2011 MBP advice

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by fallingwater, Feb 10, 2014.

  1. fallingwater macrumors newbie

    fallingwater

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2011
    Location:
    Nowhere
    #1
    I am hoping someone can provide some advice regarding what to do with my 2011 MBP. Bare with me as I am not very savvy with computer specs so I try to be as informative as possible. :eek: I have gotten advice from several sources and not sure if its correct.

    I purchased my 15 in. MBP in late 2011, at that time it was most expensive MBP the store sold. I was told to buy as much as a I could afford. Its a 2.3 GHZ, 4 GB. I believe it has a 750 HDD ?? Sorry, its not with me at the moment. I am not sure about the Hard drive size. At that time I was doing some graphic design work on the side. I was told this was basically a desktop replacement. Turns out I didn't get involved in graphic design as much as I thought and didn't run it through the paces as I expected to. About two months ago it really started slowing down. Beach balls with almost every task and moving to different webpages was becoming painful.

    I cleaned out the downloads, deleted files, did a PRAM reset and it ran much better but only for a few days. I work for a computer company but on the business side so again, not real savvy when things start to go wrong. I asked my IT dept. that works on the Macs. I appreciate their time but I got different info from each person and they got into a big debate leaving me more confused than when I started. :eek:

    The advise

    *Buy new, my MBP is old and it sucks.
    *Update the RAM
    *swap out the hard drive with a SSD and up the RAM to 12 GBs and it will be better than new.
    *Hard drive might be shot.

    We get good discounts at work so a lot of people buy new computers every 1-2 yrs. I bought this computer before I started working for the company and its the first mac I have bought that wasn't a base model, so I just don't understand why it would bog down so fast when my son still uses my old white MB from 2007. It seems like I should have a lot more life in it, don't ya think? I paid 2500 dollars and that seems really hefty to have so many issues.

    Anyway, I made an impulse purchase over the weekend and bought a MBA. I got a good deal but I'd really like to know if I can do something with my MBP. I just can't accept that its a 2500 paper weight. I will probably keep my MBA for travel and buy myself a iMac for photo editing etc. If I can boost up my MBP, it would be great for my son as the white MB he has served its purpose for the most part.

    Sorry if I am all over the place, Im just feeling a tad frustrated. Thanks in advance. :)
     
  2. niteflyr macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2011
    Location:
    Southern Cal
    #2
    No doubt that an SSD will speed things up a lot. Depending on your usage, more RAM could help also. I would do SSD first if I had to prioritize.
     
  3. accountforit, Feb 10, 2014
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2014

    accountforit macrumors 6502a

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    Jan 22, 2014
    #3
    Sell it while it still has good value. Buy new.
     
  4. heisenberg123 macrumors 603

    heisenberg123

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2010
    Location:
    Hamilton, Ontario
    #4
    I have the early 2011, just updated the HDD to a SSD and it feels like a brand new machine again
     
  5. yjchua95 macrumors 604

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2011
    Location:
    GVA, KUL, MEL (current), ZQN
    #5
    I've got an early-2011 15" MBP, and I had the same problems as you did when it still had a HDD in it.

    As soon as the Samsung 840 Pro SSD came out, I bought the 512GB variant and now my Mac boots up in just 11 seconds and is instantly useable upon login.

    4GB of RAM seems a little low. Upgrade to 8GB or even 16GB if you can afford it. I have 16GB of RAM on mine and it's silky smooth running two virtual machines on it.
     
  6. fallingwater thread starter macrumors newbie

    fallingwater

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2011
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    #6
    Thanks for the replies. Much appreciated. :) Wow, I think from now on I will just buy base models and replace more often. I will look into having the HDD replaced. I don't feel comfortable doing it myself. Is the Apple store a good solution or will that be over priced?

    I did think about selling it but trade in value is about 500 dollars. Ugh, painful. I supposed I could sell on ebay etc but I don't have time and not sure I want to deal with it either.

    Another alternative would be to trade it in at the Apple store, use my work discount and get my son a new one and only have to chip in a few hundred dollars. Then he has brand new as well.
     
