A friend has a late 2011 MBP running El Capitan. It has 16GB RAM and the HDD was replaced with an SSD some years ago.
Apple says the latest OS for this machine is High Sierra. I’d appreciate any thoughts on the pros and cons of upgrading this machine to High Sierra, since based on my experience with my similar aged MBA, overheating was an issue.
I upgraded my MBP 2012 to Catalina and stayed there. not sure about the 2011. Sometimes older machines can have problems when you upgrade too far. Some years ago I upgraded an old iPad (after people said sure - all good…) and it slowed down the iPad about 30%! Not happy about that. And later when I tried to revert back - apple said too late - no go.
Considering that High Sierra isn’t getting anymore updates, I wouldn’t bother upgrading to it.
I had same machine running HS with no issues. Should do fine until the GPU dies.
Running an OS that is no longer updated is a dangerous game on your home network, and I’d absolutely advise against it. (at least when it’s in any way internet connected)
When the hardware is still ok I would consider putting a linux distro on it. I’ve done the same and my 2011 macbook air now gets security and OS updates until 2027 (just put Ubuntu 22.04 on it last week)
My macbook pro 2015 will go the same route once that no linger supports the latest macOS.