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Yes, I bought a non-Retina MacBook in 2015 — and it's awesome

I love the Millennium Falcon. The idea of a junky space ship being faster than all the fancy ones really appeals to me. And in part, I think this is why I love tinkering with my Macs so much.

Recently, my 2012 Macbook Pro started acting up, and I got The Fear. Video glitches, trackpad freakouts, high CPU temps, and random shutdowns. It was clear: I needed to move laptops. And as pretty as the new MacBook is, it's a little too much for my pocketbook right now. Instead, I opted for the thick, "outdated," 13-inch non-Retina Macbook Pro. And I love it.

She's fast enough for you, old man

No, the 13-inch MacBook Pro doesn't have a Retina screen. It doesn't have the fancy form-factor of the new MacBook. It is, by all and rights and means, hopelessly outdated.

But for what I need, this little MacBook Pro is more than enough: For one, it's repairable. I picked up a cheap SSD off Amazon, and replaced the drive myself. Bonus: Now I have a spare 2.5-inch hard drive for backups, and I'm booting off a drive I can remove myself in an emergency.

Another bonus: I can add extra RAM to this MacBook Pro. I put my computer through a lot of RAM-intensive work during the day, and like to have as much available as possible. But were I to go with a machine from Apple's Retina laptop line, I'd have to pony up more than $2000! Instead, I yanked 16 gigs out of an old Mini and this baby was ready to rock — no premium charge necessary.

No Retina does not a piece of junk make

You're probably thinking, "don't you miss all those gorgeous Retina pixels?" Honestly, no. High-density displays are extremely useful on a phone and certainly the future of computing, but they aren't mission-critical for me.

Most of my work is done at a desk with a big monitor, full-size keyboard and an ambidextrous ergonomic mouse / Magic Trackpad combo. (Yep, I use the number pad!) I treat my laptops like Mac Minis that can move between a few different desks depending what I'm working on. And I keep my monitors in circulation for a long time, so the difference in pixel densities would be more of a distraction than anything else.

Am I clinging to a hokey religion that's no match for a good blaster at my side? I dunno. Maybe I could learn to work in coffee shops or on a couch, but this system helps me focus and keeps my wrists in decent condition. After all, we pirates don't get paid when our ship is stuck in space dock.

Who needs hyperspeed?

Understanding what's inside my computer is empowering, and oddly enough, now I feel even more prepared for the future.

Yes, USB-C is coming. But Thunderbolt never really took off, and what's up with the future of Magsafe? I'm on board for our reversible-cables-and-wireless-network future, but right now, I'd rather just use the adapters I own. Not investing in a really expensive computer now means I'm more willing to try the new stuff later.

Now let's just hope I don't break anything when I remove the DVD and swap in a second hard drive...

Pixel lover and cartoonist. Still have my original Apple IIgs. See more at clango.org or follow him on Twitter @rstevens.

