Extremely poor battery life with Mountain Lion on late 2010 MBA

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by technopimp, Jul 26, 2012.

  1. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2009
    #1
    I have a late 2010 11" MBA (1.6 C2D, 4GB, 128GB). I installed ML yesterday when it came out. I actually did a clean install by making a USB boot disk. Since upgrading, I've noticed the battery life is extremely poor. It's losing about 1-2% every minute with nothing running other than Chrome. As I've been typing this message, it's gone from 87% to 84%. Activity monitor shows 97% idle. Has anyone else been experiencing this? I'm about to do another clean install to see if it fixes it since at this rate, the battery won't even last an hour. For reference, with Lion, I could get between 4 and 6 hours with web use.

    Now at 82%.
     
  2. GGJstudios, Jul 26, 2012
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2012

    macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #2
    1. Launch Activity Monitor
    2. Change "My Processes" at the top to "All Processes"
    3. Click on the CPU column heading once or twice, so the arrow points downward (highest values on top).
    4. Click on the System Memory tab at the bottom.
    5. Take a screen shot of the entire Activity Monitor window, then scroll down to see the rest of the list, take another screen shot
    6. Post your screenshots.
    Also, if a drive is constantly active or your CPU utilization is high (possibly with increased temps and fan speed) when you're not running any major apps, you can check to see if Spotlight is indexing by looking at the Menu Bar icon:
    [​IMG] (not indexing)
    [​IMG] (indexing) (pulsing dot)​
    When it's indexing, you may also see increased CPU and RAM usage by the mds and mdworker processes in Activity Monitor.

    You can also try resetting the SMC.

    This should answer most, if not all, of your battery questions:
     
  3. thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2009
    #3
    Spotlight is not indexing.

    Forgot about the SMC reset-thanks for the reminder. Will give that a try too.
     

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  4. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2009
    #4
    also try PRAM reset (google it)
     
  5. macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #5
  6. macrumors 6502

    cedwhatev

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2011
    Location:
    Canada
    #6
    Any improvements yet? I've got the same unit as you, and probably won't upgrade if battery life is that much worse..
     
  7. macrumors 6502a

    b-rad g

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2010
    #7
    I'm also on a Late 2010 MBA but I see no difference in battery life since updating to ML. I'm seeing an average of about 10-15% battery drop every hour over yesterday and so far today. That's with iTunes, Safari, Messages, Mail and Numbers open.
     
  8. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2012
    #8
    I've read a lot of stuff recently on how Chrome ffects your Mac's battery. Try using Safari for a while and see if the issue perseveres.
     
  9. thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2009
    #9
    I did the SMC reset, and also did a full discharge/recharge. Didn't help. With nothing (I mean, NOTHING) running, I'm losing 1-2% per minute. At one time yesterday, there was a netauth something process (can't recall exactly) consuming 99% of my CPU with nothing running.

    Again, while typing this message, I've gone from 94% to 92%. Guess it's back to Lion.
     
  10. macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2005
    #10
    I have/had the same machine running mountain lion. Battery life no worse than on Lion.
    Is Spotlight indexing?
    You can try going back to Lion, but I don't think Mountain Lion is necessarily the cause. You could also try reinstalling mountain lion in case something wonky happened during install. I'd let it sit on power, awake overnight and make sure some normal process isn't running. Lot it run it's course and finish.
     
  11. macrumors 6502a

    dcorban

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2007
    #11
    How is Activity Monitor showing 97% idle when your very own screenshot shows Chrome alone using almost 8% CPU while idle? Chrome uses a lot of CPU, and don't underestimate the affect the flash plugin uses, even on simple banner ads.
     
  12. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2012
    #12
    Do you have ANY accessories? Maybe disable them all and wait for a whole to see if it solves the problem.

    Start by unplugging all things USB, and turn off WiFi and Bluetooth. Restart. Does the power consumption problem remain? This may help you narrow down the cause.
     
  13. thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2009
    #13
    It fluxuates. When I was typing, it showed Chrome using ~1% CPU. I guess it went up a bit when I was taking the screenshot.

    Spotlight is not indexing. And, with all due respect, I don't see how ML is NOT the cause, since I had none of these issues with the same software on Lion. Unless you're implying it's some piece of software's incompatibility with Lion. In that case, I guess it's possible, but still, running on Lion did not cause me these issues.

    No accessories. Just WiFi running. Again, same config as with Lion. So, if by some chance it was WiFi causing the excessive drain, again I would point to ML as this was not the case on Lion.

