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macgeek7860

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Aug 14, 2014
26
1
Hi Community,

I currently have a 13 Inch Macbook Pro Mid-2012 with 500GB HDD and 4GB of RAM. I am interested in upgrading my laptop's RAM and hard drive to 8GB of RAM and 250GB SSD. I wanted to know if it would be a good idea to install Mac OS on an external hard drive and connect it to my computer via USB. If this is a good idea, what would you recommend for the external hard drive? Would I be sacrificing performance by going external instead of internal?


- macgeek7860
 

McScooby

macrumors 65816
Oct 15, 2005
1,139
681
The Paps of Glenn Close, Scotland.
I'm no expert, but I'd say the bottleneck would be your 500GB HD, also that it uses more battery/power. I've the same MB & put in 16GB RAM (doubtful i'll ever use it) & Samsung 850 1TB Pro (again overkill, but should be good for 10yrs) If i was doing the same again, I'd now use a 850 Evo 2TB, never have to open it again.
 

macgeek7860

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Aug 14, 2014
26
1
Hi McScooby,

As much as I would like to buy a 850 Evo 2TB, my budget isn't high enough to purchase one. I am trying to find one for under 100$. I only plan on using Mac OS for some of my classes at school. As of right now I am happy with running Windows 10 via boot camp.

-macgeek7860
 

smirking

macrumors 68040
Aug 31, 2003
3,200
2,891
Silicon Valley
I wanted to know if it would be a good idea to install Mac OS on an external hard drive and connect it to my computer via USB.

Hahaha, no. Absolutely not. It would be so horrifically slow. External devices should only be used for storage unless you're shelling out the bucks to have a Thunderbolt connection to them, but if $100 is your budget, Thunderbolt is out.
 

Samuelsan2001

macrumors 604
Oct 24, 2013
7,730
2,152
Hahaha, no. Absolutely not. It would be so horrifically slow. External devices should only be used for storage unless you're shelling out the bucks to have a Thunderbolt connection to them, but if $100 is your budget, Thunderbolt is out.

The 2012 has USB 3, an external SSD can run over that as if it was internal on SATA 3.

However swapping out the hard drive is as easy as removing a few screws so I'd go for the replacement. There are literally thousands of online guides.

https://www.google.co.uk/search?cli...0...1c..64.mobile-gws-serp..0.0.0.s3wMaV2bpa8

Also if you do not use your optical disk drive you can swap it out for more storage and even set up a fusion drive.

https://www.ifixit.com/Guide/Installing+MacBook+Pro+15-Inch+Unibody+Mid+2012+Dual+Hard+Drive/10987
 

batlogic

macrumors newbie
Jun 16, 2012
13
2
I have the same Macbook Pro. I have done the upgrade (years ago) of Ram and SSD. If you have the case open to put in the Ram; you may as well put in the SSD. Be careful not to damage the ribbon cable, Apple just did a extended warranty on the cable as they broke too easy.

If you don't want to lose the optical drive, buy a cheap USB 3 enclosure. Use the external for more drive space. As stated earlier by putting the SSD into the machine you will save battery and be more mobile. You can get cases as cheap as 10 dollars or less (As a bonus, you can do this whenever you have more money).
 

smirking

macrumors 68040
Aug 31, 2003
3,200
2,891
Silicon Valley
The 2012 has USB 3, an external SSD can run over that as if it was internal on SATA 3.

Sorry, you're right. I was thinking back to years ago when I tried to run the OS over Firewire 800. It wasn't pretty.

That said, the OP did say he wanted to run his OS on an external drive, which wouldn't be a good idea. Having your OS dependent upon an USB3 connection that could drop unexpectedly isn't good.
 

Samuelsan2001

macrumors 604
Oct 24, 2013
7,730
2,152
Sorry, you're right. I was thinking back to years ago when I tried to run the OS over Firewire 800. It wasn't pretty.

That said, the OP did say he wanted to run his OS on an external drive, which wouldn't be a good idea. Having your OS dependent upon an USB3 connection that could drop unexpectedly isn't good.

I agree it can work well on a desktop but is generally a pain in the ass on notebook.
 

macgeek7860

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Aug 14, 2014
26
1
Hi Community,

I think I like Samuelsan2001's idea the best. I might as well remove the CD Drive since I have never used it. Just to confirm could I make the secondary hard drive as another startup disk that has MAC OS installed?

-macgeek7860
 
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