tresean1's battery thread

tresean1

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Original poster
Mar 12, 2012
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MOD NOTE: user's posts from three separate threads consolidated into this one.

I know many many others are suffering the same problem as me when it comes to battery life on a MacBook Pro. I get a MAXIMUM of 2 hours with brightness bow, no backlight and locked to the integrated GPU. This is completely unacceptable and far short of the 7 hour promise. I'm reading forums and I get 2 hours? Is there anyway to get Apple to sort out this problem? I didn't pay several thousand pounds for a laptop that holds its charge less than my first generation netbook.
Same here, and it's ridiculous....I have done everything the forums say to do, all I use my MBP to do is check email and internet surfing, screen brightness is set to low or medium, no music playing, no videos playing.

My battery MIGHT last 2 hours if I am lucky. I recently got it replaced under AppleCare because they said it was "out of tolerance" when I took it in for a checkup. So I have a brand new battery that gets only 2-2.25 hours of use (and less than 10 charge cycles), even though it's rated for up to 7-8 hours by Apple. I would be happy just to get 6 hours, but I cant even make it past 3!!!! How are other people (with older/more used batteries than mine) reporting 7 hours of use? Help.....!

My last macbook pro was the a 09 2.66 with intel SSD and 4 gigs of ram and with the brightness turned to 50% I would get 8 SOLID hours surfing the net and playing music. If I was just using word and had nothing else going/ wifi turned off I would easily get more.
Wow, I have the exact same computer as you and I only get about 2 hours or so on a full charge. May I ask what your settings are and what you do to get 8 hours? Hell, at this point I would be happy with 4-5 hours if I could....lol.

I remember from all my readings that the battery should last 6 - 8 hours. I'm not running any "intensive" programs. basically just chrome, vmware, and skype occasionally.

My battery meter, fully charged, only gives me roughly 2 hours of battery life. Here are my settings...screen brightness - half, backlight - on, lowest setting, display sleep - 5 minutes, computer sleep - 20 min.
Yea, that's what I thought too---Apple claims at least 6-7 hours out of the battery, but I only get around 2 hours, I tested it yesterday evening after work.

I have the same settings as you have, very conservative power settings/usage. All i do is check emails and surf the web. What gives?? :confused:

6-8 hours is do-able, with display brightness reduced to half, no time machine, no bluetooth, wi-fi, browsing webpages with no flash content and writing a word document(I pretty much described how apple gets their battery life claims).
How?? I have the display turned down, no bluetooth on, no Time Machine, no Word documents, and no flash content (that I am aware of); only wifi and internet/mail. :( :mad: :(
 
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Krazy Bill

macrumors 68030
Dec 21, 2011
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Same here, and it's ridiculous....I have done everything the forums say to do, all I use my MBP to do is check email and internet surfing, screen brightness is set to low or medium, no music playing, no videos playing.

My battery MIGHT last 2 hours if I am lucky. I recently got it replaced under AppleCare because they said it was "out of tolerance" when I took it in for a checkup. So I have a brand new battery that gets only 2-2.25 hours of use (and less than 10 charge cycles), even though it's rated for up to 7-8 hours by Apple. I would be happy just to get 6 hours, but I cant even make it past 3!!!! How are other people (with older/more used batteries than mine) reporting 7 hours of use? Help.....!
2nd battery and still the same problems? Sounds like pilot error to me. You've got some other processes going on that you simply aren't aware of.

I can get 4.75 hours with intermittent bouts of flash usage while also running WinXP via Parallels (idle). About 5.75 hours with no Parallels. I think I pushed it to over 7 once but that was with the screen barely readable and no wi-fi.