60 Comments
  • What SSD drive did you get? Or better yet what brand? Reason I ask is due to Apple's specs on approved SSD drives. I want to upgrade as well but fear issues with osx. Thanks in advance.
  • I got a Samsung 850 EVO because I've had good luck with Samsungs and Amazon had a nice price on 500 gig drives a couple weeks ago. (I boot my warehouse desktop off a Samsung SSD in a Thunderbolt case. Lets me keep it modular!)
  • What read and write speeds are you getting from the 850 EVO?
  • Me and the wife have the same pro's. Recently put a ssd crucial in hers and a hyper x in mine and maxed out both Rams. Both are fast now and should last a few more years! :-)
  • So your last one lasted 2 years? That's windows territory. Hell, even worse than most windows laptops. Crimeny Cripes I got dat der G3 and 6 plus hey
  • The last one took some pretty major hits after warranty ran out. It's good when plugged into a desk, but flaky when carried. Not ok as a production machine.
  • Hehehe .. I had pretty much the same sentiments. I'm still using my late 2008 model MacBook Pro. Admittedly I've updated it with an SSD and topped it off with 8GB memory but it still works like a charm. No crashes, errors. Even the battery still lasts for an hour. Never had a windows laptop doing the same feat after 6 years of usage.
  • I'm also running a late 2008. Best computer I've ever owned. Pulled the duel drives mod (SSD primary, HDD secondary), maxed RAM, and replaced a bad fan. It still works quite well, but I think it may be ready for retirement. It gets pretty stinking hot under load, and my Bluetooth has mysteriously stopped functioning. As soon as the 15" gets a force touch pad, I think I'll probably upgrade.
  • The non-Retina Macbook Pro available now *is* a 2012 Macbook Pro. Unless your old one was a 15", you bought the same computer you had.
  • I was just about to post the same thing - what you bought is a 2012 model, still for sale. http://www.everymac.com/systems/apple/macbook_pro/specs/macbook-pro-core...
    (no discontinued date) Which is a huge bummer, because I too seriously want to get this machine to replace my aging 2010 MBP, but paying $1000 for an almost 3 year old machine is not a good return on my money. I agree in every way with the decisions you wanted to make, but I'm not sure you bought the machine you think you bought.
  • The one I had to retire was a 15" Retina.
  • Wow. You downgraded. Sent from the iMore App
  • Wow, you are an *****. Stop buying one year lasting laptops.
  • It all boils down to what kind of work you need to do on your computer. Someone in my building asked me for some laptop advice some weeks ago. He wanted to replace his old Thinkpad R series (Core2Duo, 2GB RAM Windows XP), for something newer. All he needed done was browsing, email and basic support for an entry-level HP printer he just bought. I took the Thinkpad off him, wiped XP, installed a noob-friendly Linux distro (Ubuntu/Debian based) and returned it to him the next morning. Spent a couple of hours after work that same day teaching him how to update and maintain the system, and also getting his printer working. Few days later I took him to a used parts seller to pick up an additional 2GB stick of RAM. He's a happy camper now, and saved a bunch of money too. Bastid still owes me lunch though.
  • I too bought the same laptop in late 2014. I maxed out the processor, ram, and disk drive. I'm glad someone else likes it too. I like having an optical drive, and I don't mind that it is a little on the heavy side because it doesn't leave the house often. And if I want a big screen I can hook it up to my 2011 iMac via thunderbolt. Who could ask for more? Some day I may put in a backup drive instead of the optical drive. It only bothers me slightly that it shows up as a 2012 model because it hasn't been updated since then. That might effect my ability to get Apple replacement parts down the road, but for now I am good.
  • "Recently, my 2012 Macbook Pro started acting up, and I got The Fear." . . . Humorous, particularly if stated defiantly. Sent from the iMore App
  • I did the same thing. Bought a MacBook Pro and put a 512gb ssd. It is really fast!!!! Sent from the iMore App
  • I also have a 15 retina from 2012 still runs like a champ and since I bought refurb, still has  care. Sent from the iMore App
