Early 2011 Macbook Pro Getting Slow - RAM or SSD upgrade?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by dutch300zx, Jan 24, 2017.

  1. dutch300zx macrumors newbie

    Jan 24, 2017
    Hey everyone,

    My MacBook Pro (13-inch, Early 2011) has the following specs:
    • Processor: 2.7 GHz Intel Core i7
    • Memory: 4 GB 1333 MHz DDR3
    • Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 3000 384 MB
    • OS X El Capitan 10.11.6
    • Storage: 500 GB SATA Disk (357 GB free)
    The computer is bone stock, and over the past year or two has gotten slow and I'm getting to the point where I'm thinking about some upgrades to put some pep back into it. Quick research shows that a RAM and/or SSD upgrade will help speed things up, but I'd like some input on if either will actually help me in my case.

    I use the computer for very basic things, such as browsing internet (Google Chrome, I know it's a memory hog but I prefer it), spreadsheets, word processors, some video watching, etc. As an example, even with only two Chrome windows and 4-10 tabs open, along with Activity Monitor and a Finder window, the computer will slow down, pages will take a long time to load, the fan will get loud, and the case gets quite hot. I've attached two screenshots from Activity Monitor, which shows Memory Pressure often in the yellow, and sometimes (but much less often) in the red. I have also pasted an EtreCheck below.

    Based on Activity Monitor, it seems more RAM (2x4gb OWC) could help solve my problem, but I don't really know that much about computers. I do know that an SSD is always a nice upgrade, but am hoping I can slip by with only a RAM upgrade since it is significantly cheaper than a SSD. What are your thoughts? Thanks for any and all input![​IMG][​IMG]

    EtreCheck version: 3.1.5 (343)

    Report generated 2017-01-24 18:34:04

    Download EtreCheck from https://etrecheck.com

    Runtime 5:50

    Performance: Below Average

    Click the [Support] links for help with non-Apple products.
    Click the [Details] links for more information about that line.
    Click the [Remove] links to remove adware.

    Problem: Computer is too slow

    [Technical Specifications] - [User Guide] - [Warranty & Service]
    MacBook Pro - model: MacBookPro8,1
    1 2.7 GHz Intel Core i7 (i7-2620M) CPU: 2-core
    4 GB RAM Upgradeable - [Instructions]
    BANK 0/DIMM0
    2 GB DDR3 1333 MHz ok
    BANK 1/DIMM0
    2 GB DDR3 1333 MHz ok
    Bluetooth: Old - Handoff/Airdrop2 not supported
    Wireless: en1: 802.11 a/b/g/n
    Battery: Health = Normal - Cycle count = 1131

    [loaded] com.google.keystone.agent.plist (2017-01-13) [Support]
    [not loaded] com.oracle.java.Java-Updater.plist [Support]

    [running] com.adobe.ARMDC.SMJobBlessHelper.plist (2017-01-12) [Support]
    [loaded] com.google.keystone.daemon.plist (2017-01-23) [Support]
    [loaded] com.microsoft.office.licensing.helper.plist (2014-11-17) [Support]
    [not loaded] com.oracle.java.Helper-Tool.plist [Support]

    ~/Library/Application Support/Spotify/SpotifyWebHelper
    [loaded] com.bittorrent.uTorrent.plist (2016-07-08) Adware! [Support] - /Applications/HTC Sync Manager.app/Contents/Resources/HSMMonitor.app/Contents/MacOS/HSMMonitor: Executable not found!
    [running] com.spigot.ApplicationManager.plist (2016-12-28) Adware! [Support]
    [loaded] com.valvesoftware.steamclean.plist (2016-07-19) [Support]

    AdobePDFViewer: 15.023.20056 - SDK 10.11 (2017-01-19) [Support]
    Default Browser: 601 - SDK 10.11 (2016-08-30)
    SharePointBrowserPlugin: 14.7.0 - SDK 10.6 (2016-12-04) [Support]
    Google Earth Web Plug-in: 7.1 (2016-08-19) [Support]
    Silverlight: 5.1.20513.0 - SDK 10.6 (2013-08-22) [Support]
    DirectorShockwave: 11.6.3r633 (2012-01-19) [Support]
    iPhotoPhotocast: 7.0 - SDK 10.8 (2013-04-22)

    http://safariadblock.com (2014-08-11)

    Time Machine:
    Time Machine not configured!

    Top Processes by CPU:
    113% Google Chrome Helper(8)
    33% Google Chrome
    10% WindowServer
    4% coreaudiod
    4% kernel_task

    Top Processes by Memory:
    1.17 GB Google Chrome Helper(8)
    462 MB kernel_task
    332 MB Google Chrome
    86 MB mdworker(8)
    25 MB WindowServer

    Virtual Memory Information:
    360 MB Available RAM
    16 MB Free RAM
    3.65 GB Used RAM
    344 MB Cached files
    1.13 GB Swap Used

    Diagnostics Information:

    Jan 23, 2017, 05:48:44 PM /Library/Logs/DiagnosticReports/App Store_2017-01-23-174844_[redacted].hang

    /Applications/App Store.app/Contents/MacOS/App Store
  2. mrkenta macrumors newbie


    Oct 26, 2016
    Tokyo, Japan
    Definitely get an SSD. I have the same exact model you are using and have gone through the same thing. But, after migrating to a SSD drive it felt like I had a brand new machine again. Getting a RAM upgrade to 8GB wouldn't hurt either;) (Please do backup everything before you migrate though)
  3. tubeexperience, Jan 24, 2017
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2017

    tubeexperience macrumors 68040

    Feb 17, 2016
  4. capathy21 macrumors 65816


    Jun 16, 2014
    Houston, Texas
    If you can only do one, do SSD. If you can do ram too, it will be like a brand new machine.
  5. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 604

    Oct 24, 2013
    SSD is always the best choice especially as the slow down is probably down to a dying hard drive, they last around 5years in a laptop on average.

    Of course more ram will help and 8gb is pretty standard these days, but the SSD will help ram issues too due to being much faster when the system pages to disk.
  6. bbfc macrumors 68030


    Oct 22, 2011
    Newcastle Great Park, England.
    I’m just installed a Samsung EVO 850 SSD in my early 2011 MacBook Pro and I so wish I had done this years ago. Such a huge difference. Will update the RAM soon but the SSD has made such a dramatic difference. So easy to install too. £85 well spent!

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