Is achieving 7 hours easy? Well, no, not IMO... it takes some careful power management but it can be done.
 

tresean1

macrumors member
Original poster
Mar 12, 2012
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2nd battery and still the same problems? Sounds like pilot error to me. You've got some other processes going on that you simply aren't aware of.
Well, that's my point...from my knowledge I am not doing anything out of the norm that would tax my battery. :confused: And as a sidenote, I am very new to Mac so that may be a handicap for me when you say "pilot error". How do I figure out which greedy processes are "scamming" me?...lol
 

GGJstudios

macrumors Westmere
May 16, 2008
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Well, that's my point...from my knowledge I am not doing anything out of the norm that would tax my battery. :confused: And as a sidenote, I am very new to Mac so that may be a handicap for me when you say "pilot error". How do I figure out which greedy processes are "scamming" me?...lol
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 questions:
 

lamboman

macrumors 6502
Aug 13, 2011
394
2
Wow, I have the exact same computer as you and I only get about 2 hours or so on a full charge. May I ask what your settings are and what you do to get 8 hours? Hell, at this point I would be happy with 4-5 hours if I could....lol.
If you're getting two hours there is definitely something not right with your system. There is more than likely going to be a background process using cycles.

Check Activity Monitor in the Utilities folder to see if there is anything running that shouldn't be.

For reference, my MBP 13 gets around 7-8 hours with Pages and Safari browsing also.
 

snaky69

macrumors 603
Mar 14, 2008
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Yea, that's what I thought too---Apple claims at least 6-7 hours out of the battery, but I only get around 2 hours, I tested it yesterday evening after work.

I have the same settings as you have, very conservative power settings/usage. All i do is check emails and surf the web. What gives?? :confused:



How?? I have the display turned down, no bluetooth on, no Time Machine, no Word documents, and no flash content (that I am aware of); only wifi and internet/mail. :( :mad: :(
What generation MBP on how old of a battery?
 

tresean1

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Original poster
Mar 12, 2012
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What generation MBP on how old of a battery?
Battery is brand new (replaced like less than two months ago on Applecare) and has probably less than 10 cycles. I have the unibody MBP, 2.66 C2D, with 4GB RAM, Snow Leopard
 

snaky69

macrumors 603
Mar 14, 2008
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Battery is brand new (replaced like less than two months ago on Applecare) and has probably less than 10 cycles. I have the unibody MBP, 2.66 C2D, with 4GB RAM, Snow Leopard
Something is eating away processor cycles and using up your battery. Did you monitor that in activity monitor? My old 2008 pre-unibody gets right around 2.5 hours on the original battery. Something is definitely wrong with your computer.
 

thundersteele

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Oct 19, 2011
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Guys, he could be running 10 different browsers, and still VMware would be the main power consumer.


@OP
6-8 hours is realistic if you are more than 95% idle. Don't forget that you have a quad core, i.e. 70% idle could mean that at least one core is running 100%. The CPUs have turbo boost, so your power consumption might be very close to the CPUs limits. Two hours is realistic under these conditions.
 

tresean1

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Original poster
Mar 12, 2012
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Guys, he could be running 10 different browsers, and still VMware would be the main power consumer.


@OP
6-8 hours is realistic if you are more than 95% idle. Don't forget that you have a quad core, i.e. 70% idle could mean that at least one core is running 100%. The CPUs have turbo boost, so your power consumption might be very close to the CPUs limits. Two hours is realistic under these conditions.
No VMware or Parallels, and only one browser window open...and I don't have a quad-core i5 or i7, I only have a C2D... :confused:
 

thundersteele

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Oct 19, 2011
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It would still be useful if you could provide the information I mentioned in my previous post, i.e. the battery condition and the output of activity monitor.
 
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tresean1

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Original poster
Mar 12, 2012
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It would still be useful if you could provide the information I mentioned in my previous post, i.e. the battery condition and the output of activity monitor.
If you're getting two hours there is definitely something not right with your system. There is more than likely going to be a background process using cycles.

Check Activity Monitor in the Utilities folder to see if there is anything running that shouldn't be.

For reference, my MBP 13 gets around 7-8 hours with Pages and Safari browsing also.
Did you see simsaladimbamba's post #2 above?

Take a screen shot of your processes and post them here. Also, your MBP specs.
No problem, it's ok....any help is appreciated. Here is the information you requested. Might I add that my computer freezes and I get the little colorful spinning hypnotize wheel thingy sometimes. AND in the short time it took me to log online and take these screen shots and post this, my battery went from 95% charged to 88% that quick.

