Swap MBP6,2 high-res LCD for MBP9,1 low-res LCD?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by natshaw, Jan 12, 2014.

  1. natshaw macrumors newbie

    Jan 12, 2014
    Hi there, am wondering if I can swap screens from 2 different MBPs: My mid-2010 15" MacBook Pro's 1680x1050 screen with a mid-2012 15" MacBook Pro's regular 1440x900 screen.

    Why? I want the 9,1 model so I can get 6 Gbps SATA, but the high-res models are quite rare in my country. I'm hoping to buy a low-res 9,1 model, swap the screens, then sell off the old 6,2 unit with a working low-res screen!

    What a plan huh? Do-able?
  2. simonsi macrumors 601


    Jan 3, 2014
    I suspect you will only get the answer to that by trying it. Hope you don't end up with 2x broken MBP :-(
  3. laurihoefs macrumors 6502a


    Mar 1, 2013
    The 2010 and 2012 display assemblies have different cable lengths and antenna connectors, so they aren't directly interchangeable. You might be able to swap just the panels, but this is a bit more work, and involves some work phases that might be risky to the display (e.g. removing the low-res screen's front glass with a heat gun, etc.) Check what the panel part numbers are, and what models they are listed as being compatible with.

    It might make more sense to try to get a 2012 hi-res display assembly/panel&frame directly instead, but if you have the tools and enough patience, you might be able to cook something up :)
  4. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    I suspect that physically speaking, they're too different. Check out iFixit to see if they have any tear downs on both models for any possible information.
  5. natshaw thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 12, 2014
    Thank you, that's good info. I have had a look at the heat method for removing, I'll try to find out more.


    Yeah had a look on there, their tear-downs that I found seemed to largely ignore the LCD area, but did show the main unit to be fairly similar. Will keep looking.
  6. natshaw thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 12, 2014
    Looks promising.

    Interesting. I found the display-specific replacement procedures at iFixit, some of the photos are identical. Not sure if that's a good sign or a mistake. Looks promising though...
  7. laurihoefs macrumors 6502a


    Mar 1, 2013
    Seems I was mistaken, even the WiFi antenna connectors are the same. Only visible difference is, that the 2010 assembly has two WiFi antennas, and the 2012 assembly has three.

    OK, if the panel and the LVDS cable part numbers are the same, then you might actually be able to swap the whole assembly.
  8. natshaw thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 12, 2014
    Good spotting, laurihoefs. This is interesting - although the mid 2010 model has only 2 wires for wifi, there is a 3rd, unused socket in the same place on the motherboard, which is covered by plastic. Have confirmed this on my own mid 2010. I wonder why the change from 2 wires to 3?
  9. laurihoefs, Jan 13, 2014
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2014

    laurihoefs macrumors 6502a


    Mar 1, 2013
    The explanation is MIMO: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IEEE_802.11n-2009#Number_of_antennas

    In short: Between 2010 and 2012 WiFi access points and routers capable of three data streams have become common, hence the third antenna.

    A 2012 MBP AirPort that would otherwise be capable of 450Mbps 802.11n speeds will only reach a maximum transfer speed of 300Mbps with two antennas.
  10. natshaw thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 12, 2014
    No. The display connector is slightly different.

    Although the display connectors look extremely similar in size, shape, and number of pins, they are a bit different - one is very marginally wider than the other and won't fit in the other's socket. Project cancelled!

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