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Twilight

My MacBook Pro 15" Late 2011 Review - This is a weird one

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Posted · Original PosterOP

This will be a review of my MacBook Pro 15" Late 2011. 

 

i've owned this laptop for about 9 months now, and for basically all of that time it's been my daily driver. i've had to switch to other laptops from time to time because my education is quite hostile to macOS. the teachers are apple haters and some programs i needed didn't run on macOS. if that wasn't the case i would not have used other laptops. 

 

let's start with the overall looks of the laptop. 

IMG_0829.thumb.JPG.e049a3ac25abe49ac8fdb7901cea3553.JPG

we'll get into why this picture looks like a** later. 

 

i really like this design. it's possibly my favorite laptop design. it looks like it could be designed today, which is really impressive since it's 8 years old now. 

 

 

next, the ports. 

IMG_0830.thumb.JPG.0d219f5a5ce46579481b7878ee0ec280.JPG

from left to right:

MagSafe, Ethernet, FireWire 800, ThunderBolt 2, 2x USB 2.0, SD card slot, microphone and headphone jacks. 

IMO the I/O on this machine is dated. not in the way people normally use that word. i'm happy it's got USB type a ports, a magsafe port etc. i just wish the USB ports were usb 3.0 instead of 2.0. or that the thunderbolt port was thunderbolt 3 rather than 2. 

also mine has an issue with the headphone jack where it will output low volume static when it's charging. i don't know what causes that. 

 

 

now let's talk about the keyboard and trackpad. 

IMG_0836.thumb.JPG.82a1617b06404b250b0762779dd40ed9.JPG

the keyboard is IMO excellent. it's good key travel and feedback for a laptop keyboard. it's not the greatest though. i also own a Mid-2012 13" MBP and the keyboard on that laptop is better than this one. the keyboard on this 2011 also has a really sensitive backspace key. i was told i can fix it by blowing compressed air under the key but i've not tried this yet. 

 

the trackpad though is still awesome. seriously, it's a lot better than any Windows laptop i've used and it might be the best trackpad i've ever used. the trackpad on my 2012 isn't special compared to this. they both feel the same. 

 

 

now, the display. 

IMG_0837.thumb.JPG.33c8a2777be4355a620a0d78127fec51.JPG

mine has a 1680x1050 display, which was optional at the time, and it looks amazing. compared to a lot of other laptops around the €500 - 800 price point it looks awesome. 

 

 

and now performance. the full specs of mine are:

Intel Core i7 2675QM

16GB DDR3

Intel HD 3000 - we'll get to this in a minute

1TB ADATA SU800 SSD

 

for daily tasks such as opening a lot of chrome tabs, watching youtube, writing documents and forum posts it doesn't skip a beat. everything is fast and snappy.

 

now though, let's get to why the first picture looked so bad, and why i only listed HD 3000 graphics in the specs. 

this model suffers from a big design flaw. the dGPU's fail. mine has the Radeon HD 6750M. when i bought it the dGPU was still working, but i decided to disable it just in case. 

to disable it i did this:

https://realmacmods.com/macbook-2011-radeon-gpu-disable/

however i only removed the resistor. i didn't do the additional steps, which means my display is at full brightness and that messed up my camera. 

also, the display not waking up from sleep is something i've worked around by telling the system to hibernate instead of sleep. to do this, open a terminal and type: sudo pmset -a hibernatemode 25. it doesn't solve the issue fully, because if you open the machine too fast after closing it you will still get a black screen and you need to force restart the system. 

the GPU faillure also means that you can't run external displays off the system anymore. 

 

the last negative thing is the support. this system doesn't support macOS Mojave, which means it's forever stuck on High Sierra. that's not an issue yet, but once High Sierra stops getting security updates and third party developers drop support for it this system will get unusable. 

 

 

 

conclusion:

you might be wondering why i put "This is a weird one" in the title. it's because i absolutely love this machine. i've loved it since i got it. it's been to school with me almost every day, and for the last 2 months or so it's been my main machine because my pc broke. i've switched to other computers during the time i've owned this, but i always come back to it. i've gotten so attached to it that when i upgrade to a newer machine i will probably keep it. that might seem weird considering all the issues it has, but i just love it. i can't really explain why. i would never recommend buying one because of all the issues, but it's got a special place in my heart. and it will probably always be special to me. 

