New MBP vs Upgradeable 2012 MBP

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Texas_Toast, Aug 2, 2016.

  1. Texas_Toast macrumors 6502a

    Texas_Toast

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    #1
    I think my mid-2012 MBP 9.2 is giving up the ghost, and I'm not sure if I want to even spend week rebuilding it.

    When I started coming here back in January of 2016, a couple of people said that the current model of MBP that I have is better than the new ones, because it is upgradeable.

    Is that still true in August 2016?

    If I get a new MacBook, I would like it to have a SSD and tons of RAM so that it is wickedly fast. (I do lots of development, audio editing, Photoshop, and am looking at getting into video editing.)

    What i don't want is to drop a couple grand on a new laptop oly to find out it is outdated in a year and that I have to go out and buy yet another one.

    Likewise, i don't want to buy a brand new version fo what I have now, and find out that even if I pimp it out that it cannot compete with a new MBP.

    Can anyone offer some advice on this?

    (I am VERY upset that I didn't have enough time to clone my current MBP yesterday, and then El Captian became corrupted when I logged in last night!! It takes so long for me to rebuild and configure computers that I would rather have a root canal...)

    Please help!
     
  2. grahamperrin macrumors 601

    grahamperrin

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    #2
  3. Texas_Toast thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Texas_Toast

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    #3
    Neither of those threads compare new MBP's against the upgradeable 2012 MBP's. All they say is get more RAM and SSD.

    I don't like the idea of buy a laptop that has no upgradeable components - that seems very risky (and expensive) to me.
     
  4. grahamperrin macrumors 601

    grahamperrin

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    #4
    Go a little further; follow through with the links. You should find me preferring a new 2012 MacBook Pro to a Retina MacBook Pro. Not the most recent comparison, but it was a comparison.
     
  5. Texas_Toast thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Texas_Toast

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    #5
    I'll look at what you said, but let's talk about my particular situation...

    I want a laptop with at least 1TB of internal storage, and it should be smoking fast doing any day to day stuff. It should also be quick doing things like Photoshop, Audio rendering, Movie editing, or simply running fast when I have 20 applications open at once!

    I see a basically solid-state MBP as a risk considering my inability to upgrade each year. And a new MBP with 1TB of storage goes for like $2,500.

    Here is one that I'm considering...

    Apple 13.3" MacBook Pro Notebook Computer (Mid 2012)
    2.9 GHz Intel Core i7 Dual-Core
    4GB of 1600 MHz DDR3 RAM
    1TB 5400 rpm Hard Drive
    Integrated Intel HD Graphics 4000
    13.3" LED-Backlit Glossy Display
    Cost: US$1,300
     
  6. mrkramer macrumors 603

    mrkramer

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    #6
    How much have you already upgraded or replaced on your current machine?
     
  7. Texas_Toast thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Texas_Toast

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    #7
    I have a 1TB 7200rpm HDD, and 8GB 1600 DDR3 RAM.

    This all started yesterday when I didn't have time to clone my MacBook before the library closed, and when I logged in before bedtime El Capitan got screwed up With an endless Apple screen

    Later today I am going to go buy a 2nd external HDD enclosure and take Weaselboy's advice to try and create an updated clone of my screwed up HDD.

    Here s the bigger issue...

    If I cannot find an easy way to fix El Capitan, it will couple take me most of the week to rebuild my current MBP which involves reinstalling El Capitan, reinstalling all of my software, configuring everything, transferring over 600GB of data, and so on.

    If I am going to have that much aggrevation in my life, I would just assume invest it on a new laptop!

    I am sooo pissed right now!!!
    --- Post Merged, Aug 2, 2016 ---
    BTW, on the MBP with these stats...

    Apple 13.3" MacBook Pro Notebook Computer (Mid 2012)
    2.9 GHz Intel Core i7 Dual-Core
    4GB of 1600 MHz DDR3 RAM
    1TB 5400 rpm Hard Drive
    Integrated Intel HD Graphics 4000
    13.3" LED-Backlit Glossy Display
    Cost: US$1,300

    The goal would be to put 16GB of RAM into it - can you add more than that?

    And either add one 1 TB SSD, or maybe two 500 GB SSDs, or possibly a smaller SSD and a 1TB HDD.

    I travel a lot for work, and the idea of needing an external drive makes me nervous from a security standpoint.
     
  8. grahamperrin macrumors 601

    grahamperrin

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    #8
    I liked the idea of:

    Some of what's above involved knowledge of ZFS, but ZFS was not a defining factor in my preference for the upgradeable notebook.

    I would not have paid the extra for the 2.9 GHz processor.
     
  9. Texas_Toast thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Texas_Toast

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    #9
    You lost me.

    What is ZFS?

    And if you would not have paid extra for the 2.9 Ghz processor, then what would have you went with?
     
