Can I add an SSD drive to my late 2011 13 inch MacBook Pro?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by moviemaykr, Feb 3, 2014.

  1. moviemaykr macrumors newbie

    Jan 30, 2014
    Also if I can do it whats the best brand that would work with my laptop. I'm thinking of getting a 120 or 250 gig drive. I mostly use the Adobe Creative Cloud for video editing DSLR footage and editing photos.
    I'm in the Los Angeles area so if anyone knows of a good local place that works on Macs please feel free to share.
  2. ionjohn macrumors 65816


    Jun 5, 2013
    Yeah you can, back in 2011, i replaced the HDD off my mbp 13 2011 for a vertex 3 SSD, sata 3 compatible. Went from 100 to 500 haha
  3. moviemaykr thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 30, 2014
    Thanks guys for the good advice!

    I went to Fry's Electronics and found out they will install the SSD into my 2011 Mac laptop for a flat fee of $70, which is way less than the other stores.
  4. disasterdrone macrumors 6502

    Aug 31, 2013
    Sure - that may be ok, depending on your comfort level. It's a 5 minute job with a couple of screwdrivers though.
  5. ionjohn macrumors 65816


    Jun 5, 2013
    Save some money, get some knowledge, do it yourself, it's pretty easy.
  6. simonsi macrumors 601


    Jan 3, 2014
    Even fun! And you will know how to swap it out later (for a bigger one or to move to another MBP etc etc).
  7. disasterdrone macrumors 6502

    Aug 31, 2013
    iFixit has step by step pictures and instructions.
  8. Intelligent macrumors 6502a


    Aug 7, 2013

    Yeah you can trade the optical drive for an SSD too, that a good solution alt east for me :D
  9. glenthompson macrumors 68000


    Apr 27, 2011
    Better to spend the $70 on a larger SSD than paying someone to install it. The Ifixit instructions are very clear and easy to follow. I will admit that I had a local Apple service center install a SSD in my wife's iMac as the instructions were a bit beyond my comfort level.

    If you're doing photo work, I think you're going to find a 120GB SSD limiting. Consider at least a 256.
  10. moviemaykr thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 30, 2014
    Yes you guys are totally right!

    I have watched a few videos on the process and it is fairly simple. I will try it myself. I think I will reload from disk Snow Leopard then upgrade to the present OS.
    Also the only programs I want on my drive really is the Adobe CC that I have a subscription to. Since my laptop has a thunderbolt port I can now edit off a that type external drive.

    Is the SAMSUNG 840 Pro Series MZ-7PD256BW 2.5" 256GB the best drive for me in regards to being better for the near future? I have heard the next step done from Samsung is almost as good for a cheaper price.
  11. Fishrrman macrumors G5


    Feb 20, 2009
    Just a bit of advice...

    If you're going to do the job yourself, be sure you have the right tools -- screwdriver, torx driver if required, etc.

    The heads of the small screws can be easily stripped by using the wrong size tools.


    It might help to "prep" the new drive BEFORE you do the drive swap.

    I'd suggest a USB3/SATA docking station, which you can get for less than $25. You can see these on amazon by entering "usb3 sata dock" into the search box. They're backward-compatible with USB2.

    Easiest way to prep the drive:
    - Put it into the dock
    - Initialize with Disk Utility
    - Download CarbonCopyCloner (free to download and use for 30 days)
    - Use CCC to clone the contents of the internal drive to the docked (new) drive
    - Do a "test boot" to be sure it boots (restart, and hold down option key until startup manager appears, select new drive and hit return)
    - If the test boot is good, and things look as you wish, NOW it's time to do the drive swap...
    - You can use the dock and old drive for backup or archiving afterwards...
  12. mmomega macrumors demi-god


    Dec 30, 2009
    DFW, TX
    It is a very simple process and I would totally save that $70 because it is indeed that easy to swap theHDD out for an SSD.
    Also here is a link to iFixit showing every step and it is basically removing some screws, taking off the bottom plate, disconnecting the HDD connector and removing the HDD and repeat the process installing the SSD.

    I would go with a Samsung 840 Pro personally, some folks like the Samsung EVO SSD's because they are a little cheaper for the size.
    EVO = quick
    PRO = very quick

    but compared to a HDD everything you do is going to seem lightning fast no matter which drive you choose.
  13. moviemaykr thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 30, 2014
    Thanks for the good advice Fishrrman,

    but since my wife will be doing most of the editing I want to give her a clean start and to be honest I have quite a few programs on my old drive that I don't want to be on the new drive. I have 450 gigs of stuff on my 500 gig internal now.
    I really want to just add some ram and get the 256 gig ssd drive with the new MAC OS and Adobe Creative Suite, with maybe some other programs like VLC, ClipWrap, Storyboard Quick, Final Draft and Plural Eyes.

    I personally will eventually get the same done to my 2010 iMac as well.
  14. ecschwarz macrumors 65816


    Jun 28, 2010
    The 840 Pro is well-liked on here, as is its cheaper relative, the 840 Evo - either should be good for your needs and the installation is easy. Just make sure that once you get it set up and installed, you enable TRIM ( This is enabled by default for Apple-branded SSDs, but not for third-party ones. The easiest way to do this is with one of the tools out there - I like TRIM Enabler, but others enjoy Chameleon SSD Optimizer - they patch OS X to enable TRIM for all SSDs. Keep in mind you will have to run this each time you update your OS (10.9->10.9.1), but neither app needs to be running at all times.

    I also recommend turning off local Time Machine (where Time Machine writes changes to a file on your boot disk until you actually connect your backup drive), as it can quickly burn up space, turning off the sudden motion sensor (this will save on battery use, since the SSD doesn't need to be shut off with motion), and turning off the sleep image (more to save space and sleep quicker - the downside is that your Mac acts like "the old days" where your RAM isn't backed up during sleep).
  15. moviemaykr thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 30, 2014
    Here is what I went with for my 2011 Macbook Pro

    After reading all your suggestions, I ended up going to Best Buy where they matched internet prices and the SSD was already on sale.
    So I bought the tool kit that is needed for the screws and some stuff on the inside.
    Then I bought 16GB of Corsair Vengeance laptop memory (2 x 8gb)
    which was about $162 and then I bought the Samsung 840 EVO 250GB Internal Serial ATA III, which cost about $154, instead of about $230 for the Samsung Pro Series 256GB.
    I think it will be easier in the long run for me since I don't want to clone my drive. I want to start fresh with just the OS and Adobe Creative Suite. I will keep the old drive just in case anything goes wrong of the SSD. I'm excited to see the performance upgrade of Adobe Premiere Pro and Photoshop as well.

Share This Page