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Released June 2012 / Core i7 processor with Turbo Boost / Up to 1 GB GDDR5 Video RAM

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Can I trick my MacBook into thinking it has a battery connected?

A while back I learned the hard way about the massive performance drop if the laptop runs without having a battery connected to it.

If I were only to connect the battery's PCB (controller chip) without it being wired to the power cells of course, would my Macbook detect it as a battery?

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There's no performance drop whatsoever if you disconnect the battery on the Mac you've marked as being the one you're interested in. The only inconvenience would be having time and date reset whenever you disconnect the plug. If you're having performance issues even with battery disconnected, your problem is somewhere else, not the battery or its PCB.

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I just ran Geekbench 4 64-bit:

with battery: 10600 multi-core score

without battery: 4400 multi-core score

Still waiting for an answer.

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@cordius The answer is: damaged ISL6259 or one of the related components, most likely a resistor but it might be a mosfet too.

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I have no idea what those are. Would you kindly answer my original question? Or don't answer at all. I just want to know what would happen if I were to connect the battery's PCB to my laptop, Would it be detected as a battery? Would it be detected at all?

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@cordius Answer is it doesn't matter if the battery "seems" full. Imagine two pipes supplying power, one comes from battery and works fine, the other comes from mains and it's half obstructed. Unless you have the battery working, supplying full power, the other "pipe" will keep on being half obstructed and unless you clean it, it wont make a difference. It will charge slow and won't supply enough power for the Mac to work at expected efficiency.

Out of topic, if you're looking for help in a forum, try to be kind next time, people are helping out of free will.

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Ok now I get it, thank you.

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@kevinc2019 Well, you're wrong, to put it plain and simple. These are performance results with Geekbench 4, 10 years old Mac, quadcore i7 2,5Ghz, battery is still the original Dynapack, with 10 yrs age too. As you can see, data is supplied through browser. Performance is slightly better with battery only on multicore:

Battery+Mains:

  • MacBook Pro (17-inch Late 2011) Geekbench 4 Score
  • Single-Core Score 3425 Multi-Core Score 10702
  • Geekbench 4.3.3 Tryout for Mac OS X x86 (64-bit)
  • Result Information
  • Upload Date June 13th 2022, 9:53am Views 1
  • System Information
  • Operating System Model Motherboard Memory
  • macOS 10.13.6 (Build 17G14042)

Battery only (65% charged):

  • MacBook Pro (17-inch Late 2011) Geekbench 4 Score
  • Single-Core Score 3422 Multi-Core Score 10941
  • Geekbench 4.3.3 Tryout for Mac OS X x86 (64-bit)
  • Result Information
  • Upload Date June 13th 2022, 10:02am Views 1
  • System Information
  • Operating System Model Motherboard Memory
  • macOS 10.13.6 (Build 17G14042)

Similar results on a more recent Mac:

Battery+Mains:

  • MacBook Pro (13-inch Mid 2017) Geekbench 4 Score
  • Single-Core 4316 Multi-Core Score 8477
  • Geekbench 4.3.3 Tryout for Mac OS X x86 (64-bit)

Battery only (75% charged):

  • MacBook Pro (13-inch Mid 2017) Geekbench 4 Score
  • Single-Core 4389 Score Multi-Core Score 8206
  • Geekbench 4.3.3 Tryout for Mac OS X x86 (64-bit)

About 2% better as difference single core, about 3% less as difference on multicore.

So much for the "modern laptops provide the best performance on mains"

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@arbaman - Well said!

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@danj Thanks, also for putting all the effort to make it look nice!

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@arbaman - You did the work!

I'm jealous! You still have a working 2011 17" MacBook Pro! Both of mine died ;-{ I was hard on them.

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@danj I've been surely lucky with it. I enjoyed many hours gameplay with it, it has been my favorite for schematics and it became a temporary decent mini-Tv when the telly got fried.

Only thing I remember I had to fix was a nasty mosfet that died out of a sudden and triggered bad temperature reading with usual kernel task and fans issues. That's all, graphic card still kicking.

Sorry for yours, they're nice Macs to keep in memory of the good old days.

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This blog is going against all experience all around the internet.

Apple throttles the cpu when the battery is very low.

I have a perfectly working 2012 model MacBookAir, however the battery is 0 percent. Bettery is completely dead.

I will never replace this battery. I have a new M1 MacBook Air but I want to keep using the old intel Macbook air once in a while. I just want to run WindowsXP with Parallels on it. It is ultra slow because the battery is 0%.

