Keeping 2018 MacBook Pro plugged and Battery Health - anything change?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by LincolnsiPod, Dec 7, 2018.

  1. LincolnsiPod macrumors 6502a

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    Nov 20, 2009
    #1
    I had a MacBook Pro 2014 that I almost always kept charged since it doubled as a desktop. A little over 4 and a half years it lost about 15% battery capacity. I'm wondering if things have changed since then and capacity will be retained at a better rate with the new 2018 MBPs.

    If not, how often should I disconnect and let the battery discharge to maximize the lifespan of the battery's capacity? I can't seem to find any consensus on this. Some say it's perfectly safe to always keep it plugged, but I read of one account where a MacBook user's battery only lost 4% capacity over 3 years, so keeping it charged did seem to reduce the lifespan of my older MBP in comparison.
     
  2. Appledoesnotlisten macrumors member

    Appledoesnotlisten

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    Dec 2, 2017
    #2
    Daily.

    Ideally, you should NOT work on your MacBook when it is connected to the outlet. Very few people are aware that your computer emits x50 stronger electric field when it is plugged.

    Take a read:
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22315933
    https://www.thehealthyhomeeconomist.com/avoiding-emf-exposure-laptops-notebooks/
     
  3. LincolnsiPod thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #3
    I scanned these articles and it seems like the major sticking point is not to put the laptop on your lap while it's plugged in. I keep it on a stand about 2-3 feet from me when it's plugged in, which apparently reduces the exposure significantly. I rarely put it on my lap since it simply gets too hot using it that way and put in on a desk or table instead when it's not plugged in.

    Interesting info to know though, but my concern is whether keeping the MBP constantly plugged in would prematurely reduce the battery's lifespan. It seems that's what happened with my old 2014 MBP, but I'm wondering in the years since then if it's something I no longer need to worry about with the new 2018 MBP.
     
  4. Appledoesnotlisten, Dec 8, 2018
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2018

    Appledoesnotlisten macrumors member

    Appledoesnotlisten

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    #4
    There are many types of Ivy League graduated - smart, lazy, high performers, low performers, broken, etc. Just like any other people.

    Low performers and “broken” Ivy League grads typically go to ****** companies with ****** people. Because smart people avoid such companies.

    So your complain that Ivy League grads are mostly “broken” leads to a highly probable conclusion that you are a low performer working at a ****** company that generally attracts "broken" people. I feel sorry for you, man.
    --- Post Merged, Dec 8, 2018 ---
    As for the articles, there are two main concerns: keeping it on your laps and working on a plugged in laptop. When your laptop is plugged in, it emits a strong harmful electromagnetic field (up to 500 v/m). There are 4 MBPs in front of me now (2015-2018, 13" and 15") and the pattern is the same. From now on I am only working when unplugged (when possible).

    As for your question, I apologies for bringing this off topic discussion to your thread.
     
  5. DeltaMac macrumors G3

    DeltaMac

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    Delaware
    #5
    I think that opinions (for what they are worth) will range from one end of the spectrum (no problems ever, keep connected to power all the time) to "worst way to treat batteries, never use a battery operated device while plugged into the charger"...
    IMHO, depends on the external devices that you use, such as external displays, external storage, etc. If you simply have a laptop that you generally do not use on battery, and not really any external kind of power drain, you should unplug once or twice a month, use till the low battery warning comes on, then plug back in until the next time you use it on battery.
    Also, just my opinion, 15% loss of capacity after more than 4 years is nothing to be alarmed about, and would be acceptable to me.
     
  6. bruce0987 macrumors member

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    Jul 24, 2014
    #6
    I am not surprised there is a stronger electric field emitted when plugged in. To be fair I think I used to feel this static when I had an 09 MBP 13" plugged in. I think most phones also exhibit the same stronger effect when plugged.

    I do not claim to know what effect this has on physical health, but I do not think 'not negligible' amounts of induction gives sufficient reason for the argument that people should not use contact-electronics while they are plugged in. Unless you are overly superstitious, that is. Also, not sure what one's education has to do with the claim.

    As for requiring discharging, I personally think battery health has advanced to where it really is negligible as to how you use it. as said before, 15% over 4+ years is considered relatively normal wear, regardless of how you much you charged or didn't charge it/cycled it.
     
  7. Appledoesnotlisten macrumors member

    Appledoesnotlisten

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    Dec 2, 2017
    #7
    You are correct about the phones. The EMF story reminds me about an ~70 year old story when people and tobacco companies ostracized anybody for saying that smoking was harmful.

    For your reference, I am attaching my EMF readings showing a difference (1 m/v vs 85 v/m) between when my 2018 MBP is plugged in and not. Your readings were probably higher because 85 v/m is not not noticeable.
     

    Attached Files:

  8. _Kiki_ macrumors 6502a

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    #8
  9. Appledoesnotlisten macrumors member

    Appledoesnotlisten

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    #9
    I have not studied adverse effects of GMO, thus can't quantify it and compare to those of EMF.

    If I were to make an educated guess, I would say that your statement is incomplete and misleading.
     
  10. mroy16 macrumors regular

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    May 28, 2017
    #10
    You can't claim that you haven't studied something and then make an educated guess. Either you've studied the topic, or your guess is uneducated.

    Back to the OP - if you intend to keep the laptop plugged in pretty much all the time, how important is the battery life, anyway? And as others have said, 15% loss over 4 years isn't too bad. There is a ton of back and forth about how to maintain the battery life of modern lithium-ion batteries, but what I've gathered is that the results vary greatly depending on the exact use conditions. I really don't think it's worth the effort of babysitting your battery at all times to try to squeeze a few extra months out of it.
     
