Reviving my early 2011 MBP 13" 8,1

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by rohitbansal1507, Apr 9, 2017.

  1. rohitbansal1507 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2017
    #1
    Hi guys,
    Long term user of Mac here. I bought my MacBook Pro 13" in April 2011 and it has served me amazingly well. I upgraded my HDD to a 500gb seagate hybrid drive 2-3 years back and now I'm looking to upgrade few more internals. Unable to justify paying 1500-2000 for the new MBPs. Please help.

    MacBook condition: Used primarily for day to day usage. No heavy use. Have gone slow in past 1-2 years. Battery clocking at 770 cycles and gives me around 3-4 hours backup.

    Upgrades planned: I'm planning to put Crucial's 16gb (2x8gb) RAM, replace the battery with OEM battery and reinstall a skin at the bottom (I like carbon fiber)

    My queries to you guys are:
    1. Is 16gn recommended for my model or should I rather choose the recommended 8gb. Price difference between the 2 is insignificant but I'm worried it won't overheat my laptop or cause battery drain.
    2. Any suggestion if I should replace the battery at all? My battery is still pretty descent. I wonder if I'll see any improvement at all. I plan to use my laptop for another 2-3 years and this probably is the last round of upgrades that I'm treating it with.
    3. My MBP fell on a corner sometime back and so one corner is slightly bent. When I close the lid only the left side (the one bent) of the lcd touches the base while the right side stays like half a mm (or may be even lesser) above the base. It's rarely noticeable unless. Should I take a plyer and attempt to repair? Any1 has any experience?

    Any other suggestions or recommended upgrades? I really love my MBP and I want to use it as long as it serves me.
     
  2. gngan macrumors 68000

    gngan

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2009
    Location:
    MacWorld
    #2
    No overheating but try to get the exact same model/speed for your MBP.


    If you are happy with the battery then you can wait a bit longer until the OS asks you to replace it. You can try coconut battery to check your battery life too.


    No experience on this.
     
  3. rohitbansal1507 thread starter macrumors member

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    Apr 9, 2017
    #3
    Thanks for this suggestion. My OS keep prompting to "service battery" but once I recalibrate it doesn't prompt for few weeks and again prompts after few weeks. On coconut battery I'm at 79%, pretty descent in my opinion given my mac is 6+ years old. Would you suggest replacing the battery? Also should I purchase the OEM battery or the ones sold on macsales? On macsales people say that they last even longer than the original battery and has more capacity...
     
  4. Fishrrman macrumors G4

    Fishrrman

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #4
    You don't need 16gb of RAM for "no heavy usage". 8gb should be fine.

    At 770 cycles, you don't really need to replace the battery yet. 3-4 hours is still pretty good. And often, the run-down time on "replacement" batteries falls short of factory-originals.

    What you DO need is an SSD (not a "hybrid" drive).
    It will GREATLY improve overall speeds.
     
  5. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 604

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2013
    #5
    Consider replacing the battery once it starts to drop below 80% you begin running the risk of a swelling battery which can damage the internals of your mac. It's not desperate yet but it will start to degrade more quickly and be more of a risk over the next few months keep an eye on it.

    RAM is no real use unless you use it, it doesn't sound like your use case would use 16gb, 8gb will be more than enough for the remaining life of your computer.

    The single biggest boost you can give it is an SSD drive instead of a spinning HDD, hybrid drives are slightly better than HDD but not that different. an SSD would be night and day performance wise for you and the single best upgrade you can do for any computer it will be better than new.
     
  6. rohitbansal1507 thread starter macrumors member

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    Apr 9, 2017
    #6
    @Fishrrman and @Samuelsan2001
    Thanks to both of you...I think I'll still replace the battery just to be on a safer side.
    On the SSD front, you're right, I considered this 2-3 years back as well when I upgraded to hybrid but that time SSDs were very expensive. The only reason I'm not choosing SSD is because of the cost factor. My hybrid is serving me pretty well. My intention is to just keep my MacBook "pushing" for another 2-3 years before Apple comes up with a usable laptop. The difference between 8GB RAM and 16GB RAM was only 30 bucks hence I thought 16GB made more sense.

