Terrible battery life on my new MBP (late 2008)

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by RealEvil, Nov 16, 2008.

  1. RealEvil macrumors 6502

    Aug 5, 2007

    I just got my new MBP 2.53, 4GB, 320GB 7200RPM. I opened it yesterday, migrated my data, installed software updates etc etc then calibrated the battery last night as per Apple advice - i.e. keep it charged 100% for several hours then unplug, let it drain to zero, let it go to sleep, wait 5 hours or more then fully charge (I actually waited overnight rather than 5 hours).

    So... I used it a lot today (plugged in) then finally unplugged it and.. I have '1:30' battery life (90 mins). Thats a joke. I am using the default 'Battery' Energy Saver options AND I set the graphics to be 'Better battery Life' i.e. onboard only. I have 6 bars of brightness (roughly 33% of available brightness). I am not watching Flash videos... In fact I have Mail, Safari and iTunes open only and WiFi (N) on. Bluetooth is on but not connected.

    I ran Coconut which tells me that my battery is at 95% health - 4415 mah rather than 4600.

    Have I got a broken battery? This cannot be correct?

  2. THX1139 macrumors 68000


    Mar 4, 2006
    Recalibrate it again. Then use it with the default battery saving options and time how long it lasts with a watch (not the computer). If it's not spec, then return it.
  3. bcaslis macrumors 68020

    Mar 11, 2008
    Check that you don't have something in the background eating up CPU usage. I normally get 2 1/2 to 2 3/4 hours out of a 2.8GHz/SSD with better graphics performance and the backlight on auto (usually much more than 1/2 way). With better battery I normally get about 3 1/2 hours. I was getting about the same life on a 2.53GHz/320GB 7200rpm also. Is spotlight indexing the disk or something? I've seen that before and it will suck the battery power.
  4. RealEvil thread starter macrumors 6502

    Aug 5, 2007
    Probably a dumb question... but how would I know if Spotlight is indexing? Is it a new laptop (though it was migrated from a older MBP) so maybe Spotlight does need to re-index. Mind you, its been on 24 hours on and off now.
  5. bcaslis macrumors 68020

    Mar 11, 2008
    Use Activity Monitor (/Applications/Utilities) and see if you have an mds process running. Also see if Safari is using a lot of CPU (like 70%). I've seen an issue with new Flash 10 plug-in that sometimes after visiting some sites it causes Safari to use excessive CPU which will affect battery life. Emptying the cache on Safari seems to fix the issue, at least temporarily.
  6. LastZion macrumors 6502a

    Apr 13, 2006
    I have the same comp, and the same terrible battery (compared to my early 2008 model I replaced with this one).

    I have calibrated 2 times and have not seen any progress, considering bringing it in, although I have had it for about 20 days. A good hour and 20 mins at least less than my early 2008 model.
  7. RealEvil thread starter macrumors 6502

    Aug 5, 2007
    Good news!

    I recently installed some VPN software for work - SecureClient R56 - and something must have gone wrong during the migration from my SR MBP (though its rubbish software anyway). It was using 70% of the CPU non stop.

    Now I have uninstalled it (I will worry about installing it another day) and fully charged, it says 3:40 mins. Much more like it!!!

    Thanks for the pointers guys.

  8. Pneublet macrumors member

    Oct 23, 2008
    I find that with bluetooth off I get another 30 minutes or so also.
  9. RealEvil thread starter macrumors 6502

    Aug 5, 2007
    But is it possible to turn bluetooth off just when on Battery Power?

    I suppose I could setup a new Location but it would be nice to just disable it when I pull out the magsafe.
  10. Michael CM1 macrumors 603

    Feb 4, 2008
    OP - download iStat. That way you can see when you have such problems instead of knowing you need to check.
  11. pdxflint macrumors 68020


    Aug 25, 2006
    Oregon coast
    I'm surprised at the lower battery life on the newer models. My 8 month old MBP gets me nearly 4 hours still (using the 'show time' option it suggests 4:30+ most of the time when charged.) I've got 93% life with 74 cycles.

    I guess I liked the older batteries being 5600mAh, rather than the new 4600 versions.. but maybe the new ones are higher efficiency or something.
  12. weckart macrumors 601

    Nov 7, 2004
    When Spotlight is indexing, there is a dot in the magnifying glass icon. Click on the icon and it should give you a progress bar. You would also know, because your fans would give the game away. Spotlight, or rather the mdworker process is heavy on the cpu.

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