Early 2011 MacBook Pro worth $500?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Ak907Freerider, Aug 22, 2014.

  1. Ak907Freerider macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2012
    #1
    Hello Iam new to the laptop end of macs and found what seems like a good deal. It is a early 2011 15-inch MacBook Pro. Has the 2.2i7 processor, 4gb ram and a 750gb hardrive. I currently own a top spec bto 27 inch iMac and Iam looking for something for when I'm not at home. So it would be used more for light editing hd video work and raw photo stuff. The wife also wants a laptop for basic word processing. I do like the MacBook airs but I could put a ssd in place of the optical drive and add 16gb of ram for same price of a air. So what you guys think $500 a fair deal, it looks flawless only two slight dings on top case.
     
  2. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #2
    As a starting point, you can check Mac2Sell, eBay (including completed sales), and Amazon for prices of similar models, to get an idea of what a reasonable price may be. Then adjust the price to account for condition, configuration, remaining AppleCare coverage (if any), etc. You can also check the Apple refurbished store to see what similar models are selling for.
     
  3. SDAVE macrumors 68040

    SDAVE

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2007
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    Nowhere
    #3
    Yes worth it. Drop in an SSD and that thing is a beast.
     
  4. Ak907Freerider thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Apr 19, 2012
    #4
    Iam seeing a lot of reports of graphic card failures this has me somewhat worried. It has no warranty. Also if I do put a ssd in it would run at sata II speeds correct? If so which is best setup leave hdd where it is now and pull optical drive replace with ssd? Or? It doesn't need to be blazing fast but Iam used to a 1tb fusion in my iMac. So if it is somewhat on par I would be happy.
     
  5. mojito macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2014
    #5
    Yeah, I have the same version and I'm really doubting that I'll be able to sell it used anywhere. I think I'm going to try and run it into the ground as is. If I can go without replacing the battery, SSD, or adding RAM, and make it run for awhile longer, I'll be a happy man. Up to you really, but these well-known GPU issues as of late will probably make it a hard sell.
     
  6. Ak907Freerider thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2012
    #6
    Ha great now you got me worried! Don't want a $500 paperweight. I'm not so psyched about the 5400 rpm hdd that's for sure
     
  7. venom600 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2003
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    #7
    To give you some perspective, Microcenter has that exact machine (used) on sale for about a grand right now.
     
  8. g35 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2007
    #8
    It's a good deal, a base 13" 2011 should be like 550-650 right now and you get upgraded screen size, processor and HD. But a 15" MacBook Pro is big and heavy and maybe not the best choice for portability. It's fine to set on a desk though.
     
  9. Gallion macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2011
    #9
    Do NOT buy it!
    These laptops have issues! That's probably why it's so cheap!
    http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1767261

    ----------

    Actually, no. The SSD I put in mine runs at full SATA III speed in the main bay. It's the optical bay that runs at SATA II speeds.
     
  10. iBook_Clamshell macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2013
    Location:
    Wisconsin
    #10
    I am trying to get a 2012-2013 13" MBP Retina for about $350-$400, but maybe I'm just nuts.
     
  11. Ak907Freerider thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2012
    #11
    So I have researched this issue with the early 2011 models. I think it is still worth taking a chance on. At $500 even if it bricks the resale on a bricked 2011 is still close to $500, so wouldn't be to big of a risk. I would hope it wouldn't happen. Also kind of sad apple won't recognize this issue, but it could be a small percentage of macbook pros it is affecting. So guess I will roll the dice and get it for $500. Hope it works out! Picking up Monday
     
  12. thetechfixer macrumors 6502

    thetechfixer

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    Apr 21, 2010
    Location:
    Canada
    #12
    DO NOT GET IT, There are many graphics issues.
     
  13. Ak907Freerider thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Apr 19, 2012
    #13
    We'll from what I've seen a bricked 2011 MacBook Pro sells for $500-600. So even if it bricks I can get my money back. Also if I insure it and it bricks I can get @$1000 for it and put it towards something else. I had a 2011 iMac with about the same specs iMac was slightly faster and it worked great. Anyhow time will tell with it. It won't be used very often since we have the top spec 27-inch iMac for use at home.
     
  14. Brian33 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2008
    Location:
    USA (Virginia)
    #14
    I have the Early 2011 MBP with a 2.3 GHz Core i7 and the Apple 256 GB SSD. I purchased it from the Apple refurbished store. I've read about, and am certainly worried about, the graphics card failures, but so far I haven't had a problem.

    $500 does seem like a good price -- I'd probably be willing to take that gamble, too.

