500 Charge Cycles in 11 months

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by Cooee!, Aug 4, 2014.

  1. Cooee! macrumors member


    Feb 16, 2014
    I have a 13" 2013 Macbook Air and mainly use it for gaming. When I play a game Should I be worried about this? I plan to use this for at least 3-4 years.

    Or I can give it to my sister now, then buy the refreshed rMPBs. Is the rmbp (13") better at preserving battery health, like does it last longer when gaming?
  2. simsaladimbamba

    Nov 28, 2010
    How do you use your MBA then?

    Do you disconnect from power when the battery is charged even when power is available? There is no need for that with modern batteries.

    This should answer most, if not all, of your battery questions:
    Apple Notebook Battery FAQ by GGJstudios
    The F.A.Q. includes the following topics:
    • AC POWER

  3. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    Its less about how the laptop "preserves" the battery and more about your usage habits. Are you running the battery down to 0 all the time?
  4. Cooee! thread starter macrumors member


    Feb 16, 2014
    I always pull the plug once it turns green. I didn't know it is safe to continue using it like that.

    Yes I do.
  5. simsaladimbamba

    Nov 28, 2010
    Now you know and do not need to do that anymore. It is perfectly fine to use a modern mobile device with a full battery still attached to a power line.

    Read the FAQ I linked to if you want to learn more.
  6. Cooee! thread starter macrumors member


    Feb 16, 2014
    I just did. I wish I knew this sooner. Thanks you
  7. AppleFanatic10 macrumors 68030


    Nov 2, 2010
    Encino, CA
    Wow.. I just hit 655 cycle charges in 4 years... how are you using your computer?
  8. simsaladimbamba

    Nov 28, 2010
    Post #4 has the answer for you, unless you mean something else.
  9. coldjeanzzz macrumors 6502a

    Nov 4, 2012
    I seriously don't understand why SO many people are under the impression that this is how modern day batteries should be used

    You have unnecessarily destroyed the life of your battery by doing this
  10. Boyd01 macrumors 68040


    Feb 21, 2012
    New Jersey Pine Barrens
    Amazing that you could consume more than one cycle per day! :eek: My 2013 MBA is 13 months old and only has about 150 cycles.
  11. Wolfpup macrumors 68030

    Sep 7, 2006
    Yeah, this is the exact opposite of how you need to use it. You want to be plugged in WHENEVER possible. Obviously even more so if you're really pulling from the battery a ton. But the deeper the discharge of the battery, the more it's damaged. I.e. discharging it once to 50% damages it more than discharging it to 10% 5x. But NEVER discharging it is of course best of all.

    My 5.5 year old Alienware notebook is just barely over 10% used on the battery as a result LOL
  12. Ronnoco macrumors 68030


    Oct 16, 2007
    United States of America
    Iirc, Apple support recommends discharging the battery about once a month for optimal battery life.
  13. Wolfpup macrumors 68030

    Sep 7, 2006
    That damages the battery. The only benefit to it (the reason some things claim you should do it) is to better calibrate the battery meter...but it's still damaging the battery to do it. I'd personally never do that unless I just naturally in the course of using something actually ran it down. (Which in practice basically never happens, as I plan ahead and take chargers or battery packs as needed, or just quit using something before it gets that bad.)
  14. Ronnoco, Aug 4, 2014
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2014

    Ronnoco macrumors 68030


    Oct 16, 2007
    United States of America
    I don't think they recommend discharging the battery all the way down, they just say it needs to be used about once a month. They do however state that the laptop should not stay plugged in all the time. This is directly from their lithium battery support document:
    Apple does not recommend leaving your portable plugged in all the time.
  15. AnorexicPig macrumors 6502


    Dec 12, 2012
    Winnipeg,Canada/New Delhi India
    This is just wrong, it does not damage the battery. Battery should complete one cycle atleast in a month, to keep the ions moving.

    If you never actually use the battery, why are you so preciously saving it. It's meant to be used in a healthy way.

    It's like if you don't use a car at all, it will start to degrade in a different sort of way.
  16. mtreys macrumors member

    May 22, 2012
    College Station, TX
    I think my 2011 MBA has about 150-200 charges. 500 in under a year is wow. But now you know how to take care of it at least.
  17. Wolfpup macrumors 68030

    Sep 7, 2006
    Were that actually true, it means their charging system is defective. Any remotely decently designed system isn't going to overcharge the battery...which in fact would cause it to explode.

