Late 2011 Macbook pro

ed180sx

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Apr 9, 2014
3
0
Hey everyone, thinking about purchasing a macbook pro late 2011 model from a friend. In short, are they still worth it? I pretty much wanna know if they will be able to "keep up" with everything out there today and last me throughout a few years. I am pretty handy and i don't mind the work upgrading ram or hard drive to keep it running well. Has anyone heard if apple will drop support and software updates for them anytime soon? I don't think i necessarily need a retina display even though they're pretty amazing, but is the new rmbp's supposed wifi improvement really that much better? Anyones input will be greatly appreciated, thanks! :)

also the specs on said macbook is 2.4 i5 and 4 gigs of ram!
 

keysofanxiety

macrumors G3
Nov 23, 2011
9,519
24,633
Hey everyone, thinking about purchasing a macbook pro late 2011 model from a friend. In short, are they still worth it? I pretty much wanna know if they will be able to "keep up" with everything out there today and last me throughout a few years. I am pretty handy and i don't mind the work upgrading ram or hard drive to keep it running well. Has anyone heard if apple will drop support and software updates for them anytime soon? I don't think i necessarily need a retina display even though they're pretty amazing, but is the new rmbp's supposed wifi improvement really that much better? Anyones input will be greatly appreciated, thanks! :)

also the specs on said macbook is 2.4 i5 and 4 gigs of ram!
Apple's vintage cycle is typically about 5-6 years. Vintage status is the time period when they can no longer service systems or manufacture parts. System should be fairly futureproof with regards to OS updates -- Mavericks runs on systems from 2007.

New rMBP's hardware improvements with regards to the wifi are substantial -- however you'd need a 5GHz router to take advantage of that anyway.

The question of 'will it be good enough to run things' is somewhat ambiguous as it depends what you need to run. Be aware it's got onboard graphics, so GPU-intensive programs may not be great. Max RAM supported on your system is 16GB @1333MHz (2x8GB modules). 16GB of RAM and an SSD should make it sing.

Give me a shout if you have any further queries.
 

Altemose

macrumors G3
Mar 26, 2013
9,089
444
Elkton, Maryland
Hey everyone, thinking about purchasing a macbook pro late 2011 model from a friend. In short, are they still worth it? I pretty much wanna know if they will be able to "keep up" with everything out there today and last me throughout a few years. I am pretty handy and i don't mind the work upgrading ram or hard drive to keep it running well. Has anyone heard if apple will drop support and software updates for them anytime soon? I don't think i necessarily need a retina display even though they're pretty amazing, but is the new rmbp's supposed wifi improvement really that much better? Anyones input will be greatly appreciated, thanks! :)

also the specs on said macbook is 2.4 i5 and 4 gigs of ram!
The nice part is it can run Snow Leopard if desired. I have a 2012 MBP which is a processor upgrade above, but regularly use 2011s. In terms of video work, they are more than plenty for basic work, Mavericks runs great, and they support up to 16 GB of RAM.

You will definitely see a benefit with more RAM and an SSD. They both are easy to replace. The better question is how much is your friend asking for this?
 

glenthompson

macrumors 68000
Apr 27, 2011
1,929
128
Florida
Similar to what I'm using and it has no problem keeping up with everything I throw at it. You might need more memory and a SSD is worth the upgrade. If the price is reasonable, go for it.
 

RedCroissant

Suspended
Aug 13, 2011
2,262
94
Hey everyone, thinking about purchasing a macbook pro late 2011 model from a friend. In short, are they still worth it? I pretty much wanna know if they will be able to "keep up" with everything out there today and last me throughout a few years. I am pretty handy and i don't mind the work upgrading ram or hard drive to keep it running well. Has anyone heard if apple will drop support and software updates for them anytime soon? I don't think i necessarily need a retina display even though they're pretty amazing, but is the new rmbp's supposed wifi improvement really that much better? Anyones input will be greatly appreciated, thanks! :)

also the specs on said macbook is 2.4 i5 and 4 gigs of ram!
Totally still a GREAT machine. How much are you going to pay? Just be sure that web you do upgrade it that you look at EveryMac and OWC for advise even if you don’t use OWC for the parts. But definitely make a RAM upgrade your first priority if you dod elide to buy it.

the i5 should be fine for at least another 2 OS upgrade cycles, and maybe even 3. And even if not, my main laptops for the past year have been iBook G4s (which were released in 2005) and they still work perfectly for what I need them to do. And they even serve as good media hubs.

