Replace MBP late 2011 logic board by mid 2012?

Cubytus

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Mar 2, 2007
1,413
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Hi there,

I have a late 2011 MBP (maxed out 2.8GHz i7, 16GiB) and found out the case will accept the mid-2012 logic board (2.9GHz i7). If I were to swap, I would get a faster CPU and GPU, USB 3.0, and I expect it to be more energy-efficient, and perhaps would run cooler. Oh, and it would take 10.14 Mojave as well :) Upgradeability and connectivity are must-haves.

I tried different configurations on Apple's website, but a similar configuration (not even a more powerful one) would set me back at least $2500 before dongles, AppleCare and taxes, $500 more than what I paid for this one. And of course, no upgradeability / repairability, and possibly a less durable keyboard.

Where would I find a 661-6589 logic board in good shape for a decent price?
The ones I found on AliExpress (yes, they do have MBP logic board, surprisingly) and eBay currently go for well over $450, and I have to account for customs since these all come from outside Canada.
 
Last edited:

Airboy1466

macrumors 6502
Feb 23, 2015
326
31
Hi there,

I have a late 2011 MBP (maxed out 2.8GHz i7, 16GiB) and found out the case will accept the mid-2012 logic board (2.9GHz i7). If I were to swap, I would get a faster CPU and GPU, USB 3.0, and I expect it to be more energy-efficient, and perhaps would run cooler. Oh, and it would take 10.14 Mojave as well :) Upgradeability and connectivity are must-haves.

I tried different configurations on Apple's website, but a similar configuration (not even a more powerful one) would set me back at least $2500 before dongles, AppleCare and taxes, $500 more than what I paid for this one. And of course, no upgradeability / repairability, and possibly a less durable keyboard.

Where would I find a 661-6589 logic board in good shape for a decent price?
The ones I found on AliExpress (yes, they do have MBP logic board, surprisingly) and eBay currently go for well over $450, and I have to account for customs since these all come from outside Canada.
what I don't understand is why not just buy a 2012 15inc i7 instead of going through the trouble and essentially building an entire machine. for the same price.
 
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Cubytus

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Mar 2, 2007
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I'm not sure where you are located but I see fully functional mid-2012 13" MBPs on Kijiji for $400 to $500.
Mostly i5 (base model), not a single i7 sighted so far (That's Montreal).

Have you seen any?

what I don't understand is why not just buy a 2012 15inc i7 instead of going through the trouble and essentially building an entire machine. for the same price.
I wish I had bought the 15 inch when I could have. At the time, I just found that $2500 was a tad too expensive for a stock 15" MBP. Now one has to dig $3200 for a stock 15"

Right, this logic board price makes little sense, as I expected parts to be cheaper than complete computers. I tend to avoid buying on Kijiji because of rampant scams there.
 
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Cubytus

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Mar 2, 2007
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Found a i7, Mid-2012 unit, but the guy asks for $750. Only i7, no upgrades.

If I were to find one, what should I be testing before committing?
 

Audit13

macrumors 603
Apr 19, 2017
5,412
1,375
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
I would test everything possible.

I also recommend removing the button cover and closely looking at the circuit boards for any signs of damage, corrosion, or signs of tampering.
 

StellarVixen

macrumors 68020
Mar 1, 2018
2,239
3,685
Earth
Last time I checked, logic boards were just a little less expensive than used mid 2012 MBP in good condition.
 

Cubytus

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Mar 2, 2007
1,413
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I would test everything possible.

I also recommend removing the button cover and closely looking at the circuit boards for any signs of damage, corrosion, or signs of tampering.
So far, I intended to test an hypothetical unit by rebooting on an external FireWire 800 HDD, DVD burner, fan speed under load (Prime95), battery health, HDD or SSD health.

Still, I don't tend to trust sellers too much because of the many scammers on Kijiji. Especially on high-ticket items.

But is it realistic to remove the logic board altogether to have a close look for corrosion damage on the keyboard side, especially in a public place? For the same reason, I assumed that I can't test MiniDP port for lack of suitable peripheral.

There's a lot of money involved, and basic caution calls for meeting in a public place for such transactions.
 

Audit13

macrumors 603
Apr 19, 2017
5,412
1,375
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Yes, it's unlikely the person would allow you to remove the logic board but you could always ask.

You'll have to decide whether the seller is or isn't trustworthy.

Problems arising from liquid exposure doesn't always appear right away and may take days or weeks to appear.
 

iPhonagain

macrumors regular
Dec 28, 2009
116
24
Indy
I did that with my black MacBook, 2008 to a 2009 logic board I got off eBay. Wasn't an exact swap but I made it fit!
 