  11. Appledoesnotlisten macrumors member

    Appledoesnotlisten

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    #11
    Your statement is logical, but neither true nor false. My prior knowledge about GMO allows me to estimate the magnitude of the problem. I have not studied it specifically, but am familiar with certain key things.

    OP will probably ask me to stop responding in this thread :)
     
  12. mroy16 macrumors regular

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    #12
    Also - I feel the need to point out that every person that ever brings up this EMF issue links to various blog posts and that one journal article. I did a little digging on it. While I can't access the full text (my University doesn't pay for that journal), I can tell you a fair bit about it. It's a pretty low-tier journal (IF < 1, ranked 129/162 journals in the category), and the abstract simply states that a number of devices were found to have EMF readings greater than various standards that are in place. The paper doesn't appear to discuss any actual health effects associated with the EMF exposure from laptops or similar devices. Often, recommended standards are set very far below any sort of health threshold. As an example, the non-occupational dose limits for radiation (the particle kind, not EMF) is 100 mrem/year, but is 5000 mrem/year for occupational doses. It's also worth noting that the average dose per person is 350 mrem/year, so simply being alive gives us more exposure than is recommended. However, there are no detectable health effects until you exceed this limits by quite a bit! In short, noting that a device emits more EMF than an arbitrary standard does not mean that it is hazardous to anyone's health.
     
  13. Appledoesnotlisten macrumors member

    Appledoesnotlisten

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    Dec 2, 2017
    #13
    Thanks for looking it up.

    I can tell you about MY OWN experience. I had been working under a very high EMF exposure in my home office for a while and experienced a range of symptoms that people write about. It was pretty bad. And I noticed immediate improvements after reducing the exposure. Coincidence or placebo? No way, man. Granted, my EMF was pretty high.

    Now I want to figure out where that safe limit is. I really love the MBP keyboard and trackpad and want to work on it even though it's recommended to use external keyboard and mouse because MBP internals generate a strong exposure.
     
  14. JustinRP37 macrumors regular

    JustinRP37

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    #14
    Old cathode ray tube TVs gave out much more EMF radiation than these laptops and those TVs were everywhere. Humanity seems to have done pretty well. In all my years of being in the biological sciences and even looking at EMF radiation on plant growth, consumer electronics are very VERY safe.
     
  15. Howard2k macrumors 68020

    Howard2k

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    #15
  16. Appledoesnotlisten macrumors member

    Appledoesnotlisten

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    #16
  17. Macintoshrumors macrumors 6502

    Macintoshrumors

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    #17
    Sure pal, on the internet, you can be whoooever you want-wink
     
  18. Appledoesnotlisten macrumors member

    Appledoesnotlisten

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    #18
    The cumulative effect of all those 24/7 LTE, Wi-Fi, 3G, 5G, Bluetooth, smart meters, etc is probably greater than that of those cathode ray tubes that you were exposed to only occasionally.
    Happy to meet for coffee with anybody from Macrumors who lives in Chicago.
     
  19. Howard2k macrumors 68020

    Howard2k

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    #19
  20. Airboy1466 macrumors 6502

    Airboy1466

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    #20
    well here's my two cents lol. do you have apple care+ if you do does it really matter you get free battery replacements regardless.
     
  21. Thysanoptera macrumors 6502a

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    Jun 12, 2018
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    Pittsburgh, PA
    #21
    15% in 4 years. I've had laptops that had similar capacity drop out of the box. But I probably won't be around to see what my MBP capacity will be in the future, for the last 20 years I was and will continue to be exposed to electric fields in kV/m range for hours a day.
     
  22. JustinRP37 macrumors regular

    JustinRP37

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    New York, NY
    #22
    No they probably aren't. Science tells us this. There are plenty of experiments that show that exposure to radio frequency does not have an effect. In the earlier time of cellular usage with unshielded radios and antenna, sure. But looking for effects, we have not seen any. As for your claim with EMF radiation being much higher when the computer was plugged in, I'd like to know what the battery charge was when it was plugged in, obviously when it was unplugged it was on battery. But if it was recently plugged in, well sure your EMF will increase as the computer is in the rapid phase of the battery charge. You'd need to be sure the computer wasn't also doing a bunch of tasks in the background as macOS does when plugged in. Basically, make sure the computer is doing the exact same thing in each scenario. As a PhD scientist and reviewer, I'd want to know more about this. I'm sure Apple would want to know more too, if you feel that the computer was causing harm.

    As for your "cathode ray tubes that you were exposed to only occasionally" you must not have grown up or been an adult in the 80s/90s, because computer monitors all used CRT-technology. Meaning millions upon millions of workers sat for 8+ hours a day less than 12 inches from a CRT monitor, only to head home to have dinner and probably watch a TV show on a CRT television. I do not know what argument you are trying to make other than maybe we should all live in faraday cages. It's a product of being in a modern society. Pilots have always been subjected to much higher EMF radiation and actual ionizing radiation (the dangerous type) than just about any other profession. However, even their cancer rates are not noticeable different than what is expected for most cancers: https://www.jstor.org/stable/25452321. Also see Band et al. 1996 in the American Journal of Epidemiology where they find that Air Canada pilots actually had a lower cancer incidence for the majority of cancers, but experienced an elevated risk of prostate cancer and acute myeloid leukemia. Bottom line is live your life.
     
  23. Appledoesnotlisten macrumors member

    Appledoesnotlisten

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    #23
    That was the first thing I checked.

    In my observations different battery charges and workloads did not affect the results. The range is roughly between 0-5 v/m unplugged and 30-90 v/m plugged in (30-50 was pretty rare though) and I don't see any correlation with anything.

    Good news is that DIY grounding might reduce electric field if grounding in your house is good. But magnetic field will remain the same.
     

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22 December 7, 2018