One of the big differences between my old 13-inch MacBook Air and (fairly new) 15-inch Retina MacBook Pro was the predictability of battery usage.
The MacBook Air lasts between 4-5 hours. The Retina MacBook anywhere between 3-5 hours.
I finally found out the cause: Chrome, Remote Desktop and VMware Fusion will often (VMware fusion immediately) switch to the discrete NVIDIA GeForce GT 650M graphics. Which uses a lot more battery (but less memory) than the integrated Intel HD 4000. Though both can drive the retina display at 2800×1600 (see Retina MacBook Pro Pushes the Limits of its Graphics Capabilities – Mac Rumors) the latter is better suited for the road warrior.
But still having the need for Chrome, Remote Desktop and VMware Fusion, I wanted a way to block switching to discrete graphics.
Luckily, quite a few sites describe how to do that:
- How to Change Retina MacBook Pro Graphics Processors Manually @ EveryMac.com.
- Retina MacBook Pro: maximizing battery life with gfxCardStatus | Ars Technica.
The all come down to installing gfxCardStatus by cody krieger.
Steps to force integrated graphics: Read the rest of this entry »