Battery Life Part 2: Battery Boost Functionality (cont’d), Traditional Battery Tests

Continuing our Battery Boost testing from the last page…

StarCraft II

Battery Boost OFF:

Just 49 minutes of runtime is likely to do you in even quicker than a Zerg rush.  Fortunately, with Battery Boost ON:

…a 120% increase in runtime is achieved.  That’s more like it!

Metro 2033

One last candidate, just for the sake of argument and exploration.  Metro 2033 is hardly an easy game to run on max settings even today.  As we’ll see on our next page, even while plugged in, the built-in Subway benchmark only produced 67 fps on average.  It’s safe to assume that under the circumstances, Battery Boost’s effects would be minimal here.

Battery Boost OFF:

And ON:

As expected, that’s a difference of just 7 minutes—just a 12% increase.

So what’s the verdict?  First of all, the important part: Battery Boost works.  Unlike during our testing with the GTX 880M in the GT70, it functioned as intended in all of the games we threw its way, and in most cases, it increased runtimes by at least 60%.  That’s substantial to say the least, even if its effects are likely to diminish somewhat as games become more demanding in coming years (since the margin for reduction in frame rates above 30 will be slimmer).  However, GeForce Experience also exists to help narrow that gap somewhat by automatically dialing back the settings accordingly. It truly is a valuable proposition if you ever find yourself in a situation where you’ll be playing unplugged for a reasonable period of time.

Traditional Battery Tests

Rounding out our extensive battery testing on the GT72 are our conventional battery tests: namely, the Battery Eater Pro Classic Test (max load, average brightness, all timeouts disabled), Reader’s Test (minimum load), and finally, our web surfing test, where we refresh a static web page at regular intervals.

It’s worth noting that the GT72 no longer features Optimus technology, opting instead for a physical button (along the left side of the keyboard among the rest) which switches between dedicated and integrated GPU.  These tests were performed with the dedicated GPU on, however, so bear in mind that one could likely eke a bit more runtime out of the machine with the integrated GPU operating in its place.  Switching it off is useful, but it’s also more of a pain than you might expect: you actually have to reboot the machine for it to kick in, which means that many people probably won’t even bother.

First, the Classic Test results:

Reader’s Test:

That’s pretty much what we expected from the hulking GT72, and it’s certainly nothing special in the realm of runtimes.  The Reader’s test results are actually below those from the GT70, primarily due to the loss of Optimus (if we tested the GT72 with integrated graphics enabled, we could expect similar values to the GT70’s).  But, as we said in our GT70 review, if you’re judging this machine based on its battery life during general use, you’re judging it for the wrong reasons.  This baby would have serious problems fitting in a bag and could barely stand a trip on a plane (could you image this on a tray table?).  A more likely scenario is that the laptop is accompanying you to the porch to play some games or do some web browsing—where if you happen to run low on power, you can simply trek back into the kitchen and find an outlet.  Odds are no one’s complaining about a three-ish hour maximum runtime under those circumstances anyway.

Still, for sake of context, here’s how these values stack up:

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