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Windows Drains MacBook's Battery; Who's To Blame?

timothy posted more than 4 years ago | from the pox-on-both-your-houses dept.

Portables (Apple) 396

ericatcw writes "Users hoping that Windows 7's arrival will mean less power drain on their MacBook laptops may be disappointed, writes Computerworld's Eric Lai. Running Windows 7 in Boot Camp caused one CNET reviewer's battery life to fall by more than two-thirds. But virtualization software such as VMware Fusion suffer from the same complaints. Some blame Apple's Boot Camp drivers (the last ones were released in April 2008); others lay the blame at Windows' bloated codebase. With Apple and Microsoft both trying to avoid responsibility for improving the experience, Windows 7's reported improvements in power management will be moot for MacBook users for a while."

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396 comments

fp (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28970219)

ladies, get your pussies ready!

Re:fp (2, Informative)

Merls the Sneaky (1031058) | more than 4 years ago | (#28970573)

This is /. ain't no ladies round here.

Nice title. (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28970225)

Windows Drains MacBook's Battery; Who's to blame?

I blame Microsoft. Much like the title, I was expecting Windows 7 to actually recharge my laptop battery, not drain it.

Re:Nice title. (1)

buchner.johannes (1139593) | more than 4 years ago | (#28970991)

Windows Drains MacBook's Battery; Who's to blame?

This and many other questions can be settled with a simple googlefight [googlefight.com] .

PS: That's also how I resolve all my spelling issues.

Now this is special. (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28970249)

This is a whole new and special kind of whining.
/. has reached a new level.

Waaaaahhhh!!!

Don't use bootcamp, but I use Fusion (5, Insightful)

Em Emalb (452530) | more than 4 years ago | (#28970259)

I have a new MBP and use Fusion. I have an XP image and a Vista image loaded up. I have not noticed any unusual power drain, but that's kind of to be expected, IMO. Also, I have to question the wisdom of using a VM session for more than an hour or so on just the battery.

I can see some instances where this would be an issue for some, but this seems like senseless "hating" to me. No, I'm not trying to troll or anything else, I'm just having a hard time figuring out why someone would spend a long-ish amount of time in Fusion running a guest OS on battery power. It seems obvious to me that there are issues running a non-native OS on a laptop designed for a specific OS...

Re:Don't use bootcamp, but I use Fusion (4, Interesting)

dr.newton (648217) | more than 4 years ago | (#28970335)

I agree that there would be issues, but going from 4.5 hours of battery life on OS X on a MBP to 2 hours on any other OS is a little extreme!

I would love to be able to use Linux on my MBP as the primary operating system, but often it is impractical because of the limited battery life.

That being said, 2 hours is about standard for any other laptop I've owned, so maybe I should think of it as OS X being uncannily power-efficient. ;)

Re:Don't use bootcamp, but I use Fusion (2, Funny)

ByOhTek (1181381) | more than 4 years ago | (#28970537)

?? My last notebook got 3.5 hours on the 6 cell battery (could have gotten a 9 cell, but didn't want too) with Windows XP or FreeBSD.

Dunno what my new notebook will do yet, it came pre-raped with Windows Vista, and I have to clean to goo off the drive and install XP (slipstream the ICH9 drivers anyone?) and FreeBSD (7.2 doesn't have a functional NIC driver, 8.0Beta driver fails at something, not sure what), or KUbuntu (faster than Vista off of the CD, WTF, but also lacking a NIC driver) to test.

after two days of vista, my butt hurts.

Re:Don't use bootcamp, but I use Fusion (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28970549)

OS X probably is able to adjust the power usage of specific pieces of hardware whereas Linux and Windows are not privy to the information on how to do so.

Re:Don't use bootcamp, but I use Fusion (1, Flamebait)

SleeknStealthy (746853) | more than 4 years ago | (#28970645)

I am going to have to disagree with you, Apple OSX isn't: "uncannily power-efficient" but rather uncannily degrading the user experience in another OS. Apple is afraid that if their users never have to adjust to OSX they will just become another PC vendor and will lose on their profit margin. The new MacBooks driver support for the flawed mouse design is bad enough in OSX, but if you try to run it on Windows natively, just forget it, I found it nearly impossible (as with Linux). Apple is the most anti-consumer computer company in existence, this can only be expected.

Re:Don't use bootcamp, but I use Fusion (4, Interesting)

fullgandoo (1188759) | more than 4 years ago | (#28970785)

I agree with you. For instance on my previous generation Macbook Pro, there is no way to tap the touch pad for a mouse click under Windows. You are forced to use the touchpad button.

On the face of it, it looks like an innocent little accidental omission by Apple, which they steadfastly refuse to fix. Since all the Windows drivers are provided by Apple, I believe it is deliberate on their part to degrade the user experience on anything but OSX. That is just typical mean-spirited behavior by Apple.

Re:Don't use bootcamp, but I use Fusion (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28970541)

Also, I have to question the wisdom of using a VM session for more than an hour or so on just the battery.

I don't know, on my ancient Dell C840 the battery life was unchanged whether I was running VMware or not. I used that machine for extensive development work running Linux with Windows (Visual Studio) in VMware.

I haven't noticed that running a virtual machine consumes more resources than running the same stuff outside of the VM.

