MacBook Pro 15" Unibody Early 2011

Model A1286. Released February 2011 / 2.0, 2.2, or 2.3 GHz Quad-core Intel Core i7 Processor

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Changing screen from standard 1440x900 to high res matte 1680x1050


I bought a refurbished early 2011 15" MacBook Pro (A1286) with the standard 1440x900 screen.

Is it possible to replace it with the high res matte 1680x1050 screen?

If yes, what do I have to do?



Answered! View the answer I have this problem too

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What rab777hp said is true, it is something that can be accomplished.

The video circuitry on the logic board is the same for the high and low resolution screen options, as is the video data cable (LVDS). However, I have not been able to confirm that the early 2011 15" MBP utilizes the same LVDS cable as the previous years/models to enable you you use the screen in your comment. If the LVDS cables are the same, the LCDs are interchangeable.

The only thing you may have to do in addition to changing out LCDs is change your display profile - you can find a number of working ones on Macrummors for various screen models/(manufacturer's part number) to get the high resolution with good colors, etc... The manufacturer's part number is on the back of the LCD. A cheap easy way of getting the picture you want with the new LCD is to back up your data. Format your hard drive. Then reinstall your operating system. During the install the OS will run a query for the hardware installed, including the LCD, and set things up properly.

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How do you know that the LCD screen I mentioned is for earlier models than my early 2011 MacBook Pro is? The product description does`t say anything about it?

by Michael

I also don't see it saying it is for the early 2011 in your link or or in this link. Just because people sell parts doesn't mean they are always compatible or should be reasonable considered a viable option. People sell separate keyboards for the A1181 MacBook. That part is attached to the uppercase through plastic welding. You can't change the keyboard on the uppercase without making your A1181 look like Frankenstein. It is up to the consumer to establish compatibility prior to purchase. Some places won't let you return things over compatibility issues those that do will require you to pay the return shipping and not refund the original shipping. I only answered here to help you understand what needs to be considered when changing LCD models on your laptop. I follow this thread on the MBP 15" screen lottery and several others so that I can stay informed on this topic.

by ABCellars

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Yes, you'll need this guide to install it, however finding the display itself may be a little tricky, since it's only found on custom build-to-order MBPs, it doesn't appear to exist in an aftermarket.

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I could be totally off, but in order to benefit from the higher-res screen, don't you need to have the video chip that ships with that screen? Again, I'm not sure, but I'm just curious. I was under the impression that you need the right video chip to benefit from the higher resolution, or at least that without the proper chip, performance in the higher resolution might suffer. I'm curious to know if this is true.

by rdklinc

I would just buy the LCD Screen here:

That should be the one I am looking for.

Do I need anything else?

What about the setting in the driver?

Will that be recognized automatically?

by Michael

No, the only differences are in the high res you specify when ordering from apple and they build it with that LCD, the rest of the machine is identical.

by rab777hp

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I just did this on a 15" MacBook Pro A1286 Mid 2012 model that I picked up to replace a 2010 that i custom orded with the hi-res screen from Apple years ago. I didn't think I would notice the difference in the regular screen verse the hi-res, but yah it was easily apparent to me. I couldn't find a post anywhere from anyone saying they had successfuly done this, only from other people interested in attempting the same thing. After researching the parts I found a good deal on a hi-res panel so I gave it a try, and it worked.

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Hi, Kyle! Can you give more information about the screen you got for the 2012 15" MBP.

Going from hi-res antiglare to regular glossy display is just plain awful.

by Taaniel Malleus

Hi Kyle did the computer detect the new resolution and display properly right away or did you have to do something like reinstall the os or download some display profile?

by caleb

@kyle I wonder if it is possible to use a high-res LCD from a min-2015 15" on my late-2011 MBP. I have a dying 2010 MBP 15" with a high-res LCD. I am planning on taking out the LCD only. Will the LVDS cable on the 2011 fit the 2010 LCD. Anyone tried this?

by asle

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Michael will be eternally grateful.