  • I always laugh when the comments thread fills up with folks desperately defending "retina." Such a hoot! :-) Yes, more pixels are always better in the long run, but for the most part almost everyone that buys retina has no actual use for it and runs it scaled. Almost everyone who buys it and uses it can't actually tell the difference 8 times out of 10 without burying their face into the screen. Retina is good if you can get it but it's almost entirely ... hype.
    If you don't understand that, then you don't actually understand much about computers and are really more of an "Apple customer" than a "techie."
  • I can tell the difference without zooming in on the screen. I do photo editing but the bulk of my laptop use is typing up long documents. I had to redownload microsoft office and it was showing non-retina and I could not write anything just because of the pixelation. I can definitely tell the difference 10/10 times. I think some parts of your statement are based off too many incorrect assumptions like saying that almost everyone can't tell the difference when there are tons of threads on iMore in which many people say they can tell the difference.
  • From what I have read here and elsewhere, "scaled" retina is not always the case. As just one example, the Photoshop app window is scaled, but the photograph being edited is full res if required.
  • not really a true. I have MBP early 2011, 13". With resolution 1280x800, text is quite blury. Mac os x doesn't have the best anti-aliasing. and with this resolution, it is quite noticeable (for verything else - pics, video... it's fine). I wish I would have better resolution. but not such a big deal for me to buy new notebook with retina. so I just replaced HDD with SSD, and keep it running. enough for me.
  • Have to agree. I have an iPad Air 2, iPhone 6 and a 2014 Mini. All are Retina. I also have a non retina MacBook Air 2012 and my iMac is non retina. I use the iPad Air as a second monitor and I honestly can not tell the difference in the screen displays and I work in 3d.
  • I also feel the same way about the whole "Retina" hype, you know it's just a made up name for very high resolution screen. But with that being said I came across a smoking deal on a late 2013 "15" MacBook Pro and it is loaded with the big Core i7 @2.6GHz 16 gigs of ram. Nvidia GTX750 graphics and 1TB SSD. I'm a Windows guy so I put Bootcamp, Windows 7 on it [Now Windows10] and devoted most of the drive to Windows, I think about 126 gigs for OSX. So I'm in no way an Apple fan boy. So later on I got a deal on a mid 2012 Non Retina MBP "15" that also has i7 and Nvidia GPU. I sold the non Retina to a customer and first wiped it with a fresh install of OSX. I thought the screen on the non Retina looked fantastic and came to the same conclusion as you. So then to prove that it was all hype I took my Retina with Windows 7 and brought up some beautiful landscape pictures on my Retina MBP and on the mid 2012 non Retina. I brought up the same pics and did a side by side comparison. The only difference being that I used OSX on the non Retina. I can tell you right now that the Retina screen on mine looked a lot better. It wasn't even close honestly. I really don't think that the difference was because of the higher pixel density. The colors on the Retina screen just looked more sharp and vibrant. So even though you may not see a huge difference in the higher resolution, the Retina screen is just a high quality screen in general. This was not something that I had to look really close at to see the difference, it was glaringly obvious. But I mostly have it connected to my LG 23 inch 1920X1080 monitor, and I think the colors on the LG screen look at least as good as the Retina screen. The LG might even look a little better as far as colors, except for the blacks which the Retina has way better blacks, but the non Retina MBP definitely does not even look close to as good as the Retina. As long as you don't do a side by side comparison the 2012 non Retina looks great though. But yeah as much as I hate to admit it the Retina MBP looks a lot better than the non Retina. At least on the two examples that I compared, and both units perform perfectly well. And I'm not a fan boy and I pretty much hate Apple operating systems. But I do love their hardware.
  • That model is on the low end of the requirements for continuity and handoff, which means whatever the "next new thing is" will almost certainly not run on it. It's just such a hard call to spend even $850~ on a refurb of that model, knowing it is already so close to EOL. Understanding though, that if it meets all of your current requirements, and you really aren't looking long term at what Apple might add in the next 2 years, then it makes much more sense. And agreed, that retina is not the "requirement" most seem to think it is.