Re:Don't use bootcamp, but I use Fusion (1)

1stvamp (662375) | more than 4 years ago | (#28970601)

By the looks of it most of the "hate" is coming from Bootcamp users, who aren't running Win7 in a VM at all, but are dualbooting, and so they might (rightly so) expect more battery life from the primary OS (not a guest).

Re:Don't use bootcamp, but I use Fusion (1)

v1 (525388) | more than 4 years ago | (#28970649)

There are some people that run windows on their mbp (boot camp) more than the mac environment. Just as there will be some that go boot camp because they want/need to use windows a little bit, there will also be the other few that want/need to use mac a little bit, and for them, Mac OS X is the "guest OS". Same can be said of other OSs on the machine such as linux. I know one person that uses his mbp almost exclusively in linux. He's got the thing triple booting and can drop into mac os or windows when needed.

For those that need most of one and a little of another, It's arguably easier to osx/win on a macbook than on a pc(dell etc) laptop, so regardless of which is your 80 of the 80/20, the macbook is the path of least resistance. (tho certainly the more expensive option, possibly the higher quality, and maybe that's the issue here with seeing lower battery life?)

Re:Don't use bootcamp, but I use Fusion (1)

ColdZero (668801) | more than 4 years ago | (#28970951)

I have the same problem when using Fusion with my MBP. I was at the airport the other day and had about 1hr of battery when using Fusion. When I had left the house I had a fully charged battery (about 3.5 hours now). I'm going to blame Apple on this one. MBPs use the same chipsets, processors, ram, hard drives, etc that tons of other laptops do, there's no reason why Windows should use so much more battery life compared to OSX. I didn't RTFA so maybe they did this, but a simple test would be to take a windows laptop and a mac laptop with similar stats, load up windows 7 on them and see what happens. It should be similar if its a windows problem. And it isn't even a race at this point, if the windows laptop gets something like 4 hours 10 mintues and the mac gets 4 hours 30 minutes, then they're still similar. If the windows laptop gets 4 hours 10 minutes and the mac gets 2 hours, something is up.

Doubt it's the "bloated codebase" (5, Insightful)

Sockatume (732728) | more than 4 years ago | (#28970263)

Macbooks are essentially the same hardware as Windows machines, down to battery capacity. It is unlikely that a "bloated codebase" would chew through the battery like nobody's business on one x86 machine and suddenly become perfectly benign on a practically identical x86 machine. Bloat doesn't magically appear when you put an Apple logo on something.

Re:Doubt it's the "bloated codebase" (5, Funny)

fatalwall (873645) | more than 4 years ago | (#28970321)

[...] Bloat doesn't magically appear when you put an Apple logo on something.

Unless your talking about price!!!

Re:Doubt it's the "bloated codebase" (5, Funny)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 4 years ago | (#28970415)

You don't understand. Buying an Apple is like buying a Lexus or Acura. It gives you the opportunity to brag about your awesome machine, even though there's no real difference between a Lexus v. Toyota, or Acura v. Honda, except the inflated +33% higher pricetag.

I still remember my friends' reaction when I pointed to his shiny-new Acura and said, "The logo on the glass says Honda. And here inside the glovebox is another Honda logo. And... yep there's a Honda logo on the wheel cover." You would have thought I just insulted his best girl. "No, no that can't be. This is Acura not Honda. That logo's wrong. I only buy the best; the best I tell you."

I stepped back several feet.

Re:Doubt it's the "bloated codebase" (1)

Em Emalb (452530) | more than 4 years ago | (#28970515)

I'm guessing that "friend" doesn't hang out with you much any more? :P

That's like a buddy getting a new girlfriend and pointing out all the flaws in her rather than the positives. Could you? Sure. Should you? Depends on the friend.

Re:Doubt it's the "bloated codebase" (5, Funny)

BadAnalogyGuy (945258) | more than 4 years ago | (#28970631)

The friend is clearly motivated by name value alone and doesn't see the respectability of the Acura brand as coming from the car quality but rather from some undefinable je ne sais quoi that somehow Honda doesn't have.

Clearly, Honda is the Toyota of automobiles. There's nothing wrong with them and a lot right with them. I'd buy one in a heartbeat if they weren't a foreign maker.

Re:Doubt it's the "bloated codebase" (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28970731)

Clearly, Honda is the Toyota of automobiles.

Once again you've demonstrated why you chose the user name you did.

Re:Doubt it's the "bloated codebase" (3, Insightful)

bickerdyke (670000) | more than 4 years ago | (#28970737)

Clearly, Honda is the Toyota of automobiles. There's nothing wrong with them and a lot right with them. I'd buy one in a heartbeat if they weren't a foreign maker.

You enjoy living up to your name, aren't you?

What's next? Pepsi is the Coca Cola of softdrinks?

+1 Funny

Re:Doubt it's the "bloated codebase" (1)

bruce_the_loon (856617) | more than 4 years ago | (#28970711)

Does that mean that the Volkswagen Golf I have is an Audi because half the components have the four rings logo somewhere on them. Yippee, I'm upper-class :) ;)

Re:Doubt it's the "bloated codebase" (4, Insightful)

JustASlashDotGuy (905444) | more than 4 years ago | (#28970751)

Yes and No. Acura and Honda are made by the same company, but are not the same exact car. Acura is the upper end line, while Honda is not. If you drive a TL and then drive an Accord, there is no way you will confuse the handling, finish, or features of the too. The closest you will come is if you compare the low end Acuras (IE: TSX to the Honda line). Honda makes Acura, Toyota makes Lexus, Nissan makes Infinity, etc. It's nothing new.

