Aging Mid-2012 MBP... Repair or Replace?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by KieranDotW, Aug 13, 2016.

  1. KieranDotW macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2012
    Location:
    Canada
    #1
    Title says it all. My Mid-2012 "fat" MBP (specs in signature) has served me well for over four years since buying it on launch in 2012.

    However, I recently checked my system information and (not surprisingly) the battery's almost hit its limit -- something like 950 out of 1000 predicted charge cycles. I know I could easily replace the battery for $50-100, but I got to thinking -- is it really worth it? I've heard stories of Macs lasting up to 6 years, but 4 years is still a very long lifetime for a laptop. At the same time, everything else still works okay (not super fast, not super slow, but just okay).

    TL;DR is it still worth pouring money into repairing an aging Mac, or is it time to send it off to pasture?

    Edit: Forgot to mention, I realize the Mac lineup is a mess right now and I'm a little anxious to buy new knowing updated hardware could be just around the corner
     
  2. xb2003 macrumors 6502

    xb2003

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2016
    Location:
    MO
    #2
    If you have a cMBP, then a rMBP would be a pretty decent improvement. If you value things such as TB2 (read: miniDP) and USB A without lots of adapters, then you may be best off to buy now, especially if you need a computer now.

    Waiting till the release would gain you slightly better hardware and a sleeker chassis, with maybe a bell and a whistle or two, but likely at the cost of every freaking port being USB C.

    Honestly though, If you haven't installed an SSD and maxed your ram, I would probably just do that. That will make you think you got a new machine. I wouldn't worry about how many cycles the battery says it has. When the battery fails, address it.
     
  3. DeltaMac macrumors 604

    DeltaMac

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2003
    Location:
    Delaware
    #3
    Total charge cycles is not necessarily your main indicator. It's just an engineering estimate a a guide to potential/expected battery life.
    Do you get useful life on a single charge?
    Batteries would usually be the shortest life component, but the change 5 or 6 years ago from the old 300 cycles to 1,000 cycles changed that expectation, I think.

    Keep using what you have, until you need to replace, or the battery no longer gives you what you expect - or when you need to change because of how YOU use your computer.
    And, replacing your spinning hard drive with an SSD, now that prices are quite reasonable, really can make you feel like you have a new laptop.

    I guess you don't have much experience with older Macs.
    I have a 2000 iMac, daily use. I expect to use it until the power supply (or the CRT) fails. I used to have a customer with a Mac Plus, in a shoe repair shop, now near 30 years old. I last checked it out about 5 years ago. I replaced the power supply in that about 10 years ago. The owner had custom printer software for an invoice printer, and would have to replace everything if the printer ever stopped working. The business is still active, and I haven't heard about a computer change there.
     
  4. tubeexperience macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2016
    #4
    You laptop is not broken and doesn't need repairing. Changing the battery is a basic maintenance cost.

    Performance hasn't increased significantly in recent years. If you upgrade your MBP with more memory and a SSD, you'll see significant improvement.
     
  5. T5BRICK macrumors 604

    T5BRICK

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2006
    Location:
    Oregon
    #5
    Were you checking the battery status because something is wrong? They can last longer, 1000 charge cycles is just the average.

    Does your computer still do everything you need it to do? If it does, fix it if it's broken, and keep using it.
     
  6. HBOC macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2008
    Location:
    SLC
    #6
    i would fix the battery and use it until the cows come home :) seriously though, if all it needs is a battery, do it.
     
  7. thats all folks macrumors 6502a

    thats all folks

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2013
    Location:
    Austin (supposedly in Texas)
    #7
    I'm sure it's worthless but I'll give you $100 for it to relieve of having to keep it around.
     
  8. Ries macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2007
    #8
    The battery is not going to stop working at 1000 cycles. Unless you're extremely unhappy with the battery life, wait for the skylake/kabylake model.
     
  9. Spudlicious macrumors 6502

    Spudlicious

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2015
    Location:
    Bedfordshire, England
    #9
    Gotta agree with the others, you've nothing to worry about. Stop looking at the charge cycle count if it bugs you, unless it's a ploy to convince someone else you really need a new computer. I could understand that.
     
