rMBP Battery thread

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by WillTC, Jul 23, 2012.

  1. WillTC macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2012
    #1
    I am trying out my rMBP as we speak and I am not getting the promised 7 hours battery life.

    I get around 3 hours at normal usage. (70% brightness, Safari and Youtube)

    What do you get? Is this normal?:confused:
     
  2. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #2
    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.

    This should answer most, if not all, of your battery/charging questions:
     
  3. Gregintosh macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2008
    Location:
    Chicago
    #3
    YouTube in flash or HTML 5? I hear that HTML 5 uses less power, where as Flash is highly inefficient and power hungry.

    70% brightness is probably a big factor too. I seem to be getting around 4 to 4.5 hours on 50% brightness (and just MS Office, Safari, iTunes, and Mail; no YouTube), so I'd imagine cranking it up to 70% could reduce the battery accordingly.

    I would say given your usage scenario and my personal experience, 3 hours sounds about right.
     
  4. alem macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2012
    #4
    I'm also having this problem and my cpu workload is usually under 5%. I think there is a problem with the network/wifi card, it uses a lot of power if the bandwith is >= 500kb. Can anyone confirm this?
     
  5. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #5
    Are you certain your CPU workload is under 5%? In Activity Monitor, do you have "All Processes" selected, instead of "My Processes"?
     
  6. alem macrumors newbie

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    Jul 2, 2012
    #6
    Under the CPU tab in Activity Monitor I see: % User 4-8 (alternating between this range) and % System 2
     
  7. Collin789 macrumors regular

    Collin789

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2011
    Location:
    Greensboro, NC
    #7
    As soon as I downloaded this gfx card status, my battery performance increased dramatically. It lets you choose which graphics card you want to use. When I'm on battery, I always use the integrated card and get amazing battery results. The main thing is it prevents the computer from automatically switching over to the Nvidia card when it's really not needed.

    Here's the link: http://codykrieger.com/gfxCardStatus
     
  8. erandall38 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2007
    #8
    I'd like to hear what others are getting out of their batteries. I took note of the time and percentage loss every time I used my rMBP. I felt its lifespan was way to short, so that's why I did it.

    One thing I noticed from GLL, is the screen brightness. Mine was at full, and thats when I was getting maybe 2 hours of battery life from just internet browsing.

    So for my extremely unprofessional test I always kept the brightness at half way (8 bars). Here is my time step with % loss:

    830 - 9:00 no percentage taken, but added on next time slot
    9:15--9:30 100 - 90
    8:35 -9:13 FULL brightness 88- 74
    9:13 - 9:43 74 -68
    9:55 - 10:10 68 - 65
    10:32 -10:34 65 - 64
    2:40 - 2:55 64-59
    3:56 - 4:06 58 - 56
    9:09 - 10:15 54 - 35
    11:23 - 1135 35 - 31
    11:44 - 11:50 31- 29
    4:54 - 544 30 - 16
    6:12 - 6:17 15 - 14
    9 16 - 9:35 12 - 7
    7:51 - 8:15 7 - 0

    = approx 5:40 min

    Any discrepancies in the percentages from one time slot to the next occurred because it was put to sleep and lost a percent or two during sleep. You'll notice on the third time slot I accidentally had it at full brightness for 38 minutes and lost a bit more battery because of it.

    I did this on the weekend since I could generally stay out of work. I run a trading platform that likely is much more draining on the battery than other things. I used my old mac to do anything really power intensive.

    What I'm getting at is I used this computer during that time period specifically for web browsing. At one point I downloaded the anti flash app, but got rid of it bc it was causing problems. I didn't think apple would use that for their testing. It seems like an unfortunate norm on PCs at the current time. I didn't do the graphics card change, again why would apple do that for battery testing? I also wasn't using anything outside of safari/mail.