    My understanding (which may be incomplete, misleading, or totally incorrect) is that the problem may be related to heat buildup, and that even after the problem has "settled in", the computer works OK with the integrated graphics. You can specify which graphics to use if you install gfxCardStatus. Unfortunately one can only specify this after bootup, so that if the graphics card fails so badly you can't boot, you're stuck.

    It seems to me that a cautious owner may want to use the integrated graphics whenever possible (it almost always does the job, in my experience), especially when a high load (=high heat) is expected.

    I've worked mine hard for periods of around an hour transcoding videos, and haven't (yet!?) had a problem, but I'd hesitate to keep it really hot for longer periods...
     
  15. Ak907Freerider thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2012
    #15
    True. I plan on using my iMac for any heavy editing work. This will be more for basic work. So not to worried about it. Now if it were my only comp and needed it for heavy work then yes would be a bad call. Also if I use the intell video card not the bigger card can it play 720p movies ok? Would be nice to use to movies
     
  16. Brian33 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2008
    Location:
    USA (Virginia)
    #16
    I just used gfxCardStatus to set to "Integrated Only" and used the "Intel HD Graphics 3000" to play a 720p mkv file movie with VLC, both windowed and fullscreen -- no problem. I also played a YouTube video (ostensibly 1080p) in Firefox fullscreen with no problem.

    I'm currently on vacation and don't have ready access to any other video files to try, but I don't think there will be a problem watching movies with the integrated graphics.

    (By the way, if it wasn't clear, I also have the 15" model... forgot to say that earlier.)
     
  17. Ak907Freerider, Aug 25, 2014
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2014

    Ak907Freerider thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2012
    #17
    Nice see this will be perfect. I also checked the apple recycle program and they offered a $544 gift card. So if I hate it just swap for a new model.

    UPDATE: Well I went ahead and bought the macbook pro and yes it is not flawless. Has a few nicks here and there on the outside, but nothing I wouldn't have done if I would it since 2011. The HDD is kinda slow compared to what Im used to with the PCIE HDD in my iMac. But I love how this is the last Macbook Pro you can actually work on. Change HDD, ram, battery etc. I plan on upgrading to a SSD and 16gb of ram. Just debating on how big of a SSD I want to throw in. Also if it is worth doing the Fusion drive with the stock 750gb 5400 rpm HDD. I think if I go for the Fusion I will upgrade to a 1tb 7200 rpm HDD with a 256gb SSD. Or if I leave stock HDD in get a bigger 512gb SSD. Choices choices. Either way hope it holds up and don't run into the problems many seem to be having with the logic board/gpu. Any thoughts or suggestions on what a good SSD/HDD upgrade from users would be appreciated!
     
  18. Ak907Freerider thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2012
    #18
    Well its been running like a champ did some HD editing today in Final Cut X had no problems. I did my upgrade today and bought 16gb ram, went with the 1600mHz heard the 2.2 i7 model supports it so why not. Even if it actually running at 1333 Mhz it is no big deal, cost was the same. I ended up going with a Samsung 840 Evo 250gb SSD and she flys now. I will be ordering the data doubler from OWC and putting the 750gb stock 5400RPM HDD in the optical bay. I will also be doing a DIY Fusion drive with the two. All in all great machine and hope it holds up. Thanks for all the input and advice!
     
  19. dollystereo macrumors 6502a

    dollystereo

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2004
    Location:
    France
    #19
    It's a great machine, I have the same setup.
    Just crossing my fingers to not have the Radeon problem
     
  20. Brian33 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2008
    Location:
    USA (Virginia)
    #20
    Thanks for the update -- good to hear what you decided. If you go with the DIY Fusion drive I think you will be happy. I base this statement on my experience running a DIY Fusion drive on my old Early 2008 iMac, which has been just great -- reliable and speedy.

    I got my Early 2011 Macbook Pro with a factory SSD, but it's always been my expectation that I'd pull out the optical drive and create a DIY Fusion drive when I feel like I need more internal storage!

    Good luck to you and I hope we all have some of the non-failing GPU MBPros!
     
  21. Ak907Freerider thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2012
    #21
    Ya I'm not worried about the gpu. Really I think odds are better of a hdd failure or my 1yr old breaking it. Plus I plan on using my macbook in the woods at our fish camp in alaska. So more likely a drop or water damage will probably do my macbook in. This is why I bought used for cheap and upgraded for cheap to. Total upgrade cost $280 for ssd and 16gb ram. Cheapest refurbished macbook today is @1500, I'm only in $780. And if it craps out ill just find another used one. Now if this was my primary comp I would buy a new one. But it's not so who cares
     

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