I myself drive a Acura TL and refer to it as a Honda all the time. If there was a comparable car in the Honda line when I got this car, I would have gladly purchased it.

As for thinking people just Apples because they want to brag, I don't understand that logic. Apples use a completely different OS and way of doing things; there's now cheaper priced Mac OS they can get. In some cases, Apples are better suited for a given task than MS is. Saying Apple users pay more so they can brag to Windows users, is like saying Windows user pay more so they can brag to Linux users. Each OS has their niche. Personally, I wouldn't say any single OS is better than another in every way. To each their own.

Re:Doubt it's the "bloated codebase" (2, Interesting)

krzy123 (1201507) | more than 4 years ago | (#28970801)

Acura was a brand that was created purely for the NA market (because americans like shiny things/luxury brands). There cars used to be sold as Hondas in Japan. One example has always been the Acura TSX, which is a Honda Accord in Europe.

Re:Doubt it's the "bloated codebase" (4, Interesting)

jimmyfrank (1106681) | more than 4 years ago | (#28970757)

I bought a macbook because I wanted to run Leopard and XP. Consumer reports also rated Apple laptops #1 in all screen size categories. I'm also not poor so I spent a few xtra bucks.

Re:Doubt it's the "bloated codebase" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28970807)

You're assuming people buy an Apple for the hardware alone. Apple sell the complete package, not just a hardware shell to install your own OS on top. So you're only looking at half the picture (maybe less).

This separation of software and hardware only really started with the MS, IBM deal. Big iron down to C64s - you use the OS it came with. Windows, and now Linux, are the exceptions really. And even cellphones have only recently become feasible to choose your OS, mostly its about what they came with. A device.

A virus free computing experience is not dependent on your hardware is it? :)

Re:Doubt it's the "bloated codebase" (2, Interesting)

MightyYar (622222) | more than 4 years ago | (#28970429)

LOL... They do have that reputation. However, last time I went shopping for a notebook it was about the same price as a similarly-equipped Dell and so I went with the MacBook Pro. To be fair, some of the features are hard to price-compare - but the pricing was within 5%.

I haven't tried to run Windows on it - so far everything from Windows-land that I need to run works in Crossover.

Re:Doubt it's the "bloated codebase" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28970599)

LOL... You gave the standard answer, even briefly mentioning Dell. Macs are still way more expensive though.

Re:Doubt it's the "bloated codebase" (1)

lorenzo.boccaccia (1263310) | more than 4 years ago | (#28970797)

the last time I looked (June) the apple was a lot cheaper than every competitor on the 13" laptop market. almost 600$ less than a equivalent vaio, and a lot more powerful than the 600$ toshiba satellite pc. as soon as you start comparing the gpu and battery life in the 13" maket, the apple clearly stands out not only for quality but also for price.

that said the 13" market isn't one where a powerful gpu means anything, as the monitor is too small for gaming.

upping the screen size, other vendors are cheaper. one thing I don't really stand however is how much hotter are acer and other when compared to apples; but that is the only advantage they have over the concurrency (that and the battery - but those alone don't justify the price premium for apple)

Re:Doubt it's the "bloated codebase" (1)

MightyYar (622222) | more than 4 years ago | (#28970847)

Standard "I did no research" response. Yawn. Get back to me with some numbers.

Re:Doubt it's the "bloated codebase" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28970947)

Does your Mac have an HDMI output that is pretty standard on Dell or anybody else? Does your Macbook have the option to put in a Blu-Ray drive?

Re:Doubt it's the "bloated codebase" (2, Interesting)

gintoki (1439845) | more than 4 years ago | (#28970325)

This is slashdot, any issue involving microsoft is automatically their fault. Why RTFA when microsoft is to blame for everything that is wrong with the world.

Re:Doubt it's the "bloated codebase" (1, Interesting)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 4 years ago | (#28970975)

Apple can aggressively block any and all applications that they don't approve from and iPhone, aggressively tie the iTunes store with the iPod, and sue anyone who so much as speculates about their upcoming products--and that's just them "acting within their rights." But if MS so much as installs IE as the default browser on a Windows install, slashdotters are breaking out their pitchforks (never mind that Apple and Linux do the EXACT SAME THING on their OS's).

This "MS is evil. But Apple and Google can do no wrong" meme got tired a LONG time ago. I suggest a new graphic with Steve Jobs as a borg too.

Re:Doubt it's the "bloated codebase" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28970327)

Bloat doesn't magically appear when you put an Apple logo on something.

It does in the price tag.

Re:Doubt it's the "bloated codebase" (5, Insightful)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 4 years ago | (#28970435)

A computer is more then just the CPU. The case of how does Windows 7 handle the hardware or the Drivers handle the hardware or a combination of both. Can really effect a system. Apple Hardware isn't more expensive then normal PC's because Apple is making so much more per copy. It is more expensive because there is a lot of little things built in that add up. Go to Dell or Lenovo and try to build yourself a Laptop that matches all of Apples features. When I say All I mean ALL, no excuses like I don't need that anyways. You will find that the prices are about the same... +/- $100.00 or so. But all those little features OS X knows about and uses properly. Boot Camp Drivers Cover most of them, Windows handles other ones. I know for an instance Windows Vista with boot camp keeps the lights on the keyboard while OS X is a bit smarter then that.

