Battery life with MacBook Pro M1 when using Lightroom Classic?

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HI everyone,
I am curious to know how long you can work on Lightroom Classic (rating photos, editing RAWs) on the new M1 Macbook Pros?

Reasoning of my question: I have kept using my late-2013 MabookPro 15in, with 16 GB RAM and 512 GB SSD, a solid configuration at the time.
However, I noticed my laptop won't last more than an hour if I am using LR Classic on the couch.
I concluded the battery was up for replacement, but the Apple folks diagnosed it was still very healthy!
In fact, having closed LR Classic I noticed I can easily work for 1 hour and burn only 5-6% of battery (wifi off, working on Microsoft OneNote and other utilities).

When I saw the new 14in and 16in M1 Pros, I thought the 17 and 21 hours battery life would really change my life when I am travelling and shooting at the same time...
but then I wonder how much these battery specs shorten when Lightroom Classic is being used.

Any return from experience would be much appreciated!
Nicolas
 
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When I saw the new 14in and 16in M1 Pros, I thought the 17 and 21 hours battery life would really change my life when I am travelling and shooting at the same time...
but then I wonder how much these battery specs shorten when Lightroom Classic is being used.

17–21 hours does not apply to photo and video editing. At the bottom of the Tech Specs page for the M1 Pro/M1 Max MacBook Pros, it says:

The wireless web test measures battery life by wirelessly browsing 25 popular websites with display brightness set to 8 clicks from bottom. The Apple TV app movie playback test measures battery life by playing back HD 1080p content with display brightness set to 8 clicks from bottom. Battery life varies by use and configuration.

So 17–21 hours applies to web browsing and video playback. Because of the video coprocessors in the M1 Pro/Max, it’s possible that not only might those tests be light on the CPU, they might be mostly handled on the low power efficiency cores of the CPU, and that is how you get to 17–21 hours.

Like many Adobe applications, Lightroom Classic is at the other end of system usage. It can and will push all the CPU cores — especially the high power performance cores — as far as they will go, especially during preview building and export. In the Develop module, it will engage the GPU, but probably doesn't max it out. It will also do a lot of reading and writing to storage, as it renders and retrieves previews and thumbnails, and as it uses the Camera Raw Cache in the Develop module. All of that takes more power. So the energy usage of Lightroom Classic will be significantly higher than the tests used for Apple marketing.

That said, you should not be discouraged. It’s actually good news. Apple Silicon is more efficient than the Intel CPU in a 2013 MacBook Pro, so you might expect to get a lot more Lightroom Classic battery life than you could on your 2013, though it’s hard to say how much more. It seems like the battery in my M1 Pro will let me do 5–6 hours of heavy photo or video editing, which is a lot better than any Mac laptop I have ever used before. Also, the M1 Pro/Max have much more powerful graphics hardware than you have in a 2013. But it’s so power-efficient that during heavy usage, it’s quieter than most older Mac laptops because it often does not generate enough heat to make the fans run fast and loud.

If you want the most battery life and your main thing is photo editing, stick with the M1 Pro. Lightroom Classic does not really take advantage of the additional GPU cores, video encoders/decoders, and memory bandwidth in the M1 Max…but they are a drag on battery life, lowering runtime even if you are not using those components.
 
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Thanks for this very helpful reply Conrad!
my M1 Pro will let me do 5–6 hours of heavy photo or video editing, which is a lot better than any Mac laptop I have ever used before.
Can i ask if you’re having this on a 14 or 16 inch?
 
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