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Battery life dropped considerably on Mountain Lion.

521442 Views 3,396 Replies Latest reply: Oct 28, 2013 5:38 AM by CT RSS Branched to a new discussion.
  • Doctor Ed Calculating status...

    I did explained this in the past, I'll try once more. There's an app called CoconutBattery that will simply tell you how much battery load there is when not charging. Is the last line of info, simply being fetched from the computer itself. Here's a good example:

     

    If your battery is 50 watts, and your load is 10w idling while on battery mode, give or take, your estimate on doing very light work is to be 5 hours since these measurements are defined per hour. If your battery load is 20w, you will get 2.5 hours.

     

    Now, no such thing as measuring how much power each app uses, that's not how computers work. It doesn't matter how many apps you have loaded, is how active these apps are and if the processor decides to speed up for them.

     

    With that said, if your Mac is idling, CPU is at 0 to 3% load, your Mac is running somewhat warmer than usual and your battery load is quite high (assuming your monitor brightness is very low), then your CPU is not stepping down on voltage and clock speeds. Look up what speedstep is on an Intel CPU and you will understand. Battery capacity and CPU load are NOT related. As long as your battery capacity is at 90% or more, this info applies. Anything lower than 90%, you already lost at least 30 minutes of battery life when fully charged. A good battery load with brightness near 0 on an LED lit display and WiFi turned on, Bluetooth off, is around 12 watts in average. Use that as reference.

  • dikaf Calculating status...
    Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 30, 2013 11:10 AM (in response to Doctor Ed)

    By reviewing and by trying to take into consideration the experiences reported here and the very last test I took, I conclude into two main topics.

     

     

     

    First, the test has it: I stopped all the applications running (browsers, Mail, Activity Monitor, etc) except of Finder, but without any window open or anything mounted, and Battery Health to watch the measurements. I even stopped one or two processes that run constantly (like a few related to parallels). After all, there was no process appearing to have more than 0.0 CPU usage (in average along time). I turned temporarily off Notification Center. Unplugged every external devise. WiFi off, ethernet cable disconnected. Ejected bootcamp hard drive (installed with a caddy as a replacement of the Super Drive). No keyboard backlit and brightness at 1 bar. After all this, the current amperage use reached in-between the range of 750mAh to 800mAh. Now, I missed to check what Doctor Ed mentions, since I had not read his post at this time and what obviously seems to be more accurate. You are correct, the CPU load differs instantly, but I tried to notice the average result. A note by the way: I had to wait for a minute after closing each thing until the current usage 'settles down'.

     

     

     

    My first assumption is that the apps and processes where not abnormally affecting the current usage. For example, Skype, which I mentioned the other day, is using in my case 5 to 10% CPU (idling), therefore the difference in current usage (being on/off) has been normal. Since by closing one thing, waiting for a while, then checking back the battery status, before closing another has not brought any extreme results, I believe that there's no malfunction regarding applications and processes. I could also assume that 10.8.3 has probably fixed the low battery life indication. Probably, because I didn't take careful measurements or record results prior to 10.8.3 to compare (my bad, since I was relaxed, I guess, by the hope that 10.8.3 will bring improvement). It just seems right now, at least for the old battery I have. Does it though?(check below…)

     

     

     

    The second and hot assumption, which in my opinion is highlighted by various users' experiences with Brianx87 and scartacus being the latest and quite evidenced ones, is that updating to a new OS version can affect the battery's health condition. Is it an actual affection, is it just a false indication, which practically however affects battery's life and performance? Why when reverting back to former OS versions the problem (sometimes) disappears? Why even new batteries appear problematic under 10.8? If something has stabilized my system with 10.8.3, what would be that? Is it possible that some Apple experts would help us to not only been driven by assumptions and inquiries (often formed by our ignorance)? Will they clearly answer to the very basic one: Are you already working on this?

     

     

     

    My final note: What was quite noticeable with my test, also related to the 2nd assumption, is that when I first unplugged the power adapter to begin the test, the full charge battery capacity was 5300 mAh. While running on battery to take the test, this gradually decreased down to 5020 mAh. This doesn't seem normal, does it? Also, the last time I used the computer on battery, this max was also lower than 5300 (even lower than what it is now) and when I plugged it back and by leaving it plugged for days, this maximum capacity had increased little by little, until it reached this a bit over than 5300mAh report. By this last test I stopped taking measurements and plugged the computer back when the charge reached around 80%. I'm afraid that if I had left it running with battery longer, the max charge would lower further. And then is where the service warning appears like in the past. CSound1 and Doctor Ed am I another user with affected battery after all? Could you or anyone please verify that this is a kind of normal or not behavior?

