MBP Gaming - Insufficient Power Supply

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by New2MacMBP, Sep 23, 2009.

  1. New2MacMBP macrumors newbie

    Oct 13, 2008
    Phoenix, AZ
    First off I must say I LOVE my MBP that I bought last October and now I've bought two more for my kids since then. However, I was happily playing away on a new video game last night (while in Vista via boot camp) and apparently the power draw is so high that my 85watt power supply can't keep up because at two hours of play time my MBP just shut down and after scratching my head for a few minutes I noticed the orange light on the power cord and a quick push of the power indicator indeed showed that my battery was dead.

    Is this something that anyone else has encountered
  2. electroshock macrumors 6502a


    Sep 7, 2009
    So, just to be clear, you were running on battery power all this time rather than AC power?
  3. MadGoat macrumors 65816


    Jul 30, 2007
    I play via OS X and Parallels for hours on end and have yet to even encounter a power drain at all.

    By that I mean I can play something 3d and all, kill it after some time and unplug the power and I will still show 100%.
  4. New2MacMBP thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 13, 2008
    Phoenix, AZ
    No the MBP was plugged in (on AC power) the whole time. My power level was about 88% when I started because I had been in a meeting at the end of the day running on battery power and it hadn't yet fully charged when I went home and got online to play.

    I was running a new MMO at pretty high graphics levels with an external tethered keyboard, wireless mouse and a Logitech G35 headset and at just over two hours it shut down.

    My assumption is that the total watts the MBP is expending are exceeding the 85watts coming in and so over time that equates to a dead battery.
  5. Techhie macrumors 65816


    Dec 7, 2008
    The hub of stupidity
    Playing in parallels is much different than playing in Bootcamp, as virtual machines cannot fully tax the GPU. I have heard of cases like this before, I would call AppleCare and ask them if you have a power issue. Of course, it may also be poor drivers for the chipset in bootcamp =)
  6. carlosbutler macrumors 6502a


    Feb 24, 2008
    London City
    Can I just say (and I think I am right in saying this :p) that the power supply is able to give out way more then 85W. Your battery is able to pump out 85w/h, but that has absolutely nothing to do with the adapter. thats why an adapter for my old school black macbook (now 3.5 years old) is able to charge up my brand new macbook pro with no problem, even though completely different batteries.

    the most common issue i would say is probably human (as this has also happened to me) and it's normally because the magnetic thing, even though holding on to the laptop is not actually plugged in properly, or the wall socket switch is not on, or that only half the power cable is connected the laptop or whatever.

    i have also experienced where the cable was plugged in and was connected properly, but not light came on (i never checked if it was charging, although i guess not) which was a strange hardware thing, although to fix it i simply removed the magnetic thing and reattached
  7. kryptonianjorel macrumors 6502

    Jul 3, 2009
    Charge it up and do it again. If it happens again, you have a problem, but if you can't recreate the problem, then it is a user error
  8. New2MacMBP thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 13, 2008
    Phoenix, AZ
    As I had said the cable light (at the magnetic connector) was lit up orange when it shut off so it was connected and trying to charge and without touching it I left it off and plugged in for a few hours and the light returned to green and the side panel lights showed the battery as fully charged so it was working. I think the earlier post may have something closer to what happened in that maybe in boot camp some driver is running inefficiently and it's just that Apple ships the laptop with a power supply that is slightly less in capacity than what it can draw when everything is running maxed out.

    The fans were running full speed, keyboard backlighting on, screen full brightness with all the USB ports running at full load. I very simply may of put in a situation where I exceeded the capacity in terms watts/hour of the power supply and so the battery slowly drained.
  9. kolax macrumors G3

    Mar 20, 2007
    Something quite clearly wrong with your MacBook Pro then since that is obviously not normal.. I put the CPU and GPU to the max regularly for hours and hours and my battery never drops below fully charged.

    Call AppleCare - though it could simply be a dodgy MagSafe adapter.
  10. mac2x macrumors 65816

    Sep 19, 2009
    Possibly a suspect MagSafe. I can play COD 4 for hours with no problems.
  11. syriangamer macrumors newbie

    Oct 13, 2008
    Your macbook is completely fine. There was a report about this a while ago (possibly on engadget or gizmodo. ill look for it and post here if i do). Anyways the report basically said that the power drain on the new macbook pro's with the 9600gt was higher than the charger can charge it. Possibly because they didnt want to make a bigger charger. If you want you could call :apple:, but this is a design flaw, not a human error. unless you consider the flaw an error;)

    PS before saying "oh noes ur wrong!!!" try and look for the article in mention if i havent posted it. cheers!

    *edit 1

    Found 1 article claiming you need the battery or else it underclocks the laptop, will keep looking for more relevant article

    *edit 2
    Similar article in apple support database claiming
    Ayeying is right, if the macbook did get too hot it could have prevented it from charging, OR shut down to prevent damage. However if your system was set to high performance, it was getting its energy from the charger and the battery
  12. ayeying macrumors 601


    Dec 5, 2007
    Yay Area, CA
    it could be your system overheated and not a power supply problem. If it gets too hot, the battery won't charge to prevent heat build up from the power port to the battery.
  13. Samuriajackon macrumors 6502


    Feb 9, 2009
    Before my MacBook pro reaches the point where my battery won't continue to charge my fans are going nuts and my keyboard surface in the upper left area is on fire...if those happened then it might be a heat issue...but i can run Age of Empires 3, Sim4 and COD 4 without heat issues for many hours.
  14. steveleepete macrumors newbie


    Jun 5, 2008
    Question...I am looking into buying the Logitech G35 Headset but I cant find if its Mac compatible anywhere...are you running bootcamp as well? And are you using the USB connection straight from the headset?
  15. Rampant.A.I. macrumors 6502a

    Sep 25, 2009
    It should be just as plug-and-play compatible as any other USB headset. However, Logitech only offers partial support for their programmable hardware.
  16. sfroom macrumors regular

    Apr 30, 2008
    This post is FULL of bad information. First of all, the charger DOES provide 85W. The battery does NOT necessarily pump out 85w/h. Bigmanathome, it's NOT recommended to charge a MBP with a MB power adapter. It should work if the computer isn't being used, but if you're using your MBP while charging, you could be putting undue strain on your MBP's power systems. However, you should be able to use a MBP charger to charge a MB without any problems.

    Now, for the OP. What has happened to you is NOT normal. Are you sure you had the correct charger plugged in? (I could see this happening if you were using a 65W MB charger vs. an 85W MBP charger).

    While it is true that a MBP will underclock if the battery is removed to avoid draining more power than the charger supplies, there's no way your battery should go dead after 2 hours of gameplay with the charger plugged in. The computer would have to be drawing approx. double what the charger can provide to see that kind of runtime with the charger plugged in.

    Try to recreate the problem. If it happens again, then it's definitely time to call Apple care. However, before you do, try resetting the SMC. The instructions are in this Apple support article (http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1411). Hope this helps!

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