MacBook Pro 15" Unibody Mid 2010 Teardown

Teardown

Teardown

Teardowns provide a look inside a device and should not be used as disassembly instructions.

Stay tuned for an exciting look into one of Apple's latest revision of its MacBook Pro line, the Intel Core i5 MacBook Pro.

We gutted the Core i5 on April 14, 2010.

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Edit Step 1 MacBook Pro 15" Unibody Mid 2010 Teardown  ¶ 

  • Apple's need for faster and better processors has led it to incorporate Core i5s and i7s into its latest lineup of MacBook Pros.

  • Our new MacBook Pro's specifications:

    • 2.4 GHz Intel Core i5 with 3 MB shared level 3 cache

    • 4 GB of 1066 MHz DD3 SDRAM

    • 15.4 inch LED-backlit glossy widescreen display

    • Intel HD Graphics and NVIDIA GeForce GT 330M with 256 MB of GDD3 RAM

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Edit Step 2  ¶ 

  • Apple is still using the model number A1286 for the new MacBook Pro. We'll have to find a new way to differentiate this laptop from previous models.

  • Perhaps Model A1286 Core i5? Only time will tell.

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Edit Step 3  ¶ 

  • Removing the rear cover will get things going.

  • Servicing the battery is not super easy due to the fact that you need a Tri-Wing screwdriver to get it out of the machine.

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Edit Step 4  ¶ 

  • Taking off the rear cover reveals a machine that is not very exciting or different from earlier MacBook Pro models.

  • As usual, there's a sticker warning against removing the battery. Por qué, Apple?

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Edit Step 5  ¶ 

  • Silly sticker... You can't stop us!

  • For some odd reason, Apple has stopped using five-point Torx screws found on other MBP 15" Unibodies in favor of Tri-Wing screws. Try as you may, Apple, you won't win. We got all the screwdrivers right here.

  • The battery is now rated at 77.5 Wh. That's just a tad bit more than the 73 Wh battery found in last year's 15" model, but not enough to explain the 1-2 hour battery life improvement Apple is claiming for this machine.

  • Perhaps they optimized the Pro's power consumption?

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Edit Step 6  ¶ 

  • The Wi-Fi/Bluetooth board location is one of the few major changes made to the new model.

  • Its layout closely resembles that of the MacBook Unibody.

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Edit Step 7  ¶ 

  • Removing the AirPort/Bluetooth assembly first requires disconnecting the three antenna connectors with a plastic spudger.

  • A single screw is all that's left holding the assembly in place.

  • Two more screws need to be removed to separate the AirPort Express card.

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Edit Step 8  ¶ 

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Edit Step 9  ¶ 

  • The connectors as viewed, from left to right:

    • Wi-Fi/Bluetooth antenna

    • Camera cable

    • Optical drive

    • Speaker wires

    • Hard drive

  • Due to the redesign of the AirPort/Bluetooth interface, its connections are no longer integrated into the camera cable, greatly decreasing the size of the connector.

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Edit Step 10  ¶ 

  • With the antenna out of the way, the optical drive can be removed.

  • The new MacBook Pro uses the same Seagate hard drive from the previous model.

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Edit Step 11  ¶ 

  • Removing the speaker and subwoofer assembly requires removing four measly screws holding it on the upper case.

  • Apple changed the design of this speaker assembly slightly, moving from a single plastic enclosure to separate plastic enclosures for the speaker & subwoofer that are connected by the speaker leads.

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Edit Step 12  ¶ 

  • Since the AirPort/Bluetooth board is mounted inside the all-metal case of this machine, Apple added an antenna that is mounted on the frame for the optical drive opening. Pretty clever!

  • This antenna is not found on the MacBook Unibody, probably because the case of that machine is plastic and blocks less RF transmission & reception.

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Edit Step 13  ¶ 

  • After removing the two cooling fans and disconnecting many connectors, the logic board and DC-In board can be removed as one piece.

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Edit Step 14  ¶ 

  • The logic board and heat sink assembly by itself.

  • The speaker, microphone, and port layout are unchanged from previous MBP 15" Unibody machines.

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Edit Step 15  ¶ 

  • Huge versions of these scans can be found here and here. 56K beware!

  • Intel Core i5 processor with integrated graphics.

  • NVIDIA GeForce GT 330M. The OS switches to the NVIDIA graphics for higher demand applications.

  • Intel BD82HM55 S LGZS Platform Controller Hub. Interestingly enough, the hub is not connected to the heat sink. Apparently, enough heat is convected from the surface of the silicon to remove the small amount of heat generated by the graphics switching operations.

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Edit Step 16  ¶ 

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Edit Step 17  ¶ 

  • The heat sinks can be separated from the logic board, leaving it very cold and lonely.

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Edit Step 18  ¶ 

  • The Core i5 was no match for iFixit.

