Keep 2011 MacBook Pro or Upgrade?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by PSerio1991, Sep 12, 2016.

  1. PSerio1991 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2014
    #1
    My MacBook Pro has slowed down drastically in the past year or so. I haven't used it much lately though, so I didn't worry too much about it. Now I am begining to need it more and want to record basic guitar tracks with garageband. It takes forever to open programs and freezes if too many are running. My question is, should I invest on just buying a new computer or can I upgrade the memory/HD to make it run fast/smooth again? If keeping it and upgrading is the best option, can you guys tell me exactly what I should do/upgrade?

    Thanks in advance.

    These are my specs:

    MacBook Pro (15", Early 2011)
    2 GHz Core i7
    4GB
    500GB Sata Disk
    OS X Yosemite version: 10.10.5
     
  2. keysofanxiety macrumors 604

    keysofanxiety

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2011
    #2
    Eeek, it's a tough one to call. The 2011s have so many issues with the graphics, so I wouldn't invest loads towards it.

    I'd suggest the following:

    - Upgrade the RAM to 8GB (2x4GB DDR3 1333MHz SODIMM)
    - Throw in a 240GB SSD (any model would be fine, would recommend Crucial for best cost/performance value)

    Doing the above will be very, very light on the wallet compared to a replacement computer, but it will make a huge amount of difference to the performance of the machine.
     
  3. Schranke macrumors 6502a

    Schranke

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2010
    Location:
    Copenhagen, Denmark
    #3
  4. PSerio1991 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2014
    #4
    Okay. Thanks for the quick response!
    --- Post Merged, Sep 12, 2016 ---
    What brand(s) do you recommend for each upgrade?
    --- Post Merged, Sep 12, 2016 ---

    Nvm, Sorry did not see that you put the brands.
    Thanks!
     
  5. Schranke macrumors 6502a

    Schranke

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2010
    Location:
    Copenhagen, Denmark
    #5
    You are welcome, lets us know how it goes if you upgrade
     
  6. tubeexperience macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2016
    #6
    Replace hard drive with SSD. Upgrade to 8 GB DDR3 1600.

    Another thumbs up for Crucial.
     
  7. JTToft macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2010
    Location:
    Aarhus, Denmark
    #7
    For SSD, avoid Crucial BX200. Most are fine, though. Samsung 850 EVO is an excellent choice.

    For RAM, pretty much any brand is fine. Crucial is solid and not very expensive. I'd suggest one stick of 8 GB 1600 MHz to add to one of the existing 2 GB sticks.
     
  8. jerryk macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2011
    Location:
    SF Bay Area
    #8
    The upgrade everyone is suggesting will make your machine feel like a different machine. Boot to login prompt will drop to 15 seconds or so. Applications will launch with one or two bounces of the beachball.

    Enjoy!
     
  9. RichardC300 macrumors 65816

    RichardC300

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2012
    Location:
    Chapel Hill, NC
    #10
    My 2011 15" is still a beast to this day! Although, I do have an SSD and 8 GB of RAM, so I completely stand behind upgrading it!

    There's something to be said for keeping an old laptop and upgrading it, but if you have the extra cash, you should look into the new MacBook Pro that's rumored to be released next month.
     
  10. OrangeInc macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2013
    #11
    With the 15" model, the only reason I can see a slowdown is your hard drive is about to fail or has degraded significantly or your RAM usage is always near max. I would do what everyone else is suggesting and get an SSD and increase your RAM. I think the max RAM is 16GB for your model but you will see the most improvements with changing to an SSD.
     
  11. PSerio1991 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2014
    #12
    I installed a Crucial mx300 525gb SSD and upgraded the RAM to 8gb. It feels like the machine is on steroids! thanks for the help guys!
     
  12. Schranke macrumors 6502a

    Schranke

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2010
    Location:
    Copenhagen, Denmark
    #13
    Your welcome, enjoy your "new" machine
     
  13. macgeek18 macrumors 68000

    macgeek18

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2009
    Location:
    Northern California
    #14
    8GB of RAM is a must these days. I got a decent Lenovo Thinkpad the other day with 4GB RAM and the first thing I did was order 8GB for it. Enjoy your upgraded MacBook Pro. Typing this on a base model 2012 13" Core i5 MBP with just a RAM upgrade. Still keeping up with every other machine I have.
     
  14. jimray macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2012
    #15
    Hi there, I have a early 2011 13" i5 2.3 GHZ 500GB hard drive. When I bought it I upgraded the RAM to 8 GB and it has run like a dream from day 1. Incidentally my girlfriend has a early 2011 imac with similar specs but is still running 4GB ram. She has said it is begining to run slow these days so we will be upgrading her to 8 GB very soon and I expect it to run smooth again. I think you will be quite pleased with a RAM upgrade. Maybe your HD is broken, personally I don't like SSD but maybe a new one of some sort is needed for you. Also, take a look at the specs of the new similar MBPs, they main specs aren't that different than yours.
     
  15. JTToft macrumors 68040

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    Location:
    Aarhus, Denmark
    #16
    - Interesting. Why in the world not?
     
  16. whsbuss macrumors 68040

    whsbuss

    Joined:
    May 4, 2010
    Location:
    SE Penna.
    #17
    I have a late-2011 MBP 15-inch in mint condition and already have a buyer. So I don't think I will wait for Apple's 2016 release. Going for the 13-inch rMBP as soon as I get the cash.
     
  17. jimray macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2012
    #18
    I download load a lot of files. So it keeps my HD running all the time. I also work with and download and move large files around. Two things I heard are not ideal for SSDs. Nevertheless I bought an SSD a couple years ago and installed it and it broke within a week. I returned it and the clerk said it was likely because of how I use my HD that caused the issue. Trust me, i love the speed and I'd love to get one. I just don't want to have it break on me again. I keep waiting for the technology to get better, but it seems the SSDs still have the same downfalls. I actually need a new Hard drive for my PC and was looking into SSDs but I think I'll end up getting a WD Black
     
  18. JTToft macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2010
    Location:
    Aarhus, Denmark
    #19
    - You'd have to be doing something extremely intensive for it to be a problem in terms of GBs written.
    Newer drives have been tested to withstand upwards of several PBs of writes before showing errors. A mechanical hard drive is likelier to fail before anyone can write that much to a drive in any practical scenario.

    You probably just got a defective drive or it was actually more than a "couple" of years ago when the tech was in its infancy.

    Samsung 850 Pro, for instance, carries a 10-year warranty and is rated conservatively for 300 TB of writes - in practice a 1 TB model will withstand writes of 100 GiB each day for 56 years. Write endurance is a non-issue in all but the most low-end of drives. Seriously, get one of those, and you'll be happy.

    In any event, there's nothing keeping you from using an SSD for your system and apps, and HDDs for your large files and downloads if you wish.

    http://www.anandtech.com/show/8239/update-on-samsung-850-pro-endurance-vnand-die-size
     
  19. jimray macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2012
    #20
    Thanks for your information. I was looking over that Samsung 850, I'll give it a try cause I'd really like the enhanced speeds. Prolly going to have to get two, one for the MBP and one for the PC.
     
  20. JTToft macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2010
    Location:
    Aarhus, Denmark
    #21
    - You're welcome. Keep in mind there's a difference between 850 Pro and 850 EVO. Both are excellent, but the Pro carries the longer warranty and has the higher endurance - and is faster under intensive loads.
     
  21. tubeexperience macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2016
    #22
    SSDs are much more reliable now than "back in the day".
     

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