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2011년 상반기 모델, A1278 / 2.3 GHz i5 또는 2.7 GHz i7 프로세서.

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Early 2011 Logic board upgrade

I have an early 2011 macbook pro 13" with the 2.7 HD. I'm looking at upgrading to a SSD and maxing the RAM instead of buying a new macbook. Wondering if I can switch the Logic board to the 2012. From what I've found I'd need a heat sink. But there has been nothing clear about how compatible the swap would be. Anyone out there done this swap? Opinions?

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@mr_fix_it - Be careful here! This is a very cheap thermal paste. I would recommend sticking with Arctic Silver 5 & ArctiClean. Laptops need a good paste, a desktop can get away with a cheaper paste as the heat transfer system is larger.

I upgraded my 2011 13" macbook pro logic-board to a mid 2012 13'' macbook pro logic board, I followed a tutorial on youtube (https://youtu.be/swQIx4VqmLM) hope this helps

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Well, your in luck this is a direct drop in! MacBook Pro 13" Unibody (Mid 2012) 2.9 GHz Logic Board and yes you'll need to replace the heat sink MacBook Pro 13" Unibody (Mid 2012) Heat Sink.

Go for it!

For the SSD you should replace the HD SATA cable when you put it in. Here's the cable you'll want: MacBook Pro 13" Unibody (Mid 2012) Hard Drive Cable. You'll want to place some eltecticans tape down where it rest on the uppercase as the rough aluminum tends to wear the cable causing read/write errors more so with faster drives.

Update (05/07/2020)

To fit a 2011 display LVDS cable into a 2012 logic board one needs to make a slight modification to the LVDS cable using a nail file to remove a small amount of the edge of tang.

Block Image

MacBook Pro 13" Unibody (Mid 2012) Hard Drive Cable 이미지


MacBook Pro 13" Unibody (Mid 2012) Hard Drive Cable


MacBook Pro 13" Unibody (Mid 2012) Heat Sink 이미지


MacBook Pro 13" Unibody (Mid 2012) Heat Sink


MacBook Pro 13" Unibody (Mid 2012) 2.9 GHz Logic Board 이미지


MacBook Pro 13" Unibody (Mid 2012) 2.9 GHz Logic Board


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Thanks for the info. Exactly the answer I was looking for. I searched for a while and couldn't find an exact answer. Thanks again. Ordering parts now.

Just curious - how did the swap go, and was it worthwhile? I also have an early 2011 MacBook Pro. I've swapped out the memory, battery and hard drive and was contemplating doing the logic board next. Would love to hear your feedback after having done it.

@cperryman You can do that, not a problem, except heatsink everything else is 100% compatible, but unless you want to do it for the latest and greatest Mac Os, don't expect significant performance boosts if you already maxed out RAM and upgraded to an SSD. You will hardly notice any difference unless you're switching from the 2.3GHz i5 to the 2.9GHz i7.

@arbaman and @danj nice info!

how much of a boost / how many OSX's could i upgrade if i juiced my late-2011 up from the 2.4ghz i5 to the 2.9ghz i7?

not sure if it'll be worth it as the machine has some other issues, trackpad doesn't fully work, function keys don't respond fully (the dimmer keys notably, i replaced the keyboard once due to a spill), and the superdrive only works every once in a while.

could i swap out the superdrive for a more powerful Logic Board to get it on the current OSX? already have the 16gb RAM and 1TB SSD (the SSD upgrade gave me another 4-5yrs on the machine tbh) -- thanks!

@Christopher Miller - Go into EveryMac - Lookup plug in MacBookPro8,1 into the search to review the performance numbers across the different models of this series.

Not sure I follow your question on the optical drive. It doesn't relate to the logic board or its performance. Or, what macOS this series will support per Apples guidance.

You also talk about having hardware issues now so maybe its time to make a list of the costs Vs a new system (even used thats newer and meets your needs)

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Hi, just to give everyone a quick update, I am in the middle of doing a logic board swap from a 13” mid-2012 MacBook Pro into an early 2011 body.

I just purchased a early 2011 in perfect physical condition and my mid-2012 has lots of dents and scrapes. I have done 20+ logic board removals for reposting, I have swapped the mid-2012 logic boards into late 2011s with no problems. After reading this post I decided to buy an early 2011 and try it out. Anyway, everything is swappable EXCEPT the display assembly. The LVDS cable from the early 2011 does not fit into the mid-2012. I tried many different positions with quite a bit of force.

It’s not worth it. I have ready some people have squished it in, to have it die later on. Please do not attempt this.

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STOP!! Don't force it!! Apple used a different venders connector which is a shade smaller. Reference the picture I added to my answer on how to make this work.

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I want to upgrade my MBP 13” early 2011 to a mid 2012 by replacing the Logic board. I already mount an SSD HD in my current setup (Samsung MZ-76E250B 250GB 2.5 Inch Internal SATA SSD (up to 550 MB / s)), do I need to replace the SSD cable anyway for such upgrade, and if yes why?


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@Andrea Pastore - Your Hard Drive Cable Is A Ticking Time Bomb

I always replace it and apply electricians tape on the uppercase. The process of putting it in can also damage it! So don't crease it! Use an old BIC pen ink straw to use as a forming brake as you don't want the bends to exceed the radius of the straw.

@danj I keep not understanding why I have to replace it and I cannot keep the existing one!

So driving down a gavel road in your nice new Porsche race car is better than driving down a clean smooth paved road?

The old cable was likely a SATA II (3.0 Gb/s) and/or the cable has gotten damaged either by wearing or excessive bending. Your new drive is able to leverage the full throughput of SATA III (6.0 Gb/s) your system can offer. But having a weak cable due to old rev, wear or damage will mess your throughput and can create file corruptions!

All I can tell you is I've had too many upgrades go south because I didn't. But do as you wish...

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I have a late 2011 MacBook Pro 13".
Was wondering what advantages would have the fact to switch the motherboard to an MID 2012. Trying to seek for this information I was nto able to find any clear answer to that.
Could you please name some advantages / disadvantages?

Many thanks in advance,


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@daniel56799 - There aren’t to may benefits depending on what your CPU is currently so jumping from a i5 to i7 would be beneficial if you run a lot of heavy multi threaded Apps. Apple also upped to Catalina support. But today we have ways to overcome macOS installer so you can run newer macOS release’s but there are hardware limits which can still hit you.

So without knowing your current use and what you are trying to accomplish on the surface it may not be a good reason for so little benefit.

Hello Dan,

thanks for responding.

I used my MacBook Pro lately to ehlp me out with the LAB environment during my Master Degree in Cybersecurity. The University provided us with some virtual machines that unfortunately still do not run properly on Macs with M1 / M2 chips. But as my old macbook still is working quite well (i updated it in the last 12 years by replacing the HDD with a SSD and upgrading to 16Gb RAM, themarl paste change, new battery, etc.). Was wondering if I could see the difference in using several Virtual Machines with the Motherboard update (by the way, would this motherboard change also mean that my MacBook Pro would support Metal?).

But basically I would be using my MacBook to use Kali Linux in a VM (homelabs) and some programming projects.

Thank you :)



@daniel56799 - Given your a studying Cybersecurity I’m not sure if the i7s multi-threading gains you that much. As far as Metal support, we’ll… it’s not that simple. Apple is now on Metal2 and the ‘12 only offers Gen 1 of Metal. Unless you are running macOS I don’t think Metal is supported.

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