Recently downgraded from 2015 MBP to 2012 MBP

Spudner

macrumors member
Original poster
Aug 13, 2018
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Canada
I did it because I wanted the upgradability instead of the soldered nonsense that plagues the new Macs.

So far, I love the downgrade, except for one thing.

I miss the retina display. Didn't realize what I had had until it was gone. The 2012 MBP is barely 1K! LOL!

Regardless, It's not so big a deal. I would rather have the upgradability of the excellent 2012s than the retina, at least for a laptop. My desktop is another story.

Also, I get the optical drive and a ethernet port (I avoid Wifi for the health effect ;))

Overall, I am happy with the downgrade to the 2012.
 

vemac575

macrumors regular
Feb 18, 2018
165
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I'm happy for you that you're happy but I I don't it odd that you won't just save up for one you don't have to upgrade. Then, you get the best of both worlds.
 

BigMcGuire

Contributor
Jan 10, 2012
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I just downgraded to a Twentieth Anniversary Macintosh and I’m not looking back! I just can’t cope with the flimsiness of these new Macs.
Damnit! I'm going back to my dad's kay-pro II !!! You could throw that thing through bullet proof glass and it would still work just fine. Don't get me started on the keyboard!!! These Macs today just don't have it! I'm going to post this on every Apple forum I can! I expect 500 likes! (/sarcasm)

I am totally living life now! :D
 
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Spudner

macrumors member
Original poster
Aug 13, 2018
95
5
Canada
Did you have one readily available to downgrade to or did you have to buy one? If you had to buy one, where did you buy it?
I bought the 2012 from MarketPlace Best Buy. It was reburbished, of course. It was in near-mint condition. Just a couple of small scratches on the case.
 
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06tb06

macrumors regular
Sep 12, 2017
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There's a noticeable difference in resolution between Retina and non-Retina...not to mention improved color accuracy that Retina displays provide.

I would have kept the 2015...
Agree. Most of the model defects had been ironed out by that point, such as the aforementioned "staingate." It's also still recommended over newer MBP models for a number of reasons.

I'm glad my first Mac was a Retina MacBook Pro. I was hooked from that point on.
 

mrt.plt

macrumors member
Oct 22, 2015
71
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Montreal, Canada
I bought the 2012 from MarketPlace Best Buy. It was reburbished, of course. It was in near-mint condition. Just a couple of small scratches on the case.
Congratulations, first of all. I assume you got a 13" as it has a 2.9Ghz i7. It's not a bad machine and with an SSD it'll last you quite some time. However, you can only upgrade the 2012 MBP to a certain degree, and seems like it's already maxed-out (with 16GB RAM) I assume your rMBP had 8GB and you couldn't upgrade.
Anyways, it's a very nice machine aside from the price (bad if it's 1000$ Canadian, horrible if it's $1000 US) but it's not a bad machine, also considering you needed an Ethernet port. (Then again, cellular signals are more significant of a hazard than WiFi signals)
Enjoy!
 

Spudner

macrumors member
Original poster
Aug 13, 2018
95
5
Canada
Congratulations, first of all. I assume you got a 13" as it has a 2.9Ghz i7. It's not a bad machine and with an SSD it'll last you quite some time. However, you can only upgrade the 2012 MBP to a certain degree, and seems like it's already maxed-out (with 16GB RAM) I assume your rMBP had 8GB and you couldn't upgrade.
Anyways, it's a very nice machine aside from the price (bad if it's 1000$ Canadian, horrible if it's $1000 US) but it's not a bad machine, also considering you needed an Ethernet port. (Then again, cellular signals are more significant of a hazard than WiFi signals)
Enjoy!
It's not so much the kind of signals as it is the distance from the source of the signals. When I sit in front of a WiFi-enabled MBP, I get throbbing in my temples and headaches. If I keep the WiFi off, no symptoms. I get the same symptoms if I sit close to a router, especially one with 5G enabled. So I keep my distance from those, too.

