Battery question

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by Bob Coxner, Sep 13, 2011.

  1. Bob Coxner macrumors 6502a

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    Mar 24, 2011
    #1
    2011 MBA 13/4/128. I've only had it for less than 3 weeks. I've done two calibrations. iStat and Coconut both report that it's now at 96% health and 7 cycles.

    I've read through the battery faq's but 96% after only 7 cycles doesn't seem right. Everything else is working great so I'm reluctant to return it to Amazon for a replacement.

    Am I overreacting or is that more than a normal drop in 7 cycles?
     
  2. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

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    #2
    Yes, you're overreacting. If you read the Apple Notebook Battery FAQ, you would have read:
     
  3. iphonsteve4ajob macrumors regular

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    #3
    GGJstudios, I've got a question. Could you provide me the link for the the actual Apple page where it states the information you provide in your link regarding battery capacity?

    I see your frequent helpful posts to members pointing them in the right direction for battery facts. I've personally found your link helpful as well. However, I am asking out of sheer curiosity. If there is one page I cannot find as far as battery information goes (on Apple's website), it is the one described in your post stating the battery "current capacity" fluctuations. I'd like to read up on it myself since it is a question I encounter often on various forums.

    Thank you! :)
     
  4. GGJstudios, Sep 14, 2011
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2011

    GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

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    #4
    That battery capacity (health) fluctuates up and down, with a general downward trend over time is a matter of fact, evidenced by every battery in use. There doesn't need to be a statement of that fact on Apple's site, any more than there needs to be a statement that using your computer will drain the battery or plugging it in will charge it. It's not a matter of opinion, but reality. The fluctuation in the reading is mostly due to the fact that the readings are only estimates. Even with a properly calibrated battery, the readings are not 100% accurate.
     
  5. iphonsteve4ajob macrumors regular

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    #5
    I agree with your statements as I have experienced the same for myself. My 13" Air's battery capacity started at 100%, jumped to 101%, dropped to 99% and is currently at 98%.

    In regards to your statement that "there doesn't need to be a statement of that fact on Apple's site" well that is a matter of opinion.

    Perhaps you could edit "Apple Notebook Battery FAQ" to clarify which facts are from the Apple website, and which are personal observances collected over time. One is not the other, no matter how well intentioned.

    Accurate troubleshooting requires concise information from the manufacturer in regards to operating parameters; information that cannot be deemed as such often times has the unfortunate effect of spreading misinformation. In this case, stating that a "new" apple battery can fluctuate down to 91% and then back up to 99%, possibly 100% is not an occurrence that is supported by Apple, but by personal observances (these occurrences based on countless variations of system configurations) and as such should not be labelled as having come from Apple.

    Personally, my computer battery will fluctuate 2-3% tops. That is just my personal observation. But a 9% variation is highly unlikely. And advising members that they should not worry when seeing "current capacity" fluctuate this greatly with a new battery is inaccurate.

    Where then do we draw the line as consumers? 89%....87% with a new battery? It is not enough to just state that the readings are not 100% accurate. There has to be responsibility taken at some ceiling of a percentage.

    Clarification is critical. If there is not a way you can do this then all the "reality" and "opinions" put forth do members no good.
     
  6. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

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    #6
    It is not unlikely at all, as I myself have seen a variation over time of more than 9%, and I'm certainly not the only one. The numbers, by the way, are not intended to be exact for everyone, but only to indicate that variations up and down are normal. The percentage of variation is irrelevant, as long as it doesn't drop below 80% before the target number of cycles.
     
  7. iphonsteve4ajob macrumors regular

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    #7
    I understand your intent. Like I said...I have, as all of us have, seen this variation. Ok...the numbers are intended to be an example of variations, but with such a broad range stated, there should be a disclaimer noted as well. It is an extremely helpful battery post. I think it would be useful to note whether the criteria is from Apple or from your careful observations & gathered data. As for seeing a 9% variation on a new battery...well I won't dispute your observations, but it seems a bit high to me.

    Set the percentage variation too low and you risk someone with a new Mac and defective battery thinking his system is ok.

    On a side note:

    I disagree with your "percentage of variation is irrelevant" statement. Yes, Apple may state that above 80% at 1000 cycles is the norm, but even within that statement there is an "expectation" of a normal degradation of "current capacity." I expect to see it drop over the course of cycles and time (variations included) 100, 98, 96, 94, 91, 90, 89. NOT 92, 91, 90, 89, 88.