And yes, the rMBP WiFi is much better…if you ask have the appropriate equipment to make it that much more powerful. an 802.11ac equipped laptop will only connect at those amazing speeds with 802.11ac routers. If you have that new 802.11ac but only 802.11n routers and are only surrounded by those routers, then you’ll be limited to N speeds anyway. Plus, N speeds are still more than fast enough for me.
 

r0k

macrumors 68040
Mar 3, 2008
3,612
73
Detroit
I agree they are great machines. I have a late 2011 15 in hires antiglare MBP. I picked it up in late 2012 at a steep discount that was actually lower than what Apple was charging for the same machines as refurb! I've been very happy with it.
 

ed180sx

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Apr 9, 2014
3
0
Haha I didn't think there would be so many replies, you guys are awesome! It is a 13" late 2011 mbp and he is selling it for $750. So long as there is no well known problems with this model I will probably be purchasing it, I'm glad to hear that there will still be support for it within the next few years
 

RedCroissant

Suspended
Aug 13, 2011
2,262
94
Haha I didn't think there would be so many replies, you guys are awesome! It is a 13" late 2011 mbp and he is selling it for $750. So long as there is no well known problems with this model I will probably be purchasing it, I'm glad to hear that there will still be support for it within the next few years
Well $750 sounds like a reasonable price for it. Is it still in good physical condition? What was it primarily used for?

If I were you and had the extra money, I would upgrade the RAM to 16GB right away. I say that because if you plan to run Mavericks, then the extra Ram will help a lot.

What size is the HDD?
 

Altemose

macrumors G3
Mar 26, 2013
9,089
444
Elkton, Maryland
Haha I didn't think there would be so many replies, you guys are awesome! It is a 13" late 2011 mbp and he is selling it for $750. So long as there is no well known problems with this model I will probably be purchasing it, I'm glad to hear that there will still be support for it within the next few years
Provided it is in good condition, it is a decent deal. Just make sure it passes Apple Hardware Test.

Well $750 sounds like a reasonable price for it. Is it still in good physical condition? What was it primarily used for?

If I were you and had the extra money, I would upgrade the RAM to 16GB right away. I say that because if you plan to run Mavericks, then the extra Ram will help a lot.

What size is the HDD?
Or even run the classic Snow Leopard :eek: for PowerPC support! I have 16 in my MBP, but under Mavericks and normal use it would be easy to get by in 8. Mavericks likes to open up and use alot of RAM with the new optimizations, so it isn't uncommon to see 11 or 12 GB used but the machine is still flying. Under ML it would be screeching to a halt with that RAM usage.
 

ed180sx

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Apr 9, 2014
3
0
Well $750 sounds like a reasonable price for it. Is it still in good physical condition? What was it primarily used for?

If I were you and had the extra money, I would upgrade the RAM to 16GB right away. I say that because if you plan to run Mavericks, then the extra Ram will help a lot.

What size is the HDD?

HDD is 500gb. Yeaa it is still in good shape no damage on the casing. It was only used for school work and general web surfing. I plan on using it for school, photo and video editing along with mixing music. Which brings me to the question as mentioned earlier by someone, are there only issues with the graphics card on the 15" and 17" mbp's? Oh ok I see, how much better does it run with 16? Is mavericks really that memory intensive?

----------

Apple's vintage cycle is typically about 5-6 years. Vintage status is the time period when they can no longer service systems or manufacture parts. System should be fairly futureproof with regards to OS updates -- Mavericks runs on systems from 2007.

New rMBP's hardware improvements with regards to the wifi are substantial -- however you'd need a 5GHz router to take advantage of that anyway.

The question of 'will it be good enough to run things' is somewhat ambiguous as it depends what you need to run. Be aware it's got onboard graphics, so GPU-intensive programs may not be great. Max RAM supported on your system is 16GB @1333MHz (2x8GB modules). 16GB of RAM and an SSD should make it sing.

Give me a shout if you have any further queries.
Thanks! Much appreciated!
 

Altemose

macrumors G3
Mar 26, 2013
9,089
444
Elkton, Maryland
HDD is 500gb. Yeaa it is still in good shape no damage on the casing. It was only used for school work and general web surfing. I plan on using it for school, photo and video editing along with mixing music. Which brings me to the question as mentioned earlier by someone, are there only issues with the graphics card on the 15" and 17" mbp's? Oh ok I see, how much better does it run with 16? Is mavericks really that memory intensive?
The issues were with the ATI Radeon cards in the 15 and 17" models needing to be reballed, a tedious process which essentially is properly reconnecting the video card to the graphics card. The 13" model has a Intel HD 3000, while the 15 and 17" models had both the 3000 and the ATI cards. They would switch depending on what graphics power was needed.

Mavericks in and of itself is not memory intensive and in fact is much better at memory management. It is kind of like a "if it has room it will grow" type of thing. The most I ever used was 8 GB under ML but got up to 15.92 on Mavericks. It however ran faster under Mavericks.

