OEM batteries vs. cheap 3rd party options for older Macs

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by ptdebate, May 10, 2015.

  1. ptdebate macrumors 6502


    Jul 3, 2014
    Dallas, Texas
    Hi all!

    I'm looking at a few options for batteries for my new '08 MacBook.

    There are OEM batteries available, with warranty, on eBay for $60. There are also cheap knockoffs for $17. Should I shell out for the real thing here? I definitely did that for the power supply as 3rd party power supplies scare me. Does anyone have any specific recommendations for 3rd party batteries?

    Back when I was battery shopping for my PowerBook G4, I simply bought a stack of used OEM ones on eBay for very cheap hoping that at least one of them would work--and exactly one did--but it doesn't hold more than 2 hours charge. I kinda wish I had gone for the aftermarket ones. Thoughts?
  2. 556fmjoe macrumors 65816


    Apr 19, 2014
    I bought a cheap Chinese battery a year ago for $15 and it has been fine in my PowerBook. I think the company is called Mayday Technologies. For $15, I'm completely happy.
  3. bunnspecial macrumors 603


    May 3, 2014
    I bought my White Macbook from a Pawnshop, and it had a new aftermarket(2 charge cycle) battery installed. I suspect that the shop had probably installed a "lowest bidder" Ebay battery. The battery in that computer never worked right-the computer would often shut off randomly in the middle of using it, and often wouldn't start back until it was plugged in. After relatively little use(probably 4 months and about 20 charge cycles) it gave up the ghost and refused to charge at all. I took it in to our instrument tech at school and tried to "jump start" it using a regulated DC power supply(a procedure with which I've had probably 50% success) and it would charge a little bit on that power supply but not at all in the computer.

    I considered buying an OEM battery from Apple(they still sell them in both white and black), but it was nearly as expensive as what I'd paid for the white Macbook(and more than you or I either one paid for our black Macbooks).

    I finally found an OEM battery on Ebay that showed in system profiler as holding more than its rated charge and had 6 cycles. I paid $50 for it, and it has worked perfectly. It registers at over 100% health, and will last about 4 hours under decently heavy use.

    My overall experience with aftermarket batteries has been mixed.

    Here a quick overview off the top of my head:

    1. The early '08 MBP that I bought a few weeks back had a bad OEM battery(would work about 45min-1hour). I bought a $20 aftermarket battery that registers at 95% health and depending on how much I use it will last 2.5-3.5 hours. I won't complain too badly about that.

    2. I bought a clamshell battery, and the first one would charge no further than 40%. It was still better than the factory battery I had(which was completely dead-even if the computer was asleep and had been plugged in for several hours, it would shut off as soon as it was unplugged). The seller sent me a second for the cost of shipping, which worked perfectly. I haven't tested it extensively, but it's good for 2-3 hours offhand.

    3. An iBook G3 battery I bought charged once, and then wouldn't charge again after run down. The seller replaced it at no cost to me, and didn't require return of the bad one. The replacement lasts 2-3 hours.

    4. The 15" DLSD battery I bought was fine on the first try, and is again good for 2-3h.

    5. One of my 12" Powerbooks came with two Newertech batteries. Unfortunately, Newertech no longer makes 12" PB batteries. These are superb. They last 3-4 hours. Although the don't fit exactly like an OEM battery, their fit is still miles above any aftermarket battery I've used.

    6. I bought a TiBook battery that on arrival had well under its advertised capacity. I emailed the seller, and they gave me a partial refund. It's good for 1.5-2.5h(which is better than the nearly 15 year old OEM batteries I have). The fit on it is atrocious-I've used it in several TiBooks, and find that I typically have to put cardboard shims at the back of it to keep the battery electrical contacts in contact with those in the computer. I don't recall the brand, but the level monitor button on it is molded into the outer plastic covering rather than being a discreet button like even most OEM batteries. I need to buy a couple more TiBook batteries, but will certainly NOT be buying this brand again-even if it means spending $25/battery rather than $20.

    Old OEM batteries can be hit or miss. Of course, if you buy directly from Apple(as you still can) you can be reasonably assured of getting fresh stock. From what I've seen, OEM batteries seem to deteriorate more from use than age-the one in my late '07 Blackbook is-as best as I can tell-original but only has 150 some cycles and still lives up to its rated capacity. If you actually need to depend on the computer, don't want to pay OEM prices, and don't want to spend a few weeks dealing with an Ebay seller, buy a Newertech battery. They are pricier than the generic Ebay batteries, but IMO are well worth it. If you can deal with possibly having to return a bad battery or request that the seller send you a new one(all that I've dealt with seem to know that some of their batteries are bad, and will often send a replacement at no cost without requiring the first one back) buy a cheap Ebay one.

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