MacBook which one with replaceable HDD & RAM?


How are you all?

Which model (year?) of MacBook where I can still replace/upgrade the RAM and/or HDD on my own?

Are there any on Apple Store, either brand new or refurbished?

I’m a bit confused as to when was the last released upgradeable model or the brand new ones are still with these options or is that a thing of the past now?


I believe that’s the 2012, which is what I still have, for precisely this reason. I don’t think you can get them even refurbished now, You would have to buy used. But if you do your due diligence they’re not hard to find in excellent condition.


Yep as far as I know that was the last one to be user upgradable - certainly nothing in the current MacBook line up. In fact as far as I am aware the only current generation upgradable Macs are:

MacPro - RAM and SSD
27" iMac (but not the iMac Pro) - RAM

Everything else has to be purchased in your “dream” configuration otherwise you’ll need to buy a new machine to replace it - the only exception I’m aware of with this is that there has been information the the RAM and storage in the iMac Pro can be upgraded but it is a seriously complex job requiring almost complete disassembly.


thanks guys… wow, 5 year old laptop.


A laptop I am replying to you on right now. The ONLY complaint I have about it is the screen. That’s it. I have dual SSDs in RAID 0 pulling read/write of over 900mbs/s, 16GBs of ram, on a still quite capable 2.5GHz i5. I have zero complaints about the speed in Premiere, Photoshop, or Davinci Resolve. I don’t use FCP, but I bet it would be pretty quick, too.


impressive… so which model is this? where do I look for one, eBay?


This model is the Early 2015-built, Mid-2012 spec 13" (you can see it, inception style, in the screencap above). Yes, they were still building them in Early 2015, because people like me still bought them (I upgraded from a Mid-2010 13" that outwardly looked identical, so I kept that thing for 5 years). I purchased it on March 31st, 2015, and it goes out of AppleCare at the end of this month. It’d had quite a bit of recent work done, and might get a couple of small things done on the last weekend of this month just to make it tip-top before it goes out. I probably won’t be replacing it any time soon, even once it goes out of AppleCare.

Apple put a new battery in it last year. I think it’s only on like cycle 277, which is still higher than it could be. I’m hard on batteries because I am a teacher, and I am constantly moving it from my staff room desk to classrooms and back again, so it spends an awful lot of time on/off battery power, and not a lot of time sitting on a desk plugged in.

If you get one of these, try to find one with a manufacture date of 2015. Mine was made February 9th, 2015.

You can look on eBay, GumTree, …here on this forum. I would get mine from some of the shops in Akihabara I know well (like where I got my Mac Pro), because limited warranty. But that may not be an option if you are in Straya, obviously.


I ended up buying an old one, a 2010 Macbook, not even a Pro. However, once the battery and HD were replaced (SSD in, HD out) and RAM taken from 2 to 8GB, it became a very competent machine. It can even be updated to HS but I’m not doing it. Happy with Sierra for now. It runs all the photo apps I want (which means I dont have any Adobe stuff on board) and its a good little machine. Not worth the money I spent on it, but it was, to me, because it meant I could update in stages, rather than having the spend all at once which I would have, had I gone for a refurb.

I think that none of the Retina machines can be user upgraded, but I could be wrong.


The mid-2012 MacBook Pro was sold till late 2016. So you could theoretically get one used that was produced up until late 2016, so you should be able to find one up until about September 2016.

I have one myself, a May 2015 produced i7 upgrade model. It’s a fantastic machine, upgraded to 16GB of ram and a 1TB Samsung Evo SSD. Last good MacBook in my opinion. The early 2015 Retina Pro was the last good ‘compromise’ model, you could still upgrade the SSD in these, but you were stuck with soldered RAM and also a glued in battery.


Wow. Premiere still looks like it’s rocking the Mac OS 9 UI!


Not quite. I have copies of 5.1c and 6.5. CS5 doesn’t normally look like that. I physically changed it because I don’t like change. Normally it has a darker theme, and I found out how to bit by bit approximate it back to what it used to be. I’d run 6.5 still today if I could, but it no longer runs because Rosetta isn’t supported. I DID manage to get 6.5 to run on Windows 10 with some compatibility hacking though. But it was just an experiment.