Is it worth buying mid 2012 Macbook Pro?
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Old 08-09-2015, 07:44 PM   #1
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Is it worth buying mid 2012 Macbook Pro?

Hi IDMF! I hope my question is not too frequent

I'm going to buy a new laptop soon. The only thing I need it for is music production and live performance (drummer in my band got quite tired of bringing his laptop every rehearsal ). I'm not going to play any games on it.
I did a lot of research and came to conclusion that my ideal choice is mid 2012 Macbook Pro (i5, 13" one). Many reviews say it has a good performance, nice build quality, long battery life etc etc. It's only slow HDD and too little RAM that sucks ass, but I've got enough cash for now to buy SSD and more RAM from third party, so that doesn't look like a problem. I could probably buy a newer model, but I don't really need Retina and I'm not too keen on everything soldered and non-upgradable.

I was looking for some PC laptop as well, but there is always something not quite right. Too bulky, or bad battery life, or breakages after 2 weeks of use, or something else. Lenovo Ideapad U330p seemed almost like a good choice, but its CPU is worse, also that Superfish story...

The question is: am I right or am I going to do a mistake? Thanks!

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Old 08-09-2015, 09:45 PM   #2
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Re: Is it worth buying mid 2012 Macbook Pro?

i have a 2012 lenovo that still works pretty well. I think its only problems are that i have a lot of shit installed on it that i should remove. I'm going to go do that now haha
thanks for the reminder.
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Old 08-09-2015, 10:51 PM   #3
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Re: Is it worth buying mid 2012 Macbook Pro?

if you are going to use it live, its a good idea to buy a 1:1 replacement laptop

just in case - things break, and it may be the gig of your life when the hd of your main laptop fries

so i bought 2 cheap toshibas and reduced my live workflow to manipulating samples rather than handling cpu-heavy effect chains

my idea would be: buy a massive desktop for the studio and 2 cheaper laptops for live performances

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Old 08-09-2015, 11:20 PM   #4
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Re: Is it worth buying mid 2012 Macbook Pro?

I'd say go for a new of laptop instead.

Mainly because the latest generation of Intel chips is much better than what you will find in a 2012 laptop. They run cooler, are MUCH better on battery, and they have really decent built in gpu's so no graphics card which means less power consumption, less heat, less weight etc. hp and Lenovo are great generally. Just make sure it has the latest yen of Intel, and an ssd.
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Old 09-09-2015, 02:20 AM   #5
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Re: Is it worth buying mid 2012 Macbook Pro?

^ not enough to justify the expense of a new machine. Also, Moore's law has finally disproven. It's going to 2.5 years until the next doubling of processing power, not 2.

Also, there are perfectly good secondhand computers that are more than suitable for our needs. We should make use of them before new machines... It's better for the planet...
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Old 09-09-2015, 04:05 AM   #6
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Re: Is it worth buying mid 2012 Macbook Pro?

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Originally Posted by ab View Post
if you are going to use it live, its a good idea to buy a 1:1 replacement laptop

just in case - things break, and it may be the gig of your life when the hd of your main laptop fries

so i bought 2 cheap toshibas and reduced my live workflow to manipulating samples rather than handling cpu-heavy effect chains

my idea would be: buy a massive desktop for the studio and 2 cheaper laptops for live performances
That's an interesting idea, but it won't work for me I suppose. It's quite common for me to play something on MIDI keyboard or try various synths and DSP chains while we're working on a new song. I'm not sure how I can reduce that to sample manipulation only.

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Old 09-09-2015, 04:56 AM   #7
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Re: Is it worth buying mid 2012 Macbook Pro?

On the whole Live thing. I've used my 2010 17" Macbook pro to perform live with no problems. For me, that entailed using Maschine to control multiple Komplete and AU instruments and occasionally some drum tracks. The machine handles it no problems. Spend a couple of hundred bucks, replace the optical drive with an SSD, move your system volume over and use the old system disk for storing digital assets.