     

     

     

    An overview of my computer: mid 2009 Macbook Pro 5,3, 8GB not native RAM, 2 SSDs, original battery full charge capacity 6500 mAh.

     

     

    My apologies for writing so much and from Doctor Ed, if I again have used data that fail to point towards the right direction.

  • ctwinguitarists Calculating status...

    I'm new here, so not even sure if this topic fits.  I've been investigating my Late 2012 Macbook Air "battery draining while asleep" issue for quite some time now.  I've been to the Apple store twice with this issue.  The last time I went, the genius gave me Lion and the Latest Mountain lion on my personal flash drives to do a test.  Before the tests, I had the latest version of Mountain Lion installed and my computer would drain roughly 75% over night (12+) hours while the Lid was CLOSED.  After Downgrading to Lion, (clean install both times), my battery life improved tremendously.  I can keep my macbook air lid closed for days on end and I only saw a 15-20% decrease in battery percentage.  Then, I decided to Upgrade back to Mountain Lion on a clean install.  I did this, and my battery now drains while the lid is closed within a day. 

  • Doctor Ed Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Very simple. Seems like the machine is not shutting off within the hour of entering sleep, or as Apple calls it, not entering standby. There is documentation about this feature and how to adjust this. As soon as I find it, I'll reply with it.

  • nottattooed Calculating status...

    Count me as another victim of diminished battery life after upgrading to Mountain Lion.  I just finished the upgrade on a recently refurbished MacBook Pro.

     

    My battery meter showed 3hrs remaining on full charge after disconnecting from power cord. Now showing 85% life after less than 30 minutes.  I can watch meter drop which was never the case.  The laptop is also running warmer.

     

    Count me disappointed.

  • alitaliano Calculating status...

    Hi,

    just to say that for me, 10.8.3 did resolved the battery problem.

    I own a MacBook Air from july 2012 and when in december I decided to install Mountain Lion 10.8.2 (clean install), I noticed a bad battery life. So I decided to revert to Lion.

    Then I saw some good news about 10.8.3 and clean installed it when it was available.

     

    I even noticed that battery life is better with 10.8.3 than it was with 10.7.5

    I use CS6 a lot and it is very comfortable to work with my MBA on battery and 10.8.3.

  • dikaf Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 2, 2013 4:57 AM (in response to dikaf)

    Updating my last post:

     

    Obviously my battery has some problem. Although for several reasons, I cannot tell what has actually caused it, it has appeared after updating to 10.8.2 from 10.6.?. Also, after all the discussion here, I cannot even tell that this is indeed a problem. Since I'm not depended on battery life frequently, however, I will not bother to replace it soon. Does anyone know if worse troubles, than just having the service warning, can appear, by keeping my battery at the "service battery" condition for a long time? Is it a warning regarding entirely battery's capacity or does it warns me for some potential, more serious consequences? Any experience?

     

    About the current battery. As I described before, from about 5300mAh, the battery's max. capacity went down to finally around 4500mAh, when I used the computer on battery for sometime (for an hour or so). While having the computer plugged in power for a couple of days now, the max. capacity appears as 5086mAh (this maximum increases). This is not the first time, something alike has happened, with the warning notification going away, probably when the health stays above 80%. Now it is still there since it translates to 78.2% health.

     

    So, is it something (obviously) faulty with the battery? Aging of battery? SMC problem? 10.8 related issue? In the latter case, should I worry that even if I will replace the battery, the problem will reappear, like some fellows have experienced with new batteries? Something else?...

     

    If I will take the computer to a genius bar, can they test the battery in another way than the computer does itself and then say for sure what's wrong?

  • dikaf Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    @alitaliano and all

     

    I think it is interesting that the 10.8.3 update has fixed the problem is some cases. I would have concluded to the same in my case, if I didn't have the recently verified situation with the battery's health (max capacity). As Franc_Iphone has already noted, Apple has enough clues anymore to start working on the issue. Not to mention similar issues with previous OSs.

  • CT Level 6 Level 6 (15,015 points)
  • dikaf Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 2, 2013 7:36 AM (in response to CT)

    CT, the recommended link, although very useful in general (I have read it before), doesn't seem to answer any of my inquires above. This might was not your intention though. Thank you anyway for the reminder and for this being a good to follow guide!

