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How do you keep a retina macbook pro battery healthy?

14917 Views 17 Replies Latest reply: Dec 20, 2013 6:10 AM by Linuxby RSS
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Jetryckx Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
Currently Being Moderated
Nov 1, 2013 3:29 PM

So I'm trying to figure out the best way to keep my battery as healthy as possible in my retina Macbook Pro because I was recently told at the Genius bar that replacing this battery could cost around $400.

 

I've read in some places when trying to figure this out that you don't want your laptop plugged in all the time, I've heard newer batteries don't need to be periodically discharged to zero (calibrating batteries like in the older macbook pro's), I've read that you want the electrons in the battery to me moving as often as possible, so you want your computer to be charging and discharging constantly, that you shouldn't have the power cord plugged in if it is full (which would seems to lead to a high number of cycles).  Now the Genius I went to today said I should keep my laptop plugged in more often to keep the number of my cycles low.  I'm getting a lot of mixed messages and I am a bit confused.  Anyone know the definitive way to keep your battery healthy?

 

Here are my current battery specs.  I got my retina macbook pro July of 2012, so i'm at about 16 months w/ this battery

 

Battery Information:

 

  Model Information:

  Serial Number:

  Manufacturer: SMP

  Device Name: bq20z451

  Pack Lot Code: 0

  PCB Lot Code: 0

  Firmware Version: 511

  Hardware Revision: 3

  Cell Revision: 1150

  Charge Information:

  Charge Remaining (mAh): 6862

  Fully Charged: No

  Charging: No

  Full Charge Capacity (mAh): 7378

  Health Information:

  Cycle Count: 463

  Condition: Normal

  Battery Installed: Yes

  Amperage (mA): -1236

  Voltage (mV): 12080

OS X Mavericks (10.9)
  • OGELTHORPE Level 7 Level 7 (22,605 points)

    Here is a battery reading list:

     

    http://www.apple.com/support/macbookpro/batteries_power/

     

    This should keep you occupied for rest of the evening. 

     

    Ciao.

     

    " Now the Genius I went to today said I should keep my laptop plugged in more often to keep the number of my cycles low. "  he is correct,  it does not hurt the battery to keep it attached to the power adapter for long periods of time.  I do that all the time.  Monthly I run the battery down to the 40% charge level.

     

    Message was edited by: OGELTHORPE

  • sanjampet Level 5 Level 5 (6,890 points)

    And ifafter  reading OGELTHORPE'S link, this should put you "out for the night"

     

      http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1446

  • ds store Level 7 Level 7 (30,305 points)

    The Genius I went to today said I should keep my laptop plugged in more often to keep the number of my cycles low.

     

    The Genus is entirely correct.

     

    Many come here who cycle their batteries daily since they purchased the machine are reporting about 80% max capacity after only a few months/400 cycles.

     

    Screen shot 2013-11-01 at 7.01.06 PM.jpg

     

    I do advise a partial cycle about once a month, just so it calibrates itself.

     

    Accidental cable disconnects should be enough, it's worked for me.

  • PlotinusVeritas Level 6 Level 6 (13,685 points)

    I've heard newer batteries don't need to be periodically discharged to zero

     

    You NEVER want to do a full discharge, EVER. period.  

    Drop it down to 10% minimum (approx) and recharge.

    Even then, in the future dont 'often' drop it low.

    Never let your Macbook die from power, you can corrupt files that way, and the Lithium Polymer batteries absolutely do not like it.

    *Also new evidence suggests that sudden loss of power can adversely affect data on a SSD (solid state drive).....again, dont let it ever shut down from total power loss


     

     

    Keep it plugged in when near a socket so you keep the charging cycles DOWN on your LiPo (lithium polymer) cells / battery.

     

    *Contrary to some myths out there, there is protection circuitry in your macbook and therefore you cannot 'overcharge' it when plugged in and already fully charged

    If you leave your macbook plugged in all the time, take it off charge and drain the battery down to 15 or 20% every couple of weeks or so.

