rMBP late 2013, poor battery performance

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by leirosn, Nov 7, 2013.

  1. leirosn macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2013
    #1
    hi.

    I bought this baby with 2.4ghz, 8gb and 256gb. It performs nicely, in all areas except for the battery.

    As of now, I just watched 2h 20m of movies, 1080p with VLC, 2 dots on the brightness and 5-6 on the volume. Safari had Facebook open in the background and dropbox is on, but its not active.

    After 2h.30m on, I still only have 61%, or 3 hours as it predicted. As I'm writing now it creeps up towards 4-4h30m. This is not close to apples CONSERVATIVE measurement of 9 hours.

    Anyone else with similar issues, or possible fixes?

    I have checked off the usual options for power conserving but it doesn't seem to work..

    To add, playing a game at moderate brightness in Wine lets me off with around 3 hours battery, while in parallels it goes down to 2 hours. How does this compare to others?
     
  2. pat.micunnis macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2013
    #2
  3. Paapaa macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2013
    #3
    Dropbox (and other similar programs) might cause issues as many have reported. I'd try also uninstalling it.
     
  4. DaRealElvis macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2011
    #4
    I am also not very happy with the battery performance. I get like 6 hours with what I consider normal usage (surfing and word not more). Brightness is also set to two bars below max. Don´t get me wrong I think 6 hours for a laptop is great, but I get like 4 hours with the same usage with my 3 year old Macbook pro.

    I think I will go to the Apple Store. Do they have any tools to measure if the battery is working like it should??

    €: @Paapaa: I am using Dropbox constantly in the background!!! Thanks for the tip. I heavily rely on it at the moment, but did somebody actually test that?
     
  5. leirosn thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2013
    #5
    Would simply quitting it solve it temporarily?

    Also, I have run it down to single digits several times, even to it died. Right now it has stabilised (56%) unto around 5 hours +/- 30 minutes at 4 dots of light, no sound and only safari and dropbox running. I consider that okay, but watching videos, as well as flash in chrome really drains it (more than it should).

    3rd party review sites has also reported video times of unto 11 hours of continuous playback, yet I'm not even close at almost minimal brightness.

    EDIT:I forgot to mention, this is the 13 inch.
     
  6. judgedeath2 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2013
    #6
    Wait so, you watched a 2.5 hr 1080p movie with Facebook and dropbox open, and it killed a little more than 1/3 of your battery? Christ man, that seems VERY good to me.

    If I was an Apple engineer, I would venture that I'd tell you VLC will have significant higher battery drain than iTunes -- their files, codecs, and playback are all optimized. I'd also tell you that advertised battery times do not include gaming. Lastly, I'd ask you to please find me a PC that has the performance capabilities and footprint of the rMBP and lasts even 75% as long.
     
  7. Paapaa macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2013
    #7
  8. judgedeath2 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2013
    #8
    Don't use Chrome. Play iTunes video.
     
  9. leirosn thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2013
    #9
    Almost maximum brightness drains a lot of power i'd presume.
     
  10. Mac.User macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2013
    #10
    Watching a movie will will your battery faster than just browsing the internet, which is how Apple does their tests.

    Thats like driving 90MPH and complaining you are not getting 30MPG.... of course you are not.
     
  11. DaRealElvis macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2011
    #11
    I guess you are right, but I wouldn´t be able to use the macbook with just two bars of brightness. I don´t see anything while in a train for example (with bigger windows and a lot of reflections) and inside it´s no fun using it like that. (White looks gray)

    I love my new Macbook it´s so super quite and fast. I guess there really is just not the "perfect" laptop yet, or ever.
     
  12. Paapaa macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2013
    #12
    See the battery life test:

    http://www.engadget.com/2013/10/29/macbook-pro-with-retina-display-review-13-inch-2013/

    "We were able to eke out an impressive 11 hours and 18 minutes of continuous video playback."
     
