Battery health comparison of 2 identical Macbooks with different usage for a year

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Canzz, Oct 22, 2014.

  1. Canzz macrumors newbie

    Sep 30, 2013
    Hey guys. After buying MBPr last year this time, i immediately started researching how to preserve the battery health the best. I dont remember which threads i checked but i can say i have researched a lot. After many days past and tons of comments read I was convinced that best way is;

    -If you have the chance to use your MBP plugged in, do it. Plugged in is healthier (not to be used plugged in for months though)
    -If not emergency, dont let it past 20%, its not healthy to drain completely

    My roommate on the other hand, who bought the same MBP on the same day i bought, used it without any certain rules, sometimes plugged in, mostly on battery, often drains the battery fully.

    After one year of usage, here are the results. :(


    Carefully used 150Cycle = Hardcore used 450Cycle :eek:

    We mostly used his laptop in the living room thats why he has lot more cycles than i do, also as i said, i used it mostly plugged in thats another thing. As far as i know 1 cycle is a fully used battery. I mean If you use it until 50% and recharge it and using it again until 50% will increase the cycle count by one right? In any way, it should be showing just how much it is used on battery.

    If we consider the battery health is the same with these two usage (Carefully used 150Cycle = Hardcore used 450Cycle) result is quite disappointing, for me at least :confused: No more certain rules for battery usage anymore.

  2. cjmillsnun macrumors 68020

    Aug 28, 2009
    Ignore the cycles.

    Look at the Current Max figures, they are more relevant.

    5825 mAh and 5792 mAh.

    Two thirds of naff all difference. The batteries are pretty much equally healthy. That shows that both methods of conditioning the battery work fine.
  3. Canzz thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 30, 2013
    yeah i noticed but ignored it since theres not even 1% difference. (yesterday my battery health was 93 :) )

    Even if we ignore the cycles i know that we have used his laptop more than double of mine. Isnt it weird?
  4. cjmillsnun macrumors 68020

    Aug 28, 2009
    Not really.

    The battery is meant to be good for 5000 cycles IIRC.
  5. Canzz thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 30, 2013
    I mean even if we use with similar preference my battery health should be significantly healthier since i didnt use as half of him. This either indicates my method of usage is harmfull or no matter how you use, how much you use time is the only constraint. (which is not)


    Apple says its 1000

    Im not talking about cycles, please read my last message.
  6. cjmillsnun macrumors 68020

    Aug 28, 2009
    OK I got that wrong,

    But I had an app I tried (fruit juice) , and it recommended that you used the battery at least slightly every day to keep it in good condition.
  7. MacSumo macrumors regular

    Nov 26, 2013
    well, you could keep trying for another year and see what happens.
  8. nobodyjustwalks macrumors regular

    Jan 23, 2013
    Disappointing? Thatʻs one way to look at it. I think itʻs encouraging. Your roommate used it without regard for the battery and itʻs held up fine. I would think thatʻs what MBP users would want to see. Your test shows that you can use your laptop either way and it will be fine.
  9. Canzz thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 30, 2013
    actually not, as i wrote in previous messages the usage amount is NOT the same. pluged-in or on battery, if i have used my laptop X hours my roommates macbook should be used around 3X hours. (i mostly used my ipad in the living room and he used macbook :)) So the way i use is harmful, not fine either way. thats disappointing :)
  10. Richyrich1975, Oct 22, 2014
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2014

    Richyrich1975 macrumors member

    Jul 1, 2009
    You're missing the most important factor relating to battery degradation...Time passed.

    This is why your similar aged batteries are pretty much showing the same health. Normal useage will not affect the battery, it's what they are designed for. Although, draining to 0% often will have an adverse affect eventually, so try and avoid this.

    The only way to preserve lithium batteries is cold temp storage. Which I think is at about 5°C and even doing this doesn't stop degradation, it just slows it.
  11. nobodyjustwalks macrumors regular

    Jan 23, 2013
    If I understand you correctly, youʻre pointing out that your battery was used less, and your roommateʻs battery more, and at the end your "usage" was the same as his--correct? Therefore, you brought your battery down to the same "battery life" as his by keeping it plugged in more often than not.

    I can see how you think thatʻs disappointing...but until you use your MBP another year, you wonʻt know if itʻll stay at 92% until you catch up to his cycle count, or decrease in tandem with his. After all, the batteries are rated for 1000 cycles.

    What I see is >>

    1. Your roommateʻs battery is doing well, and what it was designed to do. Thatʻs not disappointing by any means as he is at 400+ cycles.
    2. Your battery has the potential to do the same. You just need to keep using it and observe.
    3. Battery replacements are around $100 US, why bother trying to save it, just use it and enjoy it before it gets old.

    Good luck!
  12. MacSumo macrumors regular

    Nov 26, 2013
    really? thought it would be more than that.
  13. Richyrich1975 macrumors member

    Jul 1, 2009
    This won't happen though, his battery will degrade because it will be a year older.

    OP, is the climate you live in, a warm climate?
  14. nobodyjustwalks macrumors regular

    Jan 23, 2013

    Well if it does then something is wrong and he should hopefully get a replacement from Apple. Simple as that. These forums are filled with battery "stories" of all kinds. Only time will tell.
  15. Richyrich1975 macrumors member

    Jul 1, 2009
    You misunderstand me. His battery will degrade to between 82/88%. Thats just how these batteries operate. If it doesn't change his calibration was wrong in the first place.

