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Battery life dropped considerably on Mountain Lion.

520118 Views 3,396 Replies Latest reply: Oct 28, 2013 5:38 AM by CT RSS Branched to a new discussion.
  • Beisarius Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 19, 2013 11:15 AM (in response to GaryGate)

    Hello Gary

     

    You are being too hard on yourself. No one is stupid. We all did it. I did it and several times Apple replaced my battery in a warranty. But I think Apple could really do the SMC and Power management much smarter, as to alert consumers they are not using it properly. But were they to do that, that means people would buy fewer replacement batteries. Also, the SMC and the battery chip make it much harder to use it once it gets the service sign. We all have known PC laptop owners that tell us they get only 10-15 battery life as 'it is old.' On macs, we never get that low as the OS essentially cuts access to a battery with such a poor health life. But all these laptop batteries, generally, are poorely built at $ 120 to 159 a pop. Were you to check the Apple store reviews for the A1175 batteries, they are atrocious. Those batteries, at $159, even today when you buy one it is a hit and miss. Cycling it correctly, they can still drop health too fast. I still do not know why iPhone batteries, or Samsung, etc, are so much better built then laptop batteries. Maybe someone more technically minded can answer? As there is not doubt, i never ever had to replace and iPhone battery. Maybe better industrial tolerance.

     

    Another important thing, were you to remove a battery from a mac and run it plugged, it drops 30-40% voltage and specs, as a means to protect the hardware. Even removable batteries I would not do it as it slows the laptop big time. But you can run still run a laptop with battery plugged for some things- like the occasional video, streaming, ets, things that would drain the battery too fast anyway. Fast drain + heat are nearly as bad as not cycling.

  • Beisarius Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    AM fairly confident 10.8.3 has dropped my battery life. Initially seemed stable (I was getting 6+ hours anyway), now the comps and apps give me 4-5 tops. Then it goes at 630. then 5.. Hard to tell how much time actually. See pic at 100% :

     

    Screen Shot 2013-03-23 at 11.38.56 AM.png

    Had also done a PRAM VRAM reset, etc. Am not too concerned as I have 2.5 yrs warranty but I noticed how a software update can do this.

     

    Also noticed that HTML 5 heavy pages speed up the power consumption. I speculate they are so intense graphic wise that they just bleed more through the GPU.

     

    Battery health is about 95% following last calibration and seems steady.

  • economist22 Calculating status...

    Not sure if this will continue, but hopefully I gained some battery life on mine. I had originally installed the 10.8.3 update that was a smaller file size. My batttery life didn't really do anything and I was still getting about 2.5 hours. I went ahead and downloaded the combo update (700 MB plus) and installed that. Now my battery life went up to about 4.5-5 hrs hours of usage.. Still not the 6-7 I was expecting for browsing the Internet but still an improvement. Its been 3 days and still getting about the same 4.5-5 hrs

  • rujel Calculating status...

    10.8.3 update worked exactly the opposite way on my MacBook Air (mid 2011). I had no problems before, or at least I didn't noticed it, but in the last few weeks I noticed that fans kick in way too often although no process was eating up the CPU. So I looked it up on forums and came accross the battery life problems. And I started to check how fast the battery drains. And I was sadly surprised to find out I have the same problems as others, beside the fans kicking in problem. I guess they are related.

     

    The reason I didn't noticed it sooner, was that I plug out the power cord only at night when I take my laptop to bed for an hour or two. Though I don't know the exact time I started to experience this problem, I know for sure that 10.8.3 did not solved it. It made it worse!

     

    I did SMC reset several times, and though battery health indicator seems to improve from 50% to 60-66% and fans don't kick in at low CPU ussage. But that doesn't last more than a few days. Right now at 81% battery it says 1:09 remaining. That it simply unacceptable...

  • dikaf Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    editing...can i delete what i've posted accidentally?

  • dikaf Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    From what has been said during the post-10.8.3 discussion, I believe that ScratchSF's guidelines are the most valuable towards the diagnosis of the problem. I also agree with CSound1 that is a complicated issue. What I would like to see further is a way of trying to isolate the problem(s). What I'd suggest is a kind of a well structured survey, where users can contribute with their experiences and by posting their systems' behaviours and characteristics. Maybe someone with more technical knowledge, who might knows what kind of data are useful, worth to be combined with other or not, who can suggest some testing we should perform and report back, etc. But I believe it has to be well organised, otherwise statistics will not work and safe conclusions will not be able to be drawn.

