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shrewsrule11

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Feb 29, 2012
9
0
Hello all.
About 6 months ago I invested in a refurbished Early 2011 Macbook Pro running OSX Lion. I love it, it's the best computer I've owned. Now, I believe I am in need a a few upgrades. First of all, the current specs:

2.0 ghz intel i7 processor (quad core)
4 GB RAM
500 GB 5400 RPM hard drive.
AMD Radeon HD 6490M with 256 MB of vram.

For day-to-day tasks, this easily gets the job done. But I've been doing more video editing with FCP Studio 7 as well as playing Team Fortress 2 pretty regularly. The performance of my mac dips significantly when running those programs, and I'd like to speed it up. I've been considering a few options:
For the RAM, I think I'm going to move up to 8 GB. The jump to 16 GB does not seem to hold enough benefits for me. Is this a good idea? Where's the best place to buy RAM upgrades?
I'm also considering putting a small (less than 120 GB) SSD in to work as my boot drive as well as storing Team Fortress 2, FCP and Firefox. There are a number of options here as well. What I'm thinking to do is move the 5400 RPM drive into the optical bay, then place the SSD where the original drive went. I have no idea how to go about this though, please advise.

Thanks for any help.
 

cgk.emu

macrumors 6502
May 16, 2012
449
1
Hello all.
About 6 months ago I invested in a refurbished Early 2011 Macbook Pro running OSX Lion. I love it, it's the best computer I've owned. Now, I believe I am in need a a few upgrades. First of all, the current specs:

2.0 ghz intel i7 processor (quad core)
4 GB RAM
500 GB 5400 RPM hard drive.
AMD Radeon HD 6490M with 256 MB of vram.

For day-to-day tasks, this easily gets the job done. But I've been doing more video editing with FCP Studio 7 as well as playing Team Fortress 2 pretty regularly. The performance of my mac dips significantly when running those programs, and I'd like to speed it up. I've been considering a few options:
For the RAM, I think I'm going to move up to 8 GB. The jump to 16 GB does not seem to hold enough benefits for me. Is this a good idea? Where's the best place to buy RAM upgrades?
I'm also considering putting a small (less than 120 GB) SSD in to work as my boot drive as well as storing Team Fortress 2, FCP and Firefox. There are a number of options here as well. What I'm thinking to do is move the 5400 RPM drive into the optical bay, then place the SSD where the original drive went. I have no idea how to go about this though, please advise.

Thanks for any help.


http://www.macsales.com for the "data doubler" system to put your HDD in the optical bay. They have instructions.

http://www.crucial.com for the RAM...OR again http://www.macsales.com. Can't go wrong with either.
 
Comment

RedCroissant

Suspended
Aug 13, 2011
2,268
94
Hello all.
About 6 months ago I invested in a refurbished Early 2011 Macbook Pro running OSX Lion. I love it, it's the best computer I've owned. Now, I believe I am in need a a few upgrades. First of all, the current specs:

2.0 ghz intel i7 processor (quad core)
4 GB RAM
500 GB 5400 RPM hard drive.
AMD Radeon HD 6490M with 256 MB of vram.

For day-to-day tasks, this easily gets the job done. But I've been doing more video editing with FCP Studio 7 as well as playing Team Fortress 2 pretty regularly. The performance of my mac dips significantly when running those programs, and I'd like to speed it up. I've been considering a few options:
For the RAM, I think I'm going to move up to 8 GB. The jump to 16 GB does not seem to hold enough benefits for me. Is this a good idea? Where's the best place to buy RAM upgrades?
I'm also considering putting a small (less than 120 GB) SSD in to work as my boot drive as well as storing Team Fortress 2, FCP and Firefox. There are a number of options here as well. What I'm thinking to do is move the 5400 RPM drive into the optical bay, then place the SSD where the original drive went. I have no idea how to go about this though, please advise.

Thanks for any help.

First of all, I would checkout out OWC.com. They are really god at modifying and updating Apple products and they have a 16GB RAM kit which has been tested and works in your model of MBP. I know that Apple says the maximum is 8GB but people have found that a lot of laptops that had a max of 4GB could actually support 6GB and even the first unibody MBP can sow support 8GB of RAM with a Boot ROM version update.
 
Comment

cgk.emu

macrumors 6502
May 16, 2012
449
1
Lots of echoes in here.

----------

First of all, I would checkout out OWC.com. They are really god at modifying and updating Apple products and they have a 16GB RAM kit which has been tested and works in your model of MBP. I know that Apple says the maximum is 8GB but people have found that a lot of laptops that had a max of 4GB could actually support 6GB and even the first unibody MBP can sow support 8GB of RAM with a Boot ROM version update.

OWC maintains a list of the true supported memory for each machine. My 2008 claimed 4GB...I have 8 in it now. Just something to keep in mind for the OP.
 
Comment

shrakner

macrumors member
Dec 28, 2006
64
0
I'm also considering putting a small (less than 120 GB) SSD in to work as my boot drive

I wouldn't go any lower than 120- good 120 GB drives can be had for $100 these days, and games do take up a decent amount of room. I did a similar arrangement with my work laptop- the exact model as yours. Once you have the drive installed, symlinks are your friend.

I got a cheaper ODD bracket from Amazon which fits fine, but doesn't really have as many retaining screws as it should have- I expect the OWC bracket will be built to higher standards.
 
Comment

RedCroissant

Suspended
Aug 13, 2011
2,268
94
For Otherworld Computing, I think you mean:

http://www.macsales.com

I would agree though - this is the best place for SSD's and the Data doubler. I got my memory from Amazon...

Yes, that it what I meant. What do you think of the eSATA port that they can install in an iMac? I know that's not as fast as TB but it definitely beats firewire of usb(which is what I have with my 2009 iMac).
 
Comment
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