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FORUMS General Gear Talk Computers 
Thread started 05 Apr 2016 (Tuesday) 13:09
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TIA for your help!!! Macbook Pro, Power, Upgrade, Editing, Window/Apple???

 
Tigerkn
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Apr 05, 2016 13:09 |  #1

There must something AWESOME inside the silver unibody box that I have not ever try to learn and use before. I've seen enough and heard enough so I gave up and want to learn how to use Apple for the first time. My plan is to keep my window desktop and add an Apple laptop.

I got a hand-me-down Macbook Pro (early 2011) from a good friend. Please let me know if it is good enough for culling and edit on the go. I don't think the screen is retina but the image quality is not bad at all. It is similar as my Dell IPS desktop screens.

I was told that it is not possible to upgrade the 4GB RAM, is that true?
Should I upgrade the HD to an SSD? Is 256GB good enough?
Should I remove the DVD and use the current HD as a 2nd HD beside the SSD?
Is it a tough learning curve as I have never used Apple before?
Am I going to have trouble with export and import catalog between Window desktop and Apple laptop?
Is it worth it to upgrade this "early 2011" model for my purpose or it is too old and too slow even with the upgrade?
Am I looking at $200 upgrade or $500?

Sorry!!! That is a ton of questions. Thank you again in advance for helping me!!!
Kevin


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Bleufire
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Post edited over 2 years ago by Bleufire.
     
Apr 05, 2016 16:34 |  #2

I was told that it is not possible to upgrade the 4GB RAM, is that true?

Which one?:
Early 2011 i5 (external link)
Early 2011 i7 (external link)
Late 2011 i7 (external link)
Late 2011 i5 (external link)
One thing for sure, they all support 16GB, Apple only supports or claims 8GB though on some/all.

Should I upgrade the HD to an SSD? Is 256GB good enough?

Depends on your next answer TBH. Also this is purely personal preference. Yeah, a 256 will do just fine but a 512 isn't all that expensive now a days.

Should I remove the DVD and use the current HD as a 2nd HD beside the SSD?
Depends, are you going to be sticking with a 256? Are you willing to play musical photos back and forth depending on file size and quantity. I think if you'd never touch the DVD drive in the first place and if you want more storage than your SSD then why not?

Is it a tough learning curve as I have never used Apple before?
It's different but not hard. Going Windows to Mac is easier than going Mac to Windows, IMO. Regardless of which direction your going, if you force yourself use it as your main machine for 2-4 weeks I bet you'll have it down with no issues.

Am I going to have trouble with export and import catalog between Window desktop and Apple laptop?
I won't answer cause I haven't tried

Is it worth it to upgrade this "early 2011" model for my purpose or it is too old and too slow even with the upgrade?
Yes and no. DDR3 RAM is cheap right now so that is not a bad purchase. If you purchase a larger SSD, like a 512, you could always reuse it in a newer laptop or desktop.
My wife has the 2011 that is still kickin just fine for her needs with a 750GB/1TB HDD (I forgot which) with 8GB of RAM. She can open LR with a NEX5n RAWs and plays with them enough get by.

Am I looking at $200 upgrade or $500?
Price shop. depends.
Check this link out from Crucial:
http://www.crucial.com …813-inch%2C-early-2011%29 (external link)

If you went:
8GB @ $35 + 240SSD (MX200) @ $90 = $125
8GB @ $35 + 480SSD (MX200) @ $150 = $185

You can also wait for SSDs to pop up on sale for a few bucks cheaper but this should give you a loose idea.


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Tigerkn
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Apr 05, 2016 16:51 as a reply to  @ Bleufire's post |  #3

Early 2011 i5
Actually, I have an extra and new 256GB SSD.
DVD - Out
I was told that RAM are welded to the MB so they are not upgradable. Is that true?

Thank you very much for your help Bleufire!


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bacchanal
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Apr 06, 2016 08:25 as a reply to  @ Tigerkn's post |  #4

RAM is not replaceable in the newest MBPs, but the Early 2011s are user replaceable. Changing out the HDD and DVD drives takes some special tools I believe.

This website is pretty helpful for specific repair guides with recommended/required tools for the repair:
https://www.ifixit.com​/Guide (external link)


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Bleufire
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Apr 06, 2016 12:42 |  #5

Tigerkn wrote in post #17961922 (external link)
Early 2011 i5
Actually, I have an extra and new 256GB SSD.
DVD - Out
I was told that RAM are welded to the MB so they are not upgradable. Is that true?

Thank you very much for your help Bleufire!

For $35 for 8GB RAM, you have a decent portable machine.

