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  1. #1
    Early 2011 13" MBP worth upgrading or should I look at retiring it?
    My MBP has been all around the world with me. I maxed out the memory (8GB) and that's about it. It's kind of like a train. It can be slow to start, but once the momentum is up, it runs fine. Once its been idle overnight, it can take a couple of minutes for things to start running smooth.

    Overall, I've been happy with it, but iMovie is a drag to run. I'm running Sierra 10.12.6. The battery is original and I don't really try to run it without wall power.

    I'm thinking of replacing the hard drive and installing the biggest, fastest hard drive I can as well as replacing the battery.

    Is it worth it to install a new solid state hard drive and any other components in this old dog or should I just start looking at a new MBP?

    Tony.

  2. #2
    Early 2011 13" MBP worth upgrading or should I look at retiring it?
    ferrarr's Avatar
    Member Since
    May 21, 2012
    Location
    Pawtucket, RI, US
    Posts
    6,220
    Your Mac's Specs
    L2014 Mac mini macOS 14, iPhone 8+ iOS 12, 12.9" iPad Pro 1 iOS 12, Pencil 1
    Just as an FYI, the Early 2011 MBP will accept 16GB ram.

    What I would do is throw an SSD in the main drive bay, then put a spinner HDD in place of the optical drive. Then you can put the optical drive in an external USB enclosure, if it's still functioning. They cost of everything, would be the only thing that would hold me back, it's something only you can answer. As a new (or newer?) MBP, could cost upwards of 10X as much.

    Ram - https://www.amazon.com/OWC-1333Mhz-P...SIN=B00BKVQETY
    SSD - https://www.amazon.com/Crucial-MX500...SIN=B0764WCXCV
    HDD - https://www.amazon.com/Black-Perform...SIN=B01DOL05OC
    Adapter - https://www.amazon.com/eSynic-Adapte...SIN=B01I15ZVKY
    External USB - https://www.amazon.com/Generic-Exter...r=8-4-fkmrnull
    -- Bob --
    Please backup. Everything has a life cycle, unexpected and warning free. Nothing will last as long as you want it to.

  3. #3
    Early 2011 13" MBP worth upgrading or should I look at retiring it?
    Lee_Bo's Avatar
    Member Since
    Apr 20, 2019
    Location
    Upstate SC
    Posts
    10
    Your Mac's Specs
    iMac, Mac Mini, MacBook Pro, bunch of iOS devices.
    Quote Originally Posted by ferrarr View Post
    Just as an FYI, the Early 2011 MBP will accept 16GB ram.

    What I would do is throw an SSD in the main drive bay, then put a spinner HDD in place of the optical drive. Then you can put the optical drive in an external USB enclosure, if it's still functioning. They cost of everything, would be the only thing that would hold me back, it's something only you can answer. As a new (or newer?) MBP, could cost upwards of 10X as much.

    Ram - https://www.amazon.com/OWC-1333Mhz-P...SIN=B00BKVQETY
    SSD - https://www.amazon.com/Crucial-MX500...SIN=B0764WCXCV
    HDD - https://www.amazon.com/Black-Perform...SIN=B01DOL05OC
    Adapter - https://www.amazon.com/eSynic-Adapte...SIN=B01I15ZVKY
    External USB - https://www.amazon.com/Generic-Exter...r=8-4-fkmrnull
    Exactly right. See my post in this thread:

    iMAC 2010 screaming for help, but..what do you mean?

    I did the same thing with a 2011 iMac and 2011 Mac Mini and now use both as my daily driver at work (Mac Mini) and home (iMac). I also have a 2016 MacBook Pro but only use it when I need to.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by ferrarr View Post
    Please backup. Everything has a life cycle, unexpected and warning free. Nothing will last as long as you want it to.
    I cannot stress this enough!!! Time Machine has saved me on more than one (hardware failure) occasion.

  4. #4
    So I can install a 1TB SSD? That would be great!

    Tony.

  5. #5
    Early 2011 13" MBP worth upgrading or should I look at retiring it?
    Lee_Bo's Avatar
    Member Since
    Apr 20, 2019
    Location
    Upstate SC
    Posts
    10
    Your Mac's Specs
    iMac, Mac Mini, MacBook Pro, bunch of iOS devices.
    Quote Originally Posted by TonyBen View Post
    So I can install a 1TB SSD? That would be great!

    Tony.
    Well yes if (1) the hard drive is replaceable, and (2) if you want to buy a 1 TB SSD. LOL

  6. #6
    Early 2011 13" MBP worth upgrading or should I look at retiring it?
    ferrarr's Avatar
    Member Since
    May 21, 2012
    Location
    Pawtucket, RI, US
    Posts
    6,220
    Your Mac's Specs
    L2014 Mac mini macOS 14, iPhone 8+ iOS 12, 12.9" iPad Pro 1 iOS 12, Pencil 1
    Quote Originally Posted by TonyBen View Post
    So I can install a 1TB SSD? That would be great!

