Soo..... (Does upgrading RAM and adding SSD to the mid 2012 macbook extend its life?)

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by BiteDisAppleD, Oct 18, 2014.

  1. BiteDisAppleD macrumors newbie

    Oct 10, 2014
    Does upgrading RAM and adding SSD to the mid 2012 macbook extend its life? And how long will it probably expand if i upgrade a brand new one myself?
  2. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    Adding RAM and a SSD will most likely improve performance, but it will have no effect on the life of your Mac. How long it lasts depends primarily on how well you take care of it. How often you need to upgrade to a newer model depends on your intended uses. Many people can use the same computer for 8 years or more, while others need or want to upgrade every year or two. It's all up to you. No one can answer those questions for you.
  3. Count Blah macrumors 68040

    Count Blah

    Jan 6, 2004
    US of A
    It extends the useable lifespan of the cMBP.

    I have upped my mid-2012 to 16Gigs of RAM and have put in an SSD. Other than the lagging dGPU, the machine is excellent and will hopefully last many years to come. The misses is using my old 2.53 C2D 15" MBP that is going on 6 years now. She is doing some light work - word, excel, web browsing, etc.. With 8gigs of RAM and an SSD.

    So yes, the cMBP can last a long time with those upgrades, IMHO.
  4. BiteDisAppleD thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 10, 2014
    Yea that's the problem, i want it to last long, but i don't know if software for photography is gonna require more demand in the near future, which it probably will.
  5. Meister Suspended


    Oct 10, 2013
    If you shoot with the same camera, it's not going to change. Also the Lightroom specs will only slowly increase and sticking in an ssd and maybe some ram should make your macbook perform well until it simply breaks.
    That's my opinion.
  6. meson macrumors regular

    Apr 29, 2014
    Aside from a faster SSD and wireless AC, and better battery life from the Haswell chip, the current generation doesn't offer much of an advantage over the 2012 machines once upgraded with an SSD.

    Frankly, unless you are on some absurdly fast ISP, or are constantly transferring large files wirelessly, the AC wireless won't buy you any practical advantage.

    CPU intensive tasks in editing are going to drain battery quickly, and I would expect the difference in battery life to be measured in minutes rather than hours if you are really working the machine for an extended period. Depending on your normal usage, there is a possibility that the battery life could be a significant benefit.

    The faster SSD and a CPU that is a few percent faster are going to be the advantages of upgrading now, but I don't know that this alone is going to be worth the cost of a new machine. You can't put any more RAM in a new machine than you can in a 2012 machine, and until that happens, there is little chance that a current generation machine will stand a chance at way outperforming a 2012 machine, unless you dump a fortune into an SSD raid setup to push the bandwidth of the Thunderbolt 2 port. However, if you are buying that sort of setup for a scratch disk, then a much more powerful MacPro is probably well within the budget.

    Personally, I doubt you are going to find much that will run circles around your machine anytime before Skylake chipsets are released. The 2012 machines are still great machines.

    At this point, I would think it wise to invest a bit in your current machine, get a couple more good years out of it, and see what the future holds. You will notice the difference with the SSD. Put another SSD in a USB3 enclosure for use as a scratch disk, if you want, and it should really fly.
  7. BiteDisAppleD thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 10, 2014
    Does photography software reply more on CPU or GPU power?
  8. orestes1984 macrumors 65816

    Jun 10, 2005
    There's no point buying a new MacBook until the middle of next year, the Intel CPU arch hasn't changed in 4 years and even then, next years update will be a minor one in the cycle between minor and major releases from Apple.

    Buy an SSD and at least 8GB of RAM your machine should be as fast as anything on the market for another year at least. The only advantage at the moment a new machine has is that the SSD runs off the PCI-E bus directly so is absurdly fast.

    Other than that there is no real world performance benefit from a new MacBook and there wont be until the middle of next year at least. There's no point in upgrading any machine from Early 2011 onwards until at least next year.
  9. meson macrumors regular

    Apr 29, 2014
    It depends on what you are asking it to do. Some processes will be more CPU intensive, others GPU intensive. Unless you are doing a lot with the 3-D capabilities of your software, I would expect it to be more CPU intensive.

    When working with large batches of files or large complex files with lots of layers, available ram and swap disk speed become the bottlenecks.

    What is your workflow like? Are you working with a few images at a time, processing large batches of images?
  10. BiteDisAppleD thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 10, 2014
    Well i usually use Light room, maybe aperture for certain task, and Photoshop. But I don't really edit few at a time unless its on rare occasions. Would my i5 be able to handle it? I plan on either putting a 10 GB or 8 GB inside, And SSD maybe in the upcoming months. But i'll probably process a lot, but then again its only 1 -2 days a week.
  11. orestes1984 macrumors 65816

    Jun 10, 2005
    Your i5 is fine, I own one... Adding an SSD will improve your work flow in Photoshop tremendously though. I added just a cheap Crucial MX100 and the difference when editing large RAW files was night and day.
  12. TRAV9614, Oct 19, 2014
    Last edited: May 15, 2017
  13. meson macrumors regular

    Apr 29, 2014
    The processor and even the iGPU will be up to the task. You are really bottlenecked by the HDD and ram (to an extent). My wife works in much the same manner as you with a 2010 quad core iMac, and it can be cumbersome at times due to the limitations of the internal HDD. I'm yet to convince her to let me open it up and install an SSD (pushing the ram to 32GB, if it weren't so cost prohibitive, would help her too). I really wish that model had USB3 ports and/or a Thunderbolt port.

    I've often wondered how her workflow would work on my machine with the less powerful dual core processor, but with an SSD. I haven't loaded all of her actions and such to find out.

    The SSD is going to make the most difference. Once you hit the ram limit (which happens very soon with any sizable set of raw photos), the internal drive or your scratch disk will be used as ram. If doing the upgrades in a multiple step process, I would go with the SSD first, either one of the Samsung 840s or the Crucial MX100. Then go for the ram. The way you are using the machine justifies getting 16GB of ram. If you want to break up that upgrade, add a single 8GB stick of ram to get to 10GB, see how you like it and then get the other 8GB stick to get to 16GB when you can.

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