    What do you guys think? You think I can keep pushing it this way? I'm very hesitant to put any more money on my MBP now given it has reached end of life.
     
  7. Chancha macrumors 6502a

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    Mar 19, 2014
    #7
    Get low power variant of the DDR3 SO-DIMM, it can be clocked slightly higher than the 1333MHz which are harder to find. I got 1600MHz in mine, system profiler reports the right speed oddly. The different in heat and energy consumption is then minimal.

    Battery wise depends on the health of your current one. 770 cycles and 4 hours doesn't sound good but it is not very dead either. After market OEM options are often sticky, a lot of luck is involved. I guess if you are seriously bothered by it then go ahead but it is not unlikely to be as bad after another half year if it's some Chinese crap.

    You should open the bottom case once to check the internal dents, if it has damaged something else. I have the exact same model as yours, and abuse it daily, while the outshell is still without obvious dents, but as I checked the inside there are weaklinks that are broken, such as the screw mounts on the battery which are rather thin, and the plastic "springs" that hold the RAM in place which got softened probably due to long term heat. They built this MacBook with quite a some room for internal shifting so you may be fine, but for mine the battery since the screws cannot hold it in place 100%, it actually pushes back up to the trackpad area which sometimes causes unregistered clicks for me.

    Lastly if your budget allows I would suggest SSD, like the above posters suggested. The SATA ones are relatively affordable now and they have the same or exceed the 500GB that you have. The MBP will breathe new lift with it.
     
  8. Apples555 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2012
    #8
    I do. At university one day, some guy knocked my MBP over and the same thing happened. I took a pair of pliers and bent it back. No problems since.

    I still use my 2010 MBP as a daily driver. Works great. I added a Samsung 850 Pro SSD, 6GB RAM, and a new battery (Egoway). There are very few things it can't do, especially with Windows 10 in boot camp.
     
  9. gngan macrumors 68000

    gngan

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    Location:
    MacWorld
    #9
    I would save the $30 and invest it in SSD. Huge difference. So 8gb ram, 512gb SSD and maybe battery. U can always take the SSD out when you are ready to upgrade and use it as external. As for battery, I went with original because I lack the choice from where I live.
     
  10. Fishrrman macrumors G4

    Fishrrman

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #10
    OP wrote:
    "My hybrid is serving me pretty well. My intention is to just keep my MacBook "pushing" for another 2-3 years before Apple comes up with a usable laptop."

    The truth of the matter is, it's probably the hybrid drive that is slowing you down.

    If you want to breathe new life into the computer, put an SSD into it.

    That's "the answer".
    Nothing else you can do will come ANYwhere close.
     
  11. rohitbansal1507 thread starter macrumors member

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    Apr 9, 2017
    #11
    Thanks guys for the amazing inputs...I feel SSD is the answer to all my issues...In that case which is a preferred SSD for my model? I'll need minimum 500GB and I'll prefer something that offers value at a good price.

    Also any1 has experience with NuPower batteries? I'm confused between OEM and NuPower. I stay in Singapore and I have a good reliable vendor here who has been trading in Mac spares for decades. Hence, I'm sure I'll get the original stuff and not a knockoff.

    Also will putting a SSD improve my battery backup?

    Lot of queries..Will appreciate a response..Thanks!
     
  12. gngan macrumors 68000

    gngan

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    #12
    Choose a named brand and find whatever is cheapest in SG. I narrowed it down to SAN disk ultra plus, crucial mx300 and Samsung 850 evo. Samsung being fastest in benchmark but doubt real difference in reality and most expensive. Ended up with crucial for its price and a little more storage (525gb).

