How to "babysit" the rMBP-13

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by throwthedice, Sep 21, 2015.

  1. throwthedice macrumors 6502

    Aug 27, 2015
    I bought this rMBP a couple of months ago and this is my first MBP and I intend to keep it for another 4-5 years. I don't really game on my MBP nor do I perform any resource intensive task very often (such as video editing)

    Keeping in mind the fact that I want to keep this machine for a few years, the question I want to ask you folks here is this:
    How do I "babysit" this machine? Specifically the battery - I have a bad habit where I just leave it running on my desk/bed/wherever and don't even bother shutting it down every time I don't really use it for a few hours.

    Should I actually shutdown every time I don't think I'll use the mac for the next few hours? Or should I just shut the lid? And what about charging the thing? Right now I don't let the battery run down - I usually charge it when it's around 20-30% (sometimes at 60%). Is this the right way to go about?

    I've seen a friend of mine who uses a sort of a board underneath the computer while it's on the lap - sort of like a writing pad if you will. That thing's got no fan or any cooling stuff and I didn't really see the need for it, but now that I've created a thread for this, I thought I might as well add this and ask you guys about the need for such a thing too :)

    Any other pointers/tips to prolong the life of this machine?
  2. iSheep5S macrumors 6502a


    Jun 4, 2013
    For this level of worry i'd guess its based on the price paid?

    My advice would be to let it go, enjoy it and get the best out of it... or sell it, recoup the money and buy something you won't worry so much about.

    You could wear surgical gloves as you use it, keep it in a dust free, pet free home and monitor the temps backing off when it gets hot. It could fail within 2 years, 7 years or one day out of warranty.

    Good case for you. I tried Mac a couple of years ago. I bought a used cMBP with 787 charge cycles a HARD used device but it still worked. That guy got the use out of it and went onto a new Macbook Air. I traded it away... still working. I got a mint used Air and sold it to my dad, another flirt then got a new rMBP and pretty much panicked about it like you. I'm not struck on the Mac experience. I the idea but never gel with apple products. I keep trying tho. :D
  3. simonsi macrumors 601


    Jan 3, 2014
    Just shut the lid. Charge when you can, use the battery when you need. Don't worry.
  4. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 604

    Oct 24, 2013
    Just don't worrry about it charge when you can and use on battery when you need it, thats what a laptop is all about. The battery will last between 4 and 5 years whatever you do so don't sweat it.
  5. Apples n' Stone, Sep 22, 2015
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 22, 2015

    Apples n' Stone macrumors 65816

    Apples n' Stone

    Apr 13, 2015
    Maidstone, U.K
    MacBooks are much more versatile thane the Windows Pc's this sort of thing might be required for. Truth is, use it as freely as you like! I recommend for your own peace of mind downloading an app I will link from the Mac App Store which will provide you with comprehensive stats on the nature of the battery. You will be pleasantly surprised. Enjoy your machine!

    My brand new retina MacBook shows 96% so don't panic if it shows this!
  6. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    I don't. I just use it and enjoy the machine :)

    When the battery dies, or needs replacement I'll get it done. My 2012 MBP still has a good battery and I'm sure I'll get at least another year out of the battery.

    I have a 2010 MBP that my kids use and its battery is just about fully consumed and needs replacement. I think 5 years is more then you can ask for in a battery and I didn't do anything to baby the computer it was used as intended.
  7. makinao macrumors regular

    Dec 27, 2009
    Simple. Plug it in when you're at a desk, run it on battery when you're not. Just close the lid to put it to sleep when you're not using it. No need to shut down unless you won't be using it for several days.

    Most of my Apple laptop batteries start going south gradually after a year of heavy use, and can go down to about 80% capacity after 2. I usually have it checked/replaced before Applecare expires. Applecare just replaced my 2.5 year-old, heavily used 2012 MBP battery after the "service battery" notice appeared a month earlier. I just replaced the battery of my daughter's 2011 MBP after it started swelling and interfering with the trackpad. I'm on the third battery for my now lightly used 2009 white macbook, and after 2 years, its still at 90% capacity. That's a lot better than my early 2000s Thinkpad, whose battery was down to minutes after only 1 year in spite of obsessively fussing with it.

    So for me, 2 trouble-free is expected. Anything over that is icing on the cake.
  8. nope7308 macrumors 65816


    Oct 6, 2008
    Ontario, Canada
    I recommend depleting the battery fully once per month, with regular/incremental charging otherwise. Do not leave the machine plugged in 100% of the time. That's really all you can do to prolong battery life.

    OS X is perfectly stable, so there's no risk in putting your computer to sleep instead of restarting it. I close the lid 100% of the time and only restart when installing updates. Heck, I don't even turn it off when commuting, and nothing bad has happened in 10+ years.

    In short, these machines are built like tanks. Even with sustained and continued abuse, you should still expect 4-5 years out of the machine. If you're going to worry about anything, it might as well be the cosmetics; aluminum isn't the strongest material.

