2012 vs current MacBook Pro Retina 15" UPGRADE OR NOT?


May 9, 2016
I currently have the mid 2012 MacBook Pro Retina 15" with 2.6 GHz quad core i7 with 16GB RAM and 256GB SSD and NVIDIA GeForce GT 650M w/ 1GB GDDR3.

Is it worth it to buy the current MacBook Pro Retina 15" with 2.5 GHz quad core i7 with 16GB RAM and 512GB SSD and AMD Radeon R9 M370x w/ 2GB GDDR5?

I've looked at comparison charts of the processors, but really have no good understanding of what distinguishes the "ivy bridge" vs "broadwell" (?) architectures. What gains could be had other than the graphics improvement? And will this configuration last me another 4 years? In 2012, I special ordered the laptop with maxxed out processing speed and RAM to get the longest life out of my computer. I'm not a gamer or programmer, but I do use the Adobe suite (Photoshop and Illustrator mostly) and make use of complex reiterative formulae, macros and scripts and multiple open spreadsheets in Excel.

That said, the battery of my current laptop won't hold a charge for more than a day or two and at full charge I can only use it unplugged for about an 90-120 minutes (no video or games, just normal web, Word, Excel and email). I've already looked into replacing the battery and upgrading the SSD. But there doesn't seem to be an easy DIY battery replacement kit for this model since the cells are all glued in place. Even if I tried the battery replacement and SSD upgrade, it would cost $500-$750 based on macsales and ifixit prices.

Moreover, the laptop gets really hot and the fan seems to run all the time. I've looked at the charts telling you where in the life cycle we are for the MacBook Pros and they all say to wait until the next generation of MacBook Pros come out in the Fall. But with my work and educational discounts, I could get the current MacBook Pro Retina 15" at $400 off the retail (sale ends 5/12/16) and I can get $750 in trade-in value. The 5/12 sale is only for an additional savings of $200. I would normally get $200 off retail at any other time. What it comes down to is, is this $200 savings and the current configuration worth it over keeping what I have and waiting a bit longer?

Thanks for your advice.


Nov 18, 2014
I would definitely wait for the next release of the macbook pro. This year should have some significant improvements and/or improved price. The current price drop you see should only get better when the new ones come out. Hopefully you won't have to wait more than a month or two for the new release.
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