     

    Before I refer to my latest experience regarding battery life (I have posted here before), I would like to firstly mention that it should be Apple the one who should have dug into it. But either they don't think there is  a respectful number of users who need an explanation or they just cannot do something about it, it is at least a weakness and rudeness of theirs for not even excuse their absence. Dear users, however, it will not be the first or last time where central management fails and the peers need to take action.

     

    Back to my experience, i think it feels like the battery had indicated longer life after updating to 10.8.3. It could be my false hope, since I hadn't recorded the pre-10.8.3 measurements under the exact same conditions, so I cannot compare. However, I don't think so (being a false impression), although I had to  close every kind of potential to drain battery process, in order to get a maximum of -more or less- 6 hours life and please my eye. By every kind, I mean Wi-Fi, Safari, all. Important to mention that this is happening on a 3.5 year old battery with original capacity of 6500mAh and current max. 5311mAh.

     

    Although, as I mentioned, I cannot really say what has really happened for many reasons. I didn't specifically took the exact same measurements before 10.8.3 or even worse, before updating to 10.8.2 from 10.6.x. I also cannot remember safely, because I rarely use/used the computer unplugged, because of the intensity of the programs I use. Moreover, I am pretty sure that my case, concerning the updating process is rather unique and  complicated, but the same probably applies to one user from the others. I haven't been able to perform several kind of tests/settings/installations to check battery behaviour, since I have only one computer and I am depended on it daily.

     

    That I can say for sure, however, is that only after updating to 10.8.2 a 'service battery' warning appeared for first time, had gone while being in 10.8.2 after some SMC reset from what I recall, returned after updating to 10.8.3 (more permanently, with a max capacity around 4200mAh) at some point and going away, by just plugging-unplugging the computer, to come to the current data I mentioned above for several days now. What is right and what's wrong I cannot say. Has my battery really some problem and ML was able to detect it, therefore the lower capacity and the warnings? Does it faulty finds it as damaged and thus the lower battery life issues? Is the specific setup of my system responsible? Did the update process itself affected/damaged the battery (a user has claimed that he's gonna remove the battery every time he's willing to do a major update)?

     

    While checking the battery usage, I noticed that when closing Skype (while idling), for example, the battery usage fell from around 1200 to about 900mAh. Is it a sign that probably some pieces of software are not performing efficiently in 10.8.x? Is this getting more complex by considering some software in some specific mac models? Some users have mentioned though of having done fresh OS install and without having installed any application they noticed the battery problem. Others reverted to Snow Leopard and saw the battery's life recovering. Does these indicate that is obviously a OS issue? I can't remember well, the posts become old and numerous and is hard for someone to look up anymore. Well, there is where the organization of our observations should come into play.

     

    I don't claim that I am not pleased enough by Apple's products and service quality. On the contrary! However, I don't see the reason for which any kind of user should not look forward to perfection. Especially when the pursued 'perfection' is only limited to what is advertised…

  • dakugluso Calculating status...
    Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 26, 2013 7:21 PM (in response to GaryGate)

    i was hoping some good news with 10.8.3 installed with 2010 macbook pros, very disappointed indeed, I guess im going to stick with snow leopard for now. thanks for the feedback you all.

  • Bill Jacobs2 Level 1 Level 1 (20 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 27, 2013 6:08 AM (in response to dikaf)

    dikaf,

     

    Your recollections match mine well.

     

    I might support your summary noting that the same battery drain was seen on a Mac running from Apple's own Network Recovery partition.  (holding down command-R when there's no recovery partition in place)

     

    If there's a software problem, Apple is sending it out on their recovery image.

     

    My end user has a MacBook that did not drain nearly so badly if he shut his wi-fi OFF and used cabled ethernet, so your observation with Skype may be related.

     

    As an update, my user updated his OS to 10.8.3 and did NOT see notable improvement despite a battery replacement by Apple vendors.

