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Model A1286. Released February 2011 / 2.0, 2.2, or 2.3 GHz Quad-core Intel Core i7 Processor

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How to force thermal/battery 0.8Ghz throttling

Hello, I've had an issue after replacing my battery with a 3rd party one where the processor would slow down to 0.8Ghz. I ended up fixing the problem (by plugging in the new battery while the system was running powered from the charger) but now I was thinking, is there a way to force the underclocking of the CPU? I've noticed how when I had the issue, the mac was using way less energy before I realised about the lagginess. Which means I can still use it normally for easy tasks and extending the battery life quite a bit.

I've already tried turbo boost switcher but that does only limit the CPU frequency to 2.8ghz which is the stock speed and still capable of using quite a bit of energy.

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You remind me on what early Prius owners would do! It was madding being behind one we would collectively crawl across the intersection as they wanted to build speed up slowly and they often didn’t get to the stop line instead coasting to the stop sign. On the street or highway we would often have to slow down to the posted speed no matter the traffic. Trying to maximize there distance.

Apples SMC logic is designed to protect your system it’s not really designed to run in CPU at this lower clocking.

OK, how to maximize my run time? Your Mac has two GPUs! The engine within the CPU and the AMD discrete GPU. I would disable using the AMD when power is at a premium. Reducing/removing add-ons apps running also helps. But, the biggest is swapping out the HDD for a SSD.

If plugging it is so difficult look for external battery systems. While hard to find now for this series as the market has moved on you might find one online. When I was supporting a sizable engineering firm we had I think 30 of them. We even had UPSs for the site buildings to smooth out the generator power and offer a bit of extra time when the gas generator ran out of gas.

But just like the early Prius owners, maybe it’s time to jump to a newer system which out of the gate offers twice the run time without having to go into the extreme Power economization you are trying here.

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Hi Dan, thank you for the response.

I didn't mention that I've already disabled the GPU permanently as it had the same fault that batch is famous for, that saves some energy I'd think but anyway it's not that I'm faced with a real battery issue.

I was just curious to see if there was something as easy as a terminal command to put the computer in this low power state, since it happens automatically when the laptop gets to 5% battery.

I'm generally ok with how long the battery lasts (about 3h of light use) but any more I can squeeze out of it the better. For how old is this laptop it's still working pretty fine so I probably wont be upgrading anytime soon!


@alexwfm - how did you go about it?


Unfortunately I still haven't found a solution for forcing the laptop into low battery mode. Regarding disabling the GPU a guy from the Netherlands sold a kit called GPUzapper IIRC, something you'd solder onto the logicboard that somehow forces the mac to use the intel GPU.


@alexwfm - Sadly, there is no way to alter the CPU’s clocking manually in older Mac Laptops.

I was mostly interested on the method you used to disable the dGPU. As that might not alter its power draw.


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