2011 mac book pro update. worth it?

SSMG

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Feb 12, 2019
1
0
pa
Hello,

I am fighting myself on getting a new MBP or updating the hardware in my 2011 15.4 macbook pro. After reseaching the newer models I'm kind of scared. I don't want to have those key board problems and i don't like the idea of losing the ports and having to get all the extra accessories. I think it makes more sense for me to just update my current machine. I mainly do video editing with FCPX.

The updates i am interested in doing include a 1T SSD, 16 gig of ram and also thinking about installing the newer wifi/blue tooth chip so air drop works. I am planning on making a bootable high sierra install drive.
I watched some of the MBP update videos on youtube. It seems simple enough but the videos are a bit dated now. Im wondering if the rebuild/updates still work. Will my rebuild plan work? Any and all insight will be greatly appreciated

thanks,
JR
 

Audit13

macrumors 601
Apr 19, 2017
4,415
1,112
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
I would hesitate to put too much money into the MBP because the 2011 15" MBP has a known problem with a failing GPU.

I had a late 2011 15" with a failed Radeon chip. Thankfully, I didn't do much other than adding a 250 GB SSD and replacing the dvd drive with a hard drive caddy. I purchased both items from Craigslist for only $40 CAD.
 

Painter2002

macrumors 65816
May 9, 2017
1,083
759
Austin, TX
Hello,

I am fighting myself on getting a new MBP or updating the hardware in my 2011 15.4 macbook pro. After reseaching the newer models I'm kind of scared. I don't want to have those key board problems and i don't like the idea of losing the ports and having to get all the extra accessories. I think it makes more sense for me to just update my current machine. I mainly do video editing with FCPX.

The updates i am interested in doing include a 1T SSD, 16 gig of ram and also thinking about installing the newer wifi/blue tooth chip so air drop works. I am planning on making a bootable high sierra install drive.
I watched some of the MBP update videos on youtube. It seems simple enough but the videos are a bit dated now. Im wondering if the rebuild/updates still work. Will my rebuild plan work? Any and all insight will be greatly appreciated

thanks,
JR
So if you are looking to update your machine with a new SSD, and 16GB that will certainly breath new life into your machine, however it still won't put performance anywhere near on par with what a newer 2018 15" MBP will do for you in FCPX. Also, I am not sure on the airdrop, someone else will need to chime in, but I don't believe you will be able to upgrade that model with a new bluetooth chip to enable airdrop.

Personally, I would upgrade to the 2018 model (not 16, 17 which seem to have more keyboard issues), and you should be fine. There are a lot of reports that there are issues on the forums, but it is not always indicative of the broader user base having these issues on a larger scale.
 

keysofanxiety

macrumors G3
Nov 23, 2011
9,519
24,633
Agreed with above. The 2011s are ticking time bombs and can fail at any time — especially with your GPU-intensive work on FCPX.

Also I have a 2012 15” and it’s really not great with FCPX. It’s got an SSD, 16GB RAM, new SATA cable, and a better graphics card which utilises Metal. Honestly I don’t think it’s worth the investment.

I’d definitely recommend saving up for a newer machine instead. You’ll hear a lot of bad about them around here — some partly warranted issues, some simply because problems are raised on forums rather than positives, and some pure FUD from trolls.

They’re honestly great machines and it’s the better option in your scenario. Worst case, you’ve got a 30-day return.
 

simplynando

macrumors 6502
Aug 15, 2016
330
286
Las Vegas, Nevada
I had a 2011 MBP and it kept shutting off every time I tried to use it due to that crappy GPU. It took me over a year of back and forth with Apple who finally agreed to replace my motherboard for free, which was hard because it was already a "vintage" device. I had to get a voucher and take it into an Apple Authorized Warranty Repair Center who had to order the part and then repair. After they replaced it, it would still restart about once a day. Better than before, but still unacceptable. I'd get rid of that computer as soon as I could.

If you don't want to upgrade to the newest Macbook Pros, the 2015 Retina MBP is still pretty solid in my opinion. It's still nice and snappy and has all of the necessary ports.
 

pshufd

macrumors 65816
Oct 24, 2013
1,459
967
New Hampshire
OP:

You might consider looking for a 2015 15" MBP in good shape, if you can find one.
There are lots of these on Craigslist in my area. I think that they are coming off corporate customers that buy them for their employees en masse and then replace them after three or four years. My corporate laptop is a 2015 13 and it's quite nice though I prefer the 15s.
 

Painter2002

macrumors 65816
May 9, 2017
1,083
759
Austin, TX
There are lots of these on Craigslist in my area. I think that they are coming off corporate customers that buy them for their employees en masse and then replace them after three or four years. My corporate laptop is a 2015 13 and it's quite nice though I prefer the 15s.
That and a fair amount of people have upgraded to the 2018 MBP now that they had finally bumped up the specs a decent amount. Before people with 2015 models weren’t going to see a major jump in performance on the Intel chips of the 2016/17 models, so most waited til the 2018 mode came out with quad core 13” and hex core 15” models.
 
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