Skip navigation

Battery life dropped considerably on Mountain Lion.

520255 Views 3,396 Replies Latest reply: Oct 28, 2013 5:38 AM by CT RSS Branched to a new discussion.
  • richsadams Level 1 Level 1 (70 points)

    Got it...even more interesting.  Thanks for that!

  • Beisarius Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    hey richsadams,


    Like the people whom had issues with Lion (posts now 14 months)- their issue was never solved. The reason is technical. You can do a general update by macbook model, but you cannot, at all, deploy an update to target 1 or 0.001% of units within the same serial or block production series. One cannot release a firmware to tweak how a tiny fraction of 6.1 macbooks operate, as what would fix your problem would not work for the rest of users. Software cannot discriminate anything lower than model and logic board number. Yet same series could have different components.. So the only thing out there industries do are recalls, like car manufacturers- but there is a law though. But the computer world deploys fixes for all machines or by specific model (5.1 or 6.2), but not subsets.


    So for this issue, if indeed firmware does not work on some units, I can't imagine Apple doing updates taylored to specific components. My bet is that they will continue to do what they have done for the last couple of years, a hardware replacements within warranty on a case by case basis. if they can release a specific fix, would be happy for you. i just never saw it for such issues in the many years I handled any PC or macbook.

  • gmc74 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    This is completely false.  Until a root cause analysis is done, then yes, they cannot reliably fix anything without a replacement.


    The actual root cause will determine the response, and to post anything about what can and cannot be done without knowing the root cause is irresponsible.


    I am sensing a theme with your posts.

  • richsadams Level 1 Level 1 (70 points)

    Is this an SMC Issue? 


    I just stumbled across this thread discussing enabling the Power Nap feature on non-supported MacBook Air models, late 2010 11" and 13" (I have the 11" model).  As mentioned earlier, according to Apple that feature is only available on mid 2011 through 2012 MacBook Airs...yet it was active on mine.  ???


    According to the thread Power Nap does in fact include a firmware change.  The documentation indicates that the SMC (which controls most power functions) is flashed.  Unfortunately that's not something that can be easily reversed.  My SMC version updated with ML to 1.67f6 and, as expected, stayed the same when I "downgraded" to Lion.  That would explain why there was no change to the severe battery drain between the two OS's.


    Posts on the thread mention that although Power Nap was available on dev releases of 10.8, the public release limited it to mid 2011 through 2012 machines.  It suddenly occurred to me that I had a dev release of ML running on my MBA (before I reverted to Lion).


    If Power Nap/SMC is the issue it would also explain the extensive activity I found on my Console log readings taken while my MBA was in sleep mode including waking up while asleep to check mail, download updates, etc, (and why it was using so much power overnight) even after I disabled it. The activity is the same as those documented on the other thread.


    This could explain why Apple has asked it's dev's to focus on Power Nap with the latest beta release (more here).


    If ML does in fact include a firmware/SMC tweak it wouldn't be a stretch to say that one, it should not be running on my MBA at all (due to power draw, etc.) and two, that there is an overall issue with it, at least for some MacBooks, even for folks that have disabled it as the firmware/SMC change would still be in place.


    I no longer have an active dev license so I'll have to wait with everyone else to see if the Power Nap tweak in the upcoming 10.8.2 update resolves this.  I guess my other option would be to visit my Apple store to see if they can revert my SMC to the origianl version.

  • Christoffee Calculating status...

    Hey Beisarius


    I have followed your input with interest. Specifically on your last post (and the theme of your previous posts) if you are correct then I am done with my brief experiment with Apple, and others will be too.


    One of the reasons I bought a MBP was longevity. I pay a premium, but not only do I get a great product I get something that will last much longer. I had hoped that my April 2011 MBP would be great for 4-5 years and still functional for a few years after that. But if what you say is correct once I am out of my 1 year warranty I cannot upgrade my OS. Any upgrade may lemonise my machine, the Apple Stores will know nothing and Apple as a whole will deny the problem exists. With annual updates now, in two years I have a very out of date machine.


