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Old 07-12-2012, 05:13 AM   #136
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Don't some Mac laptops have non-replaceable batteries? That may be a consideration if you're thinking of buying a laptop for use for several years.
They're not user-replaceable batteries, but battery replacement is a same-day service at any Apple Store - £99 inc. VAT here in UK, all-in. FWIW my teenage daughter has a 2009 'last-of-the-line' shiny white unibody MacBook with a fixed battery, and it's holding up just fine on the original battery after the best part of three years, and she's not the most careful of users
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Old 07-12-2012, 05:22 AM   #137
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Good question, Harry. My old MacBook had a removable access cover on the back so I could remove/replace battery myself. My current MacBook Pro doesn't, as I was just chagrined to notice for the first time. The Mac models with built-in batteries can have their batteries replaced at an authorized service provider. For more info see: http://support.apple.com/kb/HT3371
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Old 07-12-2012, 05:27 AM   #138
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They're not user-replaceable batteries, but battery replacement is a same-day service at any Apple Store - £99 inc. VAT here in UK, all-in. FWIW my teenage daughter has a 2009 'last-of-the-line' shiny white unibody MacBook with a fixed battery, and it's holding up just fine on the original battery after the best part of three years, and she's not the most careful of users
I haven't had to replace a battery in over 5 years on either of my old MB or newer MB Pro.

Wow, those white MacBooks sure seem popular
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Old 07-12-2012, 05:32 AM   #139
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I haven't had to replace a battery in over 5 years on either of my old MB or newer MB Pro.
A lithium-ion battery will typically have lost around half of its original capacity after 5 years. They "age" with time, no matter how carefully you look after the battery.
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Old 07-12-2012, 05:41 AM   #140
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A lithium-ion battery will typically have lost around half of its original capacity after 5 years. They "age" with time, no matter how carefully you look after the battery.
Huh. Thanks, good to know. I use laptops plugged into power most of the time. People such as students who use laptop on battery a lot may need a battery replacement more often than someone like me.

Edit: I'm not sure if plugged into power or not matters much in delaying battery replacement, now that I think about it.

Last edited by unboggling; 07-12-2012 at 05:50 AM.
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Old 07-12-2012, 05:44 AM   #141
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Huh. Thanks, good to know. I use laptops plugged into power most of the time. People such as students who use laptop on battery a lot may need a battery replacement more often than someone like me.
Yes. There are two aspects which determine how rapidly a battery loses capacity:

1. The number of charge cycles it's gone through.
2. The age of the battery.

The two are independent, but cumulative. As far as #2 goes, the "clock starts ticking" the first time that the battery is charged after manufacture, and it can't be stopped.
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Old 07-12-2012, 05:55 AM   #142
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Yes. There are two aspects which determine how rapidly a battery loses capacity:

1. The number of charge cycles it's gone through.
2. The age of the battery.

The two are independent, but cumulative. As far as #2 goes, the "clock starts ticking" the first time that the battery is charged after manufacture, and it can't be stopped.
Also good to know. Hmm. My MacBooks seem to be frequently charging while plugged in, varying between 96% to 100% charged. Edit: (Whatever that means, probably the % charged of the remaining battery capacity.) Here is what Mac Help says:
Quote:
Select this option to display your battery’s level of charge in the menu bar. If your computer is plugged into an electrical outlet, the icon indicates whether the battery is charging or is fully charged.

Last edited by unboggling; 07-12-2012 at 06:45 AM.
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Old 07-12-2012, 07:15 AM   #143
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That's right. The "% charged" is showing you the percentage of its current capacity, but the "usage time" that being 100% charged gives you will gradually fall as the years go by. And sooner or later the battery will just die.
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Old 07-12-2012, 08:45 AM   #144
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I won't pretend to understand the full details of batteries, but from what I've read in passing over the last few years, it sounds like heat and the voltage you charge to are big factors in battery life.

Supposedly for modern batteries the best way to lengthen their life is to not fully charge them. Some laptops allow you to set the bios to cut off charging at around 70-80% of capacity. Obviously if you're off on a trip, top it off first

The battery on my main laptop used to last between 2-3 hours, I now get (4 years later) around 20 minutes out of it. Shame I didn't know about keeping it at 100% not been the best of ideas Still I very rarely use it away from the mains, so that 20 mins is great, it's a little UPS :P

edit: couldn't find any of the original articles I read it in, but here's a post which covers roughly the same info

http://www.cultofmac.com/147994/gett...t-i-os-x-tips/

edit2: I wish every company would make batteries replaceable, ideally user replaceable, but even if getting the casing off the laptop and undoing dozens of screws is required, as long as the battery itself is not soldered or glued to the board I'd be happy.

