Why I’m still using a MacBook Pro Late 2013 in 2019

Update: it is now June 2021 and I’m still using the MacBook Pro Late 2013

I’ve started using Apple computers in 2008. Of all the Apple computers – and other computers – I’ve owned, the MacBook Pro Late 2013 is the one I’ve been able to keep the longest so far. The main reason that’s possible is because there are still a few ways to upgrade this Apple computer.

Still going strong

There’s a few reasons why I’m still clinging on to this model and don’t feel any need to upgrade to a later model:

  • it still works after almost 6 years and is still powerful enough for the bulk of my work (thanks to some upgrades – more on this later). It can for example drive my 38″ Dell UltraSharp monitor at full resolution (3840×1600 @ 60 Hz).
  • the new generation of MacBook Pros – up until the latest upgrade – didn’t really provide much more in terms of performance or memory (RAM, CPU, etc.)
  • the new generation of MacBook Pros have a few design choices I’m not too fond of: the keyboard (that is known to break), the Touch Bar gimmick (removing haptic feedback on Esc and Function keys) and the connectors (everything has to happen through dongles)

Upgrading the MacBook Pro Late 2013

I’ve done a few upgrades to my MacBook Pro since I bought it and which have helped me to still stay satisfied with it.

Using the SD card slot for more storage

SD Card storage extension

The first upgrade I’ve done was to extend the storage by getting a permanent SD card and use it as additional drive like this one. You can nowadays get 256 GB at 58 EUR. Make sure to get one that is designed for your model if you plan on doing the same. Sure, you loose the access to the SD drive, but it is possible to get the drive out when necessary. I only put data on it that I don’t need all the time to be able to do this without having any side-effects.

Battery replacement

The second upgrade I’ve done last year was to get a battery replacement as the battery life kept on declining after a few years of use. I got the replacement at the Apple Store in Vienna and it cost 209 EUR. Interestingly, since the battery is glued in some ways to the top case, that also meant getting a new keyboard (you cannot just replace the battery). Even if the old keyboard was still working properly, getting a brand new keyboard in the process was nice.

SSD replacement

The latest upgrade I’ve done is to replace the original SSD drive. There are a few options out there, I went with the OWC Aura 1 TB drive which goes for 271,90 EUR (excluding VAT). In this case the motivation was not so much to get more storage (although that’s a nice side-effect and you can get up to 2 TB of storage) but to get a faster speed. The replacement drive is 3,5 times faster in terms of read/write speed and this does make a significant difference in the day-to-day use.

You can get the drive with or without upgrade kit. The upgrade kit contains the two screwdrivers you’ll need to open the MacBook Pro and to unscrew the drive as well as an external case that can be used to hold the old drive. I ordered the drive at the european reseller of OWC and went for the option without the upgrade – I’m still pondering what to do with the old drive.

The ultimate screwdriver kit

By the way, if you’re into taking things apart I recommend you get a kit that has adapters for all the Torx, Philipps and other types of screws out there. I got a set from TackLife a few years back which has not let me down so far (it seems to be currently unavailable on Amazon but there should be other sets like this).

MacBook Pro with newly replaced drive

Replacing the drive is quite simple and only involves unscrewing two types of screw – the ones of the back cover and the one screw holding the SSD drive.

You’ll need to create a boot USB drive with OS X Mojave on it (or one of the predecessors – but it needs to be recent to be able to support the new drive). I went for installing everything from scratch instead of restoring things from backup, to get a real clean installation.

Some final thoughts

I’m really quite happy that there’s a way to keep extending the lifetime of this generation of MacBook Pros, as I’ve seriously considered switching away from Apple as my portable computer due to the design of the new generation of MacBook Pros, if I ever have the need for more performance. Yet, Mac OS X is still the most ergonomic operating system I know of and when it comes to “getting things done” so this isn’t an easy decision to take.

