Battery health and life down the toilet

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by ayeying, May 20, 2011.

  1. ayeying macrumors 601

    ayeying

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2007
    Location:
    Yay Area, CA
    #1
    Okay, this is probably your normal battery posting... or not.

    Anyways, So I noticed that on average use, I can get about 3 hours out of the system, which is normal for me because I have the screen brightness at 100% and keyboard lighting on whenever available. Wi-Fi is also on, and sometimes I'll be running flash or vm's.

    However, Last week, I brought my system to school just to take notes during review for a Final. I had a full battery charge, turned off Wi-Fi so I don't surf on Facebook and such, had minimum brightness, no speakers, and keyboard lighting off. The dual graphics card was set to Intel only. I had to pull out the charger and plug the system in after the 2nd break, which was 3 hours into the 4 hour review. I was hoping to survive through the entire lecture on one charge, especially since I tried every method I can think of to conserve energy and I still got the same time out of it.

    I do calibrate my battery, last calibration was done 2 weeks ago.

    My cycles shows at 150, health is at 90%. According to CoconutBattery, the laptop is 20 weeks old, which is about right. I'm still within my 90 day telephone service.

    The only thing is, I'm using a 85 watt battery charger from my old 17" Core Duo and not the charger that came with this system. Has the charger been advanced in which, I might damage a battery using a different (older) charger? (because the health is actually dropping. It arrived with 102%, then slowing dropping over time)

    I don't know, it seems like somethings wrong if I can't really conserve battery time when I need it here.

    Any opinions? thoughts?
     
  2. DustinT macrumors 68000

    DustinT

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2011
    #2
    While you took the normal steps I wonder if there was some application running that would have demanded more from your system. Did you take a look at Activity Monitor or iStat? Those should help you sort out which apps are drawing power.
     
  3. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #3
    No, the charger isn't a problem. Your battery health will naturally fluctuate up and down over time. This should answer most, if not all, of your battery questions:
     
  4. ayeying thread starter macrumors 601

    ayeying

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2007
    Location:
    Yay Area, CA
    #4
    CPU usage was really low. Usually in just the 2-4% range, which is normally idle. The fans and temperatures were in the mid 50s/lower 60s also. I was wondering if a rogue application would be running but I didn't find any stealing CPU time.
     
  5. revelated macrumors 6502a

    revelated

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2010
    #5
    See bolded.

    The funny thing with the MacBook is that the rated battery life is basically done under a very simplistic scenario. If I don't have Flash installed, and use Safari to browse the web at 50% brightness over WiFi, I can reach 9 hours. If I run Mail.app, I will lose at least 3 of those hours. JUST Mail.app. If I run any Microsoft app, I will lose 4 of those hours. If I run VMWare and/or Parallels, I will lose 5 of those hours.

    They're doing construction at my job and they had to displace us so I was working on my 17" MacBook Pro sans power adapter. From a full charge I was basically good from 6AM to 1PM - 7 hours, which isn't bad at all. But I was forced to isolate my activities to Safari for browsing (Which sucks, BTW, as it does a horrible job stopping popups), TextEdit for editing (which isn't too bad. It's actually ok for formatting and whatnot). Nothing else running.
     
  6. ayeying thread starter macrumors 601

    ayeying

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2007
    Location:
    Yay Area, CA
    #6
    Um. If you took the time to re-read what I originally said, I was in class, only had Word opened, nothing else, just typing notes, don't even have Wi-Fi on so no point in having Safari or Firefox opened. I really, really, doubt just using Word 2011 would kill my battery down to 3 hours when it's possible to reach higher.

    And I said I'm fine with a 3 hour battery life when I'm at home or in a situation where I don't put battery life as a priority, therefore I tend to use the system how I like it, aka, max brightness, wifi, etc.
     
  7. tamvly macrumors 6502a

    tamvly

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2007
    #7
    My experience is that display brigthness has a big effect on battery life. Could you become comfortable with half brightness?
     
  8. DustinT macrumors 68000

    DustinT

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2011
    #8
    Lol, did you even read his post?
     
  9. ayeying thread starter macrumors 601

    ayeying

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2007
    Location:
    Yay Area, CA
    #9
    Guess not. I guess people read up to the first part... then say, the entire post must be about that.
     