  • dikaf Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 2, 2013 7:39 AM (in response to dikaf)

    Or maybe to be more accurate and fair, it gives some clues of the age a battery is considered old. In my case however, is 3.5 years old, having completed 413 circles. I apologise.

  • nottattooed Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    After some research battery life better.

     

    A few details:

     

    I have a mid 2009 15 inch MacBook Pro upgraded directly from Snow Leopard (10.6.8) to Mountain Lion (10.8.3).

    This laptop was replaced under Applecare about a year ago with a new (refurbished?) unit with presumably new battery.  At time of ML upgrade battery life was routinely 6 hrs under my typical use.  I am back and forth from the computer a lot; not running CPU intensive programs.

     

    Immediately after ML upgrade battery life from full charge showed 3 hours and percentage remaining fell fast.  I did not test if this was actual battery life our an inaccurate measurement based on some change due to upgrade.  I plugged charger in at about 30% remaining and brought charge back to 93%. A check of CPU use showed low overall use.  At this point I put computer in sleep mode and left overnight - charge had dropped considerably.

     

    Yesterday I took three steps -

     

    1) Used power settings to set screen brightness lower under battery use

     

    2) Reset SMC using 'four finger salute'.  No immediately obvious change.

     

    3) Manually turned off tracking of several apps I don't use in Spotlight

     

    Today I show 5.5 hours battery life from full charge and still show 61% charge, 4 hours remaining after about 2.5 hours my typical use.

     

    One final detail - I did install Windows 7 in a Parallels 7 VM yesterday which was a reason I upgraded to ML.  This shouldn't have changed battery life but disclosed so full info available.

  • Csound1 Level 7 Level 7 (32,385 points)

    nottattooed wrote:

     

    After some research battery life better.

     

    A few details:

     

    I have a mid 2009 15 inch MacBook Pro upgraded directly from Snow Leopard (10.6.8) to Mountain Lion (10.8.3).

    This laptop was replaced under Applecare about a year ago with a new (refurbished?) unit with presumably new battery.  At time of ML upgrade battery life was routinely 6 hrs under my typical use.  I am back and forth from the computer a lot; not running CPU intensive programs.

     

    Immediately after ML upgrade battery life from full charge showed 3 hours and percentage remaining fell fast.  I did not test if this was actual battery life our an inaccurate measurement based on some change due to upgrade.  I plugged charger in at about 30% remaining and brought charge back to 93%. A check of CPU use showed low overall use.  At this point I put computer in sleep mode and left overnight - charge had dropped considerably.

     

    Yesterday I took three steps -

     

    1) Used power settings to set screen brightness lower under battery use

     

    2) Reset SMC using 'four finger salute'.  No immediately obvious change.

     

    3) Manually turned off tracking of several apps I don't use in Spotlight

     

    Today I show 5.5 hours battery life from full charge and still show 61% charge, 4 hours remaining after about 2.5 hours my typical use.

     

    One final detail - I did install Windows 7 in a Parallels 7 VM yesterday which was a reason I upgraded to ML.  This shouldn't have changed battery life but disclosed so full info available.

    Using a VM will increase the load on the battery in your Mac, thus reducing its life (secondary effects will cause greater paging and HDD use, also increasing the power consumption).

  • sergeminsk Calculating status...

    Guys... Just read all messages and i'm another victim of ML 10.8.3

    I've MBPro Middle 2010 and when was on 10.7 - i was happy with battery life and overall performance.

    Once upgraded to 10.8 my battery started to die! Finally within 3 months battery died..

    It was 6600mAh, then 5300, then 4500 etc. etc. and finally it was 0mAh with 0% of health!!! Within 3 month!!!

    Hate ML!! ((( Just bought new battery and after few hours it show 99% health - AGAIN???

     

    APPLE??? WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU???????????

     

    Message was edited by: sergeminsk

  • sergeminsk Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    So from my point of view there are 2 CRITICAL issues with battery on 10.8.3:

     

    1. Even small apps like dropbox, wunderlist, fantastical etc. cause using GPU so no more much battery life;

    2. Battery health goes less and less - i don't want to buy new battery each few months.

     

    How these issues can be addressed?

     

    PS: I cant' downgrade to 10.7 because have a lot of data, settings etc. and don't have 10.7 backup.

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