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Mountain Lion Battery Life


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#1 Julie Falling

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Posted 24 August 2012 - 10:59 AM

Hey - Here's an update. I'm now running 10.8.1 but still having battery issues.

I still have a huge drop in battery life. If I reboot, I get more time on a charge, but still a significant drop from Lion. If it's been a couple of days, I may get the warning after 90 minutes on my 2008 MBP. Not good. Need another ML update.


http://www.macrumors...-life-somewhat/

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#2 Ken Simpson

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Posted 24 August 2012 - 09:13 PM

Hi Julie,
2 things to do:

1. have you checked if there are any errant programs chewing juice? Open Activity Monitor in your :Applications/Utilitles folder

Sort the window by CPU and see if anything (except Activity Monitor which chews a bit of juice) is using more than a few percent. Sometimes apps go rogue and just chew up energy. If there are any, then quit them. And especially if they are an app that you start at login, consider not running them at all. In activity monitor, if you click on the process, the button at the top left marked Quit will go red, and you can click this to quit the app. (not the window close widget - it looks like a stop sign)

2. Go to the Apple menu and select "About this Mac". Click the "More info..." button towards the bottom.
That will open a new pane, select "System Report"
about the 15th entry in Hardware, is Power. Click on this, and see what it tells you about your battery. You may have a failing battery as well.

My guess is that it's an errant program though.

Let me know what happens.

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#3 Julie Falling

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Posted 24 August 2012 - 10:35 PM

Ken - Thanks. Here's what I discovered.

First the Activity Monitor. It lists all the apps I typically have open all the time. Occasionally there are other on top of this, but not photo or video editing (just Finale music notation which is not a processor hog).




I'll attach the other screen shots in a second post.

I think the problem is Mountain Lion.

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#4 Julie Falling

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Posted 24 August 2012 - 10:43 PM

Here's the battery info from the System Report. The battery was replaced 15 months ago because of swelling. Since then I regularly drain it (almost daily) and then recharge. I sometimes drain it twice in a day. Remember that the most that you can really expect for the original unibody is about 4 hours. If I've recently rebooted, I could sometimes get 4-1/2, but 3 was more normal.



I see that it says Service Battery. What does that mean? I have more battery info from iStat Menus but don't want this to expand to another post.

Is there a problem with my machine?

Thanks,
Julie

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#5 Ken Simpson

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Posted 24 August 2012 - 10:55 PM

It looks to me like there is. My 15" early 2011 MBP has a full charge capacity of 6400 mAH or thereabouts.
You should be able to check what your expected battery capacity should be on the apple support pages.
or if you post your gestalt number I am happy to look it up for you. (I am pretty sure when it was new it had about 7700mAh
You find your gestalt in the Hardware Panel - Hardware overview

Attached File  Overview.jpg   190.68KB   27 downloads

Attached File  Full Charge.jpg   194.49KB   24 downloads

You're right - activity monitor is OK

But it looks to me like your battery is in trouble.

Edited by Ken Simpson, 24 August 2012 - 10:56 PM.

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#6 Julie Falling

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Posted 25 August 2012 - 07:15 AM

My MBP is a MacBookPro5,1. (Is that kinda like a version? I only look that stuff up when I need to buy something for my machine, but have no idea what is means.)

Full Charge Capacity (mAh): 3069.

If the battery (Apple) really has deteriorated this quickly, why? Could all the heat my machine machine experienced have caused this?

If I do have to replace it, I'll go with OWC. The only reason this one was an Apple is that I thought it might be a defect and would be replaced w/o charge. No go - had to buy the replacement. At least with this model, battery replacement is a trivial task - easier even than memory & HD, and those were easy, too. I'm going to miss that when this machine needs an upgrade.

Thanks, Ken

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#7 Ken Simpson

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Posted 25 August 2012 - 07:39 AM

Hi Julie, 5,1 is the internal apple designation. Yes it's a sort of model number (used to be called a gestalt, but is now called a model identifier - the real model number is A1286 - it's a 15" right?).

The system battery is a 5000mAh battery, so you have list 40% of it's possible charge. That's a lot! to have lost in a year...

To read about Lithium polymer batteries from Apple in general you can look at http://www.apple.com/batteries/

Your MBP was discontinued in 2009. So it's pretty old now. I know you changed the battery last year, so it feels too short, but I think the way you are using the battery is incorrect. I don't know where you got the information about discharging the LiPo battery from, but I don't think it's correct. It was certainly true of the older NiCd or NiMH batteries (in the really old Powerbooks)

if you go to

http://arstechnica.c...li-ion-battery/

You will see a lot of interesting stuff about LiPo batteries, including the heat issue but in the second para he (I think he) says...

One of the worst things you can do to a Li-ion battery is to run it out completely all the time. Full discharges put a lot of strain on the battery, and it's much better practice to do shallow discharges to no lower than 20 percent.



I suspect that is your problem. Sorry.


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#8 Martin Shields

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Posted 25 August 2012 - 07:45 AM

There are widely substantiated issues with battery life under ML, although 10.8.1 does improve things, there's some hope thing things will still improve further under a subsequent update. See: http://www.macrumors...-life-somewhat/

#9 Ken Simpson

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Posted 25 August 2012 - 07:48 AM

Thanks Martin, that's true, and I am not minimising that ML has messed about with battery life. However, I don't think that explains why Julie's battery life has dropped so markedly so quickly, but the arstechnica article insists that smaller discharges less often is better.