    If nupower provides warranty then why not. I was going to order it and ship it to HK but the shipping fee was high. If the cost is almost the same as oem then I'd get oem
     
  13. rohitbansal1507 thread starter macrumors member

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    Apr 9, 2017
    #13
    @gngan
    I'm also planning to buy the crucial SSD. So my final upgrade list is Crucial 8GB RAM, Crucial 525GB SSD, NuPower battery and a SATA casing to help me with drive swap. Any further suggestions guys?

    @Apples555
    Can you please describe the bend you had and how difficult was it to repair? I'm really nervous doing this repair. I'm scared that I don't damage/shatter the glass. My corner is very slightly bent but I don't know how flexible is the MacBook aluminum.
     
  14. gngan macrumors 68000

    gngan

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2009
    Location:
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    #14
    You are good to go. You can use SuperDuper (http://www.shirt-pocket.com/SuperDuper/SuperDuperDescription.html) or CarbonCloneCopy (https://bombich.com/) to clone your internal drive first before 'installing' the SSD. Make sure that it's clone as bootable drive.

    Also enable Trim Enabler (https://cindori.org/trimenabler/).

    If you don't use your DVD drive then you can put your current HDD into the DVD drive (my current setup is in my signature).
     
  15. rohitbansal1507 thread starter macrumors member

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    Apr 9, 2017
    #15
    Wow! You made me even more curious. I never though I can replace my DVD drive with my existing. That'll be so cool. I don't waste any resources. In this case can I get rid of the casing? This is what I'll do:
    1. Shift the existing hybrid drive from default drive slot to DVD drive slot.
    2. Install the SSD in the default drive slot.
    3. During startup press option key and boot from DVD drive slot (hope I'll see it there?)
    4. Once I'm in the system, I'll copy all data from DVD drive to SSD using SuperDuper.
    5. Set SSD as default startup drive and format the DVD drive for data storage.

    Will this work? Also any recommended HDD drive case?
     
  16. Chancha macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2014
    #16
    You can do that, but in general it is a little safer to use a 3rd external drive as a stop gap.
    1) clone old HDD content to external
    2) before touching the machine or wiping any drive, plug the new SSD with a USB-SATA cable/dongle to your Mac, clone from ext to SSD
    3) test boot with it by option-restart, again without even touching the Mac yet
    This way if you screwed up the cloning, or if the SSD has driver issues with your Mac, it is still early to fix it.
    Once confirmed it runs fine, you can decide which slot in the MBP for the SSD to go into. Some earlier models have the optical bay sanctioned to only run at SATA 2 speed (3Gb/s), you can use System Profiler to check your Serial-ATA specs to confirm. If that's the case then the SSD better sits inHDD bay for max speed. If both bays are equal at 6Gb/s, then it is generally advised to put SSD at optical bay with a caddy, and then leave a mechanical HDD at the original drive place, since it has more air room, taller space to take perhaps >9.5mm drives, and some extra parts for shock absorption.
     
  17. rohitbansal1507 thread starter macrumors member

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    Apr 9, 2017
    #17
    Either way, It's just about managing risk. Last time I used CarbonCopy and it worked flawlessly. btw I realised this way I can also save another 50 bucks and purchase the 275GB SSD instead of 575GB SSD from crucial...I have also attached a snapshot of the dent that I have on my Mac. Any opinions, please let me know...

    PS: I wonder if my MacBook will have any resale value after another 2-3 years? I feel like I'm squeezing the last bit from my Mac. So Happy :)


    IMG_1352.JPG
     
  18. Apples555 macrumors regular

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    Mar 4, 2012
    #18
    It is actually embarrassingly flexible. Here's the thread I made back then. That corner still doesn't look pretty, but I got it almost exactly back to where it was. I was initially worried about pressure on the LCD, but two years later, everything seems to be fine.

    Here's how it was when it got bent.

    [​IMG]

    And when I bent it back.

