5 hour battery life? What a joke!

Scottfab

Helpless Mac Newbie
This battery on this new powerbook is pretty new. It's been calibrated. It's on 10.4.1. But even when I put settings on maximum battery life and turn off both airport and bluetooth, I only get about 3.5 hour battery life? Yet, apple advertises 5 hours. I want my hour and a half back!
 

DeltaMac

Tech
How new is 'pretty new'? A Li-ON battery is pretty good for about 300 full charge cycles, when it should still retain 80% of its original capacity. 5 hours, yes, if you have the screen brightness all the way down, and don't use the drives at all. If your battery is having battery life problems only, and is less than a year old, then Apple might replace it. More than a year, they probably won't, even with AppleCare.

HERE'S a source for batteries advertised to provide longer life than Apple's batteries.
There's good info HERE, also.
 

Lt Major Burns

"Dicky" Charlteston-Burns
yeah the advertised battery life is the absolute longest it can stay on for, not doing anything. the cpu is battery intensive, as is the backlight and the disk access.
 

ElDiabloConCaca

U.S.D.A. Prime
There are quite a few things you can do to maximize your battery life, just a few suggestions below:

- Turn down the backlight on the display. A bright display = short battery life, period.

- Don't use CDs or DVDs. Mechanical parts of the laptop (like the CD/DVD laser mechanism and the spinning mechanism) suck the most power out of the battery. Likewise, excessive hard drive activity can drain more power.

- Doing anything "constantly," like watching a DVD movie, having music playing, compiling code that takes a while to compile, ripping CDs, importing photos -- basically using the processor and/or disk intensively will dramatically shorten battery life.

If you're simply surfing the 'net a little, checking email, writing in Word/TextEdit/OpenOffice/etc., using the Terminal, or any non-intensive activities, then you should get a big boost in how long the battery lasts.

What are some common tasks you perform, and applications you use?
 

Viro

Registered
ElDiabloConCaca said:
- Don't use CDs or DVDs. Mechanical parts of the laptop (like the CD/DVD laser mechanism and the spinning mechanism) suck the most power out of the battery. Likewise, excessive hard drive activity can drain more power.

- Doing anything "constantly," like watching a DVD movie, having music playing, compiling code that takes a while to compile, ripping CDs, importing photos -- basically using the processor and/or disk intensively will dramatically shorten battery life.
I've found that with Tiger, my hard drive never goes to sleep anymore, even if the check box is ticked saying to spin down hard drive. I think the culprit is Spotlight that keeps on indexing in the background.
 

chornbe

Who, me?
Scottfab said:
This battery on this new powerbook is pretty new. It's been calibrated. It's on 10.4.1. But even when I put settings on maximum battery life and turn off both airport and bluetooth, I only get about 3.5 hour battery life? Yet, apple advertises 5 hours. I want my hour and a half back!
*shrugs*

I routinely get 3.5 - 4.5 on my iBook. coming from a PC background that's hella good.
 

Satcomer

In Geostationary Orbit
DeltaMac said:
How new is 'pretty new'? A Li-ON battery is pretty good for about 300 full charge cycles, when it should still retain 80% of its original capacity. 5 hours, yes, if you have the screen brightness all the way down, and don't use the drives at all. If your battery is having battery life problems only, and is less than a year old, then Apple might replace it. More than a year, they probably won't, even with AppleCare.

HERE'S a source for batteries advertised to provide longer life than Apple's batteries.
There's good info HERE, also.
I replaced my Ti Powerbook 400 with one of those batteries, I was simply amazed at the difference! Plus everyone else's suggestions about extending the life of a battery is absolutly right on the money.
 

Crosswind 9

Registered
I use a macbook pro with leopard and my battery health, under system profiler, is jumping from about 3016 mAh to like 4800 mAh randomly, sometimes it runs for four hours and when it is at its lowest it goes down to less than two hours. I just calibrated my battery and it remains jumpy and inconsistent. Sometimes i have 30 percent left and it randomly turns off and someitmes it runs a complete 4 hours. Is it a hardware problem (the lights on the the battery itself are consistent with what my computer says)? or some other type of problem?
 

DeltaMac

Tech
I would suspect a hardware problem. You will likely have a cell in the battery that is intermittent. Call AppleCare with your symptoms, they may be able to help. If you don't have AppleCare, and your MBPro is more than 1 year old, then replace your battery, and relax!
 

Giaguara

Chmod 760
Staff member
Mod
What is your cycle count Crosswind? You can see it from System Profiler ( > about this Mac > more info... under battery).
 

Crosswind 9

Registered
its 187, ive heard here that at 300 the battery life drops down but there is still a long way to go.
 

trance

Registered
he 5 hour use time that Apple states is while keeping your 'book in an essentially crippled state.....screen brightness all the way down is crippled, limiting 'book use to meager processor use is crippled.
The 5 hour claim is basically advertising agency B.S. i.e., gross exaggeration.
 

fryke

Moderator
Staff member
Mod
No, it's not. I always got more than advertised with brightness at lowest visible state and writing text. Writing text is certainly a good use for a notebook computer. It was true for my iBook G4, for my PowerBook G4, for my MacBook and my MacBook Air.
 

Crosswind 9

Registered
i dont mind the 5 hours, but i used to have 3:30 to 4 hours and now its down to less than 2.

but all is good, apple is sending me a new battery. They actually have technicians that talk on the phone :)
 
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