Besides of the Mac I have two desktop Linux computers: a 8-core Intel Core i7-7700K 4200 with 32GB of RAM and a AMD Ryzen Threadripper 1950X with 64GB of RAM. This allows me to do performance engineering work and all kind of cluster-related experiments – the 16 (or 32 with hyperthreading) cores of the Threadripper are really nice.

MacBook Pro and 2 workstations – can you spot the 5 other computers on this image?

A final thought – when it comes to getting new hardware, I think that we should be looking more and more into recycling existing hardware rather than getting new one. Clearly, this is not what tech companies want you to do (especially not Apple, I’d say), but there are ways to get really good performance out of existing hardware – and at a cheap price.

Comments 49

  1. You speak from my heart. Got the 2013 Macbook Pro as well and can’t persuade myself to switch to the new generation. Will bookmark this article in case I need to upgrade. The only difference with the 13inch version I own is that is doen’t support external 4K monitors properly (max 30hz…) . Thanks for sharing!!

  2. Hi thanks for your post. I have a mac book pro 2013 ( ME294 ) with a 512 gig ssd on it. Is there any changes between my original ssd and the new ssd on the shop. I mean Is it a good Idea to change my ssd which is made in 2013 with the newest ssd ? Where can I find the speed difference between new mac ssd generations ?

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      Hi Mahdi,

      I got an Aura Pro X2 SSD (sold e.g. here and am very happy with it.

      This is about 3 times as fast as the original SSD if I recall correctly, I’m very happy with it (you really feel the difference)

      Sequential Read (Max) up to 3194MB/s
      Sequential Write (Max) up to 2488MB/s

      1. Just a note, the drive may support those speeds but the 2013 Macbook Pro only has PCIE 2.0 not PCIE 3.0 which is what you would need for that. Still from my research it would get you from 2 to 4 lanes and 1Gb to 2Gb Reads which isn’t small. If you get a decent 512MB or 1TB ssd you could see big improvements in responsiveness from your 2013 computer. This is especially true with a laptop where you are limited with 8GB of ram. Btw you’ll want Mojave at a minimum otherwise it looks like you have to jump through a metric ton of hoops. Any who buys a Mac for that…

  3. This was a nice read that helped me justify my own thoughts that my MBP 15″ Retina 2013 continues to be a completely adequate machine for me. CPU, memory, and storage -wise, it seems to be keeping up nicely with my needs. My only concern is that I purchased an ASUS MX38VC 38″ monitor similar to your 38″ Dell, with a max res of 3840×1600. I’m trying to drive it with the the MBP’s HDMI port, and I’m not convinced that I’m getting full resolution output. How are you driving your 38″ Dell, and did you have to go through any particular tactics to get full res output?

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      I’m driving the screen directly via Thunderbolt. This does only work when it is directly connected to the screen, not via a dock – haven’t tried HDMI yet. So I use one port for the display and the other one for a Thunderbolt hub where I have network, USB drives, etc. permanently plugged in. Not sure if it will work for the ASUS – I wish Apple had better support for third-party screens, it’s really a pitty. Also I heard that on the latest OS X version there’s a bug with support for the Dell, so I’m not upgrading to that anytime soon (generally it seems the latest OS X version is bug-ridden).

