Worth it to upgrade a 2011 laptop?

tanchik

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jan 31, 2015
8
0
I got an old 2011 Macbook Pro laying around. It's got a faulty mouse pad, and I never got to fix it. Right now I'm using a PC laptop which is falling apart even though it's not that old.

My background: I'm a digital artist, and I need a lot of memory and power, a dedicated GPU, etc. etc. the bigger the better. I'm saving up for a 32 gb 3+ ghz macbook pro and will get one eventually.

In the mean time, I'm thinking to either fix and upgrade the old 2011 laptop (2ghz, 4gb, 512 storage, 15" to 16 gb 512 ssd 1tb hd) or buy a refubrished beefed up laptop with a better CPU, say, 2015-ish. Of course, there's a difference in price, so if I upgrade my own mac, I can use it for a year or two before buying the most recent 32gb version. If I buy an already beefed up laptop, I'd be stuck with it for longer probably.
 

pshufd

macrumors 65816
Oct 24, 2013
1,410
938
New Hampshire
I got an old 2011 Macbook Pro laying around. It's got a faulty mouse pad, and I never got to fix it. Right now I'm using a PC laptop which is falling apart even though it's not that old.

My background: I'm a digital artist, and I need a lot of memory and power, a dedicated GPU, etc. etc. the bigger the better. I'm saving up for a 32 gb 3+ ghz macbook pro and will get one eventually.

In the mean time, I'm thinking to either fix and upgrade the old 2011 laptop (2ghz, 4gb, 512 storage, 15" to 16 gb 512 ssd 1tb hd) or buy a refubrished beefed up laptop with a better CPU, say, 2015-ish. Of course, there's a difference in price, so if I upgrade my own mac, I can use it for a year or two before buying the most recent 32gb version. If I buy an already beefed up laptop, I'd be stuck with it for longer probably.
I bought a 2011 recently and upgraded it to an SSD. It died with the black screen about two weeks later on and it's a paperweight. I spend a little time on it here and there but I may wind up giving up on it. If I were you, I'd sell the 2011 for whatever you could get and then buy a 2014 or 2015 with a 2.8 Ghz CPU and Discrete Graphics. BTW, I did just that - I bought a used 2015 and it's very nice. There are a fair number of 2014 and 2015 models for sale at dealers as dealers have been scooping them up. They are overpriced though. Learn the used market in your area and see if you can pick up one of these for a song.

The 2019 may be announced shortly and I'm certainly excited if they can resolve the reliability issues. Until then, I am very happy with my 2014 and 2015 MacBook Pros. I may even get another one for my daughter for trading.
 
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vertical smile

macrumors 601
Sep 23, 2014
4,017
5,214
My brother gave me his 2011 17" MBP. It had the GPU issue a few times, he replaced the logic board twice under the repair program, and paid to have it replace once after the program ended.

He thought that the GPU was acting up again due to it not booting and decided to get a 2017 MBP. Knowing that I tinker with old electronics to get them working again, he gave it to me.

It ended up being a really easy fix, this 1TB HDD was failing. I replaced it with a SSD, upgraded to 16GB of RAM, and gave it to my daughters to use.

It is still very fast, and has a beautiful 17" display on it, although my girls mostly use it as a desktop with an external monitor.

I just wished it had a Metal GPU in it. Whenever my girls want to play WoW, they have to boot it up in Windows.

I am not sure if your laptop would be worth fixing. The Touch Pad wouldn't concern me as I much rather prefer a mouse over a touch pad. Replacing the HDD for a SSD is very easy on that Mac, so it might be worth trying to keep it for a while.
 
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Fishrrman

macrumors P6
Feb 20, 2009
17,417
5,641
OP wrote:
"My background: I'm a digital artist, and I need a lot of memory and power, a dedicated GPU, etc. etc. the bigger the better. I'm saving up for a 32 gb 3+ ghz macbook pro and will get one eventually."

You're not going to be happy with a 2011.

Scrape up what you can, and find a 2015 (not 2014, not 2016, but 2015) MacBook Pro.

They represent the epitome of good MBP design.
Sufficient power.
Plenty of ports.
None of the keyboard or display problems that are prevalent on 2016 and later MBPs.
 

tanchik

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jan 31, 2015
8
0
OP wrote:
"My background: I'm a digital artist, and I need a lot of memory and power, a dedicated GPU, etc. etc. the bigger the better. I'm saving up for a 32 gb 3+ ghz macbook pro and will get one eventually."

You're not going to be happy with a 2011.

Scrape up what you can, and find a 2015 (not 2014, not 2016, but 2015) MacBook Pro.

They represent the epitome of good MBP design.
Sufficient power.
Plenty of ports.
None of the keyboard or display problems that are prevalent on 2016 and later MBPs.

Thank you!
I found one on amazon 16gb 2.8 GHz 1tb ssd with AMD R9 dedicated graphics. I hope it'll last me 2-3 years or maybe more