OS X Mavericks

I've waited a little while before posting about Mavericks because I wanted to investigate what to me is it's most interesting feature: battery efficiency. Since I switched from a desktop PC to a MacBook it's become a little more important to me. Apples's battery estimates are known to be a little on the conservative side, while also being impressive. When I bought my original 2012 MacBook Pro with retina display I was getting about dead on the estimated seven hour battery life. This was with battery-eating features such as time machine backups, power nap on battery power and generous 'until sleep' settings enabled. I was very impressed.

Of course, the majority of what my MacBook does is wifi communication and text rendering. I do not heavily challenge the battery life in terms of use. So my usage and power efficiency settings would seem to settle pretty favourably. When my MacBook was replaced earlier this year due to a fault, netting a minor processor upgrade, the battery performance remained about the same.

Mavericks employs a number of energy efficiency tricks:

  • It deprives applications of excessive resources when they are not actively being used.
  • It uses timer coalescing to maximise the split-second pauses in processor activity.
  • It doesn't automatically play rich content in website sidebars (on Safari).
  • There are some technical improvements to media playback.
  • Memory compression is utilised to avoid swap file usage.

I've never been short of battery life, but this is one instance where more is most definitely better. Since upgrading to Mavericks my average battery life is peaking at around nine hours. This one improvement alone has been worth the upgrade for me.

I am impressed.