Alternative to Apple's 85W MagSafe 2 adapater for rMBP 15.4?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by holyindian, Feb 16, 2014.

  1. holyindian macrumors 6502

    Sep 5, 2009
    Hi all,

    The original charging adapter for the 15.4" rMBP costs about 75 dollars. Is there an alternative to this thats cheaper and reliable. Reading a few older posts i see few members mention that it can fry your macbook, or can cause sever consequences... Is it true? or a rumor? :D
    I would like to have a few extra chargers around my home and office... instead of carry the one that came in the box.

    Edit: woah!! the interface changed.. while i submitted the post. :D
  2. duffyanneal macrumors 6502a


    Feb 5, 2008
    Try looking on ebay I see several that are much cheaper than a new one from Apple.
  3. holyindian thread starter macrumors 6502

    Sep 5, 2009
    Yes i have seen them on the fleabay, also on the big river, but i was worried about a couple of posts i read on this forum, where the members posted that the a non OEM charger can cause damage to the macbook. what do members in here use for alternatives?
  4. TheIguana, Feb 16, 2014
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2014

    TheIguana macrumors 6502a


    Sep 26, 2004
    Eek, I can't think of a reason why anyone would even contemplate risking their ≥$2000 with a sketchy power adapter over a few dollars... :confused:

    Either way, MagSafe is a patented interface that Apple protects quite significantly so I seriously doubt your going to find a legit non-OEM supplier.
  5. holyindian thread starter macrumors 6502

    Sep 5, 2009
    Wait, is that just your fear/speculation or did it happen to any one before that by using a non OEM charger their rMBP's got fried or damaged?
    I need at least 5 chargers.. makes no sense to me to spend 75x5 dollars over them, if i can use a non oem charger.
    Been using non oem's/universal chargers on all of my laptops.. never had problem.
    I have used non oem lightning cables for my iPhones, never a zilch of an issue.

    I really want honest opinion by people here who use non oem's. Use or don't use?
  6. esskay macrumors 6502

    Jan 3, 2008
    Given the MagSafe interface, I didn't even know that there were aftermarket options? Are there?
  7. Macman45 macrumors G5


    Jul 29, 2011
    Somewhere Back In The Long Ago

    This. I wouldn't consider using anything except the real Apple dedicated charger..too many tales of woe about cheap knock off chargers.
  8. sjinsjca macrumors 68020


    Oct 30, 2008
    Your MacBook Pro is made of aluminum. You sit with it on your lap and you touch it with your hands.

    At the other end of your charger is full AC mains voltage.

    What keeps that AC mains voltage from coursing through the computer to your lap and hands is the design and quality of the charger.

    Apple makes chargers with superb safety features, as tear downs of Apple vs. no-name iPhone chargers have shown. See for example. The same tear downs have shown cut corners in the design and construction of the no-name chargers. And there have been headlines within the past couple years of people being electrocuted by their iPhones when connected to no-name chargers.

    The Apple chargers are worth a few dollars more for their safety engineering. The no-name chargers are made by fly-by-night companies with as much concern for user safety as they regard for Apple's patents.

    Personally, I would not put something metal on my lap and rest my hands on it if I were not 100% convinced of its safety. If you feel otherwise, go ahead-- who am I to get in the way of Darwin?
  9. esskay macrumors 6502

    Jan 3, 2008
    Just googled it... Silly me, should have known better... :/
  10. duffyanneal macrumors 6502a


    Feb 5, 2008
    I guess I wasn't very clear in my first post. What I was implying is that you can pick up some used Magsafe chargers on ebay. I wouldn't trust anything but an authentic Apple charger.
  11. holyindian thread starter macrumors 6502

    Sep 5, 2009
    What is a good source to buy authentic cheaper 86W magsafe chargers?
    I was looking on ebay, and there are a few selling them for 45 dollars, they mention that they are authentic and hundreds of people have brought them, but ebay is fleabay.. not everything can be trusted.
  12. tron2 macrumors newbie

    Oct 26, 2012
    This is one component you should not compromise on. I have seen so called "authentic" chargers damage equipment.

    Not worth the risk in getting electrocuted/shocked or having damaged equipment.
  13. esskay macrumors 6502

    Jan 3, 2008
    I've bought second hand chargers locally, found one on a local forum that was still in the plastic wrap. Found another on craigslist, talked to the seller and got a good vibe, met him to check out the charger and everything was legit. Has worked perfectly as a spare.
  14. arogge macrumors 65816


    Feb 15, 2002
    If this is the best, it leaves a lot to be desired. Maybe I ask for too much, but I keep breaking Apple's power bricks and cords. I bought an OWC charger for an older laptop after its OEM adapter failed, and it lasted ten years while still looking brand new. The Apple adapters keep blowing, sometimes literally with popping and hissing. My most recent charger cord is turning a dark yellow and the covering is becoming brittle, and the contacts between the cord and the laptop have become increasingly intermittent. The electric prongs don't stay in the outward position anymore, so I have to hold the adapter off-angle so that the prongs don't fold up under the insertion pressure from the wall outlet. I expect this charger to fail soon, based on what has happened to the others. I think this will be my fifth or sixth replacement. A few were covered under warranty, but this one is going to cost me money again, and I'm tired of replacing these things, especially because when it fails, the computer becomes unusable.

