Why is Apple’s ancient 2012 MacBook Pro still so popular?

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We're not going to beat the original caption on this:
We're not going to beat the original caption on this: "The MD101LL/A, pixelated to simulate the quality of its screen."
Photo: Marco Arment

Without a doubt, the oldest Mac Apple still sells is the 13-inch non-Retina MacBook Pro, model number MD101LL/A. Launched in 2012, it’s still on sale from Apple for just $1,099 … $200 more expensive than Apple’s entry-level MacBook Air, which is just as powerful.

What’s the deal? Why does Apple still sell it? The 2012 MacBook Pro is still a surprisingly big seller for Cupertino. Here’s why.

In an informative blog post, Overcast dev Marco Arment explains why this bulky, low-res Mac is still so popular, especially with volume customers like schools: It packs a DVD drive, it’s cheap to upgrade, and it’s very inexpensive. But I think this is the killer point:

It’s not that outdated. It has Thunderbolt, USB 3, and a multitouch trackpad (not Force Touch, although I consider that a plus). The low-resolution screen is the most obviously outdated part, but a lot of people simply don’t care enough.

If you install an SSD, it’s even competitive on performance. In the Geekbench 64-bit benchmark, the 101’s base CPU is only 16% slower in single-threaded tasks and 25% slower in multi-threaded tasks than the 2015 13-inch Retina MacBook Pro’s base CPU. If you compare the best CPUs on each, the difference is only 7% and 9% for single- and multi-threaded, respectively.

Personally, I’d still opt for a new Retina MacBook, but Arment makes a compelling case: There’s still a place for the 2012 MacBook Pro in Apple’s lineup. The question is, for how long?

Source: Marco

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  • bobthenob

    Video grunts I know are buying it because of the storage space / $ factor. Esp if you drop an SSD as boot and replace the DVD drive with the old drive.

    • Dennis

      That’s exactly what I did with my mid-2009 MBP. I also added more RAM. With a fresh install it went from off to fully running in less than 10 seconds.

      • Fuzzy_Dunlop

        I have the same model, did the same thing. It felt like a new machine. My keyboard is starting to fail and I think this is the end, but I’m not terribly excited about replacing it-it’s more than adequate for most tasks.

      • Dennis

        An external keyboard may extend its life.

      • Fuzzy_Dunlop

        Thanks, I’ve considered that – except I’m on the road a lot and often don’t have a lot of room to spread out with an external keyboard.

      • Dennis

        The Apple bluetooth keyboard is compact and could be an option.

      • Fuzzy_Dunlop

        I’ll take a look. Thanks!

  • http://www.designstrategies.com Len Williams

    I’m still using a 2010 MacBook Pro 17″ and it works great with El Capitan. I have zero problems with the “low-res” screen because text and images look crisp and clean without any pixelation. I’m amazed that some consider 4-6 years “ancient”. Of course, if you’re in your teens, that’s a significant portion of your young life. People have just gotten spoiled by the latest high-res screens that they seem to think screens before Retina were somehow bad. I love my aging but still fast MBP, and until Apple comes out with another 17″ laptop, I’ll stick with the larger screen real estate. I’d even opt for a 19″ laptop if Apple would consider making it.

    • Chris Tangler

      i have a late 2011 17″ with a SSD and 16GB memory in it. It still works just as fast as the retinas. Now in a GeekBench comparison where they are attaching numbers to it, I’m sure it isn’t as good as the retina. But for everyday use (and beyond), it works perfect. I’ll have this one until 1) it fails and I have to purchase a new one or 2) they come out with a retina 17″ model. I can’t go back to a smaller screen.

    • asthecrowflies

      Still running on 2 17″ Macbook Pros (late 2011) with MATTE screens, still in my opinion, superior to anything that has been produced since. Disgraceful that Apple don’t make the 17′ any more and that they don’t offer Matte screens. They supersized the iPad, why did they get rid of the 17″ Macbook pro when clearly there are so many who still use it and love it?

      • http://www.designstrategies.com Len Williams

        I wonder about the sales figures for the 17″ MacBook Pro’s, and how well they sold for Apple. Apple never said why they discontinued the 17″ model, but I keep hoping they’ll bring it back someday. I had 2 different 15″ MBPs before finally buying my first 17″, and then I just couldn’t work on any smaller screen. I too love the matte screen and prefer it above any of the shiny mirrors that Apple currently calls monitors. Granted, the latest iMacs have some kind of coating that eliminates about 75% of the reflection, and it’s pretty good, but why not just simply use a matte screen like they did in all the original MBPs and even in the old desktop Cinema Displays? For my desktop setup, I have the latest black Mac Pro 2013 model, but it drives a 30″ and a 20″ set of matte Cinema Displays with the aluminum bezels. I LOVE these monitors!

