how to conserve my laptop battery??

Pickles107

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Oct 8, 2006
3
0
I'm not sure which is better for my cumputer or my battery for a powerbook G4....
- completely shutting down?
or
- just closing the cover while it is on?
or
- leaving it plugged in while the cover is closed?
or
- not leaving it plugged in?
 

AppleIntelRock

macrumors 65816
Aug 14, 2006
1,365
0
well, logically if your computer is plugged in, you will get better battery life when you need it because it'll always be charged :D
 

mad jew

Moderator emeritus
Apr 3, 2004
32,194
6
Adelaide, Australia
Are you asking what is better for the battery in the long run? I believe it's better to use the machine plugged in most of the time but run it from battery occasionally. Apple uses the example of a person catching the train to work. At home and at work the person uses the machine plugged in but on the train it obviously runs from battery power. This occasional battery usage is ideal, but of course it's not always feasible.

Just make sure you calibrate your battery every now and then and you can't go too far wrong. If a charger is within reach, use the machine plugged in. Avoid shutting your machine down overnight as this can prevent it from running its maintenance scripts in the morning (or whenever you next use the machine).

However, if you're not going to be using the machine for an extended period (over a week or so) then unplug it and remove the battery to a dust-free place. If you're not comfortable with removing the battery then leave it in. :)
 

Pickles107

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Oct 8, 2006
3
0
leaving the computer

In order to keep your cell phone battery as long as possible without crapping out on you in one hour...i heard that when charging it, you must leave it plugged in with it shut off. Also, i heard that once it's charged you must unplug it because if you leave it plugged in for a long time when it's already at it's full charge...it drains the battery and confuses it which results in it only lasting for a few hours before it dies on you.
Does this apply to a laptop PowerBook G4 as well?? For example, if i know that i'm not going to be using my laptop for a day or so and i know it's already charged...how should i leave it? plugged in anyway until i want to use it? Plug it in as it's off, or asleep? or just totally turn it off without it plugged in. My goal is to just do whatever's best for my battery...(i'm not asking how i could make my battery last longer as i use it)
also, when i go to sleep at night...how should i leave my laptop?
this would be helpful if someone could tell me...thanks
 

yellow

Moderator emeritus
Oct 21, 2003
15,925
1
Portland, OR
Frankly, my advice is to leave it however you want to leave it. It's a fact of life that batteries degrade overtime, so eventually you'll have to replace your laptop's battery(ies). Would you rather be obsessive about how you leave the computer hoping to milk an extra 6 months out of your battery, or simple do what feels right and save yourself the effort?
 

Pickles107

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Oct 8, 2006
3
0
yellow said:
Frankly, my advice is to leave it however you want to leave it. It's a fact of life that batteries degrade overtime, so eventually you'll have to replace your laptop's battery(ies). Would you rather be obsessive about how you leave the computer hoping to milk an extra 6 months out of your battery, or simple do what feels right and save yourself the effort?


Well, if you feel that it really doesn't matter how you leave it...you're right, i will save myself the effort....thanks a lot : )
 

Cameront9

macrumors 6502a
Aug 6, 2006
788
87
The type of batteries that Powerbooks use like to be constantly topped off. Leave it plugged in.
 

idiwa

macrumors member
Sep 21, 2006
32
0
Glasgow. UK
With my macbook, when i'm using it plugged in I have the battery removed. I only ever use the battery when i have to. For the most part I use my macbook as a desktop anyway (sitting on an icurve). I just leave the battery in my slipcase away from any dust.
 

dpaanlka

macrumors 601
Nov 16, 2004
4,869
6
Illinois
idiwa said:
With my macbook, when i'm using it plugged in I have the battery removed. I only ever use the battery when i have to. For the most part I use my macbook as a desktop anyway (sitting on an icurve). I just leave the battery in my slipcase away from any dust.
Thats totally unnecessary. There is no reason to remove your battery constantly. Just leave any laptop plugged in whenever possible. If you're using it near an outlet, plug it in.
 

DXoverDY

macrumors 6502a
Apr 19, 2005
810
0
I use my laptop on battery about 5 days out of the week for about 2 and a half years now. 90% battery life left according to CoconutBattery.

I just calibrate it every 6 months or so. Works wonders. This is a PowerBook G4 1.33ghz. It's over 2.5 years old now and I'm incredibly happy with battery life on a machine so old.