    Wouldn't it be nice if there were a standard power brick with a standard plug that was made to high standards in America instead of China? A power supply failure also took down my PowerMac G4, and to my dismay, I found that I couldn't just go out and buy a new power supply. I have seen other ATX and older power supplies that have lasted more than ten years, and in at least one case, twenty years, without any problems. These Apple-proprietary things scare me, because when they fail, they could cause the whole machine to become inoperable due to prohibitive replacement costs or a total lack of replacement parts.
  15. bniu macrumors 6502a

    Mar 21, 2010
    For my MBPs, I view the spare chargers more or less as a one time buy and I should be good for the next 10 years. I just buy a couple 85 watters and plug them into random places that I'd frequently need a charger for and I'm done. Regardless of which MacBook I have, an 85 watter will do the job. When MagSafe 2 came around, I just bought some adapters and I'm all set. Nothing to worry about. I've got multiple MagSafe chargers I bought years ago and today, they're still humming along great. Rarely need to carry a charger anywhere with me anymore.
  16. 827538 macrumors 65816

    Jul 3, 2013
    Totally agree with some of the posters above. As a student currently half way through my electronic and electrical engineering degree I would never ever use a cheap knockoff charger. I've seen the tear downs of apples chargers and yes they are expensive (a little too expensive) but they go to extreme lengths to build these things. They are far safer than any other chargers out there. They have fail safes and backup circuitry to protect them from power spikes, overheating, overcharging etc.

    I think if people understood how dangerous their cheap $5 charger built in china with the bare minimum of the cheapest components and no protection circuitry they would quickly pay the bit extra for massively increased safety. Also Apple's chargers delivery a cleaner current. I've personally seen these things tested using digital oscilloscopes and the cheap knockoffs typically have very rough and sometimes unstable power deliveries. So potentially better for your devices' internal circuitry and battery.

    Apple should in my opinion lower the price of their charges, the markup is still huge. Your talking a few dollars at most while they retail for well over $20.

    If in doubt just buy them new from Apple. Otherwise you can't be sure if they are genuine or what damage they might have had.


    The EU is trying to bring in standardised chargers - at least for phones. Hopefully along with things like USB type C this will finally happen. So I imagine if Europe enforces it then the US will also see standardisation of chargers.
  17. simsaladimbamba

    Nov 28, 2010
    The USA still uses Fahrenheit and the Imperial System, how will they ever abide by a standard, they did not set?
  18. skinny*k macrumors regular

    Feb 21, 2011
    AFAIK, none of the pirate knock-off power adapters work like the Apple ones; the LEDs remain on when the adapter is plugged in, and don’t change color to let you know whether they’re charging or finished charging. Some of them work, and will reliably charge, but some of them are very poorly made, and will damage the laptop; unfortunately, they are all made to look like genuine Apple parts, so the only way to tell the difference between a poor one and a better one is to either tear it apart and look inside, or plug it in to your laptop and try it. They are all made by criminals—something to keep in mind—who aren’t inhibited from robbing you.

    So, when considering whether to buy a pirated adapter, the only real question is, “Do you feel lucky?”
  19. 827538 macrumors 65816

    Jul 3, 2013
    Good point. I still hate how America is so backwards with certain things like that. As a Brit I am annoyed that we still partly use the imperial system (sadly quite a lot), which is probably due to my parents generation. But how can you use Fahrenheit, it's so illogical and confusing. Imperial is just a pain, month-day-year thing needs to die and dropping the u from certain words like colour is just infuriating. I'm not saying Britain is always right but on these things I refuse to change my mind over, it's just stupid.
  20. Mac.User macrumors 6502

    Aug 25, 2013
    I've used "cheap" chargers for HP's and Thinkpads for over 15 years. none have never had an issue. we even give them out to users as a 2nd with their laptop when they get them.

    There is no reason to think that a aftermarket MacBook charger would be any worse.

    Hell the Apple T-shaped ones themselves broke enough for people in my office LOL.

    I have never actually heard from a first hand account, or seen an aftermarket charger or battery damage a laptop. It's always "I've heard" or "I read".
  21. NewishMacGuy macrumors 6502a


    Aug 2, 2007
    If you're looking to save a few bucks you can always buy a genuine Apple charger used from someone on CL. Seems a much better option to me than the CCKOs on eBay and Amazon.

  22. Daniel L macrumors 6502

    Sep 15, 2009
    My rMBP charger has already broken through the yellow / brittle parts at both ends and now the wires inside are exposed. It just sits on a desk all day. Luckily I have a spare but it irritates me that a simple device like a charger won't last two years.
  23. eneisch, Apr 16, 2014
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2014

    eneisch macrumors 6502a

    Jul 11, 2008
    OWC $56 each - they are one of the few sellers I would trust. All they sell is Mac parts and accessories. I think this part is OEM, just bulk packaged. Note it does not include the 6' power cord extension.
  24. skinny*k macrumors regular

    Feb 21, 2011
    I think we're talking Apples and oranges here; The "cheap" chargers for the Apple laptops aren't from reliable 3rd parties like Targus, they are illegal counterfeits, made in violation of Apple's patents. You can't even tell the difference between the clones, because they're all made to resemble the real thing,

    Are you providing Targus or other reliable—and legally marketed—brands of 3rd party chargers, or do you mean that you are providing knock-offs of counterfeited "Lenovo" and "HP" chargers?

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