Is it possible to modify a MBA?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by FX4568, Apr 27, 2011.

  1. FX4568 macrumors 6502

    Sep 6, 2010
    Can you, and to what extent?
    Once my MBA becomes old (3-4 years) I am planning to see if I can modify it.
    I know it is a long time, but as of now. What could you possibly modify in the Macbook Air?
  2. aristobrat macrumors G5

    Oct 14, 2005
    The hard drive and maybe the battery, if you can find a source.

    The memory and processor are soldered in (and non-user modifiable).
  3. rkaufmann87 macrumors 68000


    Dec 17, 2009
    Folsom, CA
    Modify it how? You can't add new RAM, change the graphics or CPU. About the only thing you can do is add more storage, the only vendor that offers that upgrade is OWC. Will they offer the same upgrade in 3-4 years is anyone's guess. Will there be other vendors that do again anyone's guess.
  4. Legion93 macrumors 6502a


    Apr 6, 2011
    Death Star, Rishi Maze
    Answer to this thread.
  5. FX4568 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Sep 6, 2010
    I see, so unless I know how to remove soldered parts and replace them, the only thing I can switch around is the SSD?

    Okay this might sound entirely stupid but here:
    What if, I replaced the whole motherboard of the Air, and replace it with a custom built that fits inside? Is such thing possible?
  6. mrsir2009 macrumors 604


    Sep 17, 2009
    Melbourne, Australia
    Ummm, wouldn't it be easier to buy a NEW ONE in 3-4 years time rather than screwing round replacing the whole motherboard. Seems like an awfully big bother...
  7. Legion93 macrumors 6502a


    Apr 6, 2011
    Death Star, Rishi Maze
    Whoa... That is beyond a custom mod. You will do so entirely at your own risk, if anything fails you'll have to compensate it for yourself, unless you can get someone with extreme expertise which specialises in hardware.
  8. FX4568 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Sep 6, 2010
    I know the risks, thats why I said 3-4 years.
    Again, I am just thinking of something is possible
    As of my personality, I love adding new things and building new things into something.
    So perhaps, when I get my next MBA (which will be in a few years) Perhaps I can try to make customizations onto this one.
    It sounds crazy, but I love doing crazy things :p
  9. rmbrown09 macrumors 6502a


    Jan 25, 2010
    The SSD is not a traditional SSD. They are NAND chips placed on the Logic Board. You have to pop those ones off and buy third party NAND replacement chips.

    Also no, you cannot replace the logic board.
  10. Legion93 macrumors 6502a


    Apr 6, 2011
    Death Star, Rishi Maze
    Steve Jobs can :d
  11. alust2013 macrumors 601


    Feb 6, 2010
    On the fence
    I suppose you could do something like that, but it would be far more expensive than I think your sense of curiosity would take you, especially for an experiment that is unlikely to work.
  12. Scottsdale macrumors 601


    Sep 19, 2008
    I believe the Nvidia-based current MBAs will stand the test of time better than the next Sandy Bridge MBA with Intel IGP.

    Just think where computers and Macs are headed. Now consider quadruple the resolution in Lion for Retina type displays in Macs. Also consider gaming, 3D, HD, GPU capable apps, and consider how bad the Intel IGP will be at less than 1/2 the IGP capabilities of the 13" MBP. This is disaster!

    I would be happy to use an Nvidia MBA for four years while the SB IGP will make the next one obsolete and behind the times the day it's released. When a computer has a slower CPU it does certain things slower but still does everything the faster CPU can do. With Intel's forced IGP it simply will NOT function for the types of things users want to do. I really don't understand why Apple is going to accept Intel's IGP forced upon it at a horrific cost to its users.

    I would prefer using today's MBA and for sure maximizing 4GB RAM on it to last a strong six plus years. There might be 512GB SSDs to upgrade to, but it will otherwise be more capable than Sandy Bridge, Ivy Bridge, and Haswell (I think that is the successor name). It is really sad, and I only hope that Apple tries to make up the terrible IGP with 8GB RAM or two RAM slots, a 512GB SSD, backlit keyboard, USB 3.0, Thunderbolt, and a bunch more features with a price drop! That is the only way I believe they can justify it, and the usability for games and such will be worse than a first gen iPad - maybe an exaggeration but you get the point.

    Either buy now or buy clearance once the new MBA is announced, but if you're thinking three plus years out you must get the Nvidia GPU to ensure yourself some capabilities.
  13. FX4568 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Sep 6, 2010
    Yes, I believe so too.
    I have been roaming these forums since the MBA rev. B's and have seen many posts from yours.
    NVidia in general has beautiful capabilities. From openGL to CUDA, I think it is one of the revolutionizing companies out there.
    I bought the MBA like a week ago since I appreciate some gaming, but then again. Who says Apple will stick to Intel's graphic card? Perhaps NVidia might be able to jump in.
    I do believe that MBA will not have 320m capabilities until later Ivy bridge though. Skymont might be the future hahaha.
    Personally, I would love the idea of a computer as thin as a Macbook Air with a high end Graphics card, even if it means I should pay 5000 dollars for it.
    Apple could fit a ded. GPU in the MBA. Oh well. we will see what happens.

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