Early 2011 MacBook Pro upgrading RAM or SSD

Sluggyman

macrumors member
Original poster
Sep 28, 2011
35
0
Hey Guys,

I'm looking to upgrade some parts of my early 2011 base model MBP, shall I upgrade my 500GB hard drive to a 256GB SSD or should I upgrade to 16GB of RAM from 4GB. Which do you think will make the most difference?

Just so you know I use it for the following:
I do quite a lot in programs like Photoshop, Flash and things like that for School.
Sometimes I have a little game on my Bootcamp partition. (Games like Mount and Blade :D, SWTOR and then I also have steam on my Lion side which L4D2 and TF2)

Thanks :D
The Slug
 

Zwikker

macrumors regular
May 28, 2012
129
0
Morgantown, WV
I'm thinkin about doing both at the same time. Just don't know how to do it :D
Hey Guys,

I'm looking to upgrade some parts of my early 2011 base model MBP, shall I upgrade my 500GB hard drive to a 256GB SSD or should I upgrade to 16GB of RAM from 4GB. Which do you think will make the most difference?

Just so you know I use it for the following:
I do quite a lot in programs like Photoshop, Flash and things like that for School.
Sometimes I have a little game on my Bootcamp partition. (Games like Mount and Blade :D, SWTOR and then I also have steam on my Lion side which L4D2 and TF2)

Thanks :D
The Slug
 

panzer06

macrumors 68040
Sep 23, 2006
3,025
82
Kilrath
Hey Guys,

I'm looking to upgrade some parts of my early 2011 base model MBP, shall I upgrade my 500GB hard drive to a 256GB SSD or should I upgrade to 16GB of RAM from 4GB. Which do you think will make the most difference?

Just so you know I use it for the following:
I do quite a lot in programs like Photoshop, Flash and things like that for School.
Sometimes I have a little game on my Bootcamp partition. (Games like Mount and Blade :D, SWTOR and then I also have steam on my Lion side which L4D2 and TF2)

Thanks :D
The Slug
Do both. Upgrading to 8GB is cheap. The SSD drives are finally at or below $1 per GB. SSD boots boot time immensely as well as any application that has frequent disk access.

Cheers,
 

IngerMan

macrumors 65816
Feb 21, 2011
1,351
313
Michigan
Hey Guys,

I'm looking to upgrade some parts of my early 2011 base model MBP, shall I upgrade my 500GB hard drive to a 256GB SSD or should I upgrade to 16GB of RAM from 4GB. Which do you think will make the most difference?

Just so you know I use it for the following:
I do quite a lot in programs like Photoshop, Flash and things like that for School.
Sometimes I have a little game on my Bootcamp partition. (Games like Mount and Blade :D, SWTOR and then I also have steam on my Lion side which L4D2 and TF2)

Thanks :D
The Slug
Slug,

I have the same model. I don't think the 2.0 Quad will utilize 16gb of ram, it has to be 2.2 or higher. It may show it has 16gb but I don't think it will use it? I read this in former posts.

I bought mine refurbished in February and had a Crucial M4 256 GB and Crucial 4x2 Gb of ram. Coming from a MBA no way did I want the spinning disk. It's a powerfull machine and I am very pleased with the results. I usually have 4gb or more of free ram.
 

Sluggyman

macrumors member
Original poster
Sep 28, 2011
35
0
Slug,

I have the same model. I don't think the 2.0 Quad will utilize 16gb of ram, it has to be 2.2 or higher. It may show it has 16gb but I don't think it will use it? I read this in former posts.

I bought mine refurbished in February and had a Crucial M4 256 GB and Crucial 4x2 Gb of ram. Coming from a MBA no way did I want the spinning disk. It's a powerfull machine and I am very pleased with the results. I usually have 4gb or more of free ram.
I upgraded to a 1x8 and a 1x2 so 10GB in total, I know its good to have 2 of the same but it is enough and allows me to upgrade in the future if needed (Also a singe 8 was cheaper than 2x4 :p). When I have everything running I have around 5.5GB free. I am now looking for like a decent priced sad.
 

