Released June 2012, Model A1278. Intel processor with Turbo Boost, Up to 512 MB DDR5 Video RAM

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Where are the USB 3.0 ports?

I bought this Macbook Pro 13" Unibody Mid 2012 secondhand less than a month ago. It is my first Mac computer. After a few weeks of checking it out, I realized it has two USB 2.0 ports. I check everywhere there is to check and apparently it is supposed to have two USB 3.0 ports.

I have carefully checked which model of computer I have and it seems that I have the right computer, but only these ports. This is how I checked which model I have.

Here's what I know:

  • Model Identifier: MacBookPro9,2
  • Model No.: A1278

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The problem is that even in this page of Apple's website it seems to be that every "Mid 2012 MacBook Pro" is supposed to have these USB 3.0 ports as it is one of the upgrades from the previous model.

I have been wondering wether if it is a setting or something I'm ignoring or maybe there is a way it can be changed somehow (I really do not think so, as these chips are part of the logic board).

The question is, what can I do? Of course, I would like to have the best specs on my computer, specially if the manufacturer uses these specs to sell it.

I appreciate all your help.

Answered! View the answer I have this problem too

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I also have the same problem!!!!

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Are you sure you have the correct model? The older 2011 Mid & Late models have USB 2.0 ports.

The USB ports should be Blue in color. If they are black then you have a 2.0 logic board which may have been installed in a newer models case.

Double check the serial number under About This Mac ... paste it into here: EveryMac what does it show you?

Update (02/13/2016)

This gets a bit confusing as Apple and the others have reverted back to the Black/White outlets in the newer systems! As people complained about the look of the Blue.

So you can't just look at the outlets color alone. The marking above the ports is different it should have SS then have the USB bug.

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The SS denotes the 5Gbps data-transfer rate of USB 3.0. SS and 10 denotes the 10Gbps speed of USB 3.1

The systems you see at the Apple Store's are USB 3.0 ports.

You'll need to review the hardware profile section under About This Mac ... > System Report ... > USB to see what the bus is (USB 2.0 or USB 3.0) for the given system MacBook Pro retina models & MacBook Air models.

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Thank you for your answer. My USB ports are black. I have checked again following the instructions as you wrote and it seems like I have the right computer, but not the right USB ports. I have even gone to a Mac Store and checked a MacBook Pro mid 2012 in order to make sure about this, and what is my surprise? It says it has USB 2.0 ports.

I really think this is not cool. Is there anyone else having this problem? I do not think it is a mistake since they have promoted this spec when advertising the product. Why would they lie about the USB ports on this computer? I do not think they would sell any less of this product if they said it has USB 2.0 ports.

At the end of the day, it is the lie is what I find most annoying about this.

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I think the word Lie is a bit much. Things happen at the factory that get though in error.

At this point you need to talk with someone within Apple to see what they can do to fix your system. Sadly, being the second owner does make this harder.

You may also want to talk to the seller of the system as they too may have mislead you. Maybe you can get your money back so you can get a system with USB 3 ports.

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I understand what you say and you are right. I do not want to sound mean or harsh when addressing this situation but it seriously does not seem like an error, specially not since even at the store they have systems in the same situation for sale.

You are right again, being the second owner makes this more complicated, however that fact does not make it less of an authentic product from the brand. I think I will go to the store and will ask them about this situation and see what they say about it.

Thank you very much for taking the time to answer my question.

PS: To date I have not seem the first of these MacBook Pro 13" mid 2012 with USB 3.0 ports. Something is not right.

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I almost never call Apple but go ahead and tell us what they say , just out of curiosity . Are you checking the serial in the system profiler ? Boards can swap stickers easily never go on what's on the sticker alone.

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Good tips. Thanks.

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Most Helpful Answer

I'm obviously a little late to this party, and I assume the OP has determined the answer to his questions by now, but I'll post this for anyone else who stumbles across it in the future.

Neither the markings nor the color of your mid-2012 MacBook Pro USB ports matter. They are 3.0 ports, which you can check on using System Profiler. However, connecting a 2.0 device will configure them as 2.0 ports and connecting a 3.0 device using a 2.0 cable will do the same. Use the link below to read all the details.

Definitive answers about Apple USB ports and troubleshooting can be found here - https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT201163

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Thanks to glassmakerx. He had the only correct or at least applicable answer. The detail the other answers lacked was that under System Profiler > USB the spec is scrollable and if you have 3.0 device plugged in you can click the left side triangle and "that's a bingo", usb 3.0 shows up. I was ready to replace 2.0 card with a 3.0 even though Apple kept telling me I had 3.0 ports. Thanks much again

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You're welcome Mike. :)

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Hi there,

I got the mid-2012 non Retina MBP 13" too, and after running System Identifier (to check if all my 16 gigs of RAM were recognized) it also seemed to have two USB2 ports only.

However, TechTool Pro 8 told me that the USB ports were running at 5 gigabit/sec which means they comply with the USB 3.0 standard.

BTW, according to ElCap's system report my macbook pro also came with 1536 MB of shared video memory ;)) so I surely can't rely too much on what the mac is telling me about itself!

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Old thread, but I was looking at system profiler while having a WD passport USB 3 drive connected, I noticed that the USB list is scrollable and the drive was listed as 3.0, whereas the keyboard and track pad were on the 2.0 bus.

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Yes, thats correct. There is an internal USB connection which is only USB 2. There really is no need to have anything faster for the keyboard or trackpad, you're just not that quick to beat the computer.

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