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  1. #1
    Worth Upgrading a Early 2011 15" MacBook Pro?
    AliceSML79's Avatar
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    Worth Upgrading a Early 2011 15" MacBook Pro?
    I have a early 2011 15 inch MacBook Pro with a 2.0 i7 and 4gb of 1033 ram and 500gb hdd.

    I'm debating installing 16gb of 1600 ram and a dual 2tb Samsung Pro SSD.

    Would these updates make my computer worth while? I can't afford to replace it sadly.
    Last edited by pigoo3; 12-04-2015 at 03:09 PM. Reason: fixed some spelling erors & typo's

  2. #2
    Worth Upgrading a Early 2011 15" MacBook Pro?
    lclev's Avatar
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    I have the same 2011 MB Pro 15", i7. I have added 16GB of memory and a 1TB hard drive. I plan to change out the HDD for an SSD when I get the $$$. It runs really well as it is now. I imagine adding the SSD will really up the performance.

    Dual 2TB SSD? That is a significant costly upgrade - wow. But any SSD will significantly improve performance. I put one in a 2009 Macbook and breathed new life into the old girl. I also have upgraded my Mac Pro with SSD's.

    Lisa
    Recommend using Onyx to clean your Mac.
    If you have been helped, please add to their reputation by clicking on the icon in the lower left hand corner of the post.

  3. #3
    Worth Upgrading a Early 2011 15" MacBook Pro?
    pigoo3's Avatar
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    You didn't really say you were having any issues. But I agree with Lisa…a ram upgrade & SSD install will certainly make the computer feel faster. 4gig of ram is sort of on the low end these days. 8gig of ram is much better…16gig better still. I happen to have a 2011 17" MacBook Pro…and I upgraded it to 16gig (from 8gig)…and it felt better.

    By the way. Isn't a 2x 2 terabyte SSD on the expensive side?!!! If you're going to spend this much on a storage upgrade…you might be better off spending that same money on a newer computer.

    - Nick

    Edit: Just did a quick search. And it looks like Samsung 2tb SSD's are selling for $600-$900 each. That's $1200-$1800 for two of them!!!
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  4. #4
    chas_m
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    Given that the 2011 *just* misses out on some important technologies (BT 4.0, and more crucially no USB 3.0), I wouldn't recommend pouring too much money into it. If you can find a cheap RAM upgrade and a cheaper (waaaay cheaper) SSD upgrade, sure, do that ... both will increase the resale value of that machine. But I personally wouldn't go beyond that in terms of money.

    I did much the same to my mid-2012 (a 960GB for main drive and a 240GB replacing the optical) and 16GB RAM and I'm glad I did.

  5. #5
    Worth Upgrading a Early 2011 15" MacBook Pro?
    RavingMac's Avatar
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    I upgraded my 2012 MBP like you propose, except I went with a 480GB SSD. Works great. IMO, though 2TB SSD is not money well spent. If you need more than 500GB a 2TB external drive is easily found for under $100.
    I've always wanted to be smart, handsome and modest. But, I guess I'll have to be satisfied with two out of three . . .

  6. #6
    Worth Upgrading a Early 2011 15" MacBook Pro?
    AliceSML79's Avatar
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    I know there expensive drives. But to equip a 5k iMac the way I'd need it is lot more then working on mine that I bought used a few months ago. The vid card fried and I got lucky was on recall. They replaced vid card, logic board, outer unibody case. And more. Practically brand new now and didn't cost me a dime. Eventually I plan to get a maxed out iMac, but for the time being I was looking on dual ssd's and 16gb of 1600 MHz memory to extend its life till I can get a 5k. I found OWC website and looking at their ram, 1tb ssd's, and data doubler bracket. Hard drives are have the size but half the price too. And the have very respectable reads and write speeds too.

    Hope this information helps.

  7. #7
    chas_m
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    Max out the RAM, certainly.

    But consider this: you could save a LOT of money by using the Thunderbolt port on that machine of yours and adding a fast RAID external drive (not necessarily SSD -- the speed of RAIDed hard drives can be very fast indeed!) for cheap, very fast mass storage. At this point, and given the fact that the machine is further along towards the end of its useful cycle (yes, even with all the new parts) than a brand new one would be -- this would give you a lot of bang for considerably less buck (though by all means put a 1TB SSD in as your boot drive if you want -- I did, and found one for $250 on special).

  8. #8
    Worth Upgrading a Early 2011 15" MacBook Pro?
    AliceSML79's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chas_m View Post
    Max out the RAM, certainly.

    But consider this: you could save a LOT of money by using the Thunderbolt port on that machine of yours and adding a fast RAID external drive (not necessarily SSD -- the speed of RAIDed hard drives can be very fast indeed!) for cheap, very fast mass storage. At this point, and given the fact that the machine is further along towards the end of its useful cycle (yes, even with all the new parts) than a brand new one would be -- this would give you a lot of bang for considerably less buck (though by all means put a 1TB SSD in as your boot drive if you want -- I did, and found one for $250 on special).
    so you would recommend me getting a single OWC 1.0TB Mercury Electraô 6G SSD and something like the OWC ThunderBay 4 - RAID 5 Edition Enclosure? i know it needs drives but was thinking some Western Digital Blacks or Reds to fill it. it would give tons of secured storage for my video projects and iTunes files.