  • But what about the weight? The biggest change for me from the old to the retina MacBook pro's was the weight. Ya, its not a piece of junk. But it is a piece of brick (By today's Mac standards that is)
  • Did you get the i5 or i7 13" MBP 2012 model? After the MacBook announcement, I guess the $829 pricetag for the 2012 13" MBP i5 could be justifiable but there's no good reason to pay $1,249 for the i7 version of a 1.5 generation old processor and 3 year old laptop. When do you plan on upgrading that 2012's battery for better usage and life?
  • I love my non-retina macbook pro. Have had it for about 2 years now. It takes a little while to boot up, but other than that I really have no issues. And since I never had a retina macbook, I don't really know "what I'm missing" I am thinking about upgrading the HDD to a SSD in the future to keep it humming along nicely for years to come.
  • I had a 15" retina macbook pro. 2880x1800 is kind of a waste I think. You don't need a smartphone like dot pitch on a laptop. It just consumes more gpu and battery. I would use my rmbp for an hour or so, and like 30% or more of the battery would be gone. Plus alot of programs I used (photoshop, autocad, excel) weren't optimized for it anyway. I replaced it with 17" windows machine 1600x900, I am perfectly happy with it. I bought my wife a 13" macbook air, and I think the display is more than adequate. The UI seems more fluid. She uses it 1-2 hours a day, and only charges it once a week. The rmbp would never get away with that. I am sure Retina screens are pretty if you have really good eyes. But I don't. So ~120ppi screens work just fine for me.
  • I am having the same problem with my Macbook Pro. I wonder. We laugh when Apple comes out with a new line of phones and issues an upgrade that just seems to make our existing phones go bonkers. So, naturally, rather than put up with dropped calls and frozen screens, we all rush out to buy the latest iPhone. I wonder if Apple uses the upgrade as a means to force people to literally upgrade their hardware? Sure sounds sinister to me. But, then again, since when has Apple been an ethical company anyway.
  • Who needs a optical drive? Sent from the iMore App
  • Why?? Sent from the iMore App
  • .... Proud of downgrading to a lesser version of a computer, rather than purchase a 2013 of 2014 retina on the clearance sales that keep popping up or certified refurbished from Apple for a few hundred more... Posted via the iMore App for Android
  • I'm loving my non-retina 2012 Macbook Pro. I swapped out the RAM to go from 4 to 8GB of RAM and later swapped out the hard drive for a 256GB SSD. It's fast, it's fierce, and it works great for me. I use mine 90-percent of the time plugged into a larger monitor/external keyboard/mouse, so weight and retina aren't much of a factor for me. The new Macbook models look great, but I have zero desire to upgrade because my machine works so well for me.
  • "You're probably thinking, 'don't you miss all those gorgeous Retina pixels?' Honestly, no." My thoughts exactly regarding my 11-inch MBA.
  • I upgraded my macbook pro 2010. Upgraded to 8gbs and swapped the hard drive to a 1.2 terabyte fusion drive. Works like a charm! Feels like the first day I bought it. I do wish I had retina though.
  • I could never go back to non-retina ANYTHING. Macbook, phones, or iPad it needs to be retina. I used to never noticed the difference before but now it really bugs my eyes. I had the 2012 non retina pro and it did a lot for me but with a student discount it was only 200 dollars more for the 2014 retina pro so it was a no brainer when I wanted to upgrade and give the 2012 to my mother.
  • Mid 2010 MBP 15" here, going strong after putting in a Fusion Drive and maxing MEM to 8GB. The SSD was inevitable as the machine had virtually stopped running after the Mavericks upgrade. I expect to change the battery in the near future. I hope it lasts for many years to come. I'll refrain from upgrading BlueTooth though. Some day I'll get me a new machine, but for now I'm cool :-).
  • "so the difference in pixel densities would be more of a distraction than anything else." So that's the most ridiculous thing ever. A higher quality display would be a distraction? Come now, listen to what you just said.
  • I'm going the Air route next...
