Third-party power adapter for MacBook Touchbar?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Zettt, Aug 14, 2017.

  1. Zettt macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2009
    #1
    Hello,

    I am searching for a travel or office power adapter for the 15" MBP Touchbar. I found several products, none of which clearly indicate support for the, apparently required, 81W of the 15". I'm wondering if anyone found a usable product yet, and could link it here?

    Thank you.
     
  2. Gav2k macrumors G3

    Gav2k

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2009
    #2
    You don’t need the full 81w to maintain the charge. As with older MacBooks you can happily use lesser supplies to maintain a charge.
     
  3. Zettt thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2009
    #3
    Thanks. That's really helpful. I knew that it needs some sort of power to keep itself charged. The information I found was unclear whether the charger needs to be 20W or 60W. People agree that the charger needs to have bigger watts, when the computer has to work more. No one, however, wrote about how much power it would need, under which circumstances. I work in media production (audio/video), and it would be nice to have a charger, that keeps the MacBook charged, even when editing for a day.
     
  4. Moriarty macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2008
    #4
    Why not buy a first-party Apple adapter? Yes, they're expensive – but they're safe and high quality. Some Thunderbolt 3 docks also supply 85 W of power.

    If you fully load all CPU cores, the MBP can draw up to ~ 60 W in total, and it can use even more if the GPU is stressed as well. A smaller adapter will work, but if you're doing intensive work then it might keep draining and recharging the battery, which is not very good for battery health. So it's best to get an 85 W adapter, especially for your usage.

    Any third-party USB-C power adapter should work (in theory). Just try to be careful that what you're buying has good electrical safety (e.g. many cheap adapters are poorly insulated and could start a fire if exposed to moisture).
     
  5. zhenya macrumors 603

    zhenya

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2005
    #5
    Nobody can answer that question as it's completely dependent on how you use your laptop. If you use it at full brightness with all cores running full tilt it's going to require more power than if you run at low brightness with little cpu use.

    What is the primary thing you'd like in a second charger? Smaller footprint? Cheaper? Ability to charge multiple devices?
     
  6. english_mac_in_ny macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2017
    #6
    Get the original Apple adapter, it's a very high quality charger that is worth its money. It is not limited for use with Apple products either, you can charge any USB-C product with it. It is of high quality for two reasons, first it properly implements USB-C charging and thus you won't run into weird issues where it charges one device but not the other, for example. And it's built very safely to use, you can't electrocute yourself with it when it is faulty, unless you throw it in the bathtub while you yourself are in it too. With cheaper third-party power supplies, you don't always have that guarantee.

    If the charger that was included with your Mac is too big for travelling, you can get the smaller one that is intended for the 13" model - it will keep your Mac charged and it will charge it slowly, but when you do video editing and for example you export a movie in the end where your Mac works on it for a few hours, it will start draining the battery slowly and whether you can survive a full day on that with the smaller charger.... nobody can tell you, because most people use the proper (and bigger) 15" power supply with their 15" Mac.

    Or alternatively you can get a Thunderbolt 3 dock for when you are at home, those support charging your Mac. Then you can just use the original power supply for travelling.

    You'll surely want more than half of what your original supply can give the Mac, so no less than 50-60W. 20W is too little even for the 13" model that uses a 60W charger.
     
  7. Zettt thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2009
    #7
    Thanks for your answer. That helped me a bit. I am mainly looking for a smaller charger. When I travel, maybe when travelling to and from a client, but also for holiday, it would be nice to save a couple grams in the bag. So smaller and lighter would be nice.

    I do understand that heavy video editing means that a weaker charger is not going to be able to keep the MacBook charged but as I understand, it's still going to charge while the laptop loses power slowly. So I'm presuming it's still going to last a whole lot longer than without a charger at all, probably even 5 hours, which is not bad at all. Also when I'm out and about, I usually don't need a powerful charger. When I'm with a client, I usually give presentations, or I talk with them about the project in general. That would also mean the computer could do with a weaker charger. My main concern is actually that some people make it sound like some of the smaller charger can't even keep the MacBook fully charged, and it's going to lose charge no matter what you're doing on the computer.
     
