Worth "upgrading" my 2011 MBP? RAM?

GhostMac24

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Original poster
Jul 27, 2011
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My 2011 2.3 i5 MBP with 4GB RAM is being used for internet only now. It is my 7 year old's laptop for doing school work. Everything they do is on Google Drive, Google Apps, or educational websites that the school subscribes to (math & literacy games, etc). It seems every time they try to start up the laptop, open a browser, anything, it just takes forever. Is this something that would actually benefit from any internal upgrades? Cruciual states it can take a replacmeent SSD for $100 as well as 16GB RAM (2x8) for roughly $130 but I don't care to throw $230 at a computer that won't benefit from it. I'd rather just put the money toward a new one. I'm not sure how it (RAM) would help since there are no labor intensive, memory hogging apps being used. Is this just a function of an older CPU trying to run 6 years after it was born? Guessing the SSD would be the better option?

Have read a few older threads/posts and some say RAM, some say SSD, and others say put the money toward a new laptop...haha. As stated, an entry level SSD from crucial (275GB) which is more than enough memory for what we are doing is only $100. Maybe that should be the first on the list of upgrades and maybe a small RAM bump from the current 4 to 8?
 
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Frankfurt

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Dec 4, 2016
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I did the same with a Late 2008 Macbook that came with 2G and 250G hard drive. I updated to 8G and 500 SSD a few years back enabling it to run all OS updates incl. El Capitan with no issues. Was definitely worth the investment.
 

PBG4 Dude

macrumors 68040
Jul 6, 2007
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I put a cheap $65 240GB SSD into my late 2008 MBP and it cut my boot time by 75%. Replacing HDD with SSD is such an increase in performance it'll feel like you have a new machine.
 

daddadc

macrumors newbie
Jul 23, 2017
5
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definitely upgrade to SSD and max out your ram to 16gb. You'll definitely feel the difference. I event went so far as to swop out my DVD Superdrive with a HDD caddy to put in my regular HDD as a normal storage drive. Did it all myself. best $150 spent to upgrade. Feels like I got a whole new machine !!
 
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Nik

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Jun 3, 2007
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8GB of RaM is plenty and I think that the 2011 MBP does not support 16 GB RAM anyway.
Upgrade to SSD and you will be just fine.

You do not need 16 GB RAM for that kind of workload. I do software development and graphics work on my machine with 8GB and it works just fine.
 

GhostMac24

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Jul 27, 2011
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My plan was 8RAM and a SSD. Just need to figure out if the Apple Store does this work or if I need to go to independent repair shop. If I had the time, I'd do it. I just have zero time these days and I need to get it taken care of.
 

Audit13

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Apr 19, 2017
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Installing the ram and ssd should take no more than 30 minutes if you have never opened or replaced anything in your Macbook. Makes sure you have the correct screw drivers for the bottom case screws and Allen screws for the hard disk. I recommend disconnecting the battery as soon as you remove the bottom cover.

Restoring a time machine backup will take the longest.
 
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GhostMac24

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Jul 27, 2011
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Well that's reassuring. Maybe I'll give a go myself. My plan was just to install a clean version of OSX but I have no idea how to go about that as I don't have any media to load a new OS.
 

Audit13

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For a clean install, you could put the existing drive in an external USB enclosure and put it aside for now.

Use internet recovery to do a clean install of the os that came with the Macbook. Once the original os had been installed, go to app store and download Sierra but don't install yet. Get a spare 8 GB USB key and create a Sierra installer for future use: http://lifehacker.com/how-to-make-a-bootable-macos-sierra-usb-flash-drive-1786853248
 

KUKitch

macrumors 6502
Jan 10, 2008
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8GB of RaM is plenty and I think that the 2011 MBP does not support 16 GB RAM anyway.
Upgrade to SSD and you will be just fine.

You do not need 16 GB RAM for that kind of workload. I do software development and graphics work on my machine with 8GB and it works just fine.
Definitely does support it - my old 2011 (before I got rid of it) had 16 GB dropped in and recognized just fine... likely did not need that much as mentioned, but it was cheap at the time (2013-14). SSD will likely be much more noticeable - that was going to be my next change if I'd kept it, but I sold it before changing that bit.
 

muratura

macrumors member
Mar 20, 2017
40
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I think even the 2010 15" macbook supports 16 GB of ram. The only problem is that you need Windows or Linux to see all of it. Mac OS will not recognize 16, just 8. I'm not sure about the 2011 15", they switched those to Sandy Lake so it should work.
The 13" are better for compatibility, all of them should take 16 gigs without issues
 

GhostMac24

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Jul 27, 2011
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Will probably go with (2) 4GB sticks and a SSD in the 250-500GB range. Best place to buy everything I need? Crucial?
 

bkends35

macrumors 6502a
Feb 24, 2013
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Amazon? I got my (Crucial) RAM from there... pair that with a Samsung SSD - 850/950/Pro/Evo maybe?
Only the 850 would work since its sata. The 950/960 Pro are NVMe M.2 drives that don't work in old computers.
 

jerryk

macrumors 603
Nov 3, 2011
6,111
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SF Bay Area
I would buy at Amazon. Huge selection, free returns, and 2 day shipping if you are Prime member make it my go to place for my computing needs.

I used a Samsung 850 Evo in my 2011. Worked great. But the Crucial MX300 is also a good choice. Either one will give you a 8-10X performance increase from your rotational drive.
 

Audit13

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Apr 19, 2017
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I found that any ssd will be better than a mechanical drive. I have used the Samsung 840 evo, Samsung 850 evo, Kingston hyperx 3k, OCZ vertex 3, Kingston kc300, Intel 530, adata sp600' and Crucial mx500 with good results in a mid-2010 15", late 2011 15", 2010 13" Pro, early 2011 13, and mid 2012 13".
 
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