Released April 2010 / 2.4, 2.53 GHz Core i5 or 2.66, 2.8 GHz Core i7 Processors

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Retrofit with Thunderbolt Logic Board?

As far as future upgrade prospects, a new logic board from iFixit is ~1/2 the price of a new MacBook Pro.

So, could one retrofit, say, a mid 2010 unibody 15” MBP with a late 2011 logic board (including new heat sinks and new battery)?

I noticed the heatsink screw points are ever so slightly skewed and that the battery connector has changed, but most everything else seems about the same.

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Deck the Halls
With tools and Fix Kits

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You would still need a means to cut a hole in the case for the TB port. I think your going to far here. Too many chances for problems.

Best to sell your current system and buy a new (used) system with a TB port if your really need it.

Frankly, the cost of TB devices are still very high and don't offer enough to warrant getting them quite yet.

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+ I really have to agree. A 1 TB external HD from LaCie is $450.


With the current system already having a Mini DisplayPort hole in the case right where the Thunderbolt port ought to be, I didn’t imagine it would be quite so drastic…

Do the heatsink screws mount onto the chassis or the logic board? I ask mostly because the upgrade would afford future-proofness. I wouldn’t be doing this any time soon – this system will be good enough for me for a while still.


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Siddyrocks, have you been able to do this yet?

I want to fit a 2011 MBP logic board in to increase the CPU, dont care too much for the TB port, but it would be an added bonus. Just wondering if it fit/how much modification you had to do to get it right?

I can get a 2.66 ghz i7 board for about $500.

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Hi Brendan,

I actually was unable to perform the retrofit. Looking at the heatsink mounting points, it’d be impossible to affix the new, notably springed heatsinks to the logic board, lest I drilled through the logic board, which I deemed too risky.

Seems Apple went out of its way to make that small change specifically to prevent a retrofit. But that’s the only real barrier – one can change the battery to accommodate the new board, and all the other interfaces are the same.

In the end, I submitted my old one for recycling and bought a new one (it unexpectedly and very suddenly died due to a spontaneous EFI corruption). I got $524.25 back, though!

Good luck with yours!



Thanks for your quick reply.

Thats a real shame they do that, but I'm really glad I havent bought the board! I guess you could always replace the outside case as well they're about $300 odd I think. But in light of this new information (thanks), I've decided to build a Hac pro Hackintosh pc.

Still keeping my 2008 macbook pro, because it still works, but the extra CPU will go to the desktop rather than the laptop.




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siddyrocks will be eternally grateful.
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