do all logicboards (i5, i7) fit into any 13" unibody non-retina

i want to change the defect motherboard of my macbook pro 13" A1282 early 2011 and upgrade it. i suppose that all motherboards of 2011 (A1278 too) will fit into my book. ist this true?

but what's up with the tunderbold and non-retina books of 2012? can i take any of their boards an put it into my 2011-macbook pro?

thanks for your tipps.

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my base problem is a defect thunderbolt connection. and i fear it's impossible to fix by myself. so

so i need a profi and about 150,- us dollar (130,- euro - i'm living in austria).

with an newer logicboard i can a) safe theese 150,- b) sell the defect logicboard for 200-300,- on ebay an c) buy a newer one to upgrade my A1282 - changing complet motherboards i can fix myself.

that is why i've been asking my question ...

all of You - thanks a lot for Your infos+explanations. now i'm getting a horizon of my problem and have a good chance to fix it by myself.


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Can you post some kind of link confirming the existence of an Apple "A1282"? Perhaps a photograph of the bottom case of the laptop we're discussing? Because neither Apple's support website, nor EveryMac. nor Mactracker lists an A1282 at all.

The closest thing I can find in the 2011 time period you're talking about is the A1286 15" Unibody MacBook Pro. The 13" Unibody MacBook Pros are all listed as A1278, from Mid 2009 until today.

The model number identifies the form factor; it doesn't identify the logic board inside the case. Logic boards may differ radically from one generation to another, with different screw placements/connectors/power requirements/port configurations and so on. The A1278 13" Unibody MacBook Pro is particularly troublesome in this regard, as Apple stupidly re-used the A1278 model number from the Late 2008 Unibody Macbook (Aluminum), which had wildly different parts and capabilities.

A much more reliable way to ID the generation of your Mac (and not merely the enclosure) is to use the Model Identifier. Launch System Profiler, located in /Applications/Utilities; the Model Identifier is visible in the Hardware Overview tab. It will be in the format:


You can also supply the last four characters of your serial number (actually, I'm not clear what resource other people are using to ID a computer just from those 4 characters. The only lookups I know are EveryMac and Apple Support, both of which require complete serial numbers. But enough people on iFixit ask for the last four characters, so clearly they know some site I don't know - I wish they'd announce where it is). Let's make sure we're identifying the computer accurately; otherwise our advice may get you into a lot of expensive trouble.

Generally, even if the model is the same and the ports/screw holes match up with the ones in your case, the only way to be absolutely sure when swapping a logic board is to use a logic board from the same generation as the original. The supporting modules (MagSafe, battery, GPU, display, Airport/Bluetooth, drives, heatsink, fans, speakers, sleep/thermal sensors) often use different connectors, cables and cable routings from one generation to another. Swapping a later logic board into an old box may not work unless you swap all the other parts. That's usually more expensive than buying a complete computer.

Help us help you.


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thanks so much for Your information!

i supose A1282 is a complete mystification ... my misstake - i'm sorry!

we are talking about my macbook pro 13" early 2011

i7 2,7mhz c2d - thunderbolt (defect) - non-retina

Intel HD Graphics 3000 512 MB


Model Number A1278

last 4 charakters of serial number DH2H

now i'm understanding that, eaqually if i7or i5 logicbord inside, both of theese machines are using te same model formfactor identification A1278 (even back untill the first 13" aluminium unibody in 2008).

so, but now - what can You tell me about my idea

upgrading my macbook pro 13"

early 2011 i7 2,7mhz (mbp8,1 DH2H)

with a newer 13" (non-retina) logicboard?

is it possible? and which boards will work?

thanks again :-)

If you look at the compatibility tab for the Early 2011 logic board, you'll see that Early and Late 2011 logic boards are interchangeable. As a general rule, the breakpoints between compatible logic boards in the 13" models are by year: 2010 logic boards work in 2010 models, and so on. The Mid 2012 13" MBP has been unchanged for three years. Essentially, you can use any 2011 logic board, although a Late 2011 i5 logic board will be slower than an Early 2011 i7 logic board. FYI: Changes in the 2012 generation include USB 3.0, Intel 4000 graphics, 1GB shared graphics memory and Bluetooth 4.0, all of which change the physical layout of the logic board. Although I've never had a 2011 and a 2012 board in my hands to do a direct comparison, it's my guess that the two motherboards don't fit in the same cases.

For what it's worth, I also own an Early 2011 i7 13" Unibody (messed-up internal graphics connection), and I've asked this question hoping to get motherboard USB 3.0 ports. No dice :-(...Compatible logic boards are: 2.3GHz i5, 2.4GHz i5, 2.7GHz i7, 2.8GHz i7. If you look at the item pages, you'll find the Apple part numbers; you can use those to search for other sources.

all of You - thanks a lot for Your infos+explanations. now i'm getting a horizon of my problem and have a good chance to fix it by myself.


Hey helmut, the models aren't interchangeable. A1278 and A1282 are two different models. They may be of the same year but they were engineered differently. If you want to replace the motherboard of your computer then get the motherboard that was specified to be replaced for your model.

-Let me know if this helps.


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hej iApple, thanks!

so do i understand correctly:

i can put any logicboard that has been designed for model A1282 => into my A1282-macbook pro early 2011 and upgrade it (highest: logicboard from macbook pro mid 2012)?

(the same with the oter model - A1278. but never interchange thes two models i.e. NO logicboard up- or downgrads possible between theese 2 models.!)

please send confirmation :-)

Exactly, but if you look at this for example:

It states that this logic board is only compatible with a 2011 13" A1278 MacBook Pro body. This means other MacBook Pro models such as the A1282 MacBooks aren't interchangeable. -Let me know if this confirms what you needed :)

If your MacBook model is A1282 look for your specific model's logic board.


You can replace an 820-2936 logic board with an 820-3115, but it will require intense jerry rigging on the LCD connector for it to work, or just soldering an older connector onto the board. Not worth it to go from sandy bridge to ivy bridge.


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all of You - thanks a lot for Your infos+explanations. now i'm getting a horizon of my problem and shall have a good chance to fix this logicboard problem by myself.

interchangeable by model-year. i.e. all logicboards of 2011 will fit into my macbook pro 13" early 2011 i7 2,7mhz c2d - thunderbolt (defect) - non-retina Intel HD Graphics 3000 512 MB MacBookPro8,1 Model Number A1278 last 4 charakters of serial number DH2H.


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These are your options: MacBookPro8,1. These different models are all within the same series. If you get any one of the logic boards listed here it will work in your system. Here is what you currently have: MacBook Pro 13" 2.7 GHZ i7 (Early 2011)



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