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OS X Mountain Lion users reporting laptop battery life issues

post #1 of 71
Thread Starter 
A number of MacBook Pro and MacBook Air owners who updated to the recently-released OS X Mountain Lion are complaining of battery performance issues, with some reporting their batteries only last half as long as when OS X 10.7 Lion was installed.

Since the first complaints surfaced in an Apple Support Communities thread started on July 25, the day Mountain Lion launched, the number of reportedly affected MacBook Pro and MacBook Air owners has grown to the point where Apple has supposedly initiated an investigation. As of this writing the thread, titled "Battery life dropped considerably on Mountain Lion" now stands at 15 pages.

While most users are seeing battery life drops of about one to two hours, some cases claim performance has fallen to less than 50 percent as their machines are only capable of staying on for a little over two hours.

Community members have been trying a variety of methods to remedy the issue, from re-installing the software to turning off some of Mountain Lion's new features like Power Nap, but the attempts have yet to produce a fool-proof solution. Some members have seen limited success in resetting the machine's system management controller (SMC), though the battery issue crops up again after continued use.

Many users are reporting heightened CPU temperatures even when the machine is at idle, possibly pointing to a backend program management problem, while others are seeing battery drain when the system is sleeping.

Mountain Lion


The troubles with Mountain Lion mirror those seen when OS X 10.7 Lion was released last year. In that case, a huge 176-page thread was created regarding MacBook Pro battery issues and the problem is still unresolved for many Lion users.

Apple has taken notice of the most recent complaints and, according to one community member, sent out a questionnaire on Friday in an attempt to pinpoint the problem.

OS X Mountain Lion launched last week, bringing with it over 200 new features including tighter iCloud integration, the Messages app, Notification Center, Facebook integration, Dictation, AirPlay Mirroring and Game Center.
post #2 of 71

I did a clean-install of 10.8 on my 2011 MBA.  Once nice thing is that WiFi is much better in connecting to my AirportExtreme access point.  Before, when resuming from sleep-mode, I always had to turn off/on WiFi in order to reconnect.  That's a big plus.

The battery life I'm still watching... I think it did take a hit and was not as good as 10.7.  But not by much for what I use it for.

Still a great OS.  I'm quite happy with it.  Issues will be ironed out.

Hopefully this weekend I'll clean-install my 2009 i7 iMac.  Still debating that.

post #3 of 71

Time for an update. 

 

Good news, though: all you beautiful people still running the GM, fully expecting it to update, are about to find out.   ;)

post #4 of 71

I did an in place upgrade as well but I may end up doing a full wipe and install later on to see if it does anything.

post #5 of 71
Originally Posted by Quadra 610 View Post
Good news, though: all you beautiful people still running the GM, fully expecting it to update, are about to find out.   ;)

 

That'll truly be interesting to see, as the GM is the same build number as retail. If Apple has changed OS software updates to require an Apple ID, that takes us to a whole different ballgame.

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post #6 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post
 

Apple has taken notice of the complaints and, according to one community member, sent out a questionnaire on Friday in an attempt to pinpoint the problem.

Same as the iPhone 4s and 10 months later the battery still drain in 3 hrs and Apple has not done anything to fix it


Edited by daylove22 - 8/3/12 at 12:44pm

"Apple people have no objectivity when it comes to criticism of Apple.." Lenovo X1 Carbon is out..bye bye MBAir

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"Apple people have no objectivity when it comes to criticism of Apple.." Lenovo X1 Carbon is out..bye bye MBAir

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post #7 of 71

I am sure it is just a piece of code that needs to be fixed.  It usually is just a little temporary issue.  Always wait about a month when Apple or anyone for that matter when they release a new OS.  Once the field has it, then we find out what the potential problems and Apple's pretty good at fixing it if it turns out to be a coding issue.

 

It's impossible for OS developers to test every possible scenario.  But at least Apple does the quickest updates to fix the bigger issues first.

post #8 of 71

2008 MBP furiously heating up and fans goings nuts. Clean install of ML.

 

Generally MBP is faster, but heat and fan noise intolerable.

 

Battery life has never been any good on 2008 MBP. Had lots of new batteries. None have given more than a couple of hours.

post #9 of 71

Late 2011 Macbook Air -

 

I had my first problem along these lines today.  I opened it from sleep while it was connected to power source and the Fan spun up real high.  After 3-4 minutes of it still running high, and I was just letting it sit there looking at the desktop with no programs running, I tried to see if the utilities activity monitor could tell me anything.  Nothing was using the CPU and no data was going in and out of the network.  Yet the machine was acting like it was working on something fierce.

 

Restart didn't cure it, but once I did a shut down and then a boot up, everything was back to normal.

post #10 of 71

Bloody typical! My first OSX upgrade (MBPr) & I waited for the usual issues that you hear about & heard/read absolutely nothing at all (read AI & another site daily) so bit the bullet last night. Upgrade went fine, then just read this thread.

