only 1000 battery cycles?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by schluckauf, Oct 15, 2016.

  1. schluckauf macrumors newbie

    Oct 15, 2016
    I ve bought a Mac Book Air a couple of weeks ago. I'm happy with it so far but I was a bit shocked to read that the battery will lose its power pretty quick.. Is it better to keep the mac air plugged into the power socket when I'm home so that I do not use up the 1000 battery cycles?
    kind regards
  2. saudor macrumors 6502a

    Jul 18, 2011
    You will need to use it every now and then. (I.e don't leave it plugged in at 100% all the time) Batteries do need the electrons moving. Also, the ideal state is around 50% charge.

    That being said, as long as you use it, it'll last longer if you don't deliberately use battery power all the time even when there's an outlet nearby
  3. DeltaMac macrumors G3


    Jul 30, 2003
    Keep in mind that your MBAir does not suddenly quit working just because you reach that "magical" 1000 charge cycles.
    That is only an engineering estimate to give you an idea how long the battery might last before you can expect that the battery may need replacing. It's not a fuel tank that empties, it depends on your use (and fate, to a certain degree).
    Some folks have batteries that, at least in real life, last longer.
    Some experience a shorter overall life.
    And, if it doesn't make it to 1,000 cycles, you might have a valid position for Apple to replace the battery, depending on where you are with the warranty. I only use about 75-100 full charge cycles per year (my personal average for the last 15 years, more or less), but then I also see folks who are mobile warriors, plug in when they get the chance, and may add 50 or more full charge cycles per month.
    Those who lurk here often will say that you have a portable. If you want to use it as a portable, then do it. The battery on most will last most of your day.
    Plug it in when you need to. Don't sweat the battery life, until it does deteriorate to the point that you only get a couple of hours for normal use on battery.
    Most folks should, in that kind of use, get a good 5 years usable life out of the battery, maybe another year or two.
    After 5 years, then you decide between the expense of replacing the battery, or replacing a 5 or 6-year-old laptop.
    Apple (bless their heart :D ) would likely want you to upgrade to a new laptop, etc.
  4. DesignerOnMac macrumors 6502a


    Jul 23, 2007
    My mid 2013 MBA is 3y 3m old with 511 cycles out of the 1000 with 81% of original capacity. Not worried here.
  5. 960design macrumors 68030

    Apr 17, 2012
    Destin, FL
    What sort of computer/battery were you using before that the apple's 'short' battery life shocked you?

    Apple batteries are what the industry strives to match. For example, many current batteries only last about 300 cycles.

    Here's a way to think about it:
    If you fully discharge your Apple battery every day it will last about 3 years before reaching half life. So the Mac Air you have initially starts with about 9-12 hours / day will end up only lasting 4-6 / hours per day. That is if you fully discharge it every single day for 3 years and it will still outperform just about any Dell laptop on the market. If you use your laptop that much you are probably ( or should be ) in a 3 year replacement cycle ( I am ). But most users get at least twice that. So replacement every 6 years.
  6. elf69 macrumors 68020


    Jun 2, 2016
    Cornwall UK
    I have a 2009 macbook with coming up to 300 cycles and 98% battery health.

    can get 4-5 hours use on battery at work.
    I do use it on battery alot, mainly due to moving about at work. Then recharge when can at work or when get home so it can see upto 5 cycles a week.
  7. Boyd01 Moderator


    Staff Member

    Feb 21, 2012
    New Jersey Pine Barrens
    My 11" MBA is exactly the same age as yours! But mine only shows 275 cycles. :) I do use it at home connected to external peripherals most of the time though.

    The battery on my 2008 15" MBP completely died in 2014 - 6 years. I really wasn't using it for anything at that point anyway.
  8. jimmirehman macrumors 6502

    Sep 14, 2012
    My Late 2010 11 inch MacBook air Ultimate edition, i purchased in November of 2010 (so almost 6 years old):

    Screen Shot 2016-10-15 at 7.47.47 PM.png
  9. colorfuel macrumors regular

    Oct 13, 2015
    2010 mba here, 721 cycles, varying between 82-86% charge.
  10. gim macrumors 6502


    Jul 27, 2014
    Not worried? 81% after only 3 years and 500 cycles seems pretty bad to me.
    My 2 year old MBP is at 98% after ~ 200 cycles.
  11. Matthew.H macrumors 6502


    Sep 16, 2015
    Norwich, UK
    I'd keep an eye on that if I were you. The health seems rather low for 3 years old at 500 cycles. My sister's mid 2014 macbook pro is just under 250 cycles at 96% health.
  12. saudor macrumors 6502a

    Jul 18, 2011
    My 2010 is at 300 cycles and drifts between 72% and 83%. Prime example of what not using the battery can do.
  13. gim macrumors 6502


    Jul 27, 2014
    300 cycles in 6 years sound okay, about 1 cycle per week.
    And 83% after 6 years generally sounds like good longevity for a battery. I mean it's degrading anyway, I don't think it'd be better if you had used more cycles.
  14. 2ilent8cho macrumors 6502

    Mar 9, 2016
    My 2012 Air is on 609 Cycles and 81%, and i use it almost every day. You don't need to panic, and even if you do use up all 1000 cycles quickly, Apple don't charge that much for a replacement battery.
  15. Doc C macrumors regular

