13" Macbook Pro poor battery life

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by dmelgar, Aug 10, 2009.

  1. dmelgar macrumors 68000

    Apr 29, 2005
    I just bought a 13" MBP over the weekend as an upgrade to my original series white Macbook bought July 2006.

    My understanding is that the battery is rated for 7-8hours. Yet I do not see any improvement over my previous 3yr old Macbook regarding battery life.

    Right now, I have the screen set on dimest, nothing else running other than the browser, battery is at 80% and it says 4 hours remaining. What gives?

    I have had this Macbook and my old white macbook sitting next to each other doing pretty much the same thing and the % battery remaining seemed to track pretty close between them. The new Macbook doing better, but not by much.

    I used migration assistant to copy over the system. But I've done a new install since then. Could it somehow remember the old Macbook's battery performance?

    I had been watching some flash movies earlier. Could that drastically kill battery life? I don't see what else I can do right now to improve battery life other than not do anything with it.

    The system profiler describes the full charge capacity as 5349 mAh. Is that normal? It says its in good condition. It says its using 976 mA right now. As I said I have the display very dim, no other system activity going on other than typing in this window.

    Is this typical for what other users are seeing?

  2. toxictrix macrumors 6502a

    Jan 8, 2009
    Watching videos will decrease your battery life quite significantly. Also, calibrate your battery. It can makes tons of difference.
  3. celticpride678

    Feb 15, 2009
    Boston, MA
    Watching flash videos can not "kill" battery life, but can drain the battery fast.

    I recommend calibrating the battery and also installing coconutbattery and posting the results.
  4. crispychicken macrumors newbie

    Sep 4, 2009
    Hi I am also experiencing this problem.

    I have a Macbook Pro 13" 2.26Ghz, 3 days old and I have calibrated the battery (last night)

    Im currently on 88% charge with brightness fixed at 1 notch and with WiFi on. Just surfing the net and nothing else running. The timeleft indicates 5:04hrs

    Coconut results:

    Current Battery Charge: 4721mAh
    Maximum Battery Charge: 5385mAh
    Battery Charge: 87%

    Current Battery Capacity: 5385mAh
    Original Battery Capacity: 5450mAh
    Battery Capacity: 98%

    Battery Loadcycles: 3
    Age of your MAC: 2 months
    Charger Connected: No
    Battery is charging: No


    So is this all normal??

    Im a new Mac user and im still getting my head around it all so please forgive me if this is a stupid post.

    Also while im here can I ask, is it better the leave the MBP on the charger whilst working at home? Or is it better to use on battery and charge when necessary?

    Thanks in advance
  5. omgitzjoie macrumors newbie

    Sep 4, 2009
    What did it say when it was at 100%? The 7-hour rating is probably with the wifi off and the brightness at it's lowest. I'd say your battery is normal if it'll last another 5 hours at 88%.

    It's always better to use the battery and charge when necessary so that it can go through full charge cycles, however, it is not necessary to do this all the time. At least once a week.. all the other days I don't see a problem with it being plugged in all the time. The battery stops charging when you plug it in.
  6. wez99950 macrumors member

    Mar 31, 2009
    should i be worried that my 2 day old mbp which i have calibrated has been on the charger for the last couple of hours and hasn't gone higher than 96%??? :confused:
  7. kterzino macrumors newbie

    Aug 18, 2003
    Buffalo, NY

    My new 13-in MPB is a week old, and the battery has never lasted more than 2.5 hours. I called Apple and they said that was normal. WTF??
  8. andyACEcandy macrumors 6502a

    Feb 11, 2008
    My MBP is about 3 weeks old now... If I put it on the dimmest setting and just surf the web, I get over 7 hours

    If I watch a movie, I get 4-5 hours or so

    If I'm playing a game online or something I get about 3-4 hours

    So yeah if you're watching a movie or something it will decrease significantly, but still better than what I was used to getting on my PC
  9. macgirl89 macrumors member

    Sep 4, 2009
    New York, USA
    Have you calibrated the battery yet? And is Snow Leopard already installed on it?
  10. kterzino macrumors newbie

    Aug 18, 2003
    Buffalo, NY
    yes, I calibrated it before using it. It had the SL update CD, and yes, it is installed.
  11. macgirl89 macrumors member

    Sep 4, 2009
    New York, USA
    I have the update CD, too, but I have avoided installing it on my new 13" MBP. I have heard about people getting poor battery life with SL and that's my major concern. I'd downgrade back to Leopard if I were you. If you set the display to 50% brightness, turn off Bluetooth, and minimize the number of applications you have open, you can definitely get the most out of the battery. Lasts about 7 hours or more.
  12. kterzino macrumors newbie

    Aug 18, 2003
    Buffalo, NY
    that's what i have it at now - no bluetooth, no wireless, low brightness, few apps, and no keyboard illumination, and it's the 2.5 hour max.

    is there info somewhere on how to uninstall SL?

    thanks for the info!
  13. andyACEcandy macrumors 6502a

    Feb 11, 2008
    Thats strange on 2.5 hours

    I just unplugged with low dim and no keyboard light and im getting 8 hours and 40 minutes hahaha wifi turned on too

    doubt it'd actually last that long if i actually surfed the web and stuff but still pretty cool....
  14. kterzino macrumors newbie

