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AW84

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Sep 13, 2017
20
5
Posted previously about the terrible battery life since new on my M1 Pro 14", and have noted a huge disparity in the battery life experiences with these particular machines, but also other generations of MBP, all across the internet.

Are there known to be "bad batches" of batteries that end up in new machines? Has anyone ever had disappointing battery performance that's never gotten anywhere close to the advertised life, bought a replacement, and experienced a huge improvement? Or, rather, do some machines just have QC flaws in their silicon that drain battery more excessively than others, and no matter how many batteries you try, they're all going to perform poorly?

Trying to determine if I should invest in a new battery, or if no machine with poor battery life from new has ever been cured with a replacement and the investment is just a lost cause.
 

canuckRus

macrumors 6502a
May 18, 2014
945
352
Posted previously about the terrible battery life since new on my M1 Pro 14", and have noted a huge disparity in the battery life experiences with these particular machines, but also other generations of MBP, all across the internet.

Are there known to be "bad batches" of batteries that end up in new machines? Has anyone ever had disappointing battery performance that's never gotten anywhere close to the advertised life, bought a replacement, and experienced a huge improvement? Or, rather, do some machines just have QC flaws in their silicon that drain battery more excessively than others, and no matter how many batteries you try, they're all going to perform poorly?

Trying to determine if I should invest in a new battery, or if no machine with poor battery life from new has ever been cured with a replacement and the investment is just a lost cause.
There is bound to be a clunker among the millions sold?
 
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FreakinEurekan

macrumors 603
Sep 8, 2011
6,004
2,973
If it’s truly a “bad battery” then a new battery will fix it.

If it’s bad silicon, a battery replacement is useless.

Obviously both are “exceptional” circumstances beyond the norm. I can throw some dice to estimate your odds with battery replacement, if you want ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ but I very much doubt any other method is better.

The third option, of course, is software. You seem to believe you’ve eliminated that as a possibility, and perhaps you have. But it’s FAR more likely than the other two options above.
 

AW84

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Sep 13, 2017
20
5
1. Need to say why you consider the battery life poor here.

2. If it is indeed poor and it is a new machine then have it replaced by AppleCare.

Four hours max, doing only web browsing (Safari) and Slack, no video, no heavy apps, screen at 60%. Reviews on this machine consistently got 14 hours, and even if you took 20% off their claim and Apple's claim, you still end up with WAY more than 4 hours.

It is not new, but has had this battery life since new. It's two years old, AC has expired.
 
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AW84

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Sep 13, 2017
20
5
If it’s truly a “bad battery” then a new battery will fix it.

If it’s bad silicon, a battery replacement is useless.

Obviously both are “exceptional” circumstances beyond the norm. I can throw some dice to estimate your odds with battery replacement, if you want ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ but I very much doubt any other method is better.

The third option, of course, is software. You seem to believe you’ve eliminated that as a possibility, and perhaps you have. But it’s FAR more likely than the other two options above.
That's what I'm here asking...if there are historically such things as bad batches of batteries.

The OS has been fully reinstalled by the Genius Bar from a fresh copy off of an Apple flash drive, and that did not fix the issue. Activity Monitor shows no noteworthy energy usage outside of Safari, so I presume there isn't anything else software-wise I'm missing, correct?
 

za9ra22

macrumors 65816
Sep 25, 2003
1,441
1,923
Ignoring the battery for a moment, does this system otherwise appear to behave normally? Are there any momentary hangs or pauses when it's running for example?

If not, then there's nothing to suggest a hardware issue with the M1 or logic board, and since you've had a fresh reinstall, unless there's a process stuck on - which ought to have been resolved with a reinstall anyway, but could be related to third-party software - that would leave you only with the potential for a bad battery.

Check Activity Monitor for anything consuming lots of CPU time or running RAM heavy, just to be sure. NOT energy use - that really doesn't tell you much that would help.

The way these batteries are constructed, it would only take one bad cell to create notably deteriorated battery capacity and thus performance.

That's what I'm here asking...if there are historically such things as bad batches of batteries.
Not really, in the sense that a bad batch if there were one would almost certainly be detected in manufacture - and wouldn't make it to end users.

You have to be wary of reports from users about bad battery life, because it is far more common for this to be an issue of how an individual system is used than a generic product fault. However, an individual cell in a battery pack can appear good until a few cycles causes it to degrade and even fail.

It is a shame that you didn't have this addressed while still under warranty, but I would expect a new battery would resolve it. Obviously, if you don't actually need it for use on battery, then it isn't worth replacing it, and a pack with a failed or failing cell won't cause the system any other problems.
 
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AW84

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Sep 13, 2017
20
5
Ignoring the battery for a moment, does this system otherwise appear to behave normally? Are there any momentary hangs or pauses when it's running for example?

