2012 15" non-retina or 15" Retina

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Ranchers, Apr 8, 2014.

  1. Ranchers macrumors newbie

    Mar 27, 2014

    I'm in a little predicament, I recently bought myself a macbook pro 15": mid 2012 non-retina for $1100 off craigslist. The original owner bought it from macmall four months ago. (specs below). Everything is running great, laptop is in excellent condition etc etc. I bought the laptop primarily for coding, I'm not a gamer but I do like having my computer run smooth. My plan was to upgrade to a SSD and add more RAM.


    Instead of upgrading to a SSD & RAM, should I just buy myself a macbook pro 15" retina? the 2012 retinas have been going for about $1300+ on craigslist lately (example below). What do you guys think. is it worth it? is the performance that much different?

    My laptop
    Original Price: $1,499
    Bought for $1100

    Mid 20212 non-retina (Applecare eligible)
    Apple MD103LL/A 15.4" MacBook Pro quad-core Intel Core i7 2.3GHz, 4GB RAM, 500GB 5400-rpm hard drive, Intel HD Graphics 4000, Ships with Mountain Lion (Turbo Boost up to 3.3GHz)

    Potential Craigslist buy:
    Macbook pro Retina 15"
    2.6GHz Quad-core Intel Core i7, Turbo Boost up to 3.6GHz
    8GB 1600MHz DDR3L SDRAM
    512GB Flash Storage

    Any feedback is greatly appreciated.

    Thank you.
  2. casperes1996 macrumors 68040


    Jan 26, 2014
    Horsens, Denmark
    Why though?

    What I don't get, is why you bought the non-retina in the first place, when you could've just bought a retina model to begin with? Yeah, the difference is quite big. Primarily because of the SSD (loading apps up and booting is dramatically much faster.) 4Gig of RAM isn't all that much either these days. That being said, the non-retina does have the advantage that you can bump the RAM to 16gigs yourself if you wish, whereas the retina is stuck with the 8. Obviously CPU and GPU are also faster on the retina model. (Can't get a 15 inch MBP(non-retina) with only integrated GPU... You might want to update your post with the second GPU as well). If you can get a good price selling the non-retina again, I'd go with the retina model. Not just will the added RAM and the faster SSD (Much faster than a 5400 disk) improve your performance, but looking at a retina screen is just so much nicer.
  3. themumu macrumors 6502a


    Feb 13, 2011
    The only reason to keep a non-retina is if you want to update it yourself with extra RAM and storage. For example, replacing the optical drive with a hybrid SSD+HDD setup to maximize both speed and capacity. Otherwise, the price difference is small enough that a retina makes much more sense.
  4. Ranchers thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 27, 2014
    correct, that was my plan. But is it worth all that hassle. If I upgrade, will the laptop be at par with a 2012 retina?

    I've also noticed the weight difference, non-retina is way heavier.

    Decisions, decisions.

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