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ArkSingularity

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Mar 5, 2022
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I've been using my M1 Macbook Pro for about 9 months, and so far it's been an incredible replacement for my proudly "vintage" 2012. The battery life is still insanely good, so it's had me wondering more about what happens under the hood. I took both Macs and did two full charge-discharge calibration cycles and then checked Coconut Battery on each. To my amazement, the old 2012 has 1855 cycles and is at 87.3% battery health. Absolutely incredible for the original battery on a machine that is nearly a decade old!

I then checked the 2020 and I've been a little less lucky, as it's currently at 149 cycles and is at 92.4%. Definitely not shabby, but these batteries are rated for 1000 cycles, so I rushed to judgment and initially assumed Apple MUST have sent me some kind of a defective battery (ah, Apple, screwing over their customers with lithium ion batteries that, you know, act like lithium ion batteries). After realizing I was complaining about a ridiculously minor problem (Seriously, who complains about a battery with 93% health), I did some research on this and discovered that this is pretty much entirely average behavior for the M1s. They tend to degrade more rapidly within the first year or so and then level off (according to the stats of Coconut Battery users at least), so it turns out my battery was fine after all.

Modern battery technology is quite a complex science, so I have decided to do everything I can to take care of it, (especially since I set up a new office space where I'm leaving it mostly plugged in now). I've been using Aldente for a couple of weeks now, and it's been very nice so far. Sailing mode is still something I'm trying to figure out, but aside from this it's been simple and has made it very easy to arbitrarily limit the charge at pretty much any level of my choosing. (Not sure what percentage is really best yet. I've been setting it to 70%, which seems like a fair balance for my use case.)

Anyone else using Aldente on the M1s? What has your experience been so far?
 
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altaic

macrumors 6502a
Jan 26, 2004
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440
Sounds like you’re on the right track. Indeed, battery degradation is nonlinear and dependent on the specific chemistry.

My 16” MBP M1 Max is plugged in pretty much all the time, so I set the charge limit to 60%. I still can unplug and get many hours of light-medium usage, but I top up if I’m going to travel. I bought it on release day and battery health is reported to be 99% right now, with a calibration cycle every month or two.

I also don’t quite understand sailing mode from battery chemistry and charging circuitry perspectives, so I haven’t messed with it much. Probably shouldn’t have purchased the pro version, but, given the results, I’m happy to have supported the developer, especially since he open sourced the basic functionality.
 

MrGunny94

macrumors 65816
Dec 3, 2016
1,136
660
Malaga, Spain
You are doing the correct thing! I only use Al dente when I know I'll be around the house for a couple of days. Sometimes I Just need to pack my bag and go.

I got my M1 Pro on release day and it's currently sitting at 98%. Once it goes down to 85-87% I'll just replace the battery, I'm okay with this.

It's a consumable after all.
 

planteater

Cancelled
Feb 11, 2020
892
1,681
I'm not an Al Dente user, but I do pay attention to the charging of my '21 MBP Pro 16 pretty much according to some of the default parameters of Al Dente. I've had good success so far at 7 months usage, 105 cycles and 99% battery health.

There's one thing I'm concerned about and thought I'd ask here as you guys are also concerned with battery longevity. I have the 140 watt charger and the MBP 16 charges very fast. I have no need or desire for fast charging and am concerned that it is harmful. Do you guys think there is any benefit in purchasing a lower powered charging brick?
 

ArkSingularity

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Mar 5, 2022
925
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There's one thing I'm concerned about and thought I'd ask here as you guys are also concerned with battery longevity. I have the 140 watt charger and the MBP 16 charges very fast. I have no need or desire for fast charging and am concerned that it is harmful. Do you guys think there is any benefit in purchasing a lower powered charging brick?

I've always been curious about this as well. From what I understand, it's not so much the charging rate itself that impacts battery longevity, but more the temperature that it charges at. Faster chargers would, however, raise the temperature of the battery. I know that Mac OS automatically slows the charging rate after about 50% or so anyway, so it seems Apple is at least doing something to limit the impact of this.

