MacBook: Heat, Noise, Battery Life

larry98765

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Hi All,

I own a 12" PowerBook G4, and as I'm sure you all know -- it gets LOUD, hot and has horrible battery life.

Since Apple hasn't posted battery life for the new MacBook Pro (even if they did, would I take it seriously?) does anyone have any predictions on this (and the noise and heat issues) based on what they might have read, heard or know, especially about the Intel processor.

Does its performance per watt imply that it would run cooler? Quieter? Longer?

For me, this would make or break my purchasing a MacBook.

Thanks in advance!
 

fryke

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Staff member
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Basically: We'll only know when production items actually ship. But Steve Jobs said in an interview that battery life should be around the same as for the PB 15".
With a screen that's 67% brighter, I expect you can dim it down a little and save a lot. Also, it surely depends on what you're actually doing. Like one commenter on that linked article said (similarly): Let it slow down the processor a little, dim the screen etc. and have the battery life the PB G4 gave you or more. But let it work at full pace and beat a dual G5 (in some aspects, at least) in a notebook form factor: That's okay with me.

I wonder, though, whether Apple can still improve so much about battery life in a month's time until these ship... My guess: Nope, not really.
 

larry98765

Registered
I originally assumed the whole performance-per-watt benefit of the Intel chip would equal improved battery life. But from what I'm reading, and Apple's ommission of battery life from their marketing, I'm less hopeful.

Buy yes, we'll just have to wait and see!
 

fryke

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I think it's a two-way thing... Steve Jobs showed that the G4 gave about "0.27" performance/watt (anyone else kinda weirded out by this "measure"?) and that the intel core duo would give about "1.0x" performance/watt. Now they say that the MacBook Pro is 4-5 times as fast as the last PB. If you calculate this out, it comes out as "same battery life, more performance" rather than "same performance, more battery life", doesn't it.

The important thing for Apple was to finally get the PowerBooks back to _speed_. For a long time, the iMac and the PowerBook were using the same processors (the iMac G4 times...) and were roughly comparable in performance. But when the iMac went G5, the PowerBook couldn't. This gap was too big, really, in my opinion, and the PowerBooks felt a bit like the Mac-left-behind when the iBook went to G4 processors, too! So now, they put the PowerBook (well, the MacBook Pro) back where it belongs: On par with the iMac (more or less). Battery life just had to be "okay", I guess.
 

larry98765

Registered
fryke said:
I think it's a two-way thing... Steve Jobs showed that the G4 gave about "0.27" performance/watt (anyone else kinda weirded out by this "measure"?) ...
Yeah, I raised my eyebrow when I heard him say that. I mean, 0.27 units of performance? What's the scale?

And my concerns are not just battery use, but heat (I could fry an egg on my 12" PB) and the din of the fan (like being in a wind tunnel).

I'd gladly sacrifice some performance for cool and quiet (yes, I do put my processor on lower performance.)
 

fpayne

Registered
I have a 3 month old 17" Power Book G4, one of the 'New' ones. It is my first venture into the Mac world after nearly 20 years with a PC. If it went well, I would move permanently, with the desk top machine as well. After just 3 months the Power book will soon be heading for the bin. It is slow, very slow compared to my low spec Windows laptop. But the heat, the subject of this thread is ridiculous. It is almost too hot to touch. Several times the machine has crashed simply becuase it is overheating. Anything which uses the superdrive, the hard disk and the processor at anywhere near capacity is a killer. The superdrive stops working when the machine is too warm and you cannot shut it down or get the CD/DVD out until it has cooled down.

On this basis, I don't think the PC industry has a lot to worry about. The next 12 months will tell while I am in South America with just the power book.

If anyone has ideas on how to keep this baby cool I would love to hear them ...... and I am not moving to Alaska for anybody. (no offence to any who lives there, but I need the sun)
 

ElDiabloConCaca

U.S.D.A. Prime
...and this has what to do with the new Intel-based MacBook Pro?

Sorry to hear that you're having so much trouble with the PowerBook -- it's certainly not the majority experience. It does sound like your PowerBook may be faulty -- at 3 months old, overheating and crashes due to hardware should not happen. The SuperDrive should work as advertised -- if it doesn't, then it's either user error or a hardware failure (and I don't think it's user error). Not being able to shut down is indeed another problem that shouldn't be happening.

You've got 9 months left on the warranty, and I would highly recommend returning the PowerBook for a replacement. I think your experience with a fully-functional, non-damaged PowerBook will be extremely different -- much better than your experience currently.

One thing I would try before sending it back is a complete format of the hard drive and reinstall of the operating system. Sometimes the pre-installed operating system has problems before you even open the box (happens to all of us: Windows, Linux, Mac OS X, etc.) -- it would be prudent to get in the habit of installing a fresh OS on any newly purchased computer simply for this reason alone, although it shouldn't be required, as in in your case. I would expect it to work fine out of the box, as would you, but sometimes it doesn't and it's as easy as reinstalling the OS.

Again, sorry to hear that your experience has been so bad.
 

fpayne

Registered
Not a lot I guess, but it was more in response to the issue of heat than anything else.
This is my first Mac and as such knew nothing about the OS or the machine itself. With new PCs a reinstall is always the first thing I do, but I thought I ought to find out what I was doing with this one first.
If it is a case of needing a replacement it is easier said than done. It was bought in San Francisco, it is now in Spain where there are very few Apple dealers. The only chance would be an Apple Store in the UK when I arrive there in three weeks. However I did buy the Applecare plan so I will get in touch with them.
I guess I'd better start backing things up
Thanks
 

fryke

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larry: Then I'd wait for the _iBook_ replacement. In the past few years, the iBooks weren't _that_ much behind the PowerBooks performance-wise, but they ran _much_ cooler and always had better battery life. *I* for one won't buy a MacBook Pro before I've seen the iBook's replacement at work.
 

larry98765

Registered
fryke said:
larry: Then I'd wait for the _iBook_ replacement. In the past few years, the iBooks weren't _that_ much behind the PowerBooks performance-wise, but they ran _much_ cooler and always had better battery life. *I* for one won't buy a MacBook Pro before I've seen the iBook's replacement at work.
You're right, it's worth considering if my main gripe is power consumption.

However, the PowerBooks are so much more solidly built. I find the iBooks flimsy compared the the aluminum models. Whenever I see an iBook in the store, there's invariably a key or two missing. Never seen that on a PowerBook.
 

fryke

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_that_ of course depends on how you're handling your notebooks yourself. ;) i guess that people in public stores have a little more respect when handling PowerBooks, so that might explain their state. ;) ... My girlfriend's using my old iBook 12" G3/800, a friend of mine's still using her iBook 12" G3/500 and they all still are fine.
 
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