    I checked activity monitor throughout. I'm not sure what is out of line. Usually I'm seeing 6.4% max on safari web content or safari. One time I noticed configd was at 48% for a couple seconds but then stopped, its currently at 0. Every now and then safari would jump to 20 or 30 but almost immediately change back down. Sometimes flip flop a bit.

    I even calibrated it just for the hell of it. Let it die down, charged it up all the way, left it for a 2 hours or whatever it recommends to be plugged in. Let it die and sit for 5 hours. Then started my test.

    As for applications running. Safari browsing and email sending/receiving. At most I had 6 safari tabs open at a time and only periodically. Coconut battery was running most the time. I use iStat in the top menu bar. 2 text edit pages at most, but mainly 1.

    As for Apples test I think I ran my device right in line with something they would do. Not running flash seems a bit unfair, even with Apples stance on flash. If flash was used not he webpages I was using it was small ads.

    Also, I've heard people mention Apples stated times are usually over what to be expected just like every other company. I disagree with this completely. I've used macs for nearly a decade now and they have also understated their batteries for machines. I've seen it stated many times on forum posts here, reviews, and personal experience. I know you get some bad apples here and there, but for the most part the battery life usually meets or beats stated expectations. This didn't always hold for the mobile devices though.

    So, long post short. 5.5 hours of half brightness safari browsing and emails usage. That's what I got with my test. I feel with my usage I should have met the 7 hour expected battery life, especially considering Apple's right on averages of battery life in the past.

    Anyone else do any similar "test".

    ----------


    I'd like to know more about this, especially if GGJ has something (Sorry I think I called you GLL in my previous post).

    Maybe I'm confused on how this works? One I wouldn't think Apple would block its new graphics card in test, that just seems silly. I know they try to make work arounds for better battery life, but I expect that to be low screen brightness, low power apps, and a stand to allow for easy cooling of the laptop.

    Their guestimates on battery life have been excellent in the past as I mentioned in my previous post, maybe the retina just takes too much and now they are like the rest of the PC companies and stretch it a bit?

    Will using the main graphics card use that much more battery even if I'm not using a graphics intensive program such as safari and mail? Maybe I'm confused on the how graphics cards work. But would enjoy hearing more about it.
     
  9. Collin789 macrumors regular

    Collin789

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2011
    Location:
    Greensboro, NC
    #9

    Will it use more battery? YES! A lot more. When I got this Retina MBP, of course I noticed the bad scroll lag when web browsing. Every once in a while I would notice it would improve slightly. I checked which graphics card it was on, and the Nvidia was in use. Because I wasn't doing anything graphics intensive, I didn't want this to happen. So that's when I did a Google search and found GFX card status. Its helped my battery life SO, SO much. I couldn't believe it.

    Here's the article I found about it: http://arstechnica.com/apple/2012/07/retina-macbook-pro-maximizing-battery-life-with-gfxcardstatus/

    GET IT!
     
  10. GGJstudios, Jul 23, 2012
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2012

    GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #10
    That didn't address my question.
    1. Launch Activity Monitor
    2. Change "My Processes" at the top to "All Processes"
    3. Click on the CPU column heading once or twice, so the arrow points downward (highest values on top).
    4. Click on the System Memory tab at the bottom.
    5. Take a screen shot of the entire Activity Monitor window, then scroll down to see the rest of the list, take another screen shot
    6. Post your screenshots.
    On MBPs with both integrated and discrete graphics, they switch automatically, based on graphics demands, with the discrete being auto selected for better graphics performance. That reduces battery life. gfxCardStatus is used to override the automatic switching and force the use of the integrated GPU, to improve battery life.
     
  11. alem macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2012
    #11
    I'm already using this tool to force integrated card while on battery. Still it lasts around 4 hours while watching a movie on a network drive with half brightness.
     
  12. jcpb macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2012
    #12
    If the movie is stored on the MBPR, you can turn off the WiFi card altogether.
     