    Of course it does. This is how the technology works. Using it = damage. The more deeply you discharge it, the more damage you do to it. Again, discharging it to 80% 3x does less damage than discharging it to 40% once. This is just the nature of the chemistry of lithium batteries.

    That...doesn't mean anything.

    A "healthy way" is to use it plugged in whenever possible, and keep it topped off whenever possible, NOT to intentionally discharge it.

    No it doesn't. It starts to degrade the moment it rolls off the assembly line whether you use it or not, BUT any use you put on top of that wears it out faster, and again, the more deeply you discharge it for ANY reason (including to "calibrate" the battery meter), the more you wear it out.
  18. Alrescha macrumors 68020

    Jan 1, 2008
    I think we have a moving target, as battery technology is a changing science. My 2007-era Macbook batteries would reliably start to swell if left plugged in year-after year - I have gone through several. With the last battery, I stopped doing that and just leave it off and unplugged when not in use - no battery swelling this time. Friends with the same-era Macbook who used them more aggressively had the batteries die, but not swell.

    On the other hand, my 2012 Macbook Air is plugged in nearly all the time - it has about a dozen cycles and shows no sign of problems. I do agree that regardless of how you use them, batteries start deteriorating as soon as you buy them.

  19. scaredpoet macrumors 604


    Apr 6, 2007
    It is actually true. Not just with Apple but other manufacturers as well.

    Actually, all it means is that not even Apple can defy physics, and the limitations of current battery technology. Batteries are meant to be used now and then. There are no known battery technologies in use today in which the batteries are perfectly fine with being disused. Yes, they store energy, but the intention is that eventually that energy will be used in a reasonable amount of time.

    This has nothing to do with overcharging.

    So what you're saying is, a battery - which is intended to be used as a battery, should never be discharged, and never see use. Why have a battery at all, then?

    Wrong, in every possible way. Discharging to 80% three times is 60% of one battery cycle. Discharging to 40% one time is also 60% of one battery cycle. The wear of the battery (not "damage" but wear) is the same in both cases.

    Your knowledge of battery technology is outdated, and incorrect.

    The best way to use a battery in an Apple laptop is to follow Apple's advice.

    "For proper maintenance of a lithium-based battery, it’s important to keep the electrons in it moving occasionally. Apple does not recommend leaving your portable plugged in all the time. An ideal use would be a commuter who uses her notebook on the train, then plugs it in at the office to charge. This keeps the battery juices flowing. If on the other hand, you use a desktop computer at work, and save a notebook for infrequent travel, Apple recommends charging and discharging its battery at least once per month."

    This might have been how batteries worked about ten years ago. It's not so much the case today.
  20. Wolfpup macrumors 68030

    Sep 7, 2006
    Nope. Were it true they'd explode.

    Eh? That makes no sense. ALL batteries of ALL types last longer the less you use them. Why am I having to say that?

    There's no "intention" to batteries. There's no "reasonable amount of time.

    They're chemicals. Lithium batteries have a slow self discharge, and also slowly wear out even if unused. They wear out much faster from use. They wear out the fastest from deep discharges. This is lithium battery 101.

    That's quite obviously NOT what I said. What I continue to say is what anyone with an inkling about proper care of lithium batteries will say. Keep them topped up. Don't use them whenever possible (i.e. use the device plugged in whenever possible). Avoid deep discharges when possible.

    It all boils down to "keep them plugged in whenever possible".

    This is completely false. Lithium batteries are MORE damaged, that is to say MORE worn out when you discharge them more deeply. The more deep the discharge, the more the damage, even if the total electricity pulled from the battery is the same.

    It's neither. This is how lithium batteries work and have always worked. The rules are different for NiCd and NiMH, etc.

    It is not. What that used to say is that discharging it simply calibrates the battery meter. It has nothing to do with care of the battery, which in fact is DAMAGED by doing that.

    Apple does not have magical batteries. This is true of ALL lithium batteries.

    No, it's how lithium batteries have always worked.

    The rules are different for other technologies.
  21. scaredpoet, Aug 5, 2014
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2014

    scaredpoet macrumors 604


    Apr 6, 2007
    Uhm, why do you think that?

    You don't have to say it because over the long term, it's wrong: Batteries have the longest useful life through periodic use. If you keep them constantly charged or constantly discharged, their capacity and overall lifespan will decline.

    Uhh, yeah, there is: The whole point of having a battery is that it will be used. There is no keeping a battery in a "pristine" state by topping it off and keeping it that way.

    Yep! And you're trying to tell everyone that your un-cited "knowledge" of these chemicals is better than the company selling them.

