It took me some time to understand why my new Mac Powerbook was only getting about 2.5 hours of battery life. After spending sometime searching thru the results of numerous Google searches I came across an explanation that mentioned that Google Chrome (and other applications as well) automatically switch the graphics card into the discrete, high performance graphics mode. This means that even though I had set the Energy Saver to use “Automatic graphics switching” in order to improve battery life, the graphics card was automatically being set to use the more power intensive AMD Radeon card, bypassing the lower power consuming internal Intel graphics card.
I came across a utility called gfxCardStatus that allows you to control that behavior and monitor the current graphics card mode.
Many thanks to Cody Krieger for developing this very useful utility. This simple utility has allowed me to extend my battery life up to around 6 hours, freeing me from having to carry around a power adapter. Well worth the $5 donation I made for this app.
I imagine that Apple will eventually get around to improving the settings on the Energy Saver system preferences to allow for a user to specify the graphics card mode for the Battery versus the Power Adapter setting. It should be as simple as allowing the user to specify the preference as: Integrated - Low Power Mode, Discrete - High Performance, High Power Mode, and Automatic graphics switching.
#in Not to be contrarian, but if I want to launch google+, I want to type google+.com but I know that won’t work. I’ve been programmed to type google.com when I want to search, and Gmail.com when I want to email, and [something].google.com when I want to do [something]. So do I want to plus.google.com or do I want to circle.google.com? I’m thinking facebook.google.com would be more appropriate.