Help with upgrades/speed for late 2011 Macbook Pro

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by mljmaui, Mar 3, 2015.

  1. mljmaui macrumors newbie

    Mar 3, 2015
    Hi All - newbie here... hoping for some advice.
    I have a late 2011 Macbook pro, 15". The processor is 2.5 GHzIntel core i7, it has 4 GB memory, 750 GB SATA disk. It runs very slowly, iTunes takes forever to load, I'll be adding 8GB memory. I have about 15000 songs on it, and want to keep those, as I do some DJ'ing... the storage only has about 38 GB left of the 750...
    How can I figure out what to remove of the 252 GB of "other" to remove?

    Anything else to upgrade? Would an SSD help me out? Any recommendations and suggestions please!
  2. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 604

    Oct 24, 2013
    That Model may be a time bomb.

    An SSD would speed that computer up no end but a 1TB one is not cheap.

    However that particular model is prone to GPU failure that stops it working totally. Apple have just launched a repair program for it but there is no promiise that it won't happen to the replacement logic board they supply (exactly the same as the ones that have failed).

    This means I hesitate to reccommend you spend that sort of money on upgrading a computer that may well give you many issues over the coming months. Especially as the opening and upgrading may cause some movement that could hasten the onset of the GPU failure.

    RAM is probably not your issue here a too full and aging Hard drive is far more likely the problem, 8GB RAM will do no harm but it may well do no good either...
  3. Psyfuzz macrumors 6502


    Dec 5, 2014
    Stick a 256GB SSD in there for OS and files you rely on, then if you're not attached to the optical drive swap it out for a 1TB 7200rpm hard drive for storage.

    Just swapped to an SSD today from a 5400rpm drive, it's performing like a brand new Mac, can't recommend it enough. Apart from price, SSD's annihilate every aspect of a traditional hard drive - and by a significant margin.
  4. mljmaui thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 3, 2015
    Thanks for the response. I haven't really had any of those issues (that I'm aware of).
    Damn... so does this kind of mean I'm screwed? I live out in the countryside of Japan (closest apple store is 5 hours away) and I bought it in the US in 2011.
  5. mljmaui thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 3, 2015
    Thank you.... I'm a bit clueless about what you mean, regarding the optical drive swap.
  6. AppleFan360 macrumors 68020

    Jan 26, 2008
    Here is my suggestion.

    For around $300, you can upgrade to a 512GB SSD and 8GB of RAM. That will definitely speed things up.

    Before you start though, clean things up on your Mac. Remove unused apps, movies and other things that cause clutter (much of that "Other" is probably junk you don't need). Place your music for DJ'ing on an external drive and other media you don't really need. You might also try re-loading OSX (but leave your data in place). That sometimes cleans things out as well. Then see how much you have left to find out if you can comfortably run on a 512GB SSD.

    Good luck
  7. RichardC300 macrumors 65816


    Sep 27, 2012
    Chapel Hill, NC
    Place your new SSD where your current hard drive is, and replace your optical drive with your old 750 GB hard drive with the help of a data doubler (or cheaper alternative).

    Data doubler:
  8. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 604

    Oct 24, 2013
    You can take out the DVD drive

    You can remove the DVD drive and insert a caddy with another Hard drive in it a 256 GB SSD would be a good choice. You can then keep all your Apps and OSX on it and leave the 750gb one for your files.

    You would need this

    or something similar

    And I'd reccomend this as an ssd

    Even the 512gb version is not that expensive...

    To examine your hard drive for what you can delete use omnidisksweeper...
  9. Psyfuzz macrumors 6502


    Dec 5, 2014
    It's pretty much what the other guys have said. :)

    You end up with two hard drives in one laptop, SSD for a fast OS and everything running speedy, then a slower, higher capacity drive for mass storage.
  10. austinpike macrumors 6502

    Oct 5, 2008
    Hardware doesn't slow down over time. (unless the HD is physically dying.) More likely your hard drive is fragmented and choked to the point where it can't function.

    Something you can try for free (assuming you already have an external backup drive of some sort) is to back your stuff up and do a -clean- OS install. (Make a bootable USB for Yosemite or Mavericks, erase the HD and reinstall.) Preferably I would do a reinstall of all your apps as well but you could restore from Time Machine backup. Can't necessary say where your 252GB of extra stuff is, but a clean install will certainly clear it out and then you can pay attention to what you copy back over. I'd try to keep at least 100GB free to allow things to run well.

    Most people would rather throw $ at the problem than take the time to do this. (and $ won't cure it if you migrate your problems over to a new drive anyway.) Every machine I've done this to feels as quick as the day it was new. If the machine was fast enough for you at one point, there is likely no reason it can't function at that level again.

    That said, if you want to upgrade a bit, yes 8GB of RAM, an SSD, and an HD in the optical bay would be an ideal setup for you and will improve your machine a ton. (and I'd start with the SSD rather than RAM.) In the event that your video card does meet an untimely demise, you can always pull out the SSD and HD and use them externally with another machine for storage, backup, whatever. So it isn't necessarily $ down the drain.
  11. mljmaui thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 3, 2015
    Can you walk me through this a bit more (or point me to where I can find a step by step)... and yes, I do have an external HD, I'll do a backup tonight (It's night here)... thanks.
  12. austinpike macrumors 6502

    Oct 5, 2008
    Lots of guides, just Google - osx usb bootable installer

    Assuming Yosemite, this one seems pretty clear:

    It says you need a 16GB USB, I think you only really need 8GB. I have run across a few thumb drives that don't seem to want to boot for whatever reason, but that should be rare. Just a heads up if you have problems you can try a different brand.

    Then when you boot from the USB, before you install, you should be able to go to Disk Utility in the menu and use it to erase/reformat your HD.

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