I have a late 2012 MacBook Pro (13" baseline model), and it has served me well, but in the last few months it has been very slow. I'm pretty sure it's the hard drive that's slow, because I have tried to reinstall OS X, but booting, loading applications, etc. is still slow.

The first thing I thought of was getting an SSD (probably using one of those optical drive replacement kits) and I figured this would help to speed up booting and loading applications.

But the other problem is, since it only has 4GB of RAM, I often use a lot of it. I like to have safari open a lot of the time and it uses a lot of memory. However, the "memory pressure" in activity monitor is usually OK. Also, my thinking is that with an SSD, the RAM might not matter so much since the swap would be faster.

Would the speed of the SSD make up for the lack of RAM? What would you suggest?

  • First upgrade your computer to SSD. It's the easiest way to upgrade the performance of the computer. From that, you will be able to see if you need more RAM. – jherran Jan 25 '15 at 10:51
  • @jherran Thanks, but I should mention I don't want to spend too much money on this if possible. – wumbo Jan 25 '15 at 10:54
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    I supposed that. Let me insist, if you want to see a difference upgrade to SSD. There are really economic models out there. – jherran Jan 25 '15 at 10:56
  • @jherran I probably will get an SSD. Do you think there will be a noticeable difference when loading from swap memory? – wumbo Jan 25 '15 at 10:59
  • I'm sure of it. – jherran Jan 25 '15 at 11:00

I had installed on my MBP mid 2010 a Samsung SSS 830 250GB. With SSD you will solve all the problems caused by HD latency and speed (in my case speed up is around 10x).

Of course you also take advantages on speed when you use swap memory with an SSD. It's like when you write and read something from a disk.

In summary, if you want a huge speed up go for an SSD. I think the best SSD) now is the Samsung 850 Pro 256GB (storage / price. RAM upgrade is required only if you do intensive computation / gaming / image or video editing.

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    I bought an SSD, huge performance improvement – wumbo Mar 14 '15 at 13:24

It sounds like the original poster solved his problem by switching to an SSD (hooray!). But it may also help others to know that a common issue with 2012 MacBook Pro's is that the hard drive cable can start to fail which causes extreme slowness within OS X. A simple replacement of the cable has helped significantly for a few people in this scenario.

See this thread for the details: Ridiculously slow MacBook Pro

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