Real World Battery with Retina Pro

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Gregintosh, Oct 28, 2013.

  1. Gregintosh macrumors 68000

    Jan 29, 2008
    On the original Retina Pro we were promised 7 hours of productivity. In reality, I was able to squeeze out a maximum of 5, even if I turned the screen down and kept my activities to things like browsing, word processing, email, and other low key stuff.

    From what I observed on other comments over reading a lot of threads, most people also got around 5 hours of real world usage from their 15" pro retinas.

    I don't remember anyone saying they got the full honest to goodness 7 hours of productivity, unless their screens were set to super low and they did nothing but browse articles on Safari.

    So my question is on the new retina pros, how has that changed? The advertised life is now 8 hours. Is it really more like 5.5 or 6 in real world usage?

    I would like to hear from people who use their computer actively, not just listen to music with the screen off. Basically, stuff like iWork or Office, Safari, Mail, Skype, Photoshop, etc.

    What real world usage are you getting from the 13 and 15 inch versions of the retina pro?
  2. Atomic Walrus, Oct 28, 2013
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2013

    Atomic Walrus macrumors 6502a

    Sep 24, 2012
    Apple's battery life claims are based on the same tests they use on every machine, which means that their numbers are based on light usage like web surfing and email (and even then it would have to be very minimal usage compared to how people really work). This may seem dishonest, but it provides a reasonable baseline for comparison of different machines (if they used different tests for different machines comparing the numbers would be meaningless).

    So when an rMBP is advertised as getting 66% of the battery life of an air (8/12) you can expect this to percentage to be similar at other usage cases. It's not going to be linear (the quad core 15" will ramp up to much higher power usage relative to any dual core system obviously), but it's a reasonable guideline.

    Let's use Anandtech's medium usage test (far more realistic than the low usage test), where the Air saw 75% of its low load battery life. In this case that suggests an rMBP run time of 6 hours (75% of its advertised battery life).

    If you can hit anything at or over 5 hours of real-world usage I'd say that's about right. The existence of 4 functional cores and the massively higher base clocks should make up for the difference. If you compare against the i7 Air you see an even closer situation: The i7 Air still hits 12 hours at low load, but only gets 7.8 hours on the medium test. That's 65% of advertised life, which would be 5.2 hours on the rMBP. If it can hit that target I would be satisfied that Apple's battery claims were at least consistent and usable in comparing relative battery life.

    After all of that is said, I'll mention that my very non-scientific early tests have shown good results. While you could still probably kill the battery in an hour if you were determined to do it, Haswell's low load optimizations present a wide range of power usage. Last night I was doing some very light stuff, reading a series of large PDFs and poking around these forums when I got bored. This was at about 30% brightness. Based on my battery usage over 3.5 hours I could have made it to 10.5 hours, maybe 11.
  3. pat.micunnis macrumors regular

    Sep 24, 2013
    After cycling the battery a few times, I've been able to get 7 hours on my 15" 2.6/16/1 TB/750 M.

    Chrome with 5 tabs open, Itunes playing via bluetooth speaker, Word, Outlook, Photoshop, brightness at 75% - and not auto-dimmed.

    But when I was copying 140GB of files from time capsule over wifi ac (Earlier), the battery life was showing 3.5 hours.
  4. Xerotech macrumors 6502

    Jul 22, 2011
    I got about 9 hours on the original rMBP with light web surfing and screen on minimum brightness. When I was coding and compiling a few programs it lasted about 5-6 hours. This is extremely good IMO.
  5. dankev macrumors newbie

    Sep 25, 2013
    I have a 13" with the 2.4 processor. I generally have 8-10 Safari tabs and around 5 Word documents open. I have a couple other small programs running, but probably nothing that has a big impact on battery life. I've been at about 60% brightness most of the day.

    My mac has been in use for a little over 11 hours today, and I'm at 21% remaining.
  6. UBS28 macrumors 6502a

    Oct 2, 2012
    Mine got 9:30 doing random stuff like surfing and doing e-mails. I probably could get more battery life if I turn the brightness down, disable the keyboard lights (these were on) and also turn off bluetooth.

    I haven't yet tried doing heavy work on it, since I just got the machine yesterday.

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