      • asthecrowflies

        Agree with you on the larger 17″screen vs the 15″, and you are right regarding the iMac screens being better. But I have space constraints that do not allow for an iMac, so I am really stuck. I have no idea how many 17″ Macbook pros they sold, but they clearly sold whatever they produced as it became very hard to find them when they were discontinued.

    • eastamherstbias

      I am holding out hope that a 16 inch or 17 inch will come back

      • http://www.designstrategies.com Len Williams

        Me too. My 17″ 2010 model will be lasting me until Apple realizes there really is a market for large laptops again.

  • James

    I recently inherited a 2011 MacBook Pro 17″. After upgrading the RAM from 4GB to 16GB (~$75), it runs El Capitan quite well.

    I love the DVD drive, the huge screen, and all the ports. I can easily upgrade to a larger hard drive or an SSD. Retina screens may be great, but my eyes aren’t that good. The only downside compared to newer Macs is that its heavy.

    If Apple keeps on insisting on selling less computer for more money, I would seriously consider going back to Windows. The Apple Tax simply isn’t worth it anymore. Already, my next phone will be an Android model.

    • digitaldumdum

      James, Apple doesn’t “insist on selling less computer for more money.” That’s an opinion that Apple’s strong computer sales do not reflect. Also, Apple has not “insisted on dropping headphone ports.” It’s a silly statement. Every Mac I know of, including the Macbook, has a headphone 3.5″ jack. If you’re referring to the Internet-based rumor that future iPhones •may• not include a traditional headphone jack, that is nothing •but• a rumor. Personally, I think discussion of it is nothing more than standard click-bait. Finally, as for “charging premium princes for 16GB phones”, it’s another misconception. The price differential may not be what you want it to be, but users speak the loudest, and users no longer clamor for the now relatively small 16 gb size. Apple’s pricing drives them to the larger-capacity ram models because that’s what users need (or think they do) to fill their devices with increasing amounts of photos, music, etc. If you want a 16GB model, you can certainly buy one, even if it’s not an economically sound choice.

      • James

        Back in 2012, when the old 101 came out, I would agree with you completely that Apple computers were worth the premium in price. Now, not so much.

        Apple is coasting on reputation far more than the quality of their current offerings.

      • Anon2012_2014

        On the new MB they changed to a new single USB-C port setup for power, video, USB peripherals and ethernet. This is a PITA. Big turnoff for those of us who have perfectly good video monitors, wire ethernet, and USB peripherals.

        Overall the Apple tax appears to be about 2x for equivalent notebook hardware. But the Windows software is horrible in itself and a big waste of time to debug because often it didn’t work right, and installing Linux or even verify that a notebook is fully functional under Linux was also a big waste of time in the 2000’s. Maybe its gotten better in the last year, but I don’t have time to experiment. I go with Apple because paying an extra $500 for a notebook or $250 for a MacMini is worth my hours spent trying to get the Windows or Linux machine working the way I want it.

      • digitaldumdum

        Anon2012, You’re sorely missing why Apple designed the 12″ Macbook. With its single USB-C (and 3.5 audio output jack), and the lower-power, cooler-running M-Type processor, the Macbook is not, repeat •not• intended for people who use external monitors, wired ethernet and USB peripherals. (How many people even still use ethernet with portables?) No, this model was specifically designed as an ultra-thin, ultra-light computer, largely intended for wireless work of all sorts. Apple provides a break-out connector if you just •have• to have a larger or second monitor and other peripherals, but honestly, why would you buy a computer of this type—along with it’s intentionally lower-power processor—just to try to replicate some more powerful system on a desk? Will it run Photoshop? Yes, but not well. It’s not supposed to. It will, however, run lighter, less processor-hungry apps all day long without a recharge. It’s a lightweight portable in every sense of the word, and •that• is by design, not by Apple’s greed or failing, or whatever fault you try to attribute to the company. Anyway, I suspect you don’t actually need such a computer, and are only arguing the point without actually having used the Macbook. It is an elegant machine, well made, with an extremely good feel and perfect screen.

