Help Needed: MBP Mid 2012 13" (Non Retina) - Upgrade to SSD and 16gb

DookSucks

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Original poster
Feb 21, 2019
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I have lurked here off and on for several months.

My Mid 2012 MBP Unibody 13" (Non Retina) A1278 is still doing well, but I need to pick up some speed / capacity, and I don't want a damn touchbar or a janky keyboard. I love this machine.

Plus, in my field, we still have a lot of folks who send information on DVD, and I don't want to lug around an external optic drive.

So, I want to update to a 512 SSD and 16gb of ddr3 ram, and I would like to upgrade the battery as well because it's starting to experience what seems to be the beginning of a precipitous decline.

As such, which name and model components should I buy for the SSD, Ram and Battery?

There is a shop in our area friends have used for their macs (including a friend of mine who owns a pawn shop in a neighboring town), and that's who I want to use. He told me Samsung SSD and Corsair for the ram, but I forgot to ask him about the battery.

When I have reviewed batteries on amazon, I have seen that while a product may have a decent score, there are a lot of scary one star reviews with detailed issues. I also noticed that crucial ssd's had a great score but that folks had a lot of detailed one star reviews. Same goes for crucial's 16gb of ram.

If this is something that should be merged elsewhere, I apologize. This is my first post.

Thank you for your help.
 

Stephen.R

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I’d look on ifixit for the specific part details you need.

The store may also be able to advise - the whole point of sales staff is to be able to help when you say “I have x and want to do y, what model part do I need?”
[doublepost=1550803068][/doublepost]Obviously you need to be in the right type of store: don’t go asking the computer parts sales staff about cheese for a carbonara.
 

DookSucks

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Feb 21, 2019
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I live seventy minutes from the closest Apple Store, and I hate talking to the tech on the phone. Nice enough guy, but he talks too much and the store-front is twenty minutes from my office. Thus, I came here for efficiency.
 

Stephen.R

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I live seventy minutes from the closest Apple Store, and I hate talking to the tech on the phone. Nice enough guy, but he talks too much and the store-front is twenty minutes from my office. Thus, I came here for efficiency.
I'm confused. If there is a store 20 minutes from your office, you there, and ask them for a battery to suit model X MacBook Pro. If they can't lookup what battery suits what model laptop, you probably want to shop elsewhere anyway, as they're just as likely to sell you a cheese sandwich.
 

DookSucks

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Feb 21, 2019
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I'm confused. If there is a store 20 minutes from your office, you there, and ask them for a battery to suit model X MacBook Pro. If they can't lookup what battery suits what model laptop, you probably want to shop elsewhere anyway, as they're just as likely to sell you a cheese sandwich.
I think this is an issue of something being lost in translation. “Storefront” is a generic term for commercial space leased/owned by an entity/individual, often for interaction with customers. Maybe I should have said the “tec/ shop is twenty minutes from me,” and while the tech is a nice guy, I don’t have time during the business day to talk as much as he wants to talk.

Apologies for the confusion.
 

Stephen.R

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Storefront
I understand what a store is. I realise you don't mean an Apple store.

My point is that if you can't go see someone selling parts for a computer and say "I want a battery for a XYZ model laptop" you're probably at the wrong shop.
 

DookSucks

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Original poster
Feb 21, 2019
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I understand what a store is. I realise you don't mean an Apple store.

My point is that if you can't go see someone selling parts for a computer and say "I want a battery for a XYZ model laptop" you're probably at the wrong shop.
He doesn’t sell parts. Apparently, he makes his living doing work for the local assortment of pawn shops, used electronic stores and local businesses. This is a military town, and there are plenty of places to keep him busy.

He doesn’t advertise for individuals. He will do it, especially if you have a referral, but that isn’t his bread and butter.

