Upgrade ssd on 2012 MBA or get new laptop?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by yomacroni, Oct 12, 2017.

  1. yomacroni macrumors member

    yomacroni

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2017
    #1
    I have a 13" 120gb 4gb 2012 MBA that I recently got from a family member and like it so much I switched from Windows after 25 years. However, I'm running out of space and will need to upgrade the hd to 240gb for about $200. I've been using Lightroom for light photo editing/organizing as well as Chrome and it's been fine. I would also like to use it for Illustrator and Fusion 360 on occasion (not heavily) and have a feeling 4gb won't be adequate. Should I upgrade the hd only and use my Windows desktop for Illustrator/Fusion 360 stuff or should I get a 2017 MBA (256gb hd, 8gb ram) out of state/no tax for $1100?
     
  2. ZapNZs macrumors 68000

    ZapNZs

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2017
    #2
    If it was me, personally, I would purchase either a 2017 retina MacBook or 2015 MacBook Air given the 4 GB RAM limitation is pretty significant, and $200 is a nice chunk of change towards a new system (at one point, Best Buy had new 2016 retina MacBooks with 8GB/256SSD for something like $775.) Additionally, if the Transcend upgrade is no longer available, IIRC that leaves you with OWC, which you will probably want to avoid. The 128 GB MBA is a great value (at one point, Micro Center had the 2015 MBA with i5/8GB/128SSD for $650) - but, once you jump to the 256 SSD size, IMO it is not nearly a good a value and the base 2017 retina MacBook (with m3/8GB/256SSD) is often the one you can find on better sales than the MBA with 256.

    Alternatively, you could purchase an external SSD like the Samsung T5, which you could then also use with your next computer. You can get the 500 GB size for around $200.

    One other option is the Transcend JetDrive Lite, which allows you to expand your existing system by 128 GB or 256 GB using the SD bay for internal flash storage. Speed-wise, it is about as fast as a 7200 RPM hard drive, so slower than the internal SSD, but plenty fast for media storage!
     
  3. yomacroni thread starter macrumors member

    yomacroni

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2017
    #3
    Interesting, didn’t think about going down to a 12” MacBook. What’s wrong with owc? That’s what I was looking at.
     
  4. Fishrrman macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #4
    If you're going to buy a new Apple laptop, get a MacBook Pro.
    Once you have it, you'll see "the difference"...
     
  5. mpConroe macrumors member

    mpConroe

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2017
    Location:
    Arbroath (UK) / Wroclaw (PL)
    #5
    If I were you I would bought new MacBook Pro. I have 2016 Touch Bar model and I really enjoy this computer. It's fast and good for photo editing. For video editing I have my iMac.

    Don't buy MBA cos it's an old generation with updated processors, go straight to MBP. I would also avoid the basic MacBook cos it doesn't even have a fan and the camera is a potato (I'm using mine MBP to Skype video calls and I wouldn't survive with basic MacBook camera).
     
  6. yomacroni thread starter macrumors member

    yomacroni

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2017
    #6
    That’s what I was thinking but I’ve been reading here about horror stories with the keyboard which is why I’m afraid to buy that.
     
  7. Fishrrman macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #7
    OP wrote:
    "That’s what I was thinking but I’ve been reading here about horror stories with the keyboard which is why I’m afraid to buy that."

    The "2015 design" MacBook Pro 13" can be bought from the Apple refurbished pages.
    Comes with the same 1-year warranty as does a new one, and you can get AppleCare for it, too.

    The 2015 design has the "older" style keyboard (no problems) and it also has a full complement of "legacy ports" if those are important to you.

    Prices are quite reasonable, if that counts.

    Folks report generally very good experiences with Apple factory-refurbished products.

    Here's where to start looking:
    http://www.refurb.me/en-us/mac-laptop?category=macbook-pro&merchant-id=1
     
  8. mpConroe, Oct 13, 2017
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2017

    mpConroe macrumors member

    mpConroe

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2017
    Location:
    Arbroath (UK) / Wroclaw (PL)
    #8
    Mhm I really like the keyboard in the MBP.

    Don't buy 2 years old outdated computer. Buy the newest you can cos it's a computer and it becomes old quickly!
     
  9. ZapNZs, Oct 13, 2017
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2017

    ZapNZs macrumors 68000

    ZapNZs

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2017
    #9
    There was a big issue with the size of the drives not physically fitting, and OWC's response was pretty terrible.

    Additionally, IIRC, their SSD still uses a SandForce controller, which I wouldn't touch with a 60 foot pole in 2017. OWC's prior recommendation & wording against enabling TRIM was also pretty off-putting, rather than acknowledging a legitimate firmware compatibility issue.

    If you choose to upgrade the SSD, stick with Transcend.

    If the 12-inch MacBook meets your port situation (one USB-C port may or may not work for your needs) and the 1-inch smaller screen works for you, it will probably meet your needs equally well as other Apple offerings. Unlike the 13-inch MacBook Pro and 13-inch MacBook Air, its smallest hard drive is a 256 GB Model, meaning you can find the 256 GB models at much better pricing (as the base versions are the ones that frequently go on sale.)

    Alternatively, the 2015 13-inch MacBook Pro base model just became a whole lot more attractive, because that 128 GB base SSD is about to be a lot easier to upgrade to a larger size :D
     
  10. yomacroni thread starter macrumors member

    yomacroni

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2017
    #10
    Good to know thanks. I don’t have a problem with 1 usb-c port but 12” may be too small. Coming from a 3 monitor desktop system, 13” is small enough I think and my eyes aren’t getting any better. There are so many different choices I’m hesitant to pull the trigger on any one for now.
     

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