OWC vs. iFixit
05-02-2020, 03:46 PM, (This post was last modified: 05-02-2020, 03:46 PM by Skippy.)
Post: #1
OWC vs. iFixit
After almost eight years of service, my MacBook Air's battery has started to reach the end of its life. Over 1100 charge cycles, it's now holding only 58% of its original charge, and macOS is giving a "Replace Soon" message. Since Apple wants nothing to do with it based on the MacBook's age, I'm left either seeking out a leftover battery from an authorized repair centre, or finding a battery on my own to fix it. In other words, I'm left to finding a battery on my own. I'm definitely not ready to replace the MacBook yet (I can't even think about that given my current work situation thanks to the Wuhan Coronavirus), and even when I do eventually replace it (either with another MacBook or an iPad, I haven't yet decided), it will likely go to my sister and her girls for their use for school work, etc.

I've found two options so far. First is OWC, who is selling the battery for $79.75. Problem is, that's American, and I'm in Canada. Add shipping, duties, taxes, and currency conversion, and it ends up at CAD$171.19. The site says 27 people have reviewed it, and every single review gives it five stars.

The second option is from iFixit, who apparently maintain a Canadian warehouse, or at least a storefront with Canadian prices. Their version comes in a little cheaper, at CAD$153.62 all in. However, the reviews are not nearly as glowing: only 69% of reviews give it five stars (versus 100% of OWC's), and 10% of reviewers give it only one star. Some of the reviews mention the battery doesn't fit too well, impeding the click action of the trackpad, which doesn't inspire confidence. Also, if I recall correctly, Gippy mentioned buying an iFixit battery and said it wasn't charging properly.

Of course, replacement with another device might be off the table right now due to my earnings being cut by one half to two thirds. But I do have $300 in Costco gift cards hanging around. Still haven't decided if I want to stay with a MacBook or go with an iPad. An iPad would be cheaper, but would it last almost eight years as my MacBook has? Do I do enough to justify having a MacBook?

I may even wait to decide what to do with this until macOS 10.16, and its system requirements, are announced. There's a good chance this won't be supported with the next OS release, so there's that as well.

If I do go the battery replacement route, any suggestions? And if there are suggestions other than the ones above, please feel free to share.
05-02-2020, 04:59 PM,
Post: #2
RE: OWC vs. iFixit
OWC. At least, they’re not pretending to be a “community” while earning hard cash off of the work of gullible “contributing members”.
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05-02-2020, 09:20 PM,
Post: #3
RE: OWC vs. iFixit
Reviews are all bullshit. Even if they're sincere reviews from objective consumers -- and they aren't -- they're almost certainly not reviews after months or years of use. They buy the battery, possibly install it, and say, "OMG it's amazing because fast shipping and it charged to 100% on the first try!" Neither metric is particularly important when assessing a battery.

And I don't know what the Macbook Air battery supply chain looks like, but how many factories do you think are making them? Is this a hot market with many manufacturers competing for their share?

Just some food for thought, it looks like amazon.ca sells it for as low as $65CDN (with 4 star reviews!). Assuming you're morally OK with Jeff Bezos's iron fist, you could buy two of 'em and as long as they don't explode in the computer, Robert's your father's brother.
bedstuy Wrote:mocking a pair of $500 jeans is a form of class warfare... why do you hate my social status?
05-02-2020, 10:17 PM,
Post: #4
RE: OWC vs. iFixit
I thought Robert was a brother to your mother?
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05-02-2020, 11:52 PM,
Post: #5
RE: OWC vs. iFixit
I stand corrected.
bedstuy Wrote:mocking a pair of $500 jeans is a form of class warfare... why do you hate my social status?
05-03-2020, 01:24 AM,
Post: #6
RE: OWC vs. iFixit
Six of one, half dozen of the other.
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05-03-2020, 05:22 AM,
Post: #7
RE: OWC vs. iFixit
I did an iFixit battery and it was a bit weird. At first the replacement battery wasn't recognized. I figured the computer was a write off so I just set it aside. Fast forward ~8months and I get a weird hair to install Linux on it. After doing so I remembered why I wasn't do that, because the display drivers for the Mac implementation of that Nvidia card are trash. BUT... it recognizes the battery and charges and lasts as long as it should.