    People's batteries in colder climates should degrade slower.
  16. nobodyjustwalks macrumors regular

    Jan 23, 2013
    Battery health comparison of 2 identical Macbooks with different usage for a ...

    No I didn't misunderstanding. Also, your statement was vague. Two people referenced. Two laptops. And your post could refer to either. Not a big deal though.

    I think you misunderstood my response. Yes...personally, I think his battery might degrade. Or it might not. I'm not him, neither are you. "We" will never know.
    To say "that's just how these batteries operate" is an opinion. Not fact. Not what I've personally experienced. Especially since the OPs battery is barely at 1/10 the usage. Which is why i state, the OP will have to wait and see how his battery performs.

    I've owned enough of them, as I'm sure you have, and I've been lucky to never have had one with a poor battery. That being said, I've watched battery life decline over time, just as the OP, utilizing a variety of usage scenarios.

    Also, newer batteries do not need calibration. As Apple states on their website. Older ones maybe, but you'd have to Google which models.

    ***If his battery degrades to 82% with double his current cycles. And this is a newer laptop with a 1000 cycle battery, then he's almost at the point where it'll warrant having the laptop looked at. He'd be at around 300 cycles and he'd need to be above 80% for 700 more cycle. Hence my statement that who knows, maybe his battery will maintain his current health percentage. Provided it's not a bad battery.
  17. Richyrich1975 macrumors member

    Jul 1, 2009
    I agree, losing 8% in a year seems excessive but I suspect the OP lives in a hot climate which will speed up degradation but all lithium-ion batteries will degrade to some degree year on year, that is just their chemistry.

    A lot of testing has been done on Lithium batteries and these are just the facts based on the data produced and is repeatable time after time.
  18. nobodyjustwalks macrumors regular

    Jan 23, 2013

    Yes I think so too, it should degrade some. I hope Broadwell and Skylake really do something to increase battery life. I'd love to get the 12 hrs MacBook Air owners are getting on a 15" Pro.
  19. Canzz thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 30, 2013
    Im sorry for the misunderstandings, english is not my first language. Let me try to clarify the whole situation briefly.

    - Last yeat I researched a lot and convinced that best way to keep battery healthy is mostly is to use plugged in, dont drain battery more than 20%

    - My roommate bought the same macbook same day (MBPr 13" 256
    ), he never used plugged in, macbook was only on charge when it drained until it shut down so he would get his lazy ass up and grab the cable :)

    -For a year we used his laptop in the living room when we were hanging out (most of the time everyday). I mostly used my phone or ipad while my laptop is either in my room plugged in, or in my bag.

    -Im assuming if i used my macbook (plugged in or on battery doesnt matter) for total of X hours, my roommate and i used his for 3X hours. (if theres any indicator in mac settings that would show the actual total hours used in some way, let me know and i will check both MBP's)

    -So i think even if the method i have followed is not efficient, I expect my battery health to be better since I didnt use my laptop nearly as half as he did. now i feel like my method is not just "not efficient", just harmful.

    -I admit that most of the time im not using it, it was on standby, not off. But still, Its hard to believe this will degrade battery life more than actually using it.

    Other detail

    - Im living in Toronto, its not so warm in here :)
    - Getting a replacement battery is not the issue, i knew it was not so expensive, but why not follow the most suggested usage (according to my own research), if its not limiting how I use it :) if im just lazy to put the charger while its 5-10% i dont. Im not crazy about it :)

    Ask me anything. im really curious about this issue.
  20. nobodyjustwalks macrumors regular

    Jan 23, 2013
    No problem. Yes, I understand. There really isn't a good answer to your question. Which is why I said you'll have to wait and see. What you've been doing up to now seems fine. Leave it charging and unplug once in a while.

    The only thing Apple says about their newer batteries is that they'll last up to 1000 cycles, and while doing so, remain somewhere above 80% until the batteries reach the 1000 cycle mark.

    At the end of the day, since they're inexpensive to replace, enjoy your laptop. Or your next new laptop.

    Good luck!!
  21. JHUFrank macrumors 6502a


    Apr 16, 2010
    Yeah, a lot less worrying and a lot more using your Macbook and having fun with it.
    Just as an anecdotal example, my wife's 2010 MBP is finally dipping into the 80% health area and she is only getting a couple of hours of use on it while on battery. She is a VERY HEAVY user. So, we have finally accepted that after 4 years its time to go get a new 150 buck battery. I think that's pretty darn good performance. And no, she refuses to get a new computer. I dolled up her macbook with a big SSD and 8 gigs of ram and she is thrilled.
  22. momo77735 macrumors newbie

    Nov 30, 2010
    I haven't really found the app to be that accurate. Mine fluctuates from 98-102% after every charge. I found you get a higher value if you start charging when the battery is around 90-95%.

    Pretty interesting though. I have a similar aged MBr.

    For the first 8 months or so I used to discharge once a week but then Apple got rid of that on their website and I stopped doing it.
  23. JTravers macrumors 6502a

    Jun 28, 2010

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