Despite the low-resolution screen, slow hard drives, very little RAM, and CPUs that were middling even in 2012, it’s an open secret among Apple employees that the “101” still sells surprisingly well — to a nearly tragic degree, given its age and mediocrity.
— Marco Arment (2016)
In the Apple tech press people have recently been rather mean about my laptop. Actually I have 2 as I got one for my wife too. The laptop in question is the old style 13” MacBook Pro pre retina.
I got both these laptops at the base spec in late 2012 early 2013 ish. I can’t remember what that means CPU wise but it shipped with 8GB of RAM, I think anyway, and a 500GB 5200rpm platter hard disk.
This has been my main machine ever since I got it, though mine has a 1TB 7200rpm hard disk and 16GB of Crucial RAM. The reality is once stuff has loaded, which yes does seem to take an age at times, it’s perfectly fine.
I use Abobe Lightroom a lot, the occasional bit of Photoshop and I am also teaching my self Swift which means using XCode. None of these choke up, die or are otherwise unusable. It just works, and pretty well generally. None are famous for being overly light work either.
Having monitored the system a bit recently for the most part I never hit the CPU that hard, it’s mostly disk I/O that’s my problem. Whilst I would love an SSD until I can find the money for a 1TB drive (which are still close to £300 for one worth having) I cannot upgrade. An external drive, which would allow for a smaller SSD, isn’t really a good option for how I use my laptop.
One day I am sure I will replace this with a more modern retina model but to make this worth the jump I’ll have to spend serious money that I just cannot justify when £300 will get my 80% of the way there. If it was to die tomorrow? There’s a strong chance I’d buy another the same and save a lot of money.