  7. accountforit macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2014
    #7

    $500-700 in upgrades just doesn't seem worth it. You could have sold your machine and then added that upgrade money and bought a brand new machine.

    ----------


    No offense, but this paranoid attitude about ebay is costing you a lot of money. I have never understood why people are so scared of ebay. Read the user agreement and you won't have any problems. Ebay has protection as long as you educate yourself.

    Trade in programs will net you half of what you can sell for yourself. Try craigslist if ebay scares you.
     
  8. Swampus, Feb 10, 2014
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2014

    Swampus macrumors 6502

    Swampus

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2013
    Location:
    Winterfell
    #8
    Must be nice to be your son. :) All I got hand-me-down was a VIC-20 and a broken 8-Track player that had to be manually advanced to the next track. It scarred me for life. Seriously. To this day, when I hear some Led Zeppelin songs on the radio, once the song gets to a certain point, I feel like I need to be pressing a button in order to hear the rest of it.

    FYI: Your MBP is significantly more powerful than your Air. As suggested, an SSD and some additional memory will help. If you're not planning to run virtual machines, 8GB probably plenty for basic photo editing. Go for 16GB if not much price difference (or if your needs are greater than what you indicate).

    Still a powerful machine that's more than adequate for basic, as well as some demanding, photo editing. The wimpy OEM mechanical hard drive just makes it "feel" slow compared to the MBA.
    Live and learn. From a practical and financial standpoint, it's generally best to purchase what you need. Keep in mind that many of us who frequent these forums can be considered "enthusiasts". That is, in addition to the things that we use computers for, computing itself has become a bit of a hobby (for some of us). That said, I don't think it was dishonest to characterize it as a desktop alternative. It could still be used today as the production machine that you originally intended. Easily still powerful enough for use as a hobby machine.

    If you purchased it as a desktop replacement, then your new MBA makes a nice complement for use as a portable.

    Edit: Disregard. If I had refreshed page, I would have seen that you were planning to sell. Agree with others that you should consider eBay.
     
  9. glenthompson macrumors 68000

    glenthompson

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2011
    Location:
    Virginia
    #9
    You probably the same machine as I do. From the description I suspect that your main bottleneck is memory. Best way to find out is to run Activity Monitor with your normal workflow and see what it shows. These days, 4gb is a little tight for many situations. Most people are fine with 8gb and a few need 16.

    A SSD makes a huge performance boost but is pricey. I won't buy another computer without one.
     
  10. yjchua95 macrumors 604

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2011
    Location:
    GVA, KUL, MEL (current), ZQN
    #10
    To further prove that SSD is fast, here's a video of my 2011 MBP booting up:
    http://sdrv.ms/M7SvEx

    Watch both videos.

    Specs:
    2.3GHz quad core i7
    16GB RAM
    512GB Samsung 840 Pro
    1GB Radeon 6750M.

    Note that RAM doesn't affect boot times.
     
  11. tallpaul macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2009
    #11
    I've a base spec Early 2011 MBP 13 2.3Ghz i5 320GB HD

    Straight away I put 8GB ram in for $40, money well spent and I'm thinking of putting 16GB in soon as it's all that's left to do!

    Two years ago I put Samsung 820 SSD 256GB in, night and day difference and I'd never boot of anything but an SSD again.

    Then as I was tight for space for music for Djing etc, I put in the MCE optibay

    http://store.mcetech.com/Merchant2/...t_Code=OBSXGB-UNB&Category_Code=STORHDOPTIBAY

    I got the enclosure for the old DVD drive so still have when i need to burn a DVD etc.


    So i put the original 320GB in the optibay, worked great.

    last week I put a Samsung M9T 2TB 9.5mm in the optibay and i have more space than I'll ever need.

    I can use Final Cut Pro without any worries of running out of space etc.

    I also just got a new battery off ifixit so this three year old laptop is more than able to be a fast reliable machine for the next few years.

    I bought myself a 512GB, 8Gb MBA 13 just before christmas but ended up giving it my wife as here white 2009 macbook was too slow for Pages and iDVD, she loves it but I still prefer the MBP, I love the way you can upgrade yourself and considering it only cost my €800 new three years ago and I have since spent another €300, it's incredible value when I use it so much. Final Cut Pro, Ableton Live 8, Accountsedge software, Windows 7 via Parallels 9, Excel for Mac and Excel for PC.

