Swap Mid 2009 MacBook Pro 15" C2D Logic Board for i5 or i7

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by Sawtooth811, Aug 1, 2011.

  1. Sawtooth811 macrumors 6502

    Sawtooth811

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    #1
    Hello, all. I was wondering if it is possible to swap a Mid 2009 A1286 Core 2 Duo motherboard for a Core i5 or i7 logic board. The boards look nearly identical (besides the C2D appearing more attractive with it's black logic board color) and it appears as if it is possible to place a i5 or i7 board in a A1286 MacBook Pro.

    Maybe there are differences with the logic board ports, and if it is possible, it might need a little modification on the inside and/or with other accompanying parts, but I want proof. I want to know for sure if it is possible without having to purchase other important parts. I have considered the cost of the board, so please spare me of "consider the costs" statements. :rolleyes: Thanks. :apple:
     
  2. andreiru macrumors 6502

    andreiru

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    #2
    That would be awesome! Could be heat problems, among others. If anyone offers such service it would probably prove popular. Although it may just be more cost effective to sell the older laptop and buy a brand new one.
     
  3. alust2013 macrumors 601

    alust2013

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    #3
    I agree. Generally it's a roughly equivalent cost to just upgrade the whole machine, and you don't have to worry about breaking anything (easy to do with a LB replacement) Also, you may be looking at other issues like decreased battery life.
     
  4. -tWv- macrumors 68000

    -tWv-

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  5. Sawtooth811 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Sawtooth811

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    #5
    Thanks, all. Now that I think about it, this thread was mostly out of curiosity. And I agree; PowerBook Medic or someone would probably offer some sort of service that allows motherboard swapping if this was 100% possible, but does anyone know for sure that an i5 or i7 board will or will not work in an older Unibody structure? If not, that's fine because again, this is just out of curiosity. I will not actually try this. I can't even afford WD40 to shut my loud, left CPU fan up, right now. LOL but thanks for your input, people! If you have any more suggestions or comments, just let me know. :)

    ....Why be so pessimistic? And without backing up your prognosis? :confused:
     
  6. -tWv- macrumors 68000

    -tWv-

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    #6
    Wasn't trying to be pessimistic, just didn't think it would work. I don't know a lot about the differences between the C2D and i5/i7 logic boards, but I'm just guessing that they fit differently in the machine, they connect to all the different components differently, and it would just be extremely difficult to do this switch if possible. I also read a thread similar to yours and someone mentioned that the switch wouldn't be possible, I just can't find it at the moment.. Maybe someone else who has better knowledge of this type of thing can offer a more technical explanation, because I unfortunately cannot without doing some research, sorry :(
     
  7. Sawtooth811 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Sawtooth811

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    #7
    It's totally alright, and thanks for the explanation. Maybe that should've been your previous response; However, I guess I got a hitch with people who reply with phrases such as, "I highly doubt this will work," or "That is extremely difficult to use" without backing it up or showing evidence. Again, it's alright because you at least replied with an explanation.

    I apologize if you did not take my response lightly. :D
     
  8. Sawtooth811 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Sawtooth811

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    #8
    After doing some more research, I found that ALL 15" MacBook Pro Unibody models have the same model number: A1286.

    Again, I know you all may think the logic boards are most likely too expensive and may not be worth the swap, but I did find some new Core i5 boards between $550-$650 on eBay (couldn't find any i7 boards selling in the US), so maybe it is worth the swap, as long as I sell my board and come up with some more money.

    However, I have considered that there may be slight changes and variations to the ports/parts on the boards, but those parts are more common and quite cheap (i.e. cooling fans run about $12). Plus, the MBP body architecture HAS to be the same since it is the same model number across ALL 15" Unibody MacBook Pros in existence.

    If I finally find that it is 100% possible to do this, I will consider doing this one day.
     
  9. Edward Strange macrumors newbie

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    Feb 4, 2012
    #9
    i'm looking into the same thing

    Any progress? I'm looking at a logic board upgrade as well. I did find some good deals on a maxed out C2D logic board that would be a nice upgrade but an i5 or i7 board would be awesome.

    The form factors are the same and it may or may not be a plug and play swap. On the software front, you will likely need to do a clean OSX install. On the hardware side, they may have changed the iSight / Airport configuration. The 2009 models share one port. The 2010 models may have switched to separate ports. This would require a swap out of the connector cables and there may be an issue with the iSight form factor unless the new connector cable is compatible with the old iSight camera.