IngerMan

macrumors 65816
Feb 21, 2011
1,351
313
Michigan
I upgraded to a 1x8 and a 1x2 so 10GB in total, I know its good to have 2 of the same but it is enough and allows me to upgrade in the future if needed (Also a singe 8 was cheaper than 2x4 :p). When I have everything running I have around 5.5GB free. I am now looking for like a decent priced sad.
After looking at the intel spec sheets for our processor, I mis quoted. Our machine will handle 16GB of ram per the specification sheet. The difference between the i7 Quad 2.0 and 2.2 and higher, 2.0 will run 16GB up to 1333 mhz and the 2.2 and higher will handle the later up to 1600 mhz
 

TriforceStig

macrumors newbie
Sep 2, 2013
2
0
Copenhagen, Denmark
I bought mine refurbished in February and had a Crucial M4 256 GB and Crucial 4x2 Gb of ram. Coming from a MBA no way did I want the spinning disk. It's a powerfull machine and I am very pleased with the results. I usually have 4gb or more of free ram.
I purchased the exact same SSD for my MBP early 2011. I have updated the firmware and installed the drive, but i get the "spinning wheel of annoyance" all the time. Did you experience similar problems?
 

yusukeaoki

macrumors 68030
Mar 22, 2011
2,550
6
Tokyo, Japan
Both.
With what you do, 4GB isnt enough.
Maybe 8GB would do, but I recommend 16GB.

SSD would create the most difference with application start up.
RAM would help you multitask more.
 

johnnylarue

macrumors 6502a
Aug 20, 2013
705
23
Both.
With what you do, 4GB isnt enough.
Maybe 8GB would do, but I recommend 16GB.

SSD would create the most difference with application start up.
RAM would help you multitask more.
I second this. Upgrade to at least 8GB RAM (I'd go all out with 16GB, personally). And buy the biggest SSD you can afford. I was able to get a new 512GB Crucial M4 on eBay for about $350 shipped a year ago.

The RAM will help a lot, but the SSD will make your computer feel like 2013 model. The boost in responsiveness over the stock drive is astounding.
 

had0ukenn

macrumors member
Sep 1, 2013
78
0
Hey, ill just give my input since i myself have an early 2011 mbp.

the only modifications ive done is to go from 4 gb ram to 16 gb ram. After that transition, i was able to have multiple programs open at once with no lag whatsoever. I do this a lot for my classes, having powerpoints, word documents, pdfs and safari browser with multiple tabs running at once.

If youre looking, amazon was selling 16 gb crucial for $108 shipped. I just recently bought a 512 gb samsung 840 pro ssd, cant wait to install it.
 

yusukeaoki

macrumors 68030
Mar 22, 2011
2,550
6
Tokyo, Japan
The most upgrade you can do to a early 2011 is
16GB RAM (13in) or 32GB RAM (15/17in)
Optibay with 512GB SSD
512GB SSD in main bay RAID0 with optibay

With this setup, you would be able to use your Mac for another 3+ years
 

thermodynamic

Suspended
May 3, 2009
1,340
1,192
USA
Hey Guys,

I'm looking to upgrade some parts of my early 2011 base model MBP, shall I upgrade my 500GB hard drive to a 256GB SSD or should I upgrade to 16GB of RAM from 4GB. Which do you think will make the most difference?

Just so you know I use it for the following:
I do quite a lot in programs like Photoshop, Flash and things like that for School.
Sometimes I have a little game on my Bootcamp partition. (Games like Mount and Blade :D, SWTOR and then I also have steam on my Lion side which L4D2 and TF2)

Thanks :D
The Slug
RAM first. Photoshop files eat up RAM for breakfast.

I later did get a SSD for mine, and get one that has TRIM-like algorithms built-into the SSD's hardware since OS X requires mods to enable software-based TRIM for non Apple-logo SSDs (Apple's recent history showing an increasing desire for total control over customer experience, which is good or bad depending on one's viewpoint.)
 

Krazy Bill

macrumors 68030
Dec 21, 2011
2,985
3
You guys responding to the OP realize he's probably already upgraded after 14 months, right? :D
 
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