Good upgrade from an Early 2011 MBP

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by bigpoppamac31, Jul 29, 2014.

  1. bigpoppamac31 macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2007
    Location:
    Canada
    #1
    I've been looking at this model in the Apple refurb store. Would this be a good upgrade from an Early 2011 MBP?? http://store.apple.com/ca/product/G...-26ghz-dual-core-intel-i5-with-retina-display ... I've been hearing about this "radeongate" issue and although I haven't experienced any symptoms myself I'd rather not go through it if possible.

    Here are my current specs.

    MBP (early 2011)
    15" hi-res antiglare display (1680 x 1050)
    2.0Ghz quad core i7
    8GB ram
    500GB SSD Samsung EVO 840 (upgrade)
    256MB AMD 6490M graphics
    Intel HD3000 512MB (shared)
    FW800
    Thunderbolt
    USB2

    Boot up and shut down are very speedy. Usually 10 seconds or less. Apps open with one or maybe two icon bounces in the dock. Yet I'm still itching to get a new Mac. Most likely a new MBP. But if or when I do I still can't decide on either the 13" or 15". I'm keeping an eye on the Apple refurb store in case a nicely spec'd 15" shows up with a dedicated GPU as a bonus. I'd most likely never really use the dGPU but for a bit of "future proofing" it'd be nice to have in a few years. But I'd still like to know if there is a big difference in performance between the Iris and Iris Pro iGPU. I've played around with both the 13" and 15" in the Apple store and I really like the 13". I don't usually do more than day to day stuff like web browsing, email, music listening and such. I'm not a gamer but I do have Sim City 4 Deluxe on my Mac. Would that MBP be a good choice?? I'd be light enough to take anywhere and I could dock it at home with an external display.
     
  2. MTL18 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2013
    #2
    Here are two opposite answers, one is what I suspect you want to hear and the other is what I would do.

    1) Yes. Technically better machine in every avenue.

    2) Not worth the upgrade. You have a great computer.
     
  3. bigpoppamac31 thread starter macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2007
    Location:
    Canada
    #3
    So I should keep the one I have instead of upgrade? If the new one is "technically better in every avenue" why is it not a worthwhile upgrade? I guess I'm just worried about this "radeongate" I keep hearing about. Also the other question I keep asking but no one seems to want to answer is whether there is a big performance difference between Iris and Iris Pro. I'd have no issue getting a 15" rMBP if Iris Pro is a decent gain over Iris. I know both are better than the HD3000. When I do upgrade it's either gonna be a new MBP or maybe an iMac. I actually never take my Mac anywhere so maybe an iMac would be better. I'd go with a Mini but Apple doesn't seem to want to upgrade that any time soon.
     
  4. MTL18 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2013
    #4
    Just because it is technically better, doesn't mean it requires an update, but that is a personal decision. I would keep your laptop. You're considering upgrading a modified 2011 computer for a 2013 computer. There will be some people that say 2 years is a sufficient upgrade window, and others that say you would be better serviced riding this out until upgrades such as broadwell, DDR4 and others make their way into laptops.

    I run a 2008 laptop that I am replacing soon, so for me, a 2 year window is way too short. My iOS devices are run for longer than 24 months which is why my opinion was to keep it.
     
  5. bigpoppamac31 thread starter macrumors 68000

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    #5
    Yeah I get that. I had a black Macbook (late 2006) which lasted me until this one in 2011. I still use an iPhone 4S but I wouldn't mind getting the iPhone "6" when it comes out. Like I said the "radeongate" issue seems to worry me. But I also know my brother could use a newer Mac cause he's using the black MB I had before this. I'd give him this one when I get a new one.
     
  6. kappaknight macrumors 68000

    kappaknight

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2009
    #6
    The answer is the same as it always has been:

    If you need it, upgrade. If you don't, wait.

    I too have an early 2011 MBP and I also put an SSD in it. It works beautifully... but sadly, it won't be able to do Handoff when iOS8/Yosemite comes out. I'm upgrading because I believe it will improve my workflow and make me more productive. I honestly don't care about the exact specs because I'm sure it's already an improvement in every way. (i.e. weight, size, battery, HD speed, wifi speed, RAM speed, etc.) Also, I know I will upgrade again in a few years to something better than all of this - the cycle never ends.
     
  7. saturnotaku macrumors 68000

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    Mar 4, 2013
    #7
    If your current machine does everything you ask of it, there's no reason to upgrade. If and when Radeongate hits, it would cost no more than $200-250 to get it re-balled and re-pasted. That's potentially a lot cheaper than what it would cost to sell your 2011 and buy the 2013.
     
