Model A1297 Unibody: Early 2009, Mid 2009, Mid 2010, Early 2011 & Late 2011

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Does a 2011 Unibody logic board fit inside a 2009 Unibody?


Have a MacBook Pro 17 Unibody mid 2009 that won’t turn on, and I expect that is something wrong with the logic board.

If i’m going to change the logic board I might upgrade to a newer logic bord, and then is my question

Does a 2011 Unibody logic board fit inside a 2009 Unibody?

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Hi, I have the opposite problem. I have a pristine looking 17 Unibody MacBook Pro early 2011 which doesn't work, it has the graphics card glitch. However I can get a cheap 2009 one which works but the case is battered. Would the bits of a 2009 fit into a 2011 please? Is the screen connector the same?


@fozziebear39 - Yes, you can swap out your 2011 board with the older 2009 but you could encounter issues with your SATA drives as the 2011 offers SATA III (6.0 Gb/s) ports but the 2009 only offers SATA II (3.0 Gb/s). So depending on the drives (check there spec sheet) they will likely not work properly! The spec sheet has to clearly say SATA II connections are supported. As an example the Samsung 870 EVO is an auto sense drive which works across all three I/O speeds. Note the interface lines clearly states it! "SATA 6 Gb/s Interface, compatible with SATA 3 Gb/s & 1.5 interfaces" Make sure your drives are compatible. The standard was written so older drives would work in newer faster systems, not the other way unless the drive was designed to be backward compatible! Many todays drives are fixed speed SATA III (6.0 Gb/s) which won't work properly in an older system. The demand for auto sense drives has waned and to cut costs the circuitry has been removed in many drives. A good example is the Seagate FireCuda 3.5" HDD drives which had it years ago no longer does in its current generation Seagate BarraCuda 3.5" HDD


Thank you so much Dan, great news. I don't mind the slower speeds of the 2009 for my needs with this machine. The Unibody of the 2011 is like new, I'll happily strip out the board of the 2009 and put it into the 2011. So trackpad, keyboard, battery, screen of the 2011 will just plug into the 2009 board?


@fozziebear39 - You will need to transfer your battery (likely need a new one) and trackpad over the keyboard is the same. The screen its self is compatible (either version) but the LVDS cable will need to be altered a bit. Thats all from memory as its been quite a few years since I've worked on one of these and I wasn't doing what you are attempting. So you might find a few hiccups along the way.

The best thing is to compare the parts and if you can locate the Apple service guides for the systems to help you through.

Are you really sure you want to do this? Keep in mind your OS will be limited to El Capitan (10.11.x) and the RAM is also limited to 8GB.


@danj Thank you for your insight. I'll have a go, they were relatively cheap off eB ay. Compared to the money I have spent with Apple since 1985 this is peanuts. I have a 2020 Mac mini, but this project is to run Snow Leopard which I have an old iMac to do that at the moment. Cheers





So you want to jump from the fire into the hot coals ;-}

While you could physically swap-out the logic boards (with the the heat sink) the 2011 boards have not held up well. I had three and all three died with GPU failure. At the time I wasn’t aware of the GPU’s limitations.

The issue is we collectivity expected more out of our system than it was designed to support.

Think off it this way... Back in the 1970’s it was a common occurrence for race car engines to fail in the middle of a race as the design of the engines at that time where not as good as we have today. Rarely today do you see a race car roll into the pit or die on the track with a blown engine.

So would I swap out the logic board? Keep in mind you’re putting in a used board. Do you know how hard the previous owner put on the the system? You are likely to fork over money to someone who might not have even bothered to test the board, expecting you wouldn’t try to get your money back (Amazon & eBay marketplaces are black holes!) I think you get it you’re just more likely to get a junk board than a working one, and then you’ll push it to hard again killing it.

Time to shed a tear for one of Apples better hardware designs, if they only could or would give us a modern logic board for it! It’s time to get one of the newer 16” systems.


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