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Our test MacBook Pro, which readers should note is a different computer than the one used in our first tests, has been lightly used during its life. To simulate a moderate workflow, we use a custom Automator application, which is the same as in our previous tests. Regarding the Safari Web browser, which is launched as part of the tests, we used the version of Safari that was common to each edition of OS X at its launch. To determine the battery life achieved with each test, we use the time stamp created by our Automator workflow to calculate total running time. At the suggestion of some readers, we performed a PRAM and SMC reset following the completion of each test and the installation of the next OS X update.
As the chart illustrates, there was a definite and noticeable reduction in battery life with the upgrade from Snow Leopard to Lion. Just as we saw in our previous tests, the upgrade to 10.8 Mountain Lion decreased battery life significantly, by about 1 hour and 45 minutes, or 30 percent. Although battery life across the various iterations of OS X follows the same trend between the SSD and HDD, the HDD achieves between 10 and 20 minutes of additional battery life over the SSD.
In addition to their significantly improved performance, SSDs are also marketed as energy-sipping power savers when compared to traditional hard drives. This slight difference in power draw, combined with a workload that is primarily idle, accounts for the 10 to 20 minute battery life advantage we saw with the HDD.
It is clear that Apple has released the last two versions of OS X with serious underlying code issues that noticeably reduce battery life. We will continue to monitor the development of OS X Mountain Lion and test new updates to the OS as they are released. I think it’s very misguided to suggest here that HDDs are better than SSDs for power consumption.
WHen I brought my brand new 2011 MacBook Pro I was extremely disappointed with the battery life. Good article - I wish there were more comprehensive battery benchmark articles around for osx updates like this one..
The all-mighty MacBook is nothing without an optimized battery so for those who feel the need for a bit more juice, we've round-up today some of the best tips and tricks to increase this device's battery life.
Devices have evolved a lot in the past years, being now capable of doing awesome things at incredible speeds. For this purpose we created a little guide which includes some optimization tips for you to try, in order to ensure a longer lifetime for your battery. First of all, you have to connect your MacBook to a power source and wait until it charges to 100 per cent and the green light appears on your laptop’s adapter. Secondly, let your laptop plugged for at least another two hours, time when you can use your laptop freely. Also, these steps are recommended to be followed every month in order to maximize the life of your MacBook’s battery, especially when you let your computer always plugged in. Note that for the newer MacBooks that have a built-in battery, this process doesn’t need to be done. The System Management Controller is a key part of your computer that has various attributions, including in the power management of the laptop. Regarding to the power related problems, you should know that the battery of your computer may behave unusual and some good examples are when the MagSafe power adaptor Led doesn’t work properly or when your computer goes to sleep or shuts down without any warning. Using the keyboard from your laptop and not a USB keyboard, press at the same time the left side Shift + Control + Option and the power button combination.
You should give a try to the application called Battery Health made by Fiplab, a company that creates great mobile and desktop applications.
The installation process is very simple, its accuracy is very precise and its interface is so user-friendly that everything can be found with much ease.