It is so stupid not being able to disable this throttling feature.

Disconnecting the battery does not fix this problem.

You have to connect a battery that will report the battery limit being high, that is the stupid Apple solution.

So the title of this threat is quite proper and needs to be solved.

Just like the thread title is asking, I would like to trick my MacBook into thinking it has a battery connected (and with a reported battery level being high)

By the way, there is a hack to force the computer to think it is a desktop model but it doesn't work with every model.

Apple also updates their computers firmware with an OS upgrade. Back in the day, the firmware upgrade used to be a separate update file, but for some time now it is hidden in the OS upgrade setup and you can not not-install it. When you upgrade the firmware, it also changes the fan speed/temperature curves so your computer starts to run hotter. Which results in a slower running computer. You will have to use a third pary tool with custom fans speed/temperature curve to fix that issue.

So you see, Apple cripples their old hardware with many ways.

This is forced obsolesence.

"There's no performance drop whatsoever if you disconnect the battery on the Mac". This comment is completely wrong...

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Laptops are designed to use both battery and mains power. While they can and frequently do run on battery only, the power drain from the battery depends on the battery condition and the battery load, such as are you using an intensive game, video editing or several power hungry processes. Laptops using mains and battery do provide more power and give better results, as shown in the Geekbench 4 64 bit scores. As a 2012 Mac is using a ten year old processor, I'd recommend a new Mac with M2 chip that will last for another ten years.

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@kevinc2019 So basically what you're saying is that Apple engineers have been so dumb to fit on a 1800/2200 $ laptop a subpar battery that cannot take full advantage of the processor unless it's connected to both mains and battery simultaneously ?

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No. I wouldn't say that computer engineers are dumb. I'm only saying that modern laptops provide the best performance on mains, not battery.

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@kevinc2019 - Well... Thats partly true! Older Windows Intel systems are known for that!

Mac's on the other-hand have a more balanced power/performance framework. Thats not to say a Mac won't throttle down, it just does it at heavy load (high temp) unlike many Windows systems. To add to it, it makes no difference powered by the mains or via battery alone its the same.

Apple desire for thin was a big blunder with the 2016 onward Intel systems as the CPU's needed more aggressive cooling (Intel forgot to tell the hardware folks the truth), the only failing in these thin systems is the power runs out too quickly for the tasks many people were using them for.

Part of the problem is it takes about three years to spec and design a system, but the needed performance bar (what peoples Apps needed) moved faster than Apple (as well as the others) realized! Apple's M1 & now M2 SoC's shows us clearly Intel had failed in creating a cooler running chip that Apple begged them to produce.

Forget all of the integration Apple achieved within the M1 & 2 SoCs, If you pull out all of the extras it would be even running cooler and need even less power!

So why didn't Intel produce the better chip? And no, as we also saw from Apple with Rosetta2 running Intel code on an ARM chip is possible and not get heavily bogged down in the conversion.

If Intel had really tried Apple wouldn't have made the jump to their own silicon. And they can only blame them selves and now are playing catch up!

I'm very impressed with Apples SoC effort so far, sure its still needs better L1 & L2 memory caching and fetching which appears to be holding back multi-threading a bit and the clocking needs to be better for single thread performance. But given what they have achieved its very good!

And getting to your point the system needs to be powered by the mains to get the performance (Windows/Intel systems). Apples SoC's have no problems or performance limits that stop it unlike the current Intel chips in similar sized systems.

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@danj My 17" 2009 never throttled w/o the battery (couldn't leave it in due to cell expansion). I will forever miss the true AG screen those had in the unit if they were properly configured, which is why I ran mine to the ground even with the battery removed. While I am sad, I can get a high end P3 IPS display with a true matte panel.

But man even w/o the true AG screen, those M1 Max 16" machines eat the Intels for lunch. I didn't think my 2014 standby would be murdered within 2 generations of M1.

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@nick - The Core2Duo generation didn't face the issue unlike the i series (i5, i7 & i9 CPU's)

The issue the OP was dealing with is how the System Management Controller (SMC) works in managing the thermals and cooling. Its designed to go into CPU Safe Mode when it looses access to its thermal and voltage sensors, pushing the Fan's RPMs and lowering the CPU's clocking to reduce its heat.

@kevinc2019 injected some incomplete info that I was correcting and putting things into perspective.

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