  8. ayasinsk macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2008
    #8
    I updated from an early 11 13" pro to a 13 "13 retina with 256/8gb. I thought about it for a while. I considered upgrading the hard drive and waiting another year for 2015 MacBooks but said screw it and pulled the trigger last week. I have a buddy who purchased my old macbook so didn't have to deal with eBay. Battery is considerably better, boot/load time is insanely fast, iris is so much better than hd3000. So for me it was worth it. Plus there is a slight price drop this week and since I purchased it recently I'll be getting a $85 credit back from apple. Did have to call them though.
     
  9. bigpoppamac31 thread starter macrumors 68000

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    Aug 16, 2007
    Location:
    Canada
    #9
    Well truth be told I don't need to upgrade. But my brother works at the Apple store here and he could get me a good deal on a now previous gen MBP (late 2013). If I bought a new one I would give him mine current one cause he really wants a new(er) Mac. He has my old black Macbook (late 2006) now. But it can't even run ML let alone Mavericks or Yosemite. The frustrating part is that in the process I'd sacrifice the potential of getting my first car. It's something I'd like to have and feel I'm close to getting. Just need to regain my drivers license. Guess a part of me is willing to make that sacrifice.

    ----------

    It would be nice to upgrade but I'm not sure I can do it right now or if I even need to.
     
  10. yjchua95 macrumors 604

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2011
    Location:
    GVA, KUL, MEL (current), ZQN
    #10
    The problem is, when Radeongate hits your Mac, it's too costly to repair it (it requires a new logic board, which doesn't guarantee a complete fix because all the Sandy Bridge boards with the Radeon GPU have the same manufacturing flaw which causes Radeongate to occur again).
     
  11. bigpoppamac31 thread starter macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2007
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    Canada
    #11
    How costly would it be?? As I mentioned above I think my money would be better spent acquiring my first car. Getting my first car has been a long time in coming and I feel really close to achieving that goal. How big is this "radeongate" issue anyway?? I've never had any major issues with any Macs I've owned in my life.
     
  12. saturnotaku, Jul 29, 2014
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2014

    saturnotaku macrumors 68000

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    #12
    It doesn't require a new logic board. The GPU can be re-balled and thermal paste re-applied (correctly) for a bit more than half of what Apple would charge for a flat-rate replacement that you rightly say will inevitably fail again.

    Radeongate has the potential to affect every single AMD-equipped 2011 Mac. The root cause is the lead-free solder used to join the GPU to the logic board. The heating and cooling cycles that occur cause the solder to weaken, resulting in separation. I would say your MBP is less likely to experience this problem because the Radeon 6490M is not a powerful GPU and would not run as hot under stress as the 6750M and 6770M found in other models. That doesn't mean you're immune, though.

    As I said before, it is possible to have the GPU "re-balled" with good solder. Further, a proper application of thermal paste will help keep temperatures under control. Again, as previously mentioned, the procedure can run in the realm of $250 or less. I'm sure there are places in Canada that can do this sort of thing. Many can be found selling their services on eBay of all places, so I would start there. Otherwise, you could do a Google search for re-balling in your local area.
     
  13. yjchua95 macrumors 604

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    Apr 23, 2011
    Location:
    GVA, KUL, MEL (current), ZQN
    #13
    Yup, I neglected to mention that.

    I had my GPU reballed after Radeongate, and also had the thermal paste on the CPU and GPU reapplied.

    But reballers don't exist everywhere.
     
  14. bigpoppamac31 thread starter macrumors 68000

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    Canada
    #14
    Well I'm pretty sure my dGPU rarely gets used cause I rarely if ever do anything graphically intensive. I'm always using the Intel HD3000. I probably don't have much to worry about at this point.
     
  15. saturnotaku macrumors 68000

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    Mar 4, 2013
    #15
    If you want to be absolutely sure, install Gfxcardstatus. It's a program that allows you to force the iGPU all the time. Unfortunately, the way the software is designed, you would need to do this every time you reboot the computer as it defaults back to dynamic switching, but it's the easiest solution if you want to avoid using the dGPU.
     
  16. bigpoppamac31 thread starter macrumors 68000

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    Aug 16, 2007
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    #16
    I'll try that App and see how it goes. I had it a long time ago but got rid of it.
     
  17. saturnotaku macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2013
    #17
    Considering the OP is from Canada, I don't think he will have a hard time finding a place. Even factoring in shipping, the cost of re-balling should still come in well under what Apple wants for a replacement logic board.
     

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