Speeding Up a 2012 Unibody MacBook Pro

Posted on 1st July 2019 by Mark Tiddy.

Way back in 2012 I picked up my 2nd ever Apple laptop, a unibody MacBook Pro. I decided to (in theory) future proof myself by going for the 2.9ghz Intel Core i7 with 8gb RAM but decided against the retina model because I wanted to have a DVD drive and be able to do upgrades.

7 years later and this is still the machine I use everyday. I edit 4k video on it using Final Cut Pro and have produced whole albums of music (check out my band Backroom Stereo) and it is faster today than the day I got it thanks to a couple of simple and easy upgrades.

1 – The Hard Drive
A couple of years ago I splashed out on a 1TB SSD hard drive to put in my Mac (and upgraded that to a 2TB drive a couple of months ago). An SSD or Solid State Drive has much faster read/write speeds than a traditional hard drive and the speed increase was instantly noticeable.

SSD memory is getting cheaper and it’s certainly well worth doing. I’ve made a tutorial on YouTube for how to do this (and clone all your data) and I’d recommend Crucial hard drives (500GB model here, 1TB model here and 2TB model here).

2 – RAM
Upgrading RAM didn’t give me as noticeable difference as upgrading my hard drive but it has certainly made a difference. The handy system scanner from Crucial (linked here) can scan your machine and tell you how much RAM your machine can take (in my case, 16gb in the form of 2 x 8gb sticks). RAM isn’t that expensive so for £60 I picked up a 16gb kit and installed it a few days ago…already I’m noticing far less of the coloured wheel! Watch my tutorial here and pick up the RAM I chose here.

Overview
Doing both of these upgrades will seriously speed up your MacBook and I reckon it could give any of the new MacBooks a run for their money without me having to shell out for a brand new MacBook.

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