Battery for MBP on a dock *most* of the time & Unrelated Graphics questions

Hi all,

Looking for your help and opinions as always.

I posted in another thread about the potential of changing my setup which I am still contemplating. Reading the responses over there and the fact that apple now have what I want in the refurb store in the UK I am close to going for it but I still have two things that are sticking out in my mind which I am not sure of and can’t find a recent nor definitive answer.

So my current setup is a Mac mini 2018 i7 with 32gb ram, when required, through an egpu containing a Radeon 580 8Gb. I then connect this to an LG 4K monitor and have iPad Pro as sidecar (not used often).

I am thinking of going for a MBP 16, i9 2.4 with 32gb ram again but with the 8Gb 5500 built in. I would continue to use same monitor and probably get a caldigit dock.

So the questions…

The main one concerning me is that it would be docked most of the time, not all but maybe 75%. What impact does this have on battery health nowadays? I have read people say yep it will reduce, others say thats an old school approach and wrong. Some say discharge periodically and so on. Can any of you give a real life opinion on a recent model?

The other question is around graphics. I could keep the egpu and go for the 4gb onboard for a lower cost or the same cost but upping the ram to 64gb rather than 32gb. I don’t use the power of the graphics card all of the time but occasionally game through boot camp - the other thread I was lurking on was about ARM cpus and my understanding is that windows will not run through boot camp at least initially and even when it does may be limited and have other complications. Does anyone have a good way to compare, the things I can find so far all talk about the improvements in the graphics within the MBP now but don’t compare to an egpu obviously.

I don’t need to change, the mini does all I need it to, its purely down to portability, I love using my iPad Pro but I am trying to learn python and I find its not always great for using multiple windows and notes etc at the same time.

Any thoughts and opinions valued as I am totally unsure about spending the money when its a want rather than a need. I could do nothing and wait to see what happens with ARM, it would just be continuing the slight frustration when working away from my desk.

The post I referenced above is Mac Mini now or wait?

Apple added a new battery management feature in macOS 10.15.5. With the new battery management turned on I wouldn’t worry at all about leaving a laptop plugged in most of the time.


That’s great, I didn’t realise They had introduced this, is it similar in principle to the optimised charging on the phones?

Similar ideas behind it, but I think the macOS implementation is different. My understanding is that on the phone, they’re basically assuming that you charge your phone at night and take it off the charger when you get up. Thus, they charge the phone up to about 80%, then top it off just before you usually get up.

I suspect laptop charging patterns are a lot less consistent, making it harder to predict when the user needs a full charge. Hence the warnings that, “While battery health management benefits your battery’s long-term lifespan, it can also reduce the amount of time your Mac runs on one battery charge when capacity limits are applied.”

Perfect. That’s eliminated the main concern. The graphic piece I guess I just need to figure out if it’s worthwhile for me and for resale in the future.


I think that feature needs some work. Since then update my MBP stays changed at 100% nearly all the time, but very occasionally (once every few days) discharges to 90% before recharging back to 100%.

To the OP: This is anecdotal of course, but I’ve been using “docked” MBPs since 2007 and never experienced a problem related to having it plugged in (nearly) all the time.

Thanks for this, when you take it off dock for the day etc is there any massive problem with the battery life?

I hardly ever use them on battery power, but never notice any issues when I do. The current MBP is too new to tell you anything significant about battery health yet, though.

Cool, thank you both for taking the time to answer its really helpful. Unfortunately I went to order from the refurb store and it had gone out of stock! So now keeping an eye for more to come in with the spec I am after.