  • Good read, loved the Star Wars reference. I bought my 2012 MBP (albeit in 2012) based on three observations; I liked the display better than the Air, it has an i7 processor, and I still have customers handing me CD's. That and the fact I can add RAM (16g) and swap the hard drive, which is about to happen. It spends most of its time on my desk closed up in a Twelve South Book Arc and connected to a LG Ultrawide, but I love that I can just grab it and go to a client. I'm sure there's a Retina in my future, but for now I'm quite happy with my 2012 MBP.
  • Like many others that have posted, I too have upgraded a non-retina machine. While I would love the retina screen its hard (impossible really) to justify the expense of a new machine when I'm rocking a 2012 core i7 with dual 1TB SSDs and 16GB of RAM. It serves my needs and as a hacker (original definition). I like to have the ability to open it up and swap parts out even if I won't anymore at this point. Having said that, the machine is most definitely at the point where I will need to think long and hard before I consider installing the next OS X release.
  • I bough my non-Retina 13" MacBook Pro in 2013 and it's just wonderful. Yeah, that new MacBook makes this old boat look downright 'old fashioned', though I've got no knocks against that lithe beauty myself.
    I bought this machine specifically to run Mavericks! Who says increased battery life and RAM compression aren't sexy? When I first installed Mavericks I was surprised to see the screen become distinctly sharper! Graphics optimized for Retina, I assume. The display became sharper still when I upgraded to Yosemite, but not as much as before. It's got a nifty superdrive and more than half-a-dozen ports along the left side, most of which I never use!
    I do carry this with me everywhere. I mostly use this to 'shine on' the PC laptop users at the library who are all huddled next to power plugs so they can work plugged in. I work at a bare table many yards from the nearest outlet.
    I am looking to upgrade the RAM and HD. I'm going for capacity instead of speed. And I'll replace the battery when it's needed. Nothing to it with this machine!
    I'll upgrade to the Retina/SSD world when the CPUs advance enough to catch my attention.
    "Millennium Falcon", eh, that's a nice name for it. Yes, there are nicer rides out there, but This is my Dream Machine!
  • I do not understand people who use their MacBooks lashed to external monitors on a desk. Methinks you shoulda got a Mac mini.
    "Ships are safe within their harbors, but that's not what ships are for."
  • The biggest limitation of a non-Retina MacBook is that you cannot get more than 1080p resolution on an external display. The Intel Graphics are simply far to primitive on the CPU. So ouch for those wanting a high resolution external display. What is nice is the USB 3.0 port and the Thunderbolt port. You can greatly expand the capabilities of the MacBook with these ports - particularly with hard drives.
  • can one put a retna screen on the old model 13in macbook pro mid 2012 ??????????
  • If you like it, that's what counts.
  • I agree. I didn't want to pay $2,000 for a replacement for my aging 2010 MBP. So, I bought a non-retina with the 2.9GHz i7. When I got it home, I replaced the hard drive with a 1TB hybrid drive (someday I may get a 500GB SSD, but this was less than $100), and switched out the 4GB RAM for 16 (also less than $100). Try THAT with a Retina. Sure, the Retina has a prettier display, and it's lighter, but after a year of heavy use, the one I bought performs beautifully, even while running Windows in Parallels (with an engineering analysis program running), Photoshop, Word, Excel, Google Earth, Adobe Reader and running a movie on an external monitor—simultaneously (this happens often as I'm bringing reports to a finish). Best of all? It doesn't overheat, it doesn't miss a beat, and I was able to use the $600 I saved on something else.
  • We're considering a non-retina MBP for my fiancee to replace her woefully slow Windows laptop. The plan is to get the bare-bones model and bump the RAM to 8 or 16GB and swap the standard 500GB drive for an SSD. The tests I've seen seem to support that performance is increased over stock, but no one has discussed battery life. Does using an SSD make an appreciable difference in battery life on these models?