So I put OS X back on the machine and now it recognizes the battery just fine.

So, Shrug
A massage doesn't always have to lead to sex, but if it doesn't then you're doing it wrong.
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05-03-2020, 08:50 AM,
Post: #8
RE: OWC vs. iFixit
I'd personally go with OWC, i've been using them forever and never have any an issue. I agree with Roo, reviews are mostly bullshit; people are stupid and don't know what they're talking about.

Outliers with exceptionally bad experiences will post negative reviews, which skew the rating.

If you can justify the extra ~$20 to go with OWC, you should.
05-03-2020, 02:52 PM,
Post: #9
RE: OWC vs. iFixit
I've bought from OWC before, and have had pretty good experiences. Yeah, I know the whole reviews thing can be bullshit, in that the retailer will often send an email five days after you've received your product to ask you to review it; the reviews I was pointing out usually had something to do with the battery not fitting properly in the initial install, which was something mentioned in some of the iFixit reviews, but none of the OWC reviews.

As for Amazon, I don't deal with them at all, for anything, but I'd rather go with a trusted company than a name I don't recognize. Also, one of the batteries on Amazon (one of the sub-$70 ones) was advertising that it should last "up to 2 hours" and have a lifetime of 500 charge cycles; today, my MacBook lasted just under three hours with some web surfing (brightness set to about three or four, and keyboard backlight set to one, if it needed to come on at all).

I don't see any deformation in the bottom case, and the trackpad is still clicking fine, so I don't think the battery cells are swollen at all, so I'm sure it's still safe to use. Whatever WWDC ends up being this year is only about a month away, so I'll find out what's planned for macOS 10.16 or whatever it ends up being, and that will probably give me a better idea of what to do.
There is no dark side of the moon, really…matter of fact, it's all dark.
05-03-2020, 04:54 PM,
Post: #10
RE: OWC vs. iFixit
You can find the OWC listings on Amazon pretty easily: https://www.amazon.ca/s?k=newertech+nupo…nb_sb_noss

But, yeah, if its not swelling you're probably safe. The swelling is what prompted my replacement. Also, if you wait, maybe you can get a new ARM powered MacBook! Won't that be fun!
A massage doesn't always have to lead to sex, but if it doesn't then you're doing it wrong.
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05-03-2020, 07:44 PM, (This post was last modified: 05-03-2020, 07:45 PM by Jehannum.)
Post: #11
RE: OWC vs. iFixit
I've bought two batteries from iFixit, and (eventually) been happy with both.

The first I bought was for my 2013 15" Macbook Pro Retina. It functioned poorly from the get-go, and it was an enormous pain in the ass to R&R. After that one went tits-up (which took a month), they sent me a warranty replacement which I painstakingly R&R'd again. FWIW, its manufacturer is reported under profiler as "SMP", which google tells me is a current Apple supplier. So, if I average the two batteries out, I'd give the whole thing 2.5 stars. The replacement they sent me has been much less of a pain in the ass.

The second I bought was for my 2010 15" Macbook Pro. That one was easy, by comparison, and it seems to be holding its own, but I've only had it running for a couple weeks (since having to unretire it and replace the keyboard so that my daughter can do all of her vidja conferencing with the school). The manufacturer for this one is listed as iFixit. I have no complaints, the capacity is good, and it runs the laptop for a few hours off the plug.

iFixit seems to charge significantly more for the same parts that you can get elsewhere, but they make up for it, IMO, with the nice writeups they curate. Also, their toolkits are fan-fucking-tastic as compared to the cheap shit Amazon and eBay sellers throw in the box.
"The 300ZX Turbo is a dance; it's a song; it's rolling, roaring automotive art. There is no color that doesn't suit it. There is no mood-lifting chemical substance it can't replace." - Automobile Magazine
05-04-2020, 01:14 AM,
Post: #12
RE: OWC vs. iFixit
iFixit's teardown and how-to videos are amazing.


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