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Jro29

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jun 13, 2017
120
96
I have the first iteration of the Retina MacBook Pro, from mid 2012 16 GB of RAM. I upgraded to a 2 TB SSD HD. It’s been a really good computer which works for most of my needs. Word Processing, browsing, databases and spreadsheets, photo editing, etc.
When I saw that this machine wouldn’t support Big Sur, I started to do some re-evaluating. The machine mostly is sits plugged into a monitor with a magic trackpad and keyboard. I am debating upgrading because of minor things: It’s very slow and unresponsive to waking up, it just cuts off every now and then, It doesn’t scale fully to my 4K monitor, no thunderbolt, etc. These things are mostly tolerable.

But the issue with the operating system and the age of this computer has me thinking, is there anything I am missing by not getting a more up to date computer? Would I benefit from upgrading? I am considering getting a Mini, since it’s almost always docked anyway.

Is this dumb, am I getting a new computer just to get one, or will I see any significant benefit to upgrading that I haven’t thought about?

And if I decide to upgrade, will I get enough from the old computer to make it worth selling? Of should I just keep it around for backup/god knows what?

Thanks!
 
Last edited:

organicCPU

macrumors 6502a
Aug 8, 2016
832
289
Some thoughts for your consideration:
  • Are you running any 32-bit apps that you depend on?
  • Do you need the latest macOS for a MBP that originally was shipped with Mac OS X 10.7.x Lion?
  • In other words, wouldn't this MBP be faster and more responsive with some older version of macOS?
  • Do you better wait for some more time, until an ARM based Mac is released?
 

Jro29

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jun 13, 2017
120
96
I don’t think I’m running anything that needs 32 bit architecture.
I’m not sure I get the other questions.
 

Jro29

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jun 13, 2017
120
96
Also, should I be worried that this computer is now on the obsolete list and can’t get the latest OS.
 

organicCPU

macrumors 6502a
Aug 8, 2016
832
289
I’m not sure I get the other questions
Questions 2 and 3 were meant to respond to your issue
I am debating upgrading because … It’s very slow and unresponsive to waking up, …
On one hand is security, on the other hand, there is speed and responsiveness. Unfortunately in the long run, if one always upgrades to get the latest (security) features, there will be a time, the system looses speed. The slow down is a result of a newer, more bloated OS and features that aren't made for the older CPU, GPU or other hardware. My questions are targeting the consideration, if it's always worth to upgrade to the latest possible macOS? Maybe the MBP 2012 Retina would be even more reliable for your daily requirements, while running a less resource intensive macOS. I don't want to keep you from upgrading, if it doesn't make sense and security is one of your main concern. However, I'm working on Mac OS X 10.9.x on a MBP 2012 to get a good and stable performance.

My last question was about the change of the processor architecture, that Apple has been announcing. While recents models, like the Mac mini you've been mentioning, do have an Intel chip inside, there will be a change to Apple's ARM processors quite soon. If you're running a 2012 MBP for about 8 years, I can imagine, that you would like to run another new Mac for 8 years, too. I don't believe that any current model will be able to upgrade macOS for such a long time after the first ARM based release. We've seen that kind of transition some years ago, when Apple moved from PPC to Intel. So why don't you wait for one or two more years. As @||\|| stated, macOS Catalina will get all security updates for another 2 years. I'd recommend waiting until 2022 and then buy a recent Mac. Maybe another thing to consider is virtualization. If you need to virtualize Windows, maybe an Intel Mac makes sense for you.
 

Lerten

macrumors member
Jul 9, 2012
85
94
It’s all relative to your situation.

Personally, I upgrade the moment my system is rendered ‘obsolete’ by Apple.

The ARM vs Intel debate — buying now you’ll be getting the latest intel Mac in a tried and tested enclosure (mostly). On the other hand, we don’t know how long apple will support macOS for Intel.
Buying Apple Silicon means youll have to wait for a 16-inch ARM refresh (The rumours point for 13-inch Pro and Air as being the first models making the transition) and be ready for growing pains of the new platform.
 
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