    Has anyone tried this yet or have details on 2009 to 2010 logic board differences.
     
  10. Edward Strange macrumors newbie

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    Feb 4, 2012
    #10
    Airport upgrade issue with swap

    I looked at the iFixit guides for removing 2009 and 2010 logic boards. Everything is the same except for the Airport and iSight connections. You would at least have to replace those as well. They moved the airport card from inside the clutch cover to between the optical drive and left hinge. There is a new connector and antenna scheme. The 2009 logic boards can be damaged by connecting the Airport card backwards. This is east to do (I did it to mine) and it looks like Apple fixed the problem.

    Now I just need to see what it will take to swap out the necessary parts to accommodate the new board or just stick with a 2009 board replacement.
     
  11. Edward Strange macrumors newbie

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    #11
    After looking at a couple of teardown comparisons, to do this logic board swap you would also need the following 2010 parts:

    Airport card
    Airport cable
    Airport card bracket
    Airport antenna
    iSight camera cable
    Bluetooth antenna
    Bluetooth antenna cable

    I have not confirmed but you may also need the following:

    iSight camera
    display rear housing

    You would be looking at a complete teardown if you get all of the parts. If you didn't want the camera or built in wireless you could swap out the boards in 20 minutes. So unless someone makes a port adapter for the relevant cables, this is a deal breaker for me.
     
  12. Sawtooth811, Feb 4, 2012
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2012

    Sawtooth811 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Sawtooth811

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    #12
    Hmm. So all of a sudden, I'm getting more replies with actual evidence....

    Much later, now, I read this entire thread over again just a minute ago, and quite a lot of things have changed since then; especially my income.

    I just purchased a Late 2011 MBP 2.2GHz for about $1430 (see signature for specs) and it's on the way here (UPS says it will be delivered on Wednesday next week---CAN'T WAIT!!!:D)

    Before I sell my C2D model, I have to swap hard drives, anyways, so I will overlook the differences between the Late 2011 model and the Mid 2009 I currently have. I might post photos.


    I've recently disassembled a Late 2009 MacBook Polycarbonate Unibody, and that AirPort card structure is probably based on this model, since they haven't released another MBP---after the Mid 2009 model---until 2010.
     
  13. Edward Strange macrumors newbie

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    Feb 4, 2012
    #13
    Sawtooth, this thread is the only one I could fine regarding the topic. Enjoy the new MCB.

    I guess the answer to the original post is that it can be done with additional upgrades. Oddly, I got a great deal on a used upper case for $89. My two year old went to town on my laptop with a Maglight flashlight I mistakenly left lying around and bent the hell out of the case parts. The used case was advertised as being for a 2009 model but had the antenna for the airport / bluetooth mounted under the left speaker grill.

    I remover that part not knowing that it was standard to the 2010 model and everything went together fine. Unfortunately I had connected the Airport card incorrectly and currently have no working WiFi and am currently looking for a fix. It is either the logic board or the Airport card.

    I have found a C2D 3.06 GH logic board with the 512 MB video card for as low as $450. Since the price difference between the 2009 2.66 that I currently have and the 3.06 that was available was about $1000, I think this is a reasonable upgrade.

    In the meantime, everything works fine and looks great except for the WiFi and I know a lot more about how these machines are put together.
     
  14. uridi0t macrumors newbie

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    Hong Kong
    #14
    Hi all, this is my first post on this forum because I just got my first Macbook Pro two days ago.

    Anyway, I also wonder if I could swap the core dual logic board to any core 2 due logic board. Since my MBP 15" is the first and original spec. MBP so SL is the latest OS for me. Wishing it is possible to swap.
     
  15. Sawtooth811 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Sawtooth811

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    #15
    I've never worked on the older MacBook Pro before; I've worked on Unibody models only.

    (However, I've worked on numerous original MacBooks of all types; Polycarbonate, Unibody; Core Duo, Core 2, etc., and I know that swapping a Core Duo MacBook logic board for a Core 2 Duo IS possible, and the only thing you MIGHT have to change---depending on which C2D model---is the battery connector, and maybe the Airport card---depending on which LCD type. In the Late 2007 models and newer, the backlight cable has a slightly different port).

    There's more I can explain, but overall, it's easy with a MacBook. I don't mean to go off topic, though. I'm just letting you know that the situation with the MBP Core Duo might be similar.
     
  16. celatino, Feb 7, 2012
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2012

    celatino macrumors newbie

    celatino

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    #16
    It works!!!