Now comes to the question. Is the Mac made Drivers for Vista keeping those lights on. Or Vista is telling the driver to keep it on. I am betting it is both.

Re:Doubt it's the "bloated codebase" (1)

Sockatume (732728) | more than 4 years ago | (#28970459)

I've no doubt at all that it's a driver issue.

Re:Doubt it's the "bloated codebase" (1)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 4 years ago | (#28970489)

But say windows tells the driver when it is initialize to turn on default vs. Turn off by default. Or windows pulls to get its status every second vs. every 2 seconds.

Re:Doubt it's the "bloated codebase" (1)

Sockatume (732728) | more than 4 years ago | (#28970555)

Or more likely, there just isn't a Windows driver for the keyboard light. It's a pretty exotic feature.

Re:Doubt it's the "bloated codebase" (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28970583)

The battery is probably being drained by WIndows as it phones home - Redmond - to make sure you are making the most of Windows Genuine Advantage.

Re:Doubt it's the "bloated codebase" (3, Interesting)

Nikademus (631739) | more than 4 years ago | (#28970685)

Multiple driver issues then, as running some OS in fusion isn't the same as in bare hardware, it's a whole new machine from the guest OS point of view.
If you run windows on the bare hardware, it will use nvidia and all other real hardware drivers.
If you run windows in fusion, it will use some "generic" hardware drivers.
So I somehow doubt it's a specific driver problem if it happens both in fusion and on bare hardware.

Re:Doubt it's the "bloated codebase" (1)

Shadow of Eternity (795165) | more than 4 years ago | (#28970501)

that's the same thing i thought which to me says the issue might not be win7 itself but rather whatever is wrapped around it by OSX. I had a teacher in highschool that insisted we use Qbasic even though the sonofabitch literally maxed out every machine it was run on (it was like running prime95 ALL the TIME), I think the same basic effect might be occuring here. It's not that hard to just have one bad piece of code blossom up to massive cpu usage and cause a ton of power to be used.

Re:Doubt it's the "bloated codebase" (2, Insightful)

Dwedit (232252) | more than 4 years ago | (#28970565)

That's a problem in how the NTVDM (Windows NT/2000/XP's DOS subsystem) works. It always gives 100% CPU usage to the program, regardless of what it actually needs. Qbasic runs smooth and snappy on a 286, it just might not be using HALT instructions to indicate that it's done with what it's doing.

Re:Doubt it's the "bloated codebase" (1)

weicco (645927) | more than 4 years ago | (#28970745)

A program that doesn't use 100% of the CPU isn't really efficient one. I mean, it doesn't make software any better no matter how many NOPs you add.

Re:Doubt it's the "bloated codebase" (4, Insightful)

ByOhTek (1181381) | more than 4 years ago | (#28970577)

Bloat doesn't magically appear when you put an Apple logo on something.

Have you ever used Apple produced software (iTunes, Quicktime, etc.) on Windows? Or noticed their memory requirements on their own OS?

Not that MS is necessarily any better, but, yeah, Apple is one of the Triumvirate of Bloat for consumer software, in my not-so-humble opinion. The sit in their little triangular table with MS and Adobe.

Re:Doubt it's the "bloated codebase" (1)

Lorkki (863577) | more than 4 years ago | (#28970679)

It's possible that the drivers handling power management on one set of peripherals are better at their jobs than other ones, or play more nicely with some managerial component. With exceptionally crufty codebases there's lots of opportunities for unexpected effects; whether that has anything to do with this accusation of "bloat" depends on what is actually meant.

Somehow I doubt most people making it know either, nor have enough acquaintance with Windows's innards to make an expert judgment.

Re:Doubt it's the "bloated codebase" (1)

Ilgaz (86384) | more than 4 years ago | (#28970885)

They are NOT the same hardware, they require Apple drivers and they are also EFI based. Other than that, you must be really optimistic about Windows developers if you compare Windows CPU/resource usage to a system built on 40 year old principles which were designed on a PDP-10 machine.

If I compare a BSD 4.4 Lite/Mach/NeXT/FreeBSD mix to Windows 7 which defaults to Ultimate version as of today, I will see bloat. I can barely stand to Spotlight on OS X and I decided to like it when I saw Windows Search which is on by default.

Other than that, check my message about the missing drivers on Windows 7. It is not MS, Apple or even NVidia or Intel's fault. What is supported under boot camp method? Vista? They should have installed Vista. As of 2009, it is not bad anyway.

Re:Doubt it's the "bloated codebase" (3, Insightful)

Colonel Korn (1258968) | more than 4 years ago | (#28970907)

Macbooks are essentially the same hardware as Windows machines, down to battery capacity. It is unlikely that a "bloated codebase" would chew through the battery like nobody's business on one x86 machine and suddenly become perfectly benign on a practically identical x86 machine. Bloat doesn't magically appear when you put an Apple logo on something.