     

    LiPo (lithium polymer, same as in your macbook) batteries do not need conditioning. However...

     

    LiPo batteries do NOT like to be dropped down to 15% or so often,....key word being "often"

     

    A lot of battery experts call the use of LiPo cells the "80% Rule" ....meaning use 80% of the charge or so,.. then recharge them for longer overall life.

     

    Never let your Macbook die from power, you can corrupt files that way, and the batteries do not like it.

    **Also new evidence suggests that sudden loss of power can adversely affect data on a SSD (solid state drive).....again, dont let it ever shut down from total power loss

     

     

     

     

    The only quantified abuse seen to LiPo cells is instances when  often the cells are repeatedly drained very low.

     

    Contrary to what some might say, LIPo batteries have an "ideal" break in period. First ten cycles or so, don't discharge down past 40% of the battery's capacity.

     

    Same way you dont take a new car out and speed and rev the engine hard first 100 or so miles.

     

     

     

    *Also, if youre going to store your macbook away for a few weeks or more,... make sure it has at least a 50% or so charge.

    *Cycle count / use/ lifespan is one thing that cant be countered.

     

     

     

    Proper treatment is another thing. Just because LiPo batteries dont need conditioning in general,.. does NOT mean they dont have an ideal use / recharge environment. Anything can be abused even if it doesnt need conditioning.

     

    Just use and enjoy your new macbook, 

     

    From Apple on batteries:

    http://www.apple.com/batteries/notebooks.html

     

    http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1446

     

    but really all you would keep in mind is --"consider 15-20% is the same as 0% and recharge it"

    ...and best "tip" is if its near a socket, .....plug it in as long as you can (especially at home) since cycle count on the battery are the "miles that wear out the tires (battery)"

     

     

     

     

    Important useful info on your Lithium cells as compiled from battery experts:

    Heat increases battery performance but shortens life by a factor of two for every 10°C increase above 25–30°C (18°F above 77–86°F). This is yet another important reason for the cooling of any notebook, not just keeping the processor and GPU cool. Mavericks lower power tasking (app nap) and combined with the cool running Haswell processor both greatly protect battery life on your Macbook now more than ever before.

     

    Good news: *Mavericks not only increases a single charge cycle for longer battery use off a full charge,… but also prolongs the overall long term life of the LiPo battery in a Macbook by reducing the load conditions the battery experiences from heavy peak-use.

     

    Counting cycles is not conclusive because a discharge may vary in depth and there are no clearly defined standards of what constitutes a charge cycle on a Lithium Ion battery empirically. Similar to a mechanical device that wears out faster with heavy use, so also does the depth of discharge (DoD) determine the cycle count.

     

    The shorter the discharge (low DoD), the longer the battery will last. If at all possible, avoid full discharges and charge the battery more often between uses. Partial discharge on Li-ion is fine.

     

    Frequent HIGH depth of discharge rates (draining the battery very low) on a Lithium battery will hasten the lowering of maximum battery capacity.

     

    Although better performing when warm, lithium polymer batteries live longer when kept cool.

     

    Lithium cells prefer draining conditions at a steady pace rather than fast pulsed or quick discharges, …this fact is idealized now with the Haswell and Mavericks app-nap low power tasking for battery use.

     

    App nap:

    http://www.apple.com/osx/advanced-technologies/

     

     

     

     

    Many come here who cycle their batteries daily since they purchased the machine are reporting about 80% max capacity after only a few months/400 cycles.

     

    Cycle count doesnt actually mean much at all.

     

    *Counting cycles is not conclusive because a discharge may vary in depth and there are no clearly defined standards of what constitutes a charge cycle on a Lithium Ion battery empirically. Similar to a mechanical device that wears out faster with heavy use, so also does the depth of discharge (DoD) determine the cycle count.

  • OGELTHORPE Level 7 Level 7 (22,605 points)

    ds store, greetings;  Thank you for reinforcing what I already advised the OP.  You are always welcome to follow my lead.  You may even learn a thing or two.

