However if you just got the notebook I assume you haven't calibrated the battery. Google that, until you do it the time remaining probobly won't be accurate anyway. My 13" pro gets over 10 hours of battery life with the screen dim and not doing anything. As soon as you start using it though that goes way down. Especially flash, gaming, things like that.
  10. nateo200 macrumors 68030


    Feb 4, 2009
    Northern District NY
    Your $300 dollar netbook does nothing. Your MBP however does allot. Open activity monitor and see what's going on. BTW apples advertised battery life is always inflated, this is nothing new.:rolleyes:
  11. snaky69 macrumors 603

    Mar 14, 2008
    You should learn to read the fine print. 8 hours is achievable, here's how apple gets their number:

    -No bluetooth
    -Screen dimmed to 1/3 brightness
    -No time machine
    -Safari reloading a page that does not use flash every 30 seconds
    -A Pages document open but empty
    -Airport on
    -Nothing else being done.

    Battery life depends greatly on two things: screen brightness and processor use. The brighter the screen and the more processor intensive task, the lower the battery life. Adobe flash sucks monkey d*ck on Mac OS X so it requires a lot of processor just to work, so youtube is out of the question, watching a DVD? You just cut your battery life in half. Using a virtual machine? Same. You get the picture.
  12. croooow macrumors 65816


    Jul 16, 2004
    I have gfxCardStatus set like that (Intel when "On Battery", NVIDIA when "Plugged In") but is doesn't seem to take: I see the "N" when on battery and I open Firefox. I just change it manually.
  13. AdamRock macrumors 6502a


    Aug 30, 2010
    mine lasts 5-6 hours.

    but the 8-9 hour is apple assuming you have your screen turned down to 0% brightness and you are only browsing the web (minimal browsing too; like google).
  14. croooow macrumors 65816


    Jul 16, 2004
    Apple does state "The wireless productivity test measures battery life by wirelessly browsing various websites and editing text in a word processor document with display brightness set to the middle setting."

    If it were proven that they went lower that 50% it could be an issue for them.
  15. huffboy macrumors newbie

    Dec 30, 2010
    they can browse an empty webpage instead of anything with graphics and browse "offline" though cache.. which doesn't use the wireless connection.
  16. mark28 macrumors 68000

    Jan 29, 2010
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPod; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_2_1 like Mac OS X; nl-nl) AppleWebKit/533.17.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.0.2 Mobile/8C148 Safari/6533.18.5)

    If you have the matte screen, 1 bar of brightness is pretty good.
  17. NickZac macrumors 68000


    Dec 11, 2010
    You can't compare the Atom processor to the i5/i7. A few things to consider about battery is:
    -Adobe and most flash systems drain battery life
    -You can configure the GPU to extend battery life
    -You can use certain programs and avoid other processes to extend battery life
    -Outside conditions can affect battery life

    This is my 10th or 11th laptop and I not once had one that constantly would run as long as advertised. My 13 inch when I go for endurance can do about 5hrs, but you have a faster processor, card, and screen then me.
  18. nunes013 macrumors 65816


    May 24, 2010
    i hear you, i get about an hour and a half with brightness half down and have 3 tabs open in safari. i think its time to go make a trip to the genius bar while i have a year and a half left on apple care. i just went for a new logic board and magsafe so i might wait a while so they dont hate me.
  19. fortunecookie macrumors regular


    Dec 3, 2010
    So you are happier with your $300 netbook? Why not sell your MBP?
  20. Mabyboi macrumors 6502


    Apr 23, 2010
    Ontario, Canada
    Have you tried recalibrating your battery? you may be missing stuff there... Did you get the Hi-res screen? that can kill it too....
  21. Blu101 macrumors 6502a


    Sep 10, 2010
    I get a good 6-6.5 hours on avg. under my normal use (Safari, iPhoto and iTunes), on ~4 bars screen brightness, 1-3 bars backlight keyboard, bluetooth off, auto grfx switching ON, auto dim when on battery energy savings option ON, no peripherals plugged in, no external monitor. A full battery can also play two full ~hour and a half movies back to back (from HDD, not DVD player, haven't tried from DVD player since I just rip to HDD). All of my friends' PC laptops get about 1/2 of what I get, battery power wise, when doing the same things I do.

    I stayed over a friend's house once who just got a new Toshiba laptop with Windows 7, and when I plugged in my MBP to charge, he asked "already?", to which I replied "I haven't charged the battery since the night before yesterday", to which he then said "oh", as he had charged his battery 2-3 times during the same time. Our batteries rock, and we don't even need to pay extra $$ for an "extended life battery" - it comes standard ;)

    If I turn off airport, bluetooth, backlight keyboard, all apps/programs and 1-2 screen brightness bars, my battery icon will show 8-9+ hours life. I do calibrate my battery once/month, as recommended.
  22. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    This should answer most, if not all, of your battery questions: Apple Notebook Battery FAQ

    Note the section "BATTERY LIFE FROM A CHARGE"
  23. Eddyisgreat macrumors 601

    Oct 24, 2007
    Keep and eye on what processes are running on your machine as well. Even if you close all your applications, something such as an application launcher (won't mention any names...odobe...) will suck up CPU cycles and wear you down.

    Apple's tests are achievable, but really it's an out of the box, fully patched holy grail configuration which can be derailed by installing one rouge application. One could petition Apple to do more of a 'real world' scenario, but what is real world? Many users get caught up in the newness of OS X and start downloading all sorts of widgets and menu bar apps but don't uninstall them or don't do it correctly, wheras others such as myself and many on this board keep a relatively tuned install that could pass a white glove test with ease.
  24. dejo Moderator


    Staff Member

    Sep 2, 2004
    The Centennial State
    They claim up to 8 to 9 hours. How is that false advertising?
  25. eah2119 macrumors regular

    Aug 20, 2010
    It is not false advertising. They specifically say "up to". I have a 13 inch and quite a while ago I remembered trying something. I fully charged it, unplugged it and the indicator read something around eight hours. I don't remember what my brightness was at but I wasn't running any applications. Now, if you ask me that's one good battery. And not only does the charge last long but the life too. Apple advertises up to 1000 recharges for, I guess, until the batter charge shrinks greatly. Mine is currently at 576 cycles after almost 1 1/2 years. I guess I'll be due for a replacement in another 1 1/2 years. If you ask me, that's snappy.

    And sure, this totally depends on what you're doing on your computer. You can leave it still with no apps running (this includes QUITTING the apps instead of closing) and you'll get 8 hours. If you're downloading a movie, 3 hours (depends on bandwidth). If you're playing a graphics and processor intensive game, 2 hours. But basically, if you need 8 hours for playing a game PLUG IT IN!! There are outlets everywhere!!! Nobody should be complaining (besides me) because the battery on the MBPs are the best I've ever seen on a laptop.

    and btw if you open system profiler (applications>utilities) and you choose "Power" on the left pane you can see a lot about your battery including the cycle it's at.

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