New Macbook Pro Battery issue

thenewguy

macrumors regular
Original poster
Oct 25, 2006
203
0
I just got a rMBP and I have a battery problem.

I'm currently at 91% battery and the indicator is saying I have 3:33 remaining - though it has been fluctuating between 2:54 and 3:46 or so.

Shouldn't I have 7 + hours or so? I'm on the intel graphics chip and I have very few programs running.

What am I missing?
 
Nov 28, 2010
22,684
27
located
What is your brightness set at (F1 and F2 keys)?
Open Activity Monitor and select All Processes and then sort by CPU to show you the process(es) eating up your battery charge.

______________________________________________________
This should answer most, if not all, of your battery questions:
Apple Notebook Battery FAQ by GGJstudios
The F.A.Q. includes the following topics:
  • BATTERY INFORMATION
  • BATTERY LIFE FROM A CHARGE
  • AC POWER
  • CALIBRATION
  • BATTERY LIFESPAN
  • CHECKING STATUS AND HEALTH
  • CHARGING
  • WHAT IS A CYCLE?
  • BATTERIES ARE NOT COVERED
  • BULGING OR SWELLING BATTERY

______________________________________________________
 

GGJstudios

macrumors Westmere
May 16, 2008
44,419
756
I just got a rMBP and I have a battery problem.

I'm currently at 91% battery and the indicator is saying I have 3:33 remaining - though it has been fluctuating between 2:54 and 3:46 or so.

Shouldn't I have 7 + hours or so? I'm on the intel graphics chip and I have very few programs running.

What am I missing?
From the BATTERY LIFE FROM A CHARGE section of the following link:
  • Your "time remaining" indication is an ever-changing estimate, based on the current workload of your system. It will fluctuate up and down from minute to minute as your power demands change. It is not perfectly accurate, but only an estimate.
There are many factors that impact your battery life. See the BATTERY LIFE FROM A CHARGE section of the following link for details, including tips on how to maximize your battery life.

This should answer most, if not all, of your battery/charging questions:
 

Puevlo

macrumors 6502a
Oct 21, 2011
633
1
If Apple says it should last 7 hours then that's how long it should last. Otherwise it's broken.
 

GGJstudios

macrumors Westmere
May 16, 2008
44,419
756
If Apple says it should last 7 hours then that's how long it should last. Otherwise it's broken.
That is false. Apple's 7 hours are based on very specific conditions that may or may not apply to the average user. As Apple states:
The wireless web test measures battery life by wirelessly browsing 25 popular websites with display brightness set to 50%.
From: Apple - MacBook Pro with Retina display - Technical Specifications

They also state:
Battery life varies by use and configuration; see www.apple.com/batteries for more information.
From: Apple - MacBook Pro with Retina display - Design
The length of time your battery will power your device depends on how you use it. For instance, watching a DVD will use up your notebook battery’s power more quickly than simple word processing.
From: Apple - Batteries
 

Engali

macrumors member
Jul 7, 2012
82
0
I had this problem, both before and after ML. Apple geniuses epically failed on helping me with this and other problems.

What helped was resetting PRAM, again both before and after ML. My battery life shot up from 3-4 hours on a full charge to 7-8. Look it up on the interwebz. Do keep in mind, as another poster already mentioned, that the advertised battery life is under very specific conditions. For example, Anandtech made a distinction between light and moderate web browsing at 50% brightness, which amounted to bringing up a new website on average 15 seconds faster IIRC for the latter. This small change, over the course of hours, will have a significant effect on battery life. I roll with like four squares of briughtness usually. Also, expect to get less battery life in Windows 7 under bootcamp because, according to another thread, Windows 7 will always and only use the dedicated Nvidia GPU and doesn't do dynamic switching.

Speaking of which, look up this app called gfxcardstatus or something. It'll put an icon on your menu bar that shows you, by showing an "i" for integrated or a "d" for dedicated, which GPU you're currently using. I've heard Facebook surprisingly will kick in dedicated. You can use this app to force the rMBP to only use either GPU, allow dynamic switching, and even set up preferences for when you're on/off battery for power supply. I highly recommend it since GPU usage and the screen brightness is a fairly large energy sink.
 

