Macbook Battery: To Replace or Not to Replace?

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by lynxdaemonskye, Jan 18, 2011.

  1. macrumors newbie

    Jan 18, 2011
    I have an almost-3-years-old white Macbook. When I first got it, I could use it at half-brightness with light internet use, word processing, and iTunes, and expect to get 2.5 hours of battery. Now I'm lucky to get over an hour.
    Now, having just an hour of battery isn't TOO horrible for me, but it does mean that I have to be sure to sit next to an outlet if I want to be able to use my computer in class. I think not having to do that anymore might be enough to justify changing the battery, depending on how much it costs.
    I expect (hope) to be using this Macbook for at least the next 2 years. Would it be worth it to replace the battery now? Should I wait?

    I currently have it plugged in and it says "not charging". Info from System Profiler:
    Charge Information:
    Charge remaining (mAh): 2287
    Fully charged: No
    Charging: No
    Full charge capacity (mAh): 2605
    Health Information:
    Cycle count: 577
  2. macrumors 6502


    Oct 18, 2007
    Nottinghamshire, UK
    Download coconut battery from here and post a screenshot.

    You should of been able to fetch more than 2.5 hours of use from the battery with you computer habits. I use my MB for internet, programming, music, etc and get 4+ hours.

    You can replace the battery fairly cheaply from ebay and I would say its worth it. Especially if your wanting another 2 years from your MB as the battery condition will only get worse.

    Have you tried battery calibration?
  3. macrumors 6502a

    Aug 21, 2010
    Athens, Greece
    have you tried calibrating the battery? it may give you more hours of usage.
    try that and if you dont get more than 1:30 i would suggest changing the battery.
    Or you can sell your current macbook on ebay and get the next gen macbook pros coming in feb-march.
  4. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 18, 2011
    I may have been able to get more than 2.5 hours at first... To be honest I don't remember! I would be happy with 2.5 hours now!

    Yes, I have calibrated the battery. I noticed a difference the first time I did it, in November, and I have done it twice since then.

    Here's the screenshot:

    I guess the question I should be asking is, why isn't it charging completely? I have it plugged in at the moment and it says "not charging."
  5. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 18, 2011
    I wish I could do that! I don't have the money for it, though.
  6. macrumors 6502a

    Nov 9, 2009
    Long Island
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_1 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/532.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/4.0.5 Mobile/8B117 Safari/6531.22.7)

    I bought a new battery for a 3 year old MacBook pro, I would recommend doing the same if you have no other need for a hardware upgrade.

    Bought mine off amazon
  7. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 18, 2011
    Okay, so how do I make sure to buy the right battery? Are all white Macbook batteries the same?
  8. macrumors 68030


    May 28, 2006
    Manchester, UK
    Replace the battery.

    The battery has done pretty well to get to 500+ cycles with 50% capacity still working.

    My 2006 MacBook Pro ate an official Apple battery a year and none of them got anywhere near 300 cycles with 50% left. The batteries in the later unibody machines appear at the moment to hold they're capacity better over a large number of cycles.
  9. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 18, 2011
    I have held off on doing anything about this since I last posted, mostly because I don't want to pay for it, but today I noticed something odd. I was using my Macbook while plugged in for about three hours, closed/unplugged it for about 5 minutes while I did something else, then came back. (It sleeps when closed.)
    When I opened it and plugged it in again, it said it had 45 minutes to a full charge. ...what?
    I continued using it for about 15 minutes, during which time the "time to full charge" slowly fluctuated up to an hour, then down to 43 minutes, then changed to "not charging." Something weird is going on here!

    I opened Coconut Battery and got this.

    I have significantly more capacity than my last screenshot, and it's still not charging fully. What can I do to fix this? If this maximum charge is true, and I can get it to charge fully, I won't need to replace the battery.
  10. macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    Make sure your battery is properly calibrated (I know you said you did before, but there are many who misunderstand the exact steps required, as posted in the following link). Also, the time/percentage remaining either to a full charge or remaining on battery is a constantly-changing estimate, based on your Mac's current power demands. The estimate can change from minute to minute. It's normal. Also, your battery health will fluctuate up and down over time.

    This should answer most, if not all, of your battery questions:
  11. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 18, 2011
    I understand that the time/percentage remaining is not exact.

    My real question is, how is it that my current charge is greater than my MAXIMUM charge last time, and how can I reach what Coconut Battery NOW says my maximum charge is?

    I will calibrate the battery again today to see if that helps.
  12. macrumors member


    Jan 15, 2011
    Cleveland, OH

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