    I am still on Lion. Lion gave me the problems we all know, but luckily for me 10.7.4 fixed it. I will not risk an update until this thread is filled with people saying "Hurrah! 10.8.x fixed it!! And my battery health is fine/Apple replaced my battery!"


    If that does not happen buying a Mac suddenly becomes and expensively risky business, and the follow on from that is I'm better off with Windows 8 and a Nokia.

  • Steve Jolly Level 1 Level 1 (35 points)

    Many great contributions to this discussion, Beisarius !


    A slight digression, but maybe useful in this context. From your experience (and others are welcome to add responses!)...


    Suppose that certain MacBook Pro users have upgraded their MBP's with third-party components.


       Examples:    Increasing a 2012 15" MBP from its stock 8 GB of RAM to 16 gigs  (using Crucial), and

                            Replacing the drive with one that's larger and faster - say, a 1 TB 7200 rpm Hitachi


    Not, of course, that I know anyone who's done anything deeply evil and irresponsible like this; I would certainly caution them that it might affect their warranty coverage for any unrelated problems like the battery-life issue, and should be immediately disclosed. But, just s'pose...


    How much extra battery draw, in your experience, could someone expect from a swap to a 7200 rpm drive vs. the stock Hitachi 750 GB spinning at 5400 rpm? 

    And does increasing RAM (in this case, doubling it from the stock), pull significantly more juice?


    And does the System's energy utilization / battery software automatically recognize such changes (does it need to?) and adjust charging or anything else? Purely hypothetical people wanna know...


    On second thought, to keep things accurate, delete "pure" from that last. But certainly hypo.

  • stcraw4d Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    So, now I have a little predicament - and am looking for feedback. 


    A little backstory; I got the 15" MBPr early last week.  Fully loaded - 2.7 i7, 768 Flash, 16G Ram, and immediately the battery life was horrible.  I was in a meeting last week, and it drained from 100-10 in 50 minutes, barely using any processor (web and email - minimally).  I let it run dead, and charged it full and let it run dead again.  About five times this happened, and it drained totally again.  I was averaging about 1hr - 1:30 on a full battery, even just sitting there.  The fans seemed to blow really hard, also.  Even just sitting here with mail open, the fans were blowing hard. 


    And then on Tuesday of this week, it just stopped.  The fans stopped blowing hard, and battery life improved.  For example, I unplugged today at 1:36 at 100%.  It's 2:14 now, and it's at 90%.  Literally the only setting that was changed was the computer name was changed from the IT name to my personal one. 


    Running battery health shows it to be decent: 


    Screen Shot 2012-09-06 at 2.12.43 PM.png


    My predicament is this, Apple has already agreed to send me a brand new one.  But, is it going to be any better than this one?  I'll be w/o for about a week while they're exchanging - and it might be just as easy to keep this one.  So, was the problem at first just some sort of calibration issue?  Or is it a problem that could pop up again?


    Would you take the new computer, or ride it out with this one?

  • chadefallstar Calculating status...

    Hello again everyone,


    Got my mac back today from the tech guys after it went in to get the battery and graphics issue sorted.


    Long story short, all hardware is perfect and they have no idea as to the cause of the graphics issue. In relation to the battery they stressed that it was a ML issue partially addressed by 10.8.1 but "still not fixed yet and hopefully it will be in 10.8.2", his words.


    So I backed up to time machine and re-installed SL as a new clean install earlier and have been using the machine now for 50 mins and its used 10% of the battery and shows 7:03 remaining as I type this sentence. This is substantially better performance that with ML.


    The health of the battery has remained the same after the drop that happened when ML was installed so a little unhappy about that but i am glad i made the switch back. at least I have use of my machine.


    I am going to try and update to ML again and see if i can reproduce the issue but for tonight I'm going to enjoy it.

  • Beisarius Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Sep 6, 2012 1:26 PM (in response to gmc74)

    GMC, am afraid you are misinterpreting what am saying, or partially agreeing.