 

Hopefully I won't have the problem but I think the battery is going down quicker tho no overheating I can detect so far...

post #11 of 71

My 2011 macbook pro is about the same, about 5 hours battery life before and after ML install. 
 

post #12 of 71

I wonder if they have any location-based reminders going. I remember when I upgraded to iOS 6 and had a lot of location services running, batter performance was horrible until I figured out the problem.

post #13 of 71

I can solve the battery drain while sleeping issues. It's called Power Nap. It's actually how it's supposed to work, since it's grabbing photo stream, email, etc. Gotta use some battery for that.

 

I did see high CPU usage upon resume with my MBA 2011, but it turned out to be an App that was being a hog, so I removed it and no problems anymore. You gotta be quick with Activity monitor when you hear the fan spool up and sort by CPU. I'll bet you a beer it's an app that hasn't been updated for ML. 

 

 

 
post #14 of 71

I want them to fix the issue of the MacBook not staying connected to the internet when it sleeps.

 

In Lion I could leave my torrents downloading, backups running, emails would continue to come. Now in ML, once it goes to sleep it all stops. 

 

I know I can make it not sleep, but that is not the right fix.

post #15 of 71

I am having the same issue.  I have a new 2012 Air (8 gig RAM) that was smoking fast (and cool) with Lion, but now noticably slower and running hotter; fans running almost all the time with Mountain Lion.

I check memory and it appears there is 2 to 3 gig being chewed up by something ( checked memory) but no program is running or showing up in the systems monitor.

Help us Apple.

post #16 of 71

Just checked on my 13" MBP (with SSD): No problems to speak of. And after shutting WiFi, reducing backlight brightness, keyboard backlight, and closing resource-intensive programs, I got a reading of over 14 hours battery life remaining.

post #17 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by rlewisphilly View Post

I am having the same issue.  I have a new 2012 Air (8 gig RAM) that was smoking fast (and cool) with Lion, but now noticably slower and running hotter; fans running almost all the time with Mountain Lion.

I check memory and it appears there is 2 to 3 gig being chewed up by something ( checked memory) but no program is running or showing up in the systems monitor.

Help us Apple.

Did you have "my processes" selected or "all processes" selected? It may have been a system process using up all that space? Also can you see if you have any location-based reminders enabled or if maybe spotlight is reindexing your drive?

post #18 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by rlewisphilly View Post

I am having the same issue.  I have a new 2012 Air (8 gig RAM) that was smoking fast (and cool) with Lion, but now noticably slower and running hotter; fans running almost all the time with Mountain Lion.
I check memory and it appears there is 2 to 3 gig being chewed up by something ( checked memory) but no program is running or showing up in the systems monitor.
Help us Apple.

Keep in mind that after installing the OS, Spotlight will be indexing the drive. That's going to be hard on the battery for the first day or so. Since the complaints started on the very first day, that needs to be considered..
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"I'm way over my head when it comes to technical issues like this"
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post #19 of 71
Wow, maybe this will get as much attention from Apple as the 100 pages of people in one thread of MacBook pro users unable to use wifi spanning two years and three "major revisions" of software.
post #20 of 71

I've never had more than 4 hours of battery life anyway even with Lion on my MBPr.  No change with ML installed.  It's not a big deal to me.... I max the brightness (keyboard and display) and leave everything I need to access open.  If I need more battery then I do the opposite.  Not brain surgery.

post #21 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post


Keep in mind that after installing the OS, Spotlight will be indexing the drive. That's going to be hard on the battery for the first day or so. Since the complaints started on the very first day, that needs to be considered..

this.

 

Mine Late 2008 MB unibody was quite overwhelmed by the Spotlight work... now it's pretty normal, other than marked improvements in waking from sleep, reboots, relogins and wifi performance.   I'm happy with .0.  enough so that I'm upgrading the desktop Mac Mini tonight.

post #22 of 71

My Macbook has has a new lease of life. Fast as hell and almost zero fan (compared). Very pleased with Mountain Lion.

post #23 of 71

My 2010 MBP is doing much better under Mountain Lion.  Very smooth, no significant problems. 

post #24 of 71

I have a Mid 2009 13" MBP with an upgrade from Lion to 10.8 and I was surprised to see this thread because my battery life has marginally improved actually, lasts about 5-6 hours during a regular days work up from 4-5 on Lion.

post #25 of 71

The first thing Mountain Lion does is reindex the whole hard drive.  On my very fast iMac that took over an hour of constant HD activity.  On a laptop THAT will kill your battery really quickly.  Will be interesting to see if these reports taper off for machines a few days after the upgrade.

post #26 of 71

I can't find the steps in any link/URL to do a fresh install on my LION MBP.

Do you have one?

post #27 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by ralphdaily View Post

My 2010 MBP is doing much better under Mountain Lion.  Very smooth, no significant problems. 

Same here.  Definitely an upgrade over 10.7.  Seems to be a lot faster.

post #28 of 71

This is surprising, I'm definitely getting BETTER battery life under ML. It's one of the 1st things I've noticed, that the battery indicator is always higher than I expect it to be. 

post #29 of 71

Did you try resetting your PRAM / SMC?  I had this issue occur on my MBA after an OS update and this resolved it.

post #30 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacHiavelli92 View Post

2008 MBP furiously heating up and fans goings nuts. Clean install of ML.

 

Generally MBP is faster, but heat and fan noise intolerable.

