Home Forums Apple Mac + Windows PC Poor battery life on MacBook. Is it faulty?

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  • #5792 Reply

    I have a new 14in MacBook Pro and according to Apple it should last 17 hours on the battery with movie playback. I get more like 6 hours of battery usage doing my normal activities, mostly video production. Do you think it is faulty? Should I return the MacBook or ask for a replacement?

    #5801 Reply
    Roland Waddilove

    The length of time that a laptop computer, any computer not just a MacBook, lasts on its battery depends on what it is doing. With light usage, the battery lasts a long time, but with heavy usage it does not last anywhere near as long.

    It is like, how far can you drive your car on a tank of fuel? Well, it depends on whether you drive it gently or floor the accelerator. Floor it and drive flat out and that tank of fuel will not last as long as driving it gently.

    Movie playback is very light work for a laptop. It does not require much effort and so it does not use much battery power. The battery therefore lasts a long time. Movie playback is basically the best you can achieve on battery power.

    If you use software that requires a lot of processing power, disk activity and network activity, the battery life is significantly reduced. Your video production activities clearly work the MacBook very hard and so battery life is less than half the claimed 17 hours. It’s a bit like flooring the accelerator in a car and then finding you don’t get the manufacturer’s quoted fuel consumption.

    There isn’t anything you can do about it, except avoid doing CPU-intensive tasks on the battery. That may not be an option.


    #6349 Reply

    As the previous post points out, the length of time the battery in a Mac lasts depends a lot on what you are doing. Compare playing fast action games to using TextEdit to write a letter and you’ll see a huge difference. I can use TextEdit all day, but games drain the battery in a few hours.

    New Macs like the M1 Pro and M1 Max are great at video editing, but it is a power-intensive task, unlike using apps such asTextEdit, which enables the CPU and GPU to idle.

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