I currently own a MacBook Pro, Late 2011, With a 2.4ghz intel core i5, 4gb memory DD3. I use my mac mostly for web browsing and iTunes, and use (bootcamp) windows for programming. Recently, I have seen my mac slow down at times. When I click an application on my dock, takes aprox. 5-10 secs to open the application. I have seen lag when having multiple applications open at once. Running Windows 8, I do not see any lag unless I am running the debugger on visual studio but that could a VS issue. One of the reasons I want to upgrade is booting time. I am constantly changing going from OSX to Windows and can take up to 30-45 seconds to boot into either operating systems.

My question is asking for your opinion of what Should I do to improve performance. Do I upgrade my current MacBook as it is still In good condition and runs relatively fine. Or do I buy a new Mac with a better processor, more ram?

  • weigh up the cost of at least doubling the RAM & getting a decent sized SSD, vs new machine.
    – Tetsujin
    Apr 29, 2015 at 17:19
  • The SSD by itself should be enough to accelerate your system a lot. The hard disk (which uses a physhical seach over the disk) is slow for new OS X versions. Apr 29, 2015 at 19:38

2 Answers 2


It is about that time to start looking into your options at upgrading your laptop...probably wait till about June or July to see the new models...I have the same model. My video card finally canned today. Luckily for me, there were many 2011 models that had a defective video card too, so they are currently fixing it for free. The Mac guy told me that around that 4 year mark, your hard-drive might start to go too...so beware.

I agree, maxing out your RAM will show a significant increase in your performance.... I would also suggest doing a clean install of Yosemite. It will be like having a new Mac all over again. Those are inexpensive things you can do to help out your Mac for now.


TL;DR: upgrade your laptop with at least 8 GB RAM (2 x 4 GB) and a quality SSD.

I have the exact same 13" MacBook, same original specs and everything. I got it used and immediately upgraded to 8GB RAM and a 128 GB Samsung 840 Pro SSD. It absolutely flies now!

I use various IDEs, Logic Pro for making music, VLC to watch videos, lots of MS Word and Excel, and sometimes have ~20 tabs open in Chromium, never have any problem with speed or system freezes. It runs like a clock, whatever I throw at it.

The cost of the upgrade was about $240 (at the time) and it gave this computer a new life. Absolutely worth it. Note: I used an optical bay adapter to install a second hard drive and have the SSD paired with a 500 GB 7200 RPM Seagate HDD.

For your particular usage profile, the only thing you would likely notice in going from an upgraded 2011 MBP to a 2015 MBP of same specs is an increase in battery life. Probably not worth the extra $1000, since you didn't list battery life as a problem.

  • Awesome, thanks for the advice. Did you go through the apple store to upgrade your ram/put an ssd in? Also, how long do you expect yours to last until? Your right it is a huge money grab (1500$) to upgrade my mac, but lets say I put ram and an ssd in and then my battery shuts it down after 6 months.. How long do you think I got left on my mac (Been 4 years, no failures no problems with battery). Thanks May 1, 2015 at 15:13
  • Your battery is not likely to randomly die on you... Download coconutBattery to check the condition of your battery. For reference, after around ~600 cycles my battery is at about 89% of its original capacity. If your battery does die on you, you can replace it for 99 bucks with one of these.
    – stvhwrd
    May 2, 2015 at 0:58
  • I upgraded RAM and hard drive myself, it's very simple. Follow this guide for RAM upgrade and this guide for hard drive replacement. Barring any major drops or liquid spills - I expect at least another 2 years out of it.
    – stvhwrd
    May 2, 2015 at 1:02

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