macOS Sierra on MacBook Pro (Early 2011)

Discussion in 'macOS Sierra (10.12)' started by Mr. 123, Sep 20, 2016.

  1. Mr. 123 macrumors regular

    Sep 20, 2016
    Hello everyone!

    I have a MacBook Pro 13 Inch (Early 2011) with an SSD hard drive and 16 GBs of Ram. I'm currently running OS X El Capitan and it runs very smoothly! I work with apps like Logic Pro X, Adobe, Kontakt, Sibelius etc...

    So I am wondering wether it would be a good idea to update to macOS Sierra when it comes out (today I think). The new features look great and I'd love having them but I'm a bit worried about updating because I don't want my computer to get slower. So does anyone have any experience with how Sierra runs on an Early 2011 MacBook Pro?

    Thanks in advance:)
  2. mikecwest macrumors 6502a


    Jul 7, 2013
    It works great for me, I don't use the apps you mentioned, but I have had no issues with the beta versions. It does work with CAT, in case you have modified you machine for that. Just make sure to download the newest CAT tool.

    Forgot to mention, I use it on the early 2011 MBP 13 and 15 inch.
  3. Mr. 123 thread starter macrumors regular

    Sep 20, 2016
    That's great to hear! As I use my computer for work (music) it's really important that everything works well!

    Oh and what is CAT? :)
  4. bbfc macrumors 68030


    Oct 22, 2011
    Newcastle Great Park, England.
    I have an early 2011 MacBook Pro and it runs macOS Sierra just great. In fact I find it slightly better than El Capitan.
  5. mikecwest macrumors 6502a


    Jul 7, 2013
    Snagged from the GitHub:

    "Continuity Activation Tool
    This tool makes the necessary changes to enable OS X 10.10 and 10.11 Continuity features on compatible hardware. Continuity features activated by this tool include Handoff, Instant Hotspot, and New Airdrop. OS X 10.11 (El Capitan) dongle support is not stable yet!"

    It requires a change to the bluetooth/wifi module.

    You Mac should have part number BCM94331PCIEBT4CA, and you need to change it to BCM94331PCIEBT4CAX. (Note the X at the end) in order for it to work.

    It is a fairly easy swap, ten screws to remove the back cover, and if I remember correctly 2 or 3 to remove the module. Just be careful when unplugging the three wires, and carefully pull back the black tape and swap the part in the plastic bracket.

    You can get it on eBay or AliExpress:
  6. Mr. 123 thread starter macrumors regular

    Sep 20, 2016
    This sounds awesome! Continuity is feature I really want! So it's totally safe to do this?
  7. mikecwest macrumors 6502a


    Jul 7, 2013
    I have been using it for years, and have not had an issue. You have to use the CAT tool everytime you update, for each increment such as 10.11.1, 10.11.2, etc... as well as each beta update, if you use the DEV or PB releases. So far, it does not seem like Apple is doing much to stop it, but with each release the drivers are updated, and obviously no longer patched.

    As far as using a dongle goes, I have not used that method, and would not do so on a laptop, as they would be a hassle. For a fixed desktop machine, it would not be so bad.
  8. Brammy macrumors 65816

    Sep 17, 2008
    I'm running it on my 2011 MBP as well.

    I just wish I didn't cheap out and get the version with the 256MB video card.
  9. Mr. 123 thread starter macrumors regular

    Sep 20, 2016
    But does it run well?
    How can you check how many MB video card you have?
  10. fischersd macrumors 601


    Oct 23, 2014
    Kitchener, Ontario, Canada
    Isn't there a replacement card that has a newer BroadCom chipset, that'll support 802.11AC for those systems?
    (seems silly to be replacing the airport card, but not getting all of the features).
  11. Brammy macrumors 65816

    Sep 17, 2008
    I just said that I have the 256MB card.

    It runs well. I don't have any issues, but I do have an SSD in there.
  12. satinsilverem2 macrumors 6502a


    Nov 12, 2013
    Richmond, VA
    There is technically the Ucard 4 but a lot of people including myself have tried to purchase it with no success. Which is a shame because it showed a lot of promise.
  13. Mr. 123, Sep 21, 2016
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2016

    Mr. 123 thread starter macrumors regular

    Sep 20, 2016
    I just upgraded. It's not as fast as it was on El cap:( Maybe it's because it's indexing or something like that, but the system in general feels a bit sluggish. Animations, opening apps and drop menus from the top bar... Anything to do about this or should I just try to revert? I've got a Time Machine-backup.
  14. Brammy macrumors 65816

    Sep 17, 2008
    Wait until spotlight and the other jobs are done indexing overnight.