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    Hi Manuel,

    Thank you for your post. That’s exactly the information I was looking for since I’m more or less in the same situation.
    I have a Macbook pro 15 from april 2013 – 2’7Ghz i7 / 16G / NVIDIA GeForce GT 650M 1 Go
    Intel HD Graphics 4000 1536 Mo- which worked perfectly fine for 5 years (battery changed once and video card changed by apple) – for a daily use with Adobe suite, Toonboom video and a 24 Cintiq. Nevertheless during the last monthes and maybe the update to Mojave I noticed it began to slow down seriously and some issues appeared, that are maybe linked to the update or simply the age of the computer. Now it takes seriously more time to start. Applications take more time to open. Some previews are invisible. Safari takes more time to automatically complete adresses. Saving files on photoshop takes longer. It’s still correct, but the difference is ennoying for a professional and intense use, specially after being use with the former speedt
    So I was looking for the new 16′ but I read many issues like the ones you mentionned and since my computer still works correctly I was looking for an alternative but thought optimizing a Macbookpro was not really possible – until I read you post.
    But I’m not sure it applies to my situation. Do you think the slowness I noticed can be fixed with the new SSD ?
    Could also a complete reinstallation give a boost or correct small bugs which may have appeared with time ? Is it worth to add an extra memory (I use about half of my 512 G) ?

    Thank you for your advices !

    N.

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    Hi! I definitely noticed a significant increase in speed after updating the SSD. I think it is in part due to the SSD being a lot faster in its specifications (about 3 times faster for writes, more for reads if I recall correctly), but also due to the old SSD being used – and SSDs degrade after a while as far as I know.

    The reinstall also helps, I did both at once. What I’d do in your case if you don’t want to spend all that money on the 16″ is to get a new SSD, no memory yet, and see how far it gets you. I’d definitely recommend a fresh install, as that will also get rid of a lot of stuff that accumulated over time. It takes some time, but is worth it.

  6. Thank you for your answer and the advice Manuel. I really appreciate.
    That’s what I’ll do.
    First complete reinstallation of the OS (Mojave). Then if it’s still too slow I’ll change the SSD for a new 1T.
    I tested the speed of the native SSD which is now in the mac. Both reading and writing are aroud 350M/s.
    If it does’t help enough I may go for the 16″ and put the new SSD in an external enclosure to use with a new 16″ via a USB cable (that’s another advice I got). But I hope I could keep my current brave 15″.
    N.

  7. Nice article, I’ve loved my 2013 retina MacBook Pro. Althoughhhhh I didn’t originally purchase one:

    -July 2012: buy new 2012 rMBP, 2.6GHz, 8GB, 512GB
    -September 2012: in for new speakers for crackling audio and distortion
    -December 2012: in for replacement screen for stuck pixels, replacement mobo for distortion and crackling sound from speakers
    -March 2013: in for replacement screen for MORE STUCK PIXELS! 🙁
    -May 2013: in for tightening of display hinge which seemed to be improperly torqued
    -July 2013: in for ANOTHER replacement screen for more stuck pixels…SURPRISE! given a new 2013 rMBP, 2.7Ghz (+.1),8GB(+8) and 512GB (same). Very pleased, was getting a little annoyed with the reliability. Feeling again like I made a good buy.
    -October 2015: in for a replacement screen, antiglare coating quite worn (by this point I’m using a piece of paper in between so its only the edges of the screen but still quite annoying. Apple tech confirms no fix in new screens)
    -May 2017: in for replacement mobo for graphics kernel panics 🙁 🙁 🙁 I thought I was DONE FOR but they fixed it
    -August 2017: in for replacement battery as health was fluctuating wildly (but cycles were at only ~400/1000). Comes with new trackpad/keyboard/top case? why not!

    All in all, I’ve barely owned one contiguous rMBP for more than a few years… And I don’t feel I’m particularly tough on my machine. I do believe that the acidity of my skin may be particularly rough on the antiglare coatings though, as I work in a machine shop and have noticed steel that I touch can sometimes get rusty quicker than normal.

    I’ve also gotta give major kudos to Apple: besides the arm and a leg I initially paid for for my first-gen model, I’ve only had to pay gas and parking fees at my local mall to get this machine serviced by the professionals. They haven’t charged me a dime, even for work done over 5 years after date of purchase. I’ve had absolutely every component of this machine replaced, some multiple times, for free.

    I think the machine deserved to die when the GPU died. I use this machine for intensive graphics work and that poor GPU had been subjected to continuous elevated temps for 4 years, it owed me nothing. I still pinch myself that apple replaced it, just absolutely awesome.

