Poor rMBP 15 Battery Life

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by cherishzm, Feb 25, 2013.

  1. cherishzm macrumors regular

    Mar 13, 2011
    My 6 month old rMBP 15 with 105 battery cycle count and 95% battery health (based on iStat Pro) will only last about 3 hours on a full charge with about 70% screen brightness and exclusive dedicated graphics card usage (I watch videos via VLC and I cannot disable dedicated graphics when using VLC).

    Is it normal? My previous MBP 17 lasted about 4.5~5 hours doing the same thing and I was expecting similar battery life with my rMBP.

    Is there any good media player for OS X that uses only integrated graphics card? I believe dedicated graphics card needs much more power so drains battery quicker.

    Any tips on extending the battery life will be appreciated!
  2. Daniel L macrumors 6502

    Sep 15, 2009
    That sounds about normal when using the dGPU. Have you tried using gfxCardStatus to lock it to the integrated GPU before starting VLC? That works for me.
  3. Quazimojo macrumors regular


    Apr 4, 2010
    Auburn Hills,Mi
    Use MplayerX it will run off the HD4000 and IMHO is better a better media player but either way once you start watching movies off the integrated nothing else will matter :). It plays every single format flawlessly i have found.

    70% brightness will hit your battery pretty hard but you should see a massive improvement just using MplayerX and the HD4000.

    I helped quite a few people with the same problem you had suggesting this and i myself faced the same issue of having to the use the 650m just to watch movies.
  4. Asuriyan macrumors 6502a

    Feb 4, 2013
    That would be my suggestion.

    The GeForce can use as much power as the CPU- effectively cutting your battery life in half. It makes running Windows (which doesn't recognize the IGP) a pain.
  5. cherishzm thread starter macrumors regular

    Mar 13, 2011
    Thanks for the replies guys.

    Actually I've had the gfxCardStatus (v2.3) installed since I bought my rMBP as suggested by many in this forum but I don't seem to be able to lock the video card to HD4000. When I have a program that uses the GeForce open, all the options are greyed out and I cannot select 'Integrated Only'.

    Am I doing something wrong here?:confused:
  6. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    There are many factors that impact your battery life. See the BATTERY LIFE FROM A CHARGE section of the following link for details, including tips on how to maximize your battery life.

    The link below should answer most, if not all, of your battery/charging questions. If you haven't already done so, I highly recommend you take the time to read it.
  7. ksowder macrumors newbie

    Feb 13, 2013
    There have been issues and because of the hardware, it will not allow gfxCardStatus to keep the machine in HD4000 graphics when the program that will limit it is already open. My advice, close all programs, then force HD4000, then reopen the program and see if that works.
  8. cherishzm thread starter macrumors regular

    Mar 13, 2011
    Thanks for the reply. I remember reading somewhere that any programs that utilize OpenGL (don't really know what it is) such as VLC, Mplayer, etc forces to use GeForce graphics and HD4000 cannot be used even with the gfxCardStatus.

    Is this true? I'd appreciate 15" rMBP owners can chime in and help.
  9. medulla macrumors regular

    Jun 15, 2012
    Not true... Quit VLC media player or any other applications that are dependent on the discrete graphics.. Once closed use gfxCardStatus to set it to intergrated and from then on it'll work..

    If something is open you'll see it in that list, just quit it and change it.. As an example..

    Attached Files:

  10. cherishzm thread starter macrumors regular

    Mar 13, 2011
    Now I figured out why I wasn't able to force it to Integrated Only. I always have my rMBP connected to an external display and put it into sleep before going home and wake it up. Even though I don't have it connected to an external display at home, the options were greyed out so I tried to restart it and I was able to force it to Integrated Only.

    However, it appears driving an external display with Integrated Only is impossible. Wish it was an option as I don't do anything graphics intensive at work or at home so I don't have to restart it all the time to save battery life.
  11. br3nt macrumors member

    Jul 1, 2012

    just tried it out - force iGPU with gfxCard, open file with VLC and it stick to iGPU (did not test for any form of delays though on a 720p mkv episode of a tv show)

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