Zoom Video Calls Drain Apple M1 MacBook Air Battery by Only 10-13% Per Hour

As more customers get their hands on the first Apple Silicon Macs, we continue to see some interesting performance and battery life tests surface based on real-world usage situations, with the latest including Zoom video calling.

zoom battery
MacRumors forum member "acidfast7_redux," who resides in the UK, spent most of their work day today on Zoom video calls using their new MacBook Air with the M1 chip and 8GB of memory. After a 2.5 hour video call, they say their battery life dropped by 17%, and after a second 36 minute video call, their battery life dropped by 7%, meaning that Zoom ultimately consumed roughly 10-13% of battery life per hour.

finishing the day at the office now:

09.11 to 17.25 (8h14m)
battery went from 100% down to 28%

time breakdown for the office part of the day was:

4h33m Zoom meetings (just closed Zoom for the first time since opening it this morning at 10.00)
3h01m web browsing / MS Office / emails
45m sleep (just closed lid and left the office)

These numbers are impressive given that Zoom has yet to introduce native support for Apple Silicon Macs, so the app is currently running through Apple's translation layer Rosetta 2 on Macs with the M1 chip. Zoom is known to be quite the battery hog on Intel-based Macs, so Apple Silicon's power efficiency gains will be much welcomed.

Over the last week, benchmarks and reviews have proven that the M1 chip lives up to Apple's hype, ranging from the new MacBook Air outperforming the high-end 16-inch MacBook Pro in multi-core Geekbench 5 results to the new Mac mini and 13-inch MacBook Pro compiling WebKit code as fast as a 2019 Mac Pro.

Apple revealed its plans to begin using its own chips in Macs at WWDC 2020 in June, promising industry-leading performance per watt. Apple expects the transition away from Intel processors to take about two years to be completed.

Top Rated Comments

DanielDD Avatar
8 months ago
This is my dream. I can finally have a 9 hour zoom meeting on a single charge.

Oh wait...
Score: 33 Votes (Like | Disagree)
tevion5 Avatar
8 months ago
So now I'll have no excuse to leave long meetings early? 2/10
Score: 32 Votes (Like | Disagree)
aesc80 Avatar
8 months ago


Attachment Image
Score: 16 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Serban55 Avatar
8 months ago

that is literally the biggest issue i'm dealing with right now on my intel macs, 2 mins into zoom call and my macbook sounds like a boeing 747 taking off.
yes, zoom on 16" mbp takes around 33%-34% battery after 45min non stop, no breaks...under M1 around 8-9% in the same 45min
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
apparatchik Avatar
8 months ago

The issue must have more to do with Zoom being inefficient, rather than the task of video conferencing being inherently taxing on computer systems, no?
Zoom is the worst, borderline malware. Inefficient, bloated, stealthy... I despise apps that require deep installation of God knows what and lack -by design- a lightweight client that can run from the DMG or a USB when all you're trying to do is quickly connect to a meeting.

I have zoom, microsoft teams, teamviewer, et al only on my iPhone, where I know they're strictly sanboxed and wont take over and install more crap than necessary... in case I need to share screen, I try to stick with the web client when available.
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
ilikewhey Avatar
8 months ago
that is literally the biggest issue i'm dealing with right now on my intel macs, 2 mins into zoom call and my macbook sounds like a boeing 747 taking off. i don't mind being apple beta tester if it means i don't have to sit next to outlet during zoom.
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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