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My laptop is 8 years old

rhymes profile image rhymes ・1 min read

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I bought this laptop in Paris in 2012: it has the French keyboard layout (AZERTY instead of QWERTY) even though I use it with the Italian layout by memory (πŸ‘€).

It's probably one of the last models Apple made that you could open up and upgrade yourself. I did, a long time ago, with 16 GB of RAM and a 512GB SSD.

It's starting to worry me: the fan makes weird noises sometimes.

I can say that daily programming with Rails activates the fan quite often (damn you Rails system tests πŸ˜‚), it didn't when a couple of years ago I was writing a web app with Go (not a fair comparison, I know).

Having held on to a "slow" computer (well, it wasn't the first few years 😝) also had the side effect of me becoming really interested in performance optimization in programming πŸ”₯

It's also the only computer I own.

Eight years with a portable computer is pretty amazing in my opinion. It was great hardware or I got super lucky or both!

Here's to another 8 years. Just kidding 🀣

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rhymes

@rhymes

Software developer @ Forem

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Honestly, the new macs are not much better. I have a 2011 Macbook Air and a 2018 Macbook Pro and I have fewer problems with overheating and performance with my old laptop.

Maybe you will get another 8 years.

 

I stubbornly held on to my 2009 Macbook Pro with a ton of swapped parts until late last year. I had a 2015 and 2019 already but used the 2009 still for travel. My boyfriend took it on a work trip and I told him it has a case of explody battery and it was time to decommission it. I'm only willing to replace an old battery so many times haha

I am certainly with you on how they've been getting worse with overheating and performance, though. I really wanted more than 4 years of primary use out of the 2015, but it wasn't cutting it. And now I don't have a borked ruby installation, so yay

 

Some people say the 2015 MBP is the best laptop ever, maybe you got really unlucky :(

Glad you found a plan B!

My issue mainly was running games. "Quieter fans" may be true, but it's still an airplane taking off and clunky when Guild Wars 2 is opening/running. I ended up barely installing games on the new Mac, though, so whoops. I got a dedicated PC for Fallout games and have been playing my Switch more.

I'm not a gamer at all so take everything I'm going to say with a grain of salt but I have the feeling there's not much investment in gaming for Mac and the few games that are developed for it are less performant than their PC or console versions as you are hinting at, partly because of the size of the market and partly for other reasons (console gaming guarantees you that everyone has the same hardware?).

Anyway, I tried a couple of times to run things like Civilization (don't remember which version) and it wasn't so bad but it wasn't great either (performance wise).

The only thing I do know is that gaming and 3D are literally part of the benchmarks on which new hardware is measured/developed so I'm not surprised that it gets obsolete pretty quickly if measured in those terms.

 

I also held on for so long because Macbooks after 2015 until the new one with the decent keyboard seemed a bit less solid.
In theory I'm waiting for a 13" model with the new keyboard, but if all new models are delayed until 2021 for the supply problems due to the global pandemic, I might have to get the 16" if this stops functioning.

We'll see...

 

8 years is a lot, breaks down to a mix of luck + care, congratz 😁

I have an ASUS that I bought in 2015

Intel i7-4720HQ 2.6 GHz, 12GB RAM, 1TB HDD + 128GB SSD, Nvidia GTX 960m (helps a lot with any heavy apps)

5 years old, and it's still like new... can't be happier!

 

Seems like a solid computer you have!

The good thing about the new limits of computers is that the raw speed doesn't increase as much, they usually increase the number of cores and other optimizations and you have an impressive graphics card (well, I think, don't know anything about graphics cards anymore hahahaha)

I'm definitely going to get a dedicated graphics card as the builtin I have is really subpar.

I'm sure you can squeeze 8 years out of yours too! See you in 2023 :D

 

I'm definitely going to get a dedicated graphics card as the builtin I have is really subpar.

Do you have a thunderbolt? Have you considered an eGPU?

I'm sure you can squeeze 8 years out of yours too! See you in 2023 :D

Heck yeah 🀟

Yeah, one Thunderbolt port up to 10 Gbps (at least according to Mactracker).

Any ideas?

Perfect... what kind of heavy stuff you plan on doing? design work like Photoshop? rendering? ML or so?

Ah ah a generic one? I do use Photoshop but I don't do 3D stuff :D

A generic one would be a gaming one that runs most games, and of course an AMD card since Nvidia is not supported from Apple in general.

This is a general idea about what's gonna be like: support.apple.com/en-gb/HT208544

I'll hop in to the DM to talk about the rest 😁

 

In the UK there is a classic sitcom called only fools and horses. There is a character called Trigger who works as a road sweeper for the council. He has had the same broom for 15 years but it has had 7 heads and 4 new handles. My laptop is the same, 4 screens, 3 keyboards, 2 chassis and I recently replaced the hard drive. The only original component is one of the memory sticks. Still less work than installing all my tools on a new machine it was originally purchased in 2010

 

Ah ah nice that it stayed with you all of these years! I'm bummed to know that my next mac won't be upgradeable. I might have to pay a bit more to ensure it lasts another 8 years :D

 

mine is a Thinkpad T420, 9yrs old but I bought it used around 6yrs ago; and yes, it make you value CPU and RAM, my current system at boot eats about 150MB in RAM and with usually 40+ tabs open, 15 terminals, Docker, some videos and music, Telegram and some other ocassionals like Gimp, Inkscape or Kicad I rarely use more than 7GB of memory and run smoother than most new PCs with Win10 that I've seen. You have to keep a tight ship with an old PC :) , Rust compiler is giving me a hard time tho.

