Become a MacRumors Supporter for $50/year with no ads, ability to filter front page stories, and private forums.

tivoman

macrumors member
Original poster
Oct 13, 2013
73
43
My 8 year old MBP is slowing down and most likely is due to that it only has 4 GBs of ram and the original HD (not a SSD).

I only use this laptop for the following:
- Excel spreadsheets (creation)
- Transfer DSLR photos/videos
- Backup photos/videos to the cloud
(Like to back them up by folders)
- iTunes server (movie/TV in house streaming)

My device usage is:
1. IPhone 12 Pro Max
2. iPad Pro 12.9” (2020)
3. MBP 2012

Any recommendations on a good place to purchase memory and a SSD would be appreciated.

TIA
 

makinao

macrumors 6502
Dec 27, 2009
290
110
Short answer: YES!

Longer answer: As long as everything else is working (screen, ports, trackpad, etc), an SSD and RAM upgrade will give a dramatic boost in performance, and years more of service. Possibly beyond the completed transition to Apple Silicon. That's what I'm planning.
 
Last edited:

ww1971

macrumors regular
Jul 15, 2011
132
35
My 8 year old MBP is slowing down and most likely is due to that it only has 4 GBs of ram and the original HD (not a SSD).

I only use this laptop for the following:
- Excel spreadsheets (creation)
- Transfer DSLR photos/videos
- Backup photos/videos to the cloud
(Like to back them up by folders)
- iTunes server (movie/TV in house streaming)

My device usage is:
1. IPhone 12 Pro Max
2. iPad Pro 12.9” (2020)
3. MBP 2012

Any recommendations on a good place to purchase memory and a SSD would be appreciated.

TIA

it depends what you intend to use it for. If you want to use a mac m1 system for simple things your best bet is to get a system with 8 gb ram / 256 gb sdd If you are a 3D Graphic Designer or video editor then a system with 16 gb ram / 512 go SDD is a better bet. It depends on what you want to use it for
 

ght56

macrumors 6502a
Aug 31, 2020
839
810
Yes, I think a SSD and RAM update is worth it given the system meets your needs. How much SSD space do you need? You can get a 256 GB SSD for 25 bucks.
 

circatee

macrumors 68000
Jul 18, 2020
1,787
1,186
I have a MacBook Pro 2012, with 4GB memory. I know how to upgrade the memory, and actually have the modules, too.
But, are we saying we personally can upgrade the hard drive (easily), too?
 
  • Like
Reactions: clueless88

makinao

macrumors 6502
Dec 27, 2009
290
110
I have a MacBook Pro 2012, with 4GB memory. I know how to upgrade the memory, and actually have the modules, too.
But, are we saying we personally can upgrade the hard drive (easily), too?
Yup. Just 1) clone your existing HD to an SSD in an enclosure using CCC, 2) open up the MBP and replace the HD with the cloned SSD. Done. Just search youtube for instructions.
 
  • Like
Reactions: circatee

Simon89

macrumors regular
Apr 8, 2015
207
112
Yorkshire, UK
On my previous late 2011 13" MBP, it cost me approx. £35 for 16GB of RAM and £40 for a 256GB SSD which I cloned from the HDD so I didn't lose any data.

Super easy to do and it's probably worth changing your thermal paste if you're confident as it'll be as dry as chalk by now.
 

Mitthrawnuruodo

Moderator emeritus
Mar 10, 2004
14,186
692
Bergen, Norway
With that usage, and if the old machine seems like it's on it's last leg, I'd go for either an MB Air or - if you don't need portability - the new Mac mini with a wireless keyboard and trackpad.
 

circatee

macrumors 68000
Jul 18, 2020
1,787
1,186
Based on a few responses so far, I was about to start researching new hard drives for my MacBook 2012; I already have two 4GB memory modules to install. But, just noticed that Big Sur would not run on it.

Based on OS lifecycle, might be best to invest in the future; if funds are available...
 

clueless88

macrumors regular
Aug 23, 2020
145
70
Based on a few responses so far, I was about to start researching new hard drives for my MacBook 2012; I already have two 4GB memory modules to install. But, just noticed that Big Sur would not run on it.

Based on OS lifecycle, might be best to invest in the future; if funds are available...
Looking at the cash outlay for a newer laptop versus the cost of a 250-500 GB SSD and 8 or 16 GB RAM to me it is a no brainer to upgrade the 2012 MBP. The mid 2012 13" MBP is very easy to DIY upgrade/replace components, and with an SSD and 8-16GB RAM it will load much faster than with the original set up. On the other hand, the newer MBPs, MB Airs are not upgrade friendly or possible. 8 years may be a long time in tech years, but looking at the OP's usage, the 2012 machine should serve him well for many years.

