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Reduced battery time on MBP with new SSD

 
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Fox
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 26, 2012 5:21 am    Post subject: Reduced battery time on MBP with new SSD Reply with quote

I recently purchased a Corsair Force 240gb SSD and installed it on my 13" MBP (2.24ghz, mid-2009, running latest version of Lion). I picked out this SSD specifically because it is better than most in power consumption (at least according to tests), but it seems to be actually decreasing my battery life, by 30-60 minutes, relative to the Seagate momentus 7200.4 320gb drive that I replaced it with. I installed and activated Trim Enabler, but other than that, the software is the same as that previously used on the Seagate drive. I examined running programs with Activity Monitor, and saw no unusual activity that would obviously drive up energy consumption. With the Corsair SSD, I not only notice the faster access times, but also that the MBP runs cooler and quieter, with the fan rarely going on. That should indicate reduced energy use, but that doesn't seem to be the case. I'm wondering whether the increased energy use is the cost of putting a non-Apple SSD into a MBP, or whether there are some settings I can tinker with that would reduce energy use by the SSD. Can anyone out there with an SSD in their Mac portable share their experience, or suggest a solution. If there isn't one, I'm inclined to put back the Seagate and put the SSD in my 2011 mini.
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Mini 1 (2011): 2.3 ghz Core i5; 8 gb RAM, Corsair 240gb SSD, 500 gb Seagate XT
Mini 2 (2009): 2.26 ghz Core 2 duo, 8 gb RAM, 500 gb Seagate used as HTPC
Also a Cube, 13" MacBook Air, 20" 2.66 ghz iMac & 11.6" Acer 1810TZ running Ubuntu & Crunchbang
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Rightondamark
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 27, 2012 4:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Check out this article if you haven't already.

http://blog.alutam.com/2012/04/01/optimizing-macos-x-lion-for-ssd/

I achieved slightly (+ 5% tops) longer battery life with a Samsung SSD by turning off hibernation and sleep. I also turned of TM snapshots, but I'm not really sure if that made a difference. I was actually more concerned about wear and tear on the drive.

Also take in mind, like you mentioned, that some SSDs hit the power hard. They do run at full blast and don't throttle.
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Fox
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 28, 2012 6:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the reference, Rightondamark. I recently read a similar article, and have now set noatime and turned off Trim Enabler for the moment. With the possible exception of hibernation mode, which I will try. I just bought a battery utility that records amount of time on battery, so now I have a better way to gauge the effects of the SSD on power usage. I will record my battery time for two cycles and if it seems low, I will put back in the mechanical drive and do the same.
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Mini 1 (2011): 2.3 ghz Core i5; 8 gb RAM, Corsair 240gb SSD, 500 gb Seagate XT
Mini 2 (2009): 2.26 ghz Core 2 duo, 8 gb RAM, 500 gb Seagate used as HTPC
Also a Cube, 13" MacBook Air, 20" 2.66 ghz iMac & 11.6" Acer 1810TZ running Ubuntu & Crunchbang
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Grasshopper
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 28, 2012 11:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Is a return possible Fox? If so, I have read that the 830 series drives from Samsung and the 330 series drives from Intel do very well on power consumption. I cannot verify this completely, but I do have the 256GB model from Samsung running in a 2011 Mac mini server. I did a lot of research on this drive before buying and read many positive reviews from MacBook Pro owners. I also happened to get one hell of a deal from Newegg. $189 out the door after applying a $60 promo code.
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Fox
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 28, 2012 11:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the reply, Grasshopper. I looked up reviews of the Samsung 830 and came up with one from Anandtech that monitored power consumption. Not so good in that department. However, I used the same criterion to pick the Corsair, which registered among the best for low power consumption (I can't remember where I saw that review), and that was one of my main criteria for picking it. Of course all these reviews are done on Windows boxes, and they may not be reflective of their performance/power consumption in OSX. And unfortunately, no reply I have received in any of the three forums where I posed my question has come from a Mac owner talking about power consumption with an SSD in his/her MB.

Fortunately, when I bought the Corsair, I didn't buy it for any particular Mac, and the MBP is the easiest to install it in for I tried that first. Other than my suspicion of reduced battery life, I really like it in the MBP - runs much cooler and faster. Now I am committed to a proper assessment of its effect on battery runtime. To do this, I purchased Battery Logger from the App Store ($2), as it records actual runtime on the battery between charges, as well as time sleeping. I'll assess this over two battery cycles, then put my mechanical drive back in and do the same. If the result is a loss of battery time that I can't live with, my 2011 mini gets the SSD. In the meantime, I continue to be interested in hearing from anyone with SSD experience in a Mac laptop as to what they can do to reduce battery energy consumption.
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Mini 1 (2011): 2.3 ghz Core i5; 8 gb RAM, Corsair 240gb SSD, 500 gb Seagate XT
Mini 2 (2009): 2.26 ghz Core 2 duo, 8 gb RAM, 500 gb Seagate used as HTPC
Also a Cube, 13" MacBook Air, 20" 2.66 ghz iMac & 11.6" Acer 1810TZ running Ubuntu & Crunchbang
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Grasshopper
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 28, 2012 12:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Fox wrote:
To do this, I purchased Battery Logger from the App Store ($2), as it records actual runtime on the battery between charges, as well as time sleeping.

Battery Logger sounds like an interesting app. I'll have to read more about it.

I didn't see that review on AnandTech. It doesn't look like it tested very well against the other drives in power consumption. That being said, the other drives were only 256GB. The 830 series they tested was 512GB, so it probably uses slightly more power anyways. I guess unless it's totally based on the controller. I'm totally new to the SSD game, so your guess is as good as mine.

I absolutely love this drive though. It's made such an improvement in my Mac mini paired with 8GB of RAM. Like night and day.

If the tests results bear out and you can improve battery life, please post the method for future reference. I've been thinking about buying a used or refurbished 2011 MacBook Pro. And based on these results with the 830, I can't imagine not wanting to upgrade to a SSD at some point.
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richardtj
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 08, 2012 8:12 am    Post subject: Re SSD Reply with quote

Of course, it suddenly dawns on me that the blog post makes some pretty good sense. The SSD doesn't have sudden motion sensing built in and really doesn't need to be put to sleep either. The part though that really got my attention was the RAM disk, which Hadn't seen since the Powerbook 1xx series (boot from System 6, dump it into a RAM disk and re-boot the mac into the ram disk itself, saving battery power and making the powerbook stay alive for 5 hours..... Don't think this is really the same idea though.
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macmanmacman
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 08, 2012 12:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sounds like the issue t me if the drive cannot be placed into sleep mode to save battery life then your hard drive or ssd will suck the heck outta the battery
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