Battery Life

Heather56

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jan 11, 2012
14
0
Canada
I just got my Macbook the other day, but the battery life seems really short. It only lasts for like 3hours and the only programs I am running are Safari, Aim and Word.

Side note: Is there anyway to turn off the keyboard backlight completely.
 

thejadedmonkey

macrumors G3
May 28, 2005
8,219
1,229
Pennsylvania
Battery life is dependent on usage. Things like Flash and watching internet videos will decrease battery life drastically. There is likely nothing wrong with your Mac.
I wouldn't make such a blanket statement like that. My Macbook Pro gets about 2.5-3 hours of battery life if I push it, but it's also from 2006. I would like to think in the past 5 years, battery life would have improved somewhat.

OP: Can you download cocobattery and let us know what it says?
 

GGJstudios

macrumors Westmere
May 16, 2008
44,436
800
I just got my Macbook the other day, but the battery life seems really short. It only lasts for like 3hours and the only programs I am running are Safari, Aim and Word.
There are many factors that impact your battery life. See the BATTERY LIFE FROM A CHARGE section of the following link for details.

This should answer most, if not all, of your battery questions:
Side note: Is there anyway to turn off the keyboard backlight completely.
Sure. Use the F5 key to turn the light all the way down.
Battery life is dependent on usage. Things like Flash and watching internet videos will decrease battery life drastically. There is likely nothing wrong with your Mac.
I wouldn't make such a blanket statement like that.
I would, because it's true. Read the section I mentioned above.
 

Heather56

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jan 11, 2012
14
0
Canada
I wouldn't make such a blanket statement like that. My Macbook Pro gets about 2.5-3 hours of battery life if I push it, but it's also from 2006. I would like to think in the past 5 years, battery life would have improved somewhat.

OP: Can you download cocobattery and let us know what it says?
Do you mean coconut battery?
 

thundersteele

macrumors 68030
Oct 19, 2011
2,984
8
Switzerland
I just got my Macbook the other day, but the battery life seems really short. It only lasts for like 3hours and the only programs I am running are Safari, Aim and Word.

Side note: Is there anyway to turn off the keyboard backlight completely.
Go to system preferences, keyboard, and uncheck the automatic adjustment. Then turn it off by pressing the F5 key until the keyboard brightness goes to zero. It shouldn't come on again, unless you manually switch it back on.


Concerning the battery life, just keep coconut battery running and check how much battery power you are using on average. The 13'' MBP has a battery with a capacity of 63.5 Watt hours. This means, with an average use of
10 W you get 6:20 hours battery life
15 W you get ~4 hours battery life

With my 15'' MBP I can stay in the 10 W region with very light web browsing (no videos etc.), but usually I'm a bit above that (12-13 W on average).
If you are not sure why your power usage is high while browsing, you can check Activity Monitor for processes that are CPU intensive - these are more or less directly responsible for the increased power usage.
 

GGJstudios

macrumors Westmere
May 16, 2008
44,436
800
On the iStart Pro what do I look at to see the battery performance?
When you install iStat Pro, click the "i" in the upper left corner and the iStat Pro window will flip over. On the reverse side, click "Sections" and make sure all the sections are on that you wish to view, including battery. When you click "Done" it will flip over and you'll be able to see battery status information.

ScreenCap 1.PNG
 

Heather56

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jan 11, 2012
14
0
Canada
Go to system preferences, keyboard, and uncheck the automatic adjustment. Then turn it off by pressing the F5 key until the keyboard brightness goes to zero. It shouldn't come on again, unless you manually switch it back on.


Concerning the battery life, just keep coconut battery running and check how much battery power you are using on average. The 13'' MBP has a battery with a capacity of 63.5 Watt hours. This means, with an average use of
10 W you get 6:20 hours battery life
15 W you get ~4 hours battery life

With my 15'' MBP I can stay in the 10 W region with very light web browsing (no videos etc.), but usually I'm a bit above that (12-13 W on average).
If you are not sure why your power usage is high while browsing, you can check Activity Monitor for processes that are CPU intensive - these are more or less directly responsible for the increased power usage.
Yeah, I had it clicked off in the settings, just didn't know the F5 button was for the keyboard light, thanks!

10W with light web browsing and nothing else?
Something called Kernel_task is appearing in the activity monitor all the time, what is that?
 

thundersteele

macrumors 68030
Oct 19, 2011
2,984
8
Switzerland
10W with light web browsing and nothing else?
Yes, that's what I said. What numbers do you get?

Also, you didn't tell us that you have the 15'' machine... it's possible that some program requests the dedicated graphics card, which will suck quite a bit more power. Google gfxcardstatus
 

Heather56

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jan 11, 2012
14
0
Canada
Or she can follow the recommendation I made in my first post to look at the BATTERY LIFE FROM A CHARGE section of the Battery FAQ I posted, which discusses gfxCardStatus and provides a link.
I got the gfxcardstatus, and the options are integrated, discrete, and dynamic, what should I set it on?

CHARGING
It is also normal that your battery may not charge to 100%. The battery may appear to stop charging between 93 percent and 99 percent, because the batteries are designed to avoid short discharge/charge cycles in order to prolong the overall life of the battery. When it reaches a full charge, the light on your MagSafe adapter will turn green. This indicates that it has stopped charging your battery and you are now running on A/C power with a fully charged battery. It will not overcharge your battery. It's also perfectly safe to let your Mac notebook sleep with A/C plugged in.
So this means it is safe to leave it charged in most of the time, when I'm using it at home? I just don't want to wreck the battery.
 

Freyqq

macrumors 601
Dec 13, 2004
4,022
172
I got the gfxcardstatus, and the options are integrated, discrete, and dynamic, what should I set it on?



So this means it is safe to leave it charged in most of the time, when I'm using it at home? I just don't want to wreck the battery.
Integrated means forced low-performance/better battery life
discrete means faster-performance/worse battery
dynamic means automatic switching
 

GGJstudios

macrumors Westmere
May 16, 2008
44,436
800
So this means it is safe to leave it charged in most of the time, when I'm using it at home? I just don't want to wreck the battery.
It's safe to operate with your battery plugged in and fully charged. Just be sure you don't run plugged in all the time, since your battery needs to be exercised to stay healthy.
 
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