Best OS for MBP Late 2011?

AppleRus

macrumors member
Original poster
Mar 23, 2014
53
9
Hi, I was wondering what os would work best on my mbp 2011? It has 4gb of ram, and 500gb hd? :)
 

keysofanxiety

macrumors G3
Nov 23, 2011
9,467
24,211
Swap the HDD for an SSD and it'll run the latest OS without any issues. If you're sticking with vanilla hardware, Mavericks (10.9) would be a decent shout, but the HDD is likely in the stages of failing from age alone — so I'd recommend an SSD upgrade anyway.

An SSD will vastly improve the performance and longevity of your machine.
 

Fishrrman

macrumors P6
Feb 20, 2009
17,152
5,517
Keys has it right in the post above.

The VERY FIRST STEP to extending the life of an older MBPro is to put an SSD into it.
This will give you more benefits than ANY recent version of the OS could. You won't understand this until you've done it.
 
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AppleRus

macrumors member
Original poster
Mar 23, 2014
53
9
Oh okay, yeah I was looking at some ssd's but they seem kinda expensive but if it means my mbp runs better then its probably worth it?! I'm currently running Sierra and my mbp seems to get hot at simple things and I see the beachball thing a lot too so I was thinking downgrading could help :/
 

keysofanxiety

macrumors G3
Nov 23, 2011
9,467
24,211
Oh okay, yeah I was looking at some ssd's but they seem kinda expensive but if it means my mbp runs better then its probably worth it?! I'm currently running Sierra and my mbp seems to get hot at simple things and I see the beachball thing a lot too so I was thinking downgrading could help :/
Your MBP would run better than new with an SSD. Heat can be helped by clearing up the fans from dust which is what you'd easily be able to do when you take the bottom off to fit an SSD.

Downgrading won't really help, and if it does you'll be on an earlier OS unable to run newer apps. As stated earlier the HDD is likely failing from age alone anyway. You can verify this by running SMART Utility: https://cloudfront.volitans-software.com/smartutility322.zip

But even if it passes, an SSD is highly recommended.
 

komatsu

macrumors 6502
Sep 19, 2010
472
34
Mavericks if you're going to stick with a mechanical disk.

Sierra if your going to install an SSD.
 

MrAverigeUser

macrumors 6502a
May 20, 2015
726
332
europe
I stayed a long time with Mountain Lion on our MBP 2011 and 2012. They have all SSDs (Samsung 840 and 850 EVO)
NO NEED AT ALL to buy a younger MBP than Model of 2012 as they got very fast with the SSD and you can still upgrade MBPs before Model 2013 yourself easily to SSD, install a new battery and (my recomendation) also upgrade your RAM to 8 GB (which does not cost much as well).
Upgraded to ElCapitan some months ago. El Capitan runs perfectly on our MBPs 2011 or 2012, even a MBP 2009 runs well with it ! You will be very happy with it.

My advice to protect your dGPU:

https://forums.macrumors.com/threads/force-2011-macbook-pro-8-2-with-failed-amd-gpu-to-always-use-intel-integrated-gpu-efi-variable-fix.2037591/page-5#post-24540278


.
 
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zarathu

macrumors 6502
May 14, 2003
274
46
No matter what system you use, an SSD will make a difference that you will not believe until you see it. Everything just opens instantly.
 
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MrAverigeUser

macrumors 6502a
May 20, 2015
726
332
europe
upgraded my 2011 and 2012 MBPs 2 months ago with OS Sierra - works very fine, no problems at all.
For me, they seem even to be faster on Sierra.

Using SSDs since years, having upgraded the RAM (8 or 16 GB) both MBP feel like new machines.
Works very fast and smooth.

Be aware of the fact, that after switching to Sierra your system will work for many hours depending on quantity of data - maybe even a whole day - as hell.
Don´t be desperated - this is normal and will stop once this initial reorganisation of the system has been finished.

2009 and 2010 MBPs are limited to ElCapitan. But they run flawlessly with ElCap...
 
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