MacBook Pro (Retina, 15-inch, Mid 2012) SSD Upgrade

MacBook Pro (Retina, 15-inch, Mid 2012) SSD Upgrade
MacBook Pro (Retina, 15-inch, Mid 2012) SSD Upgrade with Samsung SSD 860 EVO 1TB mSATA

In 2012, the MacBook Pro (Retina, 15-inch, Mid 2012) with a 256GB SSD sold for $2399. A speed bump to a 2.6 GHz Core i7 and a larger 512 GB SSD was $3099. That’s $700 for a modest CPU speed bump and an extra 256 GB of storage. I was always constrained for disk space on my MacBook Pro’s 256GB SSD because I use Boot Camp and rEFInd to run macOS betas and Windows 10 Insider Previews.

I knew that my MacBook Pro Retina (Mid 2012) used a proprietary storage drive connector, but until recently, I didn’t know that a standard mSATA drive could be used in it with an adapter.

I bought this SHINESTAR mSATA to A1398 Adapter and this Samsung SSD 860 EVO 1TB mSATA for about $180 and I had 1 TB of internal storage.

If you want to use the SSD drive you just removed from your Macbook as a backup drive or other external storage, the easiest solution is to just buy the $59 OWC Envoy Pro case for your SSD.

iFixit has a guide to replacing the SSD in the MacBook Pro 15″ Retina (Mid 2012). It’s a simple five minute process.

Why did I upgrade a seven year old MacBook Pro? My MacBook Pro (Retina, 15-inch, Mid 2012) was one of the first MacBook Pros with a Retina display. I bought it because of the Retina display and the quad core Core i7 (I7-3615QM), The third generation Intel Core processor, “Ivy Bridge,” has a 6MB cache on the CPU.

The Geekbench 4 (MC) score on the page for this computer is 10578. That Geekbench score is 30% faster than the latest 2018 MacBook Air – 7379. Even up to the Apple MacBook Pro “Core i7″ 2.8 15” Touch/Mid-2017, the Geekbench score was less than 14% faster (12069) the 2012 MBPr.

It wasn’t until the the 6 core processors debuted in the Macbook Pros Apple MacBook Pro “Core i7″ 2.2 15” Touch/2018 did the Geekbench (MC) score double – 21111.

Windows 8: “Tough Luck, Bub”

Today I purchased and downloaded Windows 8 Pro on my c. 2003 Shuttle SB51G computer. It has a Pentium 4 2.8 GHz CPU. At the end of February 2012, I was able to install the Windows 8 Consumer Preview on it. Last June, I tried installing the Windows 8 Release Preview, which didn’t work.

I started the upgrade purchase through the Microsoft site and one of the upgrade adviser warnings said that the NX bit needed to be enabled in the BIOS. I knew that my CPU (Northwood) didn’t have this feature which was also the reason the Windows 8 Consumer Preview wouldn’t install. I still completed the purchase knowing that I would use the license on another computer. The Windows 8 installation procedure went through like everything it was fine. It was, until the reboot:

Windows 8 Your PC needs to restart

The message on the reboot said, “Your PC needs to restart. Please hold down the power button.” This same message was displayed after several cold boot attempts. The error code, 0x0000005D, with the parameters 0x030F0207, 0x756E6547, 0x49656E69, 0x6C65746E, as far as I can find, refer to an incompatible CPU.

I think it would have been nicer on Microsoft’s part to say, before I plopped down $39.95, that Windows 8 wouldn’t work with my CPU. I can imagine this happening to a customer reading the hype about Windows 8 and trying the upgrade, paying for it and then getting a cryptic message. It seems to be Microsoft’s way of saying, “Tough luck, bub.”

I restored XP from an image, and my ancient computer is back to being a file server.