MBP battery useless?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by pmonaghan, Sep 21, 2011.

  1. pmonaghan macrumors newbie

    Jul 7, 2011
    So I've owned my MBP since November last year.
    Around three months ago I took it on a train journey as I needed to catch up on some work. The train journey was an hour each way, I had an hour meeting in the middle (where I didn't use the computer). The battery was fully charged but didn't even last to the end of the return journey! Clearly this is a lot less than Apple quote, so after going in to the Apple Store they agreed to replace it, even though the tests showed no problems.
    The battery was fine again after that, lasting 5 - 6 hours per charge but recently I've been noticing the charge lasting less and less. Last night I plugged it into my TV to watch the last 3/4 of a film (because our ATV was playing up again) and by the end it was showing less than 10% battery. We can't have watched more than an hour of film and no other applications running, just VLC playing a movie.
    Has anyone else had this issue? What can I do about it? I paid a lot of money to get a reliable high performance machine and this isn't what I expected.. quite honestly, its getting to the point where my 5 year old MBW battery lasts for longer!


    Screen: 17 inch
    Processor: i7 dual core
    RAM: 4GB
    HD: 500GB
    OS: Lion
  2. miles01110 macrumors Core


    Jul 24, 2006
    The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
    Battery life is dependent on usage. Watching movies will consume more battery life than idling. It also depends on what else you have open and running at the same time. There is likely nothing wrong with your battery.
  3. Quinoky macrumors regular


    Sep 18, 2011
    Groningen, Netherlands
    The dedicated GPU also drastically decreases your battery life. It is probably best to just use the onboard graphics while unplugged. There is an application that enables you to switch between the onboard and dedicated graphics quite easily, but I forgot the name..
  4. man02195 macrumors regular

    Feb 8, 2010
    many people will say that that's normal, but I've had 2 bad batteries over the past 4 years on 3 different mac book pros, so defective batteries are out there. this is what i did....

    1. get coconut battery to see how your battery capacity is compare to design specs.

    2. get miniusage to see what's running, and what's hogging the cpu

    3. calibrate your battery

    4. get gfxcardstatus to change to the onboard graphics (thanks previous poster).
  5. dusk007 macrumors 68040


    Dec 5, 2009
    Just watch the estimated battery life or even better install something like iStat and watch the actual power draw from your battery. It will enlighten you.

    Watching a movie in VLC on my MBP forcing the Intel HD needs about 18W. Driving a 1080p TV and being unable to force the Intel GPU and running the VLC on top interpolating probably the video material or having to do loads of HD video decoding with little hardware acceleration support in VLC kills battery life. On my 2010 15" it still means about 2,5 hours but the 6750M is a bit of a beast and it will not enter the lowest power states when driving multiple displays as it would driving only one it just takes a lot of juice. Reduce display birghtness to OFF and shut of everything else not needed to save as much as you can and it shouldn't die as fast. Using it in clamshell mode might help too because it shuts off the internal display. Clamshell needs a bit more cooling but you can counter that by simply opening the lid again after it enters clamshell. It won't switch back to dual screen at least mine won't and I hate this behavior.

    Also it helps to run the TV not at native 1080p but rather as low as the video source needs. Playing 720p Video only use 720p res. a) It puts the interpolation workload on the TV which often is quite a bit better at it than the Computer b) it saves power both by reducing res and the need to do a). It is a win win.
  6. Naimfan Suspended


    Jan 15, 2003
    Check your screen brightness--that chews up a lot of battery if you have brightness turned up. Also, turn off Bluetooth and any other extras you can think of - if you're not using wifi turn that off.

    Basically, you need to reduce the current drain from your battery. The optical drive is a big drain, so if you can avoid using it so much the better.
  7. yousifabdullah macrumors regular

    Jul 19, 2011

    My MacBook Pro 15" (Late 2008) with replaceable 50-watt-hour battery (a lot less capacity than the newer ones) lasts at least two hours if I only watch a movie. All that with Wi-Fi and Bluetooth enabled with screen brightness at maximum.

  8. accessoriesguy macrumors 6502a

    Jul 8, 2011
    yes those 2 are possibly the biggest drains, I'm not counting the CPU or GPU since they react depending on what you want it to do.

    Still, I don't see why they can't finish at least one movie...

    I just remembered, you need to turn bluetooth off, which is what apple does when they test the battery life, as well as the computer is still indexing, and also the battery is also a little off (as was mine) when you first get the computer since it has not been used and its cycles are not used to regular usage.

    That can be it.
  9. kappaknight macrumors 68000


    Mar 5, 2009
    Here's an idea - why not leave the laptop plugged in when you're watching a movie?

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