    Nov 5, 2013
    My understanding from talking to Apple is that they expect it to be above 80% of new capacity after 3 years or 1000 cycles. I had one battery replaced no charge because it was below the 80% threshold after 2 years and only about 250 cycles, however I suspect that in general it isnt easy to get them to do the swap. I was told by one employee that it helped that I tracked battery health regularly (I use Coconut a Battery, but there are lots of programs that do the same) however another employee told me that they didn't trust the information, even though it is drawn straight from the Apple System Information, so I now don't know what to think.
  16. Weaselboy Moderator


    Staff Member

    Jan 23, 2005
    Coconut battery is spot on accurate. I always shows the exact same reading as System Info like you mentioned. I think what throws people off is sometimes the percentage charge in Coconut will show say 98% when the OS X menu bar shows 100%. If you do the math from the System Info you will see the Coconut battery percentage is correct. I think OS X fudges the number up to 100% so people don't obsess over the battery not being fully charged.
    --- Post Merged, Oct 17, 2016 ---
    Run it on battery when you need to be portable and just leave it plugged in otherwise. It has circuitry built in to prevent overcharging. There is no need to run it down on purpose. All that does is add unnecessary charge cycles.

    Here is the official battery information straight from Apple.
  17. gregorcic macrumors newbie


    Oct 21, 2016
    Only 4-5 hours?
  18. KiwiAdventure Suspended

    Dec 7, 2010
    New Zealand
    789 cycles and still going strong my Air being 40 months old.
  19. MacBH928 macrumors 68040


    May 17, 2008
    My understanding is that after 1000 cycles it will not die, it will give less performance. So if it was new and it lasts 5 hours after 1000 cycles it might last 3 hours and degrades from there on.

    I was once told it was a good idea to empty the charge to 0% then fully charge it without use like once a month. It syncs/refreshes the battery. Something like that.
  20. Savor Suspended


    Jun 18, 2010
    I believe battery degrades two ways. The many full charge cycle you give it but there is also an expiration date on batteries. The moment they are made, they are born to die (kinda like people and all things). My iPad 2 is five years old and is able to retain 80% after 1000 full cycles. But I still get 10h SOT by watching videos. It works like new, so no degradation there!

    If it becomes worrisome, then pay the $129 with Apple to have it replaced. That's still alot cheaper than how much you paid for your MBA and they definitely last longer than iPhones batteries which degrade as quickly in less than a year. Unless our school or occupation ask us to use our computer, MacBook will be used just as much as our TV. Less use and abuse like our smartphones.

    $129 for a new battery. That's another 5-6 years usage with your MacBook Air unlike the general 2 years with iPhones. Just enjoy using your MBA. Laptops are not as bad at replacing more frequently as smartphones. If my 5-year old iPad 2 can last this long, imagine the MacBook Air? Planned obsolescence is not bad with laptops which is probably why Apple didn't update them as often because they are pretty much close to perfect for basic usage as is.
  21. elf69 macrumors 68020


    Jun 2, 2016
    Cornwall UK
    yeah but i have chrome and firefox running and they are both heavy battery users.
    We use google docs at work so im using it all day.

    at home without using chrome and google doc can get 5-6 or more hours use on web.
  22. BarcelonaPaul Suspended

    Jul 1, 2015
    Just replaced my 2010 MacBook battery. It lasted perfectly for 2450 charges. This was used daily using the battery and charged daily. At first for the first 2 or 4 years i'd charge it through the night and the rest of he time whenever. I charged it to 100% each time with topping up whenever so no special tricks.
    Gotta say these MacBook are beautifully made. It took me 5 minutes last night to replace the battery.
    --- Post Merged, Oct 24, 2016 ---
    PS. I still have my iPhone 4S - 4.5 years, on the battery is still perfect. Again often charged to 100% BUT I don't charge it over night - just for the 2 hours or top up or when it's plugged into my car. I charge it daily.
  23. gim macrumors 6502


    Jul 27, 2014
    Impressive. And I can confirm that. I held on to my iPhone 4 for 6 years before upgrading to the 7 last month. Original battery had many many cycles and was still over 80% of the original capacity.
  24. jjhoekstra macrumors regular

    Apr 23, 2009
    I had my battery in my MBP 2012 replaced after almost 3 years and around 900 cycles for free. OSX gave a warning that something was wrong and Apple replaced the battery without any discussion whatsoever. In the same session they also replaced both the front and back-cover for free. Especially the back-cover was pretty beat-up due to heavy road-warrior use. I had not even asked for that! I was greatly impressed.
  25. joeblow7777 macrumors 603

    Sep 7, 2010
    Keep in mind that "only" 1000 battery cycles is when the there should start to be a noticeable decline in battery life, not when the battery just stops working all together. That happens very gradually. Look at it this way, if you fully charge and discharge your laptop once a day, it will be nearly 3 years before you should experience noticeable battery decline, and probably still more years before it actually declines to the point where it's an issue.

    All Lithium-ion batteries have limited number of cycles. 1000 is actually really good. I would guess that you will likely be prepared to replace the laptop for other reasons by the time the battery becomes and issue. But to answer your original question, no, there's no problem with using it plugged in most of the time to save cycles. You should still use the battery sometimes though. Having the electrons flow from time to time is good for it.

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31 October 15, 2016