The $240 MacBook Project

– Hey guys, this is Austin, and this is the Macbook Pro Project So something that I've always been really interested in is the ridiculous resale of Macs

I mean, when you look at a PC versus a Mac, almost always the Mac holds it's value for a lot longer, which is weird, because even though the hardware is solid, a lot of times the actual operating system, the software support, doesn't last that long Case in point, take a look at a super old Core2Duo Windows laptop Odds are you can still throw a copy of Windows 10 on it and it will work fine However when it comes to Mac hardware, usually you've got six to eight years of support and that's it Now there are of course third party tools to be able to side load, and kind of update a bunch of the drivers to still technically support a new operating system, but as far as I'm concerned, this is about the oldest Mac which is still supported, which gave me an idea

This is a mid-2012 Macbook Pro 13 inch Now this is the 101 model, which was sold in Apple stores for quite a while, and for good reason This still has all the ports, it still has the optical drive, it's pre-Retina Now based on the listing, this is not exactly in the world's greatest shape, however, at 240 bucks, what I hope, especially with a few upgrades, is that I can get a Macbook which is actually still very usable even today Ah, yes, the good old days of MagSafe, when you didn't have to kick your USBC cable across the room

Oh, that's actually, oh, eh Alright, well, it's definitely been well used Okay, so the main problems here is that it's just dented, right, so there's a big scratch here there's a couple of major dents It's certainly not a perfect looking Macbook, but I don't really care about that What I wanna do is just see if I can actually get a very usable Macbook, which is much much cheaper than anything you can buy today

Now there are a bunch of reasons why this Macbook was sold in Apple stores for years and years beyond when it actually first came out Now one of the big ones is the port selection This guy has pretty much everything you might want, short of USB-C I guess? I mean, we've got Thunderbolt 1, USB 30, SD card reader, we've got MagSafe, gigabit Ethernet, there's even FireWire, and there's an optical drive Open it up, and you'll see the same great old school keyboard, and inside, this guy is actually properly upgradable

Now you might be wondering, why exactly a seven year old Macbook, which is not in great cosmetic shape, is still worth a full $240 Well a big reason for that is that it is still upgradable When you look at the general spec, I mean, it's still a Core i5, and especially once you throw a little bit more RAM and an SSD and stuff, it could be a properly modern machine Contrast that with a brand new Macbook, which while it works great right now, it's obviously much faster, much more modern, but three, five, seven years from now, this system really has nowhere to go I can't add more RAM, I can't upgrade the SSD, there's really nothing about the system which I can do anything with in the future, which I think is going to hurt the resale, whereas a lot of the older Macs, especially the ones with the optical drives, actually have a fair bit of resale value even today

So now let's see if this actually works (robotic whirring) (gentle chord) I mean that sounds good, although I don't know, I guess the optical drive was doing something Okay, so we've got High Sierra, we can definitely upgrade that, 25 gigahertz Core i5, four gigs of RAM, as well as a 500 GB hard drive That touch pad's still so good! Okay, so we've got, okay, 290 cycles

So the battery still does hold a charge, however I do wanna swap out the battery, I wanna upgrade memory, I wanna upgrade SSD, I wanna see what we can do about that DVD drive I legitimately think that by the end of this video, I will have a very usable computer Hopefully a computer which is powerful enough to edit the video that I'm shooting right now, 'cause I wanna do it all on this guy But first I feel like I need to actually clean it up a little bit Nothing I can really do about the dents and the scratches, but at the very least I can get rid of some of this sort of grime, some of the

Look, used laptops, kind of gross So after some cleaning, the Macbook actually is looking pretty decent, so now it's time to open it up and start upgrading, as well as, well, probably dust it out (laughs) Now as far as upgrades go, thankfully they are so much cheaper than they used to be

So for example, I was able to pick up 16 gigs of RAM, which technically this only supports eight, but I'm pretty sure 16 will work, and this was like 60 bucks Same thing, I was able to grab a 500 gig SSD which was around 55, $60, was able to pick up a brand new battery, which hopefully should be, even though the one here's not bad, we might as well just swap it out And the thing I'm really excited about, is even though this shipped with a DVD drive, with a little bit of Frankenstein action, I think we actually can get a Blu-Ray drive working inside the Macbook Now the only thing that I wanna upgrade that I can't right now is the WiFi card So there actually is a guy who custom builds WiFi cards which are compatible with this Macbook, and it will give you not only Bluetooth 4

0, but importantly it will work with Airdrop, however they're out of stock for the next couple months So that might be an upgrade I do a little bit later After removing a few screws and some tape, I have the top shell of the DVD SuperDrive that was originally in our Macbook We're going to need to transplant that onto this So I'm following a tutorial I'll have linked in the description, but essentially this is a Blu-Ray drive, which by all accounts should technically work inside macOS, and fit, just with some minor modifications

