Congratulations on your used Late 2011 13″ MacBook Pro 8,1. (If it is the case that we all have the same model, you might want to double check this by going to the apple icon in the top left, selecting about this Mac, then system report. check the model identifier name. If you really want to confirm, copy and paste the serial number to this page,
For a full list of the tech specs for the specific model in question, go here,
So, in terms of upgrading this system, there really is only so much you can do. There is a full list of upgrade installation videos for this specific model you can find here,
To even get started with this, you will need some tools, some of which might be included with the data doubler if you purchase that. Get some general tools,
Here are the options for upgrades:
1) Max out the ram
2) Install a solid state drive & put the original HDD in an external case
3) Remove the DVD drive and install another hard drive (perhaps take the original HDD and put it here when you get an SSD) and put the DVD drive in an external shell
1) Max Out the Ram
Commonly for Mac stuff I go to OWC, I haven’t had too many problems with their products but I have had some.
here is a link to the supported RAM on these machines,
An installation video can be found here,
The maximum amount of RAM is 16 gb. My system already had 10gb in it, a 2gb and an 8gb card. You should be able to buy one additional stick of 8gb ram and place it in parallel with the other 8gb card currently in the computer, but sometimes this doesn’t always work because usually you want the exact same brand of ram across the slots. also, 10gb is already a decent amount of RAM, so if you aren’t doing anything too crazy like video or 3D stuff 10gb should already be enough.
2) Install a SSD & Get An External Case for the HDD
A SSD will dramatically improve the speed of these laptops.
Again, OWC has some nice options for SSD’s supported on this laptop. Be sure to get something that is 6G.
An Installation video can be found here,
Once you’ve done this, you now have another hard drive you can do something with.
get a data doubler
OR get an external case, these USB 3.0 shells have worked well for me,
3) Remove the Disc Drive & Install a 2nd HDD
If you find your DVD drive somewhat useless, you’re not the only one. But in case you still want to have it, there are options,
First install the SSD. Then take your 2nd HDD and put it where the DVD drive is.
and follow these
Then, get one of these for your DVD drive,