Sierra Killing battery life?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by elki64, Oct 10, 2016.

  1. elki64 macrumors newbie

    Oct 10, 2016
    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... [​IMG]

    MacBook Air (13' early 2015)

    8 gb 256 hd

    Sierra 10.12
  2. Brammy macrumors 68000

    Sep 17, 2008
    It's probably Sierra.

    My early 2014 MacBook Air had horrendous battery life until I backed down to El Capitan.
  3. elki64 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 10, 2016
    Thanx for the answers!

    so your saying Sierra might be the problem.

    Is anyone else suffering battery lose from Sierra?
  4. krazirob macrumors regular


    Oct 8, 2016
    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
  5. pika2000 macrumors 603

    Jun 22, 2007
    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.
  6. Brammy macrumors 68000

    Sep 17, 2008
    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.
  7. elki64 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 10, 2016
    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.
  8. Brammy macrumors 68000

    Sep 17, 2008
    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.
  9. elf69 macrumors 68020


    Jun 2, 2016
    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.
  10. Brammy macrumors 68000

    Sep 17, 2008
    Just out of curiosity, do you use Dropbox, OneDrive, or some sort of non-iCloud cloud storage solution>
  11. elf69 macrumors 68020


    Jun 2, 2016
    Cornwall UK
    drop box yes and it IS running although very little in it (3 files)
    plus skype and imessage starts on boot
  12. organic bond macrumors regular

    May 5, 2007
    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.
  13. colorfuel macrumors regular

    Oct 13, 2015
    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?
  14. DesignerOnMac macrumors 6502a


    Jul 23, 2007
    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!
  15. elki64 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 10, 2016
    Apparently no I'm not using any third party of any sort ( only iCloud)
    --- Post Merged, Oct 12, 2016 ---
    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. :)
  16. colorfuel, Oct 13, 2016
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2016

    colorfuel macrumors regular

    Oct 13, 2015
    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.
  17. Brammy macrumors 68000

    Sep 17, 2008
    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.
  18. elf69 macrumors 68020


    Jun 2, 2016
    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.
  19. sracer macrumors G3


    Apr 9, 2010
    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.
  20. Brammy macrumors 68000

    Sep 17, 2008

    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.
  21. elf69 macrumors 68020


    Jun 2, 2016
    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.
  22. Brammy macrumors 68000

    Sep 17, 2008
    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.
  23. filmak macrumors 65816

    Jun 21, 2012
    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.
  24. elki64, Oct 15, 2016
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2016

    elki64 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 10, 2016
    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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