15″ MacBook Pro (Mid 2012)

For the first time, Macs have built-in USB 3.0 support. The improved USB specification is over 10x as fast as USB 2.0 and has half the bandwidth of Thunderbolt. There are a lot of USB 3.0 drives on the market, and they are far more affordable than Thunderbolt drives. Best of all, Apple uses the same port for USB 2.0 and 3.0, while the standard in the PC world is separate ports for each protocol.

13" and 15" Mid 2012 MacBook Pros

13″ and 15″ Mid 2012 MacBook Pros

There’s also an improved webcam, the 720p FaceTime HD camera with three times the resolution of previous MacBook FaceTime cameras. The new HD camera also supports today’s widescreen displays, and the native screen resolution of 1440 x 900 is the same as before. This is the last 15″ MacBook Pro model to ship without a Retina Display.

ports on Mid 2012 MacBook Pro

The 2012 MacBook Pro adopts Intel’s newest, more efficient Ivy Bridge processor technology, which incorporates Intel HD Graphics 4000 (up to 60% faster, according to Apple) in the CPU. The base 15″ model now runs a 2.3 GHz quad-core Core i7 processor (with Turbo Boost to 3.3 GHz) and has 4 GB of system memory and a 500 GB hard drive with a $1,799 price tag, while the “better” version increases speed to 2.6 GHz (3.6 GHz with Turbo Boost), double system memory to 8 GB, and includes a 750 GB hard drive.

Apple offers a number of build-to-order options: Upgrade system memory from 4 GB to 8 GB for $100 on the base model, choose a higher capacity or faster hard drive or an SSD, get a hi-res 1680 x 1050 display, and boost the 2.6 GHz model with a 2.7 GHz quad-core i7 for $250 more.

This is one of the first Macs to use Intel HD 4000 Graphics, and on the 15″ MacBook Pro it’s coupled with Nvidia GeForce GT 650M graphics. As before, it automatically switches between GPUs on the fly. The Intel GPU uses 384 MB of system memory, while the Radeon GPU has its own dedicated video memory (512 MB on the 2.3 GHz model, 1 GB on the 2.6 GHz one).

The 15″ MBP design puts all the ports (and a battery indicator) on the left side, leaving the right side for the SATA SuperDrive.

The new models are rated at 7 hours of battery power, and they use Bluetooth 4.0 along with 802.11n WiFi for wireless connectivity.

The MacBook Pro has an 18-bit glossy display (not the 24 bits you might expect). Like the iPad and iPhone, it does not have an easily replaceable battery. Cost to have Apple replace the 77.5 Watt-hour battery out of warranty is $129.

The 2012 MacBook Pros shipped with OS X 10.7 Lion and can be upgraded to OS X 10.9 Mavericks and 10.10 Yosemite for free.

Closed Lid Mode: All Intel ‘Books support “lid closed” (or clamshell) mode, which leaves the built-in display off and dedicates all video RAM to an external display. To used closed lid mode, your ‘Book must be plugged into the AC adapter and connected to an external display and a USB or Bluetooth mouse and keyboard (you might also want to consider external speakers). Power up your ‘Book until the desktop appears on the external display and then close the lid. Your ‘Book will go to sleep, but you can wake it by moving the mouse or using the keyboard. The built-in display will remain off, and the external monitor will become your only display. Since all video RAM is now dedicated to the external monitor, you may have more colors available at higher resolutions.

To resume use of the internal display, you need to disconnect the external display, put the computer to sleep, and then open the lid. This will wake up your ‘Book and restore use of the built-in display.

Intel-based Macs use a partitioning scheme known as GPT. Only Macintel models can boot from GPT hard drives. Both PowerPC and Intel Macs can boot from APM (Apple’s old partitioning scheme) hard drives, which is the format you must use to create a universal boot drive in Leopard. Power PC Macs running any version of the Mac OS prior to 10.4.2 cannot mount GPT volumes. PowerPC Macs won’t let you install OS X to a USB drive or choose it as your startup volume, although there is a work around for that.


  • introduced 2011.06.11 at US$1,799 (2.3 GHz quad-core i7, 500 GB hard drive, 4 GB RAM) and US$2,199 (2.6 GHz quad-core i7, 750 GB hard drive, 8 GB RAM); add $100 to upgrade from 4 GB to 8 GB of RAM, $100 for a 1680 x 1050 glossy hi-res display, $150 for an antiglare hi-res display; $250 to upgrade 2.6 GHz model with 2.7 GHz i7
  • Part no.:

Mac OS

Core System

  • CPU: 2.3/2.6 GHz quad-core Intel Core i7
  • Level 2 cache: 6 MB shared cache
  • Bus: 1066 MHz
  • RAM: 8 GB, expandable to 16 GB using DDR3 SO-DIMMs
  • Performance (2.3/2.6/2.7 GHz)
    • 64-bit Geekbench: 10854/11861/12310
    • Speedmark 7: 221/239/


  • GPU: Intel HD Graphics 4000 and GeForce GT 650M with automatic graphics switching (HD 6770M in 2.4 GHz model)
    • VRAM, Intel HD: uses 384 MB of system memory
    • VRAM, 2.3 GHz model: 512 MB
    • VRAM, 2.6 GHz model: 1 GB
  • Video out: Thunderbolt port, which is backward compatible with Mini DisplayPort (VGA, DVI, HDMI, and DisplayPort supported with optional adapters)
  • display: 15.4″ (38 cm) 16-bit 1440 x 900 110 ppi color active matrix
  • supports 1440 x 900, 1280 x 800, 1152 x 720, 1024 x 640, 800 x 600, 720 x 480, and 640 x 480 pixels at 16:10 aspect ratio; 1024 x 768, 800 x 600, and 640 x 480 pixels at 4:3 aspect ratio; 720 x 480 at 3:2 aspect ratio
  • allows mirroring to external display or extended desktop mode


  • Hard drive: 500/750 GB 5400 rpm SATA standard, 1 TB and solid state drive (SSD) options (128, 256, or 512 GB) on 6 Gbps SATA bus
  • optical drive: 8x dual-layer SuperDrive writes DVD±R and DVD+R at up to 8x, DVD-RW at up to 4x; dual-layer DVD±RW at up to 4x; reads DVDs at 8x (double-layer at 6x), dual-layer and DVD-ROM at 6x; writes CD-R at 24x, writes CD-RW at 16x, reads CDs at 24x on 3 Gbps SATA bus


  • Thunderbolt: 1 port
  • USB: 2 USB 3.0 ports, only 1 high-powered device device allowed
  • FireWire 400: none
  • FireWire 800: 1 port, backward compatible with FireWire 400
  • Ethernet: 10/100/gigabit
  • WiFi: 802.11n AirPort Extreme built in, three antennas support up to 450 Mbps bandwidth
  • Modem: No longer offered by Apple
  • Bluetooth: BT 4.0 built in
  • ExpressCard/34: none
  • SD Card Slot: 1
  • expansions bays: none
  • IR receiver: supports Apple Remote
  • webcam: FaceTime 720p HD camera


  • battery: 77.5 Watt-hours, 7 hours of wireless productivity
  • AC adapter: 85W MagSafe


  • size: 9.82 x 14.35 x 0.95″ (249 x 364 x 24.1 mm)
  • Weight: 5.6 pounds (2.54 kg)

Online Resources

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