Upgrading GPU 2011 MBP

theapplehead

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Dec 17, 2018
490
505
Chapel Hill, North Carolina
Two questions here. First, is it possible to upgrade the gpu on a late 2011 13" MacBook Pro? Second, is it advised? I want to give it a gpu that supports Metal so it can validly run Mojave. Any thoughts? Also, I am not interested in using the Mojave patcher tool for unsupported Macs. Any advice is greatly appreciated!
 

keysofanxiety

macrumors G3
Nov 23, 2011
9,519
24,631
Nope, 13” is iGPU (part of the CPU). However even in the models with a dGPU, you can’t upgrade the graphics as they’re part of the Logic Board.

Tbh there are very few laptops with upgradable graphics cards, unless they’re gaming laptops.

The best you can do to increase GPU performance is max the RAM to 16GB as this will increase VRAM, but this won’t enable compatibility with an unsupported OS and the performance difference for games would be negliable, if non-existent.

It’s a case of a new computer I’m afraid if you’re looking to run the latest OS to a good standard. You can pick up a 2012 13” for far cheaper than a 2011 13” used due to market saturation with the length of time they sold it. Plus this boasts USB 3, a better CPU, better GPU, faster RAM, and is likely to be supported by Apple until 2021 due to 5-6 years EOL from last sold.

In a perfect world I’d recommend saving for a 2015 or higher as this will be a vastly better spec jump and they have much better build quality — the cMBP 13” suffered from high failure rate on the SATA cables.

Sorry for the long post and please let me know if there’s anything I can clarify. :)
 

theapplehead

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Dec 17, 2018
490
505
Chapel Hill, North Carolina
Nope, 13” is iGPU (part of the CPU). However even in the models with a dGPU, you can’t upgrade the graphics as they’re part of the Logic Board.

Tbh there are very few laptops with upgradable graphics cards, unless they’re gaming laptops.

The best you can do to increase GPU performance is max the RAM to 16GB as this will increase VRAM, but this won’t enable compatibility with an unsupported OS and the performance difference for games would be negliable, if non-existent.

It’s a case of a new computer I’m afraid if you’re looking to run the latest OS to a good standard. You can pick up a 2012 13” for far cheaper than a 2011 13” used due to market saturation with the length of time they sold it. Plus this boasts USB 3, a better CPU, better GPU, faster RAM, and is likely to be supported by Apple until 2021 due to 5-6 years EOL from last sold.

In a perfect world I’d recommend saving for a 2015 or higher as this will be a vastly better spec jump and they have much better build quality — the cMBP 13” suffered from high failure rate on the SATA cables.

Sorry for the long post and please let me know if there’s anything I can clarify. :)
Okay. That all makes sense. Just a little disappointing to hear that there’s no way to upgrade gpu. At any rate, I was kind of planning on getting a new MBP this summer when they roll out the new models with hardware mitigations for meltdown and spectre. Thanks for all the help!
 
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AnonMac50

macrumors 65816
Mar 24, 2010
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You might be able to use an eGPU, there are some guides online, but performance won’t be as good as a new MPB because your computer only has ThunderBolt 1. It’s not supported by Apple though.