  13. Mac.User macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2013
    #13
  14. leirosn thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2013
    #14
    The test was on 9 out of 16 bars on the brightness, which is in my opinion pretty bright if in a slightly dim room.

    "Testing conducted by Apple in October 2013 using preproduction 2.3GHz quad-core Intel Core i7–based 15‑inch MacBook Pro units, preproduction 2.0GHz quad-core Intel Core i7–based 15‑inch MacBook Pro units and preproduction 2.6GHz dual-core Intel Core i5–based 13‑inch MacBook Pro units. The wireless web test measures battery life by wirelessly browsing 25 popular websites with display brightness set to 12 clicks from bottom or 75%. The HD movie playback test measures battery life by playing back HD 720p content with display brightness set to 12 clicks from bottom or 75%. 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. See www.apple.com/batteries for more information."

    I'm still not convinced that VLC should drain the battery twice as fast as quicktime or iTunes..
     
  15. Paapaa macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2013
    #15
    Well, you also didn't mention any details ;) But the point was: watching movies doesn't not necessarily ruin the battery life.
     
  16. Mac.User macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2013
    #16

    You are quoting a different test then the ones that says they got 11hrs, and that's why I mentioned decoding, decoding can change a lot, so can codec.
     
  17. Beta Particle macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2012
    #17
    VLC seems to be massively inefficient on OS X. I was using our Retina MacBook Pro a week or so ago with some 1080p video and battery life just plummets. Mavericks' energy monitoring features gives it an energy impact of about 60%.
    I'm only guessing, but it seems like it must not be using the built-in decoding hardware, and upscaling from 1080p to 2560x1600 obviously has a performance hit. I wasn't really able to find a good low impact alternative for it though. I bet that battery life would be considerably better if QuickTime had good codec support and we could use that instead.

    Flash video also seemed to have a significant performance impact. When watching YouTube videos, both Safari and the Flash plugin reported about 35% impact each. Installing YouTube5 dropped that to less than 10% total.

    Check Activity Monitor and see if there's anything else on your system with a significant impact on battery life.

    That's to be expected really. The numbers Apple posts are for light usage like basic web browsing, not highly demanding tasks like gaming.
     
  18. amarcus macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2008
    Location:
    London, UK
    #18
  19. Beta Particle macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2012
    #19
    That's true, I don't use VLC on Windows either. I use JRiver, though it's using the same components that MPC-HC should be using. (LAV Filters)

    I wish they had explored the options available for LAV Filters in MPC-HC though, because it can perform CPU decoding (inefficient, but potentially higher quality) or many different types of GPU accelerated decoding. (CUVID, QuickSync, DXVA2 Native, DXVA2 Copy-Back)
    I suspect that with it showing such a large drop in battery life, it was not using the most efficient type of decoding for that system - likely software decoding on the CPU with that almost 50% drop in battery life.
     
  20. leirosn thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2013
    #20
    Thank all of you for valuable input. VLC may be a huge contributor to battery loss I guess, I haven't researched a lot, but does quicktime boast abilities to play .srt subs with videos, as well as mkv playback? Or are there a similar low impact media player?

    Thanks for youtube5, will try it!
     
  21. Nee412 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2010
    Location:
    Sunny England!
    #21
    Any battery performance past an hour is better than my 2008. So don't complain too much.
     
  22. Starfyre macrumors 68000

    Starfyre

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2010
    #22
    MPlayerX. Free and I highly recommend. I think in some ways its better than VLC. :apple:
     
  23. Beta Particle macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2012
    #23
    Seems to have just as much Energy Impact as VLC, maybe slightly higher at 60-65%.
    I tried a couple of other players, but nothing else seemed to work properly on Mavericks.
     
  24. leirosn thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2013
    #24
    I went from an average impact of 50 with VLC to around 20 with mplayerx. Its not the same file though.
     
  25. Beta Particle macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2012
    #25
    Using the same file is very important with this sort of testing - and the fact that it fluctuates so much makes me suspect it's all using software decoding rather than the hardware video decoders.
     

Share This Page