MacBook Pro 15" Mid-'14 Performance/Battery Status Today

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by mac_4eva, Jun 15, 2016.

  1. mac_4eva macrumors newbie

    mac_4eva

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2016
    Location:
    Amherst, Massachusetts, USA / Mumbai, India
    #1
    I was wondering what kind of battery performance other owners of the top-end MBP 15" Mid-2014 (w/ NVIDIA 750M) are experiencing and would love to hear your thoughts.

    My system stats via coconutBattery:

    Age: 22 Months
    Load Cycles: 980
    macOS Battery Status: Good
    Design Capacity: 8440 mAh (same for all)
    Current Battery Capacity: 87.7%

    Usage:
    Usually push the laptop to its limits (CPU + GPU) while video editing and GPU while gaming (Win 10 BootCamp) as of today.

    Case: New
    Performing fantastic on both Windows & macOS for both tasks - while plugged in as well as on battery.
    Example Game: Need For Speed Rivals
    Able to play at optimal performance at 1680x1050 with mid-high settings (NVIDIA GeForce Experience optimized settings).

    OS at the time: Windows 8/8.1.

    Video Editing: Perfect!

    OS at the time: 10.9.3/4 Mavericks.

    Case: After 22 Months
    Performance nearly good compared to the above case on both Windows & macOS for both tasks, but only on battery. Plugging in causes throttling - but works fine if I cool the environment around (Air Conditioner - cooler than I would prefer). However, GPU-Z does not show the cause of throttling as Heat. My guess is that it is mostly due to the limited 85W PSU, but that does not explain great performance in Case: New. My guess is: with a degraded battery, charging is inefficient? (maybe requires more time & power?) - would love more information on this.

    Example Game: Need For Speed Rivals
    Optimal performance at 1280x800 with mid settings (custom).

    OS at this time: Windows 10 Pro

    While the OSes are different, I have seen consistent minute performance improvements over Win 8.1 in all reviews. So a performance degradation is doubtful with Windows 10 (have tried all possible energy settings thoroughly).

    Video Editing: Perfect! El Capitan has really resulted in much better performance and RAM management (have noticed that it uses much more of the GPU than before - probably thanks to Metal).

    OS at this time: 10.11.5/6 El Capitan.

    While the OS has improved performance, tools have shown me low CPU clockspeeds while converting video via handbrake while plugged in (all 8 threads - drops to sub 2.5GHz frequently, average around 2.(5-7) GHz and starts at 3.1/2 GHz. When new, I consistently averaged around 3GHz.

    I am also aware that OS X also made changes regarding the charging policy since Mavericks. Before, if the computer demanded more power than the PSU could supply, it would be given this power via the battery, resulting in a not-charging situation or sometimes even a decrease in battery. Now, the battery has to charge at all costs, hence the CPU/GPU throttles.

    Another example that corroborates an overall performance decrease in my Macs performance is a review of this model. Check out this old review: http://www.macworld.co.uk/review/mac-laptops/macbook-pro-retina-review-15inch-2014-3533760/

    The Unigine Heaven benchmark states that @1440x900, the system averaged 29FPS. Given that the current version (4.0) has been around since 2013, we can assume that both the reviewer's and my machine ran the same version at his suggested "Medium" settings.

    The OS however, must be different since my machine is on El Capitan. I scored an average of 20-22FPS on the test on macOS, both plugged in and on battery.

    I was wondering if anyone else is experiencing lower performance (in normal use cases this may be visible) after prolonged intensive use and if it would be wise to change my battery (and that doing so might improve performance?) given that its current capacity is still at 87% which is sufficient.
     
  2. Kissmyne macrumors 6502

    Kissmyne

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2015
    #2
    I've had my rMBP since Jan 2015, no visible performance issues even under heavy load. I am running OS X 10.11.5 and Windows 8.1 Pro. I do NOT use Turbo Boost in Windows, and I clean my computer out on the regular(you'd be surprised how much dust can accumulate in such a thin chassis). If i am running something very CPU intensive in OS X my clocks might drop to 2.8 Ghz or so. As far as power goes in general, i have not noticed a change in behavior, granted my unit originally shipped with OS X 10.10.1. I would typically say that you are more likely to be hitting thermal limits rather than power limits. My recommendation would be to blow the dust out of the unit as a first thing..

    Unigine Heaven 4.0(OS X) = 24.8-25 fps w/ other items running as well.
     
  3. mac_4eva thread starter macrumors newbie

    mac_4eva

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2016
    Location:
    Amherst, Massachusetts, USA / Mumbai, India
    #3
    Thank you for the suggestion. I have never internally cleaned the chassis so your reasoning makes a lot of sense. How do you usually go about cleaning the unit?
     
  4. MarvinHC macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2014
    Location:
    Shanghai, PRC
    #4
    Hi,
    how is your battery holding up a couple of months down the line, I guess you are above 1000 cycles now?
     
  5. mac_4eva thread starter macrumors newbie

    mac_4eva

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2016
    Location:
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    #5
    I'm currently at 1115 battery cycles. Readings on coconutBattery suggest that I have around 85-89% battery capacity remaining, which I think is pretty great.

    Given that I have tons of extensions as well as Plex Media Server constantly running, I would say average battery life per charge is approximately 5 hours or above and lesser when I'm working with developer or media editing tools.
     
  6. MarvinHC macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2014
    Location:
    Shanghai, PRC
    #6
    Thanks for the quick reply, that is good news! Can you confirm that this is exactly the right number for design capacity: 8440 mAH (a screenshot from coconut battery would be great if you don't mind).
     