I do use fast chargers with my iPhone and am at 93% after the first year, which is about in line with how my previous iPhones performed. I expected it to degrade the battery faster than it has, but it hasn't really done anything particularly out of the ordinary (much to my surprise).
 

iAdamator

macrumors 6502a
Sep 10, 2013
687
169
South San Francisco, CA
Sounds like you’re on the right track. Indeed, battery degradation is nonlinear and dependent on the specific chemistry.

My 16” MBP M1 Max is plugged in pretty much all the time, so I set the charge limit to 60%. I still can unplug and get many hours of light-medium usage, but I top up if I’m going to travel. I bought it on release day and battery health is reported to be 99% right now, with a calibration cycle every month or two.

I also don’t quite understand sailing mode from battery chemistry and charging circuitry perspectives, so I haven’t messed with it much. Probably shouldn’t have purchased the pro version, but, given the results, I’m happy to have supported the developer, especially since he open sourced the basic functionality.
What is a calibration cycle and how does one do it? (I’m new to Mac.)
 

ArkSingularity

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Mar 5, 2022
925
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What is a calibration cycle and how does one do it? (I’m new to Mac.)
Macs (or any device with a Lithium Ion battery) basically don't "know" what the actual charge percentage or capacity of their battery is. They estimate it by approximating how much current has been drawn from the battery since the last full charge. The algorithms used to do this are generally pretty accurate, but if the battery hasn't had a full 100-to-0 discharge/charge cycle in a while, Mac OS can estimate inaccurately which results in wrong battery percentages/capacities being reported.

Calibrating it (charge to 100% -> discharge to 0% -> charge 100% again) just helps the OS to properly calibrate how much energy can be stored in the battery at its current state of wear. It helps the OS accurately display current charge percentages and so forth.
 

jdb8167

macrumors 601
Nov 17, 2008
4,763
4,482
Calibrating it (charge to 100% -> discharge to 0% -> charge 100% again) just helps the OS to properly calibrate how much energy can be stored in the battery at its current state of wear. It helps the OS accurately display current charge percentages and so forth.
Doing that too often can degrade your battery. Generally discharging a lithium-ion battery to 0% is not a good idea if you can avoid it. The value of "calibrating" a lithium-ion battery is debatable.
 

Apple_Robert

Contributor
Sep 21, 2012
34,771
50,653
In the middle of several books.
Macs (or any device with a Lithium Ion battery) basically don't "know" what the actual charge percentage or capacity of their battery is. They estimate it by approximating how much current has been drawn from the battery since the last full charge. The algorithms used to do this are generally pretty accurate, but if the battery hasn't had a full 100-to-0 discharge/charge cycle in a while, Mac OS can estimate inaccurately which results in wrong battery percentages/capacities being reported.

Calibrating it (charge to 100% -> discharge to 0% -> charge 100% again) just helps the OS to properly calibrate how much energy can be stored in the battery at its current state of wear. It helps the OS accurately display current charge percentages and so forth.
Modern Mac batteries no longer need to be calibrated and discharging to 0% does more damage to the battery.

AlDente is a good app. I use it on my M1 MBA (12/24/20) and my battery is still 100% battery health with 33 cycles. I will also use it on my M2 (part 2) when it arrives in a few days.
 

BigMcGuire

Cancelled
Jan 10, 2012
9,832
14,029
I have an M1 Max MBP and I'm an AlDente user - have been for a few years now since the days it was a GitHub package. I like it because it lets me set the % of charge that I want. My laptop spends most of its life as a desktop machine outputting to a 4k monitor. With AlDente I can vary the charge between 60%, 80%, or whatever I want.

I'm of the very strong opinion that your battery health has a lot more to do with a luck of the draw than anything... Yes, treating it right helps but getting a bad battery / good battery from the factory matters much more. And of all the Apple devices I've ever had, they've all had extremely stellar batteries.

