Which 11" MBA configuration has the best battery life?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by Jobsian, Aug 18, 2011.

  1. Jobsian macrumors 6502a


    Jul 30, 2009
    I'm not going to put a poll to avoid wild guesses, but any educational guesses or benchmarks?

    Some considerations:

    2010 Vs 2011 MBA
    1.4 Vs 1.6 Vs Core i5 Vs Core i7
    2GB Vs 4GB RAM
    128 Vs 256GB SSD

    I get the impression that the RAM doesn't have much effect and that the best battery is the 1.4GHz Core 2 Duo 2010 MBA. Any differing opinions?
  2. miles01110 macrumors Core


    Jul 24, 2006
    The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
  3. AdrianK macrumors 68020

    Feb 19, 2011
    It's only the CPU and how process intensive your tasks are that effect battery life.
  4. alecgold macrumors 65816


    Oct 11, 2007
    if you lower the brightness one notch, that might have more effect on the battery life than all the other parameters you mentioned.
    Perhaps I'm exaggerating a bit, and is the biggest difference around 2 or 3 notches, but the 2010 and 2011 processors are all around 17W IRRC. That means that all the processors consume the same amount of battery-life at maximum performance.
    If you do exactly the same tasks on all the laptops, the fastest processor should consume the least power as it takes a lower percentage of it's maximum capacity. In lab conditions you *might* be able to deduce that after intense testing, but in real life you'll be more busy testing than using the thing.
    And after all the laptop is for using and not for testing (I assume this is the case with you as well.
    What I noticed, coming from a 13" 2010 to an 11" 2011 is that the 11" has around 4-5 hours of use, if you push it it can have 5,5-6 hours. If I use the 13" i get around 6,5-7 hours and if I push it, I can get 9,5-10 hours.
    That is a noticeable difference.

    The difference between an i5, i7 and a C2D might be a minute or two if you are running 100% of the CPU all the time, and perhaps 5-10 minutes if you try to save energy as much as you can (e.g. 1 notch light, no back light, no wifi, bluetooth, just reading a book or writing one).
  5. KPOM macrumors G5

    Oct 23, 2010

    AnandTech has several configurations here:


    The 2010s get slightly better battery life. There is no appreciable difference between the i5 and i7. RAM and SSD size will also likely have a negligible impact (though technically it takes up energy to keep RAM active).

    Anand goes to extreme methods to maximize battery life for his tests (IOW, don't expect to get his times), but the comparison between models should be valid.
  6. Jobsian thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Jul 30, 2009
    Of course I meant assuming similar use patterns (eg as in standard benchmarks).


    Thanks guys, thats the kind of response I was looking for. So overall the differences appear negligible. Also interesting point about the i7 consuming less than the i5 for the same task, hadn't ever considered that.

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