what could I do to upgrade/extend the life of my late 2011 MBP to current standards

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by masterolive, Nov 19, 2014.

  1. masterolive macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2012
    #1
    In late 2011 I burnt a hole in my pocket, getting the best MBP I could at the time. It was a financial opportunity I probably wont ever run into again considering It was solely for a laptop.

    Back then, I tried to choose the extra options online rather than getting a "Stock" MBP. As a result, here are my specs:

    Processor 2.2 GHz Intel Core i7
    Memory 16 GB 1333 MHz DDR3
    Graphics Intel HD Graphics 3000 512 MB

    I read that the "Intel HD Graphics 3000" Allocates more memory(512) to itself if you upgrade from 4GBRAM to 8GB.
    Is this a significant change? Also, Im curious why it wouldn't allocate more since I have 16GB RAM.

    Im mainly interested in gaming, and throughout the years I've been able to run games using Windows 7 Bootcamp, but lately Ive had to run the latest games down to the lowest graphics in order to run fast.
    (like Boarder lands 2, Arma 3, Farcry 3 ect.)


    I understand that Im bottlenecked at my processor speed (2.2 GHz) and the Graphics at 512. Aside from selling my laptop and buying a new one,
    What could I do to make this last longer or bring some things up to current standards?
    (I remember being able to run older games at ultra graphics, then newer games had to run at medium, now some of the new games I gotta run at ultra low LOL)
     
  2. MacInTO macrumors 65816

    MacInTO

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    Apr 25, 2005
    Location:
    Canada, eh!
    #2
    Throw an SSD into it. It will speed it up remarkably!
     
  3. masterolive thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Apr 6, 2012
    #3
    I have yet to install a SSD drive into the mac.
    Would the SSD affect any gameplay if a game is installed on it? like better frame rate?
     
  4. MacInTO macrumors 65816

    MacInTO

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    #4
    I think it would speed any application up. Normally a spinning hard drive is the bottleneck. The transfer speed of SSDs are several times faster than hard drives. For example, booting a Mac with a SSD is usually less than 15 seconds. Once you try it, you'll never use a regular hard drive again!
     
  5. masterolive thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Apr 6, 2012
    #5
    Yes, Ive thought about it but whats held me back is that I can barley keep from maxing out my 750gb hard drive, because of my bootcamp partition.

    I would have to rearrange my data habits back onto my hard drives. Ive also heard of the conversion kit for the DVD drive.
     
  6. MacInTO macrumors 65816

    MacInTO

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    #6
    I've replaced the optical drive with a hard drive also. I have a 500gb SSD and a 1tb hard drive. It was awesome - until Radeongate struck! :(
     
  7. thekev macrumors 604

    thekev

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2010
    #7
    Yeah mine is basically dead due to that. It works if I disable all graphics libraries, which means that it runs on the hd 3000, but it doesn't run correctly on it. It's stuck in external display mode and won't sleep. I may have it repaired, as I would prefer to hold out until broadwell for a replacement.

    It would have no meaningful effect. It might be able to load scenes slightly faster, assuming that there's a large bottleneck loading texture data from disk. It will not improve your framerates. The HD 3000 was not ideal for gaming in 2011. For anything newer it must be painful. With Apple you're mostly stuck with integrated graphics. The model with a 750m is too expensive if you just want better graphics. Even then you'll be back to low settings on new games within a couple years (at most). The people who do a lot of gaming on macbook pros seem to upgrade fairly frequently and buy higher end models, but it's very expensive.
     
  8. masterolive thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Apr 6, 2012
    #8
    Thank you for responding.
    Yeah It sucks because I would rather just buy a new gaming PC, some you can get between $500-$1000 and they will run games great.
    Its just a odd situation because I payed $2,500 for my laptop shortly after it was announced :confused: and now the resale value wont cover anything worth comparing.

    Its still a powerhouse, I do video work and photography and still haven't been hindered in the department (Yet).
    I just wanted to start some discussion incase there is something I overlooked, but I think whenever I get the money I may just by a pc laptop just for gaming.
    I wish I could just make upgrades to my mac though. there are still some things in it that are valuable.
     
  9. yjchua95 macrumors 604

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    Apr 23, 2011
    Location:
    GVA, KUL, MEL (current), ZQN
    #9
    You actually have a 512MB Radeon 6750M in it as well, but I wouldn't hold my breath. 512MB is pretty little these days, and the 2011 models are known to have the Radeongate issue.

    I'd sell it off as fast as possible and save the funds to get a new one.
     
  10. thekev macrumors 604

    thekev

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2010
    #10
    Oh when you mentioned the HD 3000 I thought you were on a 13". The 15 and 17" ones have their own issues with that generation. Mine died not not that long ago without any warning signs. One day I launched photoshop and it blue-screened. It's not even that photoshop places significant stress on the graphics. It does however invoke graphics switching and load a significant amount of data into the gpu's built in vram. Anyway you're right about the cost difference, but Apple offers what they offer. It has been like that for as long as they've been in existence, and while they could opt to change that, I wouldn't count on it.
     
  11. takeshi74 macrumors 601

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    Feb 9, 2011
    #11
    That's not odd. That's typical.
     
  12. masterolive thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Apr 6, 2012
    #12
    Well since ive had this laptop, its been left out on the rain, and another time it just **** the bed when I did a random repair permissions.

    Each time I had a certified computer repair friend fix things for me, he actually upgraded my 8RAM to 16. Anyways, I only have a normal HD and optical drive, I hope whatever Radeon Issues there are have already happened.
     
  13. poiihy macrumors 68020

    poiihy

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2014
    #13
    About every year you should open it up and clean out the dust. Clean the dust especially from the fans. I cleaned a little bit of dust from the fans and heatsinks using a toothbrush and that made a huge difference! My MBP almost never gets very how anymore, and I almost never get fans at full speed!
     
  14. cjmillsnun macrumors 68020

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    Aug 28, 2009
    #14
    Does he? If it's a 13" then it'll be integrated graphics only.
     
  15. yjchua95 macrumors 604

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    GVA, KUL, MEL (current), ZQN
    #15
    He does have a 15", because he mentioned he has a 2.2GHz i7.
     
  16. snaky69 macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2008
    #16
    Nothing you do to that computer will have any effect on gaming performance. Getting your 16GB of RAM was useless unless you were running out of it in the first place. More RAM does not help gaming. (unless you don't have enough to begin with).

    A SSD will make the computer snappier, but will have no effect on gaming once the game is loaded into RAM.

    More video memory would not be of any help to you. You're most likely not being bottlenecked by the amount of VRAM you have, but by the lack of power of the chip itself.

    The only thing you can do to get better gaming performance is getting a new graphics card. Since like 99% of laptops out there, that graphics card is soldered onto the mainboard, that means getting a whole new computer.

    TL;DR: There's nothing you can do to make it perform better at gaming. You shouldn't have bought a mac for gaming in the first place, a desktop PC would run circles around it without breaking a sweat for half the price.
     
  17. SlCKB0Y macrumors 68040

    SlCKB0Y

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    Sydney, Australia
    #17
    You're not going to be able to do much to speed up gaming but for everything else, an SSD will be the single biggest upgrade in terms of overall system responsiveness. It will feel like a new computer.
     
  18. matty1551 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2009
    #18
    If you want to EXTEND the life of the ticking time bomb 2011's you could try a fan control program to keep your internals cooler. I also use a laptop cooler under it when using it at home.
     

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