Worth adding a SSD and 16 GB RAM to a mid-2012 15"?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by xShane, Apr 8, 2016.


Worth spending money to add SSD and 16 GB RAM?

  1. Yes

    33 vote(s)
  2. No

    0 vote(s)
  1. xShane macrumors 6502a


    Nov 2, 2012
    United States
    Hi MacRumors,

    I am currently running on a 15" MacBook Pro, mid-2012 model (non-Retina). Specs:
    • OS X 10.11.4
    • 2.6 GHz Intel Core i7
    • 8 GB RAM
    • NVIDIA GeForce GT 650M with 1024 MB VRAM
    • 750 GB HDD
    Note: 250 GB of the HDD is partitioned to run Windows via Bootcamp.

    I have noticed for the past year or so that startups times have been painfully slow. A solid minute or two just to startup, then at least a few minutes after logging in before I can reasonably open apps (upon clicking apps, they just "bounce" for a bit and then lag for a few minutes before the lag dies down). This is incredibly obnoxious, especially as I turn my laptop on and off quite frequently throughout the day. Some apps have noticeable lag as well, even after my computer has escaped the initial login lag. All in all, the Mac experience is no longer as enjoyable as it used to be when I got the machine 3-4 years ago.

    I am a college student and I have earned several hundred dollars through app development. I also do a lot of heavy personal programming and am trying to break into the freelance/professional world. I frequently run demanding apps simultaneously. That said, money is limited (thanks college), and I'm on the fence between spending ~$160 to upgrade it or just saving my money for a new rig.

    Option 1:
    • Total cost approximately $160
    • ~$80 for 16 GB RAM upgrade (would likely go with Crucial RAM)
    • ~$80 for Samsung 250GB SSD. A lot smaller, I know -- but surprisingly I don't use up the majority of my disk space and could definitely get by on 250GB if it meant my computing experience was to be more "enjoyable".
    Option 2:
    • Not spend the ~$160 and save the money towards buying a new rig.
    • That said, I will realistically not be buying a new computer/laptop for another solid year, if I had to guess.

    Anyways, thanks for your time MacRumors! I look forward to your responses! :)
  2. T5BRICK macrumors G3


    Aug 3, 2006

    Go for it. A SSD is the single best upgrade you can perform. It'll totally change your computer.
  3. kazibole macrumors member

    Jan 18, 2015
    SSD - yes. Consider going with a 512 GB drive (based on your existing usage).
    RAM - depends. Unless you are doing very intensive tasks, I would say no.
  4. bruinsrme macrumors 603


    Oct 26, 2008
    Go 512.
    For $200 you'll get a couple more years out of it
  5. JTToft macrumors 68040

    Apr 27, 2010
    Aarhus, Denmark
    Definitely do it. With those two upgrades, that machine will be super fast for several more years.
  6. Gav2k macrumors G3


    Jul 24, 2009
    Add a few more $$$ to the spend and buy a caddy for the SuperDrive bay if you don't use it. Slap the ssd in there and keep the 750 for additional storage.
  7. icarus523 macrumors newbie

    Aug 20, 2009
    I installed a second SSD in the optical bay, with two Samsung 830 SSDs and RAID0 (you get two SATA-3 channels with the mid-2012 MBP (non-retina) - kinda a waste to use it on an optical drive or mechanical disks) , I get read/write speeds of over 800MB/sec.

    There is also a 32GB RAM option now for these models, but it costs a pretty penny.
  8. Count Blah macrumors 68030

    Count Blah

    Jan 6, 2004
    US of A
    Link please?
  9. errin macrumors member

    Feb 7, 2007
    I did SSD 3 years ago and 16 GB RAM 2 years ago. Both are worth the cost I paid.
  10. MacInTO, Apr 8, 2016
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2016

    MacInTO macrumors 65816


    Apr 25, 2005
    Canada, eh!
    I have a 2012 cMBP 2.6 with 8gb RAM and 480GB SSD. I'm experiencing issues when streaming MLB.tv. I get stuttering motion and freezing images.

    I also have a 2012 rMBP 2.7 with 16gb RAM/768 SSD and have no problems streaming.

    I'm wondering if this could be the quantity of RAM or something else that I might be overlooking.

    EDIT: I should have mention that the above MBPs were connected to a projector via the thunderbolt port.

    Found this, http://forums.macrumors.com/threads/macbook-pro-2012-32-gb-memory.1618783/
  11. eyeseeyou macrumors 68020

    Feb 4, 2011
    Link to 32gb please
  12. JTToft macrumors 68040

    Apr 27, 2010
    Aarhus, Denmark
    - Nope. The modules exist, true, and the CPU can address 32 GB, true, but it has a limit of 8 GB per memory slot resulting in a maximum of 16 GB with the MBP's two memory slots.
  13. nitromac macrumors 6502

    Jul 29, 2012
    Yes. I did exactly that. Still running fast and stable.
  14. snaky69 macrumors 603

    Mar 14, 2008
    Why bother turning it off at all? It's a waste of time unless you need to store your computer for extended periods of time.
  15. Fishrrman macrumors G4


    Feb 20, 2009
    Add the SSD, absolutely. The improvement will be immediate.

    You don't need the RAM -unless- you are having "RAM problems" now.
    Are you?
  16. RevToTheRedline macrumors 6502a


    Sep 27, 2007
    Rotational notebook hard drives, typically 5400rpm, some even 4800 rpm but i don't think Apple ever used ones that low. Are pretty much dinosaurs by todays standards, typically only seeing around 105-120MB/s transfer rates with very low small read/write performance down into the single digits. Throwing something even as cheap as an entry level Samsung EVO S-ATA SSD can throw you into the 500/500MB/s read write sequential transfers and at least into the 150-250MB/s small read/write figures.

    An SSD will be a bigger night and day difference over more ram, but if you have it opened already adding a new drive, throwing in some more ram will breath new light also. And its so cheap these days.
  17. JTToft macrumors 68040

    Apr 27, 2010
    Aarhus, Denmark
    - The early MacBook Airs actually had 4200 RPM drives. Must've been painful.
  18. RevToTheRedline macrumors 6502a


    Sep 27, 2007
    Holy wow, didn't expect that.. sometimes i try to deny that Apple uses lesser components but sometimes they do.. eh i'm not all that impressed with the overall performance of my M370x rMBP dGPU but it is what it is, still a pretty badass computer.
  19. TechZeke macrumors 68020


    Jul 29, 2012
    Rialto, CA
    Believe or not, the current rMBP is actually not much faster than the machine you have now.

    I'd also go with a 500GB SSD. 2-3 years ago, 250GB was the SSD sweet spot of money/space. Now, with even cheaper prices, a $150-$200 for a 500GB class SSD is a no brainer.
  20. VanMac macrumors 6502a


    May 26, 2005
    Rampaging Tokyo
    I upgraded my older 17" MBP to 500GB SSD about 3 years ago as well. Made a huge difference in boot times, etc. It is an older machine, but still functional for many things.
  21. Count Blah macrumors 68030

    Count Blah

    Jan 6, 2004
    US of A
    If you are not playing games, your machine can still be amazing today and for a while longer, with the added RAM(especially if you really need it), and a 500+Gig SSD.

    Due to Apple's reliance on glue and solder to up their margins, I plan on keeping my 2012 15" MBP for a long time to come. I have another rig for any games I want to play, I have this baby for rollin' up the sleeves, raw techie fun.
  22. robvas macrumors 68020

    Mar 29, 2009
    They were almost the same 1.8" HD you would see in an iPod classic!


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