  8. zhenya macrumors 603

    zhenya

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2005
    #8
    With the 15" MBP smaller and lighter is a bit more challenging than with the smaller Macbooks with lower power consumption. The majority of smaller usb-c chargers available right now are 45W. For a 13" MBP that's ample to charge them under all but the most demanding conditions. I'm not sure how they would work for the 15". I suspect under light use they would charge fine.

    The smallest/lightest option is the FINsix Dart-C https://store.finsix.com/ however when these will ship, if ever, is a mystery. I placed an order a few weeks ago when I was told 'at least 10 weeks' and I see today they are now advertising right on the site 'at least 18 weeks.'

    Otherwise there is this model https://www.amazon.com/Cable-Matter...qid=1502965090&sr=8-40&keywords=usb-c+charger which may or may not save you much space once you account for the power cords. At least it can charge other devices at the same time and there are a number of reports in the reviews that indicate it will charge a MBP - even a 15" model.

    The reality is that the majority of chargers on the market today are junk, and may even damage your laptop. Tread carefully. Apple's chargers are pretty much the best on the market, compact, powerful, and safe. If they offered a second charging port so I only had to carry one brick when I travel they'd be perfect!
     
  9. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2009
    Location:
    Boston
    #9
    Personally if you need another adapter and given the high cost of the laptop, I'd opt for true Apple products and not some sort of third party replacement that could bite me down the road. Why cut corners now?
     
  10. english_mac_in_ny macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2017
    #10
    I'd get the smaller 60W charger from apple. It isn't much, but as others said, Apple makes the most reliable USB-C chargers right now. Not only are they safe for your Mac, they include safety features that prevent you from getting electrocuted.

    Apple makes a 29W charger as well, so if you need to save on size, you could get that one.

    Hm... does the Mac by any chance provide power to other USB-C Macs over its own USB-C ports? I guess not, but I couldn't find anything about it. And I don't have a second Mac with USB-C to try.
     
  11. Zettt thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2009
    #11
    Thanks guys. I've been in touch with Anker, too. They said they're working on it and that no product offers the charge required for a 15" model. I'm waiting until my next big travel, and make a decision then. Have to rely on the Apple one is a little disappointing. As someone else said, it charges pretty much only one device. That's okay, if you have one device but if you travel, you want to save on space and weight as much as possible. So if all the advice I get is "get an Apple one because they are safe", you failed to see the point. If there's no additional value to the original charger, then there's no point buying it. I appreciate all responses though, because they helped me narrow down the main problem, and come to the conclusion to wait a little longer.
     
  12. robvas macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2009
    Location:
    USA
    #12
    Why can't you just take the Apple charger with you? You can charge your USB-C phones and tablets with it just fine.

    If you can only take one charger, take the bigger one. You can always charge the lower-wattage devices with the bigger charger but it will take longer (or possibly not work) to charge your bigger devices with the smaller charger.

    Why do you insist on wanting a non-Apple charger to charge your Apple device? Or why do you want to charge it with less capacity than you could? You don't make any sense.
     
  13. english_mac_in_ny macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2017
    #13
    Multiple USB-C ports for simultanious charging are nice to have - I have found neither a regular charger offering it nor a powerbank which is what I am looking for. But you can still charge all your USB-C and USB-A devices, more slowly of course, via the ports of the Mac. That is how I do it and if I really need a very quick charge, I just unplug my Mac for a bit and use the big charger for the phone.
     
  14. 2IS macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2011
    #14
    I can only speak for the 13" version since that's all I've got but I've only seen it peak out at around 45 watts, from the wall. That's while the battery was charging and playing CSGO. Assuming 90% efficiency, that equates to the laptop itself consuming 40 watts from the brick. The brick itself being 60 watts.

    There's certainly an "unknown" factor to 3rd party chargers but I'm taking my chances anyway. You're looking at ~$100 for the apple charger if you also need a USB-C cable which is completely ridiculous vs roughly half that for a 3rd party that also includes the cable.
     
  15. robvas macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2009
    Location:
    USA
    #15
    The 15" has a quad-core CPU and DGPU, along with a bigger screen.
     

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