Quick Tip to add battery life to MB & MBP

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by dieseltwitch, Apr 15, 2009.

  1. dieseltwitch macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2008
    #1
    This morning I was having some major problems with battery life and heat. My new (5 months old) MBP 17" would eat through a battery after just 1.5 hours! CRAZY NUTS! So I put a post on here and ended up finding a sweet little tweak that massively increased my battery life. I then applied the same trick to a new Uni-Body MB 13" and now have over 5.5 hrs of battery life with Wireless and VPN running (also running VNC)!

    Many People already know about Fan Control...... if you don't GET IT! then if you don't use spotlight... I have had a mac now for 4 years and have never once used spotlight. then do the fallowing:
    Open up the activity monitor. In the flitter box type ATSServer. take note the amount of % of CPU it is using. (if you have a ton of PDF files like I do. this number will be very high! or can get very high) basically the program works for Spotlight and catalogs every thing on your computer and apparently it takes a lot of power to do it. if you never use spotlight like I do then its wasted power! and battery life if you on a laptop.
    Now open up system profiler (in the utilities part of you application folder) and click on power under hardware. take note of the Amperage you system is using. Its listed in MV (1000mA = 1 amp) when I checked mine the first time it was at almost 4 amps!
    so to fix this little problem:
    System Pref -> Spotlight. Chose the Privacy tab. hit the add button at the bottom and select Mac HD (or what ever you hard drive is) this will tell spotlight to ignore you HD for indexing. If you have a iDisk, select it too. I also keep alot of file on my iDisk.
    If the % of CPU ATSServer was using before was high go back and check it again! mine dropped from 200% (not sure how thats possible) to 5% and with it the amperage that my computer was using fell by more then 75%
    Go back and recheck the system amperage again (you may need to hit CMD+R to get it to refresh)
    when i check back with mine it was less then 1 amp!

    I also set my fan control up a little differently:

    here are my settings. for me this is a good balance of system cooling and battery life.
    Base speed = 2600RPM's
    Lower Threshold = 111*F
    Upper Threshold = 158*F

    For me this keeps the computer at a cool stable point of around 104*F - 110*F during normal simple operations and during charing it doesn't let it get above 130*F (50*C)

    I set the upper threshold at a its lowest point so that it would try to cool the machine a lot more aggressively if it started to get hot. To me this is the balance between keeping the machine cool and not using to much power to do it. but at the same time not risking letting it get to hot.

    This worked very well for me as I now have a 5+ hour battery on my MBP with wireless on! I never thought I would see the day!

    Hope this helps every one with MBP Battery & heat problems! before i found this i though it was a battery issue and was looking to spend $170+ on a new one or even a external $400+ battery pack.
     
  2. jetjaguar macrumors 68030

    jetjaguar

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2009
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    somewhere
    #2
    i didnt know about fan control or spotlight .. i just got my mbp the other day and i am currently calibrating the battery .. so i dont even know if im using spotlight .. but i will definitely try what you recommend once i figure out how to do these things
     
  3. ViciousShadow21 macrumors 68020

    ViciousShadow21

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2009
    Location:
    To your left or right
    #3
    i guess that i dont have the same problems that you did with the STSSever because when i opened it it said it was using 0% Cpu. also the amperage was at -617 (that's negative) so i guess i am ok.
     
  4. ayeying macrumors 601

    ayeying

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2007
    Location:
    Yay Area, CA
    #4
    I have spotlight disabled but thats about it. Battery life is just slightly up but the SSD doesn't help.
     
  5. jetjaguar macrumors 68030

    jetjaguar

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  6. dieseltwitch thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2008
    #6
    Just to show what im talking about! this is my MBP17" Note the time left on the battery after a full charge.
     

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  7. CPD_1 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2007
    Location:
    South East Texas
    #7
    I couldn't live without spotlight... Maybe it's because my HDD is not very tidy.
     
  8. mikes70mustang macrumors 68000

    mikes70mustang

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    Nov 14, 2008
    Location:
    US
    #8
    spotlight is amazing
     
  9. dieseltwitch thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2008
    #9
    Well then your laziness to clean up your drive is costing you battery power. and in the end money. I run a OS X Server and and my own company and I've never used spotlight I have 20,000+ PDF files, 1000's of pictures, and many many other documents. All highly organized. for me spotlight is a wasted feature.
     
  10. snowmoon macrumors 6502a

    snowmoon

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2005
    Location:
    Albany, NY
    #10
    Spotlight, once it has indexed the drive, consumes virtually no CPU time. It provides immediate access to not just documents, but applications as well. I hardly ever launch applications through the dock or finder since every since one is 3 or 4 keystorkes away thanks to spotlight.

    Looking at application monitor launching Firefox uses more CPU time than ATSServer has in the two hours that I have been logged in. The fact that it was crewing through CPU time is not normal and should be corrected, not disabled.
     
  11. madog macrumors 65816

    madog

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2004
    Location:
    Korova Milkbar
    #11
    The only time I ever search my Mac is when I am looking for a preference file or some other library or system related file. Since Spotlight doesn't show those results, I never use it.

    Normal Finder search has been gimped too since Leopard. You pretty much have to go into the system or library folder that you want searched to search inside it (you can't be 'outside to search in'). It's a pain in my ass when I want to do spring cleaning or knowingly tweak with my sytem.

    I wish I could remove the icon for Spotlight and completely get rid of it altogether, but it would probably cause some catastrophic explosion within the system.
     
  12. dieseltwitch thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2008
    #12
    Your right.... ONCE IT HAS indexed...... but if you have 10's of 1000's of PDF files it takes for ever, and change any of them and it does it again, and again and again. thus chewing up power.

    I just drug my application folder to the dock and its much faster then going up to spotlight, typing in the name, going back to the mouse and clicking the app that come up..... at least IMO.

    If spot light works for you then great, but if you have a lot of files and your computer is chewing up power just to index it for a feature you never use.... disable it!

    Madog - Im with you i wish it was a feature that could be removed!
     
  13. snowmoon macrumors 6502a

    snowmoon

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2005
    Location:
    Albany, NY
    #13
    Indexing the whole system should not take more than an hour or so and should not need to be done again. Unless you are literally creating and/or updating 10's of GB of documents an hour the draw from spotlight indexing is minimal. What you are witnessing is more than likely a malfunction in spotlight or one of your applications.

    As for applications, no mouse required. activate with command-space, type a few letters and hit return. Like any good launcher there is never a reason to use the mouse if you don't wish. Despite the work that it does spotlight still uses less CPU and memory than every other 3rd party keyboard launcher that I have tried.
     
  14. dieseltwitch thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2008
    #14
    I do move alot of files around, ATSServer was trying to read all of my 20,000 PDF files! it had been killing my batter and cpu power for weeks!
     

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