  10. 8CoreWhore macrumors 68020

    8CoreWhore

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2008
    Location:
    Big D
    #10
    The point of your post as I understand is that normally you'll get three hours while doing a lot of things, but recently you only got three hours while doing not much at all.

    The Genius Bar can hook up to it and test for any defects.

    I wonder if the AHT (Apple Hardware Test) can detect problems in this area - worth a shot I guess.

    http://support.apple.com/kb/ht1509

    But hey, don't hesitate to have Apple check it out if you have a Apple store in your area.

    Also, set it to "sleep hard drive when possible" in your power settings while under battery.
     
  11. revelated macrumors 6502a

    revelated

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2010
    #11
    And if you paid closer attention you'd see where I clearly told you that anything Microsoft WILL kill your battery. They are NOT optimized for Mac OS and that's well known across the Interwebs. I lose 4 hours of battery life running any Microsoft app - considering the things are rated for 7 hours, I'm sure you can do the math yourself to see a possible truth to what I'm telling you.

    Instead of being pissy about it, how about you just test what I'm saying?

    Close EVERYTHING except TextEdit.
    Replicate your light conditions at school - low brightness, no keyboard, no WiFi, etc.

    Wait a few seconds. Then use the battery indicator to tell you directly how much battery life it expects to receive. Then come back here and feel free to tell me that yes, Microsoft was destroying your battery like I said. Logical, not magical. What's then your solution?

    A: Don't use Microsoft anything off the juice if you need the laptop disconnected for more than 5 hours.
    B: Deal with the short battery life.
    C: Use TextEdit which is significantly friendlier on the battery.

    I guarantee there's nothing wrong with your battery. It's how you're using it.
     
  12. tamvly macrumors 6502a

    tamvly

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2007
    #12
    Sure I read it. It says he always uses the display at 100% brightness. I asked if he might change his habits.

    Suggest you lose the superior attitude.
     
  13. ayeying thread starter macrumors 601

    ayeying

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2007
    Location:
    Yay Area, CA
    #13
    I haven't had the chance to set up an appointment yet, but I plan on to sometime next month. I'll try to working on a minimal state again and see if it's a weird fluke or somehow, something's awkwardly draining the battery.

    I don't care about the battery indicator telling me how much life I have. That doesn't matter. In fact, that indicator is a horrible way to tell how much battery life is remaining since it changes all the time due to load and other conditions.

    I'm talking about actual usage. From beginning, over 95% charge to less than 15% charge and requiring a power adapter. Now, Apple actually rated this model for 9-10 hours battery life. Obviously, that's short sighted since it literally means doing nothing to achieve that battery usage time.

    Furthermore, since the Mid-2010 and 2011 models use the same battery, except different hardware; Apple's more aggressive battery testing still somewhat applies in this model. If they can get up to 7 hours, and I'm receiving less than 1/2 of the time PLUS running a lot less applications and load, then obviously I would assume something's wrong.

    As quoted from Apple's site:

    And I really, really doubt running a idle application would have that much affect on battery life at all. If it was running processes, yes, otherwise, power usage should be minimal. I really don't see people complaining that Word 2011, which is written in Cocoa, which is Apple's coding, is killing their battery times.

    From the first post:

     
  14. revelated macrumors 6502a

    revelated

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2010
    #14
    Whatever dude. You're damn hardheaded. Go on and waste your time with battery tests. Microsoft Word is the culprit. Don't want to listen to me? Ask the Genius. Be ready to feel dumb.
     
  15. oButto macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2011
    #15
    Word doesn't drain my battery...You sound like the hard head...
     
  16. ender land macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2010
    #16
    I opened Microsoft Word 2011, began typing this post, and saw my total predicted battery life go from 4:16 to 3:56 (I recently have calibrated my battery too). While a noticeable decrease, no where near the magnitude you are describing.
     
  17. karohan macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2010
    #17
    I don't think it really matter what applications you run. It only matters because running more applications translates to higher CPU and GPU usage. Ultimately, this is what causes lower battery life.

    If the OP says his CPU usage was only around 2% or 4%, it doesn't matter if Word or TextEdit or Safari is causing that. That's still 2%, and the battery life should be affected as if 2% CPU usage was occurring (i.e. it should last longer than 3 hours).
     

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