Is it worthy to upgrade (16gb RAM and an SSD) a MacBook Pro 13 early 2011?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by mundopick, Feb 16, 2018.

  1. mundopick macrumors newbie

    Jul 5, 2016
    I recently bought a MacBook Pro 13 early 2011 it is fast though it has 8gb of RAM and an HDD it's the Intel i5 2.3ghz model, my question is, if I upgrade the RAM to 16gb and the HDD to SSD, how many years would this MacBook Pro still be a good option? I mean a lifespan estimate on software life and updates. Is the upgrade still worthy?

    Thanks in advance.
  2. Mr_Brightside_@ macrumors 68030


    Sep 23, 2005
    Yes, IMO. Provided no other issues I would estimate another 3-6 years of use out of it. It will likely be supported for 1-3 more major macOS releases.
  3. robvas macrumors 68030

    Mar 29, 2009
    SSD for sure, RAM might be negligible.
  4. mundopick thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 5, 2016
    Well thanks for your responses, I'll upgrade to SSD then and try a month or two to see if the RAM upgrade is needed
  5. greenmeanie macrumors 65816


    Jan 22, 2005
    My 13" with bad KB is going to the dump tomorrow so i would say no.
    That thing is on the chopping block soon for no updates.

  6. Adam.Kb2Jpd macrumors member

    Jan 20, 2018
    If you are going to use for web browsing, no problem. It should run with the extra ram, you can then install Boot camp or run Oracle VMWARE to run Windows or Linux.

    You will see quite a bump in speed with the new SSD. Get as much as you can afford, decide if you want the Super drive, if Drive Double and get a external Super drive for cheap.
  7. AlaskaMoose macrumors 68000

    Apr 26, 2008
    Yes, it makes a difference. I have the same MacBook Pro you have (early 2011 with the same i5), and it has been running like a champ with 16GB Crucial RAM. I have been using this laptop at home and work every day for several years now, and haven't experienced any glitches whatsoever. Has been running under OS High Sierra without any problems.

    Will replace the HD with a Samsung EVO 500GB SSD (2.5" SATA MZ-75E500B/AM) next week, as follows:
    a. Repair permissions on the internal HD using Disk Utility and use the laptop for a couple of days to make sure everything is normal.

    b. Connect the SSD to the MacBook Pro via USB using a USB III dock, and with Disk Utility erase/format and name the SSD, then clone the internal HD on the SSD using Carbon Copy Cloner.

    c. The next step is to remove the HD and replace it with the SSD.
  8. mundopick thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 5, 2016
    Well that's a shame but I really hope it won't run out of updates soon
  9. Yaboze macrumors 6502a


    May 31, 2007
    The Garden State
    I would say yes, only because it doesn't have a dedicated AMD GPU like the 15" does.
  10. mundopick thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 5, 2016
    I do some web applications on it but my main task is android app development, with the actual specifications android studio runs pretty well even the AVD runs smooth, I bought a Samsung EVO 500GB SSD on Amazon I will make the upgrade this weekend. By the way I like the Super Drive I don't make much use of it but Im gonna keep it though
  11. Macdctr macrumors 6502a


    Nov 25, 2009
    Ocean State
    You can get 16GB here:

    or here

    Then get yourself a 1TB SSD and you will be able to use your MacBook Pro for several more trouble free years.

    Get the RAM upgrade though... it's better to have more than enough RAM then to worry whether or not you will have enough. I have maxed out my 2012 13 inch MacBook Pro with 16GB RAM and never have to worry about not having sufficient amount of memory... ever....
  12. mundopick thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 5, 2016
    Cool thanks, you're right when I run the AVD and Android Studio the memory goes up to 85% of usage, definitely I will upgrade the RAM as well.
  13. EugW macrumors 603


    Jun 18, 2017
    Update SSD first, and then think about the RAM. For me, even as someone with a 16 GB MacBook, most of the time I'm fine with 8 GB.

    Then again, if you NEED 16 GB, then you need 16 GB.

    I got the 16 GB in my 2017 MacBook since on occasion it is beneficial for me, and with these current MacBooks, one cannot upgrade the RAM after the fact. You have the luxury of upgrading whenever you want.
  14. Naimfan Suspended


    Jan 15, 2003
    Good machine. I agree with the others - worth upgrading as long as you don't need faster/more powerful graphics.
  15. mundopick thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 5, 2016
    I did the upgrade but I got an issue installing Mac os high Sierra from internet recovery after installing the os it appears a message that says "Cannot open file" I dont know but I feel it has to do with the apfs format, what do you think?
  16. maerz001, Mar 1, 2018
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2018

    maerz001 macrumors 65816


    Nov 2, 2010
    This advice is too general. Especially if someone buys a 7year old machine I assume that money is an issue.

    People should buy what they need not what is max available.
    I state the majority is fine with 8GB.
    Using VMs and operating with large media files then 16GB yes.

    OP as long as the memory pressure in activity monitor doesn't go orange or red it's wasted money.
    Even the number of used memory doesn't tell you how much you need as MacOS loads in as much as is available but it doesn't mean that it's currently in use!

    But as u r a programmer I hope that u now this basic stuff
  17. Fishrrman macrumors P6


    Feb 20, 2009
    The SSD upgrade makes sense, but...

    ... I wouldn't bother upgrading the RAM -unless- you are getting "RAM-related" error alerts, or such.

    You didn't tell us how much RAM is in the MacBook NOW.
    Is it 4gb or 8gb?
    If it's 8gb, again, I'd let it be for now.
    If it only 4gb, you could save money by installing ONE 8gb DIMM (for an installed total of 10gb).

    If you tried an install but had problems, I recommend this:
    1. Get a USB flashdrive 8gb or 16gb
    2. Get the free "boot buddy" utility from:
    3. Use boot buddy to create a BOOTABLE USB flashdrive with the installer on it.
    4. Boot from the flashdrive.
    5. Quit the installer, open Disk Utility, ERASE the internal SSD
    6. Now re-open the installer and do the install

    (Of course, if there's anything on the drive you want to save, you'd better back it up first, but you already know about that, right?)
  18. mundopick thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 5, 2016
    Yeah I mention that it currently has 8gb of RAM, but my problem now is when installing macos high Sierra before it completely finish it appears a message that says "Cannot open file" so then I quit the install process cause there is no other thing to do and when running disk utility the disk is not there it appears again if restarting into recovery mode again. Any thoughts about this?
  19. Fishrrman macrumors P6


    Feb 20, 2009
    "Any thoughts about this?"

    See instructions about USB installer in reply 17 above.

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