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Switcher Hangout The place for switchers to discuss their new machines, and how to work with OS X. General support can be had here for newbie stuff, like "How do I restart my new iMac?" :)

MBP Battery Maintenance

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Member Since: Feb 19, 2008
Posts: 15
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On Tuesday I purchased a new revision MBP, to be used almost exclusively as a desktop replacement system (It most likely will remain untouched on my desk and plugged in to AC adapter 95% of the time). According to this Apple site under the "standard maintenance" heading, Apple claims that an ideal situation to prolong a battery's career would be a commuter who partially drains the battery on the way to work, and recharges it thereafter. If I unplugged my AC every day to simulate this scenario, that would give me roughly 365 cycles per year - hopefully leaving me with 80% of capacity after a year, as per Apple. Is this a good level to be at after a year? I'm not really very knowledgeable about laptops/batteries. Also, when apple says "80% after 300 full charge cycles", does "full charge cycle" imply a COMPLETE draining and recharge of the battery, or would it imply double 50% charges, for instance? (iStat counts any partial charge as a "cycle"). I still plan on doing a monthly calibration, but am wondering if I shouldn't just take the battery out altogether and store it at 50% or so charge....

My choices are:
-Partially drain/recharge every day
-Partially drain/recharge every other day, once per week, etc.
-Remove battery @ 50% charge and store it for whenever I should (ever?) need it

I know it seems silly to worry so much about a battery when I'll not be using it that often, but I'd like to avoid a replacement charge down the road if I can. Even if there's only once that I'll actually need the batt, if I can only get 40 minutes out of it, then it's useless.

Any thoughts??...thanks for your help!
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Member Since: Jan 27, 2008
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Well this topic is GREATLY debated.

But I use my MBP as a desktop too. What I do is keep the battery in, because if you don't the computer WILL slow down, and keep it plugged in all the time. All you have to do is Calibrate it once every month to keep the electrons in the battery moving. I've had my MBP for about a month now and ever since I've calibrated it, it has stayed at a constant 97% battery health.

One cycle is a full charge and discharge, this can happen by 2 50% cycles, or 4 25% discharges, etc. etc.

But the number one killers of laptop batteries is heat, so I suggest not keeping it on your lap, because it will heat up quite a bit. Something that I have found out is the people that worry more about their batteries end up having the problems. So treat normally, unplug when you need to move around, and plug in when your sitting there.
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Member Since: Feb 10, 2008
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Before you set up your laptop for desktop use you should charge the battery to 50% then take is out of your laptop and store it somewhere. A 50% charge is ideal for long term storage. If you know you are going to take it somewhere the next day, plug it in the day before to charge it all the way and repeat the process. You should have a battery that will last you for years if you do this.
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Member Since: Feb 19, 2008
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As an update - after much more research both on these forums and elsewhere, it seems that there are is a huge CPU performance cut when the battery is removed; thus, this is not an option for me. I'm still confused though if I should leave AC in constantly and just calibrate once per month, or if I should do partial drains every (few?) days as well as a monthly calibration. Partial drains count towards your cycle count, according to OS X (I just drained to 60% and it ticked up one cycle)...
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Don't know, have not participated in, nor read all that much regarding all the debate about this or that way to take care of the battery. Not really interested in it either.

Can tell you, my MBP is basically used as a desktop replacement. And sits on my lap during 90% of it's use and on the bed the other 10%. I also have a Speck case on it. I do have an iLap I use when doing anything that requires heavy CPU/graphics usage (it does get a little warm then) for long periods of time or for lounging with it in bed where the vents would be covered otherwise.

It also stays plugged in 90+% of the time. The battery has never been removed. It gets moved around when I want. The magsafe gets pulled out by accident, I'm pretty sure, several times a week. In other words, my computer gets used when and how I want to use it.

I have taken the suggestion to calibrate the battery once a month. But, I would guess I've only done that maybe 6 times over it's 14 month life thus far. iStat shows 80% battery health and 114 cycles. It will still run for a good 3 hours just browsing the web on the battery.

Am not going to suggest what you do with your battery. I would say however, use your computer the way you want to use it. For me, that means the battery stays in and it lasts as long as it lasts. Then I get a new one.

I cannot be held responsible for the things that come out of my mouth.
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