  • There seems to be conflicting data on this, so much to consider; an SSD has really only two states; doing nothing or moving noughts and ones. An HDD is always spinning (unless sleeping) and eats up varying amount of power depending on spin up and data thrashing etc I've seen reports where real-world tests show a heavily used SSD is worse than an HDD, and I looked at two drives I have spare, the Samsung EVO 500 says it is 5v @ 1.4A =7WH, whereas the original MBP HDD is 5v @ .8A 4WH... Subjectively, I believe battery life is increased, my 13" 2012 2.9GHz, with 16GB ram and a Samsung Evo 840 500GB, shows about 7.:32 hours battery life when browsing on WIFI, and it was originally about 5:40 hours IIRC. I should think more ram uses more energy too, maybe with 8GB the power is reduced; I'll never go down to 4GB, I find Yosemite becomes quite sluggish with that amount of RAM. People say why so much ram, but I often have a couple of virtual machines running, and 16GB makes it a reasonable experience. I'm typing this on a loan 2012 MBP 15", I've just put in a new SSD for someone, but if my 2012 MBP died tomorrow, I'd buy a new one (maybe even a refurbished one from the store), I'd probably go for the i7 2.9GHz -because of who I am lol- but get the standard configuration HDD and 4GB ram. I'd then buy 8GB or 16GB from a reputable manufacturer, and an SSD -I always fit Samsung EVOs (never had an issue) and the new ones are supposed to be even more energy efficient...the fitting is no big deal for the average Joe or Joe-leen -just read online and take precautions. On these models Apple let you do upgrades, and the worse that may happen if the machine goes down during warranty is that an Apple 'genius' says you have to put back the original ram and HDD...just keep them... Another plus with an SSD is that you can move it about without bashing the sectors, meaning the Apple motion sensor isn't needed -another power saving... My only problem is, what notebook will I buy when Apple stop making the 2012 13" non-Retinas...
  • I agree totally with your purchase!! I had a 2011 MBP then bought a 2013 rMBP, worse decision of my life, after about two replacements the final straw was when it stopped backing up to Time Machine, the 'geniuses' couldn't figure out how or why my ONLY system drive was in the list not to back up. After several reinstalls etc, I got rid of it and bought a new 2012 non Retina last year (2014), and haven't looked back since. Pros:
    1) It can troubleshoot problems by swapping out memory and disks. 2) I can update it to the latest SSDs with no hideous Apple pricing. 3) I can upgrade the memory. 4) I can replace the battery without either a) writing off the MBP or b) inhaling toxic fumes as I split the battery while trying unglue the battery (something even Apple service technicians have been told NOT to do!) 5) It has a DVD drive, so when I work away I can take a few DVDs with me, I do not see why I should be buying them all again to make more money for Apple. PLUS, some of my DVDs are not available in the store. 6) It has a Kensington lock facility. One thing I noticed with the new crap is no Kensington, I visit sites and often need to go away from my machine for a while; for example, I don't want to go to the toilet with my MBP, so I lock it to the desk/counter I am working at (this was another reason why I won't EVER get another new retina Macbook of any description). Those are a few that spring to mind. The new Retina Macbook is a joke, what use is ONE connector? Don't forget that Apple have form, they heralded the wonder that is Firewire/400/800 as the future of computing, then Thunderbolt, now they drop both lol One of the craziest things about the new Macbook is the dropping of the Magsafe connector. I thought Magsafe was one of the greatest pieces of thinking since notebooks began, everyone has had a tale of tripping over the cable and either getting hurt, or worse, breaking the Macbook (which one assumes was the reason why Apple come up with it in the first place). Some companies have a Risk Assessment that includes Macs with the Magsafe, now Apple have brought in a trip hazard where there wasn't one before lol Yes I know the USB-C cable has to be pretty secure, it is after all a data cable, but that is exactly the point, the two functions should be completely separate. So Apple are selling a near on $2,000 notebook, with no Kensington lock that is a trip hazard...you can't make this stuff up. No matter what 'innovation' Apple think they've began, success almost always depends on PC manufacturers and vendors, that's why Firewire and Thunderbolt are failing, and USB3 in the ascendancy. USB-C means that on my travels, in order to get the functionality from a Retina Macbook that I can get on my 2012 MBP, I'd need: 1) USB-C to HDMI adaptor
