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Maximizing battery life on late 2011 MBP?

1969 Views 9 Replies Latest reply: May 18, 2012 3:37 PM by Courcoul RSS
clintonfrombirmingham Level 7 Level 7 (26,655 points)
Currently Being Moderated
May 17, 2012 11:24 PM

I know - or think I recall - that there was a user's tips article on maximizing battery life. When I'm outdoors with my MBP, I always have Photoshop CS6, InDesign CS6, Illustrator CS6, Acrobat Pro X, Parallels Desktop, MS Word and maybe a few 'little' apps running. I need these to get my projects done. I can usually get about 3 1/2 hours out of my battery but if I could get 5, I'd be happy.


Can anyone point me in the right direction for the most current (at least 2011) user tip on the topic? Or just some helpful advice?





Mac OS X (10.7.4), 16 GB RAM, 512 GB SSD
  • Courcoul Level 6 Level 6 (11,135 points)

    With all that stuff running, consider yourself well served. I've gotten up to 7:30 on mine, running Firefox, Safari, Word, and Excel, with Wi-Fi on, screen at 50%, keyboard backlight off and the GPU fixed on the Intel built-in. The 10.7.4 did improve battery life somewhat, IMHO, but you already have that. You're gonna have to ditch some of the apps, best bet would be the virtualizer, or at least get the guest OS to take it easy.

    MacBook Pro (15-inch Late 2011), Mac OS X (10.7.4), 2.4GHz, 8GB, Widescreen/Anti-glare
  • Courcoul Level 6 Level 6 (11,135 points)

    One oft overlooked battery drainer is the Dashboard. Unknown to many, each widget is a live process on its own, and many of them (especially the third-party ones) are happily plugging away at the network and the battery all the time. Click on the + go into Manage widgets... and disable all you don't use (except, probably, iStat Pro, the widget du jour extraordinaire).

    MacBook Pro (15-inch Late 2011), Mac OS X (10.7.4), 2.4GHz, 8GB, Widescreen/Anti-glare
  • misclellanious matters Calculating status...

    I would recommend checking, if you model's battery should be calibrated. Here's the link, giving information about calibration necessity of each models as well as recommendations on the procedure:

      I'm considering going throug this procedure as well. But I'm in doubt whether this recommendation is relevant for my old laptop. The page informs, the calibration procedure described there it's for new batteries. I don't think my accumulator can be new enough for this way of calibration. My model is MBP early 2008. So, if anybody gives me a piece of advice...?

  • Courcoul Level 6 Level 6 (11,135 points)

    misclellanious matters wrote:


    My model is MBP early 2008. So, if anybody gives me a piece of advice...?

    Note that the Early 2008 MBP is a very different beast that Clinton, besides the obvious fact of the age. Battery calibration is a must in those models and the battery durability is much shorter: 80%@300 cycles vs. 85%@1000 cycles for the new unibodies. On those older models, the recommendation is to recalibrate every 2-3 months. And don't be surprised to have to go thru a few batteries along the way; mine chewed thru three batteries during the 4 years it lasted.

  • misclellanious matters Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    May 18, 2012 10:17 AM (in response to Courcoul)

    My thanx go to Mexico. I'm happy I noticed that I forgot to type the last letter in the word "through" in my previous comment after your answer to that comment cause I got that possibility to watch you play with that mistake of mine twice)

  • Courcoul Level 6 Level 6 (11,135 points)

    clintonfrombirmingham wrote:


    I don't think that I need to calibrate, or recalibrate, my battery. It's a lithium polymer and, from what I've read, need no calibration.

    The calibration, especially in those older generation batteries, is for your benefit, not the battery's. All LiPo batteries have to have by law a control circuit that regulates the charging process. If you overcharge a LiPo you can have a fire hazard due to a thermal runaway condition. To prevent this, the cells are charged at most to 95-98% full (even though the owner is told 100%) and the charge controller takes care of that. A side benefit is that the circuitry knows at all times what the cells are up to and can report the state of charge. But as they age, the circuitry diverges from reality: it thinks the battery is still young & strong, even though it is ancient and drecrepit. The calibration procedure realigns the control circuitry with harsh reality.


    Since yer stinkin' fast 'puter will get things done pronto, you may have time to further educate yourself in battery lore:


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