    So the free fixes are awesome, but the need for them isn’t. My previous MBP (15 in. 2008 penryn) got a replacement mobo because stupid me over-voltage the line-in jack, but that is the ONLY service that machine has needed. And it still runs! (even somewhat useful with an SSD and unofficially 6GB of ram).

    And I can’t say I would count on more free fixes in the future. In fact, for each out-of-warranty failure I experienced, I was pretty sure I’d be done for.

    Takeaway: get AppleCare (like I didn’t) and be polite to apple techs (like I did). Lemonade out of lemons!

    TO NICHOLAS: I did the blackmagic disk speed test on my (now 2 y/o) 1TB OWC Aura SSD and I got 409MB/s write, 506MB/s read! I upgraded because DriveDx (GO, BUY NOW!) was telling me that the SSD health was beginning to suffer from over-temp issues. I snagged the caddy for the apple ssd and have that as a bootable backup. Some more blackmagic data:

    USB 3 – attached Apple SSD (in ~70s for health percentile): 117MB/s write, 364 MB/s read
    USB 3 – attached WD elements 5400 RPM drive: 25MB/s write, 94MB/s read
    ofc I can’t find my data from the Apple SSD when it was mounted to the mobo but it was def slower than the OWC drive. But I upgraded for reliability considerations and not purely speed ones.

    I’m also (like you) tempted by the new 16″ machines. For me its mostly GPU power. We can add eGPUs to our 2013 rMBPs but with only Thunderbolt 1… take a look here: https://egpu.io/forums/mac-setup/pcie-slot-dgpu-vs-thunderbolt-3-egpu-internal-display-test/

    Seems like the move might be a new machine. Someday. Haha. Still, great laptops 🙂

  8. This was the perfect article at the perfect time. I, too, am struggling because I hate Apple’s design direction: eliminating SD port, forcing out older USB, and giving us a gimmicky touchbar. The Macbook Pro from 2013 is a serious machine for people who do work in the real world (I’m not carrying a dongle for when a photographer hands me an SD card or someone asks me to print on an older printer with a USB cable).

    This inspired me to get the new battery and upgrade my SSD drive (since 500GB was too small anyways) while I’m at it. Thanks so much!

  9. I have had a late 2013 MacBook Pro for a while now. It is the only Apple computer that I have not had any major issues with. It still works fine (I am about to replace the SSD though). I am probably never getting another MacBook (new ones have many issues with thermals, reliability, and OS issues). I am keeping my 2013 MacBook as long as I can.

    1. Heya Dan, Like your post – short & sweet.
      Im with you……current MacBook pro’s not doin’ it for me either.
      Still rockin my MBP2013
      Prayin’ it will live forever….

  10. To anyone who cares; I came across this thread while researching the 2019 MBP 13″ – more about that later.
    Backstory is I have a late 2013 MBP 13 (with battery and keyboard replaced 2017). Toward the end of last tax year I researched the MBP 16″ as a replacement for my ageing MBP 13″ purely as preventative maintenance (I am on the road a lot for my own business and I dont want to trust an old laptop). My research comparison came down to two laptops – the 16″ MBP, or; changing back to a Wintel (due to constrictive welded-in Mac HW) via a Dell XPS 15 (7590). My key requirements are – long battery life (for long flights), a good screen (Im old and grey and long sighted), big SSD (I replicate all non-archive storage locally), plenty of RAM (to reduce page swapping and improve performance/battery life and stuff).
    MBP late 2013 is a i5 CPU, 16GB RAM, 1TB SSD and retina display; I run Win 10 as a (Parallels) VM so I can use MS Project locally.
    Replacement.
    I ended up buying a Dell XPS 15, 1TB SSD, 32GB RAM, 4k OLED, i7 CPU, NVIDIA 630 GPU and Win 10 Pro. The reason I didnt go i9 CPU was the blogs complaining about i9’s overheating and throttling.
    My experience – Dell XPS 7590:
    – i7 gets too hot for comfort even when only running Word and Outlook (I should have bought i5);
    – It is bulkier and heavier than I would like (although only 2oz heavier than MBP 16);
    – It requires minimum 130w charger to charge (180w supplied) so cannot extend life with a powerbank (USB-C DC wattage limit is 110w);
    – It is no faster (at all!) for day to day tasks than my late 2013 MBP.
    But, on the plus side it has the following:
    – A carbon fiber palm rest.
    In summary, the XPS 15 is a good unit if you live in a cool climate, have good strong arms and a capacious wallet. I have just completed my first extended trip away with the XPS and I have decided to go back to my MBP (2013) for road trips.
    My opinion: Now that Apple has finally run out of Steve Job’s visionary ideas I would encourage the development department to influence the bean-counters to take a more strategic view.

