Just bought a late 2011 17 - need suggestions

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Evan W, Aug 26, 2012.

  1. Evan W macrumors newbie

    Aug 26, 2012
    As the title says, I just bought a new (unopened) late 2011 base 17" macbook pro on ebay to replace my early 2008 15".

    I am in need of a new laptop and was debating between the 2011 and the retina. In the end I chose the 17" because I want a bump up in screen space and I'm a young guy so an extra pound or two is negligible for my foreseeable future. I checked out the retina at the apple store and though everyone else seems to notice the difference in pixel density, it didn't seem to have a large impact on my experience. I'm also ideologically opposed to non-user upgradable hardware, which helped to influence my decision to stick with the non retina MBP.

    I'm going to spend a few hundred upgrading RAM and storage to improve performance, but I wanted to seek advice here. My plan was to buy 8 gigs (2 x 4 GB) of Samsung RAM (1333 mhz @ 1.5 V) and a 256 GB Samsung 830 SSD from macsales to replace the stock HDD. Does this seem like a solid plan or do you have other advice? I don't use the optical drive too often, but I was going to leave it instead of replacing it because I just don't need more than 256 GB of storage.

    My laptop use is split between casual use of web browsing/media and more intensive use in photo editing and gaming on Steam.

    Thanks in advance for any advice!


    I just wanted to seek advice on one more issue.

    I have yet to use Lion or ML but I am also ideologically opposed to closed software and default/forced integration between the OS and facebook/twitter/private companies. My new 17 shipped with lion, but I can easily clone SL onto the SSD from my 2008 MBP instead of cloning lion onto it.

    Is there any reason to run lion or ML if no software that I use requires OS X 10.7?
  2. Orlandoech macrumors 68040


    Jun 2, 2011
    Salt Lake City, UT
    The 2011 15" and 17" models can run 1600MHz RAM. I recommend 1600MHz 8GB single dimm so you can upgrade to 16GB in the future.

    Here is a list of ram.

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produ...0000410&IsNodeId=1&name=DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800)

    The Samsung 830 is a great drive, so is the OCZ Vertex 4, Corsair and Crucial M4.

    I would buy from Amazon.com to save some $ though.

    Here is a speed test I did recently with a Samsung 830 and Vertex 4 on a 2012 13" MBP.

    Attached Files:

  3. Evan W, Aug 26, 2012
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2012

    Evan W thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 26, 2012
    Thanks for the quick response and suggestions! I will likely stick to the Samsung 830 because I worry about reliability on the other drives and don't mind it being slightly slower, but I will definitely buy it from newegg where it is over 75 dollars cheaper! Newegg 830 - this will work fine in the MBP, right?

    As for the RAM, is 1600 MHz just faster and does it produce more heat? I can afford to buy 16 GB (2 x 8GB) now, I just didn't know if that would influence performance a noticeable amount during most of the tasks that I am doing. The 8 GB RAM available also has a different CAS latency/timing compared to the Samsung RAM from OWC. Is this something to worry about?
  4. Orlandoech macrumors 68040


    Jun 2, 2011
    Salt Lake City, UT
    The lower the timings and CL the better for performance obviously, but going from CL 9 to 10 isn't going to be noticeable by any means

    I highly recommend 1600MHz ram, just for more future longevity. While newegg.com is good, I recommend Amazon.com as their return policy is MUCH MUCH better than Newegg's. (http://www.amazon.com/SAMSUNG-2-5-I...F8&qid=1346010145&sr=1-1&keywords=samsung+830)

    Here is some 16GB kits I recommend. The Kingston has the lowest CL (9) the others have CL of 10 which is still good.


    I actually used the Kingston HyperX kit in my 2011 15" when I had it, awesome memory but $40-$50 more expensive than the other two for a small CL difference. Not worth it imo for $50 more.

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