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Can I swap out an original logic board for the 2009 one?

Is it possible to upgrade my MacBook Air by swapping out the original logic board for the 2009 version? How about using the 160 Ipod classic HD?

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Unfortunately, there's a lot that would need to be changed.

  • The hatch assembly is different and would need to be replaced
  • Therefore, the upper case assembly must be replaced to accommodate the new display port
  • The audio board is incompatible and must be replaced
  • The hard drive cable is different, and therefore the hard drive cable AND the hard drive must be replaced
  • The audio cable is incompatible and must be replaced
  • The trackpad control cable is completely different and must be replaced
  • The airport/bluetooth cable is different and must be replaced
  • The heat sink has the pads in different locations for the chips, so you would need a new heat sink AND a new fan (the original did not have the fan separate from the heat sink)
  • The processor clamp is angled differently and must be replaced.

In other words, it really can't be done.


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I was curious of the same thing and did a photoshop overlay of two macbook air logic board photos, one for the nvidia board and the other one for the intel board and they seem to have the same connectors and the same screw holes. This guarantees nothing, but you would at least have to get the following for the nvidia one:

  • Port Hatch Assembly 661-5073
  • Macbook air hard drive bracket and cable (for a SATA hdd)
  • 5mm, 1.8" SATA LIF HDD or SSD (runcore is coming up with 256GB ones quite soon)

Doing the math looks like this:

Logic Board 2.13 GHz- $800

Port hatch - $45

Hard Drive cable - $40

SSD - $500


Grand Total: ~$1400

Why not simply buy a new one and give your current Air to someone else? On the Apple Store you have a refurbished MBA 2.13 GHz with 128GB SSD at $1549. It comes with warranty and everything. In almost the same money you get a second MBA.

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I am not sure that the processor is angled differently. In my photoshop overlay, the cpu/northbridge were a perfect match, so the clamp and the sink might still work. The Airport/Bluetooth cable definitely works between them. The audio board is almost identical, (it uses a new codec chip), but has the same rest of the chips and connector, so it might work. The hatch, on the other hand might have a different size, although I am not sure that it does, or that it mandates a change of the upper case.

While all of them have different IDs, it doesn't mean that they use different cable pin-outs or that they have different sizes. Out of sheer curiosity I noticed that the late 2009 MacMini Airport card can be used in the 1st gen MBA using the MBA cable, screws and everything, although it has different Apple IDs.

I do agree about the HDD and the HDD cable and about the hatch as clear dependencies. Maybe I should ask a friend who works at an Apple Service to give it a try.

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I appreciate the thoughts! Having held both model's processor clamps in my hands at the same time, I can assure you they are angled differently (if you look at the pictures of the two parts, you can even see it visually). The audio issue is expressly mentioned by Apple as non-compatible. The hatch has a different display input (switched to miniDisplay port) that is shaped entirely differently. You would need a new upper case to accommodate the new port (unless you wanted to rout out the hole, which is not a great idea unless you are really good at it or want dust in your computer!).

We all work within our resources, for that's all we can do. I have personally compared and tested these parts between the two machines (with the exception of the audio board and cable, as Apple specifically states the incompatibility with the board), which is why I am so confident in my answer :)


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The iPod Classic doesn't use a hard drive for storage.

Provided there are no additional features in the 2009 model that are necessary, it should work.

Here are the main differences:

Block Image

The Original MacBook Air

Block Image

The New MacBook Air

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Yes, the Ipod Classic uses a 1.8" harddrive like all other harddrive based ipods, they same type of drive used in the macbook air - note that the interfaces to these drives vary greatly, some are ZIF, while some are pin based.


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Rick sarà eternamente grato.
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