Display Swapping on 15" Unibody MacBook Pros

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by sevoneone, Sep 2, 2014.

  1. sevoneone macrumors 6502

    May 16, 2010
    Ok. Here is my situation. I have a mid 2010 15" MacBook Pro 2.4GHz i5 with the high-res antiglare display. For about a year the dGPU (Nvidia 330m) has been "glitching" under load. The display will blank or distort randomly. In the past few weeks I've been noticing it getting worse, like every time I try to scroll a website in Chrome it become illegible until I do something that makes the page redraw worse. Apple's repair program has long lapsed and I don't think it is worth the cost to have Apple do a depot repair or logic board replacement on it at this point. I've tried living on the integrated graphics only, but too many apps want the high performance card to perform on this model, and I regularly plugin to an external display at work. I'm thinking it is time to look to better options.

    I'm considering a few different options, some more practical than others. One less practical, but rather enticing is purchasing a used 2011 or 2012 Sandy/Ivy Bridge model with a busted or standard res display and swapping in out for the high-res display on my current machine especially since the antiglare option is a little more difficult to find used.

    I've done some searching and it looks like there has been some discussion along these lines related to 13" 2008/2009 models, but I haven't seen much related to 15" Unibodies. If anyone has any input I thank you in advance for sharing.
  2. Lucas Godfrey macrumors 6502

    Lucas Godfrey

    Jul 12, 2010
    Somewhere between Here and There
    I don't think changing your display will have any effect on your gpu issues whatsoever. You need to have the gpu replaced or reballed.
    If you don't want to have it done via apple depot repair (a good option as they'll also replace anything else wrong with the machine at the same time for what $300?)
    Then you'll have to pay an Indy to do the reballing, if the gpu chip itself is faulty then that won't work either.
  3. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    The GPU drives the display, changing displays will have zero effect on the GPU. If its failing nothing will change that :(
  4. Brian Y, Sep 3, 2014
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2014

    Brian Y macrumors 68040

    Oct 21, 2012
    The display you have (which would be 661-5478) is only listed as being compatible with the 15" 2010 models.

    Have you tried doing a clean install of OS X?

    If you're happy with the performance of your current machine, another option is to buy a new MLB and install it yourself (it's not hard if you're competent with a screwdriver) - MLBs can be had for $300-400 if you shop around (661-6360 should be the board you have, but as always, double check before buying!).
  5. sevoneone thread starter macrumors 6502

    May 16, 2010
    Yes that was an option I was considering too, but doing the Apple Depot repair seems the wiser option at ~$300. But I've also heard that even the replacement logic boards tend to exhibit the same problems after some time. I don't want to put $300-400 into a machine that is just going to fail again in a year.

    I've done digging on the display assembly parts and it looks like the only difference between the mid 2010 and early/late 2011 models is that the 2011's have 4 antenna leads (1 Bluetooth, 3 WiFi) while the 2010's has only 2 leads for wifi. Otherwise the iSight and LVDS cable are the same. Would the wifi function minus an antenna? or, could the wireless module from my 2010 install into the the newer machine.

    To the couple of people that responded about replacing the display not being a solution, what I'm thinking of doing is the opposite. I want to keep my display and replace the computer it is connected to.

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