Upgrade or not? 2012 to current MacBook Pro Retina 15"


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.


May 9, 2016
I would recommend you to change to the New Macbook Pro version. It would be an awesome deal if you get a discount as you say.
The new macbook pro is definitely more powerful than the version you have. I use the 13 inch one and live in india, where the temperatures at day reach 45 Degree Celcius. And i have heard the fans come to use just once. It runs really cool and can easily give battery of about 6-7 hours on normal web surfing and excel couple with a little music.
It would be unwise to invest $500-700 on a old machine when you can get a new one for almost the same price.


Jun 23, 2013
Very old post i know, but i was in a similar situation. I have the exact model, mid 2012, with 16gb ram, i7 quad core, 500gb ssd. my battery was holding around 3 hours batter.

I recently upgraded the battery because i could not justify the ridiculous touch bar mbp prices, and didn't think worth buying 2nd hand 2015 retina model vs this. I got a "NewerTech NuPower 78 Watt-Hour Battery" from macfixit.com.au. This model is also sold in U.S on amazon etc. It was a pricier model battery vs all the cheaper ones on ebay but definitely worth it IMO.

I feel its getting bettery life than it got when new. I love it the thing is awesome now. i get 5-6+ usable hours on battery now. Its a very easy upgrade.

The reason i like this machine so much is that I have a work machine - 13" MBP early 2015, 2.7ghz i5, 16gb ram. and performance wise my 15" mbp it absolutely kills it
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