Resolved Battery Care

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by DudeMartin, Feb 28, 2011.

  1. DudeMartin, Feb 28, 2011
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2011

    DudeMartin macrumors regular

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    Dec 2, 2010
    Location:
    Chicago, Illinois
    #1
    Hey everyone!

    Recently I bought my very first Mac, which is a ton more appealing than a PC, but that's besides the point of this thread.

    This Mac is also my first laptop computer, so I am new to using a battery with a computer. I have read the Laptop Battery Guide on this website, but I still had a few questions.

    First of all, I heard/read somewhere before that plugging the computer into a wall and out causes the battery to wear down faster - is this true? According to the guide, the battery wears down by the amount of 'cycles' it goes through, so a whole cycle (at maximum capacity) is like 5000 milli amp hours (whatever the unit is). So which one is true - the amount of times I plug the computer into the wall to charge OR that doesn't matter and just how much power the computer consumes (while on battery power) is what matters?

    Also, is it bad to constantly plug the battery charge in and out? I mean it isn't on purpose, but seeing as the charger part that goes to the computer is a magnet, it tends to detach pretty often, just a nice tug on it will disconnect it. I mean that is exactly what it is supposed to do, but is it bad for the charger OR the battery/computer? (this also sort of goes with the above question)

    I'd really appreciate if I could get some input from people with experience on this matter.

    Thanks a lot in advance!
     
  2. simsaladimbamba

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    Nov 28, 2010
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    located
    #2
    What about using the extension cable that comes with the power adapter if the MagSafe adapter gets removed constantly?
     
  3. gchhour macrumors member

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    Jul 6, 2010
    #3
    The Macbook Pro uses a Lithium Ion battery, as with any battery performance will degrade over time. first of all when you get your new mac just use it until your battery dies so that it can complete one full cycle. Avoid charging it until the battery is completely drained ( when the computer forces itself into sleep) that way your computer recognizes it as one cycle. Try not to leave your computer plugged in all the time, try to use it on battery once in a while.
     
  4. eternlgladiator macrumors 68000

    eternlgladiator

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    Jun 20, 2010
    Location:
    Twin Cities
    #4
    The batteries generally last around 300 cycles. A cycle means the battery went below half a charge and had to be charged back up. You can check your cycle count in the power section of your system profiler. It won't do any damage to leave it plugged in all the time. I've had mine for at least four months and have only done 17 cycles because I live on chargers. Rarely go without one.
     
  5. laurim macrumors 68000

    laurim

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2003
    Location:
    Minnesota USA
    #5
    A genius at the Apple Store told me I should let my battery drain out at least once a month to keep it fresh and full capacity. There's even an iCal event you can download to remind you to unplug every 1st of the month.
     
  6. eternlgladiator macrumors 68000

    eternlgladiator

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    #6
    New batteries have proper technology in them and do not need these drainage cycles. It won't matter enough to waste your time on it. This was the case with older batteries but now that they're microchipped and communicate with chargers there's no need any more.
     
  7. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #7
    That is wrong information. Read the Battery FAQ that was just posted, so you'll understand what a cycle is and how to properly care for a battery.
    The 300 cycles refers to older models with removable batteries.
    Not true.
    Not true.
    Your battery will die faster than those that are treated properly. Read the FAQ.
    There's more to calibration than simply draining and recharging. Read the FAQ.
     
  8. gchhour macrumors member

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    Jul 6, 2010
    #8
    Still sometimes the battery's micro chip needs calibration because it can give off bad readings.
     
  9. laurim macrumors 68000

    laurim

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    Sep 19, 2003
    Location:
    Minnesota USA
    #9
    Just don't leave it plugged in all the time and it'll probably last until you buy a new laptop. On my last battery, I had only about 66 cycles over 44 months because I rarely used it on battery. I had about 70% capacity a couple months ago when it bulged and Apple gave me a new one and told me to go on battery once in a while.
     
  10. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #10
    Yes, you're right if you're only talking about running on battery at least one full cycle per month, to keep electrons moving, as that guide says. It's better if you run on battery every 2 or 3 days, rather than just once a month. If you're calibrating, however, there's more to that process. I point that out because there are many who are under the misconception that calibration is simply draining and recharging the battery. Calibration should be done every month or two.
     
  11. laurim macrumors 68000

    laurim

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    Location:
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    #11
    I didn't know that the Pros that came out after mine don't have user-replaceable batteries. Bummer.
     
  12. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #12
    Yep, since the Early 2009 models, they all have built-in batteries, but they also have greater capacity and are designed to retain up to 80% health for up to 1000 cycles, instead of 300. That's good news for most users. For those who have a need to work for long periods of time away from AC power, and like to carry extra batteries, it's not so good.
     
  13. DudeMartin thread starter macrumors regular

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    Dec 2, 2010
    Location:
    Chicago, Illinois
    #13
    Any info on whether connecting the MagSafe to your computer and disconnecting it frequently at times is bad for the computer or not? For example, when I am sitting on my sofa, I have probably lifted up my knee and disconnected the MagSafe about four times now. I understand that it is supposed to do that, but what does that mean for the actual battery/laptop - would it wear out the adapter/computer/port if it is connected and disconnected frequently?

    I had read the FAQ.
     
  14. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

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    May 16, 2008
    #14
    It shouldn't hurt it at all. It's obviously not desired, but it won't damage anything.
     
  15. DudeMartin thread starter macrumors regular

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    Chicago, Illinois
    #15
    So real quick, to summarize:

    A cycle is draining the battery from FULL CHARGE to EMPTY - it can be done in segments, drain half - charge to max, drain half - charge to max ; that is a full cycle.

    Calibrating the battery does not affect the actual health of the battery, just the readings the computer provides ABOUT the battery.

    Disconnecting the MagSafe and reconnecting rather frequently is not good, but does not exactly cause damage.

    Can someone verify my 'conclusions'?
     
  16. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

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    May 16, 2008
    #16
    Correct on all points.
     
  17. DudeMartin thread starter macrumors regular

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    #17
    Thank you, I don't know if you're a moderator or not, but you can close this thread.
     
  18. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

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    May 16, 2008
    #18
    No, moderators have that title on their posts. Usually threads are left open for those who may have additional comments or questions related to the topic.
     
  19. DudeMartin thread starter macrumors regular

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    Dec 2, 2010
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    #19
    Oh, so they don't revive age-old topics, so they just instead use recent threads? Okay, that makes sense - my bad (didn't know)!
     
  20. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #20
    You may find the Forum Rules and Forum FAQ helpful to read. For example, in the FAQ it says:
    That's one reason it's good to leave threads open, especially if they relate to a topic that gets asked about numerous times, such as batteries.
     

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