    What I mentioned is a fact. It is a business model. No one will do a root analysis say unless a problem is widespread and a fix is a must. But if you get a low incidence problem, you do not waste time ormoney to solve or correct.. Businesses do not. Developpment cycles are TOO FAST. Apple is already working two versions of the current ones. if a persistent problem is identified, then at some point, it is corrected on the production line, three macbook production lines from now. But not now or current models. It costs millions to change specs and correct a line btw. No one will create a 'battery drain' crisis team for 1/1000 macbooks, or even 1/80. Still below the industrial margin of error for defects and replacing is cheaper than fixing the production line.


    1st example: Consumer hard drives were known to have a 10 percent failure rate no matter the brand. That number never changed. Even if a cause was known, the cost of making it a1% error slashed the profit margin so the business solution became  (you guessed!) - do not fix just replace. Users lost data. Who has not? Hence HDs are still at a 10 percent failure rate and that is a known thing. Industrial ones, OK, double the price and they are more reliable. but consumers do not buy those, industries do. Although Seagate and WD pushed the warranty time (3-5 yrs) just to attract customers, their drives never really improved that much their failure rate whether Blue or Black.


    2nd example. 2007/2009 MBPs, NVIDIA admits shipping faulty chips. They burned out. Also paid Apple $ 200 000 000 for replacement boards.. Did Apple post a note telling users that? NO. Contact me on iTunes to let me know my unit is affected? NO. Discretely, on an article, Nov 2011, found an entry that Apple had extended in 2009 warranty to 4 years on all those millions of boards. Known problem. Fix? Zero unless your board fried and knew to call and demand a fix well after warranty expired. Mine did just two months short of the 4 year. My tech background helped me find the problem, thenews article and asked for the legitimate fix. A day after 4th year and would not have been eligible, be it a known issue. I bet most people saw their macbooks die 3d year and assumed it is done, and never bothered finding out the cause, as they assumed having no warranty. Root problem? Known.. universal fix? No. Decision? Business model. Why fix a problem if mos tpeople were not affected, did not call or it can go away for way less money?


    If you do belive that businesses think in terms of root problems and fixing, that is what an engineer or tech think like. Businesses do one thing: cost base analysis. Is it a problem worth identifying vs just paying for replacement... is it worth fixing or cheaper to solve it case by case? Cheaper solution chose. At times, yes, if widespread, may opt for a root cause analysis.


    Some folks posted saying goodbye to Apple. That conclusion runs contrary to real numbers. My MBA trackpad experience did not convince me Apple ships bad hardware. I got a 1/1000 lemon. One I got now is spec.  I believe that you, and rest here, myself, experienced isolated failures, not reflective of the Mac reliability. Am using here critical thinking to argue that it is a brand far superior to others. Macbooks are built to last, tested as such, have an awesome life. But not expecting to stumble on a lemon, not even Apple claims that. An unrealistic expectation. Yet I would an Apple lemon anyday vs PC stats. I still fix PCs, and it is not pretty wasting time for chipset/LAN drivers just beacuse friend's Skype video bandwith suddenly dropped while talking with his wife. Diagnosed and repaired it in 20 min, something I never had to do for macbook owners I know.


    Cirr got a free battery replacement (no warranty). i got a free MBA replacement- warranty within 7 days.. That 4th year mobo- still a free replacement. So why bash Apple for a missing patch/fix when it is pretty darn good at customer service? And if we all know people that have macbooks that last 4-5 years, no need to generalize against Apple based on isolated cases.

  • gmc74 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Actually, what you said is not a fact, it is your somewhat eductated guess, and it is completely irresponsible.


    You are guessing, that is all.


    Can you point me to a reliable stat for this "fact" -

    "Consumer hard drives were known to have a 10 percent failure rate no matter the brand."


