Final Builds of 10.8.2 and 10.7.5 Maintain OS X Battery Life

| Analysis

Earlier this month we conducted extensive testing on OS X battery life from Snow Leopard through the developer builds of Mountain Lion 10.8.2. The results of our tests showed that both Lion and Mountain Lion decreased battery life upon their release, with Mountain Lion notably causing a painful 30 percent reduction in running time that persisted through 10.8.1.

The developer builds of 10.8.2 showed a dramatic improvement, restoring all of the lost battery life and even adding a few minutes of running time. We were hopeful that this improvement would persist to the final release but, with all beta software, nothing can be guaranteed.

On Wednesday, Apple released the final builds of 10.8.2 and 10.7.5 to the public. We anxiously fired up our test MacBook Pro and ran tests on both updates. Here are our results (new tests highlighted in red):

Battery Life Mac OS X 10.8.2 10.7.5

Users will be happy to see that both 10.7.5 and 10.8.2 maintain, and even slightly improve battery life. We now feel confident recommending that users concerned with battery life upgrade to Mountain Lion, with all other considerations being equal. We hope that Apple won’t release future builds of Mountain Lion that negatively impact battery life, but we’ll keep our eyes peeled for 10.8.3 and test it and future updates as they are released.

For a full description of our testing methodology and hardware, check out our original report on battery life.

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Comments

furbies

Jim, any conclusions as to why the HDD variant does better than the SSD one ?

Jim Tanous

Hi furbies,

In our original report, linked at the end of the article, we discuss that in our particular configuration, our SSD (a Vertex 4) used more power than our HDD (WD Scorpio Blue).

This isn’t the case for all SSD/HDD combinations but happened to occur in our test scenario. Users should be aware that not all SSDs will out-perform all HDDs in battery life. Although some newer SSDs, like the Samsung 830 series, reach low power consumption levels that no current HDD can match.

Summary: users looking for SSDs hoping to improve battery life should pay careful attention to power consumption specifications!

Foxhoyle

So far 10.8.2. is looking good for me.  I’m using a late 2011 MacBook Pro (purchased in Feb 2012).  I’m getting about 4-5 real world hours with light web surfing.  Tonight I am getting about 3-4 real world hours writing letters, surfing, playing the occasional video, etc.

odiebugs

While the WD blue does use less power then most HDD due to its use of seeking algorithms for data retrieval.  Its also is less at everything.  Who in their right mind would even think of getting a extra 3 mins of time over having a drive 4x times faster. WD- 116R MB
Vertex 500R MB.

WD is like windows 98, you can either live in the 1800’s with junk hardware, or live in the moment.

HelSci

since update from 10.7.4 to 10.7.5 my external Monitor (LG Flatron W2353V)
doesn’t work anymore - it shows only a pink screen.
any idea for solving this problem?

Shili Med Elhadi

hello guys!!!!
with the ML 10.8.0,as other people,my battery life dropped .
still the same with the 10.8.1 release.
with the 10.8.2 ,every thing was back just like lion latest version.
but with the 10.8.2 supplemental update i’m now back to that 40% loss of battery life,at 100% of battery i have only 4:15 of time remaining.
macbook pro late 2011,i7qCore,15’‘

anyone facing that issue?
regards

Bavo De Ridder

With OS X 10.8.2 (12C60) I still experience a seriously shortened battery life. From the usual 6 - 8 hours I now have to cope with 4 - 5 hours. Make me want to sell the Macbook Pro and go for a new Windows ultrabook.

Cliff

These are decent comparisons of each OS in virgin states, but I believe the issues has more to do with folks upgrading through each version of the OS, particularly since 10.7 and 10.8 default to the (formally taboo) upgrade in place modes of installation. FWIW, I get about a meager 1.5 hours on an 2008 MB Aluminum running 10.8.2 upgraded from 10.7 w/battery cycle count of just 135.  Just now installing a fresh copy of 10.7 on a new SSD to see if there’s any improvement that can be had with a different OS and drive.

I would suspect that many having continued battery drain issues on later versions of 10.7.x and 10.8.x are seeing the results of some sort of migrated system level components that are conflicting with an element in the in the new OS. Even restoring 10.8 from the restore partition on a Mac just replaces the system-level components, keeping the master Library, system settings, and users files exactly where they were before.

Is any any coincidence that Apple’s support forums are also overwhelmed by users experiencing a potpourri of battery drain issues on iOS 6, often immediately after an upgrade in place?

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