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Early 2011 Logic board upgrade

I have an early 2011 macbook pro 13" with the 2.7 HD. I'm looking at upgrading to a SSD and maxing the RAM instead of buying a new macbook. Wondering if I can switch the Logic board to the 2012. From what I've found I'd need a heat sink. But there has been nothing clear about how compatible the swap would be. Anyone out there done this swap? Opinions?

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@mr_fix_it - Be careful here! This is a very cheap thermal paste. I would recommend sticking with Arctic Silver 5 & ArctiClean. Laptops need a good paste, a desktop can get away with a cheaper paste as the heat transfer system is larger.

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Well, your in luck this is a direct drop in! MacBook Pro 13" Unibody (Mid 2012) 2.9 GHz Logic Board and yes you'll need to replace the heat sink MacBook Pro 13" Unibody (Mid 2012) Heat Sink.

Go for it!

For the SSD you should replace the HD SATA cable when you put it in. Here's the cable you'll want: MacBook Pro 13" Unibody (Mid 2012) Hard Drive Cable. You'll want to place some eltecticans tape down where it rest on the uppercase as the rough aluminum tends to wear the cable causing read/write errors more so with faster drives.

Update (05/07/2020)

To fit a 2011 display LVDS cable into a 2012 logic board one needs to make a slight modification to the LVDS cable using a nail file to remove a small amount of the edge of tang.

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Imagem de MacBook Pro 13" Unibody (Mid 2012) Hard Drive Cable

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MacBook Pro 13" Unibody (Mid 2012) Hard Drive Cable

$34.99

Imagem de MacBook Pro 13" Unibody (Mid 2012) Heat Sink

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MacBook Pro 13" Unibody (Mid 2012) Heat Sink

$4.99

Imagem de MacBook Pro 13" Unibody (Mid 2012) 2.9 GHz Logic Board

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MacBook Pro 13" Unibody (Mid 2012) 2.9 GHz Logic Board

$299.99

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Dan,

Thanks for the info. Exactly the answer I was looking for. I searched for a while and couldn't find an exact answer. Thanks again. Ordering parts now.

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Just curious - how did the swap go, and was it worthwhile? I also have an early 2011 MacBook Pro. I've swapped out the memory, battery and hard drive and was contemplating doing the logic board next. Would love to hear your feedback after having done it.

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@cperryman You can do that, not a problem, except heatsink everything else is 100% compatible, but unless you want to do it for the latest and greatest Mac Os, don't expect significant performance boosts if you already maxed out RAM and upgraded to an SSD. You will hardly notice any difference unless you're switching from the 2.3GHz i5 to the 2.9GHz i7.

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Hey guys,

I have a mid-2010 MacBook Pro 13" with the 2.4 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo. Would love to upgrade to the mid-2012 2.9 GHz board. Dan did you swap logic boards and did it work? And Michael is the drop in just as easy with the mid-2010 model?

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Sorry guy, a very different beast! Core 2 Duo systems are not upgradable to i5/i7 The logic boards are very different layout.

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Interesting, they look identical at a glance...

Mine: MacBook Pro 13" Unibody (Mid 2010) 2.4 GHz Logic Board

i7: MacBook Pro 13" Unibody (Mid 2012) 2.9 GHz Logic Board

Are you sure the layouts are that different? ^^

Well at least I could step up to the 2.66 GHz from the same year I imagine? Do you think there would be a noticeable improvement?

MacBook Pro 13" Unibody (Mid 2010) 2.66 GHz Logic Board

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@chrismac Yes, they are that different, wifi, bluetooth, iSight and right speaker connectors are not compatible and I may forget something else. Not a problem the replacement with a faster C2D board instead.

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Hi, just to give everyone a quick update, I am in the middle of doing a logic board swap from a 13” mid-2012 MacBook Pro into an early 2011 body.

I just purchased a early 2011 in perfect physical condition and my mid-2012 has lots of dents and scrapes. I have done 20+ logic board removals for reposting, I have swapped the mid-2012 logic boards into late 2011s with no problems. After reading this post I decided to buy an early 2011 and try it out. Anyway, everything is swappable EXCEPT the display assembly. The LVDS cable from the early 2011 does not fix the mid-2012. I tried many different positions with quite a bit of force.

It’s not worth it. I have ready some people have squished it in, to have it die later on. Please do not attempt this.

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STOP!! Don't force it!! Apple used a different venders connector which is a shade smaller. Reference the picture I added to my answer on how to make this work.

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Hello,

I want to upgrade my MBP 13” early 2011 to a mid 2012 by replacing the Logic board. I already mount an SSD HD in my current setup (Samsung MZ-76E250B 250GB 2.5 Inch Internal SATA SSD (up to 550 MB / s)), do I need to replace the SSD cable anyway for such upgrade, and if yes why?

Shephy

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@Andrea Pastore - Your Hard Drive Cable Is A Ticking Time Bomb

I always replace it and apply electricians tape on the uppercase. The process of putting it in can also damage it! So don't crease it! Use an old BIC pen ink straw to use as a forming brake as you don't want the bends to exceed the radius of the straw.

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@danj I keep not understanding why I have to replace it and I cannot keep the existing one!

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So driving down a gavel road in your nice new Porsche race car is better than driving down a clean smooth paved road?

The old cable was likely a SATA II (3.0 Gb/s) and/or the cable has gotten damaged either by wearing or excessive bending. Your new drive is able to leverage the full throughput of SATA III (6.0 Gb/s) your system can offer. But having a weak cable due to old rev, wear or damage will mess your throughput and can create file corruptions!

All I can tell you is I've had too many upgrades go south because I didn't. But do as you wish...

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