I've had my laptop since April, got it with 3 cycles on it, and now I have 15 cycles. I have AppleCare+ so I'm not really doing much to baby this battery. It does spend most of its life on my desk tho.

1659992670955.png


1659992697711.png
 

altaic

macrumors 6502a
Jan 26, 2004
664
440
What is a calibration cycle and how does one do it? (I’m new to Mac.)
Al Dente has a calibration button. Charge to 100%, discharge to 20%, charge back up. Plan to use your computer all day unplugged, otherwise it’ll take forever 😉
 

ArkSingularity

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Mar 5, 2022
925
1,122
I have an M1 Max MBP and I'm an AlDente user - have been for a few years now since the days it was a GitHub package. I like it because it lets me set the % of charge that I want. My laptop spends most of its life as a desktop machine outputting to a 4k monitor. With AlDente I can vary the charge between 60%, 80%, or whatever I want.

I'm of the very strong opinion that your battery health has a lot more to do with a luck of the draw than anything... Yes, treating it right helps but getting a bad battery / good battery from the factory matters much more. And of all the Apple devices I've ever had, they've all had extremely stellar batteries.

I've had my laptop since April, got it with 3 cycles on it, and now I have 15 cycles. I have AppleCare+ so I'm not really doing much to baby this battery. It does spend most of its life on my desk tho.

View attachment 2040605

View attachment 2040606
That's an excellent battery health history there.

And I definitely agree that luck of the draw probably has a lot to do with it. My old 2012 is at 87% health with 1,855 cycles on the battery. I did very little to take care of that battery either (if anything, I probably did the exact opposite of what you're supposed to do. I kept it in very hot environments, did lots of 100 to 0 charges, and all sorts of other things that you're not "supposed" to do. It's still running great nearly a decade later, people often don't believe me when I tell them.)
 

Apple_Robert

Contributor
Sep 21, 2012
34,771
50,653
In the middle of several books.
AlDenete Pro 1.19 now offers (beta) automatic discharge, along with bug fixes and other minor improvements.

AlDente Pro 1.19 Release Notes​

Release Notes / By Admin


feature-explanation-automatic-discharge
 

skylar3

macrumors newbie
Oct 7, 2022
16
4
I then checked the 2020 and I've been a little less lucky, as it's currently at 149 cycles and is at 92.4%. Definitely not shabby, but these batteries are rated for 1000 cycles, so I rushed to judgment and initially assumed Apple MUST have sent me some kind of a defective battery (ah, Apple, screwing over their customers with lithium ion batteries that, you know, act like lithium ion batteries). After realizing I was complaining about a ridiculously minor problem (Seriously, who complains about a battery with 93% health), I did some research on this and discovered that this is pretty much entirely average behavior for the M1s. They tend to degrade more rapidly within the first year or so and then level off (according to the stats of Coconut Battery users at least), so it turns out my battery was fine after all.
I have a different situation on my M1Pro MBP. Is it normal to have less than 90 percent with "just" 53 cycles?
Bildschirm­foto 2022-12-12 um 09.04.41.png
 

skylar3

macrumors newbie
Oct 7, 2022
16
4
Here's mine.. Bought on release day and been used every day ever since for work.
Thanks for posting! It is interesting to see that you have 3x the cycles, yet your battery condition is better. I considered taking the MBP back to apple to have it checked, yet I do not believe the situation is bad enough to justify a change of battery.. probably they would tell me its "just normal".

What do you think?
 

BigMcGuire

Cancelled
Jan 10, 2012
9,832
14,029
Thanks for posting! It is interesting to see that you have 3x the cycles, yet your battery condition is better. I considered taking the MBP back to apple to have it checked, yet I do not believe the situation is bad enough to justify a change of battery.. probably they would tell me its "just normal".

What do you think?
I don't think I'd base it on that alone.

