Sierra Killing battery life?

elki64

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Oct 10, 2016
26
3
Hey guys, iv looked at various threads but didn't find a good answer regrading my new (week old) Mac air.



The battery life doesn't seem to live up to the 12 hour promise...



sometimes my battery estimate would show upon awakening from sleep after full charge 5 hours and then it'll rise to 8 hours and decline from there. on other cases it'll show 16 hours left and reduce to about 11 hours.



im not using anything heavy except for usual safari surfing. mid brightness settings. nothing unusual working in the background...



really frustrated about this. battery stats says everything is normal. (coconut)



My first question is, Am I using the Mac wrong? like, is it a 12 hour battery with no use? just idle?



Second question , is sleep mode included in the 12 hour battery life or is it 12 hours of usage.



Third question : if I'm using my air wrong , can you give me tips for maximum battery life?



thank you very much, apologize if this sounds stupid. but u just got this air model for the extreme battery and I'm kinda disappointed... https://forums.macrumors.com/6.0.3.0453576a/images/emoticons/sad.png





MacBook Air (13' early 2015)

8 gb 256 hd



Sierra 10.12
 

Brammy

macrumors 68000
Sep 17, 2008
1,686
660
It's probably Sierra.

My early 2014 MacBook Air had horrendous battery life until I backed down to El Capitan.
 

elki64

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Oct 10, 2016
26
3
Thanx for the answers!

so your saying Sierra might be the problem.

Is anyone else suffering battery lose from Sierra?
 

krazirob

macrumors regular
Oct 8, 2016
104
66
Baltimore
I'm not really losing battery performance from sierra but I am very cautious what I'm running in the background. I get about 10 hours continual use. It's not an air tho it's a MacBook Pro.

Just wanted to throw in my 2 sense about sierra and the battery usage difference
 
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pika2000

Suspended
Jun 22, 2007
5,587
4,896
There are so many factors that can affect battery life, even from a simple activity of web browsing.
If you just installed Sierra, expect a hit in battery life primarily due to indexing. This is true for all previous OS X as well. This can take a while if you have a lot of data.
I have a 2012 Macbook Air that don't have great battery life to begin with, so I'm not sure Sierra has a negative impact or not.
 

Brammy

macrumors 68000
Sep 17, 2008
1,686
660
There are so many factors that can affect battery life, even from a simple activity of web browsing.
If you just installed Sierra, expect a hit in battery life primarily due to indexing. This is true for all previous OS X as well. This can take a while if you have a lot of data.
I have a 2012 Macbook Air that don't have great battery life to begin with, so I'm not sure Sierra has a negative impact or not.
I have two experiences:
I own a MacBook Pro 2011, 15" with the 256GB Video Card, and an 2014 MacBook Air 11". I ran all the betas on both devices and pretty much kept it plugged in. I upgraded to the retail version just to make sure at launch. So, when I ran my battery tests last week any indexing was long over.

Two weeks ago, I noticed when I was using the 15" that the battery life seemed worse. I was in a couple of meetings using to present off of -- I was just showing a photo of some notes on a whiteboard -- and I noticed that the after about an hour and a half I was under 50%. That reminded me I'd seen some crappy battery life on my MacBook Air, so the 30th I did a simple test on the Air: I ran a 3D game* until the battery died. It died under an hour later. Thinking this might have re-calibrated the battery, on Monday at work I let the Air sit idle at work to measure the drain. About 3.5 hours later, it died. When I got home that night, I downgraded to El Cap and let it index for a day. I ran the mostly-idle battery life test again at work and after 8 hours when I left I was still around 20%. This weekend I ran the 3D game test again and it lasted 2.5 hours.

The MacBook Pro I ran the same 3D test on this weekend and it crapped out at 45 min. I downgraded to El Cap yesterday but haven't done any battery tests.

I also kept an eye on the Energy Tab in Activity monitor when not playing the game and didn't notice anything awry. Nothing was consuming a ton of energy or CPU space.

There is something going on with battery life. There are a few reddit threads about it, and I posted a few weeks ago on MacRumors about my experiences with batteries. It seems to be an either or: people's battery life is taking a huge hit, or people don't notice a difference. This tweet by Marco Arment about Dropbox monitoring file system outside of the Dropbox folder makes me wonder if it's something commonly used -- like Dropbox -- running amok in a weird way. I did not do a clean install without OneDrive or Dropbox installed, but I may do that.


*It's an Online Game that doesn't have great performance, but I used it the same for all tests. Next time I'll probably use World of Warcraft which has a better Mac Client.
 

elki64

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Oct 10, 2016
26
3
Wow that is pretty bad. ill have to be honest I'm not experiencing that bad of battery life but I'm definitely experiencing less than a usual macair battery life and I'm not maxing stuff out like gaming or some other stuff.
im a usual web serfur, some Facebook , sometimes a youtube song on another tab and thats it.

I would like to take a proper test myself, what do you guys recommend?

what specs should I use (brightness wise and apps running) to get an idea of how my battery is running.

Thnx a-lot for the replies guys.
 

Brammy

macrumors 68000
Sep 17, 2008
1,686
660
Wow that is pretty bad. ill have to be honest I'm not experiencing that bad of battery life but I'm definitely experiencing less than a usual macair battery life and I'm not maxing stuff out like gaming or some other stuff.
im a usual web serfur, some Facebook , sometimes a youtube song on another tab and thats it.

I would like to take a proper test myself, what do you guys recommend?

what specs should I use (brightness wise and apps running) to get an idea of how my battery is running.

Thnx a-lot for the replies guys.
The battery test a lot of people use is watching or streaming a movie.

