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It is utterly unfair to compare Windows on a Mac laptop. Regular Windows-compatible (OEM/designed-for/Logo'ed) machines have something called "ACPI Tables" -- you can read about it on Wikipedia. The short version of the lesson here is that Windows uses a power management driver (from Intel/AMD) + its own power management engine that reads the ACPI tables in order to determine what the platform CAN do, what it SHOULD do, and interfaces with the firmware (and even battery controller) to decide how and when to save power. The reason Windows does this is because it can theoretically run on any x86-compatible machine in the world, each with its own clock domains, power curves, down to the capacitors used and their capabilities for short/fast power transitions. Mac laptops are 100% designed in-house by Apple. Their ACPI tables are mostly empty. Windows has no idea what to do, and does its best using generic algorithms. Note that I'm talking about Windows 8+ here. Windows 7 introduced a bunch of timer improvements, but still had issues with idleness. Windows 8 finally started addressing those, but only on "Connected Standby" systems, such as Surface RT. Windows 8.1 is a lot more forceful about it. Vista on a Mac (or XP) is terrible because the OS sucked at power saving, period. But now it's no longer really the OS' fault. Try Windows 8.1 on a designed-for-Windows/Connected-Standby machine. You'll get 12+ hours. It's ironic that Mavericks is introducing the same Win7/8 technologies to the desktop OS, that should actually help battery life a lot (it certainly did on Windows).
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Oct 21, 2013