are counterfeit magsafe "safe?"

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Potatochobit, Nov 4, 2014.

  1. Potatochobit macrumors regular

    Apr 2, 2011
    I need a new 85w magsafe
    this one i am looking at

    I see alot of sellers on ebay saying they have genuine apple products without packaging in bulk

    these products have an actual apple logo carved into them so they are not 3rd party and I am just going to assume they are countefeit?

    how safe are these?

    now, just so you know, my experience with genunie apple cables is not good
    I have had legtimate iphone cables litteraly shred with wires exposed more than once.
    I do not abuse my belongings or anything, they are just cheap, even the OEM ones.

    but I know nothing about what is actually inside a magsafe.
    damaging the laptop or it's battery would be very unpleasant.
  2. CarreraGuy macrumors regular


    Jan 15, 2013
    They are "safe" but I went through two "cheapies" in the past year from resellers on Amazon.
  3. MH01 Suspended


    Feb 11, 2008
    The way I see it, the auction says it is genuine, buy it, if its not return it as a counterfeit and get your money back from Ebay.
  4. andeify macrumors 6502


    Jun 10, 2012
    I wouldn't trust a counterfeit charger as they usually use cheaper parts with little to no insulation, they can be a fire hazard. Now I'm not saying every one will burst into flames, just that I wouldn't risk it. There was a news story on here not so long back about counterfeit chargers showing the shoddy internals
  5. Jessica Lares macrumors G3

    Jessica Lares

    Oct 31, 2009
    Near Dallas, Texas, USA
    You will hear hissing and static while using headphones. The bigger issue is that you have a chance of shorting the computer or everything that shares the same connection that the outlet is on.

    I did plug something into the wall like 10 years ago and had the entire half of my house go dark. :mad:
  6. lotzosushi macrumors 6502


    Jan 10, 2007
    You can find pretty cheap OEM Apple chargers on eBay, I bought an 85W one for my MBP a year ago brand new for around $50. Much better than retail. Haven't had any problems with it so far :)
  7. cjmillsnun macrumors 68020

    Aug 28, 2009
    Spend the extra and buy the genuine. You'll save in the long run.
  8. calvol macrumors 6502a

    Feb 3, 2011
    I don't think the counterfeit chargers are good for the charging circuit on the motherboard. I purchased one off ebay and it continuously goes from charging to not charging (orange to green light) in a 15 second loop.
  9. flyinmac macrumors 68040


    Sep 2, 2006
    United States
    In other words, you take the same gamble as many did with Apple chargers... I remember the flames and charcoal chargers from a few years ago.

    But, I suppose you could choose to look at it as this: If Apple can mess it up, then what about someone who has less to lose?
  10. chrfr macrumors 604

    Jul 11, 2009
    Also, if you get a faulty charger from Apple, you have recourse, even if it causes catastrophic damage to your computer. Good luck tracking down the seller of a counterfeit charger.
  11. JoelTheSuperior macrumors 6502


    Feb 10, 2014
    London, UK
    There's a genuine risk of them damaging your computer's logic board due to the unstable current that they provide.

    As someone who works in IT I can assure you I've seen it happen.
  12. newellj macrumors 603

    Oct 15, 2014
    Boston, MA, US
    True, but fire risk is what would really keep me from buying a non-name counterfeit. It's just not worth the risk.

    By the way, you should be able to google up genuine Apple chargers in OEM bags (no retail package) for a pretty significant saving (at least in percentage terms).
  13. TheIguana macrumors 6502a


    Sep 26, 2004
    Seems kinda silly to spend upwards of $2000 on a computer to then cheapout on the power supply component - given that is something that could easily fry your Mac if it goes.
  14. chrfr macrumors 604

    Jul 11, 2009
    Having seen some very convincing Apple power adapters that I knew were counterfeit, I would only buy one from a reputable retailer. There's just no way to be sure those "OEM" ones aren't fake.
  15. newellj macrumors 603

    Oct 15, 2014
    Boston, MA, US
    Agree. To be specific, IIRC, Other World Computing, which I would consider a reputable Apple dealer, often has genuine Apple power adapters in bags rather than retail packaging. I'm open to contrary opinions on OWC.
  16. lionkin macrumors regular