Just my opinion and thoughts -- these batteries are designed to last 1000 cycles at 80%+ capacity or something like 2-3 years.

These laptops can run entirely off of wall power if in a desktop like state - meaning that their cycles won't continue counting but they will continue to age - and if they aren't kept at a low state of charge, they will lose health significantly faster being at a high state of charge all the time. This is where AlDente comes in (allows you to run off of wall power at a low % of charge).

So User A: Uses their laptop in the field - rarely on wall power - has 300 cycles and say 98% health.
So User B: Uses their laptop like a desktop, always on wall power, has 50 cycles and say 90% health.

This seems entirely plausible to me based on how usage is. High state of charge is harmful to these batteries. Cycles aren't necessarily harmful as they used to be - the 1000 cycle limit shows this. There are some users with 2000-3000 cycles and still 80%+ health.

The OP is right. Battery health will drop fast from 100% to 90% and then taper off and drop a lot slower as time goes on - especially if at 100% charge all the time and on wall-power most of the day.


AlDente helps this health loss by allowing us to keep the % low while on wall power. I use my MBP 16 as a desktop machine 99.9% of the time and keep the state of charge around 60-80%.

I got this laptop in April 2022 and today:

1670865447146.jpeg
 

skylar3

macrumors newbie
Oct 7, 2022
16
4
I don't think I'd base it on that alone.

Just my opinion and thoughts -- these batteries are designed to last 1000 cycles at 80%+ capacity or something like 2-3 years.

These laptops can run entirely off of wall power if in a desktop like state - meaning that their cycles won't continue counting but they will continue to age - and if they aren't kept at a low state of charge, they will lose health significantly faster being at a high state of charge all the time. This is where AlDente comes in (allows you to run off of wall power at a low % of charge).

So User A: Uses their laptop in the field - rarely on wall power - has 300 cycles and say 98% health.
So User B: Uses their laptop like a desktop, always on wall power, has 50 cycles and say 90% health.

This seems entirely plausible to me based on how usage is. High state of charge is harmful to these batteries. Cycles aren't necessarily harmful as they used to be - the 1000 cycle limit shows this. There are some users with 2000-3000 cycles and still 80%+ health.

The OP is right. Battery health will drop fast from 100% to 90% and then taper off and drop a lot slower as time goes on - especially if at 100% charge all the time and on wall-power most of the day.


AlDente helps this health loss by allowing us to keep the % low while on wall power. I use my MBP 16 as a desktop machine 99.9% of the time and keep the state of charge around 60-80%.

I got this laptop in April 2022 and today:
Thanks for your insights! Maybe that's the case with my MacBook, I use the it mostly plugged in, only sometimes -but not often- on battery. I trusted that the battery management from apple would protect the battery but it seems this wasn't the case.. Now I have downloaded aldente and plan to keep it at a max 80 percent, hope it protects from further fast degradation
 
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BigMcGuire

Cancelled
Jan 10, 2012
9,832
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Thanks for your insights! Maybe that's the case with my MacBook, I use the it mostly plugged in, only sometimes -but not often- on battery. I trusted that the battery management from apple would protect the battery but it seems this wasn't the case.. Now I have downloaded aldente and plan to keep it at a max 80 percent, hope it protects from further fast degradation
Apple's battery management does better than it used to. Unseen to the user, Apple will charge the laptop to 100% then cycle it between 93/95 - 100% and hold it at 93-95% while displaying 100%. This has helped health a lot (vs older MacBooks that I've had).

Apple has also implemented an 80% hold but it requires near consistent charging habits and I've never gotten it to work (my wife has seen it work a few weeks out of the year despite having near perfect charging habits).

So we use AlDente. It has had a *massive* impact on the health drop that we normally see in the first two years... Of course nothing is perfect. Sometimes have to reinstall the AlDente helper, etc.

I do wish Apple would just let us set this in the OS.
 
