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Released June 2012 / Core i7 processor with Turbo Boost / Up to 1 GB DDR5 Video RAM

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How powerful can I make my MacBook Pro?

I am a digital designer and recently left the company I was working meaning I am back to my MacBook Pro 2012.

What upgrades do people suggest to make it as powerful as possible? Product suggestions would be awsome! Thanks

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I agree with Brandon An SSD drive will make that machine scream. Be aware that not all SSD are created equally or have the same warranty. Here's the pick of the litter for 2017:

Now put in a new hard drive/IR cable, add protection against the bottom hitting the cable.

Now drop in 16GB of a quality RAM like Kingston:

RAM Type: PC3-12800 DDR3L Min. RAM Speed: 1600 MHz

Details: Supports 1600 MHz PC3-12800 DDR3L SDRAM SO-DIMMs (204-pin).

Standard RAM: 4 GB Maximum RAM: 16 GB*

You now have a great machine takes repairable, unlike the retinas. Treasure it, this is the machine I buy the most of for my customers.

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Wow thanks for the advice. Do you recommend changing out the optical drive for a caddy?


Thanks all! Much appreciated. This has been very helpful and quick too!


I really don't care for the caddies. A 500GB SSD is really all the storage you need for a working machine. I found a 256Gb was a little small for my needs. I even put a 500GB in my MacPro. All the rest should be on your external backup drive.


Sorry to be a burden. Should I get two 8gb kinston with the specs you advised or one 16gb. I am not literate in this area. Would it be possible to get a link to the item I should source?


Sadly you'll need to stick with the 8 GB modules (two).

If you can grab a Thunderbolt external drive like Thunderbolt USB 3.0 would be a good idea as they offer more speed than USB.


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Does it already have a solid state in it or the basic HD? Installing a solid state HD can make it faster

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Thank you, now st present it is completely stock. I have read that replacing the hhd with an ssd is advisable and replacing the optical drive with a caddy and ssd too. Is there further upgrades that are advisable? Also any articals I find may not link to up to date parts. Would you have any recommendations I should follow? Thank you again!


Be careful with the caddy! Not all of the MacBook Pro's work well with it. Review the OWC notes here: OWC Data Doubler. It makes no difference who's carrier you get the problem is within the MacBook Pro's logic board.


On apple's support page for that model's tech specs- it shows that it could have been purchased with a solid state in it... but odds are if you simply bought the base model of that size because you didn't want to spend anymore then you have a standard HD. First check that out in your "Disk Utility" program- on the right under internal if you select your Macbook's hard drive it will list things like the type and capacity.

As for which type of SSD you want for your mac (if it does not already have one) I believe the 2012 macbooks were the last models to use the SATA drives so a SATA SSD is what you'll want. Maybe start your search from there


Brandon, It's just a 2.5" SATA SSD instead of the HDD, nothing special.


Brandon, take a look at the prices those SSD drive options were from Apple. I have never seen a factory installed one. People are foolish but that a step way beyond foolishness. Only the government would buy those ;-)


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