    I also have my 1.5TB movie collection with me all the time.

    All I need to do now is install a toaster and this laptop will literally do everything!!!
     
  12. fallingwater thread starter macrumors newbie

    fallingwater

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    Nowhere
    #12
    So let me ask, how hard is to put the SSD in myself? Does anyone know how much it costs to have maybe the Apple store do this work? Would that make it too expensive to upgrade?
     
  13. saturnotaku macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2013
    #13
    There are literally thousands of videos on Youtube showing exactly what to do. All you need is a Philips #00 and Torx T6 screwdriver.
     
  14. Swampus macrumors 6502

    Swampus

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2013
    Location:
    Winterfell
    #14
    Not difficult at all. Here is a link to the User Guide for that model:

    http://manuals.info.apple.com/en_US/macbook_pro_15inch_late_2011.pdf

    Procedure starts on page 37. Changing the drive is only a 10 to 15 minute job even for a novice.

    I tend to like to clone my drives before I install them. I'd put my new drive in an external enclosure, clone the internal drive to the new one, do a test boot from the new drive, and then swap the drives. Cloning is also easy, but will be the most time consuming part of the operation, maybe an hour or two depending on how much data you have. Well, "time consuming" probably isn't the right phrase. It takes some time, but you don't have to be involved with it once you get it started (which just takes a minute or two).

    FYI: Carbon Copy Cloner and SuperDuper are a couple of popular and well-regarded cloning options.
     
  15. tallpaul macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2009
    #15
    It's incredibly easy to put SSD in, i did mine in ten minutes using the ifixit guides.
     
  16. heisenberg123 macrumors 603

    heisenberg123

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2010
    Location:
    Hamilton, Ontario
    #16


    very easy, just use the right size screw driver Philips #00 for the bottom and the bracket holding the HD down, T6 torx for the screws on the side of the hard drive.

    turn off mbp and let cool down

    take out the 10 screws on the bottom 7 are small and 3 longer

    than there is a small bracket with 2 phillips screws these screws are part of the bracket so they don't come out but once loosened you pull the bracket out

    now the HD usually has a plastic tab on it so its easier to pull out, just pull slow because the cable its connected too is only a few inches long, when you pull it out far enough you will expose the "sata connector" and it easily is pulled off the HD

    now use the T6 torx screwdriver to take the 4 small screws on the side of the HD

    the installation is the reverse directions


    NOW as far as data is concerned you have several options

    1. backup all important files on an external HD, do a clean install of OSX on your MBP, than copy files back over

    2.make a full clone of the current HD using something like Carbon Copy Cloner than you can boot off that external once the SSD is installed and clone the external to the SSD
     
  17. thekev macrumors 604

    thekev

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2010
    #17
    Bleh the value may continue to fall, but it's only worth half as much today. The new model will depreciate more than this one. There are some people who buy a new one every year, but they time things very carefully, avoid any extra costs, and have some experience unloading them. Once a new model hits, they all depreciate quickly in value. They are still perfectly usable, but that does not dictate market value. It always amuses me when people selling a used machine want to talk up how great it is to try to squeeze a higher sale price out of it. If it still fit their needs, they wouldn't be selling it.

    It's not difficult. My concern is that the problem is not absolutely definitive. Most people will notice a bump in ram and an ssd. With the 2007 your son may be running on less ram, but he's probably running an older OS and software. If there is any kind of underlying hardware problem, this isn't likely to fix it. Sometimes you can get that kind of behavior from a rather full hard drive + low ram due to the sheer number of page faults + OSX's monitoring of anything that's written to disk. If you're filling up an HDD, you're going to have to spend quite a bit on an SSD to acquire enough capacity. You can go a bit higher with an SSD, but it shouldn't be nearly full. That is just asking for trouble. Also regarding drives, if you happen to own a copy of disk warrior, run it. I do occasionally even with an SSD. It reduces the occurrence of the spinning wheel. Note that some people have experienced more of those with early versions of Mavericks. If they started after a change in OS, I would also be suspicious of that.
     