        I doubt you’d try to haul a boat or trailer over long distances behind a Prius. Yes, you could make it up some hills, but it would groan under the strain, and not last long. Buy the computer you need, and don’t complain about the one you don’t.

      • imajoebob

        The “Apple Tax” was debunked as nothing but FUD almost TEN YEARS AGO. That you continue to believe and spread this baseless claim is proof that the Fan Boy stereotype is still alive and well.

    • luxlamf

      I still have my 2009 17″Macbook Pro and love it, upgraded the HD amd Memory etc… and it works fine, I have a new iMac for my graphics etc… and a iPad Air for meetings and such. No plans on turning it in for a new one any time soon.

  • http://www.jonxmack.co.uk Jon X Mack

    I’ve got an Early 2011 13″ which I use daily for work (web developer). Although I have maxed the RAM (16GB), swapped out the boot drive for an SSD and ditched the SuperDrive for a second SSD, it’s a fast enough machine for everything I need to do, the only place it struggles is with processor intensive tasks like rendering.

  • Rose Krueger

    I have a 2011 MBPro 15″. It has two SSD’s 16 Gig of RAM Hi-Res screen with AMD graphics along side the built in Intel Graphics. It works great, fast and plenty of memory. I plan on holding on to it for another two years. The only thing I miss is the USB 3.0 would have been nice to have.

  • http://www.feastofbeast.com DJBabyBuster

    I’m still using a 15″ 2011 macbook pro that I maxed out ram + installed a SSD with little complaints. Besides the obvious lack of retina, it does run pretty hot & the fans go crazy when streaming video. But it runs photoshop, and Starcraft II on full res with ease, which is pretty impressive for approaching 5 years old. I’ll finally be upgrading when the new 15″ pro with skylake hits.

  • AbilityMatrix

    Just look at the comments: it’s hackable, at least by Apple standards. Adding 512 G SSD is affordable and you might be able to live off 128G SSD but I wouldn’t try. The same with 8 or 16GB RAM.
    Not to mention all the lag issues with the underpowered Retina 13″ (from the GPU perspective). If Apple adds a decent GPU that might set off the loss of hacking options for all of us. for 20%+ processor power in office/business use? Gimme a break.

  • Barry Marshall

    Got a DVD player on it as well as more ports than the newer model’s. Apple’s brain storming isn’t always the best unless it benefits Apple.

    • http://about.me/dean_morris dm10003

      It’s heavy and I love it but it’s not as portable to my mind anymore after I got iPads.

  • Jack Dooner

    I bought mine in 2012 and it’s still going great. I’ve installed an SSD as well as bumping the RAM up to 8GB and I sincerely don’t see a reason to update to a new computer. It’s powerful and the screen resolution really doesn’t bother me. It’s a perfect machine and it still allows for hardware upgrades unlike the newer MacBooks.

  • Shy

    Does anyone have any recommendations towards SSD’s useable for upgrade for the Mid 2012 Macbook Pro? Looking to replace the 500gb hard drive. Also, i’ve been tempted towards upgrading the computer from 4gb to 16gb, now some websites claim it can run 16gb, but apple’s website only states 8gb. What are peoples view’s on this? Any dedicated amazon/ebay links would be really helpful ☺️ thanks!

    • Sunil Kumar G

      I have a mid 2012 MBP. Last year, I upgraded the HDD to Samsung 850 PRO SSD and RAM from 8GB to 16GB ( ). I didn’t had any issue and so far none.

      Samsung SSD (from Amazon): Samsung 850 PRO 256GB 2.5-Inch SATA III Internal SSD (MZ-7KE256BW)

      RAM: 2 units – Kingston memory – 8 GB – SO DIMM 204-pin – DDR3

  • Stephen Miller

    because some day the Law of Moore will fail…and that day was several years ago

    • http://about.me/dean_morris dm10003

      Moore’s is about development, not what’s on the Best Buy shelf.

  • Matthew Arnold Stern

    I think the biggest benefit of these older MBPs is how easy they are to upgrade yourself. I have an early 2011 15-inch MBP. I upgraded the RAM to 16 GB last year, and I plan to upgrade to an SSD in the future. As much as I would like Retina and the newer ports, I’d have to spend extra to get the maximum amount of RAM and storage space because I wouldn’t be able to upgrade later. Thin and light is nice, but upgradable and serviceable is better.