I don't know what shoud or should not be running.
 

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squeakr

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Apr 22, 2010
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You have Flash Player and that is a known resource hog. From the look of the top running process you have some sort of web active item running as well, which is very processor intensive as well.
 

thundersteele

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Oct 19, 2011
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Nothing looks wrong with that battery or the CPU load. If you look at the battery information screenshot, the Amperage is low, and the battery should last 4-5 hours assuming that the CPU load remains constant.

Most likely you are using the Mac in a very battery consuming way. If you let a flash video play for two hours, it will suck your power. If you have a two hours Skype video call, it will suck your power. Now the question is whether you can and want to cut back on any of these, or if it is better to just accept the battery life you are getting.
 

tresean1

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Original poster
Mar 12, 2012
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Nothing looks wrong with that battery or the CPU load. If you look at the battery information screenshot, the Amperage is low, and the battery should last 4-5 hours assuming that the CPU load remains constant.

Most likely you are using the Mac in a very battery consuming way. If you let a flash video play for two hours, it will suck your power. If you have a two hours Skype video call, it will suck your power. Now the question is whether you can and want to cut back on any of these, or if it is better to just accept the battery life you are getting.
Thanks for the response. Well those two things are very easy to cut back on, considering I don't do either. :cool: I have Skype running in the background but have never even made a call on the thing (I know, I know---I am so behind, lol) and I don't watch any flash videos. That's what's perplexing me, I don't do any CPU/battery intensive things with my laptop but only get 2 hours, yet I see people saying they watch videos and do all kinds of stuff--and they still get at least 4-7 hours of battery. :confused:
 

Erasmus

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Jun 22, 2006
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What plugins are you using for Safari?

There is no way that you should be using ALL of your 4GB of RAM with just Safari open.

If you quit all applications and restart, then immediately post a new screenshot of the activity monitor, you SHOULD have ~2GB memory free. And if you leave it for a minute or two idling after restarting, your battery life SHOULD be over 6 hours.

Lastly, have you calibrated your battery recently?
 

tresean1

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Original poster
Mar 12, 2012
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OK, so I did everything you have been telling me to and asked for....following are screen shots of Activity Monitor after the restart as well as the iStat screen shot before the restart.

As for the plugins for Safari, I have no clue which ones I am using or how to check. I suppose I have the default ones since I have not made any changes or installed anything except for ClicktoFlash and AdBlocker? Also, I installed gfxCardStatus but my app behaves differently. According to the screen shot from the website, it should give three options for switching (integrated, discrete, and dynamic)...but my menu simply says "switch GPUs"

Lastly, I believe I have calibrated my battery, albeit not purposely. I had it fully charged one day, then used it down and put it to sleep for a few days until it slept itself down to zero power. I then came back to it a few days later and charged it back up to full and left it on charge an additional couple of hours (this was done prior to reading the calibration instructions---so essentially I calibrated it without knowing, right?...lol).

Please see attached screen shots. Your help is greatly appreciated.

EDIT: The last screenshot is from iStat after the restart.
 

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Nov 28, 2010
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Also, I installed gfxCardStatus but my app behaves differently. According to the screen shot from the website, it should give three options for switching (integrated, discrete, and dynamic)...but my menu simply says "switch GPUs.
That is because the 9400M/9600M GT combo does not allow dynamic switching.
I can't help you with the rest, as your thread is too convoluted to even get me invested in it.

PS: I have a 2009 MBP, though the 17" with slightly larger battery and I get 3 to 5 hours on battery out of it, depending on usage.
 

Erasmus

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Jun 22, 2006
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OK, so after a restart, you're looking at 2.75 hours battery life from one third battery charge, which is fine. Your system is only using a bit over 1GB of RAM, which is fine.

Did you open Safari before taking the screenshot of Activity Monitor? ie, why is it in the list?

Anyways, you just need to now start opening things one at a time (wait at least a minute between opening each app to let the battery life estimate refresh properly) and find the guilty app.

I would take a guess that it's Safari when it wants to display Flash. It could also be Skype, even if it's just sitting in the background, it could still hog resources.

