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Other Hardware and Peripherals Other Apple systems and peripherals discussion.

Upgrading 2011 MBP to make it faster


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emoth1

 
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Hi All,

I'm exploring the possibility of improving the speed of my 2011 MBP, and the 2 obvious choices seem to be upgraded RAM from 4gb to 8gb, or putting in an SSD drive. My questions are this:

1) would I even notice the upgrade? I don't use it for any intensive stuff, generally just web browsing, emails and creating word documents. Also use it for watching DVDs/listening to music. I quite like the idea of getting into editing photos, but I'm not a photographer, so it would be very much a hobby as opposed to something serious if I did get into it, and it could very well end up being something I never get round to doing. With my current usage in mind, is it even worth upgrading it?


2) what would be the best way of putting in an SSD, assuming I go down this road? I'm on quite a tight budget, so was considering getting quite a small drive (64gb-ish) to run my OS on, and stuff like Safari, mail, word. Then using my existing 320gb internal HD as an external one, and putting the likes of iTunes on the 320gb drive, as well as using it for a back up. Or should I really be looking at getting a bigger capacity SSD? Or could I even get away with a smaller one?

I've never played about inside my machine before, but watched some demos on Youtube etc and I'm confident I could do it no problem, am I being realistic? I'm not very 'tech-minded'...


3) What am I looking at price wise for each of these options, bearing in mind that I'm in the UK? I understand Crucial are the people to go to for RAM upgrades, and believe this will come in about 40? The Crucial Real SSD C300 (64gb) I can pick up for about 90, maybe a shade less, but the Kingston SS100S2/96G is available for just over 100, so would the increased capacity be worth it, considering my plan to use my HDD to keep large apps on? Considering I'm after the upgrade for speed, I wouldn't want to get the Kingston just for the extra capacity if I don't need it, and its going to be slower.
Am I overlooking any other good options in this sort of price bracket?


Thanks in advance for replies, and sorry it turned into a bit more of an essay than I originally intended!


Cheers,
Ed
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RavingMac

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by emoth1 View Post
Hi All,

I'm exploring the possibility of improving the speed of my 2011 MBP, and the 2 obvious choices seem to be upgraded RAM from 4gb to 8gb, or putting in an SSD drive. My questions are this:

1) would I even notice the upgrade? I don't use it for any intensive stuff, generally just web browsing, emails and creating word documents. Also use it for watching DVDs/listening to music. I quite like the idea of getting into editing photos, but I'm not a photographer, so it would be very much a hobby as opposed to something serious if I did get into it, and it could very well end up being something I never get round to doing. With my current usage in mind, is it even worth upgrading it?


2) what would be the best way of putting in an SSD, assuming I go down this road? I'm on quite a tight budget, so was considering getting quite a small drive (64gb-ish) to run my OS on, and stuff like Safari, mail, word. Then using my existing 320gb internal HD as an external one, and putting the likes of iTunes on the 320gb drive, as well as using it for a back up. Or should I really be looking at getting a bigger capacity SSD? Or could I even get away with a smaller one?

I've never played about inside my machine before, but watched some demos on Youtube etc and I'm confident I could do it no problem, am I being realistic? I'm not very 'tech-minded'...


3) What am I looking at price wise for each of these options, bearing in mind that I'm in the UK? I understand Crucial are the people to go to for RAM upgrades, and believe this will come in about 40? The Crucial Real SSD C300 (64gb) I can pick up for about 90, maybe a shade less, but the Kingston SS100S2/96G is available for just over 100, so would the increased capacity be worth it, considering my plan to use my HDD to keep large apps on? Considering I'm after the upgrade for speed, I wouldn't want to get the Kingston just for the extra capacity if I don't need it, and its going to be slower.
Am I overlooking any other good options in this sort of price bracket?


Thanks in advance for replies, and sorry it turned into a bit more of an essay than I originally intended!


Cheers,
Ed
A guy has to do what a guy has to do, but I don't see anything in your post that would reasonably suggest a need to upgrade for someone on a tight budget, not Tech-minded, and with your usage profile.

Just my opinion.

I've always wanted to be smart, handsome and modest. But, I guess I'll have to be satisfied with two out of three . . .
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emoth1

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Razormac View Post
A guy has to do what a guy has to do, but I don't see anything in your post that would reasonably suggest a need to upgrade for someone on a tight budget, not Tech-minded, and with your usage profile.

Just my opinion.
Thanks, that's the sort of response I was looking for. But when I say I'm not tech-minded, I would be quite interested in getting more involved, I'm just not at the minute. I only really said that to illustrate my level of capabilities with a screw driver as opposed whether I should upgrade or not.

It's quite possible that I might upgrade anyway if I have the money, as much to have a new toy if anything else. In that event, care to offer any opinions on the rest of my post?
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From what you've said about your regular usage of your computer - I think the SSD offers the best opportunity for very noticeable speed increase. You're probably not taxing your RAM enough for that to give you a noticeable improvement. That said - I do tend to think that 4GB is the bare minimum on these newer machines so it will pay to keep an eye on how your memory is being used via Activity Monitor. Certain apps have a way of slowly eating up RAM over time.
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The RAM you might not see an improvement unless you do a lot of multi tasking.

Option two you will definitely see an improvement right away. There are guides on how to install a new SSD/HDD. You just have to look for them.

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emoth1

 
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SSD is looking like the way to go if I do decide to upgrade then. Also, despite what I said earlier, I'm liking the look of Aperture. However, a lot of reviews have said it runs very slowly. If I did download it, and put it on the SSD, would this improve the speed of it, or is it a software problem? Same question about RAM. As an aside, if I did get Aperture, and an SSD would improve its performance, would I be able to put that on a 64gb-ish SSD, or would I need a larger capacity one?
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Quote:
Originally Posted by emoth1 View Post
SSD is looking like the way to go if I do decide to upgrade then. Also, despite what I said earlier, I'm liking the look of Aperture. However, a lot of reviews have said it runs very slowly. If I did download it, and put it on the SSD, would this improve the speed of it, or is it a software problem? Same question about RAM. As an aside, if I did get Aperture, and an SSD would improve its performance, would I be able to put that on a 64gb-ish SSD, or would I need a larger capacity one?

If you're planning to start using Aperture - then you will want to upgrade your RAM. Aperture can eat up RAM in a hurry, although it can certainly still run using just 4GB. Regarding improving the speed of Aperture - really the only speed improvement is in launching the program and potentially importing images (I can't say that with certainty.) The SSD won't speed up the actual process of editing - again with the caveat that cache or page out operations, if needed, will be faster. Regarding Aperture being slow - I haven't experienced that at all although there have been a few posts about Aperture being slow under Lion. I can't say since I'm still running SL.
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What I can say regarding the SSD and Aperture is based on running both on my MBP and my wife's MBA.
Her MBA seems to run Aperture a lot faster (though quite honestly it isn't bad on my MBP). I attribute the difference to the SSD. Having said that, I don't know if the 64GB SSD would cut it. I have seem some posts on the net saying around 50GB is required for system and user files. would be nice to see some input from members with 64GB on this issue.

I've always wanted to be smart, handsome and modest. But, I guess I'll have to be satisfied with two out of three . . .
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Looks like those fortunate enough to have a new MBP might see an even greater speed bump with the right SSD/HD. Apple’s Recent Firmware Updates Enabled SATA 6Gbps Support in New MacBooks | Cult of Mac
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