    Think of someone with a 1yr old notebook, 500 cycles at 79%. They'd be up in arms and at the nearest Apple store demanding and receiving a replacement battery. Their ammo...they should've had 500 more cycles before seeing the dreaded 79% A 1% difference yes, but how important is that single percentage? Then why does an 8% drop off the get go not matter?
     
  8. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

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    #8
    But a variation like 92, 91, 95, 97, 88 is quite normal, as has been reported hundreds of times in the 1000+ battery threads.
     
  9. vitzr macrumors 68030

    vitzr

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    #9
    This is very true. My experience mirrors the range of fluctuations as well. I've had quite a number of new Apple MBP's and in every case despite the fluctuations, I've enjoyed long battery life spans.
     
  10. Gregintosh macrumors 68000

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    Jan 29, 2008
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    Chicago
    #10
    I think today's batteries are supposed to last through 1,000 charge cycles before they only hold 80% of their original capacity (which is still a lot). That means if you charged once everyday, you shouldn't have to worry much about it for about 3 years.

    The problem with keeping a super close eye on it is that your brain will magnify any anomalies and then you will freak out, take many trips to the genius bar, and go through half a dozen units before you realize nothing was really wrong to begin with.
     
  11. iphonsteve4ajob macrumors regular

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    #11
    I think you're generalizing here. Yes I agree when you're at 92%, you can certainly drop to 91%. When you're at 97% you can certainly rise to 98%.

    What I don't agree with is starting out at 91% never getting near 100% (with a new battery) and being OK with this. Which if you read your post carefully, it implies. You group the terms "new battery," "fluctuation," and "91%," and "92%," in the same paragraph. When does a battery stop being brand new? When can I take my data for what it is and take corrective actions as a result?

    Accuracy my friend...I was hoping you would take the suggestion as an opportunity to exercise accuracy in your statements.

    The point I am making is that your information is NOT from the Apple website. That alone is the single most important fact here. You may want to just add that to your post. IF that is too difficult for you. Please don't bother. It is still a helpful post. Your written statement implies that the information is from Apple. This is executed through your formatting of the post.

    And please stop arguing the fact that fluctuations exist. How many times do I need to say that yes I see this everyday?? I read the same posts as you do day in and day out about people's batt fluctuations and life.

    ----------

    Grenintosh, Please read the previous posts carefully before adding to the discussion. None of what you mentioned in your post is the point of the back and forth between GGJ and me.
     
  12. ntrigue macrumors 68040

    ntrigue

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    #12
    Far too many users dig into things they should just ignore until its a problem. This is a true #firstworldproblem and has ZERO impact on day to day usage.
     
  13. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

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    #13
    Who said anything about a new battery starting out at 91%? I certainly haven't.
    No, it doesn't imply that at all. You're misreading the statement, which is quite clear.
    It doesn't matter what terms are used in the same paragraph. It matters how they're arranged into sentences. Re-read the paragraph. There is no ambiguity and no implication that a new battery would start out at 91%.
    My statements are quite accurate:
    No, it doesn't imply that at all. I clearly quote information when it comes directly from Apple, along with links to the sources of the quotes, or if I paraphrase, I still provide links when those statements come from information on the Apple site. There is nothing misleading or inaccurate in the FAQ. Your interpretation of what is so clearly stated is inaccurate.
     
  14. iphonsteve4ajob, Sep 14, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 15, 2011

    iphonsteve4ajob macrumors regular

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    #14
    Clearly this will get no where between you and I. Especially doing a tit for tat back and forth quoting sentences and paragraphs. So as much as I disagree with your interpretation of my statements above I will leave that there.

    Your post is interpreted by you. Of course you understand it. I read your post often and obvious questions come to mind. Will EVERYONE see it my way? Hardly. Would some have similar questions, possibly...but how will I ever know? I do know this...that the questions that come to mind when reading that particular part of your FAQ post are relevant and not far fetched by any means.

    This forum's quality comes from discussion and debate. Without once addressing anything I was attempting to discuss with you you finally address it in your last post. Which shows me how very prideful you must be. Dancing around the topic with yes it fluctuates, yes it fluctuates....typical and unintelligent.

    I really dislike people like you and I will tell you why. I was curious what your response would be when I initially asked you for where the information was from. Your response "There doesn't need to be a statement of that fact on Apple's site, any more than there needs to be a statement that using your computer will drain the battery or plugging it in will charge it. It's not a matter of opinion, but reality."