Cubytus

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Mar 2, 2007
1,413
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Cubytus

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Mar 2, 2007
1,413
14
What about this one? The guy shows $300 if he takes back the old logic board, but $350 if I keep both. Sounds abnormally low given the current going price.

The alternative being that one. Guy selling complete MBP 13" top stock specs, announced at $750. He didn't say it was negotiable, but knowing the 15" from the same era also sell for $750, I expect him to drop the price maybe $100.
 

Stephen.R

macrumors 68030
Nov 2, 2018
2,555
3,004
Thailand
I tried different configurations on Apple's website, but a similar configuration (not even a more powerful one)
Keep in mind, there's more to the machine than just CPU clock speed, and the amount of memory. I would imagine that even a new Macbook Air will seem faster than a 7 year old dual-core MBP for most tasks.

I recently went from a 2011 MBP17 (2.4GHz Quad i7, 16GB, 128GB SSD) to a literally base-model 2018 MBP15 (2.2GHz Hex i7, 16GB, 250GB SSD) and the difference is night and day. And no, not just because the new one is space grey :p
 

Cubytus

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Mar 2, 2007
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RAM is a must-have. There's no way I can keep 300+ tabs open and run virtual machines at the same time without at least 16GB. CPU clock speed isn't that relevant, however CPU benchmark are. I was quite shocked when I saw the 2017 MacBook didn't have a significantly better performance than the 2011 dual-core i7. Of course it's much cooler running, but that's about it. And less than 500GB SSD is just too impractical for my typical usage. And that's not counting the required dongles and cables: Gigabit Ethernet, regular USB, USB hub, VGA, Thunderbolt, new cables for iPhones… Not counting the cost of replacing those FireWire external drives enclosures.
 

Cubytus

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Mar 2, 2007
1,413
14
Update: finally found a suitable replacement MBP mid-2012 i7 for $580. No regrets as the current going price is still above $590 (Kijiji alert). Doesn't run cooler, but quieter.

Now, late-2011 MBP i7 for sale :)
 
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duervo

macrumors 68020
Feb 5, 2011
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Mostly i5 (base model), not a single i7 sighted so far (That's Montreal).

Have you seen any?

I wish I had bought the 15 inch when I could have. At the time, I just found that $2500 was a tad too expensive for a stock 15" MBP. Now one has to dig $3200 for a stock 15"

Right, this logic board price makes little sense, as I expected parts to be cheaper than complete computers. I tend to avoid buying on Kijiji because of rampant scams there.
$2500??? Holy crap. I only paid ~$1800 CAD for my mid2012 15" Unibody MacBook Pro (purchased middle of November, 2012. Value of CAD vs USD was about par at the time.) I just got the base model that the store had ... i7 2.3GHz, 4GB RAM, 500GB HDD, and the nVidia GeForce 650M 512MB. Even with the after-market upgrades of a 500GB SSD, and 16GB RAM, I'm still under that $2500, by several hundred. Are you sure you're not remembering the Retina 15" prices? Those were significantly more than the Unibody ones back then.
 
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Cubytus

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Mar 2, 2007
1,413
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$2500??? Holy crap. I only paid ~$1800 CAD for my mid2012 15" Unibody MacBook Pro (purchased middle of November, 2012. Value of CAD vs USD was about par at the time.) I just got the base model that the store had ... i7 2.3GHz, 4GB RAM, 500GB HDD, and the nVidia GeForce 650M 512MB. Even with the after-market upgrades of a 500GB SSD, and 16GB RAM, I'm still under that $2500, by several hundred. Are you sure you're not remembering the Retina 15" prices? Those were significantly more than the Unibody ones back then.
I'm pretty sure I didn't even consider the Retina back then. Paying so much more for a better screen but losing upgradeability made no sense to me.

I recall that I paid almost $1900 for the 13" late 2011 MBP back then. Of course this was for then top-of-the-line specs with AppleCare and taxes included, not the base model. So I probably considered the non-Retina 15" MBP under similar conditions (top CPU, antiglare screen, AppleCare and of course, taxes.)
 

FlyingDutch

macrumors 65816
Aug 21, 2019
1,015
874
Eindhoven (NL)
I wouldn't spend money on a 2012 logic board. It could lasts a few years, but it could die in a few months.
I would save money for a new MBP 15".
 

Granaten82

macrumors newbie
Aug 21, 2017
14
3
Sorry to awaken this old thread. Has anyone attempted to do this with a 2011, 17 inch mbp? For example with 2012, 15inch motherbord?
 
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