    Here is a study that states that it is between 2% and 4% - _than_makers_estimate.html



    Why I am engaging in ths conversation, I have no idea... nothing you state as "fact" is even remotely close to it.  You are posing as an expert on here, but you are quite far from it.



    Oh, and btw, as I posted, I got a free battery out of warranty for this issue too.  I posted the 14 easy steps on a post a while back.  I am not bashing their service, I am questioning why you are leading people down the wrong path with your made up "facts"


    In my opinion, Apple will probably determine the root cause, then they will decide if it makes sense to fix it programatically (if it is possible, like battery firmware), if it is just a change in their Mountain Lion code that will prevent the issue from causing the issue in the future (but not fixing the current issues), if it makes sense to pretend it never happened and never officially acknowledge it, or one of the countless other potential responses.  None of which will happen until they have done a root cause analysis.  We may never know the cause, but you can be sure they will.


    Will it happen like that, no idea...  but I can tell you what helps no one, spewing made up facts like "10% of hard drives fail", "99.9999% of mac users don't have this issue" or that "Apple is already working two versions of the current ones for everything."


    Stop making things up and presenting them as fact.  In your next post, why don't you present links to the source of your 'facts'?

  • barbosas Calculating status...

    Apple really needs to look into this, i'm gonna tell you my experience with a macbook pro 5,5 (13" mid 2009) .


    I always do clean installs when a new SO is released, mountain lion wasn't an exception, after the fresh ML install i rapidly noted that the laptop temperature where getting very hot and the battery life where very bad, after a full charge the battery life was very bad, around 2h40m that in reality where no more then 1h30m.


    I did all kinds of reset's and nothing worked, I opened it, replace the thermal paste on CPU and GPU and no improvements on temperature either.


    Today I reinstalled Snow Leopard again, fresh install from original DVD, and boom, no hot laptop, and battery authonomy back to 6h40m, in reality it turned out to be like 4h50m, which is not bad for a 3yo laptop, with 38 months, 86% battery capacity and 555 loadcycles.


    I din't install any program, just used web (with some flash) email, and not much more, after that i resolved to upgrade SL to ML without doing a fresh install, and boom, laptop became extremely hot during the upgrade, and after completion the battery time stated was 5h40m, i thought, well looks like things improved a bit.. i was wrong, i took like 15m to write this and battery % is down 8% and the authonomy stated is 4h30m.


    So, my conclusion is that ML is really screwed up, i don't believe it's related to Power Nap, because my mbp is from 2009.


    For now i'm going back for Snow Leopard, battery life is slightly better then it was even with Lion

  • richsadams Level 1 Level 1 (70 points)

    barbosas wrote:


    Apple really needs to look into this, <snip>


    Per numerous earlier posts a number of us here can confirm that Apple is in fact "looking into this".


    FWIW my post outlined how the updated version of SMC that was part of a Mountain Lion firmware change is suspect...having the Power Nap feature isn't necessary to incur the battery issue.

  • Beisarius Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Sep 6, 2012 5:45 PM (in response to gmc74)

    gmc, you are a bit out to lunch. Come back here, please.


    So you changed your argument. Apple 'will' find the root cause to "probable" High degree to uncertainty. that is a mega shift in argumentation.


    you also are comitting straw men fallacies. I stated that it is a fact businesses operate on a costbenefit analysis- and any business does, and finding root causes is not necessarily what they do. that is a fact.


    10% or 4 %- that is a number. 10 percent on lower end drives, or whether 4 % on caviar black- these were just an example and you missed the point- even that of your own link. Drives fail much more frequently then estimate.


    So here is a bet: Apple will not fix this problem as it is too tiny and minor to even adress. If you are right I will come back here and apologize to you.


    irresponsible? nope.


    99.9999 makes me believe you have no leadership or project management background. Everything I listed are MBA well known basic business and industrial operating concepts. Timing an intervention as relative to penalty cost of product continuity, derivatives, hyperbolaes and determining the tangent point that forces a business to, say, fix or repair something. If you do not get why this problem CANNOT be 1% or even 0.1 %, you do not understand- and that is another assessment, from your replies, how companies address product recall and fixes. Especially, Apple when it comes to $ 1200 to 2400 macbooks..


