Not really impressed with the 17" battery life.

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by detz, Feb 27, 2009.

  1. detz macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2007
    #1
    I'm not really mad since I never use the battery anyway but I've had the battery for a week and I have yet to have it last more than 5.5 hours doing normal stuff. The first couple of days I got anywhere from 3.5-5.5 hours on a full charge and this week I fully calibrated the battery again and I only got 5.2 hours out of a full charge.

    I've attached my dock to show what's typically open, apps like photoshop are just open for quick access but they are not in use most of the day. I program all day so I have CentOS in Fusion running all day so maybe that's what drains the battery but other than that it's email and the web. My screen brightness is two from the highest and keyboard back-lighting is off.
     

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  2. uicandrew macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2006
    #2
    i think that because you're running so many processor/gpu intensive/ram hungry tasks

    especially the VMware (i mean, you're dedicating one of the cores to it), and it looks like your actively using bandwidth with the sirius/xm and with adium. (AND Transit?) wow. hopefully you don't have a cap on usage.

    even in the background, it still uses resources

    don't forget widgets. each widget you run uses resources.

    i think you are getting generous battery life (if you ever need it)

    the screen brightness is also another thing. it is supposed to be the biggest eater of battery power. i think if you put it at half brightness (or maybe do that "ambient" light setting) you'd get closer to what you expect
     
  3. ayeying macrumors 601

    ayeying

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2007
    Location:
    Yay Area, CA
    #3
    Virtual Machines will kill the battery just as fast as gaming on battery. Try w/o VM and not having the brightness set so high. It'll make a big difference.

    Yesterday, I started using my system on battery at 3PM, lasted through all my classes (back to back, 10 minute gaps) until 7PM. After I got home at 8PM, I continued using my system but more aggressively (Virtual Machine, music playing, scanning all my papers) and at the end, I was able to last my battery until 12AM. This was done on the 9600GT video card w/ auto brightness. (Class w/ mostly dark, brightness ~1/4-1/2 way most of the time auto adjust. Home is constant light, ~3/4 brightness)

    From the battery at 100% till when my classes end, I only used up 20% in ~4 Hours of note taking. However, when I got home, that same 4 hours took up ~75% (Left with 5% at the end) doing more aggressive work.

    I have to say, I'm impressed. Obviously that'll go different ways with other users because no user uses their system the same as I do, just like no one drives the same and how various people get various miles per gallon.
     
  4. BaldiMac macrumors 604

    BaldiMac

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2008
    #4
    Are you using the "Better Battery Life" setting? Are you using the 9400M or the 9600M GT? Do you have a 2.66 or 2.93 GHz? Do you have the 5400 rpm hard drive or the 7200 rpm hard drive?

    All of these things and more affect battery life. Obviously, the 8 hour max that Apple advertises is based on the optimal configuration.
     
  5. nick9191 macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2008
    Location:
    Britain
    #5
    8 hours is with the brightness at half, wifi on, bluetooth off, the 9400M enabled, and using light apps like web browsing and typing up documents.
     
  6. detz thread starter macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2007
    #6
    The VM doesn't really use that much CPU, ram yes..CPU not much. Firefox seems to be the beast that pegs the CPU are 20% all day so I'm assuming having 15+ tabs open it what will kill the battery faster.

    I'm running the 9400, I haven't even tried the 9600 yet.

    The sirius app uses mplayer which uses the CPU a lot too so shutting that off I'm sure would help too.

    Maybe tonight I will try to see how long I can make it last, the hard part is I need VM to do work so I can't just turn that off and I light the screen bright so for me that's "real life" conditions.
     
  7. jjahshik32 macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2006
    #7
    That sucks about the battery life man. But your just like me, I never really use or care about battery life since I'm plugged into the wall all the time.

    This is why I dont care much for the mba where its main purpose is to be small and portable but what good is it when you get only 2 hours of battery life on that?

    Hey enjoy your 17" I've actually been debating to myself to sell up my 15" for one... but I'm trying to restrain myself because I'm really waiting for that gainstown mac pro desktop!
     
  8. detz thread starter macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2007
    #8
    Besides the battery(which actually five hours is way more than I ever got with any other computer) the new 17" is a great machine, I couldn't be happier with this purchase.
     
  9. Runt888 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2008
    #9
    I would be ecstatic to get 5 hours battery life while running a VM. My last gen MacBook Pro gets about 2 hours with a VM running, on a new battery.
     
  10. sth macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2006
    Location:
    The old world
    #10
    VMware is a resource-hog, but that's not VMware's fault: Don't forget that you have a second operating system idling on your machine all the time.

    A little browser tip: Firefox always keeps plugins (Flashplayer!) running on all tabs while Safari slows down plugins on inactive tabs and doesn't even start them on background tabs until you activate them. Saves a lot of resources.

    IMHO you're getting great battery life out of the machine, considering you are heavily multitasking.


    BTW: Since you seem to be an iPhone developer: Try using the simulator while on battery power. Having the iPhone/iPod connected drains the battery pretty badly.
     
  11. Schtumple macrumors 601

    Schtumple

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2007
    Location:
    benkadams.com
    #11
    I'd kill to get my MBP to run for that long with that many apps open...