    I had a Mid 2009 MBP under applecare and after a few trips to the store with hardware issues instead of them replacing the machine (cheap) they just put in a i7 late 2011 Logic Board. They swapped the cinema display and bottom and wrote a new serial on the inside of the "aluminum". Appcare till 2013.:apple: looks and runs like a new machine!:cool:


    ________________________
    :apple: Mid 2009 MacBook Pro 15" 2011 Logic Board
    :apple: Macbook 2009 2GB ram
    :apple: iMac 27" 1TB 16GB 3.4 i7 6970M 1GB GDDR5
    :apple: iPad2 (white) 32GB/Samsung Galaxy SII 24GB (4s killer)
     
  17. celatino macrumors newbie

    celatino

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  18. Sawtooth811 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Sawtooth811

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    #18
    I also got some pics of my Core i7 MBP, which arrived three days ago, and my Mid 2009 MBP. I took the photos while swapping the hard drive, and yes; some of internals are different, but they are REPLACEABLE, meaning that the swap is possible with extra parts, which shouldn't cost that much.

    I just got a new one because the any 15.4" MBP Core i7 boards are hard to find, I got a really good deal on the Late 2011 model, and the Mid 2009 model had too much cosmetic damage (in other words, too ugly to work with). :D

    ----------

    Hmm. When I took photos of the internals of both MBPs, the display connections looked exactly the same, but then again, this is only photographic memory I'm talking here.
     
  19. Tiredguano macrumors newbie

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    Mar 3, 2012
    #19
    pics

    Does anybody have those pics of the 2010 internals??

    Im getting a good deal on a mid 2009 mbp 15" with a bad logic board which i need to replace. Instead of spending money on just the old core 2 duo, i want to upgrade it to the "i" series processors. Possibly the new sandy bridges if i can find a logic board??

    The damage to the logic board was due to a liquid spill.

    I was also possibly just thinking about this to keep my cost low if it works.
    http://www.ebay.com/itm/320856026910?_trksid=p5197.c0.m619#ht_4881wt_1156

    Any suggestions???
     
  20. randomhkkid macrumors member

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  21. Sawtooth811 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Sawtooth811

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    #21
    Well, I came to this conclusion:

    You can swap the motherboards between all A1286 models, but it will require different airport cables (possibly different airport boards), possibly different rear optical drive mounts (inexpensive), and other few miscellaneous (but inexpensive) parts.
     
  22. randomhkkid macrumors member

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    #22
    Thanks for this, I was just curious to see if anyone following this thread had actually done a documented swap :p
     
  23. Pencacatalogue macrumors newbie

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    Jul 16, 2014
    #23
    Hi Celatino!
    I want to swap a 2010 17" core i7 for a 2011 model.
    Just wondering what the did with your C2D case.
    You meant that they swapped the cinema display and bottom.
    What do you mean with that?
    I guess you mean the internal monitor and the bottom case...

    Thanx a lot
     
  24. ///Mojo macrumors newbie

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    Feb 13, 2015
    #24
    I hate to revive an old thread, but this thread could help lots of people if it happens to be possible. Has anyone had any progress on this? I've got a 2009 2.66 C2D that I'd like to get some more speed out of. I've already swapped in a nice fast SSD and maxed out the RAM capacity, so this is really the only thing I can do aside from buying a new machine. Even though I use it every single day, I've taken great care of this machine through the years and it would be a shame to just toss it to the side with an alternative option could be possible.

    This thread any lots of other information I've found is saying that the boards mount up the same, but have a couple other components need to be changed as well. This is all okay, but I've seen some people having kernel panics (which could just be due to the "model number" not matching what is expected).

    These logic boards range between 450USD and 700USD depending on what configuration you look for, so this could be a pretty good deal for someone. It would be even better if you have already done other upgrades as well getting you closer to the performance of more modern laptops.


    Has ANYONE completed this successfully or does anyone have someone with a 2010 15" MBP that we could test this with?
     
  25. Pencacatalogue macrumors newbie

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    Jul 16, 2014
    #25
    Hi there. Apple really care about this things. You have to buy a new machine.
    :)
    Or... check this out: http://browser.primatelabs.com/mac-benchmarks

    Do you really think you'll make a quantum leap in speed with a 2010 upgrade?
    Maybe you can swap a newest motherboard but not in every model, as far as I read... you can be succesful in a few cases.

    The cheapest way to improve your speed is to buy an old Mac Pro with at least 4 cores... (i'm gonna do that...) but yes you won't get portability anymore.

    Just check the benchmarks!
     

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