Huge Battery Drain on MacBook Pro & iPhone

Core Machine (Operating system/System info/Roon build number)
ROCK version 1.0 (build 219) running on NUC8i3BEK.

Roon Controller Devices:
MacBook Pro (Retina, 15-inch, Mid 2015), 2.5 GHz Quad-Core Intel Core i7, Intel Iris Pro GPU with 1536 MB RAM, AMD Radeon R9 M370X graphics card via PCIe
MacOS Catalina (version 10.15.5), Roon build 555.
iPhone 6, iOS 13.5.1, Roon build 555.

Network Details (Including networking gear model/manufacturer and if on WiFi/Ethernet)
ROCK is connected to my home network via an ethernet cable.

Audio Devices (Specify what device you’re using and its connection type - USB/HDMI/etc.)
iFi Hip DAC connected to both my MacBook Pro and iPhone for audio playback. The MacBook and iPhone have a WiFi connection to the network; the iFI Hip DAC/Amp uses USB connection to the devices.
In addition, I have a Naim Uniti Atom as a Roon Ready endpoint on my network.

Description Of Issue
I just set-up ROCK on the NUC and it is running well, but the battery life is being drained incredibly quickly (from 100% to 0% in just over a hour) on my MacBook Pro and iPhone when using Roon Controller.

I assumed that by using ROCK the audio file processing would occur on the Core device, so a lightweight Controller client could run on my devices.

Please advise on how I can get Roon Controller to run more efficiently on my MacBook Pro and iPhone without taking so much energy/battery life. I love the Roon software and system, apart from this issue.

Thank you.

There are several reports of high GPU usage on macOS (use search), perhaps this is also your issue. Roon don’t seem to be fixing it either. I would suggest quitting the app when not actively using it.

Thx, MJB. I saw some of those reports and posted my issue because I didn’t see a resolution to previous posts. I only open the Roon Controller app when listening to music and close it afterwards.

If any Roon support folks are listening - I am in the trial period for the software and likely won’t continue with a paid subscription if this can’t get resolved.

It is still unresolved unfortunatly. I have “bitched” about that already as well.

@noris @dylan et al - any news??

Hi @Kentlands,

Can you please share a screenshot of your Activity Monitor on the OSX? I have not heard of Roon client using so much energy that it drains a PC’s or iPhone battery in one hour, and I do use the iPhone app quite a bit.

Was the Mac previously running in “Core” mode? I wonder if cleaning up the leftovers from when it was in Core mode will help with the resource usage:

  • Make a Backup of your current Roon Database
  • Exit out of Roon
  • Navigate to your Roon’s Database Location (on the Mac)
  • Find the folder that says “Roon”
  • Rename the “Roon” folder to “Roon_old”
  • Reinstall the Roon App from our Downloads Page to generate a new Roon folder
  • Set the Mac up as a remote by connecting it to the NUC Core

Hi Noris,
Thanks for your response. I followed the steps you suggested and attached a snapshot of my Activity Monitor as a part of my initial post.

The Mac was previously running in ‘Core’ mode. Since I set-up the Roon Rock, I re-installed the Roon app on the Mac and switched the ‘Core’ to the NUC device.

Thanks again.

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Hi @Kentlands,

Thanks for the screenshot.

I am curious to know if this alleviates the issues, so do let me know how it goes.

Thanks again, Noris.

Running the Mac in ‘Controller’ mode is depleting the battery at a rate of 40%-50% per hour. The iPhone battery is depleted at about 30% per hour. The drain on the Mac is better than before, but still has room for improvement.

Are there any other options to reduce the energy load of the Roon Controller app, and are there plans to work on this in future software releases?

Thanks again for your help.

Hi @Kentlands,

Can you please reproduce this issue and let me know the time/date in which the battery drains? Example of what I’m looking for: “Left Roon running from 5PM to 7PM on 6/18/20 and battery drained by 80%”. Once I have this info I can enable diagnostics and see if Roon was doing any heavy lifting in the background.

Hi Noris,
I used Roon Controller on my MacBook from 10:05pm - 11:05pm Central Daylight Time (US) on 6/18/2020 and the battery drained from 65% capacity to 5% (consistently losing 1% capacity per minute through the hour). Please let me know if I can provide any additional info to diagnose the issue.