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skylar3

macrumors newbie
Oct 7, 2022
16
4
Apple's battery management does better than it used to. Unseen to the user, Apple will charge the laptop to 100% then cycle it between 93/95 - 100% and hold it at 93-95% while displaying 100%. This has helped health a lot (vs older MacBooks that I've had).
I did not now that!
Apple has also implemented an 80% hold but it requires near consistent charging habits and I've never gotten it to work (my wife has seen it work a few weeks out of the year despite having near perfect charging habits).

So we use AlDente. It has had a *massive* impact on the health drop that we normally see in the first two years... Of course nothing is perfect. Sometimes have to reinstall the AlDente helper, etc.

I do wish Apple would just let us set this in the OS.
The 80 percent has worked sometimes for me, but rarely, even if I keep the laptop plugged for days. It is something that could be surely implemented better, because - lets face it - who does charge the laptop every at the exact same time without exception..
 
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MrGunny94

macrumors 65816
Dec 3, 2016
1,136
660
Malaga, Spain
Thanks for posting! It is interesting to see that you have 3x the cycles, yet your battery condition is better. I considered taking the MBP back to apple to have it checked, yet I do not believe the situation is bad enough to justify a change of battery.. probably they would tell me its "just normal".

What do you think?
Personally I’d wait until the 82-85% range.

I use my 14” Pro.. 50/50.. meaning when I’m at home mostly it’s hooked to the external displays and on charge and the other 50% it‘s myself out there using it in the field/on the go/..
 

David1986H

macrumors 6502
May 12, 2020
418
311
Cheshire, UK
Ive been using the free version of aldente for a few days now and I love it. My M1 Pro 16" is 13 months old now with 89% battery capacity left with 117 cycles which is pretty bad.

The way I plan on using aldente is to keep the battery between 20-80% most of the time, but during the night when I have a video playing with the screen off to help me sleep is to drop the percentage by around 10% each night when its using little power so it goes down slowly. Then during the day when im using more power keep it at 70% for example then the next day it'll be kept at 60% and so on until it goes down to 20% then charge it back up to 80% and repeat.

Every 3-4 weeks I plan on going down to 10-15% and charging it up to 100% and repeat the steps above for other 3-4 weeks.

Im planning on getting the M2Max MBP so Ill have a few months to practice.

Anyone else have another way they use aldente?
 
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edsel12

macrumors member
Jul 1, 2010
33
14
I got AlDente pro during the Black Friday sale. I was using the free version before.

I have it set to charge to 80% like people have said. I use it a mix of plugged in and unplugged.

Is there any other thing I should be doing with the pro version besides just letting it charge to 80%? There are other options I don’t understand.

Thanks
 

S1njin

macrumors 6502a
May 3, 2010
838
46
NJ
What percentages are you guys setting your Al Dente to? I'm using 70% w/ a 5% sail to 65%.
 

Apple_Robert

Contributor
Sep 21, 2012
34,771
50,653
In the middle of several books.
AlDente 1.21 has been released. I have been using the new MagSafe feature for almost a week and I like it a lot. The following is from the email I just received.


Control MagSafe LED​

This new feature brings the ability to AlDente Pro to control the color of the MagSafe LED to better indicate the current charging state of your MacBook battery. For additional details regarding this feature, please see our blog post here.​

New Beta Feature: Schedule​

This feature allows users to set specific Actions in AlDente to run automatically on predetermined days, times, and intervals. For example, Calibration Mode can be set to run every two weeks. For further information on this feature, please refer to our blog post available here.​

Other Improvements and Changes​

  • New, more intuitive setup interface when launching AlDente for the first time.
  • The “Show on startup” setting is now available in the free version.
  • The discharge button is now invisible when “Automatic Discharge” is enabled.
  • Fixed a bug that made most of the pro features inaccessible for users that migrated from Intel to Apple Silicon.
  • Updated the Helper Application to improve stability.
  • Fixed a bug that caused AlDente to prompt some users for their root password after rebooting the device.
For a full list of changes check out our Changelog here.​
 
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