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I didn't think I would write an article about it, but now it has come to that. Apple seems to have solved the battery problem with laptops so well that I have to compulsively torment the battery with apps to get it empty.
The background to my desire for an empty battery is that I have to test batteries every now and then, which can also be used for the portable Macs. To test this, I usually empty my MacBook Pro to 50 or 60 percent and then plug in the power bank once when the Mac is asleep and once when I'm using the Mac.
Most batteries just managed to keep my Intel MacBook Pro at the same battery level. Charging it during operation, on the other hand, hardly ever works, because the power banks would have to be able to deliver at least 40 to 50 watts of output power.
The new Mac models with the Apple Silicon processor turn the world a bit upside down, because they work extremely efficiently and deliver groundbreaking performance.
As a result, I run into the problem that my MacBook Pro is not that easy to discharge. While I just used my old MacBook Pro with the Intel processor with Parallels Desktop and Windows to bring it to half the battery in no time at all, the new MacBook Pro with Apple Silicon processor has to work really hard.
In normal operation, in which I only use the text editor, for example, the laptop only consumes two to three watts, which is really extremely economical. With this consumption it is of course difficult to reach 50 percent battery level.
Now I was looking for a way to get the battery quickly from 100 to 50 percent - on the autopilot. A well-established technique is that you open a video program like iMovie and then export video snippets that lasted for hours.
This works, but I don't have a lot of video on my Mac or a lot of disk space to give away to render new videos. So new ideas had to be found.
At some point I got the idea that you can run iOS apps on the new Macs. And I still vaguely remembered that the app "Frax HD“Has pulled the iPad battery properly.
The app makes great fractals and generates - although it works extremely quickly and efficiently - a high processor load.
To keep the M1 processor of the MacBook Pro running, it is best to click on the Frax logo above and then select "Frax Flow" in the menu. As a result, the app constantly changes the presets and plays short sequences of Mandelbrot and Julia quantities, whereby the section moves and you zoom in or out at the same time.
An amazing achievement when you consider that my old C64 used to take half an hour to compute an image - and that with a resolution that easily surpasses the Apple Watch. And today you can fly through the fractals in real time and the processor is still only lukewarm.
With the promotion, I have already risen in consumption from 3 watts to around 15 watts. In addition, this method has the advantage that it can run for an unlimited period of time.
15 watts is pretty good to get the battery down, but more is better. For this reason I have installed another app that also shows fractals in motion and performs these calculations "live".
In the App Store, the corresponding app is called "Magic Fractals & Shapes 3D", But when installed it shows up as" Fractals 3D "in the app list.
If you are wondering how I run iOS apps on the MacBook Pro: This is an advantage of the Apple Silicon computers, because this processor is based on the A14 iPad and iPhone processors and can therefore also run apps that are designed for them Devices have been programmed.
In "Fractals 3D" you now set the textures to "Texture + Reflection" and the quality to "Ultra" in the options. With the last point in the left row of points in the window, you can now increase the zoom level so that the screen is filled with the fractal.
Now check the power consumption with the recommended app Coconut Battery, then you end up with the very good value of 20 watts.
Since I still had a small free corner on the screen, I thought that a YouTube video would certainly not have a positive effect on power consumption (in my case, it would have a positive effect on the worse). So that I don't have to constantly click on something new, I have chosen a long video: "4K UHD 10 hours - Earth from Space & Space Wind Audio - relaxing, meditation, nature".
Through the action I was able to increase the energy consumption again and ended up with about 25 watts. My Intel MacBook Pro consumes that when I just read a website, but the Apple Silicon MacBook Pro was really a tough nut to crack.
What you shouldn't forget of course (which I missed at first): The screen of the MacBook Pro also consumes a bit of power. For this reason, it is advisable to set this to maximum brightness if you want to use a lot of energy.
After what felt like an eternity, I even managed to get my MacBook Pro 13 inch down to about 60 percent battery charge and was able to test the power bank. In this case it was that Satechi Quatro Wirelesswhich is a very exciting thing for Apple users with Apple Watch, iPhone and Apple Silicon MacBook.
Do you also have good battery killers in stock? If so, I would be interested to know what would you recommend to drain the battery of my MacBook Pro. I'm curious!
Jens has been running the blog since 2012. He appears as Sir Apfelot for his readers and helps them with problems of a technical nature. In his free time he drives electric unicycles, takes photos (preferably with his iPhone, of course), climbs around in the Hessian mountains or hikes with the family. His articles deal with Apple products, news from the world of drones or solutions for current bugs.