 

9 years! Amazing!

Old PCs and compiled languages are a good combo, though Rust is famously a bit slow and resource hungry. Fortunately the product, the binary, is as lean and fast as they get ;-)

I'm using so many command line tools in Rust I stopped counting: bat, fd, broot, delta and obviously my favorite: ripgrep.

I'll never stop thanking @dmfay for showing me the way :D

 

Wow yeah, me too! My 2013 MacBook Air still going strong, no matter how many times I drop it! πŸ˜‚

Honestly, having this thing for so long has really helped me develop a love of the Unix CLI, and it's great to know that you don't need a massive PC powerhouse to do a lot of development work. It's the best for travel!

I'm tempted to get a new Macbook Air if this one ever dies, but at the same time I know there are probably more updated computers out there these days. Who knows??

 

Ah ah don't drop it too much. Glad it's still going!

Apple recently updated the Macbook Air: buyersguide.macrumors.com/#MacBook...

 

Yes, I saw that. It's not much different - which might be alright! - but I imagine I should also look into other options when the time comes.

 

My personal laptop is still a ThinkPad X1 Carbon 1st gen which works perfectly fine! (except maybe an issue with the "B" key which starts wiggling a bit). I don't use it so much lately but it has definitely a loooot of mileage.

That's amazing because before that I had much less money to put in laptops and they broke after 2~3 years or so. In the end, it's much more cost efficient:

  • €700 laptop / 2.5 years = €280/year
  • €1800 laptop / 8 years = €225/year

All that for something literally 3x lighter, with much better screen and performance.

The bottom line is: invest in a computer that's going to be nice to use and last long, it's actually cheaper and better

 

I don't remember exactly how much I paid for this but I think it was around 1500€. So we're around 187€ per year, plus the SSD and the memory plus adjusting for inflation :D

Anyway, a good deal though.

My old post about how 2018 Macbook Pro were overpriced is not holding the test of time well (though the MBP 2020 prices are steep in absolute terms)

 

Every laptop I've had has had an overheating problem. First I was on AMD Athlon 64, then Intel Pentium, then Intel i3. I am buying a laptop with Intel i5 this week.

As your laptop still lasts after 8 years without being broken, you have a good laptop. I thought the build quality of mac laptops are good so they don't slow down over time.

 

8 years is quite a long time for any laptop I think. What slows them down, other than wear and tear is software which gets more resource hungry over time.

 

8 years is impressive! I think the 2012 was my first introduction to a Macbook Pro. I have such fond memories of how over the moon I was when I started using it.

I sometimes miss having some ports on my laptop, and being able to have more than one usb plugged in at a time 😁

memories

 

"Fun story": I bought my first Macbook (non Pro at the time) with money that I got with Google's Summer of Code. So I have to thank Google for me becoming a Apple customer (I had zero Apple devices back then) 🀣

 

I have a MacBook Air in mid-2012 with the same specs but 8gb of ram. I bought this 2 years ago, and I am very impressed with the performance it still has! for heavy use of programming, web browsing, 3-4 applications all day long, multiple windows open in brave not bad! Maybe by the end of the year, I'll switch to a new 2014 macbook pro

 

Nice! :-) 2 years in 2 years :D

This one is refurbished (forgot to mention it), you can find really good deals if you don't want the latest models, and sometimes a few months later you can find the latest ones as well. They just need to match your "mandatory" requirements

 

Wow 8 years is impressive! I kept a very basic Macbook air (11inch, the cheapest option) for I think 5 years before I finally gave in and bought a new one. After college I briefly switched to PC laptops for the sake of saving money, but Macs always last me longer so I think they're worth it. I've had my current Macbook Air for 3 years and I still use it every day!

 

5 years is a lot for a MB Air! They are less powerful usually (though the latest incarnation would be perfect for many developers too) so that's a possible reason why they got too slow faster.

It's true that Macs depreciate at a slower rate. It's a good investment if you are planning to resell it down the line.

 

Congrats! Like others have said you're not missing out. I have a pretty highly configured 2017 Pro for work and the fans are always going off and the touchbar is probably one of Apple's greatest design mistakes imo.

 

Yeah, I still think to this day that the touchbar is useless in the best of situations or slows down people in the worst of situations. But I don't think they will backtrack on it. They had to do with the esc button as the tactile feedback from it is so integral to many people.

