2013 rMacbook Pro Battery after 500 Cycles - More Cycles = Less battery myth busted?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Allthings-I, Oct 29, 2014.

  1. Allthings-I, Oct 29, 2014
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2014

    Allthings-I macrumors 6502

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    Jul 25, 2014
    #1
    I always read and hear people about not cycling their batteries so much because of the apparent "Degrading in battery life" but after a year and half and today reaching 500 Cycles on my 2013-Early Retina Macbook Pro, I cannot say those statements apply to the newer laptops....

    Perhaps iPhone batteries are also headed in this direction.

    I used to own a Macbook Air 2011 model, did the same thing, charged it daily for the almost 2 years, when I sold it, it had 88% battery capacity remaining and had approx. 800 Cycles on it.

    I charge my laptop daily because I use it for school and work all day just about.

    I have included a picture of my Coconut battery read (In the System Report under "About this Mac" it says the exact same info). I have always updated to the latest available updates when available. I Also charge my iPhone from my laptop almost daily because its easier to just plug it it to USB port than into the power outlet on my desk.

    When I took this picture my laptop was charging, but the two key points you want to note are:

    - Maximum Charge = The Maximum amount of charge it holds now
    - Design Capacity = The Design capacity of the battery

    One thing is certain, the # of charge cycles does not decrease the batteries capacity.

    This is the absolute best battery I have seen in any laptop I have owned and these are the Best laptops I have ever owned:
    - Gateway FX Series (Gaming laptop Early 2009)
    - Dell XPS (2010-2011)
    - Macbook Pro 15" (2011)
    - Macbook Air 13" (2011)
    - Macbook Pro Retina 13" (Early 2013) -- Current
     

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  2. Exhale, Oct 29, 2014
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2014

    Exhale macrumors 6502

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    #2
    Doesn't change anything, charge cycles affect wear. As an easy counter proof, I had to change the battery of a 2011 MBA that suffered a catastrophic battery failure after 500 charges. And it too was charged daily.

    Do also remember that these batteries tend to have very little loss until their breaking point. You'll see very little difference until the battery reaches its breaking point, at which point each cycle will start to introduce significant capacity losses.

    You've also not cited the shipped capacity of the battery, in many cases its a bit higher than the design capacity. You should be doing a delta between that and your current capacity, not the design capacity and current capacity.

    That said, the bigger wear on the battery has always been heat exposure and deep discharges.

    And not charging daily does increase the likelihood of deep discharges, which are significantly more damaging.
     
  3. nobodyjustwalks macrumors regular

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    Jan 23, 2013
    #3
    Impressive. Glad to see your battery is holding up after 500 cycles.
     
  4. nobodyjustwalks macrumors regular

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    #4
    To what "breaking point" are you referring to? There technically is no such thing. Sure, the OPʻs battery is somehow, luckily/strangely, holding almost all of itʻs max capacity after 500 cycles (yours did not), but it does not mean there is a "breaking point" in its future. While I do not doubt your noticing significant capacity loss at "X" amount of cycles, or this "breaking point" that you refer to, it does not mean the OPʻs battery will experience the same.

    Also, the OP did not cite the "shipped capacity" of his battery, and to tell you the truth, I have not Googled the exact capacity of his MacBook Air, but Coconut Battery is accurate in displaying the "shipped capacity" that you refer to. Yes, individual users will sometimes notice a difference in the ___mAh their system reportʻs display, when compared to Appleʻs technical battery specs, but Coconut Battery pulls this info from each system. As for why there exists the small discrepancies, who knows...

    The "design capacity" Coconut Battery displays mirrors what users find in Apple > About this Mac > System Report. His batteryʻs current "maximum capacity" is the "design capacity," which is the "shipped capacity." Therefore, the 99.1% that is shown in his screenshot is representative of the delta between "shipped capacity" and "current capacity."
     
  5. cjmillsnun macrumors 68020

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    Aug 28, 2009
    #5
    Apples claim is that their battery under normal use should have no less than 80% of its design capacity after 1000 cycles

    The shipped capacity is irrelevant. Getting slightly more than designed is not a given and should be regarded as a bonus.

    Deep discharges are more likely when a battery is not charged for long period and allowed to run down. 1-2 days should not have a major impact on battery life

    Batteries will degrade slowly, although will probably be down to virtually zip after 5-6 years.
     
  6. mdlooker macrumors 65816

    mdlooker

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    #6
    Hmm this is an interesting thread. I've always thought that allowing a battery to discharge to 1-2% and fully charging it at that point would actually prolong life. But after interpreting these replies, it seems that this is quite the opposite thing to do.
     
  7. Exhale macrumors 6502

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    #7
    Lithium Ion batteries need to maintain their internal voltage within a specific range. The voltage is dependent on the charge of the battery. You want to stay away from those borders in order to maintain the battery's health. A battery with 0% still has plenty of energy in it - its just your manufacturer really doesn't want you to drain anymore out of it because of the damage it would cause.

    The more often you get close to it, the more wear the battery suffers. Its why lithium-ion batteries are not supposed to be fully discharged. 'Memory' is a problem in a different battery tech.

    Actually its extremely relevant, since its the measure of what the battery could actually handle while it was new. The delta between new & current measures its degradation. Same with car engines. Just because two people bought a 300HP engine, does not mean they both deliver exactly 300HP. And in the same vein, those cars after a while will not be able to output 300HP anymore - wear will reduce their power output.

    Of course we cannot compare your shipped capacity with mine - because they are not the same battery.
     