 

Battery life has never been any good on 2008 MBP. Had lots of new batteries. None have given more than a couple of hours.

Thanks for the telegram.

post #31 of 71

Simple solution -- carry an extra couple spare charged batteries with you, and you will be alright! (I miss the PowerBook days)

post #32 of 71

Early 2011 15" MBP battery life seems better. Boots faster, no heat issues here.

post #33 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

OS X Mountain Lion launched last week, bringing with it over 200 201 new features...

 

Feature #201: Decreased battery life!

post #34 of 71

Guys, make sure you disable PowerNap while on battery power. Otherwise your battery will drain during sleep because your Mac is downloading your Photostream, syncing your email, contacts, calendars, etc.

post #35 of 71

There also seems to be some major WiFi issues as well with people running Mountain Lion. My friend just upgraded and uses his iMac to share out to his Aluminum MacBook and it almost never connects. If it does, it drops out and its a pain in the ass to connect. When it does connect, the network is very very slow or not working at all. Doing a google search shows a lot of people complaining about WiFi issues after installing Mountain Lion. I expect this to be a fixed in 10.8.1, hopefully arriving soon. 

Mac Mini (Mid 2011) 2.5 GHz Core i5

120 GB SSD/500 GB HD/8 GB RAM

AMD Radeon HD 6630M 256 MB

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Mac Mini (Mid 2011) 2.5 GHz Core i5

120 GB SSD/500 GB HD/8 GB RAM

AMD Radeon HD 6630M 256 MB

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post #36 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by RaptorOO7 View Post

I did an in place upgrade as well but I may end up doing a full wipe and install later on to see if it does anything.

 

I always do a full wipe when installing a brand new OS anyways. I hate doing upgrades. They almost always screw something up and you end up reinstalling the whole OS anyways. I have the GM installed right now and are waiting for my SSD to arrive so I can install that into my MacMini before doing a full reinstall on the new SSD. 

Mac Mini (Mid 2011) 2.5 GHz Core i5

120 GB SSD/500 GB HD/8 GB RAM

AMD Radeon HD 6630M 256 MB

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post #37 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by macxpress View Post

I always do a full wipe when installing a brand new OS anyways. I hate doing upgrades. They almost always screw something up and you end up reinstalling the whole OS anyways. I have the GM installed right now and are waiting for my SSD to arrive so I can install that into my MacMini before doing a full reinstall on the new SSD. 

While there's nothing wrong with that, it's less true now than it was in the past.

In fact, I had a first this time around. When I did a clean ML installation and tried to use Migration Assistant to move my files over, it hung and wouldn't finish. But when I made a clone of my previous drive and then installed ML on that, it worked fine.
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post #38 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by Xalman Xhan View Post

..... 
It was nice knowing ya....

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2012 27" iMac i7, 2010 27" iMac i7, 2011 Mac Mini i5
iPad Air, iPad Mini Retina, (2) iPhone 5S, iPod Touch 5
Time Capsule 5, (3) AirPort Express 2, (2) Apple TV 3

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post #39 of 71

The last time I upgraded my server from Snow Leopard Server to Lion server it screwed everything up...I ended up erasing the server and reconfiguring everything from the ground up. I've seen similar things happen to the client OS as well. In my opinion, its the best time to do it. You most likely haven't done it since the last major release and its good to do it every once in a great while. Some may not think its necessary, but again I've rarely ever had good success with an upgrade of any OS. Yes, I also realize some people this is a huge undertaking, but can be worth it in the end...especially if you're having weird issues. Doing an upgrade of an upgrade of an upgrade (10.6 to 10.7 to 10.8) is eventually going to screw something up in my opinion. 

 

As far as file restoration goes...I just drag the files I need over from my backup...I don't like assistants and wizards. And I always reinstall my apps. Its a process, but I think well worth it in the end. Its not like I have to do it every other month or something....its once a year or longer if Apple takes longer to release a new OS. 

Mac Mini (Mid 2011) 2.5 GHz Core i5

120 GB SSD/500 GB HD/8 GB RAM

AMD Radeon HD 6630M 256 MB

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Mac Mini (Mid 2011) 2.5 GHz Core i5

120 GB SSD/500 GB HD/8 GB RAM

AMD Radeon HD 6630M 256 MB

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post #40 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by dbeats View Post

I can solve the battery drain while sleeping issues. It's called Power Nap. It's actually how it's supposed to work, since it's grabbing photo stream, email, etc. Gotta use some battery for that.

 

I did see high CPU usage upon resume with my MBA 2011, but it turned out to be an App that was being a hog, so I removed it and no problems anymore. You gotta be quick with Activity monitor when you hear the fan spool up and sort by CPU. I'll bet you a beer it's an app that hasn't been updated for ML. 

 

 

 

Except Power Nap is (by default) NOT enabled when on batteries.

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