  10. grahamperrin macrumors 601

    grahamperrin

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    #10
  11. supermariofan25 macrumors regular

    supermariofan25

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    #11
    I must say, you have many conflicting requirements. You say you want a computer that's not going to be outdated in a year, yet you say your going to buy a computer that will be outdated from day one, I mean sure you can upgrade the Hard Drive to an SSD and add more RAM, but you cant add faster RAM and as for everything else, you are stuck with what you got. If you want speed and power then buy a retina MacBook Pro by all means, if you want to be able upgrade components and don't mind having a computer that is three + generations behind in hardware then get the 2012 MacBook Pro. I personally have a 2013 retina MacBook Pro and it runs fine, it's fast with only a few hiccups here and there with regard to animations and whatnot (far less then I assume you would have with a 2012 MBP might I add) 512GB of super fast flash storage which can be upgraded to 1TB from OWC for about 600 USD if I so choose and 8GB of 1600MHz RAM which while not upgradable is quite enough for my everyday needs. Take of this what you will but I think you would be fine with the newest model MacBook Pro and I am sure that it will last you at least 5 year or more, I know mine will as it's doing just fine as it is. However if you do choose to buy the latest and greatest, I might recommend waiting until October/November if at all possible, I'm sure that Apple has a new model MacBook Pro in the pipeline due to be released around that time.
     
  12. keysofanxiety macrumors 604

    keysofanxiety

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    Nov 23, 2011
    #12
    Honestly I think the appeal of an upgradable 13" MBP isn't really worth it at the moment, with what offerings there are. It hasn't been updated since 2012 and you can really only upgrade the RAM (to 16GB) and the HDD anyway.

    But the Retina model, for not much more, offers:

    • 2-3 hours better battery life
    • Thinner
    • Lighter
    • 2x Thunderbolt 2 & HDMI
    • More RAM as standard
    • Quicker RAM
    • Much better display
    • Better CPU
    • Better GPU
    • Much quicker storage (will be more than twice as fast than fitting an SSD in the cMBP, as it uses PCI-e rather than SATA)
    • New Force Touch trackpad
    So as much as I love an upgradable machine, you really do get a lot more value for money with the Retina offerings.

    If you find a used 13" cMBP for 50% off RRP, that would be a far better option than buying a new one if you really really want an upgradable machine.
     
  13. Texas_Toast thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Texas_Toast

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    #13
    All of your points make sense except for the issue of storage.

    In my mind a 1TB HDD is considered "average" size, with lots of people running 2TB HDD on laptops.

    Apple wants me to drop $2,500 on a new laptop with only 1TB of storage?

    That is behind the times from a storage stand point.

    That is like wanting me to buy a new laptop with 4GB of RAM (that cannot be upgraded)!
     
  14. keysofanxiety macrumors 604

    keysofanxiety

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    #14
    True, though it's about £40 for a 1TB USB 3 bus-powered portable hard drive. Store essentials like apps/plugins/projects on the SSD. Pictures and videos that you'll rarely need to access — chuck them on the external drive.

    I appreciate that's not for everybody. But for the sake of all the other trade offs, except internal storage, I just wouldn't go for an outdated one.

    Each to their own though! :)
     
  15. Texas_Toast thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Texas_Toast

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    #15
    I appreciate all of your advice, but for me the storage (size) is probably the most important feature of a computer.

    What fool solder a 1TB hdd into a new 2016 laptop? :rolleyes:

    (The landfills in this world will double due to everyone throwing out their MacBooks after 1-2 years.)

    A secondary hdd - whether internal or external - means I can no longer easily do Full Disk Encryption, and thus it i a lot more work for me to manage the security of my data.

    And making sure I don't leave an external hdd behind at the library/airport/car/McDonalds isn't overly appealing to me either.

    Memory and Storage change too much to be soldering them in....
     
  16. keysofanxiety macrumors 604

    keysofanxiety

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    #16
    I appreciate your reasoning. Regardless it is a little difficult to compare price of storage when you consider Apple uses PCI-e Flash with ludicrously quick read/write speeds — compared to a bog standard Wintel laptop boasting a 1 or 2TB 5400RPM drive.

    Also it's very important to remember that a spinning drive could destroy the entirety of your data in an instant if it was simply dropped.

    If the security and importance of your data is beyond paramount, I would contest that so is reliability, speed, and stability. As a logical extension, it would mean that paying the Apple tax is a regrettable, but necessary, byproduct of your requirements.
     
  17. Texas_Toast thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Texas_Toast

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    #17
    If I bought a $2,500 MBP with a 1TB HDD, it would likely be full by the end of next year. Then what? Either spend another $2,500 to get yet another MBP, or have to start toting around an external drive?

    Yes, the storage speed would be a plus, I agree. But the reason I use a laptop is that it is portable and one device. Needing an external HDD defeats the purpose of a laptop to a larger degree in my mind.

    On a side note, so there is no way to buy a new MBP and "hack" the soldered in HDD? No Do-It-Yourself (DIY) opportunities?

    Also, is there a way you could add a 2nd internal HDD on the new MBPs?
     
  18. grahamperrin macrumors 601

    grahamperrin

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    #18
    Not easy in what way?

