On 30 May 2020, at 13:05, list_email@icloud.com wrote:

Thanks for the tip, Matt. I checked around a couple of minutes and the 2011 model seems to have all the same holes.

A 2011 15" MBP with the higher resolution anti-glare screen was a workhorse for me for many years and still works today. It did falter, though; these models were early in the run of lead-free solder and, through hot/cold cycling, the GPUs could become partially desoldered from the main board resulting in crashes if the on-board graphics switched over to the discrete GPU. A "reballing" with better solder solves it. If buying 2nd hand, might be worth checking the auction to see if anything's mentioned about it.

Mine failed well before the repair extension programme happened so I paid at the time for it out of my own pocket, and mighty expensive it was too. This particular one serious issue aside, the machine has been excellent. The final irony these days is that I've pushed it up to Catalina via the DOSDude1 patcher, which thanks to Apple's very dubious decision to ditch OpenGL in favour of Metal, means that the discrete graphics aren't supported and have to be entirely disabled - after all that money repairing them! Oh well :-) it's nice to be fully up to date on the OS side even on a 9 year old laptop, though.

If you want to retain 32-bit software compatibility (but also without discrete GPU support):

Note that while the 2011 MBP can be taken up to OS X 10.13 "High Sierra" as an officially supported OS upgrade, your 2008 computer can run it with very few issues too if you don't mind using a 3rd party tool for that - so perhaps there's still more life left in your 12-year old computer!

For any Mac laptop where the memory can be upgraded, I recommend maxing out to the full 16GB supported by the chipset. Note that larger amounts of RAM might be able to be physically installed depending on DIMM availability, but simply cannot be accessed by the hardware itself - so don't waste money on that.

TTFN, Andrew Hodgkinson
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