  • Justin Tyler Moore

    I’m the technology director at a high school and these are the machines I purchase for all of our faculty still to this day. The reason we do is because a good majority of the textbook companies still send test questions and answer banks and software via DVD. I have created images of these DVDs on a Mac mini server so that they can access them without the need for the physical disk, however, there are still many days where it’s a slow day, or a sub is teaching, and the students will watch a DVD for the class period. Of course I could rip those as well and store them on the server but that takes communication between teachers creating lesson plans and the IT department. It also requires teachers to be educated in connecting to the server and copying the video files over. As for the screen quality, it just isn’t a benefit for cost here. The journalism department does have new retina iMacs. But they work in Photoshop and inDesign where the quality is worth the cost. Because 80% of our teacher require the optical drive, it’s cheaper to buy the machine with the drive than opt for an external SuperDrive.

    • JTM

      Also storage capacity is high on these. Teachers have mostly moved to the cloud, but the amount of pictures, music, and movies they keep locally adds up. Another hurdle is that teachers are older generation and have a hard time with technology and learning new techniques. I am young, grew up with technology, always an early adopter of new technology, and I used to work for Apple. So things are easier for me to pick up and learn. Having to teach teachers how to connect to servers and shared folders sounds easy, but it would take about 15 times of showing each teacher before they had it down. And then, if they didn’t do it for a month, say, I’d have to re-teach them. I’ve made white pages, tutorial videos, anything I can to make the learning process easier, but until the older generation of teachers retires and new tech generation teachers come in, it’s a ease of use question.

  • Derek Cope

    I’m typing this on my mid 2009 macbook pro 13 inch (non-retina). It sucked until I installed Windows 10 and force fed it bootcamp drivers for Windows 8.1. Now it runs better than it did with OSX, and I can play Homeworld 2 Remastered and my other games! Apple makes really nice equipment, their desktops, laptops, and tablets are well designed and well made. I just hate their software. I would like to see someone get Skyrim working on an old Acer or HP of the same era with the same stability! This Macbook made me change my tune about Apple products. I would definitely buy another Macbook pro, used of course. Bought new they are just too expensive! I would put Windows on it as soon as I booted it though!

  • Derek Cope

    Bought it from one of my bartenders for $200. He thought it was broke, and Apple store told him it was too old to fix. Fixed it that night by changing the date of the OSX install to the correct date, seems he had it turned off for over a year. I love buying good hardware from non-technical Apple fanboys!

  • B O

    I just bought a new 2012 Macbook Pro 13″ from Apple and haven’t even opened the shipping box yet. It was a Christmas present to myself. I don’t want any other design. I’m also still using my 2010. I’m happy.

    • Mel Rhys

      I too bought myself a mid 2012 Macbook Pro 13inch but as an early christmas gift for me although I got it off ebay but for a really good price, straight away i installed a samsung ssd and yet to upgrade the ram but an ssd itself makes the machine really quick on Yosemite, also i hate it when people say that these macbook pro’s are obsolete when there not, yeah its 3 years old coming on 4 but it has a core i5 unlike my old core 2 duo white macbook. So far i love this laptop and is great for I what i use it for. Wont be getting a retina model for a few years i hope.

  • Jared Montgomery

    Still using my mid-2010 MacBook Pro 13″ daily. I made upgrades over the years, including El Capitan, SSD, 8gb ram. It works great but definitely shows its age (slowness) when I render 1080p video or try to play any newer/graphically intense games.

    I love that it’s been so upgradeable (and reliable, for that matter) but would not hesitate to finally retire it once new MBPs go through another redesign. My boyfriend has a 2013 Retina 13″ and I think the high pixel density offers a better experience. I can’t imagine buying a new laptop that is visually identical to the one I’ve owned for six years, but I understand the appeal for some people.

  • Notary Sojac

    Since Jony Ive himself uses a 17″ MBP some influential folks at Apple obviously see its benefit. Must be the cost analysis department putting the kibosh on a new model.
    Have to wonder if his is spectacularly tricked out – perhaps a custom Retina display, as much horsepower as a MacPro, Thunderbolt-3 & USB-3 onboard, wireless charging….

    • asthecrowflies

      So unfair if true! And did not know he used a 17″MPB, but not surprised, as it’s the best MBP they ever produced. Cost analysis…it’s not like they lack the cash, and if they are producing the huge iPad pro for the specialist market, there is no reason for them to yank the 17″ MBP pro which had a loyal and influential following.

  • A.J.

    I bought the wife one from Amazon for $845 and put 16GB of ram in it. It was easily the best deal available for an Apple computer since it has a 500GB hard drive and DVD drive. I was looking for ways to get the newer version for a decent deal, but it just wasn’t happening.

