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Apple Notebooks Apple's notebook computers including MacBook Pro, MacBook, MacBook Air, PowerBook, and iBook.

Upgrading a late 2011 MBP


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Alcorel

 
Member Since: Nov 20, 2011
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Hello,

Just looking for some feedback on the following upgrade. As the title says, I own a late 2011 MBP with default factory hardware (500GB HDD, 4GB RAM) and I mainly use my computer for software development (iOS and .NET, the latter meaning I frequently run Visual Studio in a Win8 virtual machine). So, here's my idea:

- Samsung SSD 128GB 840 PRO + SATA Optical Bay Adapter
- Corsair DDR3 1600MHz 2x8GB

Initially I was just thinking about replacing the HDD for a 256GB SSD, however, when I figured out that I could instead replace the optical drive for the SDD (as the late 2011 model has an optical drive port that is SATA3) I immediatly liked the idea about tossing the DVD drive for the SSD, which means that a 128GB SSD would be enough and using the remaining money on a RAM boost. (128GB is more than enough disk space for the OSX and the Win8 virtual machine, while the rest of the stuff can go the HDD).

Now, regarding the RAM, do you think it's worth it going for the 16GB? I'm sure I could live with 8GB and, given my needs, perhaps the SSD upgrade would be enough so right now and considering what I do with my MBP I'm looking for advice on the best trade-off in terms of RAM.

Just for curiosity, I also own a late 2008 iMac with a busted DVD combo drive. Can I replace that superdrive with the one in my MBP, as I won't be using it anymore?
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McYukon

 
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Yep, that should work perfectly fine. You already know about the link speeds to the optical bay and got lucky since you have SATA3 to it

One thing you might consider, is putting the SSD into the HDD bay, since it may cause issues when waking from sleep as OS X is looking for the sleep image in the wrong spot.
I did try the SSD in the optical bay and it indeed would not wake from sleep after. This was back in Mountain Lion, I have not tried it in Mavericks but I would guess it's the same.
Quote:
Update: It seems that connecting the SSD to the optical drive slot will give you problems waking from sleep, since the MacBook doesn't look to that SATA port for your main drive. I did not notice this before, as I don't sleep my computer. So, instead of installing your SSD in the Optibay, you'll want to disconnect your regular hard drive, install the SSD in that slot, and then install your old drive in the Optibay and continue as written.
How to Install a Solid-State Drive in Your MacBook
The RAM, I would get 16 GB since you use Virtual Machines. And from my short experience with them, they tend to use quite a bit of RAM. I had 8 GB and used almost all of it quite often, but I run a Minecraft server that uses Java…
I got 16 GB of Crucial RAM on sale on Amazon for $89 last week, I was quite shocked since the last time I bought RAM it would have been well over $250 for 16 GB.

Going by what I can find on iFixit, the super drives are different and I have no idea if they are swappable.

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Alcorel

 
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Thanks for the feedback! I'll follow your advice and I'll put the SSD in the HDD slot and then I'll hook the HDD to the optical bay adapter, as I actually put my computer to sleep often!

I can't find 16GB/1600MHz RAM cheaper than $200, only if I look for 1333Mhz I can get as good as $120. Again, I'm not sure whether saving $80 is worth it.
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bobtomay

 
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If you don't have easy access to Crucial memory, make sure you're getting some of the Corsair good stuff and you should be ok.

Wouldn't even try their value RAM lineup in a Mac though - too many problems to make it worth the chance that it will work ok.

(I've been a Corsair fan since my early overclocking days and I do have some in an older MBP. Haven't checked in awhile, but they were putting out some Mac memory for a couple years with faster timings than anyone else had available.)

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Alcorel

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bobtomay View Post
If you don't have easy access to Crucial memory, make sure you're getting some of the Corsair good stuff and you should be ok.
I'll be buying RAM from amazon.co.uk, so I have easy access to either Crucial or Corsair. So, would you go for Crucial instead of Corsair?
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harryb2448

 
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Crucial or OWC recommended the most here.

Like us Down under, you pay premium prices for IT hardware. Have a look at OPWC web site, check out prices with mailing, and shop around from there.


http://eshop.macsales.com/shop/memor..._1333MHz_SDRAM

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Checco

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alcorel View Post
I can't find 16GB/1600MHz RAM cheaper than $200, only if I look for 1333Mhz I can get as good as $120. Again, I'm not sure whether saving $80 is worth it.
From what I see on Apple's website, your MBP runs at 1333MHz - save the money...unless you plan to transfer the RAM to a newer system at a later time.
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Alcorel

 
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Originally Posted by Checco View Post
From what I see on Apple's website, your MBP runs at 1333MHz - save the money...unless you plan to transfer the RAM to a newer system at a later time.
Yes, according to Apple it only runs at 1333MHz and is also supposed to support 8GB max, however plenty of people are successfully running 16GB at 1600MHz in the exact same model.

A local shop in my area is selling this Corsair 16GB 1333MHz at just $120, I think the price is definitely worth it, instead of going to 1600MHz
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Checco

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alcorel View Post
Yes, according to Apple it only runs at 1333MHz and is also supposed to support 8GB max, however plenty of people are successfully running 16GB at 1600MHz in the exact same model.
1600MHz will run fine, but only at 1333Mhz, that's why it'd be a waste. Good idea to go all out to 16GB, I did the same with my MBP.
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