I had "inherited" the identical laptop (offspring gave me his dying device with cracked screen after he graduated college) and installed a 500 GB samsung 860 evo ssd and 8 GB used ram from eBay and am pleased with its performance. Am able to run Catalina on it (latest officially supported OS for the MBP 2012 13"), since BS just launched, Catalina should be supported by Apple for a while. Am thinking of loading Mojave just to experiment with some 32 bit programs.

Please note that depreciating assets such as electronics and especially vehicles are NOT investments. They are pure expenditures--pursuing bleeding edge devices does not add to your personal wealth. Contentment will (ooh, too much Dave Ramsey).
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: circatee

ght56

macrumors 6502a
Aug 31, 2020
839
810
Based on a few responses so far, I was about to start researching new hard drives for my MacBook 2012; I already have two 4GB memory modules to install. But, just noticed that Big Sur would not run on it.

Based on OS lifecycle, might be best to invest in the future; if funds are available...

It is very inexpensive to upgrade and you don't really need Big Sur. You can get a 256 GB SSD for 25 bucks. If nothing else, it makes sense to upgrade it to have as a second computer should your primary need service or malfunction.
 

circatee

macrumors 68000
Jul 18, 2020
1,787
1,186
Looking at the cash outlay for a newer laptop versus the cost of a 250-500 GB SSD and 8 or 16 GB RAM to me it is a no brainer to upgrade the 2012 MBP. The mid 2012 13" MBP is very easy to DIY upgrade/replace components, and with an SSD and 8-16GB RAM it will load much faster than with the original set up. On the other hand, the newer MBPs, MB Airs are not upgrade friendly or possible. 8 years may be a long time in tech years, but looking at the OP's usage, the 2012 machine should serve him well for many years.

I had "inherited" the identical laptop (offspring gave me his dying device with cracked screen after he graduated college) and installed a 500 GB samsung 860 evo ssd and 8 GB used ram from eBay and am pleased with its performance. Am able to run Catalina on it (last officially supported OS for the MBP 2012 13"), since BS just launched, Catalina should be supported by Apple for a while. Am thinking of loading Mojave just to experiment with some 32 bit programs.

Please note that depreciating assets such as electronics and especially vehicles are NOT investments. They are pure expenditures--pursuing bleeding edge devices does not add to your personal wealth. Contentment will (ooh, too much Dave Ramsey).
I hear you loud and clear.
 

justashooter

macrumors 6502
Apr 8, 2020
324
182
If you read my other posts you will see I am very much an advocate for keeping the 2012 MacBook Pro 13 running. For around $100 for 16 GB ram (I bought a 16GB kit used in ebay for $38) and a 500GB SSD (I use the Crucial MX500 series, you can get them for around $60 now) and you will love the speed, mine boots in about 20 seconds. It's like a new machine. I'm a freelance photographer, so it gets a lot of Photoshop editing thrown at it. A little video now and then (30 second to 3 minute stuff).

Makinao has it right, use CCC to clone your drive to the ssd, boot from the external SSD just to confirm it is working correctly, then install the SSD inside the MBP. Done. The only other thing I have had to do to mine is replace the internal SATA cable, but that is only a $7 part and also quite easy to do.

I've stopped at Mojave on this MBP, I still run some 32 bit apps and it runs problem free. That is a big + in my book!

Installing the SSD:

Installing SATA cable:
 
Last edited:

vince22

macrumors 6502a
Oct 12, 2013
501
430
Based on a few responses so far, I was about to start researching new hard drives for my MacBook 2012; I already have two 4GB memory modules to install. But, just noticed that Big Sur would not run on it.

Based on OS lifecycle, might be best to invest in the future; if funds are available...
2012 13" Mid MacBook Pro not officially supported with Big Sur but it runs exceptionally well including stock 802.11n Wifi.
bigsur-2012-MBP.png
 

MacCraig Pro

macrumors member
Jan 1, 2012
61
17
Manchester, UK
Upgrade it!

My wife still runs a 13" mid-2012 purchased refurbished in 2015 and its an exceptional machine. I recently put a 240gb Crucial SSD in it to replace the old 500Gb HDD and it is running beautifully on Catalina.

I nearly got one to replace my aging 2011 until Big Sur was announced that it wouldn't support the mid-2012, which set me on a path of finding a suitable replacement.
 

applefan19

macrumors regular
Sep 26, 2019
121
32
Based on a few responses so far, I was about to start researching new hard drives for my MacBook 2012; I already have two 4GB memory modules to install. But, just noticed that Big Sur would not run on it.

Based on OS lifecycle, might be best to invest in the future; if funds are available...
I'm in a similar boat. I have a mid-2012 MacBook with 2017 upgrades due to failures. However, the software is not supported and I cannot do some remote tasks for work from home because of that. I am likely going to give in to some Black Friday sales!
 

Fishrrman

macrumors Penryn
Feb 20, 2009
24,692
9,924
One more "YES" for upgrading it.

