Battery Life horrible after dual drives installed

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by stikygum, Oct 14, 2012.

  1. stikygum macrumors newbie

    Jun 5, 2012
    I installed a SSD in my hard drive area and a 2nd HDD in the optical bay with using one of the many kits you can buy to do this. I am enjoying having a 2nd drive, but the battery life is pretty bad. I think I'm getting less than or around 3 hours of battery. I have 2011 MBP and can't believe the 2nd drive is causing the battery to take such a hit.

    Is this common with dual drives? I'm also wondering if the battery life depends on what kind of programs your running and how many. It seems like it can get better battery life if I don't do a whole lot on my MBP, something like just browse the internet with one window. Anyone know what can be done to help extend the battery life?
  2. T5BRICK macrumors G3


    Aug 3, 2006
    Well, the optical drive uses next to no power when it's not doing anything. The HDD uses a decent amount of power when it has to spin up and transfer data. Are you often accessing files on it?
  3. skitzogreg macrumors 6502


    Oct 31, 2007
    What's your cycle count on your battery? This could be caused by complete coincidence; your battery could be going bad during the same time as the optibay was installed with no correlation.
  4. w00t951 macrumors 68000


    Jan 6, 2009
    Pittsburgh, PA
    I used Terminal to make my HDD spin down after 1 minute of inactivity. As long as I don't open any programs that have data on the HDD (iTunes, for me), the HDD stays quiet.
  5. 262Runnr macrumors regular


    Jul 21, 2008
    How do you do that?

    I am also having similar battery issues. I had to remove my Optibay so I could take my MBP back to the Apple store to have them check my battery. They found everything "normal" :confused:
    I haven't put the 2nd HDD back in yet but plan to put it back in the near future and would like to make sure that my 2nd HDD is as little drain on the battery as possible.
  6. Agent-P macrumors 68030


    Dec 5, 2009
    The Tri-State Area
    It might just be a weird coincidence with your system because my 2011 MBP didn't see any drop in battery life after installing the Optibay. The only thing I did different than you was I left the HDD in the stock location and I put the SSD in the Optibay, but I don't think that should make a difference.
  7. stikygum thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 5, 2012
    That's good to know that you can put the HDD to sleep. I haven't used the 2nd drive yet. I have it mounted on my desktop with my SSD though. Not sure if it's better to leave those off the desktop. Does it make a difference having it their over having it in the dock?

    The battery cycles is a good point. I have 320 cycles. Read that normal batteries are good for between 300-500 cycles.

    I would like to know how to use Terminal to put my HDD to sleep as well. That could come in handy.
  8. 262Runnr macrumors regular


    Jul 21, 2008
  9. cnymike, Oct 15, 2012
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2012

    cnymike macrumors newbie

    Nov 7, 2004
    Though my situation is a bit different, the bottom line is that I have terrible battery life in my new MBP.

    I purchased a refurb, 15" 2.7GHz Quad-core Intel i7 with Hi-Res antiglare widescreen display, 1680-by-1050 resolution (not retina display. I've updated to OSX 10.8.2 and have the latest supplemental update too.

    My battery checks out and using coconut battery says that it has only 11 cycles so far and the design capacity of the battery is 6900mAh. My battery is indicated to be 6921 mAh capacity which is slightly better than design capacity.

    Maximum charge is indicated to be 6921 mAh according to coconut battery.

    I am not doing anything very demanding at this point, I just got the comptuer 2 weeks ago. Basically just running a browser over WiFi is about all I've used it for so far. I do have Bluetooth engaged but it's mostly not in use. I'm not using the optical drive at all, have my display backlight at about 70% and keyboard lighting is minimal though it is on a little bit.

    I've got Dropbox and SkyDrive installed but there is not much I do with either of them. I imagine there is some polling going on but since no files are being sent or received, the impact on battery should be minimal right? I've also fired up activity monitor and it's usually activity monitor itself using the most CPU...around 2-3%. Safari is using about the same when I check. So not much really going on as far as I can tell.

    This all results in battery life of only 3.5 -4 hours max. That does not seem right to me particularly since Apple says "up to 7 hours on a single charge."

    I took the MBP to an Apple store this afternoon and the "Genius" hooked it up and ran some diagnostics. Everything checked out fine. He offered to replace the battery but I declined since there was no indication that the battery was at fault.

    So I'm hoping that someone else with a similar configuration might give me some guidance as to whether 4 hours max is normal for this. If so, I'm not too happy with that number, My 13" mid-2012 MBP gets phenomenal battery life,. I realize the 15" has a quad-core, larger display, more robust video, but it also has a correspondingly larger battery so I would expect better battery life.

  10. newdeal macrumors 68020

    Oct 21, 2009

    Which gpu is running?

  11. Fares macrumors newbie

    Oct 15, 2012
    I'm getting horrible battery life too and I have two SSD's!!!
  12. cnymike macrumors newbie

    Nov 7, 2004
    I installed gfxCardStatus so I could track that and normally it's showing "i" in my menubar. Like I said, I am mostly just web browsing at this point and I use Safari.
  13. cnymike macrumors newbie

    Nov 7, 2004
    Well, I battened down the hatches and was able to improve my battery life to a point where I don't think I have a problem after all. I just have to be vigilant about what is running.,

    I turned off bluetooth, I reduced screen brightness to 50%, I turned off keyboard backlight completely, I made sure I use Safari, not Chrome.

    Doing as much energy conservation as I could comfortably do I was able to get a bit over 5 hours and still had 12% left on the battery which probably translates to another 45 minutes or so.

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