    Nov 8, 2014
    West Hollywood
    Never buy counterfeit magsafe. I once bought counterfeit magsafe for my previous macbook pro early 2011, and my experience using counterfeit magsafe was not pleasant. I return the fake magsafe immediately and apple store gave me genuine apple magsafe for free.
  17. Nabooly macrumors 6502a


    Aug 28, 2007
    I bought a cheapo battery for my late 2008 mbp and one month later the mbp is dead. Was it the battery? Who knows. Never again though. Couldn't bring myself to spend money on the oldie laptop for a new logic board so I just bought a mid-14 retina 15". It;s a nice upgrade but I know my 08 still could have years of use on it.
  18. rnodern macrumors newbie

    Nov 29, 2014
    Manila, Philippines
    I've got one of each. Genuine and "for macbook" (it's not pretending to be a macbook charger)
    Touch wood, no issues so far. :)
    I think you'll find that there are a few grades of non genuine chargers. The ones that look like apple products, and the ones that are obviously not. IMO, the more they spend on the looks, it's likely the less they spend on components. But there's no rule of thumb with non genuine part manufacturers. Obviously, you get what you pay for. If in doubt, go genuine.
  19. interstella macrumors regular


    Sep 29, 2013
    Suffolk, England
    Always buy a genuine one. You have no idea what's inside the fakes. It's very likely the design is poor and possibly a serious fire risk. It's even more likely that it does not comply with any known electrical standards.

    If your house/life is only with a few £ or $ then go ahead and buy a fake. Same goes for fake batteries or anything electrical that isn't the genuine thing.
  20. K701 macrumors newbie

    Jan 23, 2012
    If you want free house fire they are great.

    Why would you plug a cheap counterfeit MagSafe into an overpriced but glorious Mac?
  21. rnodern macrumors newbie

    Nov 29, 2014
    Manila, Philippines
    Just sharing my success story as all.

    To date, my non genuine charger hasn't exploded, spontaneously combusted, committed aggravated burglary, murdered any children, stolen a car, harmed an animal or damaged my computer. :D

    But yes, probably safer to buy genuine unless you know how to test it
  22. Brian Y macrumors 68040

    Oct 21, 2012
    So how did you test yours?

    Have you measured the distance and insulation between the high and low voltage circuits/wires? Have you measured the gauge of cabling used inside the adapter to ensure it is sufficient if there were to be a spike? Have you checked that the adapter would safely cut out should there be a power spike, instead of passing a higher voltage to your equipment or worse, exploding the transformer? Have you checked that the earth inside is sufficient and secure?

    IMO - if you can afford to spend upwards of £1000 on a MacBook, you should be able to afford the extra £20 to buy a genuine charger to protect your equipment, and also yourself/your home/your family.
  23. Praesto macrumors regular

    Sep 10, 2014
    They are very unsafe. I used counterfeit ones before and some of the stuff can literally blow up. I had a wall plug blow up on me inside my house once.

    They are also known to provide inconsistent current/volt/amp whatever and cause damage.
  24. newellj macrumors 603

    Oct 15, 2014
    Boston, MA, US
    At the end of the day, these cheap fire hazards are a problem that Darwin will take care of. :eek:
  25. SarcasticJoe macrumors 6502a


    Nov 5, 2013
    Actually the problem Apple's own plugs had was that they were designed thinking people would use them properly by grabbing the thick bit at the end and just pulling it out. Most people did just this, but a lot of people would instead remove the plug by yanking the cable.

    As a result of this they introduced the L-shaped connectors with thicker plastic close to the part metal part with the red/green LED. I think they've also reinforced this plastic at least once.

    I can't say anything about third party Magsafe chargers from personal experience, but on the PC side I can say that the quality of third party chargers goes from end to end. Some brands are a genuine fire hazard with the quality of the wiring being a little so-so, other brands can be better than the original. Personally I wouldn't be the least bit surprised if there's at least someone making genuinely sturdy third party magsafe connectors built for function rather than form like Apple does with their chargers.

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