An SSD is your key to speed though.
 

RedCroissant

Suspended
Aug 13, 2011
2,262
94
HDD is 500gb. Yeaa it is still in good shape no damage on the casing. It was only used for school work and general web surfing. I plan on using it for school, photo and video editing along with mixing music. Which brings me to the question as mentioned earlier by someone, are there only issues with the graphics card on the 15" and 17" mbp's? Oh ok I see, how much better does it run with 16? Is mavericks really that memory intensive?

----------



Thanks! Much appreciated!
Well then that's awesome as far as the condition goes.

And yes, it is that memory intensive as in it will use more memory. It is great at compression and resisting the use of swap, but that's why I recommend more RAM as opposed to less. With only 4GB RAM, Mavericks can compress used memory down to half of it's size (which will give you an "extra 2GB"). However, Ram usage under Mavericks is consistently around 4GB for basic usage. Sure, it has a great memory pressure monitor in activity monitor, but the more RAM the better in my opinion.
 

Altemose

macrumors G3
Mar 26, 2013
9,089
444
Elkton, Maryland
Well then that's awesome as far as the condition goes.



And yes, it is that memory intensive as in it will use more memory. It is great at compression and resisting the use of swap, but that's why I recommend more RAM as opposed to less. With only 4GB RAM, Mavericks can compress used memory down to half of it's size (which will give you an "extra 2GB"). However, Ram usage under Mavericks is consistently around 4GB for basic usage. Sure, it has a great memory pressure monitor in activity monitor, but the more RAM the better in my opinion.

I totally agree. With only Google Chrome, Mail, and Messages open I was at 3.52 GB.
 

bradleyjx

macrumors member
Jul 7, 2008
58
0
Madison, WI
Correct me if I'm wrong, but haven't the graphics cards issues only been primarily affecting the Early '11 MBPs? I have a higher-spec 15" of the model in question, and every time I heard about the GPU issue, it had to do with the early year models.

Besides that and specific to the question, The Late '11s are still really good workhorses. I have the i7 version and have upgraded it to both 16GB RAM and an SSD + HDD optibay combo, and it's quite the fast + responsive machine.

In terms of OS support, you're probably looking at roughly 10.12 as being the last supported version on this machine. My previous mac laptop was purchased three years before this one, and 10.9 is likely it's last supported version, so I'd give this one about three years more of OS support.

I have three minor-ish complaints about the machine, all-and-all:
- I have a matte screen, and light bleed from the backlight has been getting worse over the past year. I don't know if this would affect a glossy screen, but it is probably the biggest annoyance for me since purchasing this. (especially because it's getting progressively worse)
- The hinge on mine is a little bit concerning in a couple ways - it seems like it wants to push the screen assembly to the right, and it's done some minor warping to the black cover between the two sides of the clamshell.
- I have 2-3 screws whose housing is a bit loose, and really have been since I got it. Not that it's really that big of a deal, but it means I'm screwing in screws every month or so.

Beyond that, though, it's a good enough machine that I'm considering delaying my usual 3-year upgrade cycle, just because I don't have a technical need to upgrade yet.
 

Altemose

macrumors G3
Mar 26, 2013
9,089
444
Elkton, Maryland
Correct me if I'm wrong, but haven't the graphics cards issues only been primarily affecting the Early '11 MBPs? I have a higher-spec 15" of the model in question, and every time I heard about the GPU issue, it had to do with the early year models.



Besides that and specific to the question, The Late '11s are still really good workhorses. I have the i7 version and have upgraded it to both 16GB RAM and an SSD + HDD optibay combo, and it's quite the fast + responsive machine.



In terms of OS support, you're probably looking at roughly 10.12 as being the last supported version on this machine. My previous mac laptop was purchased three years before this one, and 10.9 is likely it's last supported version, so I'd give this one about three years more of OS support.



I have three minor-ish complaints about the machine, all-and-all:

- I have a matte screen, and light bleed from the backlight has been getting worse over the past year. I don't know if this would affect a glossy screen, but it is probably the biggest annoyance for me since purchasing this. (especially because it's getting progressively worse)

- The hinge on mine is a little bit concerning in a couple ways - it seems like it wants to push the screen assembly to the right, and it's done some minor warping to the black cover between the two sides of the clamshell.

- I have 2-3 screws whose housing is a bit loose, and really have been since I got it. Not that it's really that big of a deal, but it means I'm screwing in screws every month or so.



Beyond that, though, it's a good enough machine that I'm considering delaying my usual 3-year upgrade cycle, just because I don't have a technical need to upgrade yet.

The hinge should be adjusted through AppleCare. The graphics issues generally affected the early 2011 models.