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  1. #1

    Default External Graphics Card for Mid 2012 13" MacBook Pro

    Hi, please don't shoot me, I have done a search and I can't find what I need.

    I have a mid 2012 13" MacBook Pro. I have started studying interior design and need to update the graphics (and I guess memory and speed). I understand that you can not change the internal graphics as it is part of the logic board but apparently I can use an external graphics card. Is this correct? I have heard that I would need to connect this to another display. Is this, again, correct? This is not an issue as I am wanting to connect a larger screen to the macbook. If this is possible what items do I actually need? Is this easy to do? it would be great to have a little docking area with the monitor and graphics but still be able to use my laptop as a laptop when required.
    I have been reading that I can also update my RAM and put in a SSD drive. Is this easy to do? Again, what do I get?
    These are my system requirements:
    Host Operating System & Hardware Type: Mac® OS X® 10.10.1 “Yosemite”, MacBook Pro® 10,1; iMac® 14,1 or newer
    Memory: 16 GB
    CPU Type: 2.7 GHz quad-core Intel® Core i7™ recommended
    Virtualization Software: Parallels Desktop® 10 for Mac or newer
    Virtual Machine Operating System ¹ Microsoft® Windows® 7 SP1 64-bit:
    Windows 7 Enterprise, Ultimate, Professional, or Home PremiumMicrosoft® Windows® 8 64-bit:
    Windows 8 Enterprise, Pro, or Windows 8Microsoft® Windows® 8.1 64-bit:
    Windows 8.1 Enterprise, Pro, or Windows 8.1
    Virtual Machine Browser Microsoft® Internet Explorer® 7.0 (or later)
    Virtual Machine Memory 8 GB RAM
    Usually sufficient for a typical editing session for a single model up to approximately 100 MB on disk. This estimate is based on internal testing and customer reports. Individual models will vary in their use of computer resources and performance characteristics.
    Models created in previous versions of Revit software products may require more available memory for the one-time upgrade process.
    Virtual Machine Video Adapter 512 MB video memory minimum dedicated to the Microsoft® Windows® Virtual Machine.Note: While at Retina® display resolutions on the Mac OS, turn off any Retina Resolution options in Parallels Desktop to adjust for proper DPI within Windows and Revit software products.
    Graphics: Parallels Desktop virtual display adapter without “Use Hardware Acceleration” option in Revit software products.
    Video Adapter NVIDIA® GeForce® GT 650M – 2,880 × 1,800 with 24-bit color (see Virtual Video Adapter note) Intel® Iris Pro – 1,920 × 1,080 with 32-bit color or newer (see Virtual Video Adapter note)
    Disk Space Minimum 40 GB free disk space; recommend 100 GB free disk space available
    Media Download or installation from DVD9 or USB key
    Pointing Device MS-Mouse or 3Dconnexion® compliant device
    Connectivity Internet connection for license registration and prerequisite component download

    Am I better off just getting a desktop system and a new tablet or upgrading the macbook that I already have?

    Kindest regards

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Oct 2005

    Default External Graphics Card for Mid 2012 13" MacBook Pro

    Why do you need to upgrade the graphics? Is there something that the current machine can't do/handle?

    The nvidia 650 isn't exactly a slow card either.

    Is the software you are using windows based and are you using it within parallels?

    Macvidcards is working on external solutions via thunderbolt but this pathway will cost you a lot of money (better to sell laptop and get a desktop).
    Something about Jimby.

  3. #3


    Thank you for replying. I don't have the Nvidia 650, I need it as a minimum requirement. I am using Autocad, Revit, SketchUp, Photoshop, Indesign, etc. I will be using windows based software within parallels. I don't think I would get much for a 2012 13" MacBook Pro so I will be keeping this computer (we can always use it for other stuff) but I am trying to decide if I should upgrade this one or buy a desktop.

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Oct 2005


    Buy a Windows PC and build the hardware yourself.

    Skip Apples stuff. Too underpowered and overpriced.
    Running in parallels will suck. Run it natively.
    Something about Jimby.

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