     

    "" Now the Genius I went to today said I should keep my laptop plugged in more often to keep the number of my cycles low. "  he is correct,  it does not hurt the battery to keep it attached to the power adapter for long periods of time.  I do that all the time.  Monthly I run the battery down to the 40% charge level."

     

    Ciao.

  • PlotinusVeritas Level 6 Level 6 (13,685 points)

    OGELTHORPE Emerald City, Oz  

    "" Now the Genius I went to today said I should keep my laptop plugged in more often to keep the number of my cycles low. "  he is correct,  it does not hurt the battery to keep it attached to the power adapter for long periods of time.

     

     

    Thats only HALF TRUE......and the missing information is "dangerous"

     

    There have been MORE THAN A FEW PEOPLE who took this 'advice' the wrong way.

     

     

    People have it plugged in ALL THE TIME.......NEVER shut it down,... its ALWAYS IN SLEEP mode when not in use.......and after a year or a year plus the battery is UTTERLY SHOT


     

    The battery is completely and utterly RUINED 

  • OGELTHORPE Level 7 Level 7 (22,605 points)

    PlotinusVeritas wrote:

     

    OGELTHORPE Emerald City, Oz  

    "" Now the Genius I went to today said I should keep my laptop plugged in more often to keep the number of my cycles low. "  he is correct,  it does not hurt the battery to keep it attached to the power adapter for long periods of time.

     

    You omited "  I do that all the time.  Monthly I run the battery down to the 40% charge level."

     

    Taken in totality, I fail to see any problem.

     

    Ciao.

  • PlotinusVeritas Level 6 Level 6 (13,685 points)

    You omited "  I do that all the time.  Monthly I run the battery down to the 40% charge level."

     

     

    Too bad MANY users ONLY HEAR the "keep it plugged in ALL THE TIME part".

     

    The "take it out and drain it down to 40%"......  STILL DOESNT ADDRESS many people who have it plugged all the time and NOT OFF when not in use,....but in sleep mode.

     

    The information should be  - "IF it is OFF,.....AND you unplug it every couple of weeks or so and drain it down to 30-40%........THEN you CAN leave it plugged in all the time"

     

  • OGELTHORPE Level 7 Level 7 (22,605 points)

    PlotinusVeritas, greetings;  Please take the entire statement in context.

     

    When I say  "I do that all the time."  it references the immediate prior statement  "it does not hurt the battery to keep it attached to the power adapter for long periods of time. (Note; long periods of time does not equate to ALL the time.) 

     

    Then I followed it with  "Monthly I run the battery down to the 40% charge level."

     

    After almost a year, these are the Coconut statistics for this MBP:

     

    Screen Shot 2013-11-01 at 7.41.19 PM.png

    I find that these are perfectly acceptable results and reflect my afore mentioned procedures.

     

    Ciao.

  • PlotinusVeritas Level 6 Level 6 (13,685 points)

    I wasnt questioning anything you said

     

     

    .....rather the fact that people "hear" one thing and forget the important part that can easily damage their battery 'quick'

     

     

    Yes, I love coconut battery too.

  • OGELTHORPE Level 7 Level 7 (22,605 points)

    PlotinusVeritas, greetings;  It has been my observation that people often read or hear what they want to read or hear, not what may actually be written or said.  Not unusual, part of the human condition.

     

    Ciao.

  • PlotinusVeritas Level 6 Level 6 (13,685 points)

     

    Information overload?  winks*

     

     

    "Off wall charge....consider 15-20% is the same as 0% and recharge it"

     

    Keep it plugged in as much as you want, remove from charge every couple weeks or so and use it down to 30% or so.

     

    If know youre not using it for many hours, power it off.

     

    Yes, do NOT "often" drop it low (i.e. roughly 10-15%)

  • sanjampet Level 5 Level 5 (6,890 points)

    Simply put, you can leave it plugged in most of the time, unplug it and let it run down to about 50% then recharge it. Sleep or not does not matter that much.

    It is the occasional "exercising" of the battery that helps. Avoid running it below 20% or so, totallt avoid running it to the shut off point.

     

    Hope this helps

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