  • Here are the remains of this lovely machine...

Required Tools

Spudger

$2.95 · 50+ In stock

Phillips #00 Screwdriver

$5.95 · 50+ In stock

Tri-wing Y1 Screwdriver

$5.95 · 50+ In stock

Recommended Tools

Universal Drive Adapter

$29.95 · 50+ In stock

iFixit Lock Pick Set

$29.95 · 50+ In stock

Inspection Scope

$39.95 · 50+ In stock

Frictionless Ratchet

$24.95 · 50+ In stock

Portable Anti-Static Mat

$34.95 · 43 In stock

Popular Device Products

Unibody Laptop Dual Drive

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1 TB SSD Hybrid 2.5" Hard Drive

$139.95 · 9 In stock

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Comments Comments are onturn off

What parts changed from the early 2009 17 inch unibody x

cause I hAve to decide if I get a new meqchinr or replace what's needed and alsoo

I al

pologize about spelling I was on a iPod touch

Nick, · Reply

So, what are the chances that the motherboard for this model would be interchangable with the previous model for an easy upgrade?

aric caley, · Reply

Well i stuffed up. My screwdriver was not magnetic so i lost one of the small screws. While i hunt is there anywhere i could buy one or a set?

Stuart Singleton, · Reply

What size of tri-wing screw driver is needed?

charlie dropbox, · Reply

Quote from charlie dropbox:

What size of tri-wing screw driver is needed?

Same question from me. Just bought the new MacBook Pro, and I want to get a triwing screwdriver to remove the back case for hard drive replacement.

I have 6 screwdrivers sets, nice ones, but no triwing bits.

Jason G, · Reply

Quote from charlie dropbox:

What size of tri-wing screw driver is needed?

iFixit has two bit driver kits, both which contain the Y0 bit necessary to remove the screw:

54 piece kit

26 piece kit

Brady Cabe, · Reply

Quote from Brady Cabe:

iFixit has two bit driver kits, both which contain the Y0 bit necessary to remove the screw:

Excellent! Thank you Brady.

charlie

charlie dropbox, · Reply

Are the tri-wing screws actually holding the back, or are these only for the battery retainer? The online instructions Apple makes available for HD replacement for the 17" i7 (here) say you only need a #00 Phillips.

Eric Tiffany, · Reply

Quote from Eric Tiffany:

Are the tri-wing screws actually holding the back, or are these only for the battery retainer? The online instructions Apple makes available for HD replacement for the 17" i7 (here) say you only need a #00 Phillips.

Eric,

The back only needs the Phillips. If you want to remove the battery, you would need the triwing bits.

charlie

charlie dropbox, · Reply

Bought! Thanks. Now I have 6 nice screwdriver sets. :-)

Quote from Brady Cabe:

iFixit has two bit driver kits, both which contain the Y0 bit necessary to remove the screw:

54 piece kit

26 piece kit

Jason G, · Reply

Quote from Jason G:

Bought! Thanks. Now I have 6 nice screwdriver sets. :-)

Oops, now I have 7.

Jason G, · Reply

That might be the reason why there is a warning about the removal of the battery:

https://ocroquette.wordpress.com/2012/09...

ocroquette, · Reply

Ditto on the request for Tri-Wing size. Just ordered a new 1TB HD, and I want to have the right tool on hand when it gets here.

tarabella, · Reply

Quote from tarabella:

Ditto on the request for Tri-Wing size. Just ordered a new 1TB HD, and I want to have the right tool on hand when it gets here.

iFixit has two bit driver kits, both which contain the Y0 bit necessary to remove the screw:

54 piece kit

26 piece kit

Brady Cabe, · Reply

Do you have to remove the battery to replace the hard drive? I see a pull-tab on the drive, does it angle up?

John Rork, · Reply

Only two philips screws hold down the HD. Then you need a small torx to remove the 4 studs on the edges of the HD.

Quote from John Rork:

Do you have to remove the battery to replace the hard drive? I see a pull-tab on the drive, does it angle up?

tarabella, · Reply

Is there extra space in the clutch cover now that they moved the card? Did they put an antenna in its place?

femtoflash, · Reply

I would like to know if the battery is interchangeable with the previous 15" MBP, ie Can you put the NEW battery into the old MBP & will it charge to the higher capacity & if so BMARK to see if its a worthy upgrade to the older battery.

If & when you do the 13" MBP tear down this is a must know the answer to question too please!

Steve Hardy, · Reply

Does the HD bay still support 12.5mm drives?

chico sajovic, · Reply

Will the MCE OptiBay drive mount fit like in the older model?

tarabella, · Reply

What screws / connectors must be be removed to get the hard drive out? I don't want to remove more than I need to.

Jason G, · Reply

Can you put a 12.5mm hdd in here?