    [​IMG]
     
  19. rohitbansal1507 thread starter macrumors member

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    Apr 9, 2017
    #19
    Thanks to all of guys. I have finally upgraded with Crucial 8GB RAM, Crucial 275GB SSD and a new NuPower battery and have put the old hybrid in place of optical drive. Super amazing stuff.

    How long do you guys think I can use my laptop now? I worry if my keyboard will hold another few years, many times I have seen dust going inside from the corners of the keys. I don't like putting those rubbery/platicy key guards as they take away the "click" feel of the keys.

    Also I'm worried if I'll ever be able to justify buying a new laptop? This bad-boy is now so strong. What will be the resale value after 2-3 years? Also, what else can I do with my MacBook if I decide to upgrade finally out of getting bored with this machine...
     
  20. b0fh666 macrumors 6502a

    b0fh666

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2012
    Location:
    south
    #20
    stop worrying and use it until the wheels fall off.

    i too use two 'upgraded' 2012s, one 13 and one 15 with all the stuff (ssd, 16gb, optibay storage, etc) and they work just fine. not upgrading to that new crap anytime soon.

    I wish someone would produce aftermarket upgrades for processor/GPU and maybe screen for these laptops. they are the best apple made.
     
  21. rohitbansal1507 thread starter macrumors member

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    Apr 9, 2017
    #21
    @b0fh666
    True..I tried convincing myself multiple times to buy the newer model. Even set aside cash and played with it multiple times in the store but I just couldn't convince myself. I just worry about my keyboard. I keep cleaning it like once every 2-4 weeks and I'm sure there's some dust definitely that escapes through...Let's see how it goes...This is probably the best investment I have made in my life...
     
  22. b0fh666 macrumors 6502a

    b0fh666

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    Oct 12, 2012
    Location:
    south
    #22
    keyboard will be fine, believe me. never cleaned mine under the keys since 2012, just blow it sometimes and clean the keys with alcohol every now and then and they still work flawlessly. my wife's (also a 2012 13") is even worse as she uses it in the kitchen, etc and simply does not care. also flawless :-D
     
  23. rohitbansal1507 thread starter macrumors member

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  24. Apples555 macrumors regular

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    Mar 4, 2012
    #24
    Happy to hear it.

    You'll be able to use it as long as you want. Eventually, OS X/MacOS will drop support for it, but this MBP can run Windows 10, which will be supported by Microsoft until 2025. When 2025 rolls around and you are still alive and want to continue using the MBP, it will run whatever flavor of Linux prospering then.

    I have notebooks that are 15 years old with fully-functioning keyboards. The only wear item in portable computers is the battery, as you know. I've put 7 years on my 2010 MBP keyboard with no problems yet. The O key broke, so I replaced it.

    I'm curious, how is the aftermarket battery?
     
  25. rohitbansal1507 thread starter macrumors member

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    Apr 9, 2017
    #25
    Thanks buddy for all the info...
    Actually I had a detailed discussion with a big retailer of batteries our here in Singapore and what he told me is that only NuPower batteries can be trusted to have good quality standards. Every1 else who "claims" to sell OEM/Genuine battery is most probably lying because Apple doesn't manufacture there own battery and the guys who manufacture batteries for Apple probably don't sell in retail market. Moreover, no1 knows who makes batteries for Apple, suppliers keep changing very frequently. Even he sells so to say "OEM" batteries and he told me that he has found a trusted supplier in China who supplies him pretty descent batteries and failure rate is like 1 in 20. Is he a OEM for Apple? No...but he has chosen this supplier based on his years of experience and customer feedback.

    I bought the NuPower and I think I'll be able to give a better feedback after a few weeks. I swapped just a day or two earlier. But it's higher capacity than original battery and was pretty well packed, came with all tools as well. The seller even gave me a 1 year manufacturer warranty.

    Let me know if you need to know anything else...Also any opinion on which is the best software among superduper, carbon copy or the native apple feature....Isn't the native apple feature a bit buggy and slow?
     

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