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You are here: MacNN Forums > Hardware - Troubleshooting and Discussion > Mac Notebooks > 6 Months In To My Mac Life, Few Questions regarding battery and an update

6 Months In To My Mac Life, Few Questions regarding battery and an update
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kenna
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Feb 1, 2009, 07:17 AM
 
Hey MacNN,

This was my favorite site regarding the Mac as I began a long term plan to make the switch. A lot has happened since, including my MacBook's screen being cracked. A certain incident that I will not disclose but included someone else dropping it from a small height. My MacBook's shell survived with a small dint to the top right of the base body. But the screen was well and truly a goner. Now, my MacBook has a slight wobble in the base. I'd say it moves about a cm when lying on a table when weight is applied. Extremely annoying, but I was told by the Apple genius that it wouldn't really be worth thinking about: replacing the base; as so many components etc. would have to be removed etc. and basically, he said your better living with it.

But my experience with a Mac, other than this horrific incident, has been amazing and there is no change to the performance of my Mac after the screen was replaced. It's still a trooper and it's by far the best thing I have ever owned. Since buying one I have managed to convert two windows users into Mac soldiers. They are now bigger nerds than I am Everything on a Mac simply works far better, I have yet to experience any bugs, really, a few forced quits. That's it.

I now have Aperture 2 and Photoshop CS4 for my new hobby. They are great apps. I use Neo Office for my work and have iWork for more personal use as I prefer it to Neo Office, but you can't beat Neo Office's inclusion of .doc documents that require little, if any, alterations when used with Word.

I use my Mac everyday, it's by far my favorite toy. I have 163 cycles of my battery. I only ever charge my battery when it is flat and with 6 months use, you can see that I've pretty much used it everyday for over 4 hours. Mac's aren't expensive, in my opinion I have had my monies worth already.

A few Questions

My battery has obviously gone under a lot of intensive work, I read on the Apple site that your average battery lasts around 200-300 cycles? Does this mean that by July time my Mac will have a dud battery???? And if so, how much is it for a new one?

I see the white MacBook now contains the NVidia graphics chipset. This has slightly frustrated me, as the one drawback of the MacBook was the rather slack Intel GPU. Now all Mac's have the NVidia chipset, how much will new software etc rely on the better GPU? I like to stay at the forefront of technology in general, how long will the Intel GPU be an able GPU for a variety of apps except video editing as I know it's already a poor performer?

Finally, is my Apple Care Protection Plan now void after the damage? I was thinking of purchasing Apple Care just before the 12 months are up on my warranty.

Thanks MacNN, by far the best Mac site on the web!!!
( Last edited by kenna; Feb 1, 2009 at 07:43 AM. )
MacBook Pro 17" 2.2 GHz quad-core, 2x4GB 1333MHz RAM, 750GB Hard Drive, Intel HD Graphics 3000,
AMD Radeon HD 6750M with 1GB GDDR5, Mid 2011

MacBook Air 13" 1.7 GHz dual-core Intel i5, 4GB RAM, 128GB Flash Storage, Intel HD Graphics 3000, Mid 2011
iPhone 4 32 GB, Mid 2010
     
kenna  (op)
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Feb 7, 2009, 12:41 PM
 
Can anyone answer my questions please?
MacBook Pro 17" 2.2 GHz quad-core, 2x4GB 1333MHz RAM, 750GB Hard Drive, Intel HD Graphics 3000,
AMD Radeon HD 6750M with 1GB GDDR5, Mid 2011

MacBook Air 13" 1.7 GHz dual-core Intel i5, 4GB RAM, 128GB Flash Storage, Intel HD Graphics 3000, Mid 2011
iPhone 4 32 GB, Mid 2010
     
frdmfghtr
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Feb 7, 2009, 01:19 PM
 
Battery--with that kind of heavy use, I would expect to see diminished life this summer. Without looking it up, I think the batteries are said to hold 80% of their original capacity after 300 cycles.

AppleCare--yeah, I bet that the warranty is void since anything that goes wrong now could be blamed (rightfully or not) on the hard drop, especially if it twisted the case and broke the display. If you are inclined, you might try looking on eBay or Craigslist for a "parts Mac" and try replacing the screen yourself.
     
