How to Calibrate a new installed Laptop Battery

How to Calibrate a new installed Laptop Battery

Laptop Battery Calibration

All newly-installed smart batteries should be calibrated as soon as possible. This helps your system get an accurate reading on the battery’s state of charge. Without calibration, the battery percentage reading will be incorrect, and your device may behave oddly—shutting down suddenly even though the new battery “reads” half charged, or working for hours when the battery reads nearly dead.

1. Charge it to 100%, and keep charging it for at least two more hours.

2. Unplug your laptop and use it normally to drain the battery.

3. Save your work when you see the low battery warning.

4. Keep your laptop on until it goes to sleep due to low battery.

5.Wait at least five hours, then charge your laptop uninterrupted to 100%.

 

It is recommended to perform this process periodically to ensure that the battery remains properly calibrated throughout its lifespan.

What’s calibration anyway?

For a good read on battery calibration, see this page. This article on fuel gauges is also instructive. What follows is our summation.

The fundamental problem is that there’s no reliable way to know exactly how much capacity a battery holds at any given moment. (It’s an electrochemical storage system that is always changing and decaying, and never behaves exactly the same way from one charge to the next.) About the only reliable way to gauge it is to fully charge the battery, then fully discharge it and measure the difference (a.k.a. coulomb counting). Obviously, we can’t do that every time we want to check the battery level, so we have to use indirect methods—storing all kinds of usage data and using that to calculate an estimated % state of charge from moment to moment. Over time, that calculation tends to drift and become less accurate. And on a brand-new battery, there’s not really any good data to work with, so the model will be way off. Calibration helps keep estimates accurate by setting new “full charge” and “full discharge” anchors in the battery management system so it doesn’t have to guess. We’re still playing Pin the Tail on the Donkey, but calibration tells the battery management system, “Ahem—the donkey is over that way.”

What does “full charge” and “full discharge” mean?
Here’s the nub of the problem. How do you update those “full charge” and “full discharge” flags? The above-linked page at Battery University puts it this way:

To maintain accuracy, a smart battery should periodically be calibrated by running the pack down in the device until “Low Battery” appears and then apply a recharge. The full discharge sets the discharge flag and the full charge establishes the charge flag. A linear line forms between these two anchor points that allow state-of-charge estimation. In time, this line gets blurred again and the battery requires recalibration. Figure 2 illustrates the full-discharge and full-charge flags.

laptop-battery-calibration-charge-chart

Figure 2: Full-discharge and full-charge flags. Calibration occurs by applying a full charge, discharge and charge. This is done in the equipment or with a battery analyzer as part of battery maintenance.

Two things to notice here: (1) According to this page, it’s not enough to drain and then charge—you have to start by charging it fully. And, (2) “full discharge” is ambiguous. The figure seems to indicate that the full-discharge flag will be set at 10%. But thinking about that makes no sense. The whole problem that’s trying to be solved is that the % reading is inaccurate. How does one know when they’ve drained the battery “below 10%” if their battery reading is inaccurate? They don’t! For example, we’ve installed numerous batteries that eventually gave a “low battery” warning and then continued to work full steam for hours on an indicated battery charge of 1%. In short, “calibrating” a battery by draining it “below 10%” is futile. It’s like giving someone a car with a broken fuel gauge and telling them to drive until the tank is ¼ full.

What may actually be going on here is, the graph above is meant to show the actual chemical state of the battery and not the % indicated in iOS or MacOS, which can be quite different. User-facing software may indicate a battery charge of near zero when the actual chemical state of the battery is closer to 10% charge. This is done deliberately to prevent the battery from ever discharging below a safe level where battery damage may occur and the system may not be able to reboot. In short, the system always shuts itself down with a little bit of charge left in the battery as a safety measure, but it doesn’t show that reserve amount to the user.

> The low battery warning is purely implemented in the device software as a means to prevent possible data loss whilst using it and is completely independent of the battery management system.

> Even if you let your device run until it shuts down automatically due to lack of battery charge the battery management system will still keep the battery charge at a high enough level to prevent damage to the battery pack.

> The battery gauge that you see displayed on the screen is basically the amount of USEABLE charge the battery has and NOT the absolute total charge of the battery. This is why you can change the battery low warning to any percentage you choose – it’s not there to protect the battery (that’s done automatically by the battery management system) it’s there to give you enough time to save your work or connect the charger.

> Therefore, if you intend to calibrate your device battery you need to let it run down past the warnings until it shuts down automatically BEFORE recharging, otherwise you may not discharge the battery sufficiently to register the battery management systems discharged flag, thus rendering your attempt to calibrate the battery incomplete.

 

Remember there are two different (but connected) systems at play, the battery management system, which monitors and controls the health of the battery and the software user interface (and associated power control software), which reads data from the former to display an indication of battery charge status and level and respond to various flags (like shut down when the discharge flag is set).

Choosing an AMD CPU

Choosing an AMD CPU

Often the first specifications you see when looking at a computer is the processor. That’s because the CPU is like the brain of your PC and can help you determine all of the other components needed to complete your build. Processors are available from two major brands, and while each functions similarly, they are not interchangeable. Motherboards will only work with specific processors, and compatibility is determined by the type of socket on the board. A benefit of AMD processors is that they usually come with a CPU cooler that ensures part compatibility and saves on initial build costs. Water cooling and AIO options are still viable for AMD CPUs, but the included cooler is more than sufficient for most tasks. AMD processors have great CPUs for gaming – when building a gaming desktop, also save budget for components such as graphics cards or high end SSDs. Remember that the best CPU for gaming may not be the most powerful. This is because the graphics card handles the majority of a computer’s gaming workload. Gaming CPUs work together with other components to create the best experience possible, and you do not need a top of the line CPU to get premium gaming performance.

When building a gaming desktop or any type of computer, the best place to start is with the CPU. Finding a processor you like and a motherboard that supports it can be time consuming and costly. Luckily, CPU Motherboard Combos are available that are a great way to alleviate the stress of component shopping. When you purchase an AMD CPU and motherboard combo, you ensure the compatibility of the two parts and save money that can be applied to other areas of your build.

Selecting an AMD Based Motherboard

Selecting an AMD Based Motherboard

Motherboards are one of the most essential components of any PC build. The motherboard you choose for your computer will determine all of the other components that are compatible with your PC. Everything from your CPU to storage drives and RAM connects to your motherboard. This importance of motherboards is why they are considered the best starting point for almost any computer build.

Chipsets such as B550 and B450 help to differentiate between the features and uses of various AMD motherboards. Along with the chipset, the socket of the motherboard will confirm which CPU the component supports. B550 based motherboards are the most popular among AMD processors because they are feature rich components at an affordable price. The highlights of B550 motherboards include USB 3.2 ports, multiple high speed PCIe lanes, and the possibility of integrated WiFi 6 capabilities. B450 based motherboards function similarly to B550 and feature the same socket but can be limited to more basic features or lesser peripheral support. Both the B450 and B550 chipsets make for excellent motherboards for gaming. Deciding between the two will be up to you and what other features you wish to have in your final build. Both chipsets will also come in multiple form factors or sizes, making them viable for just about any PC build.

ATX motherboards are the most common form factor because they are the largest and easiest to build with, as well as being the most readily available. Smaller motherboard form factors such as microATX or Mini ITX are great for office based machines or any computer that has to fit within a limited space. However, building on a Mini ITX footprint compared to an ATX motherboard can be more challenging for other reasons.

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