  18. whitedragon101 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2008
    #18
    The SSD to get is the samsung evo. It is an epically good drive.

    It provides the performance of the pro, for super low power consumption at a budget price.
     
  19. accountforit macrumors 6502a

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    Jan 22, 2014
    #19
    If that were true, the Pro wouldn't exist.
     
  20. whitedragon101 macrumors 6502a

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    Sep 11, 2008
    #20
    Anandtech benchmarks

    4k random read = Pro + 7% faster
    4k random write = Pro + 5% faster
    4k random write (QD32) = Evo + 0.001% faster
    128k Sequential Read = Evo 2% faster
    128k Sequential Write = Pro 2% faster

    Heres the interesting one. Anandtech run huge 49.8 million IO benchmark that covers a range of real world operations (file copy, compiling, photoshop, web-browsing etc). They call it the destroyer because it is so huge. Result :

    Samsung Pro = 142MB/s
    Samgung Evo = 268MB/s

    Which means real world the Evo was +48% faster . Nearly twice as fast as the Pro

    http://www.anandtech.com/show/7173/...w-120gb-250gb-500gb-750gb-1tb-models-tested/7


    There are different ways you can slice the performance depending on the benchmark but I'd say in practical terms its fair to say the Evo gives the same general level of performance as the Pro.

    The Pro is really there for 1 main reason MLC nand vs TLC nand. Some people still prefer MLC.
     
  21. RMXO macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2009
    #21
    Besides selling it and getting a new one. I would upgrade your RAM to at least 8GB or 16GB (if you want to max it out), upgrade the main HDD to a Samsung SSD as everyone has suggested and buy a HDD optibay from Amazon to reuse your old HDD if you want.
     
  22. accountforit macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2014
    #22
    This is pointless. Why does everyone think upgrading is a good option? Yes.....put more money into your old machine so you can lose more down the road. You can sell your old machine and apply the money you would have used to upgrade it. Then, you will be at the point of obtaining a new machine.

    Look at the ebay auctions. Most people are NOT recouping what they spent to upgrade old hard drives to SSD's. Storage space still trumps all to most people. You would be better off with a new machine that will be faster in every way.
     
  23. simonsi macrumors 601

    simonsi

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2014
    Location:
    Auckland
    #23
    I disagree, in this one-off period where you can take an HDD-based machine and upgrade to SSD you can achieve several update cycles of equivalent performance for the cost of the upgrade. Shortly new machines will be only shipping with SSD, then this opportunity will be gone.

    Your math doesn't stack up, my early-2011 upgrade cost approx US$150 so saving that cost and putting it towards a new one would not remotely even out, especially if you factor in the used value of HDD machines will tank.
     
  24. heisenberg123 macrumors 603

    heisenberg123

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2010
    Location:
    Hamilton, Ontario
    #24
    this makes no sense I would be lucky to get $900 for my early 2011 MBP with 1TB HDD and 16 GB of RAM

    I put an SSD in for $200 and an optibay for $10

    so lets say I did your route I would have $1100 for a new rMBP, I think I am at least $1000 short


    my MBP has no issues doing anything I do on a daily basis
     
  25. accountforit macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2014
    #25
    Really? That's funny. I have bought and sold 7 MBP's in the last 2 months so who would know the market...you or I? By the way, I am referring to the 13" model only.

    When you can buy a refurb 2013 rMBP with 8gb RAM and 256gb Flash for $1,269, it is pointless to put more money into a current machine to TRY to get the same performance. You are left with a heavier, thicker, older computer with inferior display and battery life. Also, no warranty.

    Realistically, a Samsung 840 Pro 256gb SSD can be had on ebay for $200. 8 gb of RAM for about $60. That is $260 total for the mathematically challenged.

    Let's say you can get $800 for your current machine. Would you rather have your old current machine with no warranty for essentially a total of $1,060, or a brand new current model that will stomp your old machine in every category for $300 more with tax. Most people pay a few hundred just to get a few extra years of warranty with Apple. In this example, you get a retina display, flash storage, current tech, longer battery life, lose weight and thickness, and a warranty for a few hundred. This seems like a no brainer.
     

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