    For Apple a replacement is approximately $1000 to 1200 per replacement (macbooks). Includes labor and part. That is a fact. If it is not understood what 1/100 failure would mean for them, financially, and compare it with their volume of sales and total estimat for replacement, can't blame you, but onec ould never get the concept of profit margin and profitability versus operating loss.


    if you do not know why Apple seeks 20-30$ from Samsung per item sold (lawsuit), again you do not get it. Why 20? Read on it why the $ 20 matters to Apple. And you will understand why Apple will not ditch out $ 150 batteries or $ 1000 logicboard for 100 000 units that may have issues.


    Some people do not know the Apple volume of sales (easy to find), per unit cost from iphone to ipad (again easy to find), replacement costs (easy to find), and it is easy to advance personal attacks based on ignorance or some inferiority complex. I am using baseline economics to explain why Apple will not issue a major recall, or fix a problem that may be small.


    Fact: an insurance company will not do $ 3000 worth of repairs on a $ 2000 car. Again, asking me to provie this with figures is asking me to prove common sense. however, can also use math, algebra, (and already simplified it ) to illustrate why cost of repairs cannot possibly exceed the cost of operating gains.


    you also miss my main argument: that this problem is small and Apple will fix it. Just not the way you think.Some bought a mac therefore it must be the best.  own one iyet t cannot have a problem.It is Apple therefore they will issue a fix. Sorry, we call this cognitive dissonance: perceptions do not match reality. And some people may get it right, and others not. But steering people away from all this terminal mods, reinstalling and uninstalling as oppesed to contacting Apple and realistic steps, that would be irresponsible.


    And, to date, have received quite a few posts from people that did as a few of us recommended and it worked. that is also a fact, and will stick by that. Apple is a great company, and will do amazing things for you provided you do not expect it to perform industrial miracles.

  • Beisarius Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Hey Steve,


    that is a very very good question, and there are even formulas for it. Every piece of RAM or a hard drive add to power consumption. Now, Hitachi- fantastic choice, the best industrial design, never had one fail. they handle heat well, spin fast and the reading needle does not break.


    What i would do is read on DDR2 or 3 power consumption (specs), and multiply that. then also compare the Hitachi specs (average, in their manual), with your 5400 (also written on the drive, normally). See the difference, in mamps, and add them. The total will be your difference. However.... heat comes in play. hotter the system, more resistant to electricity. 7200 warm up a bit more. So will lose some power as heat. Hence SSDs having this other advantage


    So you will drain more, can't give you a figure without the item. Let us know, am curious, 100, 150 mAh more? 10%?

  • Beisarius Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Hey Adams,


    No doubt some Apple staffers are looking into it, they will do their best to determine to help. But not all Sr advisers i spoke had any idea- although some offered some other type of solution.


    barbosas, I also had problems with ML and older machines, and reverting to SL, clean install (not image) + new battery resolved it. I do admit not getting same consumption as brand new, but even SL changed, as did the web. I also added third party stuff over the years, like harddrives or extra ram.


    Your efforts prove what i also backed: that SL was really good on the older machines, even more so then Lion. Most of my heat issues came with Lion but I had not realized as i was not travelling enough to carry them on my lap (as opposed to desk).


    ML is definitely a power hog on older systems, but 2011/2012 users I believe have a different issue then you, some hardware type flaw, whether battery, ram, logicboard or whatever that gets a new MBA/MBP running 2  hrs only.


More Like This

  • Retrieving data ...

Bookmarked By (85)


  • This solved my question - 10 points
  • This helped me - 5 points
This site contains user submitted content, comments and opinions and is for informational purposes only. Apple disclaims any and all liability for the acts, omissions and conduct of any third parties in connection with or related to your use of the site. All postings and use of the content on this site are subject to the Apple Support Communities Terms of Use.