Brand new battery already belly up?

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Howdy!
If anyone has any insight, I'd appreciate it! I recently had my battery and charger flame out in a spectacular display of no-more-display (my theory is murder-suicide) and rushed my baby (MacBook from early 2009) to the ER (Genius Bar) for resuscitation. My Genius popped in a new battery, charged me a hundred bucks for the privilege, and sent me on my merry way.
But.
It's only been about a week and my battery life is, maximum, two-and-a-half hours. That's what it was before! I don't think I'm doing anything that should be overly draining--generally, I'm typing in Word and listening to iTunes. I have a browser open with five or so tabs but I'm not actually using them. Turning off my wireless or iTunes only gains me twenty minutes or so. I have my display bright, but it seems strange that my brand new battery would have the same battery life as the one that was almost three years old. Is this normal or can I storm back into the Apple Store in high dudgeon? Anyone? Bueller?

Thanks, anyone that bothers answering!
 

pigoo3

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It's only been about a week and my battery life is, maximum, two-and-a-half hours. That's what it was before! I don't think I'm doing anything that should be overly draining--generally, I'm typing in Word and listening to iTunes. I have a browser open with five or so tabs but I'm not actually using them. Turning off my wireless or iTunes only gains me twenty minutes or so. I have my display bright, but it seems strange that my brand new battery would have the same battery life as the one that was almost three years old.

As with many of the things you mentioned...battery life can be effected by many things. Two things you mentioned could be shortening battery life (actually I prefer to use the term "battery runtime on a full charge"):

- as you mentioned...keeping the display bright will reduce battery runtime
- playing iTunes will also reduce battery life...for various reasons:

a. The speakers are constantly being played (a small amount of power, but it adds up)
b. the hard drive is constantly being accessed for the mp3 information
c. if the hard drive is constantly being accessed...then it cannot "spin down" & "sleep" when not needed (a power saving feature). This can be MUCH worse...if accessing mp3 info from a CD.

There may be other things as well. You could check "Activity Monitor"...and see if an activity or app. is consuming a lot of "cpu resources". This can happen when folks have too many apps. open at the same time...and an app. that is not currently being used is consuming a lot (or unnecessary) resources.

HTH,

- Nick
 
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Thanks for the response! I checked Activity Monitor and it shows Firefox as using more CPU's (30ish) than iTunes (9ish). I had a hunch that iTunes would eat up battery, but I guess my more specific issue was whether it's normal that turning off iTunes or closing windows in my browser doesn't actually improve battery life; I seem pretty firmly stuck at a maximum of 2.5 hours. When I first got my laptop, I thought it was something more around 4.5, so it seems off to me that a brand new battery wouldn't have improved battery life from one that's almost three years old. Is that wrong?
 

pigoo3

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Thanks for the response! I checked Activity Monitor and it shows Firefox as using more CPU's (30ish) than iTunes (9ish). I had a hunch that iTunes would eat up battery, but I guess my more specific issue was whether it's normal that turning off iTunes or closing windows in my browser doesn't actually improve battery life; I seem pretty firmly stuck at a maximum of 2.5 hours. When I first got my laptop, I thought it was something more around 4.5, so it seems off to me that a brand new battery wouldn't have improved battery life from one that's almost three years old. Is that wrong?

My wife has the same MacBook as you (early 2009 Unibody model with the 2.26ghz cpu)...and she gets 4-5 hours no problem. And her battery has around 150 cycles on it...compared to your brand new battery.

So the issue could be either "user" related (settings or usage patterns)...or there's an issue with the MacBook.

- Nick

p.s. Have you tried calibrating/recalibrating your battery?:

Apple Portables: Calibrating your computer's battery for best performance
 
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Way... way too many specs to list.
What OS are you running?
 
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10.5.8 (LIKE A BOSS!)
(Don't laugh. Is that bad? Why would that affect my battery?)
 
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Way... way too many specs to list.
No, I was asking because Lion does some things that seems to suck up far more battery than 10.5 or 10.6 did.
 

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