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


Family: MacBook Pro

Codename: ?

Gestalt ID: 406

Minimum OS: 10.7.4

Maximum OS: 10.10.4

Introduced: June 2012

Terminated: February 2013


CPU: Intel Core i7 Mobile ("Ivy Bridge")

CPU Speed: 2.3/2.6 GHz (2.7 GHz BTO)

CPU Cores: 4

FPU: integrated

Bus Speed: 5 GT/s (DMI)

Register Width: 64-bit

Data Bus Width: 64-bit

Address Bus Width: 64-bit

Level 1 Cache: 32 kB data, 32 kB instruction

Level 2 Cache: 256 kB per-core (1 MB total)

Level 3 Cache: 6 MB on-processor


RAM Type: PC3-12800 DDR3L SO-DIMM

Minimum RAM Speed: 1600 MHz

Onboard RAM: 8 GB (16 GB BTO)

Maximum RAM: 16 GB

Expansion Slots: SDXC card


Screen: 15.4" LED-backlit TFT

GPU: NVIDIA GeForce GT 650M, Intel HD Graphics 4000

VRAM: 1 GB GDDR, 768 MB shared (see notes)

Max Resolution: 2880x1800 ("retina")

Video Out: HDMI

Camera: 720p FaceTime HD


Flash Drive: 256/512 GB (768 GB BTO)

ATA Bus: Serial-ATA


USB: 2 3.0

Firewire800: via adaptor

Thunderbolt: 2

Audio Out: stereo 24 bit mini, Optical S/PDIF

Audio In: stereo 24 bit mini (see notes)

Speaker: stereo

Microphone: dual mono


Ethernet: via adaptor

Wi-Fi: 802.11a/b/g/n (3-stream)

Bluetooth: 4.0


Power: 85 Watts

Battery Life: 7 hours (30 day standby)

Dimensions: 0.71" H x 14.13" W x 9.73" D

Weight: 4.46 lbs.


The MacBook Pro's second graphics chipset used a portion of main memory as VRAM. Though reported as 768 MB, this was actually a minimum. Actual usage varied with graphics load, resulting in slightly less RAM available for system use. A single 3.5mm jack could be used for analog or optical audio out, or analog audio in.

Introduced in June 2012, the MacBook Pro (Retina, 15-inch, Mid 2012) was the first redesign of Apple's 15-inch laptop in nearly four years, and was billed as a marriage of the streamlined design of the MacBook Air with the power of a MacBook Pro. Indeed, the MacBook Pro (Retina) compared favorably in nearly every specification to its full-size contemporary, the MacBook Pro (15-inch, Mid 2012). It had the same "Ivy Bridge" Core i7 processors, the same high-performance graphics chipsets, more expandable RAM (up to 16 GB, the highest of any Apple laptop yet), a faster solid-state hard drive, and 3-stream WiFi, all housed in a newly designed unibody aluminum case, which was 25% thinner and 19% lighter.

The most dramatic new feature of the MacBook Pro (Retina, 15-inch, Mid 2012) was its stunning Hi-DPI "retina" display, which Apple claimed moved beyond human perception of individual pixels at standard viewing distance. As with the iPhone 4 and iPad 3, Apple chose to precisely double the resolution to allow a reasonably smooth transition to High-DPI; all text and standard UI widgets were automatically rendered at higher resolution, and applications that had not yet been converted would simply be pixel-doubled (It was also possible to configure the screen to serve as an actual 2880x1800 screen).

As notable as what Apple was able to include in the MacBook Pro (Retina, 15-inch, Mid 2012) was what they chose not to: missing were an optical drive (an external USB "SuperDrive" was available), ethernet or firewire ports (replaced with optional external thunderbolt adaptors), or a dedicated audio input. As with the choice to omit a floppy drive or traditional serial ports in the original iMac, these were controversial moves, but Apple made defensible arguments for each choice. For several years (since the introduction of the MacBook Air, which also had no optical drive), Apple had been moving to App Store-based delivery off all software, and iTunes-based delivery of media, deemphasizing optical media at every opportunity. With the removal of FireWire, included in some form on Apple laptops for more than a decade, Apple made clear that Thunderbolt would be their single high-speed I/O standard for the foreseeable future.

The MacBook Pro (Retina, 15-inch, Mid 2012) was sold in two configurations, both with 8 GB of RAM and 1 GB of VRAM:

  • 2.3 GHz quad-core Intel Core i7, 256 GB SSD, $2199
  • 2.6 GHz quad-core Intel Core i7, 512 GB SSD, $2799

BTO options included a 2.7 GHz processor, up to 16 GB of RAM, and a 768 GB SSD. All models were discontinued in February 2013, with the introduction of the MacBook Pro (Retina, 15-inch, Early 2013).

Picture Credits:
Apple, Inc.