  • Russ Petersen

    Prefer my Retina but our 2011 Macbook pro is still moving along fine after the SSD upgrade. If you are plugging into external screen then the low-res issue of course become irrelevant.

  • Ralph Schoonebeek

    I’m reading all these posts of older MacBook Pros and no one is complaining about Kernel Panics. My 2011 crashes about 3 time a day due to Kernel Panics after I upgraded to Yosemite. I’ve been a Mac user since 1987 and the last 5 years or so have seen Apple do nothing but boost profits. Very little to actually improve the machines.

    • Anon2012_2014

      I skipped Yosemite because it didn’t have TRIM support and it had known problems with Kernel Panics, and went right for El-Capitan. No problems at all.

      I also upgraded to the non-cloud version of Microsoft Office 2016. Stable. Only the Microsoft adware for their cloud drive at the top of every save dialog is annoying. Still dislike Microsoft, but I have no choice but to be compatible. Office 2011 Word, Excel, and Powerpoint crashed constantly on the MBP. Good riddance.

      • Ralph Schoonebeek

        Thanks for your input. I’ve thought about upgrading to El-Capitan, now I will seriously consider it (nothing to lose I suppose?)

  • Anon2012_2014

    I have a 13″ 2011 that I threw an SSD and 8 GB of RAM — the max. It’s plenty fast and the battery will last >5 hours on a flight. A bit heavier than MB Air, but light enough to throw in a backpack for a trip with no checked luggage. In short, the thing keeps working and is not noticeably slower than newer 2013 and 2014 mac-minis fully loaded with the high end optional processors. Finally, the screen resolution is fine for a 13 inch as any smaller text would hurt the eyes. One can always run an external monitor and then it makes a nice two screen setup. This was my first Mac after transitioning from a Linux servers + Windows desktop setup at my old job. I can essentially run all the shell stuff I want on Mac with a bit of re-training for things like Cron, and I get the industry standard Word and Excel for compatibility with everyone else. The 13″ MBPro rocks. Can’t kill it.

    These Macs, being comparatively open and less work to maintain than either Linux or Windows desktops are the only reason I like Apple. I will stay with buying Macs for home and work until they lock the machines down (i.e. iphone Walled Garden) or stop bothering to provide an OS upgrade in an attempt at forced obsolesce.

  • Ron

    Just bought a mid-2012 Macbook Pro to replace a 2009 unibody white Macbook. I also have a 2011 Macbook Pro that my wife uses. Took the SSD out of the Macbook and dropped it in the new Macbook pro and added ram to get 8gb running El Capitan. The machine is a road runner. I wanted to have the flexibility with the drives and be able to upgrade the RAM. Performance on this model is not that much different than the new Macbook Pros. I can live without the retina display. I also replaced the HD with an SSD and bumped the RAM to 8gb on the 2011 MBP. They Work!

  • Ralph Daily

    I put a 1 TB SSD in my 2010 MBP last week. I’m surprised at how fast it is. Plus I have an Ethernet port.

  • CWR0747

    MBPro 15″, late 2011. 8 GB RAM. installed SSD last fall when I jumped from Mavericks to Yosemite, then to El Cap. The SSD truly made it a “new” machine. The attraction for me still is that there are sufficient spigots for stuff… 2x USB 2.0, Ethernet, Firewire, Thunderbolt/MiniDisplay Port. Dual graphics display cards (using GfxCard Status app to keep track). MacsFan Control to ramp up the cooling on those occasions it’s needed. Rarely use the optical drive but I’m glad it’s there. I may bump up the RAM to 16MB, and maybe purchase a Thunderbolt to USB 3.0 dongle to speed up Time Machine backups to the USB 3 drive. I have been lucky that this 2011 unit doesn’t seem to have been affected by the nasty AMD Radeon gfx card fail, so hoping it will remain my primary computer for the foreseeable future.

  • KonaMike

    I have two MacBook Pro 17′ computers. One mid 2009, one late 2011. Both still work fine and are a great traveling substitute for a desktop. I will continue to use both until Apple re-introduces a new version of this size. I have no use for the “tiny” MacBooks they are selling now — I don’t care how good the resolution is.

  • Donald A Sample

    I Love my mid 2012 15″ MacBook Pro, I love the DVD/CD Rom drive, The NVIDIA dedicated Graphics and I have upgraded to a 1 TB SSD and maxed out the RAM to 16 GB. It also has a 2.6 GHz quad core i7 with Hyperthreading. This machine is a monster and is still awesome. Not looking to upgrade anytime soon.