It's (probably) not perfectly benign on an identical x86 machine. Anandtech broke this story in October 2008 (http://www.anandtech.com/mac/showdoc.aspx?i=3435&p=13), so Slashdot is picking things like this up about as quickly as usual. Have you ever wondered why Macbooks often have 50-100% more battery life than a similar non-Mac with very similar specs, including a battery of the same capacity? It's the OS. This is the one area where OSX is the unequivocal champion. Somehow its power savings are vastly better than those in Windows.

Anand has also made some mistakes, I think, like talking about the 6 hour battery life on new Macbooks and claiming that there are no PCs that can match that time, which is absolutely false. What he needs to do to finish investigating this power difference is install OSX on, say, a Lenovo laptop and see whether battery life improves dramatically. Of course, I think that he won't publish about something that breaks a license agreement, so we'll have to wait for another site with fewer legal worries does it.

Not just Windows (5, Interesting)

dr.newton (648217) | more than 4 years ago | (#28970275)

I have a MBP 5.1, one with both the on-board and discrete Nvidia cards. OS X switches between them depending on whether it is going for power savings or performance.

The drivers for Windows XP and Linux do not seem to have this ability. When I'm doing nothing but surfing, I get about 4.5 hours of battery life in OS X, but only about 2.1 hours in Linux (Ubuntu Jaunty) and Windows XP.

I always assumed it was the inability of XP and Linux to switch to the on-board graphics card.

Re:Not just Windows (5, Interesting)

lukas84 (912874) | more than 4 years ago | (#28970319)

I have a ThinkPad W500, which has onboard Intel graphics or a Ati Radeon 3650. They too can be switched automatically or at will.

The reason you can't do it on XP is because Apple hasn't bothered to release drivers for it.

Ding ding ding! (1)

Sockatume (732728) | more than 4 years ago | (#28970671)

We have an explaination!

Anonymous Coward (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28970277)

No matter how bloated Windows is, battery life is only a function of ACPI drivers --- bootcamp's fault

Re:Anonymous Coward (1)

RiotingPacifist (1228016) | more than 4 years ago | (#28970381)

On the otherhand if windows7 uses lots of wakeup calls then the CPU can never sit in C3 for very long, that would however not be a mac specific problem so my money is on bootcamps fault too!

Re:Anonymous Coward (1)

Fahrvergnuugen (700293) | more than 4 years ago | (#28970499)

Or maybe Windows could be asking more of the CPU, GPU & hard drive than OSX does?

Re:Anonymous Coward (1)

skyride (1436439) | more than 4 years ago | (#28970929)

Well if thats the case, Why is every other laptop I have ever heard of getting better battery life with Win7 RC than Vista; EXCEPT for Macbooks?

Windows 7 is not supported (1)

Ilgaz (86384) | more than 4 years ago | (#28970993)

You would be absolutely correct if Windows 7 was SUPPORTED with Boot Camp. Damn thing can't even get rid of "boot menu" as MS is fixated to partition 1 for booting.

What suggests you that Apple is a generic PC anyway?

Can we question the author's qualifications? (5, Interesting)

BadAnalogyGuy (945258) | more than 4 years ago | (#28970285)

FTFA: Other than that, Windows 7 has been working great on my MacBook Pro... It looks good, too, even prettier than when it is installed on PC hardware.

This reminds me of the iPod Nano review here at Slashdot that claimed that the Nano sounded great, even in a moving convertible with the top down. (http://apple.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=05/09/08/1439244)

Yes, it's the Apple magic that makes the software look better.

How can we know that the battery isn't simply returning strange battery level information to the OS that OSX knows how to parse but Windows doesn't? What a strange review.

Re:Can we question the author's qualifications? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28970361)

Maybe the battery meter is 'prettier' and he's reading it incorrectly.

Re:Can we question the author's qualifications? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28970749)

I would say "prettier" is probably as a result of the higher quality and better contrast ratio of the monitor.

CNET (1)

Ilgaz (86384) | more than 4 years ago | (#28970963)

Even funnier, did the author install Vista/7 to a 1.42 Ghz machine with 133Mhz system bus and 32MB ATI card and gained massive performance compared to XP?

That is what Mac Mini G4 users experienced when they upgraded to Leopard...

CBS should arrange a meeting with all the editors, authors of CNET and simply remind them they aren't the failed TV channel who is alive with MS money anymore, they don't have to be MS fans in absurd degree. If they don't fix this attitude soon, very soon, their cool domains will be sold to some porn site and they will be laid off. This is really getting beyond funny.

Boot Camp != Virtualization (4, Insightful)

guruevi (827432) | more than 4 years ago | (#28970303)

Boot Camp just resizes the hard drive so it can accomodate a Windows install and then you are able to dual-boot your system. It's also possible to install Linux on the other side for example. So it seems like Windows has an issue with the Intel or NVidia chipset, the processor or just plainly consumes more resources than Mac OS.

A good comparison would be to install Linux on the other side and see what it's battery life is then. Mac OS X offloads a lot (all) of the desktop rendering to the GPU while the Windows XP desktop doesn't and although Vista's top-end version does, it is offset by the amount of graphics that need to be rendered and the low-end version still doesn't.

There is a reason that the battery dies quicker and since there is no layer of Mac OS X between Windows and the hardware I doubt it's because Apple did something wrong. It's either Windows or the Intel or NVidia drivers. You can't really compare VMWare or Parallels performance because it's running Windows on top of Mac OS X, it is of course going to consume more resources.

