Possible fix for Lion battery life and heat

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by bill-p, Jul 30, 2011.

  1. bill-p macrumors 68000

    Jul 23, 2011
    I think I found out why Lion battery drain is so hardcore on my Air: it's the glass dock.

    If you haven't done so already, I'd suggest that you stick it either to the left or right side of the screen, which would disable the glass effect.

    Or alternatively in case you love having it on the bottom:

    Download TinkerTool
    Install it.
    Open it.
    Go to the "Dock" tab.
    Check "Disable three-dimensional glass effect".
    Click "Relaunch dock".

    Also, if you haven't done so already, you may want to disable the new window effect. It may not happen all the time, but it does cause troubles when it does.

    Open Terminal (Applications > Utilities > Terminal).
    Copy and paste the following:
    defaults write NSGlobalDomain NSAutomaticWindowAnimationsEnabled -bool NO
    Then press enter.

    If you somehow find yourself missing that animation for whatever reason at all, you can do the same thing as above to re-enable it. But use this line instead:
    defaults write NSGlobalDomain NSAutomaticWindowAnimationsEnabled -bool YES

    I'm guessing the reason why these animations and graphics effects are causing trouble is because all of them use the GPU somehow, and Apple may not be having a lot of fun with handling different GPUs in Lion, as evidenced by reported problems with iMac.

    Well, let me know if that did the trick.
  2. brand macrumors 601


    Oct 3, 2006
    If what you say is true and the dock was placed on the bottom but set to hide I wonder if there would still be a performance hit? Am I correct in that dock is not being rendered when not onscreen?
  3. brand macrumors 601


    Oct 3, 2006
    Such a shame, all that effort for what could have been achieved with a few simple words.
  4. lyrrad721 macrumors regular

    Jul 28, 2010
    ^Oh come on :D... But in all seriousness, I am very interested in this thread and these findings... I will try this as soon as I complete the calibration of the battery.
  5. sprockett macrumors member

    May 19, 2008
    am also interested to see if this really works....
  6. Regaj macrumors member

    Aug 15, 2006
    Sorry, But Not True...


    If you'll look at the process table (either manually or through Activity Monitor) you'll find the Dock has a very small footprint. It's about as inconsequential a process as you'll find.

    What in the world made you think that not only was it the Dock causing your heat and battery issues - but that it was the glass rendering element within that process?
  7. Duke15 macrumors 6502


    May 18, 2011
  8. bill-p thread starter macrumors 68000

    Jul 23, 2011
    I don't think Activity Monitor is a good metric since it only shows CPU utilization.

    So while it shows that the Dock barely uses any CPU, there is no guarantee that the Dock, even in hiding, isn't still trying to make the GPU render its reflective and see-through surface. Plus it has to capture the surface of every window that is directly beneath or on top of it as well... in case you haven't paid that much attention to it. Also it doesn't go away even when you're in a fullscreen app. It's still right under the bottom side of the screen by default. Just move your mouse over and you'll see.

    There are also a host of other GPU animations under Lion that are potentially intensive as well. Mission Control and fullscreen apps are prime example.
  9. 3bs macrumors 603


    May 20, 2011
    Dublin, Ireland
    Just moved my dock back to the left (position I had it on SL). I hope you're right
  10. di1in macrumors regular


    Feb 27, 2011
    It didn't make any difference for me - at least none that I could notice. People if you haven't tried out the smc reset and batt calibration after installing Lion i suggest you do that, it got me back an hours worth.
  11. yongren macrumors regular

    Jan 19, 2011
    I usually keep my dock on the left anyway. Works better with such a wide screen.
  12. 3goldens macrumors 68000


    Feb 26, 2008
  13. bill-p thread starter macrumors 68000

    Jul 23, 2011
    If there is no difference whatsoever, chances are you are switching in/out of Mission Control, launching Launchpad, or switching between fullscreen apps quite regularly.

    Resetting SMC will only show longer time as the battery tries to calibrate itself but everything will settle in and you'll still get bad reported battery eventually.

    If this doesn't fix it for 2011 models, then I guess it's the bottom line that those models can't get good enough battery life under Lion due to the way Apple handles the GPU and all those fullscreen animations under Lion.
  14. ritmomundo macrumors 68000


    Jan 12, 2011
    Los Angeles, CA
    I've always had the dock on the left (in Leopard, SL, and now Lion). But I still have the heat/battery issues.
  15. mac jones macrumors 68040

    Apr 6, 2006
    I've always kept in on the side. These screens are ....w i d e

    I certainly hope anyone with the 11" keeps it on the side :D
  16. di1in, Aug 4, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 27, 2011

    di1in macrumors regular


    Feb 27, 2011
    I think we have the solution for the Lion battery problem. The problem had been with the Apple auto graphics switching malfunctioning.
  17. drxcm, Aug 4, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 27, 2011

    drxcm macrumors regular

    Nov 2, 2010
    The Air doesn't have auto graphics switching - it only has one GPU, the integrated one.
  18. di1in macrumors regular


    Feb 27, 2011
    What i meant is that if lion thinks that the situation is ripe for the discrete gpu to run then the airs ntegrated must be fully taxed continously.
    besides, i actually saw the difference. This is my first mac and i had been of the thought that 59 degrees centigrade was the standard operating temperature for it. but now I've been using it for hours at 47 degrs
  19. radiohead14 macrumors 6502a

    Nov 6, 2008
    i still don't get how that applies to the Air :confused:
  20. hereyago macrumors member

    Jul 25, 2011
    it doesn't.

    none of this crap helps.

    the new mba gets less battery life because i5 uses more power than c2d.
  21. lilcosco08 macrumors 65816


    May 27, 2010
    Turbo boost
  22. calvol macrumors 6502a

    Feb 3, 2011
    Yes, when TurboBoost kicks in at a max of 2900Mhz, from an idle of 800Mhz, the chip is generating 3.5x the heat. The only way to fix this is more agressive throttling.
  23. tomaseriksson macrumors member


    Oct 3, 2010
    Stockholm, Sweden
    I just checked what applications has taken most cpu time tonight and even though the dock is pretty far up the list it's probably not the cause of any major battery drainage. I got a little surprised that "DashboardClient" have used up quite alot.
  24. toi macrumors member

    Jul 21, 2011
    unless there is going to be an upgraded battery option in the future,the only way for a macbook air 11 to have more battery is probably going to be by undervalolting the cpu.

    coolbook is program that does it for older core 2 duos ,waiting for an update on i5/i7 platform

    got my fingers crossed

Share This Page