    You know what that says to me....since we are in the world of text and not speaking to each other. It says I am right, right, right...."there doesn't need to be a statement of fact," "it is not a matter of opinion, but reality." Right GGJ studios? Thousands of post back you up! Thousands of posts....

    Give me break. And what BS is this??

    No, it doesn't imply that at all. I clearly quote information when it comes directly from Apple, along with links to the sources of the quotes, or if I paraphrase, I still provide links when those statements come from information on the Apple site. There is nothing misleading or inaccurate in the FAQ. Your interpretation of what is so clearly stated is inaccurate.


    That whole damn Apple Notebook Battery FAQ reads as if it is from Apples site. Why....Because it is. No kidding! In fact I even agree with what you just stated. However, the passage in question I am referring to is not from Apple. It was a suggestion that you could possibly put that somewhere. I never said your post was a giant load of BS.
     
  15. GGJstudios, Sep 15, 2011
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2011

    GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

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    #15
    I never suggested that your questions are not relevant or far fetched. That's why I'm answering them.
    I completely agree, which is why I'm discussing this with you. I am in no way attempting to quash your questions. I also haven't disrespected you or called you names or belittled you in any way, something I wish you could claim, as well.
    I've addressed every question you asked, in all my posts.
    I'm not prideful at all. Do you know how the Battery FAQ came to be? People kept asking the same questions and I and others kept posting the same answers. I decided it would be much more helpful and efficient to collect the battery information into one post, then simply point people to that post. It sure saves abuse on my carpal tunnel syndrome. Over time, people have made suggestions or asked questions not covered by the FAQ, and I've made additions/amendments to cover those, so it has evolved. You are the only one in the 1000+ times the FAQ has been posted over the years that has misread the statements, making the inferences you have. If there was a misstatement of fact or a critical omission of useful information, I would cheerfully add it. This is not the case, however.
    I don't dance. I've directly addressed every component of your questions, even if you disagree with my responses.
    That is certainly your right. Fortunately, my purpose here is to answer questions and help people with their Mac-related issues, not to win some popularity contest. This isn't Facebook for me, which is why you won't see me posting in the more socially-oriented forums here on Mac-unrelated topics.
    That's because it's an obvious fact that is proven in everyone's experience with Apple notebook batteries.
    No, it says everyone who has posted reports of battery health fluctuations is right... not me.
     
  16. iphonsteve4ajob, Sep 15, 2011
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2011

    iphonsteve4ajob macrumors regular

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    #16
    1. I never stated that you stated that my questions were far fetched. The relevance of your rebuttal?

    2. You're right. I will apologize for that.

    3. No you did not. That is your opinion. Post after post, you regale me with facts about fluctuations, to which I told you I agree. Had you truly sat down and read what I was attempting to relay to you, I might have received a different response. You do not attempt to address my concern...you attempt to win your argument.

    4. I don't care if we agree or disagree...you danced around my very simple statement from the beginning, where I state that "perhaps" it would be a good idea to post that that particular passage isn't from Apple. To which you constantly reply that fluctuations occur, which addresses nothing expect your defensive nature.

    5. I think I'm entitled to my opinion...and it hasn't changed. Your relaying to me your virtuous reasons for posting are unnecessary. We are all here to help each other. I may not have as many posts as you, but I am no less sincere in my replies. And even this tiresome post was done on my part to create accuracy within information that is disseminated to the forum. Not to pick on you. Why would I?

    6. NO IT IS NOT AN OBVIOUS FACT. You love to use the "everyone" line, but unless you show me coconut battery data from multiple members showing a current capacity of 91% and a rise back up to 100%, DROP IT. Why you do not understand this...is because you do not understand what I am trying to say to you. I agree batteries fluctuate you and I are eye to eye on this. But when you imply that battery health fluctuates (on a new batt) and that fluctuation CAN take you to 91%, then one can safely assume that you mean that this same fluctuation will take me back up to 100%. You state that "it is not a one way fluctuation" yes I know this too. You state that 92% can become 97%...possibly. Therefore, people reading your statement know that you are attempting to tell them that battery will fluctuate. And I can infer that if I "strangely" were at 91% with a new batt one morning, that I could look forward to it regaining full capacity over time. Why can I not make the assumption it will go to 100% or close to? New members in this situation will not sit there at 91% and be gleeful when it rises to 93% and no higher. They will expect (after reading your post) a rise to relative full capacity (on a new batt). You don't specify that it can't? It's not how you understand your post, its how I interpret your very simple post. There is room for minor improvement. I say again...minor. No one's insulting your info.