  11. Thanks for the article 🙂 You wrote that you had an Apple Store in Vienna perform the battery replacement. Was your MBP considered ‘vintage’ or ‘obsolete’ at that point? Now, in March 2020 I’m wondering what my options are. 209 EUR would be a bargain if it’s an option in places like Milan, London, etc.

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      So I did the battery replacement before changing the SSD. No idea if it would have worked the other way around. The battery replacement didn’t cost much (30 EUR or so) as there was a defect with the batteries in that series.

  12. Manuel,
    Thank you for this piece — clear, to the point, with important details spelled out, including possible prices. I’d been told too many times that upgrading wasn’t possible or wasn’t worth it, if it were possible. So it’s good to see that, in fact, it is possible. It’s continually surprising how my academic bureaucracy does not place value on reuse — and frustrating especially when the institution at large prides itself on its ‘green’ philosophy.
    A question — how much RAM do you have on your mac? I have only 8GB, and am not sure it will be worth it to upgrade, given that. However, I also don’t do a lot of (or, ok, any) heavy engineering/gaming/video or audio editing type work. I have been given a new Lenovo X13 Yoga with 16GB RAM, so maybe I will begin using more than one computer as well. I’ve never tried that, but perhaps it’s useful to divide up tasks and memory that way.
    By the way, the Lenovo is TCO certified, which is a new-to-me certification for social/environmental responsibility in manufacturing. I’m sure it’s quite imperfect — but it is a start! If you’ve not heard of it, here is a link: https://tcocertified.com/

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      I have 16GB of RAM, which is quite comfortable. With 8GB I think I’d have been in trouble. I don’t know about the TCO certification, in general I agree that there is way too much waste when it comes to computers and electronics…

  13. Hey thanks for the post; it was a good read!

    I have a late-2013 MacBook Pro; at the time, it was top-of-the-line, including 16GB RAM and the original 1TB SSD. It’s been quite the workhorse for me through the years, and has been my primary laptop. When I bought my first iPad Pro back in 2017, the laptop ended up mostly at home and on my desk, and I have a 34″ LG monitor attached, and using the Apple extended wireless keyboard and the Magic Trackpad.

    This past summer, the original SSD stopped working. In the end, I bought the OWC Aura Pro X2 1TB SSD, and a replacement battery, because it was found to have expanded in such a way that reassembling the bottom area after installation would have been unsuccessful. The fact that doing it really improved its performance, particularly when using Logic Pro X, was kinda revelatory. As of now, I’m very happy with it. I believe that Big Sur may be the last supported MacOS version that will be installed, and I’m waiting for several months to do so.

    That wait might not matter, because in February I plan on getting an M1 Mac mini, and make use of that as my primary desktop. I was considering also getting an M1 MacBook Air, and I’m enamored by its lightness. Really, though, I feel that I’ll still be using this 2013 MBP for sometime to come, especially using for DJ gigs, music production, and it’ll still have good value.

