MBP mid 2012 - upgrade or move on?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by mattwood92, Feb 13, 2019.

  1. mattwood92 macrumors newbie

    Feb 13, 2019

    This is what I currently have -

    MacBook Pro (13-inch, Mid 2012) Non-retina
    Processor - 2.5 GHz Intel Core i5
    Memory - 4 GB 1600 MHz DDR3
    Graphics - Intel HD Graphics 4000 1536 MB
    Storage - 256GB SSD (External 500GB HD)

    I'm a graphic designer who uses programmes such as Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop, After Effects, InDesign. I'm currently in limbo as to whether I should upgrade my machine's Memory to 16GB (which I believe is the max that is supported on my system) and get a second display - possible a 27inch 1080p for more work space,
    Go for a new model such as the 2018 Mac Mini with a possible EGPU.

    Any advice / suggestions would be massively helpful!


  2. Nbd1790 macrumors regular

    Jan 2, 2017
    New York
    I think if you have been getting by with what you have currently, stick with it and upgrade the RAM to 16gb. Those laptops were some of my favorite ones they ever made for a lot of reasons (user upgrades being a huge reason).

    Although, I do understand your itch for a new device as I'm sure this has been around for quite some time. Sometimes you should just treat yourself, especially with a work device (replacing one that's nearly 7 years old). I might also recommend taking a look at the 2018 MBP's. They're much more powerful now in comparison to previous generations.
  3. imaccooper macrumors 6502


    May 29, 2014
    North Carolina
    If you are thinking of a Mac Mini with EGPU and I'm guessing a screen, I would suggest looking at the 27in iMac. You could get a base spec one with an SSD drive for under $2000. The ram is very easy to upgrade so you could spend a little more later when it is available and add 2x8 ram for a total of 24 gb of ram.

    Of course you will give up your mobility with this solution, but you simply will not find a nicer display than the 5k iMac display. Love it for graphics work.
  4. csjcsj macrumors regular


    Feb 15, 2011
    Sarasota FL
    No. Don’t get the 27” iMac. It has a gorgeous screen, but Illustrator is painfully slow on it. And for me - even with 16 gig memory - InDesign crashes all the time.

    I had a MBP of the same generation (except mine was i7) and bought that iMac last year. I’m killing myself that I sold the MBP. I miss it a lot when I travel or just want to sit in another room. It was also faster with Illustrator.

    See where the 2012 is on the still supported list for Apple software. If it’s close to the edge, it might be time to save up for a new MBP. If you do want an iMac, make sure it’s an i7.
  5. TGM85 macrumors member


    Aug 29, 2005
    What kind of money are you willing to spend?

    Upgrading your MBP and buying a 1080p display will cost you about €/$ 300-400.

    Buying a mac mini + display + eGPU wil cost you many times that (I would guess about €/$ 2000). A 2018 mac mini will also be much faster than a 2012 MBP.

    I have a 2015 rMBP. I use it with two external displays in a triple display configuration. I can tell you from experience that having that much display space really changes the way you use your MBP.

    I would suggest trying the upgrade route first. You can reuse the display and the 16 GB of RAM will increase the resale value of your MBP, should you eventually decide to buy a new mac.
  6. mattwood92 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 13, 2019
    All of your responses have been very useful, thanks for taking up some of your time to help out.

    Think I’m going to go down the non-destructible upgrade route meaning everything I buy to upgrade I can reuse in future whilst saving for something bigger (hopefully a 2019 iMac if they decide to release them!)

  7. smirking macrumors 68000


    Aug 31, 2003
    Silicon Valley
    That's a pretty low powered machine with not a lot of screen space for someone who's doing graphics. Personally, I wouldn't put much money into it. If it works well enough for you now and now's not a good time for you financially to invest in new gear, replace the HDD with a 512GB SDD and pick up some used memory sticks on eBay to get your RAM to 8GB. You can do this for less than $100(US).

    I don't think he should be making upgrades in the name of resale value on a 2012 machine. I have the 15" 2012 Unibody MBP. It wouldn't fetch much. People around here put too much faith in the durability of the older MBPs. They're well made, but they don't defy the laws of physics. I've had repair both my 2009 and 2012 to get them to this point.
  8. king.cobra macrumors newbie

    Nov 29, 2010
    On the flip side, I have a mid 2012 macbook that's in pristine condition...

    It's all about how well its kept. Similar to cars and such, it's all about the previous owners.

    OP - I just recently swapped my HD with a Samsung 1TB SSD, and let me tell you my macbook went from super slow to lightning fast! I already had upgraded to the 16GB Ram in it but even with that it was super slow. Clearly the HDD was the bottleneck!

    I would definitely recommend upgrading to 16GB RAM and an SSD before you throw down money on a new mac. Also, I would hold off until the new iMacs as the current ones for sale use a 7th gen intel cpu while the 9th gen intel cpus are already out!

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