Scott’s Spot 5 – Tech Review – Mid-1012 uni-body MacBook pro

Date: 5/18/2020

Guests: None

Welcome and greetings

Recap of last episode

  • In the last episode, we discussed the various types of performance testing, how they are different, and some of the benefits that come from running a successful performance test.

Summary of this episode

  • You are in for a treat today…. I’m going to review the MacBook Pro that I bought off of Groupon. I’m going to talk about the reason why I chose this exact model, what it came with, and the upgrades that I had planned for it when I bought it.

What’s in it for you?

  • After listening to this episode, you will have a better understanding of this model of MacBook Pro so that you can determine if it is a project that you would want to undertake for yourself.

Episode Content

  • I have been watching a lot of youTube videos on several channels where the host buys and upgrades a mac (of some make or model).
    • It seemed like it was not that bad of a project to undertake if you had a little bit of handiness and chose the right model.
    • After watching what felt like 200-300 videos, I found on Groupon the model that I finally bought.
    • It was a mid-2012 uni-body MacBook Pro 13” model.
    • Besides the fact that the company that was fulfilling the order took forever to send me the laptop, it is a pretty good little machine.
    • I had a Dell before that and it was just too big to get in my backpack to take on trips.
    • I was looking for smaller laptop that I could take with me on trips so that I could record podcasts episodes from remote locations.
  • I unboxed the laptop and what was supposed to be a refurbished grade-A actually had a couple of tiny dents in the cover.
    • So I crank it up and it boots with no problem.
    • It took about 5 minutes to get to a login prompt.
    • Some of the specs that this thing came with: 4 GB RAM, core I5 processor, 500 GB 5400 RPM drive.
    • That is so not what I was hoping for.
  • Now comes the upgrades that I had planned.
    • So trash the RAM and upgrade to 16 GB.
    • Swap out the hard drive for an SSD.
    • I would love to swap out the processor but the board that came with it would not support a newer processor.
  • So back to YouTube to watch a couple dozen more videos on the best way to upgrade the macBook and I’m finally ready.
    • I pop it open and the ram upgrade goes pretty darn easily.
    • I then pulled the hard drive out and started to swap it for the SSD…….tada……I don’t have the correct screwdriver to remove the posts that hold it in place.
    • So off to Amazon to order a complete set of micro tools which takes a week to arrive.
    • Then I try it again. Boom. I take the SSD where I had already copied the drive contents to and it popped right in.
    • Go figure. If you have the right tools, and follow the instructions, things just work.
  • So now I get the hardware straightened out and what do I find…..this sucker boots up in under 45 seconds.
    • From 5 minutes to 45 seconds. I like that improvement.
    • I tested it with a bunch of the core apps and it was pretty snappy.
    • Not stellar but not bad.
    • I ran the performance metrics and guess what I found out.
    • My expectations are pretty low apparently.
    • The benchmarks on this thing are really low.
    • But you know what….I’m not using it for gaming…I’m not a gamer….and I’m not doing 4K video editing on it….so for what I need it is what I’ll call sufficient.
  • If you choose to do this type of project yourself, you will need the following:
    • uni-body MacBook Pro (a model that is upgradable, check before you buy it)
    • A SCSI SSD transfer cable
    • A SSD drive
    • New memory cards (check the model you want to see what the main board memory capacity is)
    • A toolkit with specific screwdrivers.
  • This project only works because of the model of MacBook Pro that I selected. So buyer beware!
    • The mid-2012 uni-body MacBook Pro is the last model that is upgradable by the buyer.
    • All of the newer models have chipsets and memory that is soldered to the mainboard.
    • So… have to send your laptop to Apple to have it upgraded (for a cost).

Recap of this episode

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