XS Power Batteries vs Optima


Traditional lead-acid batteries are highly intolerant of deep discharge, which typically occurs when a vehicle's headlights are left on for a prolonged period while the engine isn’t running. These batteries use liquid acid and are commonly known as flooded batteries. Modern batteries have an absorbed glass mat (AGM) design, which stores the acid in solid form. This design is much more tolerant of deep discharge and allows the battery to be mounted in virtually any orientation, so long as it isn’t completely inverted. XS Power and Optima batteries are two of the most popular types of AGM batteries, so consumers often compare these brands when selecting an aftermarket vehicle battery.

Peak Current

A battery’s ability to deliver electrical current, or amperes, indicates how quickly it can start a vehicle. Cranking amperes (CA) and cold cranking amperes (CCA) are traditionally two of the most important measures of performance for starter batteries. CA is the number of amps that a battery can deliver for 30 seconds at 32 degrees Fahrenheit without the voltage dropping below 1.2 volts per cell. In the case of a standard six-cell battery, this threshold is 7.2 volts. CCA is the same test performed at zero degrees Fahrenheit.

Modern cars shouldn’t require more than a few seconds to start, so CA and CCA aren’t as important as they used to be. Immediate burst output is a better measure of performance for AGM batteries, which is the maximum current that a battery can deliver.

Sustained Current

Delivery of sustained current over a prolonged period of time is also an important indication of performance for deep-cycle batteries, which routinely discharge most of their electrical capacity. Amperage hours, or AH, is typically defined as the amperage that a battery can deliver for 20 hours at 77 degrees Fahrenheit without the voltage dropping below a given level. For 12-volt batteries, the minimum voltage for measuring AH is 10.5 volts.

You can calculate the amperage that a battery can deliver for 20 hours by dividing its AH rating by 20. For example, a battery with an AH rating of 30 could deliver 30 / 20 = 1.5 amps for 20 hours.

XS Power Batteries

XS Power Batteries specializes in high-performance 12V and 16V batteries for car racing and audio competitions. It has its own in-house lab and also uses outside accredited labs and experts to ensure accurate ratings. XS Power Batteries is a member of Battery Council International (BCI), which requires its members to test 16V batteries to 16V specifications. In comparison, many of XS Power Batteries’ competitors test their 16V batteries to 12V specifications. This distinction is critical when comparing the performance of 16V batteries from different manufacturers.

XS Power batteries have a number of design features that provide more power per unit weight of the battery, known technically as energy density. These batteries often have two to three times the cranking power of flooded batteries of equal size. For example, XS Power Batteries' S925 model is much smaller than the original battery in a new car but often outperforms it in terms of both cranking power and life expectancy.

XS Power batteries use only virgin lead, which has greater purity than batteries made of recycled lead. Pure lead stores more electrical energy, resulting in batteries with greater capacity. The grids in an XS Power battery are also thinner, allowing them to produce more power due to their greater surface area. XS Power batteries also have extremely low internal resistance, so they can be discharged more deeply and recharge faster. These batteries are also able to withstand the high levels of vibration that are routine in racing and audio competitions.

XS Power Batteries has a particularly large line of batteries in a wide range of capacities. For example, the XP750 is a 12V AGM battery with a maximum output of 750 amps and 22 AH. The XP3000 is at the top end of this line, with 3,000 peak amps and AH 120.

Optima Batteries

Optima has been providing batteries for extreme automotive enthusiasts since it introduced maintenance-free lead-acid batteries in the 1970s. It makes a range of AGM batteries for both start and deep-cycle applications, which are marketed as Redtop and Yellowtop batteries respectively.

Redtop Batteries

The Optima Redtop battery is designed to deliver a peak burst of electrical power for a reliable start up. The 75/25 and 25 models have a CCA of 720 amps and 44 amp hours. The 34 model has a CCA of 800 and 50 amp hours.

Yellowtop Batteries

The Optimum Yellowtop batteries are designed to be completely discharged hundreds of times without losing their capacity. As a result, they have lower CCA values and greater AH values. For example, the Yellowtop series starts with DS46B24R, which has 450 CCA and 38 AH. The H6 model at the top end of this line has 800 CCA and 72 AH.

XS Batteries vs Optima

Optimum batteries are still rated according to the obsolete CCA method, which isn’t as important as the maximum amperage that XS Power batteries use. Serious car enthusiasts will also prefer the greater variety of models that XS Power Batteries offers, particularly at the high-end of performance.