Re:Boot Camp != Virtualization (1)

fatalwall (873645) | more than 4 years ago | (#28970389)

You can compare them however if the end user want to know if its better to run XP in a vm or if they should use boot camp. Seems to me they are just pointing out that the battery life is about the same so it doesnt matter power wise what you choice to do.

Windows 7 vs. XP (1, Offtopic)

debilo (612116) | more than 4 years ago | (#28970305)

I have a slightly dated Macbook with an integrated Intel graphics chips. Has anyone with similar specs tried to run Windows 7 on it? If so, how does it stack up against XP in terms of performance and responsiveness, and how does Windows 7 fare in a VMware session?

Re:Windows 7 vs. XP (1)

m.ducharme (1082683) | more than 4 years ago | (#28970767)

I have the 15" Macbook, and run both Win7 and XP in VMware. Win7's performance is comparable to XP's, maybe a bit better, in terms of speed, and it's not too memory-needy. Whatever build I have though (Release Candidate) is still unstable. It doesn't always boot completely, and often is prone to crashes that look to me to be video-card related. Although I have hopes, it's not quite ready for prime time.

HOW (4, Informative)

FranTaylor (164577) | more than 4 years ago | (#28970309)

Can you expect "power savings" when VMware is running? You are basically running two computers at once.

Re:HOW (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28970477)

Can you expect "power savings" when VMware is running? You are basically running two computers at once.

I wonder. If VM ware is loaded and run by OSX, then wouldn't OSX be the one allocating CPU time and resources? So, in effect, VM Ware is just another program running in OSX?

Or, if OSX is running directly on top of the micro kernel, then, I would have to blame VM Ware for not monitoring the system's power usage preferences.

I can't see how it's WIndows fault one way or another. Granted, I haven't worked on a MACH based OS in quite some time - OS/2 PPC.

Re:HOW (1)

johncadengo (940343) | more than 4 years ago | (#28970755)

Can you expect "power savings" when VMware is running? You are basically running two computers at once.

Well, I use VMware to run a barebones linux machine on my Macbook and do everything from the terminal to save energy! ;).

Reminds me of the days when I used to doublespace my ram drive for increased performance AND space!

So What? (0)

netpixie (155816) | more than 4 years ago | (#28970311)

The idea of boot camp has always seemed a bit weird to me.

You pay a massive premium for a computer because that is the only way to get access to a reasonably functional OS, then you decide "I'm going to run this crappy OS that I could have run on a computer half the price"

Why?

If you want to play games -> buy a wii/xbox/ps
If you need to run windows a majority of the time -> buy a Dell
If you need to run windows occasionally -> Buy a Mac, use Virtualbox/parallels

Re:So What? (1)

compro01 (777531) | more than 4 years ago | (#28970385)

One word : games. Unless you have a very high spec machine, VMs are next to useless for any modern games.

Re:So What? (2, Interesting)

MightyYar (622222) | more than 4 years ago | (#28970465)

First, a quibble with your argument. You do not pay a "massive premium". Depending on what product you bought, you paid a slight premium or slight discount vs. a similarly-spec'd Dell.

Second, it should be pretty clear why one would occasionally need to run Windows in native mode. Aside from saving the additional cost of virtualization software, Boot Camp simply runs some programs faster. Also, if I hand my IT department my notebook to configure and it is in Mac mode, they'd have absolutely no ability whatsoever to load it up with the VPN software since they don't do Mac. Put it in Windows mode, and they give no complaints.

Re:So What? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28970517)

If you want to play games -> buy a wii/xbox/ps

I find it difficult to lug around a console while on holidays, and business trips.

If you need to run windows a majority of the time -> buy a Dell

I dont need windows for the majority of the time.

If you need to run windows occasionally -> Buy a Mac, use Virtualbox/parallels

Try using Autocad in a VM.

I blame Microsoft (-1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 4 years ago | (#28970337)

I've been using their products off-and-on for the last 25 years... ...and they haven't made a superior product since BASIC 7.0 on my C=128. Windows 1-to-3 were jokes, Win95 was decent but still inferior to the Amiga or Mac OSes, and the new Vista 6.1 (Win7) is a giant blob of amorphous code that refuses to run properly even with 1.5 gigs of RAM in my brother's computer. Even though my XP machine only has 1/3rd as much memory, it still runs faster. Windows 7 still needs some major rewriting for efficiency.

Re:I blame Microsoft (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28970607)

windows 7 runs perfectly on all of my machines. My anecdotal evidence beats your anecdotal evidence, so there.

Battery will drain while on A/C (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28970339)

This is a known issue with all MacBook models. If you run something on full burn the battery will slowly drain because the A/C doesn't provide enough power under extreme loads.

Re:Battery will drain while on A/C (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28970413)

That's actually a designed feature. Maximum CPU usage is a terrible drain on environmental resources, and the extra heat generated by the CPU contributes to global climate change. So to encourage users to use less CPU power (or to focus on using it in bursts rather than constantly keeping the CPU pegged, Apple used a slightly underpowered power supply.

I thought it was a joke too when I first heard it from my friend at Foxconn (who worked on the HW design with Apple). He told them they would have this problem (and could solve it with a very simply HW change), and they explained that this was a deliberate design decision. So sometimes what looks like a bug really isn't, especially when it comes to Apple.

