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Model A1181: 1.83, 2, 2.1, 2.13, 2.16, 2.2, or 2.4 GHz Core 2 Duo processor

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MacBook Core Duo to Core 2 Duo Logic Board Upgrade

Hi, I was wondering if there are any issues when upgrading from the original Core Duo 1.83 GHz Logic Board to the 1.83 or 2.0 GHz Core 2 Duo Logic Boards. The specifications seem to be pretty much the same (same ram, video card, HDD and Optical Drive connectors). I've been reading a about how the later MacBooks switched to the JST style connector. Did they change sensor/connectors between these two motherboards?

Thanks for looking.


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EDIT: reposted as a comment instead of an answer.

Okay, so I'm dredging up this thread after more than five years ... new to the forums and I don't know if anyone will see it, but here goes. I have a black Macbook 1,1 (Core Duo), and nosing around I found this:


It appears to be a non-Energy-Star mobo; the chip next to the airport card connector is labeled 4RT 717S, which matches the non-ES part photo on ifixit but not the ES part. So am I correct in understanding that I can swap in this motherboard and use everything else, including the heat sink, RAM and airport card, from the older Macbook?

I wouldn't want to put a lot of money into the old beast, and with an iMac and an iPad I don't need a lot out of a laptop, but $22 and a few hours of labor seems like a reasonable price to upgrade to Lion and get iCloud compatibility.


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The short answer is that it can be done.

There are 2 big pitfalls to avoid: heat sink and battery connector.

Midway through the Core Duo revision, Apple randomly switched from 4-wall heatsink connectors to the 3-wall JST connectors. All Core 2 Duo machines use the 3-wall JST connectors on their heatsinks, so you may or may not need to replace the heat sink (depending on your specific heat sink...compare pics of parts 186010 and 186006 for clarity).

To make it more complicated, Apple randomly switched their battery connectors midway through the original Core 2 Duo versions! Some battery connectors are missing 2 pins. If your Core 2 Duo logic board is Energy Star compliant, you need a new battery connector. If it is not, you can use your Core Duo battery connector (see parts 186015 and 186042 for clarity).

Also, the Core Duo machines have airport cards with 2 cables, and the (pre-Penryn) Core 2 Duo machines have airport cards with 3 cables. Therefore, you'd need to either use your card from the Core Duo (which is a slower G card) or use a Penryn airport card.

Hope this helps!

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Yikes, there's more to it than I ever wanted to know! :-) Thanks for the great breakdown.


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Some, if not all, of the Core 2 Duo A1181 MacBooks have a different bottom casing than the 1.83GHZ bottom casing...the differences are subtle, and you may be able to get away with it, but some screw positions are just slightly off, so I wouldn't advise it. The heatsync/fan piece is also a different model, and visibly different (straight-looking heatsync vs curved heatsync).

It may be worth stepping through iFixit's part finding wizard in order to determine the right parts for the boards in question.

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I think this may have been asked before on ifixit, but I did some digging and found this

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