My only beef is my LCD is definitely not as bright as it used to be. Even on the highest brightness my 6 year old CRT is brighter.

I'll be replacing the powerbook with a MacBook next year I think.
 

aquajet

macrumors 68020
Feb 12, 2005
2,384
0
VA
Before I sold my 12" PB, I believe the battery had about 300 cycles over a two year period. I used the battery often and normally let it drain nearly empty. It still had 90% capacity before I let it go.

In my experience, you must actually use a battery regularly in order to maximize its lifespan. I owned a Dell Inspiron several years ago that mostly sat plugged in on my desk for two years, after which the battery's capacity was reduced to nearly zero. Even Apple's recommendation for proper Lithium Ion battery maintanence is to use it regularly.
 

disconap

macrumors 68000
Oct 29, 2005
1,800
2
Portland, OR
yellow said:
Frankly, my advice is to leave it however you want to leave it. It's a fact of life that batteries degrade overtime, so eventually you'll have to replace your laptop's battery(ies). Would you rather be obsessive about how you leave the computer hoping to milk an extra 6 months out of your battery, or simple do what feels right and save yourself the effort?

Well, considering that my battery lasted all of 12 months, obsession would have paid off with a 50% improvement. So...
 

xJulianx

macrumors 6502a
Oct 1, 2006
777
0
Brighton, UK
idiwa said:
With my macbook, when i'm using it plugged in I have the battery removed. I only ever use the battery when i have to. For the most part I use my macbook as a desktop anyway (sitting on an icurve). I just leave the battery in my slipcase away from any dust.
Not a good idea, once day you will have done hours and hours worth of work, or beaten that evil monster on some game that you have been trying to do for weeks, then POW, theres a power outage, you lose EVERYTHING (since your last save).

Whereas, if your battery was in, you would be carrying on as normal.
 

NJuul

macrumors 6502
Mar 15, 2006
492
0
Boston
idiwa said:
With my macbook, when i'm using it plugged in I have the battery removed. I only ever use the battery when i have to. For the most part I use my macbook as a desktop anyway (sitting on an icurve). I just leave the battery in my slipcase away from any dust.
If you run your macbook without battery, it will throttle your CPU to 1 Ghz and no more. Don't know why, but that's the way it is.
 

dpaanlka

macrumors 601
Nov 16, 2004
4,869
6
Illinois
NJuul said:
If you run your macbook without battery, it will throttle your CPU to 1 Ghz and no more. Don't know why, but that's the way it is.
Does that mean in ten years when the battery is so drained the computer doesn't recognize it as existing, and you only put it in for aesthetic reasons, it will not run over 1ghz?
 

Warbrain

macrumors 603
Jun 28, 2004
5,701
287
Chicago, IL
Calibrate it at the end of each month, run it off the battery however you wish during the month. It works fine. I've got 89% of my batter capacity still after a little over a year of usage of my iBook. I actually began to pick up capacity in the last few months...
 

NJuul

macrumors 6502
Mar 15, 2006
492
0
Boston
dpaanlka said:
Does that mean in ten years when the battery is so drained the computer doesn't recognize it as existing, and you only put it in for aesthetic reasons, it will not run over 1ghz?
It probably only throttles down when it doesn't register a battery as being present, so most likely no.
Why they throttle it depending on whether or not the battery is present is beyond me.
 

xJulianx

macrumors 6502a
Oct 1, 2006
777
0
Brighton, UK
NJuul said:
It probably only throttles down when it doesn't register a battery as being present, so most likely no.
Why they throttle it depending on whether or not the battery is present is beyond me.
If the processor is running at a slower speed, it is using up less power, thus, increasing battery life, Apple pride themselves with their notebook battery life, and this is one of the many, many ways (apart from using good batterys) they do it.
 

NJuul

macrumors 6502
Mar 15, 2006
492
0
Boston
xJulianx said:
If the processor is running at a slower speed, it is using up less power, thus, increasing battery life, Apple pride themselves with their notebook battery life, and this is one of the many, many ways (apart from using good batterys) they do it.
Of course, however that was not the question.
The question was, if you had read the posts above, why does OS X throttle the macbook / pro cpu to 1 Ghz if the battery is out?

Which is of relevance to people that take out the battery while plugged in, as their mac's are running slower. Thus, taking out the battery to conserve it is not a good idea.