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macrumors member
Original poster
Mar 21, 2010
Jacksonville, FL
I currently own a mid 2012 15" rMBP. It is the standard 8gb RAM, 2.3ghz configuration.

This machine has served me well and still seems to perform up to par for what I do. I use it at this point mostly for word processing, emails, web browsing that I can't/don't want to do on my iPad/iPhone. Nothing really intensive at all.

The main issue right now is the battery. It is the original battery and is starting to perform really badly. For months I've been thinking about pulling the trigger on a new 13" MBP (the 2.4 ghz model) but have recently started asking myself whether dropping $2000 would be worth it for what I use my computer for.

Would I better off just saving a massive amount of money and just fixing the battery for $200 and squeezing more use out of my current 2012 rMBP? I can afford a new computer, so money is not really the issue, but saving that much money is always very attractive.

Also as a third option, should I be maybe looking at a cheaper Mac like an Air or maybe a lesser MBP model? Just want to make sure I make the right decision on a potential purchase this large. Thanks in advance.


Feb 12, 2005
Well, if your MBP is in good condition and serves your purpose - why spending all the money?

I did a battery replacement myself on a late 2013 15" MBP, no complaints. I got the battery (along with a replacement kit, basically some tools and the chemicals to dissolve/loosen the glue) from ifixit for roughly 110...


macrumors Penryn
Feb 20, 2009
If you have a brick-n-mortar Apple store nearby, they -may- be able to replace the battery for $200 (which should include parts & labor).

Although -- not sure if they're still doing this replacement on 2012 models, as they may now be old enough to be considered "vintage".

But it's worth asking.
$200 is a LOT LESS than $2,000... ;)
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Nov 3, 2011
SF Bay Area
I would just replace the battery. Like Fishrrman see if Apple will do it for $200. You get a battery, keyboard, trackpad, and Al case where your hand sit as part of the top case replacement.

Another alternative might be to load the iPadOS beta on your iPad and see if you can get by without the macbook at all. I am starting to use my iPad exclusively for traveling and find with mouse support it works pretty good for basic office tasks. Also, the desktop level browser provides the full laptop experience.


macrumors regular
Aug 24, 2013
If you're comfortable working with electronics, you can actually replace the battery yourself which would cost $50-$60, even cheaper than apple fee, which should give you another year or two before you need to upgrade without spending a lot of money.
look up on youtube for instructions videos


macrumors 6502a
Apr 17, 2011
I would get a new one.
Why put it on life support?
It'll be done one day soon anyway. Right now so many things are subject to going wrong. Hard drive and video card are prime suspects. These things don't last forever. I'd say 7 years is good.
Plus you can just leave the old one plugged in all the time while you use the new one, or give it to someone.
That, and I love spending money.


macrumors 68040
Mar 10, 2016
Until it’s confirmed that the 2019 keyboard is fixed, or a replacement is launched, I’d replace the battery if it’s otherwise working.
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macrumors 68020
Apr 23, 2010
I see 2 options. If you haven't already, explore the Apple Battery option, and perhaps an SSD. Like new machine for a few more years. Perhaps by then Apple will have figured out the keyboard. Or, consider a new MacBook Air.


macrumors 65816
Mar 28, 2019
It’s a retina, so it already has an ssd and a great display. I’d do the battery. If the machine is doing everything you need, why not save the money for when it doesn’t, or for some other unforeseen expense? I have a late 2013, and it has some issues, but I did get the battery replaced last year, cost 116 dollars from the apple store for some reason. I plan on keeping it as long as possible. I used a top of the line 2017 for a week, found it wasn’t any faster than mine. Ok the 2019s should finally be faster, but I don’t think the margin is huge. I say keep it running.


macrumors 601
Aug 28, 2012
Between the coasts
That model is officially Vintage. Historically that means "no repairs at Apple Retail Stores," but lately Apple may still offer repairs if the parts are available - you'll have to check with your local Genius Bar.

That 2012 MacBook Pro will run macOS 10.15 Catalina. Whether it'll run 10.16 in 2020 is less clear, but you could get away with using Catalina for two years or more without a problem if you had to (my 2008 iMac still runs on El Capitan 10.11.6). $200 for two or three years additional use from your Mac would be a pretty good deal. As others have noted, you already have Flash storage in your current Mac, so you're already ahead of the game compared to slightly older MacBook Pros.

Meantime, if you were to buy new.... If you want a 15" display, then MacBook Pro is your only option. Performance-wise, the new MacBook Pros are way ahead of what you have now (not that your uses are at all demanding), but the entry-level 15" (256 GB storage) is $2,399, not $2,000. If you were OK with a 13" display a new Retina MacBook Air ($1,299 with 256 GB) or 13" MacBook Pro ($1,499 with 256 GB) would be the better value proposition for you. And as others have said, iPad could be a very viable alternative. 12.9" iPad Pro vs 13" Mac... definitely worth considering.
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