Last edited by JoeD; 07-12-2012 at 08:57 AM.
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Old 07-12-2012, 09:29 AM   #145
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Interesting.

To determine what max cycle count is on Mac portables, and cycles used, see http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1519

For 16 month old 17" MB Pro, max cycle count is 1000, mine is at 2.
For 05 year old 13" MB, max cycle count is 300, mine is at 3.

Edit:
Quote:
Use of your Apple portable computer battery accrues in the form of "charge cycles." You may use your battery after it reaches its maximum cycle count, but you may notice a reduction in your battery life. Knowing how many charge cycles are on your battery and how many are left can help you determine when a battery replacement is required. For optimal performance, replace your battery when the maximum cycle count is reached.
I guess using them while plugged in to power a lot really does help significantly.

Last edited by unboggling; 07-12-2012 at 09:38 AM.
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Old 07-12-2012, 09:47 AM   #146
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I guess using them while plugged in to power a lot really does help significantly.
When it comes to charge cycles, yes. When it comes to "ageing", not one bit .
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Old 07-12-2012, 09:50 AM   #147
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I guess using them while plugged in to power a lot really does help significantly.
Apple also recommend you don't just use a macbook on mains alone though.

http://www.apple.com/batteries/notebooks.html
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Old 07-12-2012, 10:18 AM   #148
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When it comes to charge cycles, yes. When it comes to "ageing", not one bit .
OK, so the 5 year old computer will need a new battery soon probably, due to age not cycles, though the indication currently is health:normal.

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Apple also recommend you don't just use a macbook on mains alone though.

http://www.apple.com/batteries/notebooks.html
That is disturbing, I didn't know. In my case of plugged into power most of the time, Apple recommends scheduling a calendar reminder to drain battery intentionally once a month. Edit: (Which I haven't ever done.)

Last edited by unboggling; 07-12-2012 at 10:24 AM.
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Old 07-12-2012, 01:24 PM   #149
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Yes. There are two aspects which determine how rapidly a battery loses capacity:

1. The number of charge cycles it's gone through.
2. The age of the battery.

The two are independent, but cumulative. As far as #2 goes, the "clock starts ticking" the first time that the battery is charged after manufacture, and it can't be stopped.
A little more on this subject.

1. The number of charge cycles is useful for NiMH batteries but not so much for Lithium Ion as Lithium Ion supports topping off. It can be topped off with almost no penalty in charge cycles. As a rule of thumb if you top off with a 10% charge it only counts as a 10% recharge instead of counting like a full recharge as it would if it were NiMH. It becomes good practice to keep your battery topped off.

2. The age of the battery is not a fixed amount beginning with the manufacture. Most manufacturers ship a battery that is not fully charged, generally about 40% charge as the storage life is increased under this condition and can take more variation in temperature cycles that may be encounter is shipping and storage. This is why you are told to fully charge a battery when you get it. Unless the battery has been stored a really long time you can begin counting time when you first charge the battery.

As battery technology evolves even the above guidelines will become obsolete.
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Old 07-14-2012, 04:40 PM   #150
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A little more on this subject.

1. The number of charge cycles is useful for NiMH batteries but not so much for Lithium Ion as Lithium Ion supports topping off. It can be topped off with almost no penalty in charge cycles. As a rule of thumb if you top off with a 10% charge it only counts as a 10% recharge instead of counting like a full recharge as it would if it were NiMH. It becomes good practice to keep your battery topped off.

2. The age of the battery is not a fixed amount beginning with the manufacture. Most manufacturers ship a battery that is not fully charged, generally about 40% charge as the storage life is increased under this condition and can take more variation in temperature cycles that may be encounter is shipping and storage. This is why you are told to fully charge a battery when you get it. Unless the battery has been stored a really long time you can begin counting time when you first charge the battery.

As battery technology evolves even the above guidelines will become obsolete.
The first bit is a whole new concept for me. It's good to know. I always hate it that I have to unplug a charging phone mid charge. I kept telling them its a waste of a charge cycle. If I had to do that, I usually wait till it drains to low power again. I usually drain my battery to low power before even charging it so that I make full use of a "cycle". Glad to know that I can be free of that part of my life!
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