Using a 2011 MacBook Pro in 2020.. Still worth it?

Is the 2011 MacBook Pro still worth it in 2020? | Early 2011 MacBook Pro Review in 2020

The 2011 MacBook Pro was my main workhorse for video editing, photo editing, web browsing and even some light gaming for several years, but does it still perform well in 2020? And even if it does, is it a laptop worth buying for the cheap price?

In this 9-years later review, we discuss the 2011 MacBook Pro in terms of design, performance, pricing, who should buy it in 2020 & more! We even briefly compare it side-by-side with the 2019 MacBook Pro 16″.

2011 MacBook Pro RAM:
2011 MacBook Pro SSD: (Another option:
2011 MacBook Pro battery:

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Do you have, or are you looking to buy, a 2011 MacBook Pro? What are your thoughts/concerns?

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26 thoughts on “Using a 2011 MacBook Pro in 2020.. Still worth it?

  1. Still using my 2011, upgraded RAM and SSD. But having issues with lagging when running on the battery. Does anyone know why? Is it just a bad battery? The battery status is normal. When plugin, this Mac can compete with my 2019.

  2. Hi im about to buy a macbook. In your opinion should i buy this 2011 macbook or 2019 macbook? Thank you

  3. I'm still using a 2011 Macbook Pro with 16gb ram, SSD, bluetooth 4.0 and a battery coming up soon. A 2009 Mac Pro flashed firmware, SSD, Usb 3.0, bluetooth 4.0 'still haven't found a good deal' RX 570 (from a ryzen build) I lent my psu to my brother til he gets one himself and thats why I put the RX 570 in there. And an iPhone 6 lol

  4. I just remembered if I had a Macbook Pro 2012 in the closet. I don't think it's been used for 3 years.

  5. I couldn't believe how big the difference was when swapping the HDD in my late 2011 MBP for an SSD. E.g. restarting the machine went from about 2 minutes to 20 seconds. You might say that it doesn't bother you, but: Those HDD's don't last forever.
    There are three things that DO annoy me and that would personally keep me away from buying a 2011 model in 2020:
    1. The fan is really, really loud. Even with regular cleaning, it's just loud and I wouldn't want to use this Macbook in a crowded library.
    2. I like to browse with lots of privacy addons: uBlock Origin, Ghostery, Privacy Badger, WoT…but browsing gets really, really slow with all those addons. I uninstalled Ghostery and it became significantly better, but still that's a bummer.
    3. Its just waaay too expensive for its age. For 200 bucks you can get way faster windows or Linus machines.
    But other than that, 2011's models were the second best models, after the 2012's. Why?
    You can change battery, RAM, HDD/SSD, keyboard has no issues and MacSafe is nice, too. And its pretty robust (at least mine is). Once I feel it gets slower and slower, I'll try to revive it again with Linux. Maybe it will last till 2031.

  6. I'm still using my late 2011 MacBook Pro and for the most part, everything runs smoothly. You definitely need to have at least 8GBs of RAM however, as 4GB just won't cut it in 2020.

    I'm not sure if I would recommend this laptop for students though, since they always have 20-odd tabs open on a browser, whilst also running Word and PowerPoint in the background. The laptop will just freeze up on you and you won't be able to achieve anything. Battery life is also abysmal, so if you're in a classroom or lecture hall and you don't have any outlets around you, you're gonna be in for a bad time.

    It still cuts it for light browsing at home, including things like checking emails or watching YouTube. But I definitely would not recommend an old laptop like this for school work.

  7. Got back into editing video and my 07, 08 is struggling with the drone footage. Found a guy that as a hobby beafs up Macs, he's letting me trade in my old one for this one with the SSD and 8gb ram. I'm stoked, right on the price range you had mentioned, I edited a video on my HP and man do I miss a Mac! Thanks for the video I feel much better about picking one up!

  8. I have a 2011 Macbook Air 13 inch with a 1.7 GHz Intel Core i5 and 4GB ram.
    Lately with COVID and everything online, I've been thinking about buying the new 2020 Macbook Air i5, 8GB ($999 for students like me) because my laptop has been working overtime with ZOOM and all classes online. Like yours, if mine is running hot it will crash at like 40%. If the fan is not running, it will last until 5%. I've just noticed it doesn't process many things at once anymore. Browsing is still flawless as well though.
    Do you suggest I upgrade stuff in my MacBook such as the RAM and battery or should I buy a new Macbook? This thing is almost 10 years old… I am a Junior in college and have exactly one year left until graduation. I have been saving up cash to buy the new one but I'm not decided on it yet.
    What do you think and suggest?

  9. Recently I decided to stop wasting power on my gaming pc by idling it all the time and have started using my old mid 2010 macbook pro again, after upgrading ram and ssd. I honestly don't miss my PC at all, I only use it when I feel like playing some VR.

  10. I’m having kernel panics on my 2011 due to my ram. I’m going to replace the ram with 16gb. Other than that, it’s still going strong for me. I have been looking at the newest ones but the keyboard along with everything soldered together is something that I don’t like.

  11. It’s funny I made a video just like this but when you’re a smaller YouTuber you don’t get the notoriety if a big-time YouTuber makes the same video everybody will say he did it first

  12. Hi Brandon, do you have a side by side picture of your 2011 vs 2019, i also have a 2011, with 500GB SSD and 16GB Memory, i want to upgrade but still undecided on the 13" or 16"

  13. has the avg price for this machine gone up during quarantine? you show prices of $150 w HDD and I'm doing the same search "early 2011 MacBook pro" 3 months later and see prices in the $300-400s!

  14. Gonna get this machine for like 300 bucks with 6gb of ram and 500gb HDD and it's my first time using MacOS, wish me luck😂

  15. Have an early 2011 running high Sierra. Def some compatibility issues and sometimes crashes. No Photos app as iphotos and aperature are no longer supported.

  16. Do you think they’ll ever let it get an upgrade officially last High Sierra? Or do you think they are gonna just let it continue until eventually it’s almost impossible to use with anything else? 🥺

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