Thanks for the reminder though :)

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#10 Julie Falling

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Posted 25 August 2012 - 08:13 AM

Ken - When I replaced my battery I was told to run it until I got the warning at least once a week. Apparently this was bad advice. Some genius! He was a bit behind the times and gave me nickel advice instead of lithium. Wish the fix were only a nickel. Guess it's off to OWC for me.

The "genius" told me that I had caused the battery-swelling issue by running my laptop plugged in most of the time. Didn't want to do that again, so I changed my behavior. Now I've killed another battery, but perhaps the swelling issue was not my problem after all.

From now on I'll come first to the real geniuses on these forums. I think you all know more than those kids!

P.S. I've sent the Apple link and a highlighted PDF of the Arstechnica info off to a bunch of other Mac laptop users. Maybe they'll be able to avoid the same mistake.

Edited by Julie Falling, 25 August 2012 - 08:36 AM.

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#11 Ken Simpson

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Posted 25 August 2012 - 08:22 AM

Glad to help Julie. IMHO it's a good thing to very occasionally drain the battery. But most of the LiPo advice is that it's not necessary and actually detrimental if done regularly. If we could, the best thing would be to remove the battery altogether when charged, but we can't. Most batteries have very intelligent charging systems now that prevent overcharging altogether and virtually switch the battery out of the system when fully charged.

As the article says, 3 years is about the life we can expect. Good luck with OWC. The new MBP's need a whole new bottom shell because the batteries are (very solidly) glued in to save weight. (and some cynically say to make us buy a new MBP when the battery dies)

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#12 Julie Falling

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Posted 25 August 2012 - 08:41 AM

Ken - My original battery lasted almost 3 years. Guess this was pretty normal then.

I dread the idea of replacing a laptop every 3 years! If I have to do that, I'll have to move to a cheaper machine and abandon my beautiful 15" display.

Since it is Accordance that determines my laptop choice, and it now makes much more efficient use of the screen, a 13" might be just fine. I'll worry about that one later.

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#13 Ken Simpson

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Posted 25 August 2012 - 08:55 AM

It's much cheaper to buy a small laptop and add a larger external screen for when you are sitting at a desk, if that is a "working" environment you can use.

I know it sort of obviates what a laptop is all about, but Accordance on a 27" screen is awesome.

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#14 Julie Falling

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Posted 25 August 2012 - 09:46 AM

I use my MBP as a laptop for my devotional time and (obviously) when it travels to church or elsewhere. The rest of the time it's running closed connected to a 24" external monitor. The monitor has 4 USB connections and some really crummy built-in speakers, so I use some compact external speakers that require a USB connection instead, and still need a powered USB hub to get everything hooked up (printer, iPhone/iPad cable, the monitor itself, etc.). I agree that Accordance looks great and that many things are more easily done on a big screen, so that's where I study.

Because I study on a big monitor, and because Accordance 10 solved a lot of the real estate issues for a smaller screen, I'm seriously considering a 13" machine next time. By the end of next year, I would expect all the Mac laptops to have Retina displays. I would also expect the price of the SSDs to come down as Apple now owns Anobit and availability should improve.

I would love to get an Apple monitor next time I upgrade so that the monitor can be my hub & speakers; the connection process would be streamlined, but the price is pretty steep. On the other hand, the little bit of Apple stock we own has done quite well (bought some @$66). Does that justify spending $1000 on a monitor? Can't quite get there at this point! And that is a decision I don't have to make right now anyway.

P.S. Ordered a new battery. Good thing. I charged fully then unplugged. Even with a 10-15 minute sleep the battery got down to 12% in 80 minutes. It'll be on life support soon.

Edited by Julie Falling, 30 August 2012 - 10:27 AM.

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#15 Tony Lawrence

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Posted 25 August 2012 - 10:07 AM

P.S. Ordered a new battery. Good thing. I charged fully then unplugged. Even with a 10-15 minute sleep the battery got down to 12% in 80 minutes. It'll be on life support soon.


Julie, my MacBook 2009 battery started showing Service Battery and within a few weeks would only last about an hour on a full charge. I replaced it and now it is back to lasting hours like it was when it was new. That being said I can tell that ML does deplete the battery quicker. The update did help some but I don't believe it is back to Lion level yet.
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#16 Julie Falling

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Posted 25 August 2012 - 10:45 AM

Tony - If all the geek reports (MacRumors, etc.) are to be believed, they agree with you. 10.8.1 was an improvement, but we're not back to normal yet. I would expect a fix pretty quickly. Apple is usually pretty good about trying to keep their customers happy.

I'm looking forward to having a healthy battery again, however. I don't like the tether!

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#17 Julie Falling

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Posted 01 September 2012 - 02:15 PM

Well, I thought I'd update you all on the battery saga. The new one (58 Watt-hour NuPower) arrived from OWC on Thursday. They rated the install as "Easy". They really should have a "Ridiculously Easy" category. Anyway, I meticulously followed all conditioning instructions and now have a battery that will give me 3-1/2+ hours. I know that all of you with the new machines probably think that is pathetic, but that's good for an original unibody.

Tony - The old battery was down to under an hour of battery time on a full charge by the time the new one came. You were right - once it's sick, it fails fast.

I hope to recover some of the cost of this when I sell my machine in a year or so.


Thanks for all the help and info, guys.

Julia Falling

 

Accordance 11

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Mac mini Yosemite Acc 11

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iPad Air 1 iOS 8.1

64 GB

 

 

 

 


#18 Ken Simpson

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Posted 01 September 2012 - 04:40 PM

Well done Julie. Glad it all has worked well for you!

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