Macbook Pro: GeForce 330M Always On in Windows 7

It looks like the Macbook Pro battery life “curse” under Windows is still haunting us, even with the most recent hardware release. The 2009 Macbook Pro had power management issues with the display (too bright) and the keyboard backlight (always on). Both issues have now beencorrected (yay!). However, it seems that on the new Macbook Pro (Spring 2010), the GeForce 330M graphics processor is “always on” and sucking power instead of leaving light rendering tasks to the low-power integrated Intel graphics module. Some of you would have loved to enjoy the benefits of Nvidia’s Optimus under Windows 7, but this is not hapenning – at least, not out of the box.

Update: the verdict is in: in my tests, Windows 7 can stay in Idle mode for about 5h, while OS X can get to almost 8h. It seems due to driver problems but so far, Apple has refused to comment on the situation.

Update 4/20: We’ve published our complete Macbook Pro Review

Obviously, I tried to install the latest GeForce 330M 197.16 drivers, but the GPU ID used in the Macbook Pro doesn’t correspond to any reference in the driver. Only the NVIDIA drivers included in Bootcamp 3.1 works. There might be an easy hack, but at the moment, I have not had time to look into it.

That’s a bummer because this certainly won’t help battery life under Windows. Iwonder what elsemightlower battery life under Windows (btw, can we turn Bluetooth off?). Just when my hopes were getting high… Let’s hope that a fix is coming.

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