    Aug 18, 2003
    Buffalo, NY
    it's kind of irritating, because i just sold a year-old mac book that consistently got 3.5 hours of battery life. this battery was supposed to be better. and for apple care to tell me that this is normal....something's not right...
  15. DKatri macrumors 6502

    Sep 2, 2009
    Birmingham, UK
    when i open up coconut it gives me some interesting info:

    Current Battery capacity: 5552 mAh
    Original Capacity : 5450mAh

    does this mean that my batter is more powerful than it started out??:confused:
  16. iStian macrumors newbie

    Sep 23, 2009
    In Coconut i get the following:

    Current Battary Capacity: 5614
    Original Battery Capacity: 5450

    I do not get anything more than 4 to max 5 hours. It is now at 50% and the time estimate says 2.26 hours. I timed it when it was fully charged and it has been going for 2 hours and 21 minutes. Based on the estimate it should last a total of 4 hours and 47 minutes. On this charge I have used the browser and used Xtorrent for about 1 hour, downloading for the entire hour.
    My screen brightness is 5 out of 16 and my keyboard backlight is at 1 out of 16.

    Is this the way it should be??? Apple states 7 hours of use...
  17. dmelgar thread starter macrumors 68000

    Apr 29, 2005
    Thats what I get if I'm lucky... 4 hours.
    I've seen it say 7 hours once, when the system was idle and the display had been turned off. Not a very useful measure.
    Bottom line, it does not seem to be significantly better than my circa 2006 Macbook with removable battery.
  18. NC MacGuy macrumors 603

    NC MacGuy

    Feb 9, 2005
    The good side of the grass.
    Yes, your battery is awesome and strong. Much stronger than most.

    So you're going to be getting near 5 hours and have used Xtorrent downloading for an hour? That's pretty good. Try using it just casual surfing and a WP document and you'd get much more.
  19. dmelgar thread starter macrumors 68000

    Apr 29, 2005
    I finally brought up coconut battery, my results for my relatively new 13" macbook pro,

    Current battery capacity: 5150mah
    Original battery capacity: 5450mah
    94% original capacity.

    Maybe thats why I get such short time? While everyone else is reporting values above original battery capacity, mine is well short. My 3yr old macbook reported current battery capacity above original capacity every time I checked. I haven't checked my old system in a long while, battery life has always been excellent after I received a replacement battery for the original faulty one.

    Anyone have any idea at what capacity level apple would consider it to be a problem? When I have a similar problem with my original macbook, the store refused to do anything, but applecare swapped it overnight. New battery miles better than the previous one.

    Update: All I did was unplug it from power, and now Coconut battery reports:
    Maximum/curent battery capacity: 4924mah.

    What gives? I'm down to 90% of original. This does remind me of my original flaky battery on my 3yr old macbook.
  20. Mhmm macrumors member

    May 1, 2009
    It doesn't matter what the software says, the only real measure of battery life is using it in real life.

    Mine used to last 7-8 hours with Leopard, though, yesterday I installed Snow Leopard and I have one of those pesky 9CC2 panels that are extra bright, and thus my battery life is gone down the drainer.

    So I'm waiting for a software update in hopes Apple will fix my screen brightness.

    My point is, that if you're not running SL on a 9CC2 display, your battery should last you at least 6 to 7 hours using word and wireless browsing the internet. It doesn't amount to anything if you're a couple hundred mAh below the original capacity, it could very well be a discalibration.
  21. dmelgar thread starter macrumors 68000

    Apr 29, 2005
    I just calibrated overnight. Maybe thats why it readjusted lower.
    I'm currently at 90% and it says 2:40 remaining.
    Doesn't sound like 6-7 hours to me.
  22. klee1987 macrumors regular

    Jun 20, 2009
    my stats:

    Full charge capacity (mAh): 5498
    Health Information:
    Cycle count: 32
    Condition: Normal

    age of my mac: 6 months

    13" MBP
  23. audioteknika macrumors regular

    Mar 4, 2008
  24. dmelgar thread starter macrumors 68000

    Apr 29, 2005
    Why is my battery's capacity going down with every cycle?

    My 4mo old battery which is rated for 5450 mAh is now down to a new low capacity of 4896 mAh, 89%. Sure doesn't sound like a lifetime battery capable of 1000 cycles. Its on cycle #42. You go through cycles a lot faster as the run time gets shorter.
  25. cluthz macrumors 68040


    Jun 15, 2004
    I'm at 54% charge atm, running safari with 5 tabs on WiFI
    Word and excel 2008 running, iTunes playing and Adium running.
    Battery shows 2:09.

    I get about 4-4.5 hrs with only browsing or word on wifi.
    Apple announced this computer to have 4.5 hrs battery life, which it manages.
    I do use my computer on battery from 3-4 hours on battery every day.

    Anandtech pulled of 8:13 hrs on the new 15 inch.

    To be honest i think Apple usually keeps their promises when it comes to battery life.

    I have no experiences myself on the new Macbook Pros.

    My battery info:
    tsb-computer-3:~ tsb$ ioreg -w0 -l | grep Capacity
    | | "MaxCapacity" = 5197
    | | "CurrentCapacity" = 2701
    | | "LegacyBatteryInfo" = {"Amperage"=18446744073709550212,"Flags"=4,"Capacity"=5197,"Current"=2701,"Voltage"=11348,"Cycle Count"=95}
    | | "DesignCapacity" = 5600

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