Good think we can still use external keyboards :D

 

I upgraded very recently. I went to a Microcenter in Cambridge, MA. The moment I walked in the sales guy told me that the prices went up appreciably due to A) everyone is working from home and needing new equipment AND B) the shortage of parts due to China shut down. If you can wait I would think it would be worth it.

 

Yeah, also shipping times have been delayed quite considerably. I'll keep an eye on them.

I don't think Apple is raising the prices yet, though they sometimes do it silently (they usually raise the prices of upgrades so that the base price doesn't change)

 

I'm right there with you. I'm still rocking my 2012 MBP 15". I also bought a 2012 Mac Mini a few years ago. I upgraded to SSD and added more RAM on both. The only thing I'm really missing out on are the nice retina screens of today's MBP.

 

Ah ah living the 2012 life I see :-)

 

My experience is that Apple hardware is pretty impressive. I used a Toshiba laptop in 96, its screen died after 2 years of intensive use, then I had an IBM Thinkpad, I still have it but its interfaces are too old and useless, and I had a mac book a power book dating from this time and they still work because their interfaces are relatively "modern" (USB then was pretty revolutionary). Total I've used about half a dozen Apple laptops and 2-3 imacs and most of them work fine. The machine I'm currently using is an MBO from 2015 shop display machine.

 

It looks like the MBP 2015 once was the "best laptop ever made": marco.org/2017/11/14/best-laptop-ever

Don't know what's the current situation, the reviews of the latest MBP seem very favorable.

I want the magsafe back though, and all sort of ports :D

 

Congratulations on getting 8 years of use out of your MacBook! My first MacBook was a 2008 that got used for about 9 years before it finally gave out. I also had a 2012 MacBook that I used for a few years, but with touch/stylus becoming increasingly important to me, I ended up moving back to Windows. I currently have a 2019 Razer gaming laptop with a Wacom Cintiq Pro 13 to handle coding along with graphics/audio/video editing with using a stylus. I’m pretty happy with the setup I put together and look forward to getting a decades worth of use out of it.

 

9 years!! That's one more. Who knows, maybe in a year's time I'll make another post :D

If I were to only do graphics and editing I'd consider switching back to Windows too, but I really don't like the operating system and I don't want to deal with WSL2 :D

Glad you're happy though!

 

Getting eight years from a laptop is outstanding. Those were great years for MacBooks. I don't think you can expect that much from the next laptop you buy.

Apple will eventually stop providing OS updates for that model. What will you do then?

Here is a Youtube of a guy who opened up his MacBook and cleaned it up. It ran cooler after that. youtube.com/watch?v=zC-0MhPsCmk&t=... Seems kind of fragile and fiddly.

 

I don't think you can expect that much from the next laptop you buy.

yeah, I too have that feeling, like Apple hardware has become a little less robust

I opened it up once to clean a bit but I didn't go as far as the person in the video goes, that's a lot of DIY. I'll take some inspiration :D

 

I have a Lenovo IdeaPad Z470 and it will be 8 years this October. Was partially retired from programming duties after a year and was mostly a secondary dev & primary gaming device for most of its years. while it really has slowed down a bit, I never had to replace any of its part.

It's my first laptop. And truly if you take good care of your possessions, they will surely take care of you as well. Cheers to more years! 😊

 

Nice, well done! :D
I think that if we I were a regular "surfing the web user" I could keep this until it phisically breaks but as I work with it I might take a shortcut at some point but I'm going to wait for the factories and shops to reopen.

 

That one time I tried to type something on an AZERTY keyboard

head explosion

Great choice on going with the i7 model back then!

 

Ah ah same here. First thing I did was to change the keyboard layout. I can type with the US layout and the Italian one. That's it. I tried a few times going back to AZERTY but my head exploded too :D

 

8 months! that's how long my 2018 MBP lasted before I replaced it. Got sick of taking it to Apple to fix it every few months.

 

OMG :(

What did you replace it with?

 

The 2019 with an i9. I considered the Surface Laptop 3 and XPS 15, but I need to use XCode every so often and WSL on Windows is still a fragmented mess. So no Windows for me.

If this one goes too, I’m definitely defenestrating it

Ah ahah let's cross fingers then!

 

Wow, it's amazing 8 years! I have one since 2015 and still work. I hope it works 3 more years because in this model I cannot change the memory 😞

 

Still rocking my early 2011 MBP, only upgraded to 16 GB RAM and changed battery, everything else still humming along.

 

Ahah amazing! :-)

 

Hey, mine is 8 yrs old too! No upgrades though. Still on 4GB of ram, and I switched it to Linux. Acer Aspire 4830T

 

I feel you! I am using a computer with Pentium E5400 and 2GB of ram. I just started developing more complex web apps and I have to reboot it 20 times a day due to constant freezes. It sucks. =/

 

I feel you, that's really hard to deal with, with the software we have today!

 

I have no complaints with mine. No noise. Nothing. I just had to replace the keyboard 1 year ago.
serial number

 

Ah, the keyboards :D Fortunately they fixed that!

 

Impressive! My laptop is less than 3yo and I'm thinking about replacing it next year. (I drop things a lot)