This is all beside the damn point though! I just want suggestions from others based on their experiences.
[doublepost=1550805958][/doublepost]
I have Crucial RAM and SSD in my MBP 15" 2012 non-retina. I also have a Crucial SSD in my daughter's MBP13" 2011. All work perfectly for me.
How long have you had the upgrades? How often do you use it? This is something I use anywhere from 3-8 hours per day eight days/evenings per week when I do work stuff at the house or need it for a hearing.
 

makinao

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Dec 27, 2009
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How long have you had the upgrades? How often do you use it? This is something I use anywhere from 3-8 hours per day eight days/evenings per week when I do work stuff at the house or need it for a hearing.
I've had the Ram for 4 years. My first 1tb SSD ran for 2 years, then I handed it down to my daughter. Haven't heard a complaint from her. I got my current 2tb SSD last December.

My MBP is my one and only machine and I use it for everything from the time I wake up at 6am to bedtime at midnight. Lecture presentations and committee work at school; recreation, research, music and video playback at home; and music recording and video editing whenever i have projects.

P.S. The battery was replaced in mid-2015 just before applecare expired. It's down to 70% at full charge. I'll probably replace it with an original Apple battery it in a year or so when it's down to 50%.
 
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DookSucks

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I've had the Ram for 4 years. My first 1tb SSD ran for 2 years, then I handed it down to my daughter. Haven't heard a complaint from her. I got my current 2tb SSD last December.

My MBP is my one and only machine and I use it for everything from the time I wake up at 6am to bedtime at midnight. Lecture presentations and committee work at school; recreation, research, music and video playback at home; and music recording and video editing whenever i have projects.
Where did you buy the components?
 

makinao

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Dec 27, 2009
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Where did you buy the components?
I'm in MetroManila, Philippines, so I got it from local stores. Prices of SSDs dropped drastically here to USA levels over Christmas. So many here upgraded this past two months. I did all installations and data migration myself.
 

smirking

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I have a 2009 and 2012 MBP that I use as emergency machines. Both became more than serviceable once I dropped an SSD into them. Modestly sized SSDs are plenty cheap these days. As other people have already recommended, Crucial has a good reputation and any of the Samsung EVOs are a safe bet too. Just about any of the SSDs made by major brands should be fine. If the price is really low, just make sure you're buying a 3D NAND SSD for better performance.

Batteries are a lot harder of a call to make. Even the reputable battery sellers can be a crapshoot. I purchased new batteries off of eBay for both my 2009 and 2012 last year. They were labeled as genuine and they definitely had the look of a real Apple battery with a recent manufacture date to boot. Both had the expected battery performance and capacity out of the box. One of them is working flawlessly and one of them might not be, but I'm not entirely certain it's because of the battery because the one that's not working flawlessly had some serious power management issues that I assumed were solely the fault of the bad battery before getting the battery replaced.

Previous to this, I always shelled out the extra money to get battery from the likes of OWC, but the last battery I got from them lasted about 10 months and 10 cycles before it started to swell to the point that it was pushing on the case and causing the trackpad to fail.

You're going to see 1 star reviews for any battery seller on eBay. Batteries are unpredictable. Just pick a seller that has a 4.5+ star rating with 10,000+ reviews.
 
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DookSucks

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Feb 21, 2019
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You can get them from www.crucial.com

Both the RAM and SSD

Good luck!
Thank you. I see the items are a little cheaper on amazon. Is that because the amazon items are used (I know that's a problem with some amazon items)?

Also, would me running Mojave cause any issues?

Thanks for your help.
[doublepost=1550809612][/doublepost]
I have a 2009 and 2012 MBP that I use as emergency machines. Both became more than serviceable once I dropped an SSD into them. Modestly sized SSDs are plenty cheap these days. As other people have already recommended, Crucial has a good reputation and any of the Samsung EVOs are a safe bet too. Just about any of the SSDs made by major brands should be fine. If the price is really low, just make sure you're buying a 3D NAND SSD for better performance.

Batteries are a lot harder of a call to make. Even the reputable battery sellers can be a crapshoot. I purchased new batteries off of eBay for both my 2009 and 2012 last year. They were labeled as genuine and they definitely had the look of a real Apple battery with a recent manufacture date to boot. Both had the expected battery performance and capacity out of the box. One of them is working flawlessly and one of them might not be, but I'm not entirely certain it's because of the battery because the one that's not working flawlessly had some serious power management issues that I assumed were solely the fault of the bad battery before getting the battery replaced.