    7. Again...please stop doing this in your argument. You keep referring to "everyone" it's not everyone! That's like me telling you I went to work today and in an engineering meeting brought up your post, gave a background on what I would like the listeners to consider that they could infer from the particular passage and then came back to you stating "hey almost 85% of the room had the same questions I had." I simply wouldn't do it. It's not worth it, it certainly doesn't respect your intelligence.
     
  17. GGJstudios, Sep 15, 2011
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2011

    GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

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    #17
    That wasn't a rebuttal. That was an agreement that your questions are relevant, and proof of that agreement by the fact that I didn't suggest otherwise and have responded to your questions.
    Apology cheerfully accepted. Thank you.
    I've carefully read everything you've posted. Please re-state any question I may have missed and failed to address.
    I didn't dance around your suggestion at all. I clearly stated that I disagreed that such an amendment is necessary. Disagreeing with you isn't avoiding the issue.
    I completely agree that you're entitled to your opinion. Everyone has one.
    That battery health fluctuates is an obvious fact to anyone paying attention to their battery readings. That's why we have so many threads with people posting concerns that their battery health has fluctuated. The fact that it fluctuated is obvious. What isn't as clear to some is that such a fluctuation is normal.
    I haven't said anywhere that capacity will go back to 100%, even though some have reported that it has for them. Even for those cases where that may have happened, the 100% is short-lived, as all batteries die either a quick or slow death.
    One who assumes that is assuming incorrectly. This is where you're misreading or misinterpreting what I've said. In no way have I inferred that the fluctuation will take a battery back to 100% health. I chose the numbers I used to illustrate fluctuation very carefully, to avoid just such an inference. You'll notice in the string of sample fluctuating percentages, not one of the later numbers is 100%.
    To infer such is based on a false assumption and misinterpretation. I've never stated that a new battery would be at 91%, nor have I ever stated or inferred that any battery would ever regain full capacity over time. Quite the opposite is true: batteries die over time, but the reported battery health isn't a straight downward movement.

    The concern being addressed is one that has been posted countless times. For example, someone with a battery that is 2 weeks old sees a battery health of 96% and tries to calculate, based on that rate, that their battery health will continue to decline at the same rate, giving them a dead battery in a year. The fact is that the reported health will fluctuate up and down over time, with a downward trend. Therefore, you can't assign any reliable rate of decline and predict when a battery will die.
    I didn't say "everyone." I said:
     
  18. iphonsteve4ajob macrumors regular

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    #18
    "The concern being addressed is one that has been posted countless times. For example, someone with a battery that is 2 weeks old sees a battery health of 96% and tries to calculate, based on that rate, that their battery health will continue to decline at the same rate, giving them a dead battery in a year."

    MY GOD...THIS IS NOT THE CONCERN I WAS ADDRESSING? IN OUR THREE HOUR CONVERSATION OF POSTS???

    See you around GGJs.
     
  19. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

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    #19
    Again, you misread. I didn't say that was YOUR concern. That is the concern posted by many that is addressed by that paragraph in the FAQ. Perhaps your reading comprehension will improve with a good night's sleep.
     
  20. iphonsteve4ajob macrumors regular

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    #20
    Don't live this way my friend.
     
  21. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

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    #21
    I'm very pleased with my life. How's yours? :)
     
  22. Bob Coxner thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #22
    I understand the fluctuations but it would still be nice to have some baseline numbers to work from, even if it's a range of numbers.

    For example, if my 3 week old MBA, with 7 cycles, drops to 85%, is that a reason to return it? It's still above the magic 80% mark but even with fluctuations I don't see it making it to 1000 cycles and staying about 80%. If you say return it then what guide are you citing for your advice?

    If 85% and 7 cycles is returnable then what's the cutoff? 90% and 7 cycles, what would you do? Where is the guide for making that determination? Just saying "fluctuations" and "don't worry about it" isn't what I'm looking for in a $1300 computer.
     
  23. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

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    #23
    Apple's policy is that they won't replace a battery if it's still above 80%, no matter how long you've had it. There are many cases where an Apple rep made an exception to that policy, but it's not guaranteed. If you suspect you have a defective battery, you can take it to them and let them test it. They may determine through their tests that the battery is defective. There are no definitive numbers like what you're asking.
     

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