Need advice re: replacing or fixing my computer (2011 MBPro)

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kramerica
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Need advice re: replacing or fixing my computer (2011 MBPro)

Post by kramerica » Fri Nov 10, 2017 9:45 pm

So my 2011 MBPro shit the bed and requires a new motherboard. Minimum $400 aftermarket and still a risk of that year's endemic video card failings (which killed mine). So I'm wondering what to do and where to research online (e.g. ableton forum? /r/PCMasterRace? etc.). For the record, I'm trying to run Ableton 10 + MaxMSP, NI Komplete (Kontakt mostly w/ Output products) + random plugins w/ an RME firewire interface. Here's my options:

1. $400ish to replace motherboard on 2011 15" MBPro, 2.2GHz quad-core Intel Core i7 processor, 16GB RAM + extra flash drive where the optical drive was (most of which I can move to the next computer).

2. $350-500+ for the same or maybe slightly newer model of MBPro on Craigslist/Ebay. Post-2011 might not have the video card issues; not sure. Need firewire port or adapter.

3. Just use my work laptop (which I own) - a 2015 Dell XPS 13, 2.2GHz Intel Core i5, 8GB RAM (can I move my mac RAM to my PC?). It's probably a little slower than the 2011 MBPro. ISSUE: No firewire port but I assume there's adaptors out there work well? ISSUE: Combining work and music computers kind of sucks, not to mention the lugging it to and fro home everyday.

EDIT: 4. I'm currently borrowing a buddy's 2009 17" MBPro 2.66 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo. He's considered selling it which would probably be on the cheap side. Think that's fast enough to run Abes 10 well? I just need to double the RAM up and thrown in new, bigger HD/SSDs which I already have.

Thank you in advance!
Last edited by kramerica on Sat Nov 11, 2017 12:11 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Stromkraft
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Re: Need advice re: replacing or fixing my computer (2011 MBPro)

Post by Stromkraft » Fri Nov 10, 2017 9:56 pm

I'm in a similar situation and choose to have the board repaired (replacing the graphics card completely) instead. While this is not necessarily much cheaper than a new board, a little bit though as far as I've seen, it has the plus to come with a one year guarantee.

Unless a second hand board have been replaced by Apple for the graphic cards issue, it will have just as much risk dying on you as any other. My machine was second hand at a good price and I got a year from it, which I regard as well served.

Actually, stepping up to a 2012 model could be a good idea and may be wiser if you have some extra money. I haven't seen many going though at acceptable prices, but it happens.

Performance-wise 2013 to 2015 aren't much different to each other, but have set RAM and SSD sizes. Watch out for that. I wouldn't go under 16GB/1TB myself there. In theory the SSD could be replaced, but it's some work to take on.
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Stromkraft
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Re: Need advice re: replacing or fixing my computer (2011 MBPro)

Post by Stromkraft » Fri Nov 10, 2017 9:58 pm

kramerica wrote: 3. Just use my work laptop (which I own) - a 2015 Dell XPS 13, 2.2GHz Intel Core i5, 8GB RAM (can I move my mac RAM to my PC?). It's probably a little slower than the 2011 MBPro. ISSUE: No firewire port but I assume there's adaptors out there work well?
Unless it has Thunderbolt, no.
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kramerica
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Re: Need advice re: replacing or fixing my computer (2011 MBPro)

Post by kramerica » Fri Nov 10, 2017 10:06 pm

Stromkraft wrote: Performance-wise 2013 to 2015 aren't much different to each other, but have set RAM and SSD sizes. Watch out for that. I wouldn't go under 16GB/1TB myself there. In theory the SSD could be replaced, but it's some work to take on.
Woah, what?! Not sure if I understand. Are you saying I can't modify these models to add RAM or my own SSD? I personally prefer 16GB RAM and I have x2 1 TB HD in my 2011 MBPro (the SSD is in the optical drives place).
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kramerica
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Re: Need advice re: replacing or fixing my computer (2011 MBPro)

Post by kramerica » Fri Nov 10, 2017 10:07 pm

Stromkraft wrote:
kramerica wrote: 3. Just use my work laptop (which I own) - a 2015 Dell XPS 13, 2.2GHz Intel Core i5, 8GB RAM (can I move my mac RAM to my PC?). It's probably a little slower than the 2011 MBPro. ISSUE: No firewire port but I assume there's adaptors out there work well?
Unless it has Thunderbolt, no.
Looks like it has Thunderbolt 3.
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fishmonkey
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Re: Need advice re: replacing or fixing my computer (2011 MBPro)

Post by fishmonkey » Fri Nov 10, 2017 10:12 pm

Stromkraft wrote: Unless a second hand board have been replaced by Apple for the graphic cards issue, it will have just as much risk dying on you as any other.
AFAIK, the replacement boards that Apple used had the same vulnerability as the failed boards.
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Stromkraft
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Re: Need advice re: replacing or fixing my computer (2011 MBPro)

Post by Stromkraft » Fri Nov 10, 2017 10:30 pm

fishmonkey wrote:
Stromkraft wrote: Unless a second hand board have been replaced by Apple for the graphic cards issue, it will have just as much risk dying on you as any other.
AFAIK, the replacement boards that Apple used had the same vulnerability as the failed boards.
If this is true, a replaced graphics card as I choose is the best option, next to get a later model. However, it remains to be seen how well this works. I do have a good feeling about it. I'll see when it arrives back.