P.S. I'm going to assume those CPU temps are in Fahrenheit.
 

thundersteele

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Oct 19, 2011
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In you screenshot, iStat pro says 48% charge and 2:42 remaining. If you extrapolate this to a full charge, you get about 5:30 from 100%. Again, this is perfectly fine.


Edit:
I just opened my Skype. It immediately switches me to the discrete GPU (though I'm watching a video at the same time, so maybe this doesn't always happen). However this is for a 2011 MBP, the 2010 might work differently here. Just click on Switch GPUs and check what happens.
 
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tresean1

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Original poster
Mar 12, 2012
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That is because the 9400M/9600M GT combo does not allow dynamic switching.
I can't help you with the rest, as your thread is too convoluted to even get me invested in it.
Oh ok, did not know that, thanks---I thought that was the reason/advertisement that Apple put dual GPU's in the computer...maybe I just don't understand the point of having two if they don't switch dynamically?

OK, so after a restart, you're looking at 2.75 hours battery life from one third battery charge, which is fine.
In you screenshot, iStat pro says 48% charge and 2:42 remaining. If you extrapolate this to a full charge, you get about 5:30 from 100%. Again, this is perfectly fine.
Yes it would seem to be believable if you were to go by the numbers it shows, but in real life clock time, I never get that much battery. Those numbers are a TEASE. In real time, I can expect to get about 1/4 of that figure, maybe half if I am lucky.

Did you open Safari before taking the screenshot of Activity Monitor? ie, why is it in the list?

P.S. I'm going to assume those CPU temps are in Fahrenheit.
Yes I did open up Safari to get an accurate before-and-after-restart contrast (under the same loads). I am sorry was I suppose to do something different?

And yes those figures are in F :), was I supposed to leave it in C?
 
Nov 28, 2010
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Oh ok, did not know that, thanks---I thought that was the reason/advertisement that Apple put dual GPU's in the computer...maybe I just don't understand the point of having two if they don't switch dynamically?
Dynamic switching was introduced with the 2010 MBPs, the late 2008 MBPs introduced just the option of having two graphic cards, one integrated and one dedicated.
The 2009 MBPs used the same combo, thus still no dynamic switching, and without gfxcardstatus one would even have to log out to switch graphic cards.

And yes those figures are in F , was I supposed to leave it in C?
No, but noting the temperature scale you use is more helpful, as more people on this planet use Celsius, thus it can lead to confusion, when the scale is not mentioned and prolonging the trouble shooting.
 

throAU

macrumors 603
Feb 13, 2012
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Take to genius bar, demonstrate issue, get replacement hardware or advice on why it is happening.

Move on.


Whining on a forum about it won't really fix it...

Life will depend on usage pattern. I can get 9 hrs light browsing via wifi on my 15" pro, or about 1-2 hrs of gaming, if that.
 

tresean1

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Original poster
Mar 12, 2012
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No, but noting the temperature scale you use is more helpful, as more people on this planet use Celsius, thus it can lead to confusion, when the scale is not mentioned and prolonging the trouble shooting.
Yikes!! I apologize. :eek: I am in America, and I guess I just assumed Fahrenheit was the standard measure for temperature here. Sorry, I guess in this context computer temps are always measured in Celcius?

UPDATES: I now have gfxCardStatus installed (and set to integrated), as well as AdBlocker and ClicktoFlash enabled. I do notice degraded speeds/responsiveness in Safari now. Not sure if this degredation is due to the extra baggage caused by AdBlocker/ClicktoFlash...or if it's due to the GPU set to integrated (although I am led to believe it was already set to integrated prior to installing gfxCardStatus---because the status bar immediately showed integrated when it finshed installing in the menu bar, plus my Energy Saver settings were already set to use integrated whenever on battery power).

I hope I have provided you gentlemen with a complete synopsis of my system, and done my due diligence in trying to find a solution (done your above steps and even read the 'Apple Notebook Battery FAQ'). I appreciate your continued support and help/advice. I am at wit's end and I do not know what else could be causing my battery to get eaten up so quickly.
 
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