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Released October 24, 2011 / 2.2, 2.4, or 2.5 GHz Quad-core Intel Core i7 Processor

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Project questions - thinking to attempt to upgrade my old mbp 2011

I have a 15” mbp 2011 just laying around at home, was wondering if I can soup it up. it has an i7 in it, it’s easy enough to update ram and stick an ssd in it. But all of it would be kind of pointless if I can’t upgrade the screen which is the older 1440x900. I think it’s possible to get a 1080p screen and upgrade the panel? Has anyone done it?

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Yes, your machine will surely support the HD screen that was made available for that series in two flavors, the antiglare version with the aluminium bezel and the normal version with Lcd panel+glass. Antiglare will be more expensive and sometimes has some smaller brighter spots; just be careful that it’s spotless when/if you decide to purchase that one..beside that is a great quality screen and takes off most of the eye strain. Connectors will fit properly as they’re just the same, no need to worry.

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Would you happen to know where I can buy a screen?

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@awscreo If you don't care too much about external condition, even iFixit has some screens in stock, but they're C grade. Other alternative sources if you want a better looking lid are always the same, eBay and local 2nd hand suppliers in your area. Don't forget to replace thermal paste while you're at it, the cooler your Mac will run the longer it will last; considering the graphic issues of the series, a little extra care would be worth the effort. Here's the link for the iFixit screens: MacBook Pro 15" Unibody (Early 2011-Late 2011) Display Assembly

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@arbaman Thanks! This really helps. seems I can upgrade everything at around $250-300 easily and get a pretty nice machine in the end that I can actually use again. Pretty cool)

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@awscreo You're welcome, it's a nice and powerful Mac, hope you'll have luck with it..keep it cool ;)

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@arbaman hmm, seems high res model is only a 1680x1050 screen, I didn't realize 1080p screens came at a later stage. Is it possible to install a screen from a later year? seems Full HD screens didn't come to apple until like 2013.

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Don’t bother - the boards on these have known GPU flaws. You are better off finding a 2012 15” that’s significantly better and using this one for parts, unless you can get a cheap 2012 motherboard.

If you want to save this and the GPU has failed, it is possible to disable the GPU and make the machine usable, but you will no longer be able to use external monitors.

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@nick Use gfxCardStatus, that's free. https://gfx.io

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@mayer I'd rather patch the firmware given the choice but I would also consider going that route as well.

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@nick Have you used this and what is the cost?

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@mayer The key is $20, but you need a special programmer in order to patch the firmware and it's done through JTAG. It's a paid solution, but it's resident in the system. The problem is you lose backlight control, so it isn't complete but it fixes it in a way you don't need to remember to disable the GPU when you wipe and reload. It compromises the machine in a way that many people may not want to deal with, so that does need to be considered.

It hasn't always been perfect with the 17", so I don't know if I'd go that route on a 17" to be sure - even fixed.

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The machine works just fine right now, I just hate to see it just laying around my house with no purpose. I think with a 1080p screen, ssd and 16gb ram it'll be a fine laptop. Buying another laptop would defeat the purpose of the project really, I wanted to see if it's possible to change out the screen on this one.

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Although there were a lot of failures of the GPU on this model, it can be a very good machine. There was a class action law suit and subsequent repair program, not all of them failed!

You can upgrade the RAM to 16 GB.

RAM Type:PC3-10600 DDR3Min. RAM Speed:1333 MHz

Details:Supports 1333 MHz PC3-10600 DDR3 SDRAM.

Also upgrade to a SSD which will double the speed to the machine.

I like the Samsung 860 EVO 500GB 2.5 Inch SATA III Internal SSD

Install the gfxCardStatus just in case you ever have a problem.

I have two of these machines running in my shop which both had GPU failures and they run just fine now.

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Yeah, I found ram and ssd for it, and seems its not very difficult to upgrade those parts. But if the screen is 1440x900 I don't see much use for those upgrades. I want to install the 1080p in it at least if I can.

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@awscreo what you want has no relationship to what is possible. Sounds like you need a Retina machine and those displays simply do not work on the earlier machines.

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@mayer how come. I mentioned 1080p is fine for me, and was merely asking if it's possible to do.

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