MBA 2011/2012 System board into a 2010 chassis

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by dingaling007, Jun 25, 2013.

  1. dingaling007 macrumors newbie

    Jun 15, 2013
    Serious question, has anyone looked into such a radical upgrade?

    Ex Gf's 2010 MBA died. And ive noticed the cost of a 2011/2012 MBA system boards on ebay isnt too bad.

    I have studied the ifixit teardows, and have come to the conclusion the chassis is the exact same on all MBA's 2010/11/12 model years. The screens are the same, the batteries are the same, the cooling fan, speakers and SSD are the same.

    The only differences i have found so far, is the battery connector has shifted to the right on the '11/'12 models. The antenna cables on the LCD's are abit longer on '11/'12 models, and the left speaker is of a slightly different shape on the '11/'12 models compared to the 2010 model (13" only)

    The rest looks to be the same even the connectors on the system board for the all the parts (fan, speakers, microphone, power board, display, touch pad and keyboard)

    another matter if it works. (ie apple may of changed the wiring pin outs).
  2. Psychj0e macrumors regular

    Jun 5, 2010
    Interesting. :)
  3. yangchewren macrumors regular

    Dec 1, 2012
    mounting screws?
  4. dingaling007 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 15, 2013
    Mounting screw locations? exactly the same from what i am seeing. same with the 2010-2011-2012 from looking on ifix it tear downs.

    Also ebay confirms many parts interchangeability.

    Looks like i may have to be the guinea pig and see if this is truly possible.

    Not a bad upgrade if possible! And would be quite ironic as far as macbook air upgrades go.
  5. mattferg macrumors 6502

    May 27, 2013
    Considering the SSD isn't the same, nor is keyboard and nor is the fan, and you missed that, I'm not 100% sure you should be undertaking this project.
  6. dingaling007, Jun 25, 2013
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2013

    dingaling007 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 15, 2013

    You sure?

    Have a look at ifixit tear downs.
    Yes the backlight KB isn't going to work in the 2010 (no connector for the backlight, but the keyboard part has the same connector.
  7. mattferg macrumors 6502

    May 27, 2013
    Yes, the keyboard is now backlit is what I meant, as for the SSD, it changed between the 2011 and 2012 revisions (and again for 2013) and the fan changed in 2012 to have asymmetric blades.

    Your post indicates you're considering using a 2012 board. If you're using a 2011 you might be okay, but 2012 does have quite a few differences, hence why the parts you link don't say 2012.
  8. wermy macrumors regular

    Apr 15, 2013
    If it were me, I'd sell the current one as-is on ebay, combine the couple-to-few hundred you get from that with the few hundred you'd have spent on a new logic board, and buy a functioning '10 or '11 MBA.
  9. dingaling007 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 15, 2013
    Good this is what i was hoping to get, some solid information. So a 2010 -> 2011 looks like a painless upgrade. (at least compared to a 2012)

    The 2010->2012 should still be possible but you would have to purchase the SSD aswell. It looks like the fan is the same for 2011-12 (so the same as 2010).


    Well that's an option, but fully functional MBA's still hold there value so well! but a system board complete with CPU/memory can be had for about a quarter the price.

    Nobody looks to of even investigated this possibility according to Google.
    And besides my curiosity has gotten the better of me and now must know if this is possible.
  10. mattferg macrumors 6502

    May 27, 2013
    The fan is not the same from 2011 - 2012, as I said earlier. The blades were changed to be asymmetric so they'd be less noisy, so it's a new fan revision at the very least.
  11. wermy macrumors regular

    Apr 15, 2013
    I think (and hope I'm wrong) that you'd end up with a broken '10 MBA, and a functioning logic board from another MBA, but no functioning MBA. I'd really just avoid the hassle (as interesting as your solution sounds). :) I've just never had good luck with the sort of thing you're describing. If you do go ahead with trying it, though, be sure to keep us posted!
  12. dingaling007 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 15, 2013
    Worst case, i'd buy the 2012 fan to go along with the system board, but the physical shape and connector has not changed, hopefully its just the fan blade design that has changed:




    You might be right Wermy.
    I guess the curiosity has got the better of me, and well somebody has to do it, for all mac book air users (2010 at least lol)

    ok i will keep you all updated on how this pans out.
  13. calvol, Jun 25, 2013
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2013

    calvol macrumors 6502a

    Feb 3, 2011
    Nice project, keep us posted (I have a 2010 13 as well). I think you'll have to match the mobo and SSD build years though, as I recall Anand mentioning the SSD socket changing each year, probably intentionally done by Apple to prevent this sort of thing. Suppose you could sell your 2010 SSD, and buy the matching 2011/12.
  14. paulrbeers macrumors 68040

    Dec 17, 2009
    While I haven't tried it, this would be the route I would go. Once you start buying mother board, then a new SSD, and a new fan (not to mention you would probably want a new battery due to the age of the old one), you might as well go new all the way around. If all you want to do is get a working MBA, then go either 2010 or 2011 (2011 would be a nice upgrade).

    Just my opinion if you try it.

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