    I may have to take up your idea of finding a suitable SD card to use as another storage area, though now I have to find out which types/brands will work with it.

    In any case, again thanks for the writeup. I just may have to do a YouTube video on my experience, one of these days.

  14. Hi there,
    Apple replaced the first Battery last weeked. After 7 Years in place and it was still lasting about 1h.. which is a little to less. We will see what comes next. Maybe a new one with an M2 or M3 Processor… till then, my Late 2013 will run and run and run…

  15. I have a late 2013 MacBook Pro Retina 15” but with only 8GB 1600MHz DDR3. I have a 251 GB SSD. Sorry if I’m telling you all stuff that’s either obvious or unnecessary. I’m a recording artist and dabble in making music videos; yet I’m far from a Mac expert, to say the least. After reading this thread, I am quite tempted to get the replacement SSD per the OP, but do you guys think my comp will overheat or have some other kind of unfortunate repercussions? I’ll be using either Logic, ProTools, and/or some sort of vid editing software like Final Cut or possibly some Adobe program.

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      I don’t have any problem with overheating. The only issue I had was that the with the new SSD, Mac OS didn’t support saving things to disk if it ran out of battery – but in practice I didn’t really run into that issue.

  16. Hi, it was really cool for me to read such a review. Thanks a lot, I have the same thougths.

    I have an early Macbook Pro 15 2013 with best hardware. When I bought it in march 2013, I said myself: “This macbook will serve me ten years, no less”.

  17. Hello Manuel, thanks for this article! Which storage would you recommend? I have 128 GB and this makes my MacBook pretty much unusable. 2 TB seems a bit too much to me, I was thinking about 512 GB, but I might also go for 1 TB. Do you know about other brands too, such as Samsung and Transcend?

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  18. Hi, I was happy to find this article as I have a MacBook Pro (Retina, 13-inch, Late 2013), 2.6 GHz Intel Core i5, Sierra 10.12.6 OS, 8gb RAM & 500ssd.

    Thanks for the article – – my understanding was that NOTHING in my unit could be replaced/ upgraded so it really surprised me! Question 1 – – Are the SSD/ battery upgrades you mention applicable to my unit? (I wish I could upgrade the RAM, but c’est la vie).

    As a photographer using both Photoshop and Lightroom (CPU-intensive programs), I know I often push the unit beyond its capability. I try not to use both programs at the same time but when I do, processes eventually slow to a crawl and I have to reboot.

    I also know I need to upgrade the OS but haven’t simply because the machine works well and I get freaked out when I hear about compatibility issues, etc. that suddenly arise after updating. (I have external drives, scanner, an older printer to consider.) One upside of an OS update is that my PSD/ LR programs would also automatically update – – the current versions have only been able to go as far as what will work with my current OS.

    Question 2 – – Would updating the OS make a difference regarding the Psd/ LR performance and how far up can I (or should I) go… High Sierra? Mojave?
    Question 3 – – Will upgrading the SSD to a newer, larger (1TB) SSD improve performance in programs like PSD/ LR or is that mostly a RAM issue?

    Thanks very much for any help/ advice! Great to see that even in 2021 this unit is still “in the game”. I’ll be getting a Mac mini for desktop use but still want this unit to be as functional as possible. It’s been completely reliable so far, no issues.

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      Regarding OS updates, I’m personally holding off on those since I know my external monitor (Dell 38”) would no longer work with them. Regarding the speed – the new drive is really faster and that should make a noticeable difference for programs that hold a lot of data.

  19. Like the write-up, but you spent EUR 530 ($640) in upgrades on your computer as you noted (new SSD, high capacity SD, new keyboard/battery). You can sell your MacBook Air online on eBay right now for ~$450-500 (EUR 550-600) and buy a the new 2020 MacBook Air for $999 (EUR 822). Net cost after selling of EUR 220-270 vs the EUR 530 you spent on upgrades. Seems like saving EUR 250 and getting a brand new computer with better specs makes more sense. That’s just me though.

