I just got my hands on the 2018 MacBook Pro 15-inch (Maxed out at 2.9GHz Intel i9, 32GB Ram, Radeon 560X 4GB, etc). You’d think a $4,000+ machine would have zero flaws, but within 48 hours I was having fast battery draining issues…
I upgraded from my 2015 MacBook Pro 15-inch “aka the last great MBP” due to the battery cell’s fully expanding out of the case (Luckily they did not explode). I had less than 200 battery cycles on the 2015, but Apple pretty much said I was still responsible and had to pay full price to repair it. I’m pretty disappointed with their decision since these “smart batteries” are supposed to prevent over-charging. My total bill for the battery replacement was just around $500 (which includes a new whole bottom case i.e. battery / touch pad).
With the 2015 I always kept the AC connected to keep the high performance graphics card always running. I’m a power user so I’ve always required the maximum output of what a powerhouse machine was priced at and designed to do. However with my battery incident, I’ve learned from Apple that regardless of the “smart battery” you should still cycle the power often.
So as I was starting to use the new 2018 MBP on battery mode… it was dying within 2-3 hours rather the stated “10 hours battery life”. I want the battery to cycle, but not that fast!!! After a bit of research and reviewing Activity Monitor’s Energy tab, it turns out that Google Chrome was the culprit (regardless of plugins). I’m assuming that if you’re reading this article then you’re reading it with Chrome.
It turns out that Chrome forces the high performance GPU to run, but for good reasons within the webkit framework (i.e. canvas 2D/3D rendering). However if one is on a battery I don’t think we care about better GPU performance. There is a setting to override this in Chrome’s internals, but if you’re like me you probably don’t want to be changing it every time you jump between AC/battery mode.
Fully exit Chrome, queue up Safari and watch your battery time jump up to 8-10 hours. As a developer, I use Google Chrome 99.9% of the time. The developer tools are just better in every way possible. For the sake of usability and life, apple wins this round with Safari.Michael Mikhjian