  9. #9
    Worth Upgrading a Early 2011 15" MacBook Pro?
    RavingMac's Avatar
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    You might want to consider something like this as well (I have the previous model). Makes hooking external drives and monitors a snap to your MBP. Big plus is you can have a full workstation and your only connection from your MBP is thunderbolt DisplayPort cable.
    When you want to go portable, you pull the DisplayPort and go, no need to power down or disconnect anything else.

    http://www.amazon.com/CalDigit-Thund...bolt+station+2

    EDIT: I see that I forgot to post the link (now added). This what I use for external to my workstation. I don't work with video, but 8TB RAID is hard to beat for $350
    http://www.amazon.com/Book-Desktop-E...wd+thunderbolt
    Last edited by RavingMac; 12-05-2015 at 11:36 AM.
    I've always wanted to be smart, handsome and modest. But, I guess I'll have to be satisfied with two out of three . . .

  10. #10
    Worth Upgrading a Early 2011 15" MacBook Pro?
    AliceSML79's Avatar
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    i appreciate the help gotten. i been thinking about what i do to decide what upgrades i want to do. i want as much space as possible but not sacrifice the speed of a SSD, so i was thinking a Samsung 850 PRO 2 TB 2.5-Inch SATA III Internal SSD (MZ-7KE2T0BW) and Corsair Apple Certified 16GB (2x8GB) DDR3 1333 MHz (PC3 10666) Laptop Memory (CMSA16GX3M2A1333C9). but I'm not sure on compatibility of those parts. i do know that Other World Computing says that the OWC 1.0TB Mercury Electra™ 6G SSD and OWC Memory 16.0GB 2 x 8.0GB PC10600 DDR3 Kit will be guaranteed to work. only thing is is SSD is 1/2 the size.

    the reason size is so important is because of my iTunes library and i like to have e them on the MBP so i can watch in a waiting room or when I'm traveling for example. basically when i don't have high speed sip wifi available.

    Thanks in Advance, Alice

  11. #11
    Worth Upgrading a Early 2011 15" MacBook Pro?
    RavingMac's Avatar
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    The surest way to waste money is to buy what you really don't want.
    I have no idea about the compatibility of the 2TB drive, but if it works and that's what you want, go for it.
    I've always wanted to be smart, handsome and modest. But, I guess I'll have to be satisfied with two out of three . . .

  12. #12
    Worth Upgrading a Early 2011 15" MacBook Pro?
    AliceSML79's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RavingMac View Post
    The surest way to waste money is to buy what you really don't want.
    I have no idea about the compatibility of the 2TB drive, but if it works and that's what you want, go for it.
    2tb would be nice because its 4 times bigger then my 500gb 7200rpm rive i have now. the pro drives have great speeds thats why I'm hoping it will be mac compatible. i just wonder who will test it, its expensive drive. id hate to buy it and it isn't mac compatible.

  13. #13
    Worth Upgrading a Early 2011 15" MacBook Pro?
    pigoo3's Avatar
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    This is just a bit of personal commentary on situations like this. I think that folks really do themselves a big disservice by trying to maintain a really large iTunes library (or their entire iTunes library) on their devices. What I mean is…needing a really large internal storage device(s) for these large libraries…when only a very small portion of that library is listened to or watched on a daily, weekly, monthly, etc. basis.

    This cost/benefit situation has gotten better as traditional spinning HD's have gotten less expensive…and smaller/medium sized SSD's are getting less expensive all the time. In this thread needing/wanting two 2 terabyte SSD's has been mentioned…and this is really an expensive solution for maintaining a large iTunes library.

    I totally understand wanting to be able to have a good variety of content "on-board" when WiFi networks are not available. I guess there has got to be a "happy middle" balancing internal storage capacity/cost…and content variety.

    Of course tell me to "go fly a kite" if budget or $$$ is not a problem. I guess I would find two 2 terabyte SSD's to be a budget-buster.

    - Nick

    p.s. And of course. Someone should have an equally large backup device to protect these large libraries.
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  14. #14
    Worth Upgrading a Early 2011 15" MacBook Pro?
    AliceSML79's Avatar
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    i appreciate all points of views. helps me think what is best

  15. #15
    chas_m
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    Have you considered the idea of splitting the iTunes Library, or just going with a 1TB SSD instead? Prices on them are way more reasonable (hovering just above $250), and they work fine on Macs (not that I think the 2TB wouldn't).

    I have what I think of as a very large iTunes Library -- 1.35GB, nearly 4,000 songs, nearly 11 days of 24-hour non-stop listening without a repeat. How much more than that do you think you need with you *at all times* as opposed to having most of it stored at home?

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