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      This is a MacBook Pro we’re talking about though. And you need to factor in the cost for all the adapters (which for my purpose would be quite a bit). Another thing I see with the current M1 generation is the issues reported with external monitors – which I’d like to see resolved before considering a new Mac. So far, I still don’t feel the need to get one

  20. I love this article, and it helped me what to do next with my Late 2013.

    I am currently using 16 GB ram with my mac, I wonder if I can upgrade it to 32 GB and would that help my Mac works faster?

    Also, may I ask what OS do you use with your Mac?

    Thanks Manuel!

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      As far as I know it isn’t possible to upgrade the RAM – which is soldered to the mainboard. I’m using macOS Mojave – the reason that I don’t want to update is because I know my external 38″ Dell Monitor no longer works after that Mac OS version. I think the Mac itself would still work (but I kind of suppose it’d slow it down)

  21. Just come across this article. Fascinating, as a MacBook Pro late 2013 retina with 500gb SSD running Catalina I am beginning to notice boot up taking a lot longer, general slowness of some tasks and battery life down to a few hours.
    So good to know that battery upgrade is recommended. Not sure will go to all the effort of replacing the SSD though – yet!
    I am also finding the thunderbolt and USB ports are suffering from a strange intermittency of connection. For example, sometimes my external drive is recognised when plugged in, but sometimes not. Any one else having port issues?

  22. What a great article. I bought my 15 inch macbook pro late 2013 in 2019 for about $600. I have a late 2015 iMac 27 inch and I bought my wife a top of the line macbook pro around 2018 or so, but for me I wanted the macbook that has all normal connections (USB, SD card slot, HDMI) but still wanted a retina display. So a late 2013 with 16GB ram was a great idea. This 2013 has been a dream from first moment. Quiet, comfortable keyboard. It may not be as bright as some of the very greatest and latest displays, or my Ipad pro, but it is quite nice. The only two problems I’ve had are 1) 256GB SSD is too small for me – I am not photography and storage gets eaten by apps and files in a second. I bought an external 1TB SSD drive that I have connected to USB drive (it is faster than SD Card slot, and when dealing with large photo files etc, speed is important ) and 2) my battery has shown “SERVICE IT” since day one I got it (used). The battery dies very quickly if using the macbook unplugged. I have been delaying doing battery service since I get it plugged into the wall most of the time and I don’t feel like spending $220 on a $600 computer. I would have loved to upgrade my internal storage, but with my needs, it would have to be 2TB or 4TB otherwise it would not make a difference. And these would cost me $800-$1000 or more… I probably will end up doing an Apple battery service one day though….

  23. This article. Still relevant in 2021 as I sit on my late-2013 15″ Pro. The rumors this year suggest we may get pro level hardware configuration again. (Though, upgrade-ability sadly sounds like a thing of the distant past). I’ve gone as far as building a Hackintosh, which has actually proved to be a reliable production machine. If they don’t give back the basics to pro users this year, I suppose it’s time to make the switch. I am hopeful, but you know what they say about hope: https://youtu.be/HFKuBuRNOBA?t=20

  24. I am running a late-2013 MacBook Pro as well, and have upgraded to SSD, need to look in to battery. I’m wondering what you’ve found with OS upgrades? I’m still running High Sierra (10.13.6) and now Word is telling me I need to upgrade at least to OS 14 to keep current with MS updates. I believe I stopped upgrading based on feedback that after High Sierra my model starts to encounter problems, but now it’s been so long I can’t find articles discussing upgrading such an old Mac. Thoughts?

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      I’m on Mojave and am not planning on venturing further – the support for my external 38″ Dell screen has been dropped after that, so I’m not willing to risk that. Mojave runs fine

  25. I’m on a late 2013 13″ Pro, 500GB SSD. I am about to make my first hardware upgrade, which is a new battery. This one is good as dead. Otherwise, still going strong. I’m running Big Sur 11.2.3, with no problems at all. Hoping to last until fall when the new Pro is rumoured to be released… crossing fingers.