If not, then there's nothing to suggest a hardware issue with the M1 or logic board, and since you've had a fresh reinstall, unless there's a process stuck on - which ought to have been resolved with a reinstall anyway, but could be related to third-party software - that would leave you only with the potential for a bad battery.

Check Activity Monitor for anything consuming lots of CPU time or running RAM heavy, just to be sure. NOT energy use - that really doesn't tell you much that would help.

The way these batteries are constructed, it would only take one bad cell to create notably deteriorated battery capacity and thus performance.


Not really, in the sense that a bad batch if there were one would almost certainly be detected in manufacture - and wouldn't make it to end users.

You have to be wary of reports from users about bad battery life, because it is far more common for this to be an issue of how an individual system is used than a generic product fault. However, an individual cell in a battery pack can appear good until a few cycles causes it to degrade and even fail.

It is a shame that you didn't have this addressed while still under warranty, but I would expect a new battery would resolve it. Obviously, if you don't actually need it for use on battery, then it isn't worth replacing it, and a pack with a failed or failing cell won't cause the system any other problems.
Appreciate the response.

It does behave entirely normally. The only thing using a good bit of CPU are WindowServer and kerneltask. Safari sites and Safari-related processes are using anywhere from 700 to 200 MB each. This website, for example, is using 400 MB. Is that considered normal? Creative Cloud apps are using quite a bit of threads (15-40), despite the apps being completely closed.

It does seem plausible junk batteries made it to end users. If you research threads here and on Reddit about the M1 Pro battery life, you'll get one response that is "mine lasts 14 hours, 20 tabs open, coding for several hours, YouTube running, bluetooth on," and the next response is "mine gets 3 hours using one Safari tab, low brightness, this thing is trash." And the threads go back and forth like that, with considerable extremes. I have found no responses in between with, say, 7-9 hours...it's either 11-14 hours, or 3-5 hours.

For the sake of comparison, I've had a 2013 Intel, a 2017 Intel, and a 2020 M1 for work, as well as this 2021 M1 Pro, used them all exactly the same way, same brightness, and this 2021 14" is without a doubt the worst of them all on battery.
 
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za9ra22

macrumors 65816
Sep 25, 2003
1,441
1,923
Appreciate the response.

It does behave entirely normally. The only thing using a good bit of CPU are WindowServer and kerneltask. Safari sites and Safari-related processes are using anywhere from 700 to 200 MB each. This website, for example, is using 400 MB. Is that considered normal? Creative Cloud apps are using quite a bit of threads (15-40), despite the apps being completely closed.

It does seem plausible junk batteries made it to end users. If you research threads here and on Reddit about the M1 Pro battery life, you'll get one response that is "mine lasts 14 hours, 20 tabs open, coding for several hours, YouTube running, bluetooth on," and the next response is "mine gets 3 hours using one Safari tab, low brightness, this thing is trash." And the threads go back and forth like that, with considerable extremes. I have found no responses in between with, say, 7-9 hours...it's either 11-14 hours, or 3-5 hours.

For the sake of comparison, I've had a 2013 Intel, a 2017 Intel, and a 2020 M1 for work, as well as this 2021 M1 Pro, used them all exactly the same way, same brightness, and this 2021 14" is without a doubt the worst of them all on battery.
It's not all that helpful looking for other user experiences since there are too many variables, mostly unreported, that can cause the kind of issues you are describing with your battery, so those reports aren't likely to lead you anywhere helpful.

I'm not questioning your experience of battery life in this system - it's clearly not right, and the activity monitor data doesn't give an explanation for an above-rate discharge cycle. More to the point, Apple Silicon systems are by their nature highly power-efficient, so even if there was something a bit amiss, it wouldn't result in a 4-hour battery life.

What I am saying is that you need to look at your system and your experience of it to determine what to do about it.

You've taken the sensible steps including a total reinstall and the issue remains. You are saying that other than battery performance, the system behaves pretty much exactly as you expect it to, so this rules out any probable hardware fault. A chip fault for example, causing a power drain which you wouldn't see on the power adapter but which would pull the battery down, would cause heat and since this is a MBP, also spin up the fans.

So a bad battery seems probable, and the only real question isn't whether there are bad batches of batteries because it tells you nothing and helps you not at all whether there are or aren't, it's whether you need to run on battery or not. If you do, and your present battery capacity isn't enough, then replace the battery (or trade the unit and replace it). If you don't need battery power, then run it off the adapter.

As I said, in the wider context, it takes only one cell to degrade and cause poor battery performance overall. Your description sounds very much like that's the problem you're experiencing.
 

FreakinEurekan

macrumors 603
Sep 8, 2011
6,004
2,973
That's what I'm here asking...if there are historically such things as bad batches of batteries.