Mostly I need to replace the metal shell with something that actually has the correct mounting holes for our Macbook So time for a little more surgery Alright, so things are coming together So the Blu-Ray swap isn't the worst thing, but it's definitely the most challenging part It ended up taking maybe 25, 30 minutes

Now however, we need to install the SSD, we need to put our 16 gigs of RAM in, throw the battery, and we actually should be good to start installing the wonderfully supported macOS Catalina Alright, so, it is another day and the Macbook is finally done So one thing you missed is that I had to install Catalina by way of installing Mavericks first, and then upgrading, but after 45 minutes or so, it's up and running, and I've gotta say it's actually surprisingly usable Would you like to try the Macbook extravaganza that I have created? – Yeah, for sure, I mean I haven't used this body style since, what, 2013? Obviously, it has the keyboard that everyone likes – [Austin] The keyboard they just brought back for the 16 inch? – [Ken] Yeah, probably just a little more shallower, but- – No, it's pretty much the exact same I think

– Is it, I thought- – I think it's almost the same – That's an interesting point, I would like to try the 16 inch Mac, we can actually see how- – [Austin] Hey, wrong video! 2012 Macbook, that's where it's at – Okay, okay I mean, the body style is pretty big, but I mean it's not that bad We still definitely see thicker laptops

– [Austin] Well the problem is is that this, well actually, not the problem, the advantage of this one is that I picked it up in fairly poor cosmetic condition, but it's just purely on the outside So it's all dented up – Oh, I see all that here – [Austin] But the thing is, the inside is fine, The keyboard's fine, trackpad, screen – This is totally clean, I didn't see the front side of this

For now the bezels are kinda thick – [Austin] Yeah, and the screen's 1,280 by 800 So it's not great – Yeah, you can see pixels, I mean it's not perfect, but I mean, for 200 bucks? – [Austin] Well it's looking a little like 230, 240 – 230, and then how much for the upgrades? – Realistically, I was trying to go a little bit overkill with this, if this was a system that I was trying to be a little more price sensitive with, I would not have done the Blu-Ray drive, I probably wouldn't have done the battery, although that's a pretty decent upgrade, and realistically, eight gigs of RAM would probably be fine here, which means that this actually would be a roughly $300 upgrade

For everything I've done here, it's a little less than 400 – [Ken] Including buying the computer? – Including buying the computer, all the upgrades, the Blu-Ray drive, everything As you will be seeing here shortly, all the footage from the video has been imported to this Macbook So this is 4K footage that I just shot, alright, so pull it up here Obviously still in log, so it's not full quality, but

– [Ken] Oh, it's playing back fine This 4K? – 4K – [Ken] Oh wow! – [Austin] It's definitely slower than something like a current Macbook Air, but also I bought this thing for a little over $200 – I actually just came back from an anime con, so I picked up, yeah, so I just got a Blu-Ray, Liz and the Blue Bird This is a DVD though, we'll pop in the DVD first just to even see if it's working, which I don't like that

Assuming your tolerances are just a little off, I'm just gonna let this grind, 'cause it is the one I don't care about – [Austin] This is bad We're just gonna cut this part of the video out (laughs) – No, I think you get to live with your- – (laughing) – you get to live with your failure – Okay, you know what, I will open this up, I'll figure it out, I have an edit to do

Let me have some victory, let me have some success here I'm proud of my Macbook, even though that was probably, this was not my finest idea here, I guess My next challenge is to see if I can actually edit this entire video on this 13 inch Macbook I actually think it's going to be doable – [Ken] Ooh! – Cut to montage! (singing) Wait, no, wait, I shouldn't do any crazy effects, 'cause I don't think this thing can handle

(laughs) (laid back electronic music) Okay, so I've just spent the last two hours editing the video you're watching right now on the 13 inch Macbook, and you know what? Totally fine, actually totally fine So come take a look at this So I've got my timeline here, so for reference this is all 4K Sony footage coming off of an A7 III, but I'm playing back right now, and you can see if I unplug my headphones – World's greatest shape, however – Look at that, no problem, I can scrub Nice and smooth

Now I am editing on the internal SSD that I installed, but you can see it is not really working hard at all So obviously I don't have color and whatnot on here, but that's the last stage of any of my edits anyway, and real talk, as far as editing this Sony footage goes, this feels almost as snappy as a brand new Macbook Which is crazy to me Now is it gonna be slower to render, is it gonna be slower to export, definitely, but as far as being able to edit a 4K video, it works I am so impressed with what we were able to do for just a few hundred dollars

Now is it the best looking Macbook? Definitely not, however, for light, even fairly intensive tasks, it does a good job I mean, this, I don't know, I have always been a little bit skeptical about Mac resale value, but this video really kind of has opened my eyes to just how good even a seven year old Macbook can be No wonder they sold these things for years and years after the rest of the non-Retina line was discontinued Let's just not worry about the Blu-Ray player, I'll fix that one later – [Ken] Please do

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