    2) USB-C to USB3 adaptor
    3) a USB DVD writer [that requires #2 above]
    4) a USB-C to RJ45 adaptor (some clients only have RJ45 topology)
    5) a 'dongle' that allows me to connect my SDHC cards
    6) a safe to put the Macbook in, due to lack of Kensington lock
    7) USB-C to Thunderbolt adaptor for my backup drive Of course the performance of the new MB isn't meant to make it a replacement for a MBP, BUT, if this is the way Apple are going, they can stick their expensive notebooks where the sun doesn't shine lol Sure the new MBPs have slightly higher performance, but the dual-cores aren't that much faster, I only think it a shame they don't do the quad-cores in non-Retina anymore, but what is Apple up to? A lot of 'converts' I know got into Macs by 1) my badgering and 2) the Mac Mini. The Mini was great, small enough to hide (and thus less desk clutter) and you could use all your original peripherals, these folks were waiting for the new Mac Mini, then the news that the Quad-cores are discontinued. I mean, Apple, what are you doing? People with a 2012 2.3 or 2.6 i7 have a machine FASTER than the top-of-the-range newer Mini -and again, no self upgrading. I swear Apple are bipolar, their mood swings swinging one way then another...not just gear, everyone remember .mac, iTools, MobileMe before iCloud, Apple were pushing people to them "This is the future" then out of the blue they drop them. How long is iCloud going to be around for? The only way I'll still be buying Apple in five years is IF they still make the 2012 MBPs...lol
  • I bought a used 2012 mbpro 13 non-retina for $650 CAD a few months ago, replaced the super drive and HD with 2 850 EVO 250GB for a 500GB RAID 0 setup with 900 - 1000 MB/s performance. Added 16 GB ram and I feel like this holds it's own: 2.5Ghz, 16gb ram, 500 GB (RAID0) for about a grand Canadian. I use the original HD in a firewire 800 mobile enclosure and backup every hour, save almost everything in drop box and backblaze, so covered if the RAID ever fails. I'm a web designer/developer, often with multiple browser tabs, and browser types (safari, chrome, firefox) at a time, and photoshop cs, and no problems. I also have about 6 virtual screens going as well, with Evernote and Skype in full screen. I also use a 2560 by 1080 monitor (can go up to 2560 x 1600) at the office, the 1080p comment is false. In fact I think you can daisy chain two thunderbolt displays with this (2560 x 1440) x2. I can't recommend this enough, though I will eventually upgrade to either a new refurbished maxed out mb air 13 or go all in on a refurbished new mbpro 15. I love the lightness of the mb air, but the performance of the 2014 isn't quite there yet. I used to LOVE Apple, but they're heading down the wrong road, I feel. They used to be about innovation and quality – now they're just following planned obsolescence... I can't support them fully by purchasing full price, but compared to Windows, they ARE superior. I truly think the company started to die once Jobs left... Going to have to start learning LINUX...
  • Small light devices & retina screens are magical. You are clueless. You could do anything you need to with this - with a 12" MacBook - and far better.
  • Clueless? You are either uneducated, witless, or willfully spreading misinformation. Go ahead and read the plethora of reviews about the underpowered 12" Retina Macbook. It is at best a web browsing notebook, no more – and limited at that even! Good luck running Photoshop, Lightroom, or any other creative programs or web applications with any acceptable performance. The 12" Retina macbook represents everything that's wrong with post-Jobs Apple, and why those of us who used to be fans are falling out of love with the new version of the company. Apple clearly is focussed on the pro-sumer (consumer who spends lots of $$) over professional users. Enjoy your underpowered, one port retina 12" Macbook, niico100. I'll scream past you in my macbook pro 13 classic, modded with Samsung SSDs (500GB RAID), 16GB Ram, and 2.5 Ghz i5. And I might end up building a Hackintosh.
  • Your comment is EXACTLY my thoughts. I'm buying a refurb mid2012 13" and throwing 16GB Ram with 480GB SSD and might even swap the DVD drive out for an SSD as well. All that for under $1,200... But I won't have my retina display?!?!!