 

IMG_0831.thumb.JPG.726d46770abc3c20dd3155ccf9ef6085.JPG


They/Them :) 

Nokia 7.2 | 128GB | Android

Laptop: HP EliteBook 9470m | Core i5 3437U | HD4000 | 16GB RAM | 500GB SSD | Arch Linux

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2 minutes ago, firelighter487 said:

 we'll get into why this picture looks like a** later

so you're bad at photographing because you're using intel hd graphics?

 

that's a new one

Spoiler

/s

 


PSU Tier List 4.0//Motherboard Tier List//Community Standards//Group Regulation//PSU Protections

Don't forget to quote or mention me

 

Primary PC:

Spoiler

CPU: I5-8600k 5.0ghz

GPU: GTX 1070 ti EVGA SC Gaming

RAM: 2x8 3333 mhz DDR4 Trident Z

MOBO: MSI Gaming Pro Carbon AC

HDD: 1 TB 7200 RPM Seagate Baracudda, 1 TB 5400 RPM Samsung Spinpoint HD103SI

SSD: Samsung 860 EVO 500 GB

Case: Cooler Master Masterbox Lite 5 RGB (modified)

PSU: Seasonic Focus GX650

 

Consoles:

Spoiler

PS4 Slim Glacier White 500 GB

PS4 FTP Special Edition 500 GB

PS3 Super Slim 500 GB

PS2 OG

Xbox OG

DS Lite White

DS Lite Black/blue

DS Lite Blue

DSI XL Orange

Gameboy Advanced Color

PS Vita v2

Wii

 

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A nice insight into a machine that is well into the past but somehow still looks modern, props to High Sierra for that, the software must be optimised to the exact microcode.

 

I love the connection you've got with this machine despite it being for a lack of a better word ancient and also that you've managed to use it for 9 months as your daily. I still remember my old Asus netbook which I had for 2 years and dumped for a new ZenBook which was galaxies faster and prettier.

Fortunately my old netbook got a second life in the hands of my mum now, who uses it for web browsing.

 

It's cool how capable the machine is even after 8 years, I assume this was a used MacBook Pro 2011?

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Posted · Original PosterOP
6 minutes ago, seoz said:

I love the connection you've got with this machine despite it being for a lack of a better word ancient and also that you've managed to use it for 9 months as your daily.

it still performs well though. i looked in your signature and i've compared the cpu's of my Mac and your laptop. 

https://cpu.userbenchmark.com/Compare/Intel-Core-i7-2675QM-vs-Intel-Core-i3-8130U/m597vsm468020

yes i know userbenchmark bla bla bla but as you can see my Mac despite being 8 years old still performs roughly the same as your laptop if you look at multi-core. 

 

6 minutes ago, seoz said:

It's cool how capable the machine is even after 8 years, I assume this was a used MacBook Pro 2011?

yup i bought it used. i got it 9 months ago. i bought it not knowing the GPU problems were a thing. i learned about that a day after i got it which sucked. i wanted to sell it immediately then, but even after one day i was already in love with it and i'm glad i didn't sell it. 


They/Them :) 

Nokia 7.2 | 128GB | Android

Laptop: HP EliteBook 9470m | Core i5 3437U | HD4000 | 16GB RAM | 500GB SSD | Arch Linux

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4 hours ago, firelighter487 said:

the last negative thing is the support. this system doesn't support macOS Mojave, which means it's forever stuck on High Sierra. that's not an issue yet, but once High Sierra stops getting security updates and third party developers drop support for it this system will get unusable.

To be fair, you should be able to "Hackintosh" it to get Mojave on it. If this old boi can do it, by all means you should be able to.

Spoiler

 

 

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Posted · Original PosterOP
7 hours ago, flibberdipper said:

To be fair, you should be able to "Hackintosh" it to get Mojave on it. If this old boi can do it, by all means you should be able to.

  Reveal hidden contents

 

 

i could, but that would mean it would be stuck on dark theme forever because the light theme has loads of graphical glitches still. 

also i use this as my main system now, and i want it to be stable and not brick on updates. 


They/Them :) 

Nokia 7.2 | 128GB | Android

Laptop: HP EliteBook 9470m | Core i5 3437U | HD4000 | 16GB RAM | 500GB SSD | Arch Linux

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and now a bit more then 2 months later im reading this review on the exact laptop from the review while running linux on it and loving every second with it.

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