The OS has been fully reinstalled by the Genius Bar from a fresh copy off of an Apple flash drive, and that did not fix the issue. Activity Monitor shows no noteworthy energy usage outside of Safari, so I presume there isn't anything else software-wise I'm missing, correct?
Like I said - software is the most likely issue, and you have to decide if you've isolated that properly. The Genius Bar certainly didn't have it long enough to see any battery life issues after the Erase & Install. What did you do at that point?
  • Sign into iCloud? iCloud sync will certainly have an effect on battery life.
  • Install ANY 3rd party software?
  • Load ANY files from cloud services or backup drives or anywhere else? That would involve Spotlight indexing, so battery life won't be stable for a day or two.
Maybe it's hardware. If it is hardware, then it's either battery or it's not. If it's battery, replacing the battery will help. Whole lotta "If"s.

I'm not trying to be discouraging - I'm being realistic. IF it's a hardware issue, and IF it's a battery issue, replacing the battery will help. Outside of actually replacing the battery - I don't know of a way to tell if that'll be the case or not.
 
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AW84

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Sep 13, 2017
20
5
Did you try running coconutBattery to get some details about the battery?
Yes, manuf. 01/2022, 85% after 284 cycles (cycles are only that high because it legitimately has to be charged three times a day). Comparatively, my 2020 M1 is at 81% with 783 cycles.
 
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JustAnExpat

macrumors 65816
Nov 27, 2019
1,009
1,009
My opinion:

1. You are using Creative Cloud, which is known to be a massive battery user. I recommend deleting Creative Cloud and reinstalling Creative Cloud.

2. What does Activity Monitor say? Is there any processes using an excessive amount of CPU time or RAM? How does the Swap look?

3. You had this machine for two years. Is this a new problem?
 

Fishrrman

macrumors Penryn
Feb 20, 2009
28,756
12,864
It sounds to me like "stuff going on" in the background is consuming battery power faster than it should. Is there any way to turn all the Creative Cloud background processes OFF for a while?
 

Allen_Wentz

macrumors 68030
Dec 3, 2016
2,899
3,162
USA
Posted previously about the terrible battery life since new on my M1 Pro 14", and have noted a huge disparity in the battery life experiences with these particular machines, but also other generations of MBP, all across the internet.

Are there known to be "bad batches" of batteries that end up in new machines? Has anyone ever had disappointing battery performance that's never gotten anywhere close to the advertised life, bought a replacement, and experienced a huge improvement? Or, rather, do some machines just have QC flaws in their silicon that drain battery more excessively than others, and no matter how many batteries you try, they're all going to perform poorly?

Trying to determine if I should invest in a new battery, or if no machine with poor battery life from new has ever been cured with a replacement and the investment is just a lost cause.
False OP logic in the headline "Is it bad batches of batteries, or bad batches of silicon?" Kind of like asking "do you beat your dogs or do you beat your kids?"
 

JOHN PRINCE

macrumors newbie
Sep 28, 2018
16
22
USA
Posted previously about the terrible battery life since new on my M1 Pro 14", and have noted a huge disparity in the battery life experiences with these particular machines, but also other generations of MBP, all across the internet.

Are there known to be "bad batches" of batteries that end up in new machines? Has anyone ever had disappointing battery performance that's never gotten anywhere close to the advertised life, bought a replacement, and experienced a huge improvement? Or, rather, do some machines just have QC flaws in their silicon that drain battery more excessively than others, and no matter how many batteries you try, they're all going to perform poorly?

Trying to determine if I should invest in a new battery, or if no machine with poor battery life from new has ever been cured with a replacement and the investment is just a lost cause.
I have exactly the same problem. 2021 MacBook Pro, 16 inch. I get 3-4 hours max. I only do web browsing and some spreadsheet work and a bit of writing. Once in a while some video editing, maybe twice a month, which is why I bought a MacBook Pro instead of a MacBook Air. It's quite puzzling.
 

JustAnExpat

macrumors 65816
Nov 27, 2019
1,009
1,009
Once in a while some video editing, maybe twice a month, which is why I bought a MacBook Pro instead of a MacBook Air. It's quite puzzling.

What program do you use to edit videos? Do you have Adobe CC? What is the usage for your memory/ CPU?
 

Quinten07

macrumors member
May 19, 2021
46
35
Very interesting. My MacBook Pro M1 16 inch is at 100% after 70 cyclus. I get a minimum of 16 hours doing various browsing and uni work. I only charge it ones every 3 days most of the time.
 

JOHN PRINCE

macrumors newbie
Sep 28, 2018
16
22
USA
What program do you use to edit videos? Do you have Adobe CC? What is the usage for your memory/ CPU?
I only use FCP once a week for an hour maybe. Day to day is really just some writing, some web browsing, email. Very light duty work.
 

JustAnExpat

macrumors 65816
Nov 27, 2019
1,009
1,009
I only use FCP once a week for an hour maybe. Day to day is really just some writing, some web browsing, email. Very light duty work.
Can you show a screenshot of your Activity Monitor under the CPU and Ram tabs? Something is using up a lot of CPU or RAM.

Also, if this problem been happening for the last two years, why is it a problem now?
 
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