Help me decide... 2012 vs 2015

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by kingdLo, Jul 27, 2015.


2012 Pro vs 2015 Pro w/Retina

  1. 2012

    1 vote(s)
  2. 2015

    14 vote(s)
  1. kingdLo macrumors 6502

    Mar 20, 2009
    Hey fellow MR'ers,

    I currently have a 2012 Mac Mini with SSD and 10GB ram and I'm trying to decide between a 2012 MacBook Pro vs a 2015 MacBook Pro with Retina display. Both certified refurbs. I only really use my computer for general use nothing crazy.

    2012: Basic config i5 2.5, 500GB, 4 GB ram etc etc.

    Positives for this system I already have a SSD and 8Gig ram in my 2012 Mac mini I can take out and swap in no problem. More upgradeable in the future as well. Also about $300 cheaper too. SuperDrive too.

    Negatives are its an older system with older hardware.

    2015 w/ Retina: i5 2.7, 8GB ram, 128 GB flash internal.

    Positives-- Newer Hardware, Retina display, Force Touch.

    Negatives-- More $$$, ram is no longer upgradeable BUT the 2012 only supports up to 8GB anyway??? So that is kind of break even. Can't swap in my current SSD, but again not that big as I don't even have close to 128GB on my current SSD. And I can always get a new PCIe flash HD, right?? Also no SuperDrive but my mini doesn't have one anyone and I don't exactly miss it.

    If I go for the retina, I can sell my Mac Mini intact with the SSD and 10GB ram inside to boost up the price a little bit more than a stock config. After buying either one and selling the Mini I'd only be looking at about 400-600 actual cost between either laptop I get.

    So if anyone has experiences with either or please chime in.

  2. kingdLo thread starter macrumors 6502

    Mar 20, 2009
    Is 8GB ram enough?!? The max I ever recall seeing in my 2012 mini being used was 6GB and even some of that was being held as inactive...
  3. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 604

    Oct 24, 2013
    I wouldn't buy 3 year old hardware that simple, for an extra few hundred dollars you'll love PCIe SSD's and AC wireless if nothing else. But mainly the retina screen is worth just about any premium you have mentioned, it is that good.
  4. kingdLo thread starter macrumors 6502

    Mar 20, 2009
    Well I'm an impulse buyer and I just decided to say F it and splurge on the 2015 w/Retina AND get the upgraded 16gb ram option. This future proofs me 100% and has better resale value down the line.

    Thanks to Samuelsan2001 for reminding me I was buying 3 yr old hardware.
  5. Mcmeowmers macrumors 6502

    Jun 1, 2015
    I would not count on being able to upgrade that PCIe SSD. From my understanding you may only change it to another component that came from a different MBP unit. Which I would guess would be hard to come by.

    The 2015 will be faster, more money, the small SSD is a big negative in my books
  6. Mcmeowmers macrumors 6502

    Jun 1, 2015

    Don't throw good money at very old hardware!
  7. Cryates macrumors 68000

    Nov 19, 2013
    Chattanooga, TN
    Not even a choice here...put the extra money in and buy the 2015. That extra money is going to go a long way in the lifespan on the computer.
  8. TechZeke macrumors 68020


    Jul 29, 2012
    Rialto, CA
    You'd be better off with a MacBook Air than the non-retina MBP.

    If this was 2012, you could at least argue the upgradability. At this point, it's so outdated that I can't recommend it to anyone, unless you can get it for less than a base MacBook Air.
  9. Qaanol macrumors 6502a

    Jun 21, 2010
    Do yourself a huge favor and get the 256 GB SSD.
  10. T5BRICK macrumors G3


    Aug 3, 2006
    According to Apple maybe, but the 2012 model works fine with 16GB of RAM.

    3rd party SSDs still don't exist for the current retina MacBook Pros. Any upgrades you find will most likely be used system pulls.

    Even then, I'd still go with the 2015 retina MBP. In fact, thats what I bought.
  11. b0fh666 macrumors 6502a


    Oct 12, 2012
    yeah... i'd love to have a 13-inch retina instead of my 2012, but for it to have the same capability (16gb ram, 256gbSSD + 750gb HDD) it would cost me a fortune.

    will keep my 2012s until they die... hopefully storage is much cheaper by that time :)

  12. kingdLo thread starter macrumors 6502

    Mar 20, 2009
    Thank you guys..You are reassuring me that the 2015 was worth the extra. Glad I also splurged for the 16GB option. I can deal with the 128GB SSD for now, i'm only using 50GB on my SSD in the mini..The internal HD on the other hand 120GB+. It looks like ill be needing a better external than the USB 2 500GB I have now..Any suggestions for a fast external with about 500GB? I'm gonna have to manage my Time Machine backups better as they're currently over 100GB alone on my internal HD
  13. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 604

    Oct 24, 2013
    Any western digital passport 1TB (USB 3) is my favourite portable option.
  14. kingdLo thread starter macrumors 6502

    Mar 20, 2009
    How's the speeds? What about an external Thunderbolt drive? People seem to say USB3 near matches SSD speeds, is that true?
  15. mlts22 macrumors 6502a

    Oct 28, 2008
    I bought a 480 or so GB external SSD by MyDigitalSSD from Amazon last week. It is called "512 GB" on Amazon's site, but it isn't, and the price reflects the lower capacity. It is surprisingly fast for a USB 3 drive, and I'd highly recommend that if you can't find anything else.

    As an alternative, I've read about people using high capacity SD cards... but I personally don't like anything sticking out the side of the MacBook, and the best capacity you can get for a SD-based drive that fits flush is either 128GB for a Transcend model, or a 200GB MicroSD card and a MicroSD card adapter which fits the port.
  16. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 604

    Oct 24, 2013
    I have no idea I just use them as a backup solution or for media storage, speeds are pretty much unimportant for me for this use case.
  17. iPad Retina macrumors 6502a

    iPad Retina

    Jan 6, 2013
    You can not upgrade the ram in the retina display models
  18. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    I've never heard people claim that USB3 matches SSD speeds, that's ludicrous :)

    TB is faster and has better sustained transfer speeds imo, but overall USB3 is fast. Depending on your needs, I'd opt for a USB 3 drive over a TB external drive just for the cost perspective.
  19. kingdLo thread starter macrumors 6502

    Mar 20, 2009
    Maybe not internal SSD, but I did see people claiming that external in an enclosure is close to matching. Who knows they could be bluffing.

    I think I'll get a USB 3 enclosure and pop in the External HDD I have now running on usb2. Probably also end up with a SD card to permanently keep in the laptop for backups/data files. External for movie collection as I have it now.
  20. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    It could be that the USB interface is the bottleneck and that you'll saturate that well before you're able to fully see SSD reach its fullest potential. Tbh, I don't know, I'm reaching for straws :p

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