Why Bootcamp with Win 7 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28970375)

I had thought that Windows 7 can handle EFI so booting on a MacBook should work without bootcamp. If that's the case, repartition the drive and just dual boot the sucker.

Re:Why Bootcamp with Win 7 (1)

macshome (818789) | more than 4 years ago | (#28970609)

All the BootCamp tool really does is partition the drive. You can just live partition the disk in Disk Utility and then install Windows, Linux, Whatever. The BIOS fakeout is something that is part of the EFI to begin with, not part of BootCamp.

driver issue (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28970377)

This is almost certainly a driver issue. Has Apple released any Windows 7 drivers for the hardware in their machines? Most other vendors have at the very least released generic or beta drivers. Sure, for the most part Macs are fairly generic now. But they still have specific hardware extensions that will need drivers (the dual gfx cards mentioned elsewhere are an example of this).

Yeah, Windows XP did this too (2, Interesting)

Octorian (14086) | more than 4 years ago | (#28970401)

Running Windows XP dual-boot on a MacBook Pro (what you people call "boot camp") also drains the battery a lot faster than OSX. I'm pretty sure Apple didn't put much effort into making sure all the hardware drivers worked anywhere near as well under Windows as they do in OSX. (additionally, I've seen display driver quirks and more iffy trackpad operation)

Re:Yeah, Windows XP did this too (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28970503)

Oh yeah, they're "those" people. You're not, obviously, even though you have a Mac yourself, and use Boot Camp, you're not one of "those" people who call software features by the name the manufacturer calls them, you wouldn't stoop "that" low, right? And anyway "those" people are weird and unsavory characters and you certainly wouldn't give the time of day to one of "those".

Stupid git.

Re:Yeah, Windows XP did this too (1)

Psyborgue (699890) | more than 4 years ago | (#28970917)

Most of the drivers are standard fare straight from Nvidia, intel, and RealTek. When I installed XP on my MBP I simply installed my own drivers. Works fine but battery life is decreased. I think that probably has to do something with the amount of processing offloaded by OSX onto the GPU.

Apple tactics (1, Insightful)

abigsmurf (919188) | more than 4 years ago | (#28970431)

1: have your OSX drivers switch between on board and dedicated GPU as needed.
2: Make the drivers for every other OS use the dedicated GPU constantly even if there's no real need.
3: Claim the sucky battery life is MS' fault and that their OS is poorly programmed

Re:Apple tactics (1)

140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) | more than 4 years ago | (#28970495)

What? Apple hired the ex Microsoftee who strategized to kill DR-DOS? The modus operandi is unmistakable!

Re:Apple tactics (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28970603)

Precisely. It sounds exactly like the DR-DOS "flaw".

Re:Apple tactics (1)

jeffasselin (566598) | more than 4 years ago | (#28970519)

You're assuming Windows CAN switch GPUs. Those that kind of feature exist on Windows-based laptops?

Re:Apple tactics (1)

macshome (818789) | more than 4 years ago | (#28970629)

Sure they do. Toshiba even ships triple GPU laptops with Windows.

It's Apple's job to find out. (4, Insightful)

mxh83 (1607017) | more than 4 years ago | (#28970443)

Apple and it's customers are the only losers if something doesn't work on the Macbook. Microsoft never claimed it would. This situation is very similar to the Palm Pre / Itunes fiasco. If you're a Palm Pre owner, just STFU if Itunes doesn't behave the way it should.

Re:It's Apple's job to find out. (1)

filesiteguy (695431) | more than 4 years ago | (#28970529)

I tend to agree.

I use Windows 7 regularly on my Ubuntu-powered laptop. The power management of my laptop handles the Windows 7 guest OS (running inside Virtual Box - http://www.perfectreign.com/stuff/2009/20090527_vbox_win7_70.jpg ) and have no issues with "draining battery."

Not specifically MacBook/Windows/BootCamp problem (3, Insightful)

amn108 (1231606) | more than 4 years ago | (#28970485)

The problem is not specific to Windows or MacBooks. Many developers code as if the only machines that will run their software are permanently el-grid-connected servers or workstations. Polling loops with insane timers (like 1000hz), and they also take the advice "don't optimize prematurely" to mean "don't optimize unless you are payed for it". Re-drawing the display even if it is not needed at all, copying data structures all over, etc. No wonder batteries drain.

In this case I believe all three are to blame - neither alone is the culprit - I mean Windows usually is compatible with real hardware enough to last couple-three hours on an average laptop battery doing average desktop stuff, MacBook is about the same. Probably BootCamp taking battery awareness too lightheartedly and/or unable to optimize for specific cases like virtualized Windows code running.

Re:Not specifically MacBook/Windows/BootCamp probl (5, Informative)

zysus (123604) | more than 4 years ago | (#28970863)

I write driver level embedded code for a living. Everything from bootstrapping embedded linux to SoC level power management.

Power management is usually the last thing to get done (if at all)... why? Because management usually sees it as icing on the cake. Attitudes are typically just make it work and we'll ship a bigger battery to make it last. Or we'll ship an upgrade in 6 months, if the product starts to take off and we decide to fund further development.

Time to market is everything.