Previous to this, I always shelled out the extra money to get battery from the likes of OWC, but the last battery I got from them lasted about 10 months and 10 cycles before it started to swell to the point that it was pushing on the case and causing the trackpad to fail.

You're going to see 1 star reviews for any battery seller on eBay. Batteries are unpredictable. Just pick a seller that has a 4.5+ star rating with 10,000+ reviews.
Thanks for your advice.
 

smirking

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Thank you. I see the items are a little cheaper on amazon. Is that because the amazon items are used (I know that's a problem with some amazon items)?

Also, would me running Mojave cause any issues?
If it doesn't say "Refurbished" I wouldn't worry about them being used units. Lower capacity SSDs have gotten almost scary cheap these days. They were so cheap when I last checked that I just assumed that the prices were for older NAND drives and not 3D NAND drives (which are faster and more reliable).
 

makinao

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Dec 27, 2009
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Also, would me running Mojave cause any issues?
Hmmm .... that depends. I’ve been through every update since I bought my MBP with Mountain Lion, and am on Mojave now. Each one had its own quirks, but I’ve been lucky to avoid any major catastrophies. You have to be careful for incompatibilities with legacy apps and hardware though. Some have been known to break until the developer issues an update. Some just won’t work because they’ve been abandoned and no updates are forthcoming. So if you are humming along and are comfortable with what you have now, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. But if you need all the new functions and features from subsequent OS versions, and are planning to update all your apps anyway, Mojave works.
 
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smirking

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But if you need all the new functions and features from subsequent OS versions, and are planning to update all your apps anyway, Mojave works.
Mojave isn't officially supported on a 2012 Unibody. High Sierra's not even supported (but reportedly works fine). You'd have to sideload it to install it.
 

makinao

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Dec 27, 2009
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Yes that's correct. I have an old 2009 and 2012 Unibody as secondary machines and I get them mixed up. It's the 2009 that doesn't want to install anything higher than Sierra.
I’ll add that starting with ElCap, my spinning HD slowed to a crawl, and I had to upgrade to a hybrid drive. But even that slowed down with Sierra. It’s been smooth sailing since I got an SSD two years ago.
 
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DookSucks

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Feb 21, 2019
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Thanks for the help.

So, just to be clear, Mojave shouldn’t cause any issues with the upgrades?

The machine is slowing down at start up and when running multiple apps/programs alongside a second screen. Friend who is tech /Mac knowledgeable looked at the machine and said he was worried the hard drive could be about to start causing issues. I wanted to upgrade ram due to some of the stuff we need to run for work now being more of a memory hog, and he suggested I do a ssd update. Friend lives out of town and found the local tech referenced above.

I am getting to the point where I need to get a new MBP, but with this bad boy being supported until next year for OS updates and then security updates a year or two after that (on the last OS I would be able to update), I wanted to use up all of the time I could to allow Apple to get past the current models and see what unfolds.

I have come to love MacOS because it makes sense to me. I sucked/suck with PC’s because I’m not a tech person, and when I started with the iPad then iPhone in ‘11 and ‘12, I decided to get a MBP on a leap of faith. I fell in love with it, and I’m hoping the keyboard, screen, heating, touchbar and trackpad BS gets worked out so I can move forward.
 

smirking

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I’ll add that starting with ElCap, my spinning HD slowed to a crawl, and I had to upgrade to a hybrid drive. But even that slowed down with Sierra. It’s been smooth sailing since I got an SSD two years ago.
It's amazing how much an SSD will do for an old laptop! SSDs are so cheap now you'd be crazy not to install one if you still have any use for an older laptop.
 

smirking

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I wanted to upgrade ram due to some of the stuff we need to run for work now being more of a memory hog, and he suggested I do a ssd update. Friend lives out of town and found the local tech referenced above.
Get the SSD first. You don't want to risk data loss in the event of a catastrophic HDD failure and even if you're being bottlenecked by not having enough RAM memory swapping on an SSD is so much faster than on a HDD that it's going to speed things up anyway.