You don't really need to worry about Yellow, Gen II dies early because of the time feature, which Gen I didn't have.I don't own a Gold, Crystal, or Silver..Yet.
I bought Silver online yesterday, it should be coming within a few days. I made sure it was collectible/the battery was working. I'm going to buy Crystal(and Yellow) soon, 'make sure the battery either is new, or it works.
I have seen dead Generation I games, but I gather this is largely due to defective/damaged batteries. Save batteries, when properly taken care of and are not in the Generation II games, can last for decades. (I have the two 1980s Zelda games, perfect batteries!)Gen Is have died, though, as i have seen a dead red. Gen IIIs have died as well. But gen I has no clock and III has flash saves, the battery is for the clock.
It's gonna die soon then.My Silver and Crystal are both dead. My Gold still saves, but I have to reset the clock every time I turn it on. Very annoying.