Power management is also really hard to get right 100% of the time. It's really hard to debug code/hardware where stuff is shutting itself off, or worse, a controller uP is shutting you off unexpectedly.

It has NOTHING to do with 'bad code' or 'shitty programmers'. It's just management grinding down on the engineers to do it: better, faster, cheaper, pick two. Usually faster and cheaper win.

This is Apple afterall... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28970617)

Keep in mind this is Apple we're dealing with and we know how vicious they can get when someone tries to step in and actually compete on one of their platforms. My bets on a line of code in the bios that says something like (in pseudocode of course):

if(OS.isMicrosoft()) drainBattery;

Re:This is Apple afterall... (1)

Savage-Rabbit (308260) | more than 4 years ago | (#28971005)

Keep in mind this is Apple we're dealing with and we know how vicious they can get when someone tries to step in and actually compete on one of their platforms. My bets on a line of code in the bios that says something like (in pseudocode of course):

I won't necessarily argue with the fact that Apple can get vicious, when dealing with iPhone/iPod developers via the AppStore they can often take that extra step to being downright stupid as well. Even some of the developers who are assigned bug reports form their bug tracking software could do with some lessons in manners when dealing with customers who go out of their way to report bugs in Apple software. But BootCamp and the associated drivers were made by Apple. If the fact that Windows runs on OS X really bothered Apple that much they would have killed BootCamp long ago. Not that it would do them much good. If they killed BootCamp you would probably have half a dozen software companies and FOSS projects stepping in to provide replacements in a matter of months necessitating a followup campaign of strongly worded nastygrams from Apples legal weasels. Personally I rather doubt this will ever happen. The most likely explanation for these BootCamp performance problems is not a grand conspiracy but rather the simple fact that the Windows BootCamp drivers get a lot less attention development effort from Apple's developers than their OS X equivalents do. I doubt that if the situation was reversed, that Microsoft would be in any hurry to make sure their OS X drivers were as good and highly optimized as their Windows drivers.

A true scandal (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28970619)

I did get that right: people buy overpriced MacBooks, specifically designed to run Apple's OS software and complain that those tricky, low-level power savings features won't work when running Windows on it? Correct? This really is a scandal, especially when you consider Apple's long history of efforts to prevent their customers from lock in on their products.

Re:A true scandal (1)

prionic6 (858109) | more than 4 years ago | (#28970795)

Almost correct. They buy it, then complain when power-saving features won't work in an unreleased OS with driver support in beta (if any).

idea (1)

shentino (1139071) | more than 4 years ago | (#28970723)

Seeing as both Windows 7 and VMWare are affecting things, maybe virtualization and power saving just aren't all that compatible.

I blame intel for this one.

I think I know the reason, disk (4, Interesting)

Ilgaz (86384) | more than 4 years ago | (#28970813)

On latest gen (nv9300 based) Mac Mini, I have installed Win7 64bit. It installed all the drivers and even clever to figure mainboard driver giving direct link to nvidia driver exe which is absolutely a very serious risk but anyway...

The ATA chipset driver is missing from Win7 since Apple didn't really put nv9300 chipset in exact way. So, it falls down to non DMA generic MS driver. Every single byte transferred to/from disk is guaranteed to use massive CPU along with horrible (down to 15MB/sec from 70MB/sec under OS X) slowness.

So, if Macbooks have similar issue with Windows 7, it could be same issue. As they are battery powered, it would be visible in battery life too.

BTW, there is no point testing Windows 7 until Apple releases boot camp for Windows 7. Apple computers aren't really PCs. If MS was really clever and wanted Windows 7 to be _really_ tested, they should have printed a very clear privacy policy on screen and actually make machine report all kinds of anonymous stats. That way, they could really figure what is going on. For example, a core duo powered 2009 machine shouldn't really max to 15mb/sec with a SATA 2 drive.

I couldn't even find something similar to bugreporter.apple.com when I wanted to report issues. All I saw is a stupid forum which beginner level MS engineers are monkeying with templates. They even made their own wrong answer as 'answer to the issue' while it would create massive compatibility problems in one occasion.

One difference I've noticed (1)

GrahamCox (741991) | more than 4 years ago | (#28970841)

My wife uses a MacBook Pro and switches between Vista and OS X with Boot Camp (mostly using Vista). When the computer is idle in Vista, I've noticed it quite often thrashing the hard disk for many, many minutes and repeats this at intervals, like every half hour or so. On OS X, it never does this - sleep is sleep and the thing is always quiet. I wonder is this behaviour (whatever it's for) is the cause of the power drain?

100% Windows (0)

Murdoch5 (1563847) | more than 4 years ago | (#28970861)

The cause is Windows it's self. If it doesn't happen with Mac or Linux then it's not hardware it's software.

VM OS X in Windows 7 (1)

PishiGorbeh (737623) | more than 4 years ago | (#28970985)

I have been running OS X 10.5.2 in VMware workstation on a Dell Latitude D630 running Windows 7 for the last couple of months and typically get 2.5 - 3 hours of battery life. I usually consider memory to be an important factor related to using VMware and maximizing battery life since constantly utilizing the hard disk for VM memory takes a lot of juice from the battery, Given how expensive a resonable amount of memory can be for new a Mac book (4 GB +) I'd guess that most mac users don't have enought. I pesonally use 8 GB.
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