But, yea, I am happy with it. I paid about $1,000 cdn for the 2012, 13-inch (I can max out the RAM up to 32GB, but don't quite need it right now). The 2015 only had 128GB SSD. I think my next laptop will be a Hackintosh...unless PC laptops haven't caught up with the Retina displays by then (maybe they have already caught up, I have no idea about PCs these days). ;)
 

puma1552

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Nov 20, 2008
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It's not so much the kind of signals as it is the distance from the source of the signals. When I sit in front of a WiFi-enabled MBP, I get throbbing in my temples and headaches. If I keep the WiFi off, no symptoms. I get the same symptoms if I sit close to a router, especially one with 5G enabled. So I keep my distance from those, too.

But, yea, I am happy with it. I paid about $1,000 cdn for the 2012, 13-inch (I can max out the RAM up to 32GB, but don't quite need it right now). The 2015 only had 128GB SSD. I think my next laptop will be a Hackintosh...unless PC laptops haven't caught up with the Retina displays by then (maybe they have already caught up, I have no idea about PCs these days). ;)
Pretty sure a 2012 13" maxes out at 16 GB RAM (and I'm pretty sure that's the case all the way through 2018 13" models to this day), and at a slower clock speed than whatever RAM your 2015 had, so that's a loss there. I mean I guess if you are coming from a 2015 13" model with 8 GB RAM, then maybe you got 8 GB more RAM but at a slower clock speed, so probably a wash anyway.

The SSDs in the 2015 and newer are insanely fast, so you'll probably barely be on par there after spending more money to upgrade. Plus, the 2015s have upgradeable drives anyway.

Other than those two things, you can't upgrade a 2012 anyway. And it's that much older and closer to end of life and end of support, not to mention you gave up retina. And being bought from Best Buy, it was refurbished by a 3rd party with questionable parts.

Seems like this was a real step backwards in almost every way. You bought an older computer that on its best day, maxed out, is still a lesser machine than a 2015. Also, $1000 CDN seems insane for a 7 year old 15" machine, let alone a 13".

I just don't see the logic in this any way whatsoever, especially at the price you paid. With all due respect, I think you got straight up ripped off by Best Buy. I'd be returning that immediately if possible and reevaluate what you're really trying to accomplish because buying an older machine in hopes of upgrading it beyond the three year newer machine you had isn't even possible, realistically.
 

smirking

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Aug 31, 2003
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I did it because I wanted the upgradability instead of the soldered nonsense that plagues the new Macs.
My old unibody 2012 MBP is being used by my wife now. It's definitely still a quite servicable machine and fitted with a fast SSD, the gap between it and my 2016 MBP for real world tasks isn't as drastic as you might expect, but I don't get why you would want to downgrade so you have the option to upgrade when about the only things you could upgrade are the RAM and SSD.

Ok, so it's nice to upgrade RAM assuming you aren't already maxed, but an external drive on the newer machines are about as fast as an internal mount and a fast SSD makes having a low RAM device a lot less of an issue.

BTW @puma1552 is correct. You can only get up to 16GB of RAM on a 2012 MBP. That's the limit on all the Unibody and Retina MBPs. You're really not getting that much upgradeability and if your needs are well met by a 2012 machine, you probably wouldn't have a need for 32GB of RAM anyway.

Also, I get the optical drive and a ethernet port (I avoid Wifi for the health effect ;))
Well, that solves the one issue that I know that plagues the 2012's. The flat cable that connects the wireless modem to the logic board has a high rate of failure leading lots of people to buy new modems only to find out it was just the cable that needed to be replaced. That happened to me.
 
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x34

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Oct 19, 2014
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So far, I love the downgrade, except for one thing.

I miss the retina display. Didn't realize what I had had until it was gone.

the retina display on the mac was the last real innovation on the macs. macbook pro 2015 is the best laptop apple ever made.
 
