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So I got my first Apple laptop, a Retina MacBook Pro.

I heard that its best to let the laptop discharge until 0% in order to restart the battery cycle or something like that. However I know that lithium batteries have no memory effect and the only thing I would be restarting is the time estimator that shows how much time is left for use.

  1. I may be wrong so I want expert advice from you guys here, do I need to do anything regarding charging my laptop?
  2. Also, how much time am I supposed to expect when surfing the web, you tubing, Facebook, occasional Photoshop, Dropbox, etc.?
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up vote 3 down vote accepted

I think the best advice can be given by Apple:

In a nutshell, don't store it at extreme temperatures, store it at 50% charge if it'll be off for a long time, use it occasionally (don't leave it plugged into the wall 24/7/365), or at the very least do a complete discharge every month or two, is my understanding of how best to treat it.

As to expected life, I'm seeing about 6 hours realistically on my MBPr (2.6GHz), with the screen brightness at something I can actually see.

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Also check out gfxCardStatus (that sounded like an endorsement, but I'm being serious here). I set it to lock in the Intel Graphics when I'm on battery, and I easily get 7–8 hours with the screen at about 60%, doing a mix of web browsing, coding, and mild graphics work.

Ars backs this up

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I downloaded it and noticed an extra hour or two added to the battery duration !! Just a question, what is dynamic switching exactly ?? WHy dont I just put it discrete when on AC power ? – Render Aug 2 '12 at 13:25
Dynamic switching is what the OS does—it uses the Intel chip, which consumers (much) less power, when you're not doing anything graphics-intensive, and only fires up the nVidia chip when its power is needed. Dynamic switching will keep your power bill down. ;) – FeifanZ Aug 2 '12 at 13:50
Is connecting a secondary screen considered as a graphic intensive feature ? Because it turns into discrete mode as soon as I plug in the HDMI cable – Render Aug 2 '12 at 13:53
It is, but the Intel chip should handle the second display fine:… It also depends on the resolutions of the screens. If you have the MBP set to the 1920x1200 setting and you're plugging in a 27" inch cinema display, that's almost 13 million pixels, so you'd want the nVidia. But at 1440x900 + 1080p display, the Intel chip should be fine. – FeifanZ Aug 2 '12 at 14:41

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