  13. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

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    May 16, 2008
    #13
    Apparently, it's not on the internal drive, so WiFi would be needed, unless a wired network connection is being used:
     
  14. jcpb macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2012
    #14
    Which is why I said "If the movie is stored on the MBPR". Playing a movie from a network drive requires a WiFi connection, and I'm guessing alem isn't using wired Ethernet.

    If alem has the movie on the MBPR instead of the network drive, the WiFi can be turned off, which should help somewhat on the battery runtime.
     
  15. alem macrumors newbie

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    Jul 2, 2012
    #15
    Here. Note this is single-core cpu usage.
     

    Attached Files:

  16. alem macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2012
    #16
    It sure does but i think it's weird that wifi is draining the battery so much!
     
  17. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #17
    That's significantly higher usage than the 5% you mentioned earlier. As you can see, Mplayer alone is using over 30% of CPU. That will consume more battery than if you were under 5%.
     
  18. Collin789 macrumors regular

    Collin789

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2011
    Location:
    Greensboro, NC
    #18
    According to Apple, this is what they say about their 7 hour battery life: "Testing conducted by Apple in May 2012 using preproduction 2.6GHz quad-core Intel Core i7–based 15-inch MacBook Pro units. The wireless web test measures battery life by wirelessly browsing 25 popular websites with display brightness set to 50%. The standby test measures battery life by allowing a system, connected to a wireless network, to enter standby mode with Safari and Mail applications launched and all system settings left at default. Battery life varies by use and configuration."

    Honestly I really don't even understand all of that. To "enter standby mode"?
     
  19. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

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    May 16, 2008
    #19
    That means they let the Mac run until it drains the battery and enters standby mode: Apple Portables: About standby mode
     
  20. erandall38 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2007
    #20


    I'm not familiar with the graphics cards as much as I should be. So in the rMBP there are two Graphics cards? And there is an automated system that changes between them based on what applications you are using?

    Interesting. Will this effect the retina screen quality at all? What exactly are the graphics cards used for? I have a trading application that use that can be quite power intensive. It has lots of charting, but no videos ( at least not that I use). Would this require a high powered graphics card?

    Thanks for all the help. Downloading it now.

    ----------

    Just to clarify, I should be using integrated to save battery life, correct?

    Also, I noticed this on his download page :
    See what's causing your discrete GPU to kick on.
    Just pop open the gfxCardStatus menu and take a glance at the "Dependencies" list.

    Where is this dependencies list?
     
  21. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #21
    Yes. From: Apple - MacBook Pro with Retina display - Technical Specifications
    A more detailed explanation of graphics switching can be found here: Apple - MacBook Pro - Performance
    Correct.
     
  22. alem macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2012
    #22
    30% for one core is 7.5% cpu-usage since it has 4 cores, isn't it?

    I was talking about the numbers given under the cpu tab in activity monitor (see attachment).
     

    Attached Files:

  23. Collin789 macrumors regular

    Collin789

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2011
    Location:
    Greensboro, NC
    #23
    Yes the Retina MBP has an Integrated and Discrete GPU. The integrated is built into the CPU and uses less power but also doesn't have as much "power" for graphics intensive programs. The integrated GPU isn't anything to laugh at if you ask me. It works pretty will.

    I'm not too sure if the program you're asking about would need more GPU power. It doesn't sound like it would. The best way to test it out would be to use the GFX Card Status and switch it to discrete and see if that application improves in graphics speed. Also, no, using the integrated GPU will not change anything with the screen quality.
     
  24. GGJstudios, Jul 23, 2012
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2012

    GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #24
    Ah, I see what you're referring to. Still, that's enough usage to drain your battery faster than if you weren't running Mplayer. As I stated before, your battery life is dependent on many factors, which change as the workload on your system changes.
    For more information on graphics switching:
     
  25. erandall38 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2007
    #25
    Thanks guys. Appreciate both your help and clarification.
     

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