    My eyes aren't good enough for that to matter anyway.
    I currently use an early 08 White Macbook with some upgrades and that is STILL holding up. I imagine this 2012 Pro will have similar longevity, unlike the later "SuperSpec/SuperGlue w/ Retina Display" models
    (that prove Apple is now entirely focused on Shareholder's satisfaction over customer)
  • I needed to replace my 2010 MBP as I accidentally spilled coffee on it :(
    Got a 13" 2012 MBP on eBay for $499.
    Upgraded it with a 480GB SSD ($100) and 16GB ($65) of RAM. I code for a living and am very happy with my new work station :)
    Retina vs Non-Retina? Not a factor for me. YMMV.
  • well to start off i am an apple engineer and i have both all these machines i have a Brand New Early 2011 MacBook Pro 17 2.2 with 16GB Ram and 512SSD i have a Mid 2015 MacBook Pro 15" with the R9 Graphics and i have a 2009 MacBook Pro 15" Intel Core 2 Duo with 8GB Ram and 240SSD i will tell you out of all these machines my 17" Kicks *** its not as powerful as the 2015 but very rarely will you find yourself needing that much power. i have a special agreement with Apple where i can get MacBook Pro Models that are no longer made i can get the housing and the parts for them so i am lucky in that area. i love my 17" MacBook Pro. it love my 15 Retina Model too but in terms longetivity and lasting longer you have a better chance you have a Non Retina MacBook Pro vs a Retina Model everything is Glued and Soldered to the Boards one part goes out new logic board is needed Apple Care is only good for 3 Years... 2,800$ Machine Warrantied for 3 Years with Apple Care Extended . Not Worth it or the Risk if something is too go wrong. its going to costs quite a penny in your bank account to fix it.
  • Hi,
    can you tell me what temperature readings (smcfancontrol) are you getting when for example hooked up to an external monitor (idle/work)?
    I have a 2011 macbbok pro 15" and am thinking about replacing it with a 2012 13" macbook pro but hesitant if it would be any better? What year is your "new" macbook pro 13 make, 2012?
  • I ended up w/a mid 2012 15" rMBP 2.6 GHz 8GB 512GB Sata III Flash SSD w/the 1GB 650m and Intel 4000 and I keep pining over the PCIe 3.0 x 4 SSDs and despite the theoretical 1300MB/s+ read & write speeds I keep seeing mid 600MB/s for typical 4GB movie transfers and I honestly see mid 400MB/s read & write speeds and honestly wonder, outside a little power efficiency improvement in subsequent generations, I feel like until there is H265 hardware decoding and maybe a USB C port to have a 10A charging port with "real" speed (unlike USB 3.0 ports that SHOULD of made it worth it to take old 2.5" SSDs and stick into enclosures to make blazing fast passports, but instead turned 600MB/s theorecticals into barely 100MB/s Sata I saturated speeds w/o microcontrollers to bump that up, still not reaching even SATA II speeds. Now USB 3.1 and USB C versions will finally solve that and while it still isn't much better than Thunderbolt and not Thunderbolt 3, its supports power, data, and 4K video output that at least as some universal appeal. Thunderbolt 3 is CLEARLY superior but as for thinking my mid 2012 15" 2.6Ghz rMBP w/512GB Flash SSD is a bottleneck compared to PCie 3.0 x 4 Samsung 951 SSDs I'm thinking that isn't going to be what I think and if you have a mid 2012 15" Retina, the only good reason to leap is to wait for Skylake H265 hardware support and even in process save a few dimes and take current integrated and efficient Intel 520s etc over my dedicated and power hungry NVidia 1GB 650m b/c frankly it already equals or outperforms. Translation is a mid 2012 quad core i7 2.6GHz 3720 3rd gen is beast and only a Skylake is worth the jump. My feeling is an A1398 model is same animal, 2012 or 2015. I feel like I should just be happy having the fastest 512GB Flash SSD and probably prefer it over a 256 PCie 2.0 x 2 for sure and now thinking 3.0 x 4 as well. I even got a refurb from Apple and still have 1 year of Apple Care left in late 2016!
  • I bought mine in 2013. the good ol' MBP13, maxed it out from Apple... 1TB HDD, Intel Core i7 @ 2.9 GHz, 8GB RAM. Just i received it i bought 16GB RAM and a 2TB HDD (Seagate BackUp Plus Slim teared apart) and i can't complain, I'm not a fan of removing the optical drive and yet I would rather have a 2TB SSD it is quite harsh for my pockets as of now. I guess my baby will endure at least a couple more years and by then i expect i've changed the HDD for a SDD.