  8. nobodyjustwalks macrumors regular

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    Jan 23, 2013
    #8
    I do not doubt the technical aspects of your explanation, as Apple also reminds customers on their website about how to maintain optimal battery health. But calling it a "breaking point" was not accurate. You implied, by your statement, that all Mac batteries reach a breaking point eventually. And that is false.

    "Do also remember that these batteries tend to have very little loss until their breaking point. You'll see very little difference until the battery reaches its breaking point"

    At the end of the day, this discussion digresses from the point the OP was making, he "thinks" battery health is not affected by cycles. His laptop, for whatever reason, backs up his claim. For you it did not. Point here is that there is not a definitive answer to battery performance. Too many stories both good and bad.

    As for me...I hope mine stays just as "healthy" as his. :)
     
  9. cjmillsnun macrumors 68020

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    #9
    I agree that that delta would measure it's degradation, but as far as any battery warranty is concerned, it is 100% irrelevant. The only relevance is the comparison against stated capacity.
     
  10. thekev macrumors 604

    thekev

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    Aug 5, 2010
    #10
    Those are great results, but these things do degrade. You won't be able to recharge it indefinitely. Just be glad that you've experienced great results up to this point.
     
  11. Allthings-I thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #11

    The Ship capacity was about 50 mAh above design capacity, being the nerd at times, I did look at that because I also monitored my Macbook Air's capacity from day one closely as well and I do this because I know that once the 1 year warranty runs out, I am on my own unless I pay for the additional warranty.

    My laptop has not had much hot environmental exposure because I always provide sufficient airflow between my lap and the laptop base usually by using a laptop pad thing i have and have only used it indoors.

    As for deep discharges....I cannot tell you the # of times I have ran the battery aground to 0% because I needed the laptop and had no outlet nearby lol....probably like 100 times to date if not more, lastly, I have never let my battery be dead and stay dead for more than 24 Hours.

    ----------

    If I don't end up buying the 15" rMBP in the next 6 months or so, I will be keeping this laptop for "as long as it lives" lol.

    Those prices are getting better tho on the rMBP with 2GB Nvidia GPU, I want to be able to play some games on my laptop because this one I cannot play anything decent.

    I don't have whole lot of time in my day to play a dedicated system based game (PS/XBOX) so my laptop is my only method of entertainment when it comes to getting my dose of games (and my 6+ lately).
     
  12. nobodyjustwalks macrumors regular

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    Jan 23, 2013
    #12
    Wow...you certainly got your moneyʻs worth in terms of battery performance. Most posts I read are from people who have high battery health because of low cycles and discharging to about 20-50 percent before recharging.

    Frankly, I just use mine as I know batteries are easily replaceable, but still, itʻs interesting to hear of usage experiences such as yours.
     
  13. kzhlin macrumors member

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    Aug 5, 2012
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    Los Angeles
    #13
    I have a 2012 15" rMBP with 816 full charge cycles.

    Still at 88% battery health and battery still lasts a good 6 hours.
     
  14. Max(IT) Suspended

    Max(IT)

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    #14
    I'm approaching 500 cycles on my late 11 MBP and battery health still is at 97%. After four years of daily usage. I'm very happy.
     
  15. Artimus12 macrumors 6502a

    Artimus12

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    #15
    Okay, colour me impressed!. ;)

    What's your charging regime?
     
  16. Max(IT) Suspended

    Max(IT)

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    #16
    I charge it when needed :D
     
  17. RichardC300 macrumors 65816

    RichardC300

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    #17
    I have 673 cycles on my early-2011 15" MBP, and since cycle 553 (earliest record of battery on coconutBattery), I've been fluctuating between 80% and 88% (currently at 87%). Is that good?
     
  18. Artimus12 macrumors 6502a

    Artimus12

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    #18
    so you don't leave it plugged in?
     
  19. Max(IT) Suspended

    Max(IT)

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    #19
    That's the worst thing you can do to your battery, on a regular basis.
    Sometimes I leave it plugged in (only when used), but I usually let the battery works 2-3 times a week.

    ----------

    Yes it is still good, but when reaching 80% and start fluctuation is a sign the battery is aging.
     
  20. Artimus12 macrumors 6502a

    Artimus12

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    #20
    I fully agree and just wanted confirmation, as this is my first Macbook and most of the advice on here seems to suggest leaving it plugged in permanently won't harm the battery.

    I'd be surprised if that was the case, as most battery tech is the same - even if Apple have optimised theirs better.

    Thanks for the heads up. :cool:
     
  21. Max(IT) Suspended

    Max(IT)

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    #21
    Last check showed 485 cycles since Oct 22nd 2011 and 97% health

    ----------

    Apple uses very good quality batteries, but lithium based batteries suffers from low and high charge stress, so I tend to not leave it below 20% but also not always at 100%
     
  22. BeachChair macrumors 6502a

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    Copenhagen, Denmark
    #22
    I've reached the point where my 2012 rMBP's battery is acting wonky. It is behaving a bit similar to the battery issues that plague the old iPhone 5s, such as insisting on being charged even though it is at 25% charge, or sudden jumps in capacity.

    I will be a bit dissapointed if the degradation picks up speed even more and I'll have to replace already, after 'only' 2 years and 4 months.

    [​IMG]
     
  23. Artimus12 macrumors 6502a

    Artimus12

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  24. Max(IT) Suspended

    Max(IT)

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    #24
    Not a solution but you should try a calibration
     
  25. BeachChair macrumors 6502a

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    #25
    I haven't, no. Like draining it as much as I can and then recharging fully?
     

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