The small program shows all the information you need about your battery, such as the current charge level, the original and current total battery capacity, the time until it totally depletes, some useful battery specifications (like its age and total number of charges) and many other. This monitoring of your laptop’s battery can be really helpful because you can avoid battery replacements which can be really expensive.
Unlike other laptop producers, Apple advices its users of MacBooks not to fully discharge and recharge the battery more than one or two times a week.
Moreover, you should be careful not to leave your laptop plugged in all the time, because the battery may get seriously affected in time.
In the “Energy Saver” section of the System Preferences, users should select the “Better Battery Life” option when running only on the battery.
Go to “Displays” and deselect the “Automatically adjust brightness…” option, which will considerably increase the battery lifetime. Another good tip is to turn off hot corners from the “Screen Saver” or “Expose” preferences. If you don’t own or use a remote control very often, it is a good idea to disable the infrared receiver for the remote control by accessing the “Security” section of System Preferences. Also, stop all sharing services that are not necessary, like Bluetooth or Wi-Fi, especially if you using a cable for your connection. In the “Displays” area, reduce the Brightness level to the minimum you support, because the screen is one of the largest battery consumers. Also, if you don’t absolutely need the backlight from your keyboard you should stop it too.
Alex holds an engineering degree in Telecommunications and has been covering technology as a writer since 2009.
Subscribe to TechPPSubscribe to our email newsletter for useful tips and valuable resources. Other readers wanted to know if there would be a significant difference in battery life if the tests were run on a solid state system drive (SSD) versus a traditional hard disk system drive (HDD). We then disable all applications and services except for WiFi, set the screen to 50 percent brightness, turn keyboard illumination off, disable the screen saver, and set the power and display to remain on indefinitely. We then compare the results and, if the difference between the results is less than 5 percent, we average them.
In both the SSD and HDD configurations, we measured a roughly 40 minute reduction in running time. We do not know what changes Apple has made to Mountain Lion’s code to account for the battery life increase, or if those changes must necessarily be reversed before release, but we hope that Apple will find a way to preserve the battery life improvements in future Mountain Lion updates.
In our case, however, the design of the test and specific drives used made the HDD the winner in battery life. So if you need the absolute best battery life for light workloads, a low speed, energy efficient traditional hard drive may be the way to go.
The good news, however, is that the Cupertino engineers have worked to remedy the issues within the first two or three point updates to each OS. I was puzzled by your results, until I looked into the drive you used and saw that it is one of the more power-hungry SSDs on the market.
Visit our Mac Geek Gab Facebook Group and have the tech support brilliance of the entire Mac Geek Gab community at your fingertips! Today, we will speak about the beloved Apple laptop, the MacBook, that maybe many of you already own and more exactly, about its battery issues and how to combat them.
So don’t change the tab of your browser and read the following article to discover the best ways to maintain and calibrate the key component of your computer. Take into consideration that this process represents the most effective solution to improve the battery life of your MacBook.
In all this time you can use it as you like or you can just leave it on and it will automatically go to sleep.

You will see a significantly change in the lifetime of your laptop’s battery immediately after the calibrating. Unfortunately, the controller can encounter issues that may cause unexpected behavior from the computer, which can drain the battery faster than usual times. This is a very useful application that offers important information about your battery, including the battery capacity, power usage, the current charge level and much more. When the installation finishes, a pop-up message will appear asking you if you want to automatically run the app every time you start your computer. Furthermore, under all these info the app shows a little graph which shows the ongoing usage of the battery. If you are interested in using this application, please go to the following link and download it. Some people believe that if they let their battery discharge at every use, they will be able to keep the battery longer, but this is just a myth.
However, there are many people who use their laptops at work and who keep them plugged in, but if you unplug it and use it on battery when you go home, then you have no reason to worry that your battery will have to suffer because of this habit.
If you already are using Dashboard, type “killall Dock” into the Terminal to restart and to be able to close it. To do this, go to “Keyboard” section and de-select the “Automatically illuminate keyboard in low light” option.
The excellent coconutBattery utility showed that the battery’s capacity was still at 95 percent of its theoretical maximum.
If the difference is greater than 5 percent, we run multiple tests until we can determine which result was abnormal and why. Considering the large performance and reliability advantage that a solid state drive has over a traditional hard drive, however, the majority of consumers would be better suited with the SSD, even at the expense of a few minutes of running time. I worked with Apple tech team (through the office of the CEO) to address (August thru December). After all if something obscure like bluetooth radio or other services were causing significant battery drain, your test would miss this.. In order to help every user to optimize his MacBook’s battery and to get the best out of it we made this article.
Basically, this optimization consists in leaving your computer plugged for another two hours after it completely charges and to use it until it shuts down because the battery completely drained. For example the 13-inch MacBook (from the second half of 2009 and later) and MacBook Pro with Retina display are portable computers that have a built-in battery. Note that this kind of problems refer at issues with the fans, lights, system performance, video and power. When he’s away from the keyboard, simpler things like hiking, mountain climbing and having a cold drink make his day. They also show tested figures of about half what you’ve concluded for the OCZ Vertex drive, which leads me to question the differences in methodology.
Apple never really figured out why except they did say, the GPU was more inefficient in the new MACs when an older application was using it!
Other sites are invited to link to any aspect of this site provided that all content is presented in its original form and is not placed within another frame. The Mac Observer is an independent publication and has not been authorized, sponsored, or otherwise approved by Apple, Inc.

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