Possible to upgrade the logic board in a MBP?

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Joined: Mar 17 2005
Posts: 15

Does anyone know if it is possible to replace the logic board in an original MacBook Pro (Core Duo) with one from a newer MBP? I have the skills necessary to do this, and with the upgrades I have already done to this MBP, it is more cost effective for me to upgrade the logic board than it is for me to replace the machine.

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Eudimorphodon's picture
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Joined: Dec 21 2003
Posts: 1204
Swap, don't upgrade

A quick Google shows that MacBook Pro logic boards sell for between $900 and $1100, about half the cost of a whole new machine. Given the high resale value Macs have on places like eBay I highly doubt the most "cost effective" thing to do is attempt a motherboard swap. You'd almost certainly be better off selling your current machine either before or after getting a new one. (Unless you've so badly damaged the current machine aesthetically that getting a decent price for it is out of the question.)

As to specifics, I don't have the service manuals but I will note that all MacBook Pro models after the original have a Firewire 800 port the original lacked. Even if everything else matched up between the Core Duo and Core 2 Duo model motherboards you'd have to hack a hole in the case. The "Santa Rosa" motherboard almost certainly would present larger problems, since being an all new chipset it's *very* likely the heat sinks and case bottom are different. (It also uses a different LCD backlight technology, so you'd likely encounter problems with the inverter circuitry for the older model backlight.)

If you limit yourself to the first Core 2 Duo motherboards it's likely at *best* you'd get maybe a 30-40% increase in speed anyway (Assuming you went from a 1.83Ghz Duo to the top-of-the-line 2.33Ghz Duo 2). Scarcely seems worth $1100.

--Peace

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Joined: Mar 17 2005
Posts: 15
Thanks for the quick response

Thanks for the quick response. Ordinarily you would be right about the costs involved, but I know somebody who can get me one in the $400-500 range. For the FW800 port, I am aware of this and can also buy a new bottom casing. The reason I don't simply sell this and buy a new one is because I have already upgraded it significantly and simply would not recover the costs from my upgrades (250GB HD, Dual Layer SuperDrive, 802.11N, 2GB RAM, although the RAM would be upgraded to 4). I was hoping a SR board would work, but the LCD inverter issue you pinpointed was exactly my question. I assume the upper casing has not changed at all, so that would be the potential catch. The 30-40% increase in speed would be well worth the money for me since I use nothing but resource intensive software on my computer all the time (computer science and applied mathematics/statistics major).