    Disk Utility should allow encryption.
     
  19. keysofanxiety macrumors 604

    keysofanxiety

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    Nov 23, 2011
    #19
    The SSDs in the Retina MacBook Pros aren't soldered. However I don't think that would be enough to convince you; and yes, you can't add a second drive!

    Well, at least you know what would suit your needs best, now that we've argued for and against! The main thing is to get what you feel would be best for you. :)

    Thanks again for taking the time to courteously respond. Hopefully this'll help convince a few other people (one way or another) who are on the fence about upgradable storage!
     
  20. Texas_Toast, Aug 3, 2016
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2016

    Texas_Toast thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Texas_Toast

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    #20
    I was told it is tricky to set up two internal HDDs with FDE so they are treated as one logical unit.

    Good security to me means I turn on my MBP, log in, and then my data is accessible to me. If I turn off my computer, all of my data is secured. No room for human error.

    What I don't want is to have to log in and out of multiple HDDs - whether internal of external.

    I want to log into one computer, not numerous HDDs.
    --- Post Merged, Aug 3, 2016 ---
    Hang on a minute...

    I was under the impression that RAM and Storage were both soldered into the new MBPs.

    Now you are saying that only the RAM is soldered in?

    Or does this vary from type of computer?

    I think a 13" Retina MBP would be the one I would want to upgrade to - memory and storage aside.

    Also, if the HDD is indeed removable, then couldn't I install a SSD larger than 1TB when they come out and are affordable?

    P.S. If there are any gurus on data recovery, what I really need help with right now is this thread:
    Help! My MBP won't boot up
     
  21. keysofanxiety macrumors 604

    keysofanxiety

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    Nov 23, 2011
    #21
    Correct; in both the MacBook Air and Retina MacBook Pro, only the RAM is soldered. The SSDs are removable, albeit not as easily as in classic models.

    The drives are proprietary. Potentially if Apple use the same connections and size, you can get a 2TB model down the line (if one is released) and swap it over. However I would not purchase based on this, as there are no guarantees whether or not they'll solder the next ones or change it in another way.

    You are describing your personal data as extremely important, or even priceless; at least that's the impression I'm getting. Therefore I must again state that hard drives are a very unreliable technology. A single drop can destroy everything you have. Even wear-and-tear over time can cause failures and data corruption if the drive is full.

    Based on this, if you're going the upgradable drive route, I urge you to please avoid HDDs and get an SSD. The tradeoff of storage price with spinning drives is completely meaningless if your essential data and entire livelihood can be obliterated in the drop of a hat (or drive, in this case).
     
  22. grahamperrin macrumors 601

    grahamperrin

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    #22
    Just once: when you first enter the passphrase to unlock a volume, allow that phrase to be added to a keychain.
     
  23. Texas_Toast thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Texas_Toast

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    #23
    I think I mislead you by typing HDD all the time. I use that to mean "storage device" hard and soft. I need to update my brain to type SSD.

    Yes, my next whatever will be SSD.

    Here is another issue with storage...

    My policy is I will never warranty a Mac product, because it never leaves my site. I would never send my mac off to Apple with my data on it. If I can't replace the SSD myself then I'd throw it out if it ever died.

    I realize the day will come where I can't do this, but until then...

    Yes, my life (business) is on my laptop, and so that is why I need flexibility with storage.

    When a HDD dies or needs to be upgraded currently, I install a new one, and then I cut up the old HDD. That way I am always safe.

    Once SSD become part of the device, then that "shredding" of storage units goes up in price, because I would never hand over a laptop if my data is soldered to it!
    --- Post Merged, Aug 3, 2016 ---
    And that would unlock all HDDs/SSDs?
     
  24. kohlson macrumors 6502a

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    Apr 23, 2010
    #24
    Might be helpful to restate what Apple has, and then you can decide if it works for you:
    - RAM, Soldered: Pro: reliable, contributes to smaller form factor. Basically, costs at most a little over $100 more than upgrading a standard 8GB set up to 16GB. That is, if it came standard with 8 and you wanted to take that out and pay $90 for 16GB DIMMs, the net would be ~$100.
    - SSD, Socketed: Currently available up to 1TB. Fits in a proprietary slot. Socketed: upgrades available from a few 3rd party suppliers. Wicked fast: 20Gbps (maybe 40?). With FileVault2 enable, transparent encryption.
    - Processor, Soldered: Many low-power Core i7 chips. Incremental improvements over the last couple of models - many suspect Moore's Law is the culprit.
    - GPU, Soldered: Only available only on high-end models, and used mostly by limited apps, such as FCPX.
     
  25. Texas_Toast thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Texas_Toast

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    #25
    Thanks!

    How long should 16GB of said RAM last me? Good for 3 years?


    What would I have to do to upgrade to 1TB of SSD?

    Would I get it from Apple or a 3rd party?

    And if you had to guess, when do you think they will offer 1.5TB or 2TB?


    Would a 13" Retina have gpu?

    Would it need it?
     

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