Macbook Pro - Keep and upgrade or Trade-in/Sell

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by jinkiesscooby, May 26, 2016.


I should..

  1. Sell it!

    1 vote(s)
  2. Keep it!

    2 vote(s)
  1. jinkiesscooby macrumors newbie


    May 26, 2016

    I created an account on this site specifically to ask advice on my current Macbook Pro situation. I'm seeking opinions, experience, suggestions, anything really..

    I have a 2012 (manufactured date of January 2013) Macbook Pro 15.4" that is the MD104LL/A model, I got it very cheap and it seems to be really close to perfect condition (short of a mark on the bottom and one on the side). Its specs are:

    Processors: 1 (4 Cores)
    Processor Speed: 2.7 GHz
    Processor Type: Core i7 (I7-3820QM)

    Turbo Boost 3.7 GHz
    Architecture: 64-Bit
    L1 Cache: 32k/32k x4
    L2 Cache: 256k x4, 8 MB
    RAM Type: PCS3-12800 DDR3L
    Min. RAM Speed: 1600MHz
    Standard RAM: 8GB
    Maximum RAM: 16GB

    RAM Slots: 2
    Video Card: GeForce GT 650M
    VRAM Type: GDDR5
    Standard VRAM: 1 GB

    Maximum VRAM: 1 GB
    Display Resolution: 1680x1050
    2nd Max Res: 2650x1600
    Video Port: 1 (Thunderbolt)

    Standard HDD: 750GB (5400RPM)
    Int HD Interface: Serial ATA (6GB/s)
    Standard Optical Drive: 8x Superdrive
    USB Port: 2 (USB 3.0)
    SDXC Card Slot
    Model Number: A1286
    Model Identifier: MacBookPro9,1

    Battery Type: 77.5 Wh Li-Poly
    Battery Life: 7 Hours
    Weight: 5.6lbs (2.56kg)

    Original Price: $2449+
    Has the HD Hi Res Matte Screen upgrade

    I happened upon this computer "by accident". I had planned to buy a Macbook (12") in the next couple of months, but now I am wondering if I may be better off upgrading this machine and hanging onto it, given that it was really about the last of the "user serviceable" macbooks? Could I potentially replace parts on this thing for years and years?

    Two options:
    1.) Sell/trade-in this MBP and use the funds to buy the MB 12" (2015 or 2016) (or MBP 13" 2015 refurb)
    2.) Upgrade the RAM in this machine to 16GB, at least a 256GB SSD, and put a fresh battery in it.

    My original minimum requirements for anything I got were:
    1.) SSD
    2.) Retina screen
    3.) Fits in my purse

    But for the savings.. I might re-consider..

    My use cases for the Macbook I was going to buy are:
    1.) Light image editing (not photoshop or the like)
    2.) Web browsing / web apps
    3.) Using it while not connected to power
    4.) Travel (one of my qualifications for the MB was that it be small and light enough to fit in my purse)
    5.) Windows VM (not for gaming - just for running apps that are windows-only)

    One of the things that appealed to me about the MB 12" is that it comes in different colors.

    Other possible use cases (and therefore reasons for owning a MBP instead of MB):
    1.) Mac only music applications (think garage-band-ish things)
    2.) Software development
    3.) "Medium-intensive" windows applications (think MS Word, etc.)
    4.) "Medium-intensive" games (e.g. Team Fortress 2, L4D2, The Sims 3..)
    5.) More involved image editing (photoshop, and the like)

    I plan to first use the thing for a lot of things that involve me creating documents, keying in text, (eBay listings), etc. Is this MBP "too powerful" (opinion) for that - i.e. Is it a waste of resources, or does it run hot, or will it be too heavy - such that those things make having it "more trouble than it's worth"? I don't want to be in the situation where I have to use it with a cooling pad or sitting at a table or something because it runs too hot when I've got a bunch of browser tabs open.

    I use a 15" 2015 MBP for work that is topped out. I absolutely love the retina screen and the forcetouch trackpad. Which laptop would I have a better experience with? The MBP because (with a SSD and more ram) it can get closer to the power and speed of my work machine? Or the MB because of the retina screen, form factor, etc.?

    I owned a 2010 MBP (topped out) for 4 years or so, and got rid of it as fast as I could because of the nvidia graphics problem. Is that something I should be worried about with this MBP?

    I didn't care for the size of that one or the weight.. this 2012 is nearly identical in both fields..

    - Don't have to buy a new computer ($1000+), only the upgrade parts ~$200
    - Have it in hand already
    - It was the top of the line during its heyday
    - It does have the matte screen.. which the new macbooks don't have (I think that's a bonus)
    - I can replace nearly all the internal parts for as long as I can get working parts for it
    - Has a CD/DVD drive (useful for watching movies, running old software..)
    - Will run the latest Mac OS
    - Has that cool battery indicator on the side
    - Does have USB 3.0
    - Has thunderbolt
    - Has ethernet port
    - Has SD card slot

    - It's heavy
    - Battery life is "worse" than I'm used to (with the 2015 MBP)
    - It's a 15" (prefer the 12" of the MB)
    - It's "thick" (unlike the 12" MB or the 2015 MBP)
    - No retina screen
    - Only has 1 thunderbolt port
    - It won't fit in my purse
    - It's been used (though it appears to be very well taken care of)

    Thoughts, opinions, suggestions, concerns welcome.

    tl;dr Have topped out 2012 MBP (not retina). Want 12" MB. Better to sell this one while it's still got decent value ($550-950), or hold onto it because with upgrades it will be a better choice anyway?
  2. kiwipeso1 Suspended


    Sep 17, 2001
    Wellington, New Zealand
    Note that you can swap out the superdrive DVD and put it in an external case, while filling that slot with a large SSD.
    You would then have the ability to clone your old HDD to the SSD, then run the HDD as a built in time machine.
    This would give you about 8 ~ 12 times the speed depending on the SSD, and up to 2TB if you really wanted a massive drive.
    You would also gain back some battery life from not running your MBP on moving disc.
    It's worth considering, you could also upgrade your HDD to a larger capacity if that made more sense, as you could get a 2TB drive, in conjunction with the SSD.
    You can also get thunderbolt docks if you want multiple USB 3 drives, etc.
  3. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 604

    Oct 24, 2013
    You have all the information, have done the pros and cons to death, basically you just have to make a choice between performance and portability, so make that choice, there is nothing left for anyone else to say.

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