My early 2011 MacBook Pro has been getting slower as time goes on. I've got the 2.2ghz CPU and the slow 5400 rpm 750GB hard drive, which was nearly full.
Part of the size issue is that I've been trying to get my pictures organized. I have placed them mostly in the huge, monolithic iPhoto and Aperture libraries, which is a horrible idea. Placing them in directories organized by year, date, and project is much better. Then you can add them to photo apps, without copying the photo's into the library. The metadata and any changes will be maintained in the library, but the size should be manageable.
I have encrypted Time Machine backups for this machine going back to 2014,
I started off with a memory upgrade from 8GB to 16GB. I was able to use Crucial 8GB DDR3L 1600 SODIMM's, even though 1333 is specified. The system recognizes that they are 1600.
Then, after 5 years, the graphics card meltdown happened. Apple had a recall on this and fixed it no charge in 3 days! Before they fixed it, it took me a while to figure out what the issue was. The deciding factor was that the system would only boot to the terminal only single user mode. During this I had to hard power the system off multiple times, and I ran "fsck" multiple times. Fsck found and fixed hundreds of problems. Because of this, and a desire to speed the system up some more, I decided to upgrade to an SSD and rebuild the system.
I purchased a Samsung 1TB 850 Evo SSD and created an El Capitan recovery drive on a thumb drive.
Whoops, no Torx T6 driver. Off to the hardware store.
I installed the SSD, booted off the recovery drive, configured the new SSD and named it according to my naming scheme, and installed a fresh copy of El Capitan. Then I customized my system preferences and changed the name of the system according to my naming scheme.
- and that's when the problems started.