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macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jun 6, 2010
I fear my trusty early-2011 15" MBP is beginning to reach the end, and I'm unsure what's best to do. I long ago upgraded the HD to a hybrid 1tb drive but I think this might be failing, and after a coffee spillage a few years ago (repaired under insurance - replaced logic board) it has never run quite as smoothly as it used to. Lots of spinning beachballs and long pauses, often when under light load.

I'm thinking of ordering an SSD and kit to replace the optical drive (which I never use), to see if this gives the promised performance boost and hopefully eke out a few more months from it but am looking longingly at the current lineup, but have two concerns. I'd probably replace it with a 13" TB MBP (2018) but am concerned that the keyboard still causes issues, despite the membrane. Just how common is this? And should I last as long as I possibly can with the old one to see what the 2019 models bring?

Normal use is standard web/email/office apps, lots of photos and a bit of (very amateur) GoPro editing.


macrumors 6502
Dec 27, 2009
Simple. Get an SSD, the biggest you can afford. Then put the hybrid out to pasture. The speed will shock you.

While you're at it, a ram upgrade will do nicely too.
Last edited:


Nov 2, 2018
Until September last year I used a late-2011 17" MBP as my day-to-day work machine. I had an SSD from factory, and had upgraded it to 16GB of RAM a few years ago. Ultimately it was parts failure that "forced" me to get something newer. I replaced 3 fans in 12 months, and while those are relatively cheap if you buy them straight from HK/China, the machine already had 2 (or 3? I don't remember) mainboard replacements due to failed GPU.

I still have it and it's currently running iTunes for our AppleTVs, but its beyond the point when I could rely on it for my business.

If you want to upgrade it as much as possible, you could replace both the combo SSHD or whatever it is you have in there now, and the optical drive with a pair of new 2.5" SSD's - just keep in mind the optical bay's SATA port is likely slower than the one for the original drive (it used to be common practice to put an SSD into the drive bay, and the original drive into the optical bay). And of course as @makinao mentioned you could upgrade the memory on it.

But it could still stop working tomorrow, and depending on the fault, you'll have between moderate and a lot of trouble getting parts/service, depending on how handy you are with a tiny screw driver.

If you do decide to get a new one, I can't speak to the 13"s but I have a 2018 MBP15 (base model off the shelf). It's had what I believe was a T2 related crash... once? Maybe twice since September. Since November it's become a "spare/out-of-the-office" machine, because I ordered a new Mac mini.

It will depend on your usage a lot - personally it took me a while to get used to the new MBP keyboard, but I did get used to it, and I'm not so particular that it bothers me much any more, even if I swap back to it from the Apple "Magic" Keyboard I ordered with the Mini (which has a much closer feel to what the 2011's had).


macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jun 6, 2010
Thanks for the words of wisdom. Have swapped the old HD to the optical bay with a new SSD and maxed the RAM. I am genuinely impressed by the difference it's made. Between that and cleaning the screen, it's like a new machine.

Now, if anyone can suggest a way of making it a couple of pounds lighter, that'd be great...


macrumors G3
Oct 24, 2013
New Hampshire
I bought a 2011 17 inch MBP late last year. It died a month later. I spend a little time here and there trying to get it working again. I talked to a shop that can repair it but they advised against it as it would be fixed with used parts and it may just fail a day, week or month later on. I bought a 2015 15 inch MacBook Pro which I love.


macrumors 6502
May 7, 2018
Eifel - Germany
On the 2011 MBP a repair is possible, but indeed not wise. But you can disable the GPU and use the internal CPU graphics. That way it will word almost forever. There a several attempts here.
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