    I am going to do another clean install today to see what happens. If that still doesn't work, I'm going to have to go back to Lion since I can't use a laptop that will only run for an hour on its battery.
     
  14. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2012
    #14
    Of course the ML update seems to be the cause. I mentioned hardware because something like a USB webcam or a wireless mouse or other accessory causes the OS to load a device driver, and it's possible that the device driver could cause such a problem. Just trying to help :)

    I'd hate to be going through the hassle you're going through.
     
  15. thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2009
    #15
    Sorry, just been getting frustrated by this. I've never had to live next to an outlet with a MacBook Air before, but now I don't feel confident in being away from one for more than 30-45 minutes. Hopefully, a full reinstall fixes whatever's up its butt.
     
  16. thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2009
    #16
    Well, I did a full clean reinstall today. No significant change. With Activity Monitor showing ~98% idle, I'm still losing 1-2% per minute. With any application open, it's more like 2-3% per minute. I've also noticed that, even when Activity Monitor SAYS it's mostly idling, the machine gets really hot and the fans start blowing. The only time it ever did that with Lion was when I was doing something that had Flash. Now, it's happening with no apps open.

    WTH.

    I guess I'm just going back to Lion. Between the battery life and SMB shares being even MORE broken than Lion, ML is just not worth the frustration.
     
  17. macrumors 6502a

    rick3000

    Joined:
    May 6, 2008
    Location:
    West Coast
    #17
    You are not alone, my mid-2009 MBP has been running hotter since going to ML, and my battery life has been significantly decreased. You post prompted me to time my MBP, and I am dropping 1% ever 1-2 minutes.

    Activity Monitor shows nothing out of the ordinary, and I am only running Safari and Mail. I have my graphics set to Higher Performance, however at this rate I am averaging just under two hours per charge which is extremely low. And my battery only has 351 cycles, so much for that 1000 cycle claim when the Unibody was announced.

    Time for a trip to the Genius Bar, ugh!
     
  18. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2009
    #18
    You can install smcfancontrol and watch your fan speeds in the menu bar without actually telling it to control your fan speed - I think the normal default setting for an Air is 2000 but it'll go up quickly if the temp spikes due to an app or flash
     
  19. macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2005
    #19
    I presume you flipped the setting in activity monitor to look at all processes and not just your own? If it still shows nothing running, could be a firmware issue chewing up CPU before Mountain Lion ever sees it.
     
  20. macrumors 6502a

    rick3000

    Joined:
    May 6, 2008
    Location:
    West Coast
    #20
    A bit different because I am running a MBP, but I went by the Apple Store, they replaced the battery. Obviously, losing 1% every 1-2 minutes is not okay, and my battery only had 351 cycles on it (they advertised the Unibody to last 1000 cycles).

    New battery did absolutely nothing, reset SMC did nothing. I then spent over an hour on the phone with Apple, and got no where other than being told to go back to the Genius Bar and have them find the problem, after their diagnostic turned up nothing. Very frustrating, I think it is a ML problem. But if a clean install, battery, etc won't fix it I'm not sure what will.
     
  21. thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2009
    #21
    Correct. All processes are showing. Nothing running, drain is still 2-4% per minute.

    That's not encouraging. I'm beginning to think the C2D MacBooks (Air or otherwise) just aren't all that compatible with Lion.

    <conspiracy>Maybe this is Apple's way of getting people to upgrade. The "fix" is simple-buy a new laptop! :)</conspiracy>
     
  22. macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2011
    #22
    Just keep in mind that these issues, while incredibly frustrating for the people involved, don't seem to be normal for most users.
     
  23. macrumors 6502a

    rick3000

    Joined:
    May 6, 2008
    Location:
    West Coast
    #23
    It is not normal, I asked Apple point blank, is this a documented Mountain Lion issue, and they said no. So it is not widespread, however for the few people affected by this it's a real pain.
     
  24. thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2009
    #24
    This.

    While I get the point that this may not be normal for EVERYONE, I do kind of get a little frustrated when people downplay the impact of this type of thing for those of us that ARE affected. Kind of reminds me of "Antennagate"-I was affected by that, and got really tired of people telling me how it clearly wasn't a problem since THEY were not affected.

    Just because one person doesn't have an issue, doesn't mean the issue doesn't exist.
     
  25. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2012
    #25
    So the only way to fix this problem is by downgrading your system ???:mad:
     

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