  • Kin Yalbets

    I have one and am typing this comment on it. I bought it back in 2012. I have updated the drive to a 512GB SSD and added memory (10GB). What I appreciate is I can upgrade it – it is accessible. If I need 16GB of memory at some point I can add it. If I need a 1TB SSD down the road it is doable. Would I buy a new one? Probably not but I can’t see myself upgrading for a least another couple of years.

  • ZigZag

    John, you need to grow up before you write articles. Sit back and search for the meaning of ‘ancient’ before you use it. And also search for the meaning of ‘oldest’. Give your readers some respect and STOP producing worthless articles about Apple.

  • Combaticron

    Shoot, I’m still running my late-2008 non-Retina MacBook 5,1. It bogs a little (OK, a lot—please tell me why!) but it’s still perfectly serviceable for my needs. I’m considering a hybrid HDD.

  • is4u2p

    Because you can actually still fix it yourself!

  • misterwilson

    I’ve had one for a few years now, and I love it. Originally got it to do some tethered photography with and wound up using it as my main FCPX machine (over my maxed 27″ i7 iMac I bought in 2011) once I replaced the HDD with an SSD. The only problem I have is the logic board issue with the RAM ports. Haven’t made it to an Apple store to look into it yet, but that’s been the only problem in 3 years.

  • Mel Rhys

    I bought myself a mid 2012 Macbook Pro 13inch but as an early christmas gift for me although I got it off ebay but for a really good price, straight away i installed a samsung ssd and yet to upgrade the ram but an ssd itself makes the machine really quick on Yosemite, also i hate it when people say that these macbook pro’s are obsolete when there not, yeah its 3 years old coming on 4 but it has a powerful enough core i5 unlike my old core 2 duo white macbook. So far i love this laptop and is great for I what i use it for. I Wont be getting a retina model for a few years i hope.

  • https://www.facebook.com/clcfairfield Curtis Bland

    I sold my 2011 13″ MBP for this exact same device just last year. So yeah. A keen observation.

  • Jason Reiner

    Pascal, I have a 2012 MBP 2.9GHz i7 as well. I upgraded to a 1 TB SSD as well as 16GB of RAM. Currently running El Capitan without issue. The SSD upgrade and the ram upgrade from 8GB(stock) to 16 made a big difference…in a good way!

  • Sean McCabe

    3-4 years old is not ancient :/

  • John Adam Wickliffe

    A little overboard with the screen “simulation” above. I’m on a 2011 MBP with such a “substandard” screen and everything is quite crisp. Sure a Retina screen is great, but a non-Retina screen is no slouch.

  • Null Static Void

    my light lifting but constant use laptop is a 2009 model. It is maxed for ram and has an SSD for a hard drive now.
    A couple factors not mentioned here;
    The older unibody Macbooks have more user serviced parts. Newer models are stuck with the ram they come with, and have no 2nd drive bay options.
    A lot of people use their computers not as mobile computing devices, but as desktop replacements.
    Being a bit heavier does not matter if you are only ever moving it from living room to bedroom. And a lot of people in their 30s and older have DVD collections. They still make those!
    It is still nice to watch a movie or some old favorite TV show from the disc, special features and all.
    I’ve also noticed that Macs with discrete video chips seem better able at handling external displays. The Iris video chips from Intel seem great on paper, but there is always a penalty when sharing ram.

  • Bev Tellin

    I have the 2012 MacBook Pro. It was easy and inexpensive to upgrade to 16 GB memory. This year it ran very slowly after upgrading to El Capitan. While at the Apple store I tried out the latest MacBook which was blazing fast and asked what kind of hard drive it had: SSD of course. Instead of getting a new MacBook, I decided to upgrade my hard drive from the original 500 GB to a new 1 TB SSD drive from OWC. The upgrade was very easy and fast. My “old” MacBook is now blazing fast, faster than when I bought it. Until the MacBook can upgrade to a lot more memory, speed and space, then I don’t have any incentive to buy anything else. If I had to buy a new MacBook, it would still make more sense for me to get the 2012 MacBook Pro and upgrade the memory and hard drive myself. It’s kind of amazing after years of having PC laptops that where obsolete by the time I started using them.

  • Tom

    I use a mid/late 2007 15″ MacBook Pro thats still going strong. It still got El Capitan support for a reason I suppose.