    My 2008 Aluminum Macbook survived a tumble down concrete stairs and a few liquid spills, and is still 100% functional save for the battery.
  9. makinao, Sep 22, 2015
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2015

    makinao macrumors regular

    Dec 27, 2009
    Let me add that the enemy for everything in a laptop is long term extreme heat.

    Some processes really generate a lot of heat for a short period of time, like saving a video file in iMovie. You will notice the fans start to spin wildly, trying to prevent overheating. But that takes only a few minutes so no harm is done. Once the process is done temps will go down. But sometimes you have "runaway" processes from malfunctioning apps. If you notice that your fans are spinning wildly non-stop without you having invoked any processor intensive tasks, do this:

    Some more measures I have taken to avoid extreme heat are:
    1) Using a Flash blocker. Flash is a notorious CPU hog, and has launched a million laptop fans into orbit. I've had one for almost a decade.
    2) Always make sure the air vents are not blocked, and that air can circulate freely around it.
    3) Put your laptop on a surface (usually hard ones) that will act as a passive heatsink. Most tabletops are fine. Do not put it on a pillow or blanket.
  10. 0007776 Suspended


    Jul 11, 2006
    I've used my MBA for about 3 years without doing anything special to it, and I expect at least another year or two out of it. I think the only times it has been shut down during that time is for updates, and when I let the battery die completely. Currently it's been on for 6 days, and that is nowhere near the longest I've used it for without restarting. Use it however you want to and it will likely still last you just as long as if you baby it. There aren't many moving parts to get messed up in it so I wouldn't be too worried.
  11. throwthedice thread starter macrumors 6502

    Aug 27, 2015
    Thanks for all your responses :)

    Price paid is not the only reason I intend to "babysit" or take a bit of a cautious approach with my MBP. It ofcourse is one of the reasons, and I would be lying if I said I don't care how much I've paid for it.

    By the looks of your replies, I don't really have to "babysit" it in terms of making a concious effort to monitor the battery status or charge cycles etc.

    Is there a monitor widget sort of a thing which kinda posts the temperature and/or cpu load sorta stuff? (something similar to the activity monitor that runs sits the desktop/taskbar so that I can take a quick glance at it)
    I'm away from my MBP right now so I will take a look at the app posted by @Apples n' Stone when I get back to my MBP.
  12. iSheep5S macrumors 6502a


    Jun 4, 2013
    I used iStat. There is good and bad advice here. You can leave it plugged in all the time. I did a lot of the time and always do with Windows laptops. Saves the cycles. You can recharge from any point just let it drain right down once or so a month. Plus it saves the cycles. After 6 months mine had 10 cycles.

    I used Windows laptops for years before i came to Mac for a bit. Batteries have changed for the better but didn't last before. Now even windows keeps up with battery life but old habits don't change. I didn't game on my Mac cause you could fry an egg on the bottom. I do game on windows thus another reason why i keep em plugged in. It eats even a good battery fast.
  13. spiderman0616 macrumors 68040


    Aug 1, 2010
    I had the same exact question a few years ago when I finally abolished the last Windows machine from my house and went full time over to Mac. I was used to having to "babysit" all my previous computers and do weekly/monthly maintenance on them to keep them running.

    I learned very quickly that this is not necessary on a Mac most of the time. Like anything that's rechargeable, don't leave it plugged in all the time or the battery will not have as long of an overall lifespan. Also, you can just close the lid and let it go to sleep. It will lose a little battery power in that state, but nothing major. When it starts getting low, just plug it in overnight. I used to do a repair permissions every month too, but have gotten out of the habit. I think on the modern Mac, it's probably not as necessary as it used to be.

    Basically, I just use the Mac and charge it when it gets low. I don't worry too much about carrying a charger around with me, because it takes a LONG time to drain the battery, even if I'm streaming video on it.
  14. KUguardgrl13 macrumors 68020


    May 16, 2013
    Kansas, USA
    Use it on battery when you want to and plug it in when you need to. And as others have said you can just close the lid and let it go to sleep.

    I've done exactly that with both my mid-2009 MBP and my late-2013 rMBP. The original battery in the 09 started going bad after 4 years. Not bad for a college laptop that got a lot of use during that 4 years before I retired it to be a media server. I expect my 2013's battery to last another two years or so.
  15. RoboWarriorSr macrumors 6502a

    Feb 23, 2013
    I've had the 2009 13" MBP. I've taken that thing everywhere and beaten it up pretty well (just on minor dink on the bottom but a few scratches) and to this day still works. I've thrown everything at it, games, video editing, even overnight video encoding and it held up. No I finally bought a 2015 13" rMBP since the old machine was getting slow for some tasks (Final Cut and playing 4K video) and the screen was a little sore after using my retina iPhone. I expect to use this computer for the next 5-6 years like my old one. Considering how you are using it, you already are babying it in my standards.
  16. dingdong macrumors regular


    Apr 10, 2007
    If i was you i'd get a keyboard protector. It once saved my macbook from water damage on my keys after i spat some out watching a hilarious clip on youtube...

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