APPALLING battery life on late 2009 white MacBook, & screen shadow

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by glossywhite, Oct 31, 2010.

  1. glossywhite macrumors 65816

    glossywhite

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2008
    #1
    Hi all. I have a late 2009, white unibody MacBook which is 7 months old, and I have been noticing that the battery life is getting less and less, and am rather confused.

    I reset the SMC as per Apple instructions, and then followed the battery calibrating guide to the letter from apple.com, and tonight it seems to have lasted... 3.5 hrs! Hardly the quoted 7 hours that Apple spec, and I am simply doing light web browsing, nothing else.

    Am I doing something wrong? The machine sits connected to magsafe 90% of the time, but I cannot envisage that would cause any problem, as it knows when it is charged, so afaik no more current can get to the battery to damage it.

    Finally, I have a very subtle but present "shadow" in the very centre of the screen, which spreads about 2" width, which is noticable most on a mid blue/grey background. Would Apple say I am being fussy, or is this grounds for having the screen replaced? It really is a pain when doing graphics work :(

    I hope someone can offer some advice, thank you :)
     
  2. happle macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2010
    #2
    whats your screen brightness at? and open up activity monitor see if anything is eating your cpu. and you can only get the full 7hrs if your screen brightness is almost all the way down and your doing light browsing/using pages etc.

    mine will usually last about 4 hours now, 5 hours on a good day. it used to last 6 though.

    oh and btw its not good to keep it plugged in 90% of the time. your supposed to at least use/recharge the battery once every couple of days, and calibrate once a month. batteries are picky. they dont like to be overused or full drained every time, but they dont like to sit around being plugged in all the time either. the best way to maintain a healthy battery is to keep it plugged in while your home then drain it down once a day or once every 2 days, but not completely drained because that strains the battery, then fully charge it and repeat. also calibrating monthly.

    download istat pro and see what your battery health is after you calibrate the battery. mine ranges from 85-91%. but after i calibrate it its usually at 88%. but i went to the mac store a few months ago and they said it was 97% so who knows.
     
  3. glossywhite thread starter macrumors 65816

    glossywhite

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2008
    #3
    It's a portable computer, so of course I take it out and drain it - it's designed to be taken out :D.

    I cannot see how leaving it plugged in (night times, maybe not QUITE 90% of the time then) will hurt - it knows when it is charged, and stops accepting current.
     
  4. happle macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2010
    #4
    because batteries need to be used in order to stay healthy. plus your macbook is almost a year old right? so it will start to fade, some faster than others.

    all you can do is keep it as healthy as you can by actually using it once a day or so, and calibrating monthly. also try some better power management settings (lower screen level etc)
     
  5. glossywhite thread starter macrumors 65816

    glossywhite

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2008
    #5
    I use it at LEAST once a day, without mains! :)
     
  6. happle macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2010
    #6
    well download istat pro. if its below 80% health and still under 1 or 2 yrs i forget or under 300 cycles then take it into apple and get it replaced.
     
  7. glossywhite thread starter macrumors 65816

    glossywhite

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2008
    #7

    Shotted:

    PS: Noone seems to have mentioned the screen shadow I talked about...
     

    Attached Files:

  8. happle macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2010
    #8
    thats weird your health is better than mine. ur istat could be lying idk. and take a picture of your screen. if its damaged id take it in to be replaced.
     
  9. glossywhite thread starter macrumors 65816

    glossywhite

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2008
    #9
    Code:
     Model Information:
      Serial Number:	NOT_YOUR_BUZNIZZ_:-)
      Manufacturer:	DP
      Device name:	bq20z451
      Pack Lot Code:	0000
      PCB Lot Code:	0000
      Firmware Version:	0103
      Hardware Revision:	0002
      Cell Revision:	0119
      Charge Information:
      Charge remaining (mAh):	5373
      Fully charged:	Yes
      Charging:	No
      Full charge capacity (mAh):	5373
      Health Information:
      Cycle count:	207
      Condition:	Normal
      Battery Installed:	Yes
      Amperage (mA):	253
      Voltage (mV):	12574
     
  10. Tomorrow macrumors 604

    Tomorrow

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2008
    Location:
    Always a day away
    #10
    Using Airport and Bluetooth are going to drain juice, as well.
     
  11. iThinkergoiMac macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2010
    Location:
    Terra
    #11
    This shows a fundamental misunderstanding of how your computer actually deals with this. This may be why you're so confused.

    iStat says your battery health is 99%. It calculates this by comparing its current charge capacity against the original stated charge capacity. Unless your battery is seriously messed up, iStat is going to report correctly. Therefore, it's most likely something you are doing to make the battery go down faster than you wish. Leaving Bluetooth on, keeping the brightness up, loading pages with any Flash content will all drain your battery faster.

    How long were you originally able to keep your computer going for? Did you do specific tests, or is this just a feeling you're getting?

    As to the screen shadow, it's really hard to say. We'd need a picture if at all possible before saying any more (as one user has already pointed out).
     
  12. happle macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2010
    #12
    if istat doesn't really mess up your battery health, then how come even when I first got my macbook it was at 88%-94%. Aways within that range. I took it to the apple store and they tested it and said it was 97%. how can this be?

    right now my battery is at 85% health. it seems istat has always recorded my battery as 85-95%. weird :/
     
  13. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #13
    Unless you've properly calibrated your battery, your readings are likely inaccurate. iStat has absolutely no effect on your battery health. It simply reports the current condition.
     
  14. happle macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2010
    #14
    i know it has no affect on my batteries health. but im saying how could my battery always be around 88% on istat even after calibrating. i just calibrated last night and its now at 86%. but like i said in istat its been 85-95% never any higher, and it usually is around 88%. i dont understand how it can be.
     
  15. iThinkergoiMac macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2010
    Location:
    Terra
    #15
    Why wouldn't it be around 88%? Did you follow Apple's calibration guide or did you just run it all the way down and charge it back up?
     
  16. happle macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2010
    #16
    no i mean why has it been 88% since the first day i got my macbook. for the first 3 months it didnt go above 90%. then after that sometimes it would be 94% but no more. and yes i calibrated correctly.

    i just don't see how a brand new macbook battery can be at 88% from the beginning. and like i said i brought it to the apple store because i was curious in why it would be so low and when they tested it with a program on their lacie hard drives it came up 97.3% health.

    part of me thinks that istat and coconut aren't very accurate and another part of me feels i just got stuck with a battery that doesn't hold up to its true mah.
     

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