Late 2008 Macbook Pro - Terrible Battery Life?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by bpetruzzo, Jul 19, 2010.

  1. bpetruzzo macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2005
    #1
    I'm running a late 2008 Macbook Pro with OS 10.6.4. The battery life is terrible. Like, in the hour and fifteen minute range on a full charge. I've tried turning everything off, wifi, bluetooth, screen brightness down and turned off the keyboard backlights. If I have no applications running, it will sometimes estimate a maximum of about two hours, but never actually give me more than about an hour and a half--if all I'm doing is surfing the net.

    About three months ago I replaced the internal drive with a Hitatchi 500gb drive of the same RPM as the original (5400rpm). That's the only major modification to the machine I've made and the battery life was already a problem from starters.

    Does it sound like there's something wrong with the battery, or is it more likely there's something else causing problems?
     
  2. Xenophon macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2010
    Location:
    New Delhi, India
    #2
    Click on the apple logo-->About this Mac-->more info, this opens profiler.

    In profiler, click on battery status. What does it say next to condition and cycle count?

    Might also be a problem with the HDD that keeps spinning but to be fair, Apple put some really terrible batteries in some of it's hardware.
     
  3. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

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    May 16, 2008
    #3
  4. RedRaven571 macrumors 65816

    RedRaven571

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    Mar 13, 2009
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    #4
    I read that sticky and I don't see it had anything to do with the OP's question.

    I have a late 2008 MBP and I thought my battery life was poor (no better than my HP Pavilion, ~2 hrs), but I had some reasonable success in extending the time on battery by turning off bluetooth (WiFi too, if I am not accessing a connection), dimming the screen a couple of bars, and making sure the GPU was on the internal (9400) one. That seems to add 1 to 1.5 hrs, depending on what I was doing.
     
  5. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #5
    You may want to re-read it. There are many things in that post that deal directly with the OP's question, such as determining expected lifespan (number of cycles to be expected), battery health, determining number of cycles, calibration to ensure accurate readings and dealing with defective batteries.
     
  6. bpetruzzo thread starter macrumors regular

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    Oct 22, 2005
    #6
    Thanks for the quick responses. :)

    iStatPro reports 95% battery health and 100 cycles. It's not often used out in the open since the battery really doesn't give me enough time to really be productive, regardless of what I'm doing.

    I did read through that and it's mostly reviewing things I already knew. One thing I did note was the section talking about the conditions under which Apple estimates the battery life. Generally, browsing the web and typing up some documents in a word processor. Under those conditions I see a maximum of about an hour and a half battery life. And that's only if I literally quit everything that might be running. Like the Mail app.

    I'm wondering if somewhere along the line I installed some processes that are running in the background. I suspect they could be hurting my battery too. I think this is also a possibility since the first few months I had the machine I was getting anywhere from 3 to 4 hours off a charge. But I haven't been able to figure out what those things might be or how to remove them. The Activity Monitor is almost almost useless in terms of terminating process since I have no idea what is what.
     
  7. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

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    May 16, 2008
    #7
    Have you calibrated your battery properly, to make sure that info is accurate?
     
  8. bpetruzzo thread starter macrumors regular

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    Oct 22, 2005
    #8
    No, I haven't. Though the sticky said that calibrating won't extend battery life. Is that a misunderstanding? I mean, is it a batter-memory thing. Like, the computer thinks it's fully charged but really only has 60%?
     
  9. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #9
    It doesn't extend or improve battery life, but it makes the readings more accurate.
    Not exactly. Your battery health is being reported as 95%, but that number might not be accurate. After calibration, you may find your health under 80%, which might indicate a defective battery, with only 100 cycles.
     
  10. bpetruzzo thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2005
    #10
    Okay, I understand. Well I have never calibrated the battery, so I suppose that's probably what I ought to do. It appears to take a pretty long time, so when I'm done I'll come back with an update.

    Thanks for all the help so far! :)
     
  11. Meever macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2009
    #11
    You need a new battery most likely.

    Most li-on batteries lose a lot of capacity when you've hit about 100+ charge or 1 year mark.

    The pre-integrated batteries lasted about 3 hours when new so lasting about half that sounds about right after a year.
     

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