Can prolong charging of MacBook Pro by eGPU damage battery?
 
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Can prolong charging of MacBook Pro by eGPU damage battery?  

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Chao Quan Choo
(@chao_quan_choo)
Active Member
Joined: 6 months ago
 

A year ago, I embarked on a journey of running an eGPU(Razer Core X with GTX 1080Ti) with a MacBook Pro 15 2018. It has been truly wonderful and served me well over the 17-18 months and provided great convenience and power. I worked as a 3D artist at night and frequently use the eGPU to help me render 3D animations images overnight, it could be rendering straight 8 hours at any 1 time. My software is only available on Windows and require to use Cuda from Nvidia.

Overtime, I began to see my MacBook Pro's touch pad unable to click and also not able to fully close my MacBook Pro's lid. I realised that the battery is actually swelling up and getting worst.

My question is whether my eGPU is actually causing my MacBook Pro battery to swell due to prolong charging? Does anybody had encounter this issue before?

To do: Create my signature with system and expected eGPU configuration information to give context to my posts. I have no builds.

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itsage
(@itsage)
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Joined: 4 years ago
 

@chao_quan_choo, Swelling batteries in Mac laptops has been an issue for many years/generations. The eGPU enclosures with Power Delivery is a charging source as far as the battery is concerned. Regular discharges and calibrations once every few months help preventing early dead cells. I had a 2016 15" MacBook Pro that I used it with eGPUs for nearly 3 years. Never had a battery issue with it. AppleCare replaced the bottom case (new battery) due to the keyboard malfunctions.

 

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Chao Quan Choo
(@chao_quan_choo)
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Joined: 6 months ago
 

@itsage, My MacBook Pro is has a PD of 87w, do you mean a constant charging of 100w won't cause the battery to heat up even more? Further more, I use it to render thousands of image overnight. It's like constantly working for hours and produces noticeable heat. Do you recommend to use a program to max the fans in MacBook Pro while I render images overnight?

I'm searching for more ideas whether my current setup is sustainable in long term 🙁

 

To do: Create my signature with system and expected eGPU configuration information to give context to my posts. I have no builds.

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itsage
(@itsage)
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Joined: 4 years ago
 

@chao_quan_choo, Do you have a laptop stand and good ventilation for your MacBook Pro? I think that should help dissipate heat. I wouldn't mess with the internal fan operation with third-party software. You can use an external fan to create more airflow around the laptop space.

 

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Chao Quan Choo
(@chao_quan_choo)
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@itsage, I do have a "laptop stand". My MacBook Pro is currently supported by 2 cable boxes placed on sides of the MBP, the center area (larger then the trackpad) of the MBP is basically suspended on air with a clearance of around 13cm from the table.

But underneath my MBP, I have a stick-on stand which I have it collapsed most of the time if I use my eGPU. It looks like this:

https://www.amazon.sg/MOFT-Invisible-Lightweight-Computer-Compatible/dp/B07QC29Q4Z

Do you think it could cause the heatup even more?

 

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itsage
(@itsage)
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Joined: 4 years ago
 

@chao_quan_choo, I see. That material looks like it would absorb heat. Having it right up against the bottom cover where it's the hottest is not the best cooling imo. Ideally you want plenty of airflow through the two side vent cutouts. Hot air would then be exhausted through the back vents (display hinge area).

Get the battery replaced first would be my recommendation. You don't want it to get worse and break other components. I've seen battery expanded significantly overnight and it's not safe.

 

external graphics card builds
best laptops for external GPU
eGPU enclosure buyer's guide

 
2020 15" HP Spectre X360 [11th,4C,G] + RTX 2080 Ti @ 32Gbps-TB4 (AORUS Gaming Box) + Win10 2004 [build link]  


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Luminous
(@luminous)
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Joined: 6 months ago
 
Posted by: @chao_quan_choo

My MacBook Pro is has a PD of 87w, do you mean a constant charging of 100w won't cause the battery to heat up even more?

Nobody answered on this so i do. The PD is up to 100W. Your MBP doesn't get constantly 100W and if your Battery is full it should act like a normal AC.

To do: Create my signature with system and expected eGPU configuration information to give context to my posts. I have no builds.

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mac_editor
(@mac_editor)
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Joined: 4 years ago
 

@chao_quan_choo, prolonged charging will eventually cause battery swelling. Happened to my 2018 15” model in a little more than a year. Charging at extra watts makes no difference as the Mac will only ingest what it needs. Anyway, get your battery replaced. Should be a free replacement at Genius Bar if you’re within 3 years of your purchase date as Apple has an internal program for this issue (anecdotal evidence) otherwise 7/800$.

 

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Chao Quan Choo
(@chao_quan_choo)
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Joined: 6 months ago
 

@itsage, I removed that pad behind, hopefully that is the cause. Can't imagine that small little pad would cause that much trouble. Yes, I'll be heading to the apple store to get my battery replaced. Kind of worrying that the battery could expand this much...

@luminous, Thanks for the answering. But if it acts like a normal ac, does it still draw power from the battery or directly from power? Or both?

@mac_editor, Sounds like we had the same case. How's your current setup? Do you have it on more then 24 hours frequently?

Yes, I've to get it replaced soon. It's too scary to work on the expanded battery, knowing that one day it might just explode to my face. I spent too much money for this >.<

To do: Create my signature with system and expected eGPU configuration information to give context to my posts. I have no builds.

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