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Battery Drain On Charge While Rendering (Mac Book)




Im in an on going process with support at apple with the battery on my Mac Book Pro drains whilst its plugged in when rendering in VW.

After 10 months of back and forth they're now suggesting its the 3rd party developers issue (VW) and not the Mac book yet I can't replicate it on other all be it older Mac Books in our studio 


Has anyone heard of or experienced anything like this?

Thanks in advance


Edited by nathanhesslewood
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It is not uncommon that PC laptops have relatively small chargers (for mobility)

that do not always provide enough or as much power as the system may

take in extreme conditions.

Like playing tripple A Games or .... Rendering.

Then the battery may drain although charging.


Which isn't an issue in 99,5 % of use cases, which it is optimized for.


Haven't heard it for Macbooks so far but wouldn't wonder if it could happen

for these too. Not very likely that your power supply would be defective and

offering less power than it should. More likely that it wouldn't work at all

or get too hot.

Steve Jobs may have said you are holding it wrong ...

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I've tried new chargers too,  including the new 96w charger and replicated it. The lowest I have got it is in the 85% region, Its not impacting work flow yet......


If thats the limitation of a laptop I'll accept that but to me at least a "pro" laptop, it should throttle its self down to account for that. I suppose the worry is it gets a lot worse and I start loosing work 



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Not that I think it is good that way.

I heard about battery draining when power supply connected

since only about a few years. For PCs and not Macbooks so far.


57 minutes ago, nathanhesslewood said:

it should throttle its self down to account for that.


That would be a nice idea.


57 minutes ago, nathanhesslewood said:

I suppose the worry is it gets a lot worse and I start loosing work 


Theoretically. If your battery gets weaker over time it would drain more

during the same duration. Which could be too short to complete a render.


2 hours ago, nathanhesslewood said:

After 10 months of back and forth they're now suggesting its the 3rd party developers issue (VW)


Hmmh, yes, hmmh.

I think we are all happy that VW's Cinerender uses all CPU power and cores

to render as fast as possible.

I would see it as 


1 hour ago, nathanhesslewood said:

If thats the limitation of a laptop I'll accept that


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  • Vectorworks, Inc Employee

I have seen this before with other applications when pushing the Mac hard fro a long period of time.

Make sure you plug the charger directly into Macbook, no hubs or adapters.

Use one of the connectors towards the rear.


If you search around you will find recommendations from some people on which ports to use for power and which ones to use for data because of the architecture of the boards. From experience it's been passing power thru a hub that has caused most of the issues.

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Ah, and additionally to what @klinzeysaid,


You have to care about the USB C cables.

There is no real standard for these and some of them are limited

in power transmission. Some are even only able to transfer data.

The different prices of these cables sometimes have reasons.


(But I am sure Apple Support already asked you about using only

genuine Apple USB C loading cable)

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Tested on all ports, no hubs, 3 power adaptors, all official apple. 


Doesn't replicate on older 2016 MacBook Pros with smaller battery and smaller power supplies.


Plan is to try see if I can stress it hard enough with aftereffects render and see if it replicates there but so far VW rendering is the only thing that it happens in. Apple have sent to their engineering team but depending on who I talk to, some people at apple think even with no battery it should get enough power from the charger and others just say the app is using too much power.

Thanks for your input 

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After more back and forth with apple, I managed to get them to stress test it


It really depends who you speak to; some people say thats the limitation of a laptop some suggest its a fault. However apple did stress test it and found NO faults. That does offer me some solace that at least it's not a battery issue where as it degrades its going to get worse, at least not faster then it should. I'm hopefully not going to end up in a situation where its useless as soon as the warrantee is up.


It might be a consideration for someone who who does a lot of rendering and thinking about vs portability, it's not effected my work flow yet in a year of use. 

The only other app I've replicated it on is Zwift if anyone knows what that is, but as @zoomer points out I think we can all be happy that VW uses the entire of the Cine render power 

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