buying second hand: how to asses battery health and how much value does it carry?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by cerealito, Apr 1, 2018.

  1. cerealito macrumors newbie

    Nov 26, 2012
    toulouse, FR
    Hello community,

    I'm on the market for an used Macbook pro (specifically the 2015 13 inch rMBP, 256GB storage)
    I currently have two offers that differ only on the battery cycle count:

    - one has 530 cycles and sells for 930€ (this seller claims around 10h of battery life)
    - the other one has 211 cycles and sells for 1000€ (this seller claims around 6-7h of battery life)

    both sellers claim that their macbooks are in excellent condition so let's assume that they are equal otherwise.

    Is the battery cycle count a good measure of battery health? Could it be generally said that the macbook with a lower cycle count will have a better battery life over all, regardless of how it was used by it's first owner?

    Unfortunately I won't be able to test the computers for more than a few minutes before deciding.

    Finally, do you think that the lower battery cycle count is worth the 70€ price difference?

    thanks for any thoughts.
  2. jojoba macrumors 68000

    Dec 9, 2011
    I don't have much knowledge about battery health in general, but I think 10h sounds a bit optimistic. My 2016 13" rMBP does not last that long, more like 6 hours of active use (but that's with various apps and sync services running).
  3. ApfelKuchen macrumors 68030

    Aug 28, 2012
    Between the coasts
    Cycle count is an important measure, but you also have to account for the overall age of the battery. An old battery with a low cycle count may still perform more poorly than a newer battery with a higher cycle count.

    Battery life claims are too dependent upon the way the individual uses the computer. Even something as simple as a small difference in what two different owners consider to be "normal" screen brightness will affect it. Most other factors are much harder to evaluate (apps used, tasks run, etc.).

    Ask if/when the battery has already been replaced. If it's original and the Mac is over 5 years old, expect to change it within the next two years or less.
  4. Fishrrman macrumors P6


    Feb 20, 2009
    Seller #2 (211 cycles) seems to be more realistic.

    I'd reckon that the BEST way to ascertain "battery health" would be to use "Coconut Battery" to see what the "state of health" was vis-a-vis the factory-new number.

    The number of cycles would be less important than this data point.

    Ask each seller to install Coconut Battery and show you the results.
    If one of them WON'T do this for you, look elsewhere.

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