  7. mac_4eva thread starter macrumors newbie

    mac_4eva

    Joined:
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    #7
    A thorough internal clean-up of the mac of resulted in significant performance and especially thermal improvements as you had correctly conjectured. Post clean-up, in the Unigine Heaven benchmark, the GPU temperatures did not exceed 83 C and the fans did not even reach top speed for the first run.

    Thank you for your recommendation!
    --- Post Merged, Sep 11, 2016 ---
    The design capacity is indeed 8440 mAh.
    Screen Shot 2016-09-12 at 12.47.40 AM.png
     
  8. MarvinHC macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2014
    Location:
    Shanghai, PRC
    #8
    Very much appreciated. Thank you!

    Out of curiosity, how do you get so many cycles in such a short time, never run it while plugged in?
     
  9. mac_4eva thread starter macrumors newbie

    mac_4eva

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2016
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    #9
    That's mostly because I don't like being tethered for long. So I usually unplug from power once my mac is fully charged, which is not a good thing because I rack up cycles too quickly.
     
  10. Patcell macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2016
    Location:
    Bergen County, NJ
    #10
    If you don't mind me asking, how did you go about cleaning out the dust? Just remove back panel and blow it out?
     
  11. mac_4eva, Sep 14, 2016
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2016

    mac_4eva thread starter macrumors newbie

    mac_4eva

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    #11
    Actually I didn't clean it myself and let Apple do it for me. I was in India at the time and my mac was out of warranty at the time as well. I went to the service center near my residence and they said they would charge me about 30$ for "servicing" my mac. I took the plunge - they had the laptop for two days - after which it has been performing as fast as ever. The "servicing" apparently also includes thermal paste replacement for the CPU and GPU besides the usual internal clean-up (which I thoroughly checked while collecting my laptop from the service center).

    Regarding the clean-up procedure, I believe that removing the bottom panel and thoroughly cleaning the fans and vents would do the trick (I had accumulated tons over two years).
     
  12. Patcell macrumors 6502

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    Aug 8, 2016
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    Bergen County, NJ
    #12
    That's not a bad deal at all actually... Thanks for getting back! And glad it helped for you.
     
  13. mac_4eva thread starter macrumors newbie

    mac_4eva

    Joined:
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    Amherst, Massachusetts, USA / Mumbai, India
    #13
    Update: Things after 800 days.

    First off, just today I noticed an extremely steep drop in battery life. At first I thought something taxing was running in the background, but coconutBattery clearly indicated the problem. The images say it all.

    Overall Battery Life: About 3 hours 30 mins at around 1147 load cycles. The battery status seems alright so lets see how far this goes. It is whopping drop from around 86% to 65.8% in a day. In fact, it fell about 7% over the last few hours! It is worth noting that the coconutbattery online graph average shows an interesting variation after about 1200 cycles, when the battery capacity rises. Will report on this as well, unless the battery fails.


    Screen Shot 2016-10-09 at 3.48.33 AM.png Screen Shot 2016-10-09 at 3.48.58 AM.png
     
  14. MarvinHC macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2014
    Location:
    Shanghai, PRC
    #14
    Thanks for sharing. One thing I find surprising: I thought once the battery is below 80% capacity, the system will tell you 'service battery'. In your case it is still marked as 'good'. One thing I would be worried about however when it gets to such a low capacity is battery swelling which could potentially do damage to your Macbook. But please keep the updates coming.
    Regarding the stats from Coconut Battery: I wouldn't read too much into that graph, I wonder how big the population past the 1100 cycles still is, might be just one Macbook ...
     
  15. mac_4eva thread starter macrumors newbie

    mac_4eva

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    #15
    Woke up to find the capacity up by about 5%. In any case, I also wondered how many people were around the 1100 cycle mark given the relatively small timeframe the laptop has been available. But even so, my notebook seems to replicate that behavior quite closely. It will be interesting to see what happens.
     
  16. mac_4eva thread starter macrumors newbie

    mac_4eva

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    #16
    And after 815 days the battery status has been updated to Replace Soon. To summarize, this status means that "the battery is functioning normally but holds less charge than it did when it was new." It is likely that the status will change to Replace Now pretty soon, which means - "The battery is functioning normally but holds significantly less charge than it did when it was new. You can continue to use the battery until you replace it without harming your computer."

    I might continue using this battery until its very last days since I don't care much for long battery life (plug point usually nearby). Will keep this thread updated.
    Screen Shot 2016-10-15 at 5.19.59 PM.png
     
  17. mac_4eva thread starter macrumors newbie

    mac_4eva

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Amherst, Massachusetts, USA / Mumbai, India
    #17
    1400 Cycles Later:
    Screen Shot 2017-07-26 at 11.13.47 PM.png

    The battery status has not changed, and my experience is not much different either. Things look alright for the moment. I get about 3h 40m of battery life.
     
  18. Patcell macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2016
    Location:
    Bergen County, NJ
    #18
    It might be worth considering a battery replacement... even out-of-pocket at $200, it would likely give you much better battery life.
     
  19. psynnott macrumors 6502

    psynnott

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2012
    #19
    Plus you'll get a new top case - which includes keyboard, trackpad and palmrest obviously.
     
  20. mac_4eva, Jul 27, 2017
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2017

    mac_4eva thread starter macrumors newbie

    mac_4eva

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Amherst, Massachusetts, USA / Mumbai, India
    #20
    True enough - however, I'm (these days) usually tethered (external monitor, GPU, etc.) so I don't feel the need to replace the battery. While the new top case would be nice, I'd rather save up for now and upgrade to a newer mac later. Many thanks for the suggestion and info.
     

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