    Have you never used a laptop before/was your previous machine a Mac Pro or something?!

    I typically only have maybe 2 or 3 apps open at any given time when on battery, if you can't just wait for the app load load/click quit when you're not using it, well that's just laziness...
     
  12. PeterQC macrumors 6502a

    PeterQC

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2008
    #12
    I have yet to get 2-3 hours with Photoshop alone on my Macbook.

    You have Photoshop AND Illustrator open, with many other apps, and still get 5h.

    I am impressed.
     
  13. ninjapenguinart macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2008
    #13
    :eek: When I saw how many apps you are running I was shocked you were getting 5 hours!! You should be very impressed with the 17" battery life! In all honesty I kinda thought this was a joke thread after seeing that picture. :p I get like 2 1/2 - 3 1/2 with my new MBP when I have VMWare or Photoshop CS4 on. And my battery is very well calibrated and suppose to get 5 hours.
     
  14. stevieapollo macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2008
    Location:
    Whittier, CA
    #14
    battery life

    i agree dont advertise 8 hours if you dont get 8 hours. i have had mine for 5 days and have not gotten anything close to 8 hours. and im not using the extra graphics card. i only get about 5-6 doing light stuff. still a lot better then any other mbp i have ever owned, but i just don't think they should be advertising it as 8 hours. know if they said 5-7 hours that would be more spot on.
     
  15. NT1440 macrumors G4

    NT1440

    Joined:
    May 18, 2008
    Location:
    Hartford, CT
    #15
    My god, id be in love if my battery lasted even 5 hours!:eek:

    You have two OS's running and dont see a potential battery drain at that? Also, your screen is at two from the max, apple tests at 50%
     
  16. iLog.Genius macrumors 601

    iLog.Genius

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2009
    Location:
    Toronto, Ontario
    #16
    Yes, Apple's claim can be misleading but will run up to 8 hours based on Apple's tests/specs:

    "Testing conducted by Apple in December 2008 using preproduction 2.66GHz Intel Core 2 Duo-based MacBook Pro (17-inch)...The wireless productivity test measures battery life by wirelessly browsing various websites and editing text in a word processing document with display brightness set to 50%."

    Sure that's laughable, but Apple did tell you how it's possible...:rolleyes: hah
     
  17. NT1440 macrumors G4

    NT1440

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    May 18, 2008
    Location:
    Hartford, CT
    #17
    Laughable? Thats actually pretty much the industry standard for testing batteries.
     
  18. iLog.Genius macrumors 601

    iLog.Genius

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2009
    Location:
    Toronto, Ontario
    #18
    I'm pretty sure it is, but it's for people who are complaining about battery life not being close to the advertised 8 hours. 8 Hours is possible if you're doing what Apple outlines in the fine print...
     
  19. kastenbrust macrumors 68030

    kastenbrust

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2008
    Location:
    North Korea
    #19
    Detz come on man, you have nearly every application in your dock running, and your complaining your only getting 5.5 hours?!?!?! a Macbook wouldn't even get 2 hours with all those applications running. If you maybe closed half the CS4 suite you'd get 8 hours. I got 9 easily 2 days ago, and i squeezed 9 today at work, and that included 30 mins of Left 4 Dead during my lunch break:p
     
  20. NT1440 macrumors G4

    NT1440

    Joined:
    May 18, 2008
    Location:
    Hartford, CT
    #20
    Weve had plenty of people on these forums who fall under that "normal useage" (which it really sounds like that, normal casual useage) who are saying the battery pretty much lives up to the claims.
     
  21. iLog.Genius macrumors 601

    iLog.Genius

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2009
    Location:
    Toronto, Ontario
    #21
    Hey that's great. All I'm saying is, if Apple says 8 hours is possible then it probably is possible under whatever circumstances but you should definitely take it with a grain of salt. From personal experience and I'm pretty sure most have noticed, estimated battery times never happen as advertised. Take something simple like the iPod. They claim x amount of hours, pretty sure most never even got there and there's hardly anything you can change other than backlight.
     
  22. Schtumple macrumors 601

    Schtumple

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2007
    Location:
    benkadams.com
    #22
    I've got 5 1/4 hours out of Macbook Pro once (4 and a half is normal), by having the backlight on the minimum, and only running Text Edit (taking notes in lectures), so it is possible to match and even beat the estimates.

    Saying that, I now normally average at 4 hours with Wifi on, running pages for note taking and occasional Safari use.
     
  23. NT1440 macrumors G4

    NT1440

    Joined:
    May 18, 2008
    Location:
    Hartford, CT
    #23
    Of course. Anyone that thinks ANY claim in advertising is 100% free of circumstance in this country needs to smarten up.

    I'm just glad apple moved to a testing that at least reflects somewhat normal "average" use.
     
  24. Patriks7 macrumors 65816

    Patriks7

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2008
    #24
    That's actually really GREAT battery life for a 17" laptop! I highly doubt you can even get 3 hours on any other 17" doing anything close to what you're running on yours (most of those things that you have running are resource hogs, even when idle).
     

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