Early 2011 Macbook Pro updates

hml

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jul 13, 2017
4
0
Hi all

My daughter is going off to college in the fall, and we are going to buy her a new Macbook Pro. The question is what to do with her existing early 2011 Macbook pro. According to Crucial, I could update the disk to an SSD and boost it from 8 to 16 Gbs of memory. The question is what kind of performance will I get out of the 2.3GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 processor and the Intel HD Graphics 3000. Has anyone upgraded one of these machines with an SSD? Will it be good enough for email and web surfing? Do people think this is worth doing?

Thanks
Howard
 

No. 44

macrumors member
Oct 29, 2016
96
251
Long gone
I also have an early 2011 MBP, and a few months ago I installed an SSD and 16 GB of memory. The improvement was amazing! I only wish I had upgraded a year or two ago. :)

IMO the 2011 is definitely worth keeping around.
 
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hml

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jul 13, 2017
4
0
I also have an early 2011 MBP, and a few months ago I installed an SSD and 16 GB of memory. The improvement was amazing! I only wish I had upgraded a year or two ago. :)

IMO the 2011 is definitely worth keeping around.
I also have an early 2011 MBP, and a few months ago I installed an SSD and 16 GB of memory. The improvement was amazing! I only wish I had upgraded a year or two ago. :)

IMO the 2011 is definitely worth keeping around.
Was it hard to install the SSD? Crucial's instructions seemed to mention some type of spacer. Did you need this? What SSD did you use?

Thanks again
Howard
 

Rhinoevans

macrumors 6502
Oct 5, 2012
399
57
Las Vegas, NV
I have the 2012 with upgraded Samsung 512 SSD ($160) and 16G Ram from OWC ($100). Amazing performance. I would like a new laptop but until I am no longer able to upgrade the OS with the 2012, I am keeping this one. I think 3-4 more years. And BTW I am not ready yet to give up all the ports (USB, TB, SD) for the new USB-C. Not against it but just like the flexibility of the ports and DIY user upgrade capability.
 

No. 44

macrumors member
Oct 29, 2016
96
251
Long gone
Was it hard to install the SSD? Crucial's instructions seemed to mention some type of spacer. Did you need this? What SSD did you use?
The SSD I have is a Samsung 850EVO (500 GB). A friend of mine put it in for me, but it certainly wasn't "brain surgery". I watched him install it, and my impression was that even I - a tech idiot - could have done it. There are a couple of videos on youtube that describe the installation quite thoroughly. I have no recollection of a "spacer".
 

TomH TX

macrumors regular
Oct 18, 2010
231
72
I have an early 2011 which I have had since it was new. About two years ago I substituted the Bluetooth card to the BTLE, and have been running CAT which lets me enjoy handoff and continuity which are not supposed to be available on these machines. About one year ago I upgraded from 8gb to 16gb of memory, and installed a Mushkin 1TB SSD. Not rocket science, but you do have to make a complete backup, swap the data, etc... Before you drop a bunch of money on yours, many of these early 2011's have suffered graphics issues, and the 2011's are NO longer supported by Apple, period.
 

Audit13

macrumors 601
Apr 19, 2017
4,386
1,103
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
I know the 15" versions had issues with the graphics but the i5 early 2011 13" use the Intel gpu rather than a discrete video chip. Haven't seen come across many posts where the 13" Intel video failed or had issues.
 

Appleuser4life60077

macrumors newbie
Oct 21, 2016
19
2
Skokie Illinois
I have a early 2011 15 inch macbook pro with suspected gpu issues and decided to try something with it before trying to get the board replaced. I put an ssd drive in a early 2009 white macbook i had laying around, took it to the local apple store... had them install 10.10.5 on it. brought it home took the ssd drive out of the macbook, and installed it in my early 2011 macbook pro and so far it is running perfect on the AMD chip. I looked in system preferences in the energy saver part and it shows that the automatic graphics switching is not enabled since the box for it is empty. it has been in use since noonish yesterday and have not had a issue with it yet. very happy with my alleged crazy brain storm i had on thursday night since i really like this macbook pro with the i7 processor and now with the ssd it seems even faster.
 

windows4ever

macrumors member
Aug 14, 2011
60
16
I owned a 2011 13" and the only reason I ditched it is the small screen resolution (1280 by 800). It's still fast enough to use as a web surfing machine in 2017, but all the better to hook it up to an external monitor when at home.

The 2.3GHz i5 has turbo boost and hyper-threading, so it is still a viable processor (unlike the older core2duo). The HD3000 graphics are speedy enough for web browsing. 16GB RAM upgrade is a waste of money if you're only doing e-mail/web. SSD absolutely recommended if you'll be using the machine a lot and the 2011 model has SATA 3 so you'll get the full speed of a SATA 3 SSD.
 

macTW

Suspended
Oct 17, 2016
1,405
1,963
Was it hard to install the SSD? Crucial's instructions seemed to mention some type of spacer. Did you need this? What SSD did you use?

Thanks again
Howard
I didn't use a spacer. It's because some SSD aren't big enough for the early 15" slot, so the spacer fits it.

I upgraded my early 2011 15" with an SSD and 16 GB RAM, and it's a solid machine. Could use better graphics and it gets warm, but that's it. Likely getting a new laptop within 2 years.
 

bbfc

macrumors 68040
Oct 22, 2011
3,128
678
Newcastle, England.
I have the Early-2011 13" MBP, which I bought brand new in September 2011. Recently upgraded to an SSD (Samsung 850 EVO) and it's made a HUGE difference. Might upgrade the RAM to 8GB, but an SSD will give you a more significant improvement. Bought the SSD off Amazon for £85 (bought a suitable screwdriver for £1 from Maplin), watched a YouTube video on how to install it. It was relatively easy.
 

ozreth

macrumors 65816
Nov 5, 2009
1,297
60
I'm on a mid 2010 13". Last year I added the Samsung 850 EVO SSD and upgraded to 8gb RAM and it's like a whole new machine. My daily use is mostly Office, web browsing, light photoshop and some old games. For what I do I don't notice any issues with performance. Apps are very snappy, startup time is very quick and I can get pretty heavy with the multi-tasking. You'll certainly get a few more years out of your 2011 if you do these upgrades.

Also, installing these things was extremely easy. Took me about 10 minutes with a youtube video. You will need a certain screwdriver for the SSD though.