What are your thoughts on this Classic MacBook Pro?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by east85, Jan 5, 2016.

  1. east85, Jan 5, 2016
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2016

    east85 macrumors 65816


    Jun 24, 2010
    I intend to use it for basic browsing, some photo editing and video editing with an external display. I currently accomplish all of this on this MacBook with the modifications mentioned in my signature. If I were to purchase this MacBook Pro I would be doing roughly the same tasks. I still use Aperture to edit photos from a lower end DSLR and Final Cut Pro X for video editing (usually these do not exceed 15 minutes in length or 1080p resolution).

    I really like redundancy, so having the MacBook I currently use for backup would be nice. I originally intended to use this MacBook until it died, but it isn't dying. You can see the Geekbench scores put this laptop at about 2.3x faster than my current setup. I'd like to pull the optical drive and move my Optibay into the newer MacBook Pro, giving it dual SSDs and the max of 16GB of RAM. I'm also curious about the power draw under load and at idle, if anyone has that information. I am aware of the MagSafe 2 charger specifications, though, so I mean real world pull.

    I've been able to keep using my current MacBook for a solid 6 years now, and it's still mint because I treat my things well and clean the fan every 6 months, etc. Are there any issues with this Ivy Bridge chipset and model I should be concerned about? With the slow advancements in microarchitecture (relative to last decade) and growing efficiency of software, is it likely that this MacBook Pro could last me around the same time?

    This is the final (and fastest) revision of the classic 13" MBP design from what I understand. It may be my last MacBook unless I have a change of heart about soldered hard drives, soldered ram and glued batteries. From what I've researched the newer retina MacBook Pros only accomplish a marginal 1000 points over this MacBook via GeekBench references, which is still impressive given the battery life and improved display, but again that's not for me. I rely on external displays for editing and my MacBook is rarely traveling (unplugged).
  2. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 604

    Oct 24, 2013
    Yeah it'll be fine as you have obviously worked out for yourself. I wouldn't pay apples price for it though It should be no more than a 13 inch macbook air.

    There are vast multitude of reasons I wouldn't buy one, but the main reason in your use case is that you may well want 4K capability and external screens for your video editing in a fairly short period time and that computer just won't do it.
  3. Dariel macrumors newbie

    Jan 13, 2015
    i have used this macbook pro as a backup to the newer 15" which melted this summer and now it serves as a backup/"image-tank with display" for my imac.
    put 2 1tb ssd in there (raid config if you want/need) and up to 16gb ram.

    i used to work on 40-70mp raw files but the latter is a real pain. you shouldn't encounter issues with a lower end dslr though (if it refers to the pixel count)

    you seem to have done all the research and know what you're doing so go for it.

    IF you can wait a little longer and save up some more money, perhaps go for an imac?
  4. Algus macrumors regular


    Jun 8, 2014
    I definitely still like the 2012 Macbooks. In real world use I have found Haswell and Broadwell to have negligible differences compared to Ivy Bridge. My mini is an Ivy Bridge (also last upgradeable there, alas) and it has easily kept pace with my older Haswell laptop (a Linux box) and my current macbook. On very rare occasions I will notice something on my desktop taking a few seconds (at most) longer to complete than it would on my laptop. Seems a fair trade for being able to supply my own parts.
  5. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    I've been spoiled with the retina display, I guess and while I sound rather negative towards apple's march towards thinness at times, there is a difference (a positive one) between the classic MBP and the retina. I'd say its not worth the $$ if you were going to buy it from apple, but if you found a decently priced one on ebay/craigslist/etc then yeah it probably couldn't hurt, otherwise if you're spending a lot of money, you might as well get the benefit of newer technology.
  6. east85 thread starter macrumors 65816


    Jun 24, 2010
    I've definitely done editing on the lower end stock screen for higher resolutions in a pinch. I think I could get by with the 2560x1600 with a little extra work to optimize for 3840×2160. Having the option would be very nice though and as you point out this is the biggest drawback for future proofing. I guess a concern is how well this machine could handle 4K content with dual SSD (in RAID configuration) and 16GB of ram, along with the processor. I currently don't edit any video in 4K but that may change as you've pointed out with expectations moving to 4K. Currently I edit and shoot video as a hobbyist and the bulk of my income comes from Photography.

    I have to be able to work and travel so portability is important unfortunately, even though I remained plugged in most of the time. I do have a mobile workspace with an external 1080p display that is fully powered by a lot of AGM batteries and 380W of solar. I'm guessing the power draw may be a bit more substantial with a full iMac, stripping me of that ability to go to the remote sites I need to photograph and do work on the fly. I do have a cinema display to use when I'm at home but it honestly doesn't get as much use as I'd like. What would be nice to eventually do is to pick up a 5K iMac and use this solution with my external display on site. I guess it might be worth mentioning that photography is where the majority of my income comes from despite my camera not being the greatest. I've built decent following through social media and it ends up paying the bills through a couple venues. Editing and shooting video is more of a hobby that I'd like to grow into a more financially viable endeavor eventually. I think with this in mind, this computer would come first and an iMac later on down the road.

    I'm actually curious if you've personally attempted RAID format on your dual 1tb SSD setup and what kinds of speed could be accomplished.

    Yeah as I'm building my income more I feel like cost is still a concern, so being able to replace parts on the fly is a major plus. I'm currently saving for a better DSLR (and other equipment) as well so keeping costs down seems like it should be a higher priority. I want to keep costs down over the long run for this reason. I think in the future when I'm more flush with income I might be alright with the prospects of a machine lasting me 3 years, though I'd still feel somewhat uneasy about the environmental consequences of disposable consumer electronics.

    Yeah I'm thinking about second hand, so far the refurb store often has the model I'm looking at for a hair above a grand. I've had decent experiences with their refurbs so that kind of makes me lean towards the Apple route. I haven't been able to find this machine second hand for considerably less (in acceptable condition) yet but I'll keep looking.

    Thanks everyone for the constructive input.

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