For brightness, I'd put it where you are comfortable if you want to test real world usage. Obviously you will get more battery life with the screen down all the way, but it's hard to see the screen that way.
 

elf69

macrumors 68020
Jun 2, 2016
2,333
486
Cornwall UK
I have a 2009 macbook with sierra and my battery life got better with sierra compared to el capitan.

My battery is 6.6 years old and holds 98% of original charge.

It can last me upto 5 hours of use at work and 6 at home as less open apps at home than at work.

I have gained about an hour battery after the upgrade.
My screen is on about 75-80% brightness on battery.

I have an SSD fitted but then so does the air.
 
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Brammy

macrumors 68000
Sep 17, 2008
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660
I have a 2009 macbook with sierra and my battery life got better with sierra compared to el capitan.

My battery is 6.6 years old and holds 98% of original charge.

It can last me upto 5 hours of use at work and 6 at home as less open apps at home than at work.

I have gained about an hour battery after the upgrade.
My screen is on about 75-80% brightness on battery.

I have an SSD fitted but then so does the air.
Just out of curiosity, do you use Dropbox, OneDrive, or some sort of non-iCloud cloud storage solution>
 

organic bond

macrumors regular
May 5, 2007
192
132
I do not have Sierra (El Capitan), but i've noticed that recently my battery doesn't last as long as before. Not at all. Air 2015. I'll look into it, this is not ok.
 

colorfuel

macrumors regular
Oct 13, 2015
101
55
On my (hopefully soon to be replaced by a new MBA) 2010 11" C2D MBA, Sierra seems to run faster and use less battery than El Cap. I get 3-4h out of it now. Its almost usable again.

Maybe Apple wants us to keep our old macs, since they cant seem to bring out new models?
 
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DesignerOnMac

macrumors 6502a
Jul 23, 2007
827
64
I've seen no changes with my battery after downloading Sierra! I have a mid 2013 MBA! Very happy with Sierra, even got my Email outgoing server fixed!
 

elki64

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Oct 10, 2016
26
3
Apparently no I'm not using any third party of any sort ( only iCloud)
[doublepost=1476293160][/doublepost]Guys I have another question,

When using my MacAir at home, should I use it on battery and wait until it gets to 50-40% ? or should I keep it plugged in to the AC as much as possible?

and when away on weekends (24 hours +) can I keep it in sleep mode or should I turn it off?

thnx again. :)
 

colorfuel

macrumors regular
Oct 13, 2015
101
55
Honestly, I dont know if it makes alot of difference. I suppose you'll want the less cycles possible so you may want to use it on AC. Plus you'll have it charged when you need to move.

I guess I got very lucky with my old MBA (6 years). I have 720 Cycles and still 85% Design capacity. Though that seems to vary between 82% and 86%. I never really paid attention whether to use it on AC or not.
 
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Brammy

macrumors 68000
Sep 17, 2008
1,686
660
So, I did a clean install of Sierra on my Air last night. Short version to a long story, but I was having issues updating Office 2011 with 2016 installed. Even removing all the bits of 2016 didn't do the trick. Since I had a good backup it was just easier to nuke the drive.

I did not install DropBox, OneDrive, and I haven't turned on iCloud Photo Libreay yet.

Battery life seems similar to El Cap on initial tests. This weekend I will test more.
 

elf69

macrumors 68020
Jun 2, 2016
2,333
486
Cornwall UK
Remember fresh install it will index all your files so will take day or two to settle down.
Mine took a day to calm down.
 

sracer

macrumors G3
Apr 9, 2010
8,671
9,388
Prescott Valley, AZ
I have found that with a permanently installed USB thumbdrive, Sierra is a bit harder on the battery than previous versions of OSX. I now use the USB drive only when I need it.
 

Brammy

macrumors 68000
Sep 17, 2008
1,686
660
Remember fresh install it will index all your files so will take day or two to settle down.
Mine took a day to calm down.
Yeah.

I was seeing better battery life already though. I'm not sure if it was iCloud Photo Library, DropBox, or OneDrive that was having an impact.

My gut feeling is for me -- it was DropBox. These two tweets by Marco Arment lead me to believe that how Dropbox was scanning my system was messing with battery life.

Again, I'll test again this weekend now that the indexing is done and report back.
 

elf69

macrumors 68020
Jun 2, 2016
2,333
486
Cornwall UK
I have dropbox, skype, imeesage set to start on boot.

then when at work I got firefox open (2-3 tabs) and chrome too (upto 5 tabs)

still get 4-5 hours at work and upwards on 6 when at home as no chrome browser.
 

Brammy

macrumors 68000
Sep 17, 2008
1,686
660
Yeah, I'm not willing to blame the battery life on Dropbox fully. If it was just my Air I'd be willing to think it it was just a bum install. My MacBook Pro also having the same issue wasn't a good sign.

At any rate I'll do some more testing this weekend.
 

filmak

macrumors 65816
Jun 21, 2012
1,316
731
between earth and heaven
Air 2013. Sierra installed on release date, so no indexing.
The battery life is certainly worse, and the temperatures are a bit higher.
Checked Activity monitor nothing weird, no DropBox only icloud and without syncing Desktop and Documents.
I guess we will have to wait for a fix.
 

elki64

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Oct 10, 2016
26
3
I have found that with a permanently installed USB thumbdrive, Sierra is a bit harder on the battery than previous versions of OSX. I now use the USB drive only when I need it.
Yup, I had a 32 gb sd card in, took it out, I see a good improvment (not tested but at least 1 hour), weird....
 
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