Of course a second hand board could just keep going year after year. But they seem to go for $400 to $500. While I'm just short of that in total with freight and what not the guarantee gives me some consolation.

I feel the 2011 crop may have a couple of years left performance-wise. Until next summer is OK for me. While each model 2012 to 2015 has incrementally better performance, these are not staggering differences. 2016 jumps up a bit I think.
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kramerica
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Re: Need advice re: replacing or fixing my computer (2011 MBPro)

Post by kramerica » Sat Nov 11, 2017 12:11 am

Oh another option (I edited the original post): I'm currently borrowing a buddy's 2009 17" MBPro 2.66 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo. He's considered selling it which would probably be on the cheap side. Think that's fast enough to run Abes 10 well? I just need to double the RAM up and thrown in new, bigger HD/SSDs which I already have.
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fishmonkey
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Re: Need advice re: replacing or fixing my computer (2011 MBPro)

Post by fishmonkey » Sat Nov 11, 2017 1:49 am

nope, the Core 2 Duo is not a good buy. too old, too slow.
badbrainz wrote: I'm a drummer, so I'm already at an intellectual disadvantage here

kramerica
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Re: Need advice re: replacing or fixing my computer (2011 MBPro)

Post by kramerica » Sat Nov 11, 2017 5:12 am

fishmonkey wrote:nope, the Core 2 Duo is not a good buy. too old, too slow.
Agreed. I just found a 13" Mid 2012 MBPro, 2.5 Ghz Intel Core i5 for $400 on CL. The HD and RAM don't matter cuz I'm gonna swap them out for my own. Does that sound like a decent deal? It has firewire too which is a plus. No video card issues?
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yur2die4
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Re: Need advice re: replacing or fixing my computer (2011 MBPro)

Post by yur2die4 » Sat Nov 11, 2017 5:51 am

That is probably only slightly better than using the work computer.

Probably want at least a 15" for really nice performance.
You mention your old one was a quad-core. 13" are dual-core.

Stromkraft
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Re: Need advice re: replacing or fixing my computer (2011 MBPro)

Post by Stromkraft » Sat Nov 11, 2017 7:26 am

kramerica wrote:
fishmonkey wrote:nope, the Core 2 Duo is not a good buy. too old, too slow.
[/

Agreed. I just found a 13" Mid 2012 MBPro, 2.5 Ghz Intel Core i5 for $400 on CL. The HD and RAM don't matter cuz I'm gonna swap them out for my own. Does that sound like a decent deal? It has firewire too which is a plus./quote]

You'd probably need to stay focused on 15"s as they have quadcores as yur2die4 points out. Nothing of what I said above applies to duocores.

If you only use external hardware instruments a duocore i5 might work. It's somewhat limiting. however.
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Emanresu0891
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Re: Need advice re: replacing or fixing my computer (2011 MBPro)

Post by Emanresu0891 » Sun Nov 12, 2017 1:34 am

If you need a mac and you don't have the money for a brand new one with a 3 year warranty, then it is best to buy a 13 inch since they do not have a second graphics card or a 15 without out a second gpu.

If you search the internet you will find that newer 15 inch macbook pro's are starting to have the same graphics issue.
The problem seems to be with the non lead soldering and the poor ventilation of the macbook pro 15.

If you look at a windows pc that has a second powerful graphics card you will notice that they look 3 times the thickness of a macbook pro. The reason for that is a powerful graphics card needs powerful cooling.

Btw my 2012 macbook pro 15 just had the graphics go out this week. I took it apart and used the heat gun method on the graphics card and it did work. This of course is a temporary fix since the graphics card is bad.

The graphics cards in these macbooks will always fail at some point because of poor design. There is no replacement for the graphics card or a permanent fix because apple never re-designed the mother board they just slapped in the same motherboard with the same shit graphics card whenever it needed to be replaced.

Unfortunately, sending your computer off to have a new graphics card put in is not a permanent solution nor is re-balling the graphics card permanent.

In the future I dont think we will see a "macbook pro 15" from this era in any vintage collection in working condition like you see nowadays with the original Macintosh desktop.

I would advise everyone to stop buying Macbook Pro 15 inch models new from Apple until it is proven that they have created a computer that wont end up in a land fill en masse.

locojohn
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Re: Need advice re: replacing or fixing my computer (2011 MBPro)

Post by locojohn » Sun Nov 12, 2017 11:37 am

Early 2011 Mac Book Pro 15" user here with no issues for all these years. Changed cooler once and replaced the internal HDD with 500 GB SDD and it's like a new machine.

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Stromkraft
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Re: Need advice re: replacing or fixing my computer (2011 MBPro)

Post by Stromkraft » Sun Nov 12, 2017 1:34 pm

Emanresu0891 wrote:If you need a mac and you don't have the money for a brand new one with a 3 year warranty, then it is best to buy a 13 inch since they do not have a second graphics card or a 15 without out a second gpu. [/size]
Well, a 15" without a second graphics card is certainly an option, though if you use two screens that may cause other issues.
Emanresu0891 wrote:
Unfortunately, sending your computer off to have a new graphics card put in is not a permanent solution nor is re-balling the graphics card permanent. [/size]
Who wants a permanent solution? My machine had been going for 6 years before it gave up! I get at least one year guaranteed from the repair place and probably this can hold for two more years or so, until I get a new machine.
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