    Tony.
    Yes you can, but I don't remember if the Early 2011 model have SATA 1 or SATA 2, so you may not get the full speed, not that you would notice it.
    -- Bob --
    Please backup. Everything has a life cycle, unexpected and warning free. Nothing will last as long as you want it to.

  7. #7
    Any way I can upgrade my WiFi or Bluetooth hardware, or is that non-upgradeable? Or is it not necessary? Any particular battery to go with or stay away from?

    Thanks for the help!

    Tony.

  8. #8
    You cannot upgrade the WiFi or Bluetooth hardware, just the memory and storage. As far as battery goes, OEM is best.
    --
    Regards
    ...Ashwin


  9. #9
    Early 2011 13" MBP worth upgrading or should I look at retiring it?
    pigoo3's Avatar
    Member Since
    May 20, 2008
    Location
    U.S.
    Posts
    40,874
    Your Mac's Specs
    2011 17" MBP 2.2ghz, 16gig ram, OS 10.11.6
    Quote Originally Posted by TonyBen View Post
    Any way I can upgrade my WiFi or Bluetooth hardware, or is that non-upgradeable? Or is it not necessary?
    In real life situations...not really necessary (even if it could be done...which it isn't like Raz0rEdge mentioned). Pretty much most WiFi network's you're likely to connect to won't exceed the max speed of the 2011 MBP's WiFi hardware.

    Quote Originally Posted by TonyBen View Post
    Any particular battery to go with or stay away from?
    You can mess around with el cheapo batteries via ebay (I've done it)...and you might get lucky. But many times you're going to end up with something that doesn't fit properly, has a shorter total run time than expected, etc.

    Best replacement batteries I've found & always recommend are from OWC (macsales.com).

    HTH,

    - Nick
    - Too many "beachballs", read this: Beachballs
    - Computer seems slower than it used to? Read this for some slow computer tips: Speedup
    - Almost full hard drive? Some solutions. Out of Space
    - Apple Battery Info. Battery

  10. #10
    Early 2011 13" MBP worth upgrading or should I look at retiring it?
    ferrarr's Avatar
    Member Since
    May 21, 2012
    Location
    Pawtucket, RI, US
    Posts
    6,220
    Your Mac's Specs
    L2014 Mac mini macOS 14, iPhone 8+ iOS 12, 12.9" iPad Pro 1 iOS 12, Pencil 1
    /I found this, SOLVED: Upgrade MacBook Pro late 2011 with Bluetooth 4.0 - MacBook Pro 15" Unibody Late 2011 - iFixit, when I was going to do this on my late 2011 MBP, I just can't confirm it works with the early 2011 models. Check out fixit, or do a web search to see if others have attempted it?
    -- Bob --
    Please backup. Everything has a life cycle, unexpected and warning free. Nothing will last as long as you want it to.

  11. #11
    Well, looks like I’ll be upgrading my wife’s mid-2013 11 inch MacBook Air too. It’s only got a 128GB SSD. I assume I can upgrade the RAM too?

    Looks like I’ve got lots of ordering to do.

    Tony.

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by TonyBen View Post
    Well, looks like I’ll be upgrading my wife’s mid-2013 11 inch MacBook Air too. It’s only got a 128GB SSD. I assume I can upgrade the RAM too?
    On that MBa you can upgrade the SSD but you cannot upgrade the RAM, it is soldered on the board.

  13. #13
    Early 2011 13" MBP worth upgrading or should I look at retiring it?
    pigoo3's Avatar
    Member Since
    May 20, 2008
    Location
    U.S.
    Posts
    40,874
    Your Mac's Specs
    2011 17" MBP 2.2ghz, 16gig ram, OS 10.11.6
    Like krs said...can't upgrade RAM on MacBook Air's...but upgrading internal storage is possible. Originally upgrading storage wasn't possible...until 3rd party suppliers came out with a solution.

    - Nick
    - Too many "beachballs", read this: Beachballs
    - Computer seems slower than it used to? Read this for some slow computer tips: Speedup
    - Almost full hard drive? Some solutions. Out of Space
    - Apple Battery Info. Battery

  14. #14
    Early 2011 13" MBP worth upgrading or should I look at retiring it?
    ferrarr's Avatar
    Member Since
    May 21, 2012
    Location
    Pawtucket, RI, US
    Posts
    6,220
    Your Mac's Specs
    L2014 Mac mini macOS 14, iPhone 8+ iOS 12, 12.9" iPad Pro 1 iOS 12, Pencil 1
    Take a look at ifixit.com, they have great repair guides for all Macs.
    -- Bob --
    Please backup. Everything has a life cycle, unexpected and warning free. Nothing will last as long as you want it to.

  15. #15
    Thanks again!

    Tony.

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