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BigMcGuire

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Jan 10, 2012
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the retina display on the mac was the last real innovation on the macs. macbook pro 2015 is the best laptop apple ever made.
I'm pretty partial to my 2017 MBP 13. My wife's 2017 MBP 13' is really holding up well for her PhD as well. Running hours of statistical R code, spends 6+ hours a day on it for her PhD. 10 months in and no problems. These are amazing machines. And I have a decked out XPS 15 for my work (bought last year). All it has done is solidify that I'll be using Mac for a long time to come. :p

I did really like the keyboard on my MBA 2015 but the keyboard on my MBP 2017 is really turning out to be great.
 
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x34

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Oct 19, 2014
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I'm pretty partial to my 2017 MBP 13. My wife's 2017 MBP 13' is really holding up well for her PhD as well. Running hours of statistical R code, spends 6+ hours a day on it for her PhD. 10 months in and no problems. These are amazing machines. And I have a decked out XPS 15 for my work (bought last year). All it has done is solidify that I'll be using Mac for a long time to come. :p
that's for sure. in regards of pure specs 2017/2018 machines are better anyway.
 
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CrazyForCashews

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Apr 1, 2018
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That's not a downgrade, that's torture.

The screen and keyboard are the most important parts of a laptop. The 2015 MacBook Pro has both excellent parts. Fantastic screen, fantastic keyboard.
 
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smirking

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The screen and keyboard are the most important parts of a laptop. The 2015 MacBook Pro has both excellent parts. Fantastic screen, fantastic keyboard.
So, uh, call me uninformed (or maybe not prone to hyperbole), but I would have thought the motherboard and logic board might be the most important parts.

You know... the things that a computer can't possibly run without.

I worry the least about the keyboard and screen to be honest. If those go out, I have external ones that I can plug into and keep going. I've fried a logic board and a graphics card right before a deadline on two separate occasions before. I would have made my deadline had it just been a keyboard or screen that went out.
 

CrazyForCashews

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Apr 1, 2018
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So, uh, call me uninformed (or maybe not prone to hyperbole), but I would have thought the motherboard and logic board might be the most important parts.

You know... the things that a computer can't possibly run without.
True those things are technically the most important parts. But the screen and keyboard are the two things you'll be using and interacting with on a laptop 100% of the time.
 

maflynn

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May 3, 2009
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So far, I love the downgrade, except for one thing.
Upgradability is a plus, though most consumers probably would never upgrade their laptops (if they could). depending your tasks, the 2012 machine could be fine, though for me, (I have the 2012 rMBP) it was not hence my decision to buy a laptop

the bottom line is, if you're happy with the machine, then it doesn't matter what any of us think
 
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KadMac

macrumors regular
Sep 13, 2009
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I just did the opposite.

I'm getting rid of my MacBook Pro 2012 Non-Retina and I just picked up a MacBook Pro 2014 Retina. I love the Retina one so much. I had the 2012 maxed out with 16GB RAM and an SSD but you have to remember that the 16GB RAM is like $60 to $80 by itself.

You are not only missing out on the retina screen, but you lose the IPS panel. The 2012 MBP has some serious contrast issues if you look at the screen with different angles. The other issue you run into is battery life. If you picked up one with a minimally used battery than great. However, if you go and try to replace the battery you are usually limited to 3rd party batteries which work okay for the first few months but than drastically tank after that.

With the retina, you get some great battery life. I am super happy I made the change. The 2014 MBP is lighter, has a better battery, better screen with retina and IPS, and even a better typing experience in my opinion. I used to think the 2012 was a better buy but I've changed my mind. In my opinion, the retina 2013 to 2015 MBPs are where it is at.

Side note, I picked up my 2014 MBP for $385. It didn't come with the originally SSD but I am using the Sintech adapter with a now 500 GB M.2 SSD for an extra $100. $485 for the whole thing is pretty good in my opinion. Oh, mine also came with 16GB RAM.

Let's say you pick up the 2012 MBP for around $250 and then invest for the SSD and RAM you get around $350. So basically a $100 dollars saved compared to just going all out with a retina MBP. I feel like the minimal savings isn't worth it compared to what you lose.
 
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