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Thread: MB Pro 17" stops charging when using GPU

  1. #1

    Member Since
    Jun 01, 2011
    Unhappy MB Pro 17" stops charging when using GPU
    My brand new MbPro 17" (2011) stops charging when I use a game that uses the GPU.
    Using pmset -g rawlog I can see it simply stop the Magsafe 85W power adapter.
    Calling Apple tells me this is normal when the GPU and CPU uses more that 85W. But the it is not possible to really use the Mb Pro if there is not enough power to it. Obviously it continues to run on batteries but this will not last long.
    (it actually stops the power adapter - not just uses the remaining from battery but runs solely on batteries).

    I've tried measuring the input to the Magsafe 85W and it goes to apprx 95W and then it is turned off.

    Have any of you experienced this?

    Ps. Game is Civ 5.

  2. #2

    Dysfunction's Avatar
    Member Since
    Mar 17, 2008
    Tucson, AZ
    Nope, I haven't run into that.. a 15", but same GPU I believe. I agree that it is possible to overrun the power load, but one would think that it'd simply stop charging and use DC in. Course, could it be enough to overrun the DC in and need extra power from the battery? How slowly is the battery draining?
    This machine kills fascists
    Got # ? phear the command line!

  3. #3

    Member Since
    Jun 01, 2011
    When this happens it turns off the power supply and this at a time where the power usage is high (that's why it is turned off) so the battery is down to perhaps 1-2 hours. Now the problem is that as soon it fx. goes down to 90% battery level it will start charging the battery when it thinks the power usage is low enough to both charge and run the Mb.
    However, charging uses about 70W and having a 85W power supply makes only 15W available to run the Mb. This is about the amount the MB uses when it is idle (that is running with LCD open and HDD running but in essence no programs)

    So when the game has been using more that 85W for just 5 minutes, the battery needs charging but this never happens as long as nearly anything is running.

    If your 15" Mb pro is charging have you tried to do something heavy just for the CPU (no GPU).

    Also - do you have access to a power meter and can tell me your power usage when
    - charging
    - GPU intensive
    - CPU intensive


  4. #4

    Dutchlimits's Avatar
    Member Since
    Dec 24, 2010
    If the notebook is brand new, return it, let them fix it. You've got warrenty!
    Life longer, save some headache, get yourself a mac

  5. #5

    Member Since
    Jun 01, 2011
    I've got an open ticket with Apple so let's see. At the moment they say it's by design - so if any of you are able to generate load both on CPU and GPU to check if you can have the Magsafe turn off it would be nice.
    Also, if anyone has a power meter and can tell me how much power just charging the 17" MBP consumes (mine draws around 70W)

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