  • tcphoto1 Level 1 Level 1 (35 points)

    I went into my local Apple Store because my fifteen month old battery gave me the service soon warning after 311 cycles. Granted, my MBP is a Late 2008 model but It is pristine and has been well maintained. The genius ran it through their tests and simply replied that he'd be happy to sell me a replacement battery. I politely declined and was on my way.

     

    The next day, I responded to the Apple survey on my Genius Bar experience. The store manager contacted me and told me that the genius was wrong and they would like to offer a free replacement. I picked it up a few days later and found it lasted nearly four hours with normal activity. The OS10.8.3 update came out shortly afterward and I'm consistently running just under four hours.

  • Franc_Iphone Level 1 Level 1 (10 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 27, 2013 10:36 AM (in response to dikaf)

    So, as most of you know;

     

    1. I took ownership of a new MACBOOK Pro in 2011 (15", 512GB SSD and 8GB Ram) in August 2011, running Mountain Lion.

    2. I previously had (and still have) a 17" MAcbook Pro from 2008.

    3. I was disappointed the battery for the new MacBook Pro running ML only gave me at best 4 hours, over average 3 1/2 hours and at worse (a movie), I was getting only about 2 hours max.

    4. My 3 year old MACBOOK 17" would at least give 2 1/2 hours for a movie and 4 hours of normal running.

     

    5. For the next 16 months, nothing I did, even after long calls with Apple tech team (contact through executive office) nor this forum, gave me better battery life. None of the ML updates. Sometimes, after an update or an SMC reset I would see 6 hours but a day or 2 later, I never saw better than 3 1/2 hours again.

     

    6. I knew something was wrong and took stick from people accusing me of making stuff up. I am in software development and have done performace/benchmarking all my life so I knew something wasn't right.

     

    7. Jump to December 2012 and I joined the seed program for 10.8.3 and hey presto, I get 6 hours on average and have done so for the last 3 months (I've been overseas twice on long haul flights etc.,). On 10.8.3 I get 3 1/2 hours for movies and see 10+ hours when idle for 5 mins. When I fire up VMWARE (XP) or some heavy graphics, it pulls my battery down a lot but I expect that.

     

    8. So, I am lucky, after 16 months of poor battery life. 10.8.3 doubled it and I really had hoped, since i felt quite a bit of  a Guinea pig, that it would fix others. In the 10.8.3 seed forums others had seen similar improvements to me.

     

    Sadly, it appears not to be the case that everyone got the same result I did - and remember, it only gave me what I expected. I am very pleased it's fixed but still unhappy we don't know why!.

     

    So now I think it's time for our friends at Apple to tell us what they fixed (they have all my old logs)... They need to come out and start working. We are here to help. We all want this fixed and I for one truly believe others have the problem I had. The scary part is, if I upgrade to 10.8.4, at the moment, I don't know if the problem could come back....

  • economist22 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    ok, scratch that.. it has going back down. to about 3 hours max...nothing like false hope...

  • ScratchSF Level 1 Level 1 (60 points)

    10.8.3 Experience Update

     

    Just thought I would update everyone on my 10.8.3 experiences so far.  With LIGHT usage, the total battery life estimate ranges between 6 and 7 hours.  This is a significant improvement over my early installations of ML.  So, I thought I'd quickly summarize some of my observations so far.

     

    1. The idle current seems to be much lower.  I am getting around 500-700 mAh as an idle current draw.  This is lower than on pervious ML installs.  Interestingly, the power utilization (watts) can vary quite a bit for any given current, suggesting that ML 10.8.3 has implemented some sort of variable voltage mechanism.  I suspect that this might be associate with either the logic board or the CPU (e.g., SpeedStep).  If they were not doing this properly in earlier versions of ML (either due to a software defect or a configuration problem) we could have always been at the maximum voltage regardless of what was going on, it could explain the high power drain many of us observed previously.

    2. Some applications use a lot more current and a lot more power (watts) than others.  I have noticed that bringing up the www.apple.com page in Chrome results in the least power consumption, while bringing up the same page in Firefox uses the most.  Bringing up the page in Safari falls in the middle.  So, there is an impact on battery life that I can now say is dependent on which browser I use.

    3. iCloud seems to take some power, but not clear how much.  My battery life estimate stayed above 6 hours for much longer after I turned off iCloud.  "Much longer" is relative since I didn't take a formal measurement.

