Swap the logic board in a macbook pro mid 2010 for an early 2011 logic board

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by croma, Jan 12, 2013.

  1. croma macrumors newbie

    Jan 12, 2013
    I really need advice: This will not be my first upgrade, I've replaced my optical drive with a hard drive and my hard drive with a hybrid drive. I've maxed out my ram, but I'm not satisfied with the performance. I am not upgrading because it would require me to lose my 1.75 Gb of storage.

    I currently have a 13" 2.66 Ghz Intel Core 2 Duo mid-2010 Macbook Pro.

    I want to replace that logic board with either a 2.3 Ghz Intel Core i5 or a 2.7 Intel Core i7 Sandy Bridge pulled from a 13" early-2011 macbook pro.

    There may be a few other parts that don't match quite up between those years (EX:iSight camera, bluetooth,airport card).Can anyone tell me specifically what I will need to buy and replace in addition to the logic board for this particular upgrade? Also, are these two models alike enough for this to actually work?

    (Please only address these two questions. My mind is made, the cost of the logic board is not important. There is a similar thread, but it is a different year and size).
  2. ezramoore macrumors 6502a

    Mar 20, 2006
    Washington State
  3. justperry macrumors G3


    Aug 10, 2007
    In the core of a black hole.
    Sell the old one and buy a newer one , the ports don't match, the older one has mini display while the newer one has TB.

    Spend money on something which is not going to work, if you want to spend the money on wasting it you might transfer it to me instead.:D
  4. chown33 macrumors 604

    Aug 9, 2009
    Sailing beyond the sunset
    Please explain this.

    As a reason for not simply buying a replacement machine, it makes no sense. I'm not aware of any storage on your current model with 1.75 Gb capacity. If you're referring to RAM, then it's a lot larger than 1.75 Gb. If you're referring to a disk (HD or SSD), then it's quite likely to be movable directly to a new model. Also, a disk is not 1.75 Gb either. 1.75 TB, maybe.

    Also please explain exactly what causes you to be unsatisfied with the current machine's performance. That is, what are you doing, and what programs are you running that are non-performant?

    Is the mobility of a laptop an essential part of what you're doing? For example, if the non-performant program is a game, and you travel to networked game competitions a lot, then that game is what you're doing, and mobility is essential. There are many other scenarios where only one of those is needed: mobility or performance.

    A desktop, such as a Mac mini, can provide performance but it won't be mobile. Depending on what is being done, an iPad could provide mobility without much performance. Either of those can be bought for under $750, and might solve the problem if we knew what it was you're trying to do.

    If replacing drives and upgrading RAM is the extent of your hardware mod experience, then it's unlikely you have the skills or tools to pull off the mod you're asking about. The fact that you had to ask if it's possible suggests insufficient experience.

    You might be able to make it work as a bare logic board in a stand-alone box, but then you'd have to add an external display, keyboard, etc. which means it won't be a laptop any more. If you're going to do that, you'd be better off buying a Mac mini. Even if you already have the logic board, and you got it for free, you'd be better off selling it as a bare logic board and using the cash to pay for a Mac mini.
  5. Brian Y macrumors 68040

    Oct 21, 2012
    So the parts you will need (to make this work):

    Logic Board
    Top Case
    Trackpad (different connector on the 2010s)
    Battery Indicator
    Battery (2010s have a different battery connector for what I remember (at least the 15" one do)
    Airport card (different antennas needed need different wifi card)

    It will probably be cheaper to buy a new machine.
  6. tifacola macrumors newbie

    Jan 23, 2015
  7. Gav2k macrumors G3


    Jul 24, 2009
    Put simple op to do a logic board swap you would need everything bar the following

    Dvd drive
    Bottom cover

    I would say lcd but the 2011 has an extra antenna in it.

    All in all you would be better off selling your current machine and upgrading.
  8. Bruno09 macrumors 68020

    Aug 24, 2013
    Far from here
    The thread is two years old. :D
  9. Gav2k macrumors G3


    Jul 24, 2009
    Lmfao who woke it up
  10. RLTerry macrumors newbie


    Feb 7, 2016
    --- Post Merged, Feb 7, 2016 ---
    I think I now have the information I need to make an informed decision. As I am someone who has limited experience in modifying a MacBook Pro, I was not sure if I wanted to undertake this task of upgrading the motherboard/logic board. I am facing a similar dilemma. I really want to have the i5 or i7 processor, but it does not appear that is possible in my mid 2010 model. It's unfortunate because I have a 500GB SSD and 8GB of RAM and the newer models with the i5 and i7 have smaller HDD/SSDs and RAM. Other than the processor, my machine has better specs than the current off-the-shelf models. But, as I understand it, it is not possible to reasonable upgrade my logic or motherboard for the i5/i7, correct?
  11. busyangel1 macrumors newbie


    Aug 30, 2008
    Philly, PA
    --- Post Merged, Feb 18, 2016 ---
    I have done dozens of logic board swaps and upgrades. I actually was given this same model to be used for a parts machine and researched the same question. The simple answer is no. Even for someone with my many years of experience doing some complex repairs ( monitors , wifi cards, logic boards and full or total case replacements ) this is too complex to do reasonably. You would basically be building a new machine around a logic board. Thunderbolt video /external connector is the tipping point. Without looking at the schematic I can tell you the camera, wifi , and lowercase as well as the ram would have to be replaced. Doing a new iSight and antenna harness on the uppercase is not by any means simple and I would have to have all the parts for free and a solid day or two to even consider this. The footprint is so similar to the eye that it does seem feasible but it's really not. This model does support 16 gigs of ram although apple specs it at 8. Suggestion :
    Put your hybrid or SSD into an external USB 3 case and find a good deal on a used but newer MacBook Air or Pro. Sell the 2010 with the original 250 or 320 HD or even spring 49 bucks for a replacement drive. You will see better performance from that high capacity drive in a USB external case than what you can squeeze out from the c2duo architecture. I love a good challenge but this is just not worth it for maybe another 2 yrs of OS support. I have a 2012 quad core i7 X 500 gig SSD with 16 ram. My wife has a 2011 dual core i7 500HD with 8 ram and the difference in speed is astounding although they look identical. Look for a 2012.
    Hope this helps you and others.
    Happy computing.

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