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Model A1181: 1.83, 2, 2.1, 2.13, 2.16, 2.2, or 2.4 GHz Core 2 Duo processor

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Are the OWC chargers genuine?

I need to find a power adapter for this A1181 MacBook. I know I should probably go pick one up from the Apple store for $79, but the Intel GMA MacBooks tend to be cheaper then the OEM charger (with the exception of the 2009 nVidia model). Since I have the 3GB Late 2006 (GMA 950) I’d like to try and save a few bucks if I can by avoiding going to Apple directly. On one hand I have zero faith in eBay and Amazon due to their track record, but OWC supposedly sells genuine units bulk packed (which is fine since I don’t need the box). Since I’ve found the 85W part (generally) is priced within a few dollars of the 60W (with Pro compatibility) or is priced the same regardless of wattage (direct from Apple), I’m just going to get an 85W unit so I have one that works with both machines.

Since I’m going to get an 85W for a 60W machine, I need to be sure I’m getting a real charger so the machine can tell the charger it only needs to pull 60W of power. The issue with the OWC units is I found a thread on MacRumors that shows their bulk pack chargers have typical signs of being fake despite being called OEM. Since these fake chargers do not communicate with the machines to cap it at 60W if you use an 85W on a 60W system, this will probably create major problems for me.

Has anyone ordered from OWC to find these problems are common? If so I may need to buy a used 85W or pay way too much for a new charger from Apple for a machine that’s cheaper to buy used :(.

Answered! View the answer I have this problem too

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Unless you already have a 2009 A1181 that would be a decent upgrade too as the A1278 runs natively El Capitan. The only caveat here would be the battery, no idea if there's something decent left in the market, I got one a few days back but haven't had a chance to test it yet. Maybe a 2009 Pro would be a better idea from that point of view and would probably be not much more expensive than the Macbook Unibody.


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A decent and viable alternative to consider is buying a used one in places like ebay, some are just second hand, others have been refurbished replacing a bad cord or broken case. Price would be about half of a new one.

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@arbaman - You're gambling! Many are junk! Please review these:

OEM MagSafe Chargers vs Cheap Imposters: Teardown for Truth

Counterfeit Macbook charger teardown: convincing outside but dangerous inside

Lacking safety features, cheap MacBook chargers create big sparks

And lastly this is the damage! The older MacBook & MacBook Pro's have the charging chip as well as the MOSFET's damaged.

What does knockoff charger do to Macbook Pro Retina?

Bottomline: Penny-Wise - Pound-Foolish!


@danj I didn't mean to recommend buying used or refurb aftermarket chargers ;) Used genuine chargers are available too, they cost quite a bit less than new ones and don't lack any feature or protections. By the way, even when talking about aftermarket chargers there's a full range of different qualities too, some are real infamous garbage and that can be felt already by their featherlike weight, some others implement overvoltage and overcurrent protection and they are pretty decently made. I wouldn't use them to feed a >1000$ retina but when it comes to cheaper older Macs sometimes there's really little choice as customers don't want to spend for a charger the cost of half the value of their machines. Customer is the king in the end.


@arbaman - The problem is you can't tell the difference between the real and the fake ones as they look exactly the same! Patched cords are also suspect as the splice can (and often does) fail. This often causes the 1 wire line to short against the positive line which blows the MOSFETs and the comparator logic.

The other risk is the MagSafe ID is not correct for the charger this mis-informs the comparator logic what the max rate of charge, so you run the risk of over charging! This is often the cause of blistered batteries!

Reference: Teardown and exploration of Apple's Magsafe connector

Please! Don't resell used chargers! You just can't tell if they are good or bad unless you test them and its not easy! We made a rig using a DC-In Board & an oscilloscope so we could compare known good units from questionable units as we got a rash of dead systems of the units we tested we had over 20 defected units out of 350.


@danj Life is not easy my dear. I live in a country where purchase power is almost half of what it used to be 20 years ago and for a buyer who will go buy a new genuine charger at Apple there are 5 who will live with second best, third best or fourth on Amazon or eBay, because they need money for other important things, eating or paying their bills above all. That said, I'm of the opinion there are serious technicians who know their work who can do a good job at refurbishing a charger as much as I can at repairing a logic board, one doesn't need to be necessarily an engineer to do that. If we talk about new Chinese products, there's really everything coming from that country, from the 5,000$ retina Macbooks to the charger that takes fire the third time one uses it, it just takes some effort to select suppliers.


Since we've merged our comment thread, I'm going to merge my comments on my own.

* @arbaman I wouldn't even want to use those cheap clones on a Mac like this. I've experienced fried hardware from them twice. It's a lot of risk for a charger that's probably going to be a piece of crap. (Originally after Are the OWC chargers genuine?.

In most cases, they create partially damaged machines that work but never run correctly again without board level work. That makes the situation even worse since the machine isn't completely dead and acts like a zombie in some cases. (Originally after Are the OWC chargers genuine?.)

* All I know is if I need to spend $79 on a charger for this, I'd seriously consider dumping it for an A1278 MB (Aluminum Unibody). What a horrible situation with these machines.

Since I can walk if I need to, I might as well. (After Are the OWC chargers genuine?.)


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