  26. Just thought I’d let you all know that Apple has finally stopped doing battery replacements for the late 2013 model so you have to now go through unofficial places to change the battery or learn to do it yourself. Had an appointment with an apple ‘genius’ on Saturday and It led to an embarrassing moment for the girl that worked there as she checked and was like “yeah we can do it” only at the final hurdle to find out that they no longer can. As it was, she apologised and I was offered 10% off any of the new MacBook Pros but I’ve decided to pass for now as I’ve found a place where I can get the battery replaced with an unofficial MacBook repair specialist.

    1. Weirdly, I’ve just had the battery replaced in my 13″ late 2013 this week. By Apple..

  27. Lol, off-subject, but is that a LEGO DeLorean? I.E. Back To The Future? “fOuR PoInT TwEnTy OnE GiGaWaTtSsSs!?!?!?!?”
    That’s cool, I didn’t know they made those. Thanks for the other stuff too, it was a good read. A testament to a dying era of upgradable personal computers. It started with the cell phone batteries.. then the next thing we knew, they were soldering the RAM to the mobo. 🙁

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  28. Wow! Stumbled across your article and it was useful & validated my decision to hang on to mine. I am not computer savvy at all, but met a great technician. Have been paranoid about upgrading my OS, but Chrome won’t do updates soon with current one. It reminds me every time I log on there. I consider myself lucky, cause I’ve never upgraded the OS! I’m taking ultra baby steps. Plan is to back it up & upgrade to Mojave. Will def keep an eye out here. (and yup, cool Lego DeLorean!)

  29. Thanks for this post. I’m still running my Late 2013 15″ MBP and feeling very thrifty about the value. When I bought it for $1800CAD I thought it was a huge purchase. Compared to most technology I’ve bought it’s been a bargain. I have been waiting for the new apple chip in the 15 or 16″ MPB format as my next upgrade, but your article has inspired me to keep mine running. It is a great computer in so many ways. I will do the SSD upgrade you recommend as a nice way to get a speed boost and some much needed storage. I am currently pushing to a 24″ LG 4K monitor at the office through a thunderbolt adaptor and the quality on screen is fantastic. That was a game changer for me, I love this screen as much as my MBP!

  30. What do you mean you replaced the keyboard to replace the battery? Did you replace the entire half of the computer, as in pretty much buying a new but used laptop that’s the same model? You can replace the battery by itself, it’s just hard to get out because of the glue. Most recommend using adhesive remover but while difficult, I was able to get it out without adhesive remover by using a string. Cost me a total of $50 for the battery and that’s it. I’ll never purchase another Apple because they’re basically unrepairable now, meaning they won’t last as long as this one has.

  31. Hi, I have the same laptop, and I am still very happy with it. The only thing that is really not working anymore, is the battery. I can do practically one hour with it, and then I need to plug it in.

    Therefore I have called my local mac repair shop. They told me it was identified as ‘end of life’ by Apple, so they said I cannot do a battery replacement because it is glued together, and there are no more parts available for it.

    Is there another way to do it? Hope to hear from you. I would love to extend the life of this nice machine..

    1. Hi Willem-Jan. I’m in the US and I replaced my battery in my late 2013-15 about two months ago. I ordered mine from ifixit.com and the directions are on the website to replace it. It does require patience because it takes about 32 steps or so to complete, literally breaking down half the machine. The battery was around $100USD and it took me a little over an hour. I do have a technical background so it wasn’t bad for me.

  32. Thanks for the article. I got mine used last August. Does overheat and shutdown. I cleaned it, replaced the battery, heat sink bar, and the thermal paste a couple of times. I believe it is the logic board now and I will replace it soon.

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