     

    It sounds like 10.8.3 addressed several problems, but probably has not solve all of them.  I think it is interesting to see the performance difference between Chrome and Firefox.  Chrome runs around 1000 mAh and Firefox runs around 2200 mAh, which means the latter would drain my battery twice as fast (not accounting for the SpeedStep mechanism).  Frankly, I didn't expect that, nor do I recall experiencing that under Lion.

     

    I think that some people who are experiencing poor battery life on 10.8.3 will fall into one of 3 categories.  First are people who now (for whatever reason, which includes previous versions of ML) have diminished battery capacity.  They will have to check their capacity and if it is less than 80% of full capacity, consider getting a replacement.  Second are people who have certain applications running that require more power – as I pointed out, I will have poorer performance running Firefox than running Chrome.  Third, are people who don't fall into the first or second category.  In this case, I have recommended installing the Combo pack and seeing if that helps.  But, as someone else mentioned, is that we might need to conduct additional tests to see if we can find any other commonalities.

     

    I agree with Franc_IPhone.  I would be nice for Apple to tell us what they changed so that we can 1) know if that was our specific problem and 2) trust that it won't come back, regardless of whether we are talking about 10.8.4 or 10.9.

  • Franc_Iphone Level 1 Level 1 (10 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 27, 2013 12:29 PM (in response to ScratchSF)

    As much as Apple try, they don't seem to be able to really get behind battery drain issues. It's a tough nut to crack for sure but again, if we knew where they were "tweaking", I'm sure the community can help. The silence isn't really constructive, IMHO.

     

    Even now, the new IOS release is all over the news for similar issues ; http://news.cnet.com/8301-13579_3-57576501-37/some-ios-6.1.3-users-hit-by-batter y-drain-and-wi-fi-issues/ - My early day Iphone experiences were identical but at least with Iphone, with enough people shouting, Apple would fess up. Alas, never for our machines!

  • dikaf Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Franc_Iphone,

     

    you caught me right there with the very last sentence of your previous post! I was wondering, if you will risk to do the next update or if you use the very final build. Really, which seed do you have currently installed in your system? I remember you saw the light, prior the final 10.8.3 build and I don't see the reason you would bother usethe latter, if everything was working as expected (or better). Unless you know there was no significant difference among the versions anyway.

     

    Your post also reminds me to notice that, unlike you, I am not in a way specialised on computers technical knowledge and I'm just keen on searching (quite a lot sometimes) for issues related to them. I then only try to relate my findings considering common sense and basic experience. This said, I apologize in advance for anything rambling I would write. Fortunately, there are people around the community with opinion of higher gravity than mine.

     

    Bill Jacobs2,

     

    Thank you for the contribution and I think your notice is very useful, as, I guess, it underlines stronger that the battery issue is connected to the OS or something else the OS in discussion affects. Oh, and btw, I strongly believe that I was using ethernet for internet as usually,  when I was checking the power consumption, but I'm also suspicious you can be right. I will try it again w and w/o wifi. Since after that I was looking for a Skype alternative, despite the fact that i rarely use the machine unplugged!..:)

     

    ScratchSF,

     

    Thank you as well, for taking the time again to put things together. I believe you help focusing that way.

     

    tcphoto1,

     

    I guess you stress the fact that your new battery does not last for something like over 6 hours that it should with normal use and that 10.8.3 didn't help at all. I am wondering, if every time you replace the battery, they install an identical one with  the same full charge capacity. While it seems to me that different models have different batteries in terms of capacity.

  • chris_gr Calculating status...

    I updated to 10.8.3 when it came out. Made things worse ! (thanks Apple!)

    My battery life dropped to approx 2.5-3 hrs on a late 2010 MBA 13" (purchased new a year ago)

    which gave me 7hrs in 10.6.8.

     

    Following the comments above I am NOT running skype anymore ( its on my startup list but I amnot chatting a lot). It seems that it give me 30-45 mins MORE !   (thanks guys!).

     

    How can I monitor the mAh used by apps ? (wasn't able to find any info online).

     

    Finally, as Apple seems is not going to help us does anyone want to lead a team to investigate it ourselves ?

    I am willing to help.

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