    I was in all the betas and I never noticed much of a difference, and I only have 8g of ram.
  15. Mr. 123 thread starter macrumors regular

    Sep 20, 2016
    Okay thanks for the advice! How does one see when it's indexing? In general things like opening folders, menu bar menus, closing windows and opening really small apps. Also, the fans are turned on really often.

    If it doesn't get better, is it possible to restore it to el cap without too much of a hassle?
  16. Brammy macrumors 65816

    Sep 17, 2008
    Reverting is a big pain in the but, actually. You need to reformat the drive.

    If you do this route, DL the El Cap installer, grab an 8g USB drive and Google how to make an installer disc. Then you boot off the disc, wipe the drive, reinstall OS X, your apps, and your data.

    Key in this, obviously is to back up everything you need to move over.
  17. dashwin macrumors regular


    Sep 19, 2015
    That's sad to hear. I was hoping to upgrade as well, but I'm not so sure now. I wish someone did a perf comparison video between MBP and OS versions just like some do with the phones.
  18. Mr. 123 thread starter macrumors regular

    Sep 20, 2016
    But can I revert to my time machine backup?

    I use my computer for composing so it's really a must to have a fast system:( I'm so disappointed! I really shouldn't have updated
  19. RichardC300 macrumors 65816


    Sep 27, 2012
    Chapel Hill, NC
    I would do a clean install of Sierra. It's running super quick on my 2011 15" with 8 GB RAM and SSD.
  20. Brammy macrumors 65816

    Sep 17, 2008
    You can, but I think the Time Machine backup is slower.

    Usually when I do a restore, I copy the files to a USB drive, the apps that don't need their installers, and a few ~\Library\Application Support files like my Steam Games.
  21. Mr. 123 thread starter macrumors regular

    Sep 20, 2016
    Is this instruction good?

    This skips over the whole step where you download El Capitan.
    --- Post Merged, Sep 21, 2016 ---
    Can I do a clean install of Sierra from Time Machine and then still revert to El Capitan?
    --- Post Merged, Sep 21, 2016 ---
    Slower to restore or that the system will be slower on El Capitan when I've reverted?
  22. Brammy macrumors 65816

    Sep 17, 2008
    Slower to restore.

    I haven't used Time Machine in a long time, but my recommendation is to make a USB backup of your critical data. Maybe a couple, one using SuperDuper. I just like copying the files over manually and knowing what's going on. I had some issues doing a TM restore a long time ago, but it took a while.

    This is my recommendation. I think it will be the less stressful for you. Wait until the weeekend and see if the problem goes away. This is not a "I'll just take care of this work" type of problem.*
    1. Backup to SuperDuper
    2. Backup to a USB drive of both Sierra and El Cap
    3. Make a USB install disc
    4. I'd actually suggest reinstalling Sierra. As others have said, it works fine on 2011 MBPs and you might just have a wonky install. This will clear out any issues
    5. Restore from the USB drive.
    The last time I had to restore off a TM backup (admittedly years go) it didn't give me much information as it was restoring, and even less if the restore failed.

    *well for me it is, but I've done this dance so often I know all the moves in my sleep.
  23. Mr. 123 thread starter macrumors regular

    Sep 20, 2016
    Okay thx god the restore was slow and not the system ;)

    I have a lot of apps with samples, drivers etc in the library folder so copying over stuff manually would be impossible so I think I'll do it from the Time Machine backup. However I think I will also copy the important files to an external hard drive just in case.

    I think I'll wait overnight to see if it improves on Sierra but right now the fans are running constantly, things like making selections and playing a song in iTunes take forever which is really terrible...
  24. Brammy macrumors 65816

    Sep 17, 2008
    If you've got stuff scattered across the drive, a SuperDuper backup is pretty much a need, and also this is a good time to check that the Time Machine backup actually is backing up all of this stuff.

    One other thing I thought of: just download the installer, shut down the mac, restart it, and run the installer again.
  25. Mr. 123 thread starter macrumors regular

    Sep 20, 2016
    I actually bought a new external hard drive and made a full system TM backup yesterday (in preparation for Sierra) so that should contain all the files!

    Re-download the Sierra installer again?

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