Engali

macrumors member
Jul 7, 2012
82
0
Orly? Because that's the only thing that helped that I tried. And it worked before I even tried resetting SMC, so I stopped there.

Have you actually had this issue and have you actually tried setting PRAM? The armchair looks mighty comfy, but I prefer to stand.
 

GGJstudios

macrumors Westmere
May 16, 2008
44,419
756
Orly? Because that's the only thing that helped that I tried. And it worked before I even tried resetting SMC, so I stopped there.

Have you actually had this issue and have you actually tried setting PRAM? The armchair looks mighty comfy, but I prefer to stand.
First, it's not PRAM. On Power-PC Macs, it's PRAM. On Intel-based Macs, it's NVRAM. It also has nothing to do with "armchair". I've helped thousands of people with these issues over the years, so I do know what I'm talking about, not to mention the fact that Apple's documentation is very clear about what NVRAM affects and what it doesn't.
 

Engali

macrumors member
Jul 7, 2012
82
0
First, it's not PRAM. On Power-PC Macs, it's PRAM. On Intel-based Macs, it's NVRAM. It also has nothing to do with "armchair". I've helped thousands of people with these issues over the years, so I do know what I'm talking about, not to mention the fact that Apple's documentation is very clear about what NVRAM affects and what it doesn't.
Fantastic. What you're suggesting did not work for me. The Apple Genius who then did the same thing for me, but moved the preference list to the desktop before doing so because he said it was safer, did not solve the issue by doing what you're suggesting. Only resetting the NVRAM helped solve the issue as far as I can tell.

It's great that you have helped thousands of people with issues like these, but that what you suggested did not work for me. Don't take it personally; I read it somewhere else. I also got pro help through an Apple store and it simply didn't work. I am reporting what actually solved my problem and that may be useful to others. If it matters to you, I researched how to install the Nvidia graphics driver in Windows 7 under bootcamp--no amount of AppleCare telephone support or live Apple genius help could. For godsakes, the people in the Apple store and on the phone were barely one page ahead of me on how to deal with the rMBP and the guy was literally reading community support threads trying to solve my issue. He, admittedly, was working on the second rMBP ever when he was working with me. So perhaps there are things that people in the community can help each other with that even Apple geniuses, people employed by Apple and tasked to troubleshoot their products, don't know yet.
 

GGJstudios

macrumors Westmere
May 16, 2008
44,419
756
For godsakes, the people in the Apple store and on the phone were barely one page ahead of me on how to deal with the rMBP and the guy was literally reading community support threads trying to solve my issue. He, admittedly, was working on the second rMBP ever when he was working with me. So perhaps there are things that people in the community can help each other with that even Apple geniuses, people employed by Apple and tasked to troubleshoot their products, don't know yet.
I completely understand what you're talking about. I've found that the few times I've talked to Geniuses or called AppleCare, I found I knew far more about the subject than they did. That's pretty much been true with any tech support I've dealt with, including Microsoft.
 

cms2

macrumors 6502
Aug 4, 2007
457
0
Texas
What is your brightness set at (F1 and F2 keys)?
Open Activity Monitor and select All Processes and then sort by CPU to show you the process(es) eating up your battery charge.

______________________________________________________
This should answer most, if not all, of your battery questions:
Apple Notebook Battery FAQ by GGJstudios
The F.A.Q. includes the following topics:
  • BATTERY INFORMATION
  • BATTERY LIFE FROM A CHARGE
  • AC POWER
  • CALIBRATION
  • BATTERY LIFESPAN
  • CHECKING STATUS AND HEALTH
  • CHARGING
  • WHAT IS A CYCLE?
  • BATTERIES ARE NOT COVERED
  • BULGING OR SWELLING BATTERY

______________________________________________________
Thank you for posting this link. Seriously, I was very upset to notice that my battery health, with only 12 cycles and on a 10 day old rMBP had suddenly dropped to 99%. I was frantically searching the forums for assistance/information. I am relieved to see that it fluctuates. :)