    Yep, and that no longer applies, because the technology behind the LiIon batteries has changed. That's why the text changed.With the current line of batteries Apple is installing in their laptops, battery "calibration" is no longer needed, though at minimum, occasional use IS needed. Keeping a battery charged and the laptop plugged in without any battery use is not advised if you want the battery to last you a few years.

    If you DO keep the battery plugged in and never use it, then over time, when that user's usage patterns change or they hand the laptop to another user, they're going to find that the battery isn't going to hold a charge. That's Apple's position on it, and I've seen it happen myself.

    What you are saying is based on old information. Technology - including battery technology - changes over time as new designs are put to use. You're basically saying that LiIon mactufuring processes haven't changed, and that the way you care for a battery 10 years ago is the way you're supposed to do it today.

    Sorry, but that's wrong. If people do what you're telling them to do, their battery life will be shortened. IF they follow Apple's advice (as I've been doing for quite a while now) their battery will last longer over time.

    In neither case will the battery explode, however, so you can stop with that nonsense.

    Anyone who is viewing this thread and has questions about their laptop battery: this is all you need to know. Do what that link says, and you'll be fine. Anyone telling you differently is either pushing old, outdated information, or plain doesn't know what they're talking about.

    If you DON'T follow that advice, nothing catastrophic is going to happen as a result, but you will find that your battery isn't going to be so great at holding a charge before too long.

    That's all that needs to be said.
  22. Wolfpup macrumors 68030

    Sep 7, 2006
    That's what happens if the computer controlling the lithium charging process didn't shut off charging.


    I didn't say that either. What I said (again) is you want to avoid using it whenever possible (i.e. plug the device in when in use, if possible) and you want to top off the battery whenever possible.

    Companies often have incorrect information about various things in their manuals and the like. I've seen Samsung manuals for LCD TVs that have information that only applies to Plasma sets. I've seen battery information that applies only to NiCd included with lithium batteries, which work almost the exact opposite. In the case of Apple, they used to say something to the effect that it was to calibrate the battery meter. This may be true, but that's a separate issue from what's best for the battery itself.

    The batteries have improved. The basics of how you treat them has not changed.

    Completely false. If people do what YOU are telling them to do, it'll be shortened.

    If YOU want to pointlessly damage your own batteries, by my guest, but don't encourage others to do the same.

    It's not "nonsense". If the battery was damaged by being left plugged in as you claim, that would mean the charging system is defective. THAT would actually have to mean that it keeps charging it past the point that it's fully charged, and that can lead to explosions.

    Please read this:

  23. scaredpoet, Aug 5, 2014
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2014

    scaredpoet macrumors 604


    Apr 6, 2007
    Wow. So mich wrong in your post, and the above paragraph sums it up.

    I'm going to say this one last time: This has nothing to do with overcharging. Apple's laptop charging circuitry will stop charging a battery when charging is no longer needed.

    The problem here is that LiIon chemistry in current notebook batteries degrades faster if left fully charged and not allowed to discharge periodically. The same is also true if you leave a LiIon battery fully discharged for a long period (actually, if you take it below a certain point, the battery will stop charging altogether).

    I've read it before. That information was probably correct back in 2009, when that information was posted there. It hasn't changed since, even though the technology HAS evolved.

    I'd like to think that the folks behind battery university mean well, but they're doing more harm than good to consumers who follow their advice today, and the advice of people who keep parroting that old information and throwing that link up like it's gospel. I really wish they would update their study with current data from current batteries.

    Or, I could be more cynical, and point out that this is real life lesson in being careful about what you believe on the internet. For less than $10, I could probably register supercorrectlithiumbatteryresearchinstitute.com, and throw a page up that says you should leave your laptops in hot cars in the summer and bake them in ovens in the winter, and throw up some pretty graphs that explain little, but telling people that the graphs represent data from my super expensive battery analyzer that I want to sell you. And I'm sure people would believe it, and post the link all ove rthe place and loudly tell everyone else with real information from the vendor that they don't know what they're talking about.
  24. Wolfpup macrumors 68030

    Sep 7, 2006
    Of course it does. This is why there's no harm in leaving it plugged in.

    And this remains false.

    The danger there is that it'll continue discharging past the point where the computer controlling it can safely charge it again.

    The formulations may get a bit better over time (barely) but the basics of how this works doesn't change.

    That is about current batteries.
  25. grjj macrumors member

    Apr 5, 2014

    "deep discharge" does NOT damage the battery in computers. You are thinking about lead acid batteries used in cars that will quickly become useless after a few complete discharges.

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