B Gallagher
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Feb 7, 2009, 04:34 PM
 
MBP 15" C2D 2.2GHz 4.0GB [email protected]
iPhone 4 32GB Black
     
kenna  (op)
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Feb 7, 2009, 04:55 PM
 
Originally Posted by frdmfghtr View Post
Battery--with that kind of heavy use, I would expect to see diminished life this summer. Without looking it up, I think the batteries are said to hold 80% of their original capacity after 300 cycles.

AppleCare--yeah, I bet that the warranty is void since anything that goes wrong now could be blamed (rightfully or not) on the hard drop, especially if it twisted the case and broke the display. If you are inclined, you might try looking on eBay or Craigslist for a "parts Mac" and try replacing the screen yourself.
I paid Apple to replace the screen drop, I don't know how, if they serviced it themselves, that anything further could be blamed on the drop? Surely I could still purchase Apple Care???

How many times do you use your batteries on your Macs??? Is it ok to use the mains for a week and then use the battery? Or is it better to fully charge then just use the battery?
( Last edited by kenna; Feb 7, 2009 at 05:02 PM. )
MacBook Pro 17" 2.2 GHz quad-core, 2x4GB 1333MHz RAM, 750GB Hard Drive, Intel HD Graphics 3000,
AMD Radeon HD 6750M with 1GB GDDR5, Mid 2011

MacBook Air 13" 1.7 GHz dual-core Intel i5, 4GB RAM, 128GB Flash Storage, Intel HD Graphics 3000, Mid 2011
iPhone 4 32 GB, Mid 2010
     
frdmfghtr
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Feb 8, 2009, 01:14 AM
 
I just use my MacBook Air as needed; if I'm working where I can plug it in, I plug it in; if not, then I use the battery. I just use it without putting a lot of worry into the battery. I'll drain it down and fully recharge it every couple of months to keep the battery level calibrated, but that's about it.
     
davecom
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Feb 8, 2009, 07:41 PM
 
It's expected that the next version of Mac OS X 10.6 will be more reliant on the GPU, but I wouldn't go out and buy a new Mac right now just to get a new GPU if you're not playing games - and by that I mean I wouldn't do it unless you're currently seeing some real performance problems which a new GPU would alleviate. Is the photo editing and video work you're doing being slowed down by the GPU? If that's the case it may be a good time to sell and upgrade, otherwise, I'd hold off.
     
kenna  (op)
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Feb 11, 2009, 09:28 PM
 
Thanks for the feedback, i'll worry less about the battery now and use the mains more often!

Okay, thats good to hear davecom, i'm not experiencing any slow down that can be declared as unacceptable. I'm running Aperture 2 with a little slow down at first, but I didn't buy a Mac with Pro apps in mind so i'm happy at the performance.

My only concern was that the graphics card in this Mac would not be sufficient in a year or two for running apps that aren't built for pros. That would suck.

Thanks for the feedback.
MacBook Pro 17" 2.2 GHz quad-core, 2x4GB 1333MHz RAM, 750GB Hard Drive, Intel HD Graphics 3000,
AMD Radeon HD 6750M with 1GB GDDR5, Mid 2011

MacBook Air 13" 1.7 GHz dual-core Intel i5, 4GB RAM, 128GB Flash Storage, Intel HD Graphics 3000, Mid 2011
iPhone 4 32 GB, Mid 2010
     
JKT
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Feb 12, 2009, 05:01 AM
 
You might find this utility useful for monitoring your battery: CoconutBattery (freeware).

You should use your laptop on the mains as much as you can rather than running off the battery for the sake of running off the battery. However, as per Apple's recommendations in the link someone posted up above you should perform at least one full discharge/recharge cycle per month to keep it in best condition. I've been doing this with my Powerbook and my battery still retained about 80% capacity 4 years after I got it. It's on its last legs now though...
     
Salty
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Feb 12, 2009, 10:56 AM
 
Hmm knew about keeping it charged frequently never knew about the full discharge every month... weird...
     
   
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