Reason for Poor Battery Life in Lion

Discussion in 'Mac OS X Lion (10.7)' started by -tWv-, Jul 26, 2011.

  1. -tWv- macrumors 68000

    -tWv-

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    #1
    Not sure if this has been posted before, but I found out what is causing poor battery life in Lion. It seems like in every application, especially web browsers like safari, chrome, firefox etc, whenever one begins scrolling the CPU usage for that program increases dramatically.

    For example, looking at activity monitor, when I just let safari sit reading a web article, it's using about 1% of the CPU. When i begin scrolling, both the "Safari" process and the "Safari web content" process instantly go up to using 25-30% CPU and above depending on how much you scroll. Obviously most of your web browsing isn't going to be done staring at a stagnant page, so this has a huge impact on battery life as well as CPU temperature. The same thing happens in every other program I have tested like iTunes, Spotify, Sparrow, and others..

    Hopefully this problem gets fixed soon or else everyone using Lion is going to have horrible battery life :mad:
     
  2. srxtr macrumors 6502a

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    #2
    The CPU usage doesn't go up due to the scrolling, but rather the new content that gets shown when scrolling.
     
  3. GermanyChris macrumors 601

    GermanyChris

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    #3
    I just noticed that the default fan speed for my MBP went from 2000 to 2700..that has probably reduced my battery life..
     
  4. Merkyworks macrumors 6502

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    Oct 14, 2008
    #4
    I think that this is an interesting find and further confirms my suspicions with Lion. I just dont see how the OS can operate with all these animations and desktops and switching back and forth between them and not use more power.
     
  5. spincr macrumors member

    spincr

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    #5
    That’s because if its actually something more it has to do it can't. Unless other processes have been made more efficient any more processes should have their effect on the cpu usage?
     
  6. -tWv- thread starter macrumors 68000

    -tWv-

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    #7
  7. jason.siegel macrumors 6502

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    #9
    I tested this by hitting spacebar instead of scrolling. The CPU hardly jumped. It's the scrolling.
     
  8. Blue Sun, Jul 26, 2011
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2011

    Blue Sun macrumors 6502a

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    #10
    This also occurs in Snow Leopard.

    When scrolling in Chrome it uses ~35% of the CPU, when using the up and down arrow keys the CPU usage doesn't rise above 2.5%.

    I'm running 10.6.8 on a 2010 15" MBP.

    EDIT: Just tested Safari and it uses ~30% of the CPU when scrolling, and ~15% of the CPU when using the directional arrow keys. Very interesting.
     
  9. -tWv-, Jul 26, 2011
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2011

    -tWv- thread starter macrumors 68000

    -tWv-

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    #11
    Oh ok, I've only ever reset the SMC by removing the battery and holding down the power button.

    It doesn't seem like this would help because it isn't an issue with the SMC, its how scrolling affects CPU usage. I guess I'll do it anyways and see what happens.


    EDIT: As I expected, SMC reset does nothing :rolleyes:
     
  10. theturtle macrumors 6502a

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    Aug 3, 2009
    #12
    anybody who applied this fix see a change?

    for some reason i have doubts but the writer for howards blog seems to be really convinced this solved their problems.
     
  11. hkl00k macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2011
    #13
    yeah I did. I have a 2011 i7 15" MBP. After upgrade to Lion, my battery life was halved. Followed his blog and my BMP power consumption back to normal.

    That's why i post the link. but i also see not everyone benefits from this "fix".
     
  12. ScottFitz macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2007
    #14
    my latest rev MBP 15 is showing 6+ hours at 95% battery life. I did the SMC reset yesterday and left the laptop charging unused all day today. It's bouncing around. 7+ hours at 98%, then dropped to 5 something, no back to 7:14 in the span of 30 seconds.

    For reference, I've got the screen at about 1/2 brightness currently.
     
  13. ScottFitz macrumors 6502a

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    #15
    3 min later I'm down to 3:02 . This is ********.
     
  14. hkl00k macrumors newbie

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    Jul 26, 2011
    #16
    Yes, i have the same problem, but have you tried to run it normal until you need to plug in the power again.

    for me, it did fix my issue. At least now i am at 58% level, it is showing 5 hours left if i am not doing anything and brightness 50%. and if i run parallels, it drop to 2:30. (parallels is runing a debian vm).
     
  15. eah2119 macrumors regular

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    Aug 20, 2010
    #17
    I think Blue Sun is right. I believe this also occurs in earlier versions of Mac OS X, notably SL. I don't think there is much of a difference of how much juice is used by scrolling.

    But I really would like to know why the battery drains quicker. I'm sure some expert here knows why.
     
  16. Atarikid macrumors regular

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    May 14, 2011
    #18
    The new overlay scrollbars are using a lot of CPU power (also the reason why the Lion UI is about 5 times slower).
    Disable them in the preferences (always show scrollbars) and every app uses the same amount of CPU resources as SL.
     
  17. Icy1007 macrumors 6502a

    Icy1007

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    #19
    My battery life on Lion is pretty much the same as it was in SL. I'm getting around 6-7 hours when doing normal activities (internet, iTunes, etc.) When on battery, I force the integrated Intel HD 3000 to be used.
     
  18. iGuybrush macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2011
    #20
    I can confirm that overlay scrollbars have a serious impact on performance, so this feature should also affect battery life. At least, animations and transitions were horribly slow in my 2010 15" MBP until I switched to "always show scrollbars" (don't know the exact entry in english). In my case I thought it was related with intel hd/nvidia 330m drivers (which are also causing a serious headache to lion upgraders), but by reading your posts I see that the problem is more extended than I thought. In any case, my machine's battery life has decreased in 30% after upgrade and it gets much warmer than before. :( I didn't noticed when apple decided to take its customers as beta-testers.
     
  19. DustinT macrumors 68000

    DustinT

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    Feb 26, 2011
    #21
    Same here. I haven't noticed any change in battery life. I suspect, if there are any battery issues they will be resolved in 10.7.1.
     
  20. nepentanova macrumors member

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    Aug 10, 2009
    #22
    the smc appears tom have worked for me (macbook pro 2009)

    after installing lion the battery showed max 3hrs remaining, immediately after smc fix showing 6hrs.

    yay
     
  21. mac1984user macrumors 6502a

    mac1984user

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    United Kingdom
    #23
    That was pretty damn funny! Thanks for that. I'm pretty much happy with Lion, but still found that amusing.

    It's interesting to me that people are having issues with the scrollbars on machines as recently released as 2010. I've not noticed any slow-down issues with the scrollbars on my 2009 Mac Mini. That said, I suppose you may not be saying that actual performance is affected, but that the animation is eating away at the battery life. Obviously my Mac Mini isn't complaining about that. =)
     
  22. football751 macrumors newbie

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    #24
  23. HiRez macrumors 603

    HiRez

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    #25
    Seems decent to me. I'm doing a full rundown on my 13" i7, mostly web surfing (with lots of scrolling) but also some file copying, screen sharing, a little Xcode, and wireless Time Machine backups. Been running about 4-5 hours and battery status is reporting 1.5 hours remaining. Seems about right.
     

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