My advice:
Get a 2.5" SATA SSD. It doesn't have to be "the fastest". I suggest you "buy for price", I like Crucial and Sandisk.

Get ONE 8gb DIMM module, and replace the "topmost" 2gb DIMM while you have the back off to replace the HDD.
This will give you 10gb of installed RAM, as much as you'll ever need.

Also:
BE SURE TO USE THE RIGHT TOOLS for the job.
Phillips #00 driver
TORX T-6

Go to ifixit.com to see the replacement guide.
This is an easy job, and ANYONE can do it in about 20 minutes. The hardest part is removing the screws holding the back plate on, and replacing them later on.

You didn't tell us how large the original hard drive is.
I'd get an SSD the same size or larger.
Then, you can just "clone over" the contents of the old drive to the new SSD.

I'd suggest either CarbonCopyCloner or SuperDuper for the cloning.
Both are FREE to download and use for 30 days.
This will cost you nothing.

One more thing:

I suggest you buy one of these:
Put the SSD into it FIRST, and connect it to the Mac.
Use disk utility to erase/format the SSD.
Then use CCC or SD to "clone over" the internal drive BEFORE YOU OPEN UP THE MACBOOK.
This way... if something doesn't go right... YOU STILL HAVE A WORKING MACBOOK.

Once you do the clone, now you can boot with the option key to invoke the startup manager, and boot from the SSD while it's still in the external enclosure.

This way, you can test it to be sure it works.

If it's "a good boot", NOW is the time to shut down, open the MacBook, do the drive/RAM swap, and close back up.

Then, set the Startup Disk to the new SSD, and you should be done.

Put the OLD drive into the enclosure.
It can still serve as your backup drive, or extra storage.
 

Marior182

macrumors newbie
Jun 2, 2022
2
0
One more "YES" for upgrading it.

My advice:
Get a 2.5" SATA SSD. It doesn't have to be "the fastest". I suggest you "buy for price", I like Crucial and Sandisk.

Get ONE 8gb DIMM module, and replace the "topmost" 2gb DIMM while you have the back off to replace the HDD.
This will give you 10gb of installed RAM, as much as you'll ever need.

Also:
BE SURE TO USE THE RIGHT TOOLS for the job.
Phillips #00 driver
TORX T-6

Go to ifixit.com to see the replacement guide.
This is an easy job, and ANYONE can do it in about 20 minutes. The hardest part is removing the screws holding the back plate on, and replacing them later on.

You didn't tell us how large the original hard drive is.
I'd get an SSD the same size or larger.
Then, you can just "clone over" the contents of the old drive to the new SSD.

I'd suggest either CarbonCopyCloner or SuperDuper for the cloning.
Both are FREE to download and use for 30 days.
This will cost you nothing.

One more thing:

I suggest you buy one of these:
Put the SSD into it FIRST, and connect it to the Mac.
Use disk utility to erase/format the SSD.
Then use CCC or SD to "clone over" the internal drive BEFORE YOU OPEN UP THE MACBOOK.
This way... if something doesn't go right... YOU STILL HAVE A WORKING MACBOOK.

Once you do the clone, now you can boot with the option key to invoke the startup manager, and boot from the SSD while it's still in the external enclosure.

This way, you can test it to be sure it works.

If it's "a good boot", NOW is the time to shut down, open the MacBook, do the drive/RAM swap, and close back up.

Then, set the Startup Disk to the new SSD, and you should be done.

Put the OLD drive into the enclosure.
It can still serve as your backup drive, or extra storage.
My original MBP came already with two 4gb RAM modules. Could I upgrade one or two to have either 12 or 16 GB of RAM? Thank you!
 

vince22

macrumors 6502a
Oct 12, 2013
501
430
My original MBP came already with two 4gb RAM modules. Could I upgrade one or two to have either 12 or 16 GB of RAM? Thank you!
i've purchased 2 sets of this 16gb 4yrs ago for my kids 2012 13" Mid MBP and guaranteed to work.

 
  • Like
Reactions: Marior182

justashooter

macrumors 6502
Apr 8, 2020
324
182
My original MBP came already with two 4gb RAM modules. Could I upgrade one or two to have either 12 or 16 GB of RAM? Thank you!
Yes. Throw an 8gb in it and it will run fine. I buy used chips on ebay (just make sure you are getting the right spec chips) Be patient and you can get 2 8gb chips for about $42. But 8-12gb in that machine for regular use is fine. If you are editing photos or especially video, 16gb would be prefered.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Marior182

Marior182

macrumors newbie
Jun 2, 2022
2
0
i've purchased 2 sets of this 16gb 4yrs ago for my kids 2012 13" Mid MBP and guaranteed to work.

I've got another one for you. Between upgrading the 2012 13" MBP that I was asking earlier or upgrading an early 2014 11" MacBook Air with 4gb 1.4GHz Intel core i5 dual core? Thank you in advance!
 
Register on MacRumors! This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.