And Bacchanal is right, the MBP on some newer models (I didn't think all but I haven't checked recently) have upgradeable RAM. And some actually have non-upgradeable storage as well, again not sure which but last I heard some did or at least required a good hand at soldering.


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ShotByTom
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Apr 06, 2016 15:54 |  #6

I had a 2010 MacBook Pro and I was able to upgrade everything myself, including removing the DVD drive for an extra hard drive.

I recently sold that one and bought a 2013 Retina MBP. The battery quickly died on that one and I took it in for repairs. The apple tech told me that a general rule of thumb is if the MBP has a retina display, it is not upgradeable, the HDD and ram are flash memory and are incorporated into the logic board.

If you don't plan on storing photos on your laptop you can get by with a 120gb ssd. I have 251 gb of flash hdd and I have 180 gb free, that includes 40gb of photos.

If it were me, I would put a 256 gb SSD and 8gb of ram, you will be very happy with the performance. I actually like using Apple Photos for culling and some quick slider edits. I then export to my cloud drive and my partner then uses those photos on his windows computer with no problem at all.

Be warned...you will want an Apple desktop once you use Mac OSX!


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Tigerkn
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Apr 09, 2016 02:13 |  #7

bacchanal wrote in post #17962608 (external link)
RAM is not replaceable in the newest MBPs, but the Early 2011s are user replaceable. Changing out the HDD and DVD drives takes some special tools I believe.

This website is pretty helpful for specific repair guides with recommended/required tools for the repair:
https://www.ifixit.com​/Guide (external link)

Thank you bacchanal! That website is awesome.


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Tigerkn
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Apr 09, 2016 02:14 |  #8

Bleufire wrote in post #17962833 (external link)
For $35 for 8GB RAM, you have a decent portable machine.

And Bacchanal is right, the MBP on some newer models (I didn't think all but I haven't checked recently) have upgradeable RAM. And some actually have non-upgradeable storage as well, again not sure which but last I heard some did or at least required a good hand at soldering.

If RAM is that cheap, I am going to max it out with 16GB


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Tigerkn
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Apr 09, 2016 02:20 |  #9

ShotByTom wrote in post #17963001 (external link)
I had a 2010 MacBook Pro and I was able to upgrade everything myself, including removing the DVD drive for an extra hard drive.

I recently sold that one and bought a 2013 Retina MBP. The battery quickly died on that one and I took it in for repairs. The apple tech told me that a general rule of thumb is if the MBP has a retina display, it is not upgradeable, the HDD and ram are flash memory and are incorporated into the logic board.

If you don't plan on storing photos on your laptop you can get by with a 120gb ssd. I have 251 gb of flash hdd and I have 180 gb free, that includes 40gb of photos.

If it were me, I would put a 256 gb SSD and 8gb of ram, you will be very happy with the performance. I actually like using Apple Photos for culling and some quick slider edits. I then export to my cloud drive and my partner then uses those photos on his windows computer with no problem at all.

Be warned...you will want an Apple desktop once you use Mac OSX!

I have a fairly new 250GB Crucial MX200 that previously have Window 7 on it but the OS crashed so I remove it from the Desktop and used another SSD. Can I use it on a MBP? If RAM are cheap, I am thinking of max out with 16 GB. Please let me know your thought!
Thank you for your help Tom!


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ShotByTom
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Apr 09, 2016 10:12 as a reply to  @ Tigerkn's post |  #10

You should be able to use that SSD on your MBP without any problem. 16gb of RAM is probably more than you need, but if money isn't an issue than I would put in as much as it will take. Just make sure that your 2011 will take 16gb of RAM.


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Tigerkn
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Apr 09, 2016 12:04 |  #11

Thank you Tom!

I am very comfortable working on most of the basic HW and SW with Desktop on the Window world but have never worked with Laptop and/or Mac. I think, this could be a bit challenging for me to figure all things out. Do you think I can tackle this upgrading project by following the link that Bachanal posted for the HW portion? https://www.ifixit.com​/Guide (external link)


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Apr 09, 2016 13:24 |  #12

absolutely, it's not hard at all. I've changed the hard drive, ram, dvd and touchpad, it's all very easy. The screws are very, very small though, I bought this toolkit and it helped a lot: http://www.amazon.com …keywords=macboo​k+tool+kit (external link)


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Apr 09, 2016 13:26 |  #13

If all else fails...take it to an Apple store. I took my 2010 to Apple and they sent it out to a 3rd party repair service. For $275 they repaired any internal problems, the only thing not covered was the display.


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TIA for your help!!! Macbook Pro, Power, Upgrade, Editing, Window/Apple???
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