Boinc will drain battery on plugged in Mac Book

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Richard Damon

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Message 101733 - Posted: 23 Nov 2020, 23:34:18 UTC

I have a 2019 16" MacBook Pro Laptop. If I let Boinc just run on it, it runs the processor hard enough that the power supply can't keep up and the battery will drain, and sometimes just shutdown from a drained battery. I can turn down my CPU usage to prevent this, but I suspect that I am turning it too far down to keep it from every happening.

What I would like to do is to say that if it happens to pull the battery below say 80% then it should pause unit the battery recharges some, and it can then continue, but the only option available is to suspend when on battery, not when the battery is below x%.

It seems strange that by upgrading to a more powerful computer I am getting a lot less work being done as I need to throttle the processor so much.
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Bryn Mawr
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Message 101734 - Posted: 23 Nov 2020, 23:43:42 UTC - in response to Message 101733.  

I have a 2019 16" MacBook Pro Laptop. If I let Boinc just run on it, it runs the processor hard enough that the power supply can't keep up and the battery will drain, and sometimes just shutdown from a drained battery. I can turn down my CPU usage to prevent this, but I suspect that I am turning it too far down to keep it from every happening.

What I would like to do is to say that if it happens to pull the battery below say 80% then it should pause unit the battery recharges some, and it can then continue, but the only option available is to suspend when on battery, not when the battery is below x%.

It seems strange that by upgrading to a more powerful computer I am getting a lot less work being done as I need to throttle the processor so much.


Surely this is an Apple problem rather than a Boinc problem in that they’ve supplied a psu that’s not man enough for the job.
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Profile Dave

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Message 101739 - Posted: 24 Nov 2020, 6:42:54 UTC - in response to Message 101734.  

I would agree with Bryn that this is an Apple problem but would go further and suggest you ask Apple for a replacement PSU or if in UK ask for your money back as a PSU that can't cope in my book makes the goods not of "merchantable quality."
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Richard Damon

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Message 101776 - Posted: 25 Nov 2020, 21:32:32 UTC - in response to Message 101739.  

I asked them, and they confirmed that the System at full load can draw more power than the Charging cord can provide, and in this case the battery will drain. It is not expected that the laptop would be under these conditions for extended periods.

It may also be related to just how much power you can push through a USB-C cable, which is what the MacBook uses. I even tried plugging in TWO power sources, but that doesn't seem to help.
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Richard Haselgrove
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Message 101777 - Posted: 25 Nov 2020, 21:49:14 UTC - in response to Message 101776.  

Relying on wikipedia, "All USB-C cables must be able to carry a minimum of 3 A current (at 20 V, 60 W) but can also carry high-power 5 A current (at 20 V, 100 W)."

My current (non-Apple) laptop, purchased in early 2019, can run BOINC continuously from a 45W charger, well within that USB-C spec. It uses a more traditional power connector, though it also has a USB-C socket as well, for expansion peripherals.

You could explore the possibility of getting an after-market 100W charger and high-power cable?
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Bryn Mawr
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Message 101780 - Posted: 25 Nov 2020, 23:36:51 UTC - in response to Message 101776.  

I asked them, and they confirmed that the System at full load can draw more power than the Charging cord can provide, and in this case the battery will drain. It is not expected that the laptop would be under these conditions for extended periods.

It may also be related to just how much power you can push through a USB-C cable, which is what the MacBook uses. I even tried plugging in TWO power sources, but that doesn't seem to help.


I’d go back to them and ask what they intend to do about it and that “this is how it is” is not an acceptable answer.

That they “don’t expect you” to use the machine to it’s full capability is not a reason why it should not.
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ProDigit

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Message 101872 - Posted: 1 Dec 2020, 15:09:24 UTC

You could find replacement (grey market) chargers on the cheap on ebay or amazon.
Usually Apple designs their products to run 100% CPU or 100% GPU computations without running into that issue.
It only is an issue if you run both CPU and GPU at 100%, as Apple didn't anticipate this happening.
I bet this could be very frustrating for those who'd like to play modern games on their MacBooks...

You can reduce the amount of cores in BoincMgr, advanced settings, options, computing preferences; set CPU from 100% to 50% (essentially running 1 thread if your device is a dual core, or 2 threads if your device is a quad core).
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Bryn Mawr
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Message 101876 - Posted: 1 Dec 2020, 16:38:03 UTC - in response to Message 101872.  

You could find replacement (grey market) chargers on the cheap on ebay or amazon.
Usually Apple designs their products to run 100% CPU or 100% GPU computations without running into that issue.
It only is an issue if you run both CPU and GPU at 100%, as Apple didn't anticipate this happening.
I bet this could be very frustrating for those who'd like to play modern games on their MacBooks...

You can reduce the amount of cores in BoincMgr, advanced settings, options, computing preferences; set CPU from 100% to 50% (essentially running 1 thread if your device is a dual core, or 2 threads if your device is a quad core).


You wouldn’t buy a Ferrari and restrict it to half throttle, why accept it from Apple?
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robsmith
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Message 101877 - Posted: 1 Dec 2020, 16:55:57 UTC

Sadly I think this an "Apple knows best" situation. They have scaled their battery chargers for those that they perceive to be the "average user" - most users never really approach the peak power demand for extended periods of time. BOINC users are, in Apple's eyes, an aberrant species in that they are running their computers at near maximum power demands for extended periods of time.

(As someone who has driven a few super-cars very few of them will survive at full throttle for 24 hours a day, 7 days a week)
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Bryn Mawr
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Message 101880 - Posted: 1 Dec 2020, 23:21:17 UTC - in response to Message 101877.  

Sadly I think this an "Apple knows best" situation. They have scaled their battery chargers for those that they perceive to be the "average user" - most users never really approach the peak power demand for extended periods of time. BOINC users are, in Apple's eyes, an aberrant species in that they are running their computers at near maximum power demands for extended periods of time.

(As someone who has driven a few super-cars very few of them will survive at full throttle for 24 hours a day, 7 days a week)


Bah humbug - I expect my kit to work :-)
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Message boards : Questions and problems : Boinc will drain battery on plugged in Mac Book

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