Chris Holt, · Reply

W801480XAGU - MacBook Pro 15-inch Mid-2010 - Limited Warranty

Telephone Technical Support: Active

Your product is eligible for complimentary telephone technical support during the first 90 days.

Estimated Expiration Date: July 13, 2010

Repairs and Service Coverage: Active

Your product is covered for eligible hardware repairs and service under Apple's Limited Warranty.

Estimated Expiration Date: April 13, 2011

Thought it was fun to check the warranty on the MacBook Pro iFixit worked on.

Thank you so much to iFixit, especially to Luke and Kyle for great idea and great repair guides! iFixit, vFixit, We save the World!

Chubby, · Reply

Is this antenna just for Bluetooth or is is part of a tri-MIMO 802.11n setup? Also, do you happen to know where the other two antennas are located in the display? Are the antennas band-specific (dedicated/separate 2.4 and 5 GHz antennas)? Info could be useful for optimizing reception...

femtoflash, · Reply

Quote from femtoflash:

Is this antenna just for Bluetooth or is is part of a tri-MIMO 802.11n setup? Also, do you happen to know where the other two antennas are located in the display? Are the antennas band-specific (dedicated/separate 2.4 and 5 GHz antennas)? Info could be useful for optimizing reception...

One of the antennas is dedicated for bluetooth. The radio used from broadcom only supports MIMO 2x2.

http://www.broadcom.com/products/Wireles...

Andre, · Reply

On step 11 of the Macbook it is mentioned:

"All three antenna cables appear to route into the display assembly. This may be an improvement for Bluetooth range, since on previous MacBooks the Bluetooth antenna was located above the optical drive and not inside the display assembly."

Is this new antenna on MBP connected to the same port (J?) on the Airport board than the one routed into the display assembly above mentioned? It seams that this antenna is being used for bluetooth only and the other two remaining for WiFi (2,4 and 5 Ghz). Is that correct? If so, there will not be any WiFi radio performance improvement compared to previous MBP.

enriqueroitman, · Reply

How does this piece get removed? It seems like there is glue or something holding it in. I removed the one screw holding it, but it won't budge.. any help??

Zach, · Reply

I had the same question and after hours of searching the net I couldn't find an answer. The replacement part I purchased from China, which was supposed to be brand new yet was obviously not, lacked this antenna. So I tried sliding an iSesamo blade underneath, got about halfway and stopped for fear of damaging the thin metal plate. Next I doused it with goo gone and tried to slide it under again, but that didn't help at all. Finally, I hit it with a heat gun at about 300F and it came out pretty easily by continuing to slide the blade all the way through. The glue was still pretty sticky and held it in place on the new case.

Hope this helps someone...

maccentric,

Great job. Can you do one with the 17inch i& and 13inch MBP?

Nicholas Ouimet, · Reply

You make a misstake in Step 15

You put the wrong link, it`s sending to http://www.nvidia.com/object/product_gef...

But must to send here:

http://www.nvidia.ru/object/product_gefo...

dimazhukovets, · Reply

Very few pieces placed on an angle any more as was in the previous unibody MBPs. Maybe a cost saving move?

Mike Hopkins, · Reply

The MBP 15" Unibody i5 comes with two possible screen resolutions (1400x900 and 1680x1050). Which logic board is this one? Are the logic boards the same for both (i.e. is the LVDS connector the same and it's just a different LCD screen installed?)

Brent, · Reply

The intel processor has a socket? is it possible removing the i5 processor for future upgrades??? what does it mean that the i5 2,4 GHZ is embedded and the 2,53 GHz isn't??

in the end, do the i5 2,4 Ghz support EEC??

regards

pacioccone, · Reply

The Platform Controller Hub is all the I/O - USB, SATA, additional PCIe, SPI for Flash, LPC for embedded controller, etc.

On the back-side there is an NXP DisplayPort switch and a Lattice programmable chip for switching LVDS going to the LCD display. These are the same chips use to switch between the 9400M and the 9600GT in the previous unibody MacBook Pros. So I wonder if Apple could add automatic GPU switching to them as a sotware update?

toppernh, · Reply

Wouldn't that make the logic board hot and bothered rather than cold and lonely?

Robert Coleman, · Reply

Fantastic! Any chance you'll post a high-rez version of the teardown final pic? Would love to use this as the desktop on my identical i5 MBP. Well, not quite identical. Mine had an Hitachi 320GB 5400 rpm.

Jose Martinez, · Reply

Quote from Jose Martinez:

Fantastic! Any chance you'll post a high-rez version of the teardown final pic? Would love to use this as the desktop on my identical i5 MBP. Well, not quite identical. Mine had an Hitachi 320GB 5400 rpm.

Hover over the thumbnail and click "View huge" in the left upper corner.

Mackie, · Reply

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