Released June 2012 / Core i7 processor with Turbo Boost / Up to 1 GB DDR5 Video RAM

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Upgrading Low Res LCD to High Res compatibility?

I am looking at purchasing a 2012 15" macbook pro (MD103LL/A ) on craigslist for a significant discount. However, I would like to upgrade the screen to high-resolution - either matte or glossy.

I've spent the last two days researching this and found a lot of contradicting information.

This place, welovemacs, sells LCD panels and divides them up by years. The offerings and prices are different depending on the year. This leads me to believe they are different.

This place, powerbookmedic, has only two categories, one for unibody and one for non-unibody. Under unibody is shows a list of compatility that ends in year 2010. So it doesn't show that it IS compatible with a 2012 macbook pro. Another thing, this place says the matte and glossy lcds are interchangeable, but resolutions are not.

I have looked at so many lcd retailers that I am getting exhausted with this. The prices vary so vastly that it is also alarming.

Here are a few more retailers I found

etechparts.com

laptopscreen.com

^This place is the cheapest and the a1286 is the model that corresponds to the 2009-2013 15" models. So I'm really tempted to order from these guys.

I will of course be calling companies to try to get more information from them and will be updating this question/answers as the weekend closes; however, I'd be interested in hearing what is already known?

First question is - difference between matte and glossy? Is it in the lcd or the overlay? If one were to want to switch between the two, what additional parts might be needed? I know the screen borders look different between the matte and glossy high-res options when purchased through apple. The matte version does not have the clean black trim.

Second - any issue going between resolutions? Apple loves stream-lining so I suspect there are no hardware differences in the low-res and high-res models except for the actual screen, but I could be wrong. I noticed that some of the 15" macbooks seam to claim to have a 1GB 650m graphics card while others a 512MB 650m.

check the 500GB HDD and 750GB HDD versions to see the different graphics cards

Thanks to everyone who takes the time to read this.

Appreciatively,

Rob

interesting but possibly worthless discussion on LCD models found in 15" macbook pros

Answered! View the answer I have this problem too

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It would be cheaper to sell your current system and buy a new system with the higher res display Vs the cost and labor retro-fitting a new display into your current system. Also note the resale value will be less not more after doing this.

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I just picked up a 15" 2012 macbook pro for 1100 in the box new. Warranty started today. I can pick up a high res glossy LCD for 80 dollars from here:

https://www.laptopscreen.com/English/mod...

and here is a video showing it done on a 13"

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DSolxo06y...

I already picked up a suction handle and other tools necessary for this job at the parts store as well as ordered a heat gun on amazon.

The graphics card for sure is not an issue since the standard integrated HD4000 is capable of supporting the retina display in the 13" without any assistance.

This is completely doable. Worst case I break the glass screen. 30 dollars on amazon.

I will most likely purchase an additional screen for the "just in case."

If I don't need it, amazons return policy is friendly.

I'm making sure I have everything I need and then I am ordering the screen, since the vendor wishes to know if the screen is damaged within 5 days of delivery.

Game on.

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Hi Rob Nich,

How did it go? Were you able to replace your screen with a higher resolution one? I also wanted to follow your steps :)

Thanks and Kind Regards

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This would be an advanced DIY project (it's not easy to get the display apart without damage), and reassembly can be problematic locating the adhesive. The matte/glossy difference is the LCD. Your vendor should be able to ensure/answer resolution functionality. You might want to opt for changing the entire top case as a single unit.

Yes there are different graphics cards and you must know which is in your unit. Two of the i7 Mid '12 models are capable of automatically switching between graphics processors, the i5 and one of the i7s are not.

If this Answer is helpful please remember to return and mark it Accepted.

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I've replaced the LCD panel on a 2009 13" and it was not hard. Just requires patience, a heat gun, a suction cup (I used the one from my car GPS windshield mount), and micro screwdrivers (phillips and torx). It's a fairly advanced project but beats buying a new computer. The LCD panels are inexpensive and even if you break the glass, replacements of that are also not expensive.

I've pulled apart my 15" and can confirm that the 1680*1050 panel is the same connector as the low-res 1440*900 panel. Retina is different completely and I think a lot of people on this thread are confused about that.

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Hi, I have replaced the lcd on a 2010 15" with the 1680*1050 panel, when i start the machine the screen is black until the osx is loaded and the screen works, when i restart the machine the same thing happens. This is a problem cuz whenever i need to boot or safe mode the screen is black. Do you know where this problem come from?

Thanks

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Hello,

Just wanted to post this for those of us that found this on google looking for answers.

