Upgrade or New?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Elevon, Jul 8, 2014.

  1. Elevon macrumors regular

    Nov 29, 2011
    Hi there,

    I have a 15" Macbook Pro from the early 2011.

    Mainly use it for editing such as photoshop, illustration, iMovie, etc. and recently I've started to notice it struggling to keep up with my work - lots of delays and lags.
    I've already doubled the RAM, so Im wondering if this problem gets worser will it be worth upgrading with something like an SSD? (I've been thinking this for a while to replace the superdrive) or invest in a new macbook pro?

    Please let me know your thoughts!

    Many Thanks,
  2. deeddawg macrumors 604

    Jun 14, 2010
    Figure out your bottleneck before you decide on a solution. Same way you figured out memory was a bottleneck before throwing money into a RAM upgrade.

    Is the bottleneck the CPU or is it the speed of the storage (HDD)? Once you know that answer you'll know whether an SSD upgrade will be worthwhile vs. changing out the whole system.
  3. mad3inch1na macrumors 6502a

    Oct 21, 2013

    Considering you have a 2011 model with maxed out RAM, I can almost guarantee your HDD is bottlenecking your system. I know the 2011 models had some issues with Radeon graphics cards, so be wary of that before deciding to upgrade. The SSD will definitely benefit your system, but getting a new computer will obviously improve your performance more.

    The 2011 models are fine in general, and your computer is only 3 years old. The HDD should not have too much an effect in the middle of your workflow, so think of the best performance your system has during a project. If that is too slow for you, then you should probably look into getting a new computer. The HDD will not have too much an effect on that, unless you are still capping out your RAM. You can always look in Activity Monitor to see what is bottlenecking.

    Get a new rMBP if you can afford it and feel that even in the best case scenario, your computer does not do what you want. Get an SSD if your computer is lagging in general, but you can still do your work. The SSD will breath new life into your computer.

    Cost of a 512 GB 840 EVO/M500: $260/$225
    Cost of a new Baseline 15" rMBP: $1900

    I personally think that the SSD will be fine for you, but you know what work you need to complete better than I do. If you get an SSD and are still unhappy with the performance of your computer, you will be out about $60. It will definitely boost performance though, so hopefully it will at least last you until the next upgrade cycle. SSDs are so much cheaper than they used to be, even a year ago. Definitely check them out. I think it will be totally worth it for the cost.

  4. deeddawg macrumors 604

    Jun 14, 2010
    Unless going above 512GB, probably better to go with the newer Crucial mx100 rather than the older Crucial m500. Plus it's a little cheaper ($213 on Amazon)

    Anandtech mx100 review: http://www.anandtech.com/show/8066/crucial-mx100-256gb-512gb-review

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