  10. Hustler1337 macrumors 68000

    Hustler1337

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2010
    Location:
    London, UK
    #10
    Fully agree with this. It's like saying you're thinking of replacing your entire car because the tires are now running low on tread. The Retina Macbook Pro isn't much different in terms of performance to your classic MacBook Pro. Fitting an SSD and upgrading RAM will make it almost on par with the Retina Macbook Pro's performance and it will definitely feel like a new machine. Unless you really need certain features of the Retina Macbook Pro, there's very little reason to replace your whole machine.
     
  11. wegster macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2006
    #11
    battery: $50 or less
    RAM: $65 or so for 16GB, $30 for 2x4GB
    Done, unless you want to pick up an SSD which will be a nice boost.

    Before you start throwing $...have you even noticed batter performance impacting your work, or are you solely going by the charge cycles? If it's not causing issues, don't worry about it (although RAM + SSD would remain worthwhile). I had one of my laptops plugged in nearly constantly, until I was working back in an office, and needed to replace the battery for longevity off-power...at around TEN battery cycles. don't assume the cycle count is the real measure of 'do I need a battery?'

    As others have mentioned, the 'jump' in pure performance vs current lineup just isn't that much, perhaps 25% CPU and other benchmark scores (ignoring the drive performance...SSD WILL speed things up).
     
  12. asoksevil macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2010
    Location:
    Taipei, Taiwan
    #12
    I'll go with the RAM and SSD upgrade. You don't need to change your battery unless you really feel like so (e.g not enough hours to carry it all day). My MBA is 6 years old and I am still using its original battery.
     
  13. gim macrumors 6502

    gim

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2014
    #13
    I can just agree with y'all. Upgrade the RAM, HD to SSD and replace the battery if you really need to. You should be fine for another couple of years.

    Loving these stories about the crazy longevity of some older (Apple) products. Thanks for sharing!
     
  14. KieranDotW thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2012
    Location:
    Canada
    #14
    Thanks for the advice all, I think I'm going to hold on to my MBP a little longer. If I end up replacing the battery, do you have any recommendations? Are any of the ones on Amazon trustworthy or should I stick to iFixit/OWC?
     
  15. MaxMike macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2009
    #15
    Definitely RAM + SSD. SATA SSD's have dropped so far in price (I paid $1/GB a few years ago on my Samsung 840 Pro) that it's the best way to get a ton of extra performance. Even 8GB RAM would give you a nice boost. I agree with other people about how cycle count may not even be so relevant. If you download the old iStat Pro widget (I still use it instead of paying for iStat Menus) it should give you the health which may not even be so bad (my friend's white non-unibody MacBook had hundreds of cycles and hardly dropped in health and still lasted for hours). Wish I had a mid-2012 model since USB 2.0 is the one achilles heel of my late 2011.
     
  16. SJTrance macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2010
    #16
    I have a 2009 MacBook Pro with 8gigs ram and a Samsung SSD. I think I'll finally upgrade with the new one drops this fall but really, it's working just fine.

    I will admit, however, I'm very upset with the fact that I can't get the nicer screen and still have the upgradability that my current MacBook has.
     
  17. Spudlicious macrumors 6502

    Spudlicious

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2015
    Location:
    Bedfordshire, England
    #17
    Bet he's not charging 1986 prices......
     
  18. DeltaMac macrumors 604

    DeltaMac

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2003
    Location:
    Delaware
    #18
    You would lose your bet.
    The man has his business just to stay busy in his 80s. AFAIK, he hasn't changed prices since I've known him (at least 25 years) More of a hobby, I think - but he's also very good with shoes... I haven't seen him for about 5 years, and don't know if he's charging anything now...
     
  19. adam9c1 macrumors 65816

    adam9c1

    Joined:
    May 2, 2012
    Location:
    Chicagoland
    #19
    I have a 2010 at home, 2011 at work.

    Work one upgraded to 8GB and SSD.

    Home upgraded to 16GB and SSD.

    Night and day difference vs. stock.

    Hard drives extremely easy to replace, so is the battery (as a matter of fact replaced work battery last week).

    IMHO get a SSD and if you don't like it return, sell your laptop if you itch for retina.
     
  20. Spudlicious macrumors 6502

    Spudlicious

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2015
    Location:
    Bedfordshire, England
    #20
    OK, not my first losing bet.
     

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