Increasing performance for late 2011 MacBook Pro

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by BackTwoMac, Aug 26, 2014.

  1. BackTwoMac macrumors member

    Feb 26, 2012
    I have a late 2011 MacBook Pro 13'inch. I haven't changed anything since I bought it.

    2.4 Ghz Intel Core i5 with 4 GB 1333 Mhz DDR3 ram. I currently have 102 GB of 500 GB remaining on my HD (stock). I have run an the most current version of Mavericks since it was released.

    Performance has been solid, but a few months ago, it started slipping. Getting a lot of beach balls. Takes longer to start up. And I have to force quit more often than I like. These are things I'm not accustomed to for a Mac product.

    Are there any cost efficient changes I can make to prolong the life of my Mac? Would it make more sense to increase ram? Or the hard drive? SSHD are out of my price range for now. I've heard even hybrid drives may increase performance. But I'm open to suggestions.

    As far as usage, I internet browse. consume media, and occasionally use music production software such as Fruity Loops and Serato DJ (I notice the performance issues in Serato a lot. I know it is greedy with memory; it crashes more often than it used to when I used Scratch Live on older Macs). I use Safari as my primary browser, but I have Chrome installed. Itunes is my main media player, but I use VLC for unsupported formats. I also have Apple TV (if that matters). Is there anything I can change about the manner in which I use my Mac that could help?

    Thanks for taking the time to read this.
  2. jg321 macrumors 6502

    Aug 29, 2012
    SSD will actually transform it.

    Sounds like you'd benefit from more RAM too.
  3. meson macrumors regular

    Apr 29, 2014
    The symptoms sound like hard drive issues mostly. Before replacing things, have you ran disk utility to see if the HDD needs repaired, and if so repaired it?

    My current less than 5 month old machine started beach balling on me this week, a first for me with such a new machine. Disk Utility couldn't get it fixed without a reformat and reinstall. I did the reformat and brought everything back from Time Machine yesterday, and it feels as good, if not better than when I first got it. I'm not sure if the corruption was a factory issue, or if it happened after installing one of the Yosemite public betas, as it always has had a few quirks. A shiny new SSD is on the way, though I'm not entirely sure how much I will trust the original HDD now.

    Try DU first. If that helps great. If not, then I'm sure you can find a 7200 rpm drive that will be quicker than your stock drive, though a hybrid or SSD would be the way to go for even better performance.

    Bumping to 8GB of ram will likely help with some of your more ram intensive applications.
  4. bennynova macrumors member

    Jun 6, 2014
    your SATA hd cable could be starting to go bad as well
  5. BackTwoMac thread starter macrumors member

    Feb 26, 2012
    Increasing performance for late 2011 MacBook Pro

    Thank you for the responses. If I'm not mistaken, I ran DU awhile back, and it didn't find anything. I'll do it today and report my findings. As embarrassing as it is, I don't keep a backup...well, I do and I don't. My media is backed up to an external. But that's it. Hope I don't require a reformat. If I do, it would seem I'd need to get a new external HD (in additional to a new internal HD if that is ultimately the problem). I hope it's not the SATA cable. I'm not terribly well versed in components--that sounds frightening.

    But first things first, DIsk Utility.

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