What's a better Mac?

Hi everyone, I’ve got a general Mac question for you. I currently use a 2012 MacBook Pro (2.5 GHz Intel Core i5 with 16 GB of RAM). I have the option of swapping this machine for a 2015 MacBook Air (1.6 GHz with only 8 GB of RAM).

The Air has an SSD, the older Pro has a hard drive. But the Pro has 16 GB of RAM and a faster processor, and I find that it runs really well.

Which would you choose? For Rapidweaver, which will help me more: SSD or more RAM?

Keep the 2012 and put an SSD in it. You will be amazed…


Same opinion as @Robert-Reinin , if you have only this two options keep the MBP ‘12 and replace the SuperDrive / DVD with a SSD. Also the option to replace the HD with a SSD or both so you would have two SSD’s instead of one. Or if you can sell it and upgrade to a newer secondhand MBP 15’ retina model.

Thanks guys! That’s what I was thinking. The Air is so tempting 'cause it’s so new and light, but the MBP has been awesome ever since I put the extra RAM inside. I may upgrade the HD to an SSD if I can. Really appreciate your input!

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I can see the MacBooks replacing the Air too. Deffo agree with the others, when I changed my old MB Pro’s hard drive to an SSD it was an awesome difference!

Another vote for putting an SSD into your MacBook Pro, I have a 2012 model and upgraded as soon as the warranty expired. You won’t regret it, it is the best upgrade you can do to any older hard drive based Mac. It is also pretty simple to do yourself.

@jspencer2 and @dylan Did you replace the original HD or did you replace the CD Player??

Another vote for the SSD upgrade, an amazing speed boost for older systems. Did it to my 2011 MBP, just replaced the HDD as wanted to keep the DVD drive.

Also worth getting Disk Sensei from Cindori, very useful for non-Apple sourced SSDs.

I eventually did both! The original 500Gb HD went for a SSD and then I replaced the CD with a HD caddy with a 1Tb HD. I was pretty straightforward. Well worth the effort.

Just the original HD. It sure made a difference at the time. Now upgraded to a newer MBP though.

Beware of replacing the CD with an SSD. Dependent on the exact bus performance inside, an SSD can be too fast for the CD bay (been there, got the T Shirt).

I put a 1TB SSD in the CD bay and a 500Tb SSD in the main bay within days of buying a new (late 2011) MBP, BUT there were huge issues with the performance of the unit in the CD bay - turns out the CD bay bus speed was only 25% of the main bus or thereabouts…if what you have done is working fine, then I’m delighted for you :slight_smile:

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Keep the machine with the 16 GB or Ram. Programs in the future will crease in size in fact I’ll be surprised if in a Couple of years we’ll need 64GB RAM just to run systems.

The HD in the CD bay is an old HD and doesn’t get anywhere near the max bus speed of the MacBook Pro.

Thanks for all the advice!

One more thing: did you find that switching to an SSD improved your battery life? My MBP only lasts for about 4 hours on a charge.

Very much dependent on what you are running. SSDs are better on power, but graphics apps or anything taxing the GPU will dramatically increase power consumption - especially if you have a discrete GPU like the faster MBPros.

Another thought - Dropbox recently became a real problem with constant syncing, causing horrible battery drain. Combined with their throttled upload for non-business (formerly ‘Pro’) users, means I have dropped them completely and battery life has improved!

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Ok, thanks for the advice, Nick!

I can also recommend using iStat Menus (or any other CPU monitoring for the menu bar) to see if the CPU behaves good. Google Chrome sometimes consumes a lot of CPU, and with this drains the battery.

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dylan wrote

I can see the MacBooks replacing the Air too.

Air is basically a new Macbook.

They’re now the most compact Apple laptops on market while Air is bit cheaper option. New MacBook comes with SSD and graphic card that more than suffice for RW. Also gotta love MacBooks retina screen.

If it comes to price at the end this might help → MacBook Air with second smallest SSD is about same price than cheapest MacBook with 250GB SSD & retina screen.

Put an SSD in your MBP for sure. Do a search for Mac Sales (OWC) and decide what works best for you. OWC will either do the upgrade for you or they have self-help materials. There after sale service is second to none.

I would not want larger than a 13 laptop. Get an external display for when you do serious work. You can get really decent diplays for >$150.

I added an SSD to a 2011 imac instead of upgrading to a new one. The difference is truly amazing… it is also very reasonable.

Glad it’s going well for ya, I find it remarkable that a 9/10 year old Mac can still be a perfectly serviceable machine. It would be almost imposible to find a Windows machine of the same vintage still working let alone working well and running a recent OS.
That machine cost me £1400/1500 in 2008 so that’s only about £150 per year, other than me upgrading the ram and replacing the hdd (which I still have) with a SSD it’s never given me any problems.
I replaced it with a new MBP and it’s sat for a year looking for a good home, I’m glad it’s now got one and still doing its thing. :slight_smile: