Apple's 15-inch 2010 MacBook Pro: More Battery Life Tests, High Res Display Evaluatedby Anand Lal Shimpi on April 24, 2010 1:57 AM EST
Snow Leopard Battery Life Issues with Flash: Fixed
Snow Leopard brought forth 64-bit versions of many Apple applications. Finder, TextEdit and Safari (among others) could now run in x86-64 mode. However, last year I found that browsing websites that used Flash with 64-bit Safari dropped battery life by over 40% in Snow Leopard compared to 32-bit Safari in Leopard. To fix the problem you had to force Safari to launch in 32-bit mode.
While Apple never recognized the problem nor discussed why it happened to begin with, it appears that it’s since been addressed in OS X 10.6.3. The results below tell all:
|Snow Leopard Battery Life Improvement|
|Flash Web Browsing Battery Life||OS X 10.6.1||OS X 10.6.3|
|15-inch MacBook Pro (Mid 2009) - Core 2 Duo 2.53GHz||277 minutes||344 minutes|
Flash web browsing battery life improved tremendously from the original release of Snow Leopard. While it's still not as high as in Leopard, it's a definite improvement.
Windows 7 Battery Life
A handful of users asked that I look at battery life under Windows 7. Being your humble servant, I of course obliged. I attempted to recreate my OS X benchmarks under Windows 7 as best as possible, using Chrome and Windows Media Player in place of Safari and iTunes of course. You can’t draw any conclusions about OS X vs. Windows 7 battery life from these numbers however. As I mentioned in the original review, under Windows 7 the MacBook Pro keeps the discrete GPU enabled 100% of the time. There’s no way to shut it off. Battery life will inevitably be lower than OS X.
|Windows 7 Battery Life|
|Light Web Browsing||Flash Web Browsing||XviD Playback|
|15-inch MacBook Pro (Mid 2010) - Core i7 2.66GHz||255 minutes||255 minutes||153 minutes|
It appears that the dGPU being on all the time is the reason we can't get better browser battery life regardless of workload. The XviD playback test also takes a hit compared to OS X thanks to the discrete GPU. In our previous articles we found OS X to be roughly equal to Windows 7 in XviD battery life.