rMBP: Best Way To Handle Battery?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Drew84, Jan 10, 2014.

  1. Drew84 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2012
    #1
    My new rMBP (my work computer) is used roughly 8-10 hours a day, and is generally on and running anywhere from 16-20 hours a day (lid closed and in sleep mode for some of that time), every day of the week. Taking this amount of use into account, what is the best way to keep the battery at it's optimum health over the long haul? Should I cycle it daily, once a week? Is it good to use it on battery power for a short period of time and then plug it back in, or is it best to always drain it down to 0% if you're going to use battery power at all?

    I killed the battery in my previous MBP (a mid '08 model) in no time because I had it plugged in at least 95% of the time, and that machine didn't see half the use this one does/will. So this has had me paranoid in the first couple of weeks with this new machine, cycling it on battery regularly but perhaps a little often.

    I know this topic has been discussed countless times here on the forum, but I'm curious how to handle the battery in heavy use, rather than occasional use.
     
  2. tillsbury macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2007
    #2
    Newer MBPs have different batteries from the older ones. Apple's recommendation is to keep it plugged in, but make sure you fully drain the battery down to zero at least once a month. My rMBP is at 90% of battery capacity at the moment, after 18 months and 147 cycles (permanently on, almost permanently plugged in). It's supposed to retain at least 80% of capacity after 1000 cycles.

    Having said that, the cost of a new battery is $199, which if it's required after 3-4 years doesn't sound much of a problem.
     
  3. ohbrilliance macrumors 6502a

    ohbrilliance

    Joined:
    May 15, 2007
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    #3
    Not quite. Apple says: You should perform this procedure when you first use your computer and then every few months after that. If you normally leave your Apple portable computer connected to AC power and very rarely use it on battery power you may want to perform this process once a month.

    http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1490?viewlocale=en_US&locale=en_US
     
  4. Patriks7 macrumors 65816

    Patriks7

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2008
    #4
    Did you read the article you linked?

    "Current Apple portable computer batteries are pre-calibrated and do not require the calibration procedure outlined in this article."
     
  5. tillsbury macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2007
    #5
    That doesn't apply to the rMBP, as the article itself says.
     
  6. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

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    May 3, 2009
    Location:
    Boston
    #6
    Personally, I use my laptop and don't worry about the laptop - people spend way too much time and energy on the battery. Enjoy your laptop :)

    I leave rMBP plugged in for extended periods and so far (after 1 year) it hasn't been a problem. Likewise my 2010 MBP's battery is fine (my wife has the this laptop now)
     
  7. ohbrilliance macrumors 6502a

    ohbrilliance

    Joined:
    May 15, 2007
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    #7
    Blame it on a poorly structured article. One would assume that the first paragraph applied to all laptops if you didn't read beyond that. Take a look.. opening paragraph looks like an intro to all, next section applies to macbooks with built-in batteries, next section applies to those with removable batteries.

    ----------

    You're right. Where did you get your advice to drain the battery once a month?
     
  8. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #8
    No, Apple does not recommend fully draining the battery. It recommends cycling a battery at least once per month on a notebook that isn't used often. For notebooks in frequent use, it's recommended to run on battery power for a few hours every few days, at least. That should put at least a few cycles per month on the battery. A cycle does not mean fully draining a battery, which is never necessary on newer Apple notebooks.
    As already pointed out, the built-in batteries in the newer Mac unibody notebooks come pre-calibrated and do not require regular calibration like the removable batteries in older Apple notebooks.
    Run on battery whenever you need to and plug it in whenever you can. You can plug or unplug any time you need to, regardless of the charged percentage, and you never need to completely drain your battery. Just make sure you don't run on AC power exclusively, as your battery needs to be used regularly to stay healthy.
    The link below should answer most, if not all, of your battery/charging questions. If you haven't already done so, I highly recommend you take the time to read it.
     
  9. simonsi macrumors 601

    simonsi

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2014
    Location:
    Auckland
    #9
    This thread massively confuses two separate issues:

    Keeping the battery healthy - this means using its capacity on a regular basis and not allowing it to spend all its life on mains power.

    Calibration of the battery monitor - this calibration may drift over time leading to incorrect displays of remaining power.

    It is quite possible to have a poor physical battery that is correctly calibrated as well as a poorly calibrated but healthy battery, they are different issues.

    You should look for Apple's recommendation in both areas - normally calibration can be just carried out at any time and the calibration will be restored - once a battery has lost capacity due to age/memory effect/lack of use then this is likely to be a permanent change.
     
  10. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #10
    As already stated, calibration should not be performed on newer Apple notebook batteries.
     
  11. simonsi macrumors 601

    simonsi

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    Jan 3, 2014
    Location:
    Auckland
    #11
    I know, I was explaining that there were two issues, it had already been explained that one issue didn't apply to the latest MBPs so I didn't feel the need to explain that again and confuse my post...
     
  12. Ploki macrumors 68010

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2008
    #12
    97% capacity after roughly a year, 56 cycles.

    i have it plugged in most of the time. so far so good
     
  13. Steve121178 macrumors 68040

    Steve121178

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2010
    Location:
    Bedfordshire, UK
    #13
    I can't speak for everyone but who cares? Just use it how you like and get the battery replaced if it starts to deteriorate in under 3 years.

    It's a computer, not a baby. Pampering & nursing is not required.
     
  14. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

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    May 3, 2009
    Location:
    Boston
    #14
    I agree, which is why I said just use it, not worry about it. I've never really been overly concerned about my laptop batteries and they've lasted me in excess of 3 years.
     
  15. SVT Amateur macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2006
    #15
    My rMBP stays plugged in at home because it is always connected to a thunderbolt display while at work I generally use it on battery power because I'm too dang lazy to take the power cord out of my bag to keep it charged - which generally takes it down to between 40-80% depending on how much I use it. I've thought about battery health issues myself several times and just feel for me this is the best and easiest way to keep my battery healthy.
     
  16. brdeveloper macrumors 68020

    brdeveloper

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2010
    Location:
    Brasil
    #16
    I don't know if Apple Care covers the battery for 3 years, but if so I would use it naturally without any care and hoping it would fail or need replacement within this period.

    P.S.: I never taken any care with my White Macbook (late-2009) battery and it still has about 4-5h of battery life under Mavericks.
     
  17. saturnotaku macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2013
    #17
    This is a lot of sound and fury signifying nothing.

    Just use the notebook however you need, and don't worry about the battery.
     
  18. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #18
    That's fine to do if you regularly run on battery. However, for those who use their notebook as a desktop replacement and leave it plugged in all the time, running on battery for a few hours every few days will keep the battery healthy longer than if they leave it plugged in 24/7 and never run on battery. So it does signify extending battery life.
     

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