I think the fundamental difference between a Mac and Win install is the reliability once you're loaded up. Your computer may be clunky as hell starting up and loading your project. But once it's loaded, Macs just chug. Whereas I notice in my Win machines, if the system is sluggish, the DAW is sluggish.
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Old 09-09-2015, 05:51 AM   #8
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Re: Is it worth buying mid 2012 Macbook Pro?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ab View Post
if you are going to use it live, its a good idea to buy a 1:1 replacement laptop

just in case - things break, and it may be the gig of your life when the hd of your main laptop fries

so i bought 2 cheap toshibas and reduced my live workflow to manipulating samples rather than handling cpu-heavy effect chains

my idea would be: buy a massive desktop for the studio and 2 cheaper laptops for live performances
Agree if possible always take 2 laptops when performing, having a frozen rainbow ball or blue screen mid performance is a nightmare.

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Old 09-09-2015, 06:44 AM   #9
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Re: Is it worth buying mid 2012 Macbook Pro?

and thats the main reason to consider buying wintel instead of mac. also, i am talking about live setups with 30-100 clips - if you run these with all the effect racks/chains on most wintel machines will become a bit sluggish. even the cheapest machines can easily maintain 10 -30 clips with for instance a commercial synth (massive, reaktor) and 3-5 effects.

you wont need an overpriced brand machine for that. my (dirt cheap) toshiba (got one from the company and bought another one used) can do that easily for around 200 euros apiece.

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Old 09-09-2015, 12:17 PM   #10
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Re: Is it worth buying mid 2012 Macbook Pro?

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Originally Posted by dada_davros View Post
Agree if possible always take 2 laptops when performing, having a frozen rainbow ball or blue screen mid performance is a nightmare.
Honestly, in all the years I was doing live stuff and DJing with my laptop, I have never ever had a frozen rainbow ball. Never. Not once.

Yes, I had a time when my hard drive crashed and I had to load my system of a backup USB. That was a doozy because the computer literally took 45 minutes to load to the desktop and another 20 minutes to load up Live and Maschine. But there was no problems running the live set of a budget external HD.

Honestly, if your computer is so unstable that you would struggle to run audio in a Live setting you're either living beyond your means (AKA overloading your specs) or you just don't take care of your computer.

At most, it's going to take you two or three days to do a clean OS wipe, reinstall your DAW, plugins and any software, customise your OS and workspace and copy over your current files. And if you're not doing this every 6-9 months, you're silly

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and thats the main reason to consider buying wintel instead of mac. also, i am talking about live setups with 30-100 clips - if you run these with all the effect racks/chains on most wintel machines will become a bit sluggish. even the cheapest machines can easily maintain 10 -30 clips with for instance a commercial synth (massive, reaktor) and 3-5 effects.
The thing is, any computer from the last five years that's quad core is going to just fine on 4-8GB of RAM and an SSD system drive in a Live setting.

The other thing is that I honestly can't stomach the "overpriced" arguments for macs. I don't get it. I bought my 17" five years ago for $4,000. That figure included the machine and a bunch of software (Logic etc) and since then I've probably spent about $500-750 maintaining it.

That's much cheaper than any Wintel computer I've owned. For starters, I've never bought one that's lasted more than 18 months before some catastrophic failure. When I was using Wintels for production and live work I was spending $1,200-$1,500 every year or so replacing machines. So even though the Mac's more expensive, I've spent about half on it than I have on the computers I used in the five years before that.

Now, if you bought a similarly priced Wintel laptop, you'd probably get a similar bang for your buck because you get what you pay for.