I just actually did this myself an hour ago - replaced a non-hi-res display on my 2012 15" unibody non-retina MBP with a hi-res display/assembly from a 2010 unibody MBP. I did not need any other parts, however it did require some modification.

There are only two wifi antennas on the 2010 vs three on the 2012. This did not cause an issue, and wifi still works great.

I ran into an issue with the display connector. The 2012 MBP's use a slightly different connector than all of the previous generations. It is slightly wider, and *will not* fit into the connector on the logic board without modification. Ideally, the display cable should be replaced with one from a 2012 MBP. However, I was in a pinch and needed it up and running. So I carefully broke off a piece of plastic on the right side of the connector that was making it wider than it needed to be (it was only a fraction of a millimeter off), and it fit right in and all of the pins lined up. It works great. However, I would *not* recommend this because it is a very risky thing to do.

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So you are saying that the connector from a 2011 hi rez screen will not fit into the 2012 logic board without modification?

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Yes, 2011 hi-res to 2012 MacBook pro. I just did this. It works! The modification is trimming about 1mm of plastic off the video connector, and swapping out the clip. I used a nail clipper and some tweezers to switch the clips. 40 minute job.

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I have found that the LCD connectors on the Hi-Res and standard aren't the same. I have several standard res screens in stock including a full housing and have a 15" Hi-Res in for LCD repair, I immediately found that the connector on the logic board isn't compatible.

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I have a Md104ll/A mid 2012 2.6 i7 with the normal resolution glossy screen that I could not stand the reflection. I also have a MD385ll/A with the hi-res matte screen that I'm accustomed to. So I compared the connections to see if modifying the 2012 to Hi-tes matte would work. I found a late 2011 hi-res matte screen on eBay and pulled the trigger to change the screen.

Remove and Replace is very straight forward, however in order for the connector to seat properly, I had to trim the video cable connector coming from the screen. I used a small nail clipper to cut off about 1mm of plastic, then swapped out the retainer clip. Once I got the connector seated correctly clipped down the clip, reassembled then tested. It works!!

It can be done on 2012 non-retina display MacBook pros with glossy normal res screen, with very little modification. The whole job took about 40 minutes. Cost with shipping under $100

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I have the 17" Macbook Pro MB166 with the low (1680 x 1050) resolution LCD - then my PA speaker fell off the wall and crushed my screen (bounced off it) - then my brother who had a dead 17" MBP sent me it - I installed the high resolution (1920 x 1200) screen from it and been using it for a week - i'm writing this comment with it.

ALTHOUGH it works fine I've been having issues with booting and an occasional screen freeze - a tech told me those issues have nothing to do with the LCD and it may be a RAM (I tested - Negative) or I or the crash messed up something on the logic board. I'm buying another of the same model.

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I have done this with a 2010 Macbook Pro 15", and although the high res screen works perfectly, I do have one problem I would love help with.

1. The new high res screen fits perfectly and interfaces with the existing LVDS cable.

2. The problem is that the screen stays dark at bootup until very late in the bootup process.

Basically the screen comes on just as the desktop appears. You never see the grey Apple startup screen.

The problem is that now I can't see the Startup Manager screen (option key at startup), single user mode, or Target Disk Mode.

I have tried a clean install on a repartitioned disk of OSX 10.9 but it has not resolved this problem.

Tried resetting NVRAM and the Power Manager, no change.

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Hi Bob, did you ever figure out what was causing your screen to stay dark? I'm thinking of doing this with my 2010 mbp 2.4ghz i5...

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So.. i did it on my mbp mid 2012, but its black until system loads up. Did you resolved this issue? Would be nice to know.

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The problem here is the EFI doesn't have the needed hardware driver services for the screen so your system need to wait until the OS is loaded to gain access to the OS's drivers. Basically this is what you'll get here.

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Too bad there isn't any quick fix for this :) There is also problem with color depth on osx, on boot camp everything is fine.

Will try to fix this issue with other lcd and programmed edid.

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Hi Bod, did you manage to solve this problem, cuz i did the same on my macbook pro 15" mid 2010 and have the same black screen issue at statup.

Thanks

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I solved my problem by physically re-seating the 'Backlight Ribbon Cable' after I did a new keyboard install it seemed I never had a good contact on that plug into the Logic Board. To see where the Backlight Ribbon Cable is look on 'How to Remove the Logic Board' - it will be the first on your left - south of the cooling fan on the very bottom of the Logic Board near the battery. Good Luck - hope this helps - it drove me crazy for a few days.

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Rob Nich will be eternally grateful.
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