Thanks again.

Hi @Kentlands,

Thanks for letting me know the timestamp. I’ve enabled diagnostics mode and what this action should have done is automatically upload a log-set to our servers, but I am not seeing this report come in.

Can you please use these instructions and manually send me a copy of you Mac and ROCK logs? You can upload to Dropbox / Google Drive and post a link here.

If you have any issues accessing the logs, just let me know.

Thanks, Noris.

I have zipped and uploaded logs from my MacBook and the Roon NUC Rock to the following Dropbox folder: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/eg92kgfpuj8kuka/AAD3RcVYxDALyE0HnKBBqfTJa?dl=0

Thanks again for your help and please let me know if you need any additional info.

Hello Noris,
My trial was running out this weekend and I decided not to continue with the Roon service given these battery drain issues. The cost of the Roon service + the NUC was too large for me to justify given these issues.

I would like to erase everything installed on the NUC SSD through the Rock install process via the bootable USB, so I can return the NUC. Please advise on the process for doing this.

Thanks for your help. I wish we could have made more progress in addressing the battery drain issue before the Roon trial period ended. Roon is a great product, I just wish the Controller app would operate more efficiently.

Hi @Kentlands,

Thanks for sending those logs over.

I took a look through them, but I am not noticing anything jump out at me as the root cause, so I can also ask QA to review the logs to see if they can comment on what could be causing the battery drain.

Once I hear back from QA, I’ll be sure to let you know. I’ve also followed up regarding your trial via private message.

Hi @Kentlands,

Thanks again for sending those logs over and for deciding to continue troubleshooting here. QA has reviewed the logs your sent, but unfortunately they don’t contain much information towards the issue. I suggest that we try this:

  1. Please reproduce the issue once more and note the time/date it occurs on your MacBook controller
  2. Open Activity Monitor once more
  3. Right click on Roon
  4. Press Sample Process
  5. Send the logs from Core + Macbook + Sample Process

Once I have this information, I’m hoping that it can help us understand what’s going on. Thanks!

Thanks, Noris. I have uploaded the requested files to https://www.dropbox.com/sh/eg92kgfpuj8kuka/AAD3RcVYxDALyE0HnKBBqfTJa?dl=0

Hope this helps.

Hi @Kentlands,

Thank you for sending these logs over, I have forwarded them to QA. I also took a quick look in logs and it looks like there was some database activity going on in the background, which brings me to my next question.

If you use a fresh database on your ROCK as a temporary test, does the power behavior still reproduce? Please give this test a try if you can, as it would help clarify if this issue is due to something regarding your old database:

  • Create a Backup of your Roon library
  • Stop RoonServer from running in ROCK’s WebUI
  • Navigate to your Roon’s Database Location
  • Find the folder that says “RoonServer”
  • Rename the “RoonServer” folder to “RoonServer_old”
  • Restart the RoonServer in the WebUI to generate a new Roon database folder
  • Login and use the fresh database with no content added at all
  • Test for a few hours/day
  • Restore from backup

Thanks!

Hi Noris,
Thanks for the additional info. I actually deleted and recreated the ROCK database two days ago, prior to this second test. I did that thinking that I was going to dismantle the NUC - before getting the trial extension. So, you are seeing logs from a new DB. I didn’t however test it without any content (the only content I have is streamed via Qobuz).

Please let me know if you have any other questions or need anything further.

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Thanks for letting me know @Kentlands, I will discuss these findings with QA and get back to you.
Personally, I believe the completely fresh database test (no Qobuz either) is a useful one, so if you do want to perform that in the meantime while I get feedback from QA, please do so. Otherwise I will reach out once more after they have looked over new logs + the sample process.

Hi Noris,
I ran Roon Controller in the background on my MacBook connected to the ROCK with no content or connection to Quboz, and my battery capacity went from 62% to 48% over the course of one hour. That equates to 8 hours of battery life, assuming the battery drains at a constant rate over its cycle.

I believe when we tested this previously with active use of the Roon Controller, the battery drained at a rate of 1% per minute, or 60% over the course of an hour. That equates to 1 hour 40 minutes of battery life using the Roon Controller app.

Hope this helps.