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Back Story

My laptop is 5 years old and has been running painfully slow lately. My laptop was so slow I could finish my morning routine by just powering it on and opening XCode:  Boot up my computer (walk away take a shower, login in (walk away brush my teeth), load XCode (walk away have breakfast)… you get the point. I was on a budget but needed an upgrade!

It was definitely time for an upgrade! I finished I’d buy a new laptop since I was much overdue for an upgrade. I went to the online Apple store found the newest MacBook and added all the features I wanted (15””, 520GB SSD, retina display etc),  put it in my cart and stopped. The total came out to $3000! I hovered over the buy button for quite some time before deciding to leave their site. I decided to look into other alternatives before make a decision (It took me 3 months to think about this decision, to be honest)

Obviously, the easiest thing for me to do would’ve been to buy a new Mac and be on my way but that ease would cost about 3000 dollars (Retina display, SSD, fancy touch bar, etc)! As good as those features sounded $3000 for a retina display and a the touch bar wasn’t worth it to me.

Other thing I could do with $3000… hmmm

  • Buy bitcoins ( tempting  but we all know how well this story ends…or do we?)
  • Travel to Cuba, Mexico, Aruba., Jamaica and Canada
  • Put this money into savings
  • Buy more hosting and domain names
  • …… You get the point

A Bit of Research

So off to Google I went (Google search: upgrade 2012 MacBook Pro ): and found upgrades for memory and SSD that my Mac would support. I was already the maximum memory capacity my 2012 MacBook could support so the only thing left to upgrade was the hard drive. I found a Crucial 520GB SSD for $140.00. What do you think I did?!?. (Plot twist I bought the shiny new MacBook Pro. The end. jk) Yes, I bought the new SSD,  $2860 dollars saved.

Being that I’m a techie I also did the data transfer and replaced the hard drive myself. Don’t fret, if you aren’t handy, a techie or simply don’t  want to be bothered, there’s a nice installation option you can purchase for an additional 120  more dollars.

Estimated Time

Overall I spent about 7 hours to transfer ~260 GB of data and install the new hard drive. I spent  6 hours for data transfer/image cloning (a full night’s sleep – Seriously, I started the transfer then fell asleep) and 10 minutes to disassemble and reassemble the MacBook chassis and replace the hard drive.

Tools Needed:

The Results

Once I booted up my computer I could see the speed enhancement almost instantly. Start-up, loading bulky applications such as XCode, Illustrator, Fireworks, Spotify etc was at least 5 times faster. I was happy with the money saved and the enhancement that I was able to achieve.

Pro Tip

You don’t always need to break the bank in order to gain the speed you want. I definitely could’ve bought a new MacBook but,  “Did I need a new one?” What I was looking for was a speed enhancement. I didn’t need the bells and whistles (retina display and touch bar). A little research and time can end up saving you a lot of money. You may have to dedicate a bit more time to the research and installation but if it comes down to spending a few hundred versus a few hundred for an easy fix then it just might be worth it!

If you’re unsure about whether you should upgrade or buy a new machine or need help upgrading your MacBook,  I added two useful links below.

Useful links:

How to Replace your MacBook Pros Hard Drive to SSD

Upgrade or Buy a New Computer


Vania Nettleford

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