But a cheap shit computer for production is next year's landfill waiting to happen and you are always going to end up paying more for less in the long run... Unless you're more on good mates, see you every couple of weeks, with your computer. My relationship is definitely more intimate than that...
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Old 09-09-2015, 12:56 PM   #11
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Re: Is it worth buying mid 2012 Macbook Pro?

ah ok then

i may just have had consecutive luck then, since i spent around a quarter on wintels that i ran 4 years on average. at times i upgraded ram, maybe a graphics adapter, and external hard drives. most of the time i "pay too much" as people say but i buy locally so its easy to get extended warranties and a fast fix... never needed that tho.

my machines run most of the time i am home and awake, so i would almost consider it "industrial use". maybe i was just lucky in that regard. the computer i own now is probably the most expensive i ever had (1100 euros) and its damn powerful.

so by saying "overpriced" i compare it to recent wintels and since i never had problems using a 500-1000 euro machine for 4 years my statement might make more sense. also, comparing contribution margins of apple and dell or toshiba i am convinced (from a purely economic point of view) that their machines are overpriced. for me that is a clear no-buy argument. maybe a used machine tho.

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Old 09-09-2015, 01:30 PM   #12
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Re: Is it worth buying mid 2012 Macbook Pro?

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i may just have had consecutive luck then, since i spent around a quarter on wintels that i ran 4 years on average.
I should point out that Australian prices have no relevance to reality either. We pay a ridiculously higher price for just about everything. Your $200 computer today would be a $900 computer here.

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so by saying "overpriced" i compare it to recent wintels and since i never had problems using a 500-1000 euro machine for 4 years my statement might make more sense.
And your $500 - $1000 Euro machine is $1500 - $3000 here

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also, comparing contribution margins of apple and dell or toshiba i am convinced (from a purely economic point of view) that their machines are overpriced. for me that is a clear no-buy argument. maybe a used machine tho.
I think secondhand macs are a very good investment if they're late to post 2011. Agree with their new pricing. If I was going to buy a new macbook, I'd buy a lower specced one and then strip it for parts and replace them with fairly price component. Like their pricing for a terabyte is actually 3-4 times more than the actual storage would cost you to buy...

I'm currently investigating building a Mac Pro tower. Since they've gone intel it's apparently not very difficult. A friend spend $900 and built an absolute beast. If you check the Hackintosh site I'm pretty sure that in addition to a list of compatible hardware, they list laptop vendors and models which OS X can be installed on.

Apparently Snow Leopard is really easy to install. Later versions a bit more finicky and iCloud support is comme si comm sa. But fuck, you can build a machine that's fully cooked and loaded for less than half of Apple's price.
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Old 13-09-2015, 10:36 AM   #13
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Re: Is it worth buying mid 2012 Macbook Pro?

Ended up buying used MBP 13" mid-2012 for ~$567. It already has 8GB RAM and I just bought SSD.

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Old 07-10-2015, 07:22 AM   #14
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Re: Is it worth buying mid 2012 Macbook Pro?

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I should point out that Australian prices have no relevance to reality either. We pay a ridiculously higher price for just about everything. Your $200 computer today would be a $900 computer here.



And your $500 - $1000 Euro machine is $1500 - $3000 here



.
Damn, I didn't realize that Jaded. That is a bummer for sure.
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Old 07-10-2015, 09:05 AM   #15
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Re: Is it worth buying mid 2012 Macbook Pro?

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For starters, I've never bought one that's lasted more than 18 months before some catastrophic failure.
I usually get 4 years+ out of a Wintel laptop and I hammer the shit out of them

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Old 07-10-2015, 10:12 AM   #16
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Re: Is it worth buying mid 2012 Macbook Pro?

To be honest cpu speeds haven't really improved that much in recent years. It's probably a good buy.
Keep in mind laptop i5's aren't that much of an improvement over i3's, most of them are still only 2 cores.

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Old 24-10-2015, 04:20 PM   #17
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Re: Is it worth buying mid 2012 Macbook Pro?

hey lw_pss.
I too run my DAW (ableton) on a MBP mid 2012
i upgraded the ram to 16 gb -cost me around 100 €, also i got an ssd
making music is no problem at all.

hope i wont need to upgrade any time soon.
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Old 23-11-2015, 03:49 AM   #18
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Re: Is it worth buying mid 2012 Macbook Pro?

Yeah for sure is a good buy, maybe not for the most hardcore games but,.. =)

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