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We've had a busy week since Apple announced its new products at WWDC on June 11, 2012. We just couldn't stop after digging in to the MacBook Pro with Retina Display and the MacBook Air, so we got our hands on the Mid 2012 MacBook Pro. While its sibling with the Retina display may have stolen all the press, this MacBook Pro is nothing to scoff at. It's way more repairable and upgradeable than its sleeker-looking sibling. Follow along as we show you inside.

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Deze demontage is geen reparatiehandleiding. Om je MacBook Pro 15" Unibody Mid 2012 te repareren, gebruik onze reparatiehandleidingen.

  1. MacBook Pro 15" Unibody Mid 2012 Teardown, MacBook Pro 15" Unibody Mid 2012 Teardown: stap 1, afbeelding 1 van 1
    • Drum roll please…we've got Apple's mid 2012 update of the the MacBook Pro and we are ready to get inside.

    • The impressive machine boasts:

    • 2.3 GHz quad-core Intel Core i7 processor (Turbo Boost up to 3.3GHz) with Intel HD Graphics 4000

    • NVIDIA GeForce GT 650M GPU with 512 MB of GDDR5 VRAM

    • 4 GB of 1600 MHz DDR3 RAM

    • 500 GB 5400 RPM hard drive

    • 15.4" 1440x900 (110 ppi) LED-backlit display

    • USB 3.0 and Thunderbolt I/O

  2. MacBook Pro 15" Unibody Mid 2012 Teardown: stap 2, afbeelding 1 van 1
    • We wanted to see how the Mid 2012 MacBook Pro stacked up against its new sibling, the MacBook Pro with Retina display. Other than the difference in size, the main differences between the machines are:

    • Hard disk drive vs. flash storage

    • 8 GB vs. 16 GB maximum configurable RAM (from Apple, at least)

    • One Thunderbolt port vs. two

    • MagSafe vs. MagSafe 2

    • Kensington lock slot vs. flat aluminum

    • Oh yeah…and a standard or Hi-Res (on 15-inch model) LCD vs. a Retina display

  3. MacBook Pro 15" Unibody Mid 2012 Teardown: stap 3, afbeelding 1 van 3 MacBook Pro 15" Unibody Mid 2012 Teardown: stap 3, afbeelding 2 van 3 MacBook Pro 15" Unibody Mid 2012 Teardown: stap 3, afbeelding 3 van 3
    • Not surprisingly, ten Phillips screws stand between us and the inside of the updated Pro.

    • We are relieved to see such a familiar sight. With no adhesive or pentalobe screws anywhere to be seen, we are excited to get at the upgraded insides of the new Pro.

    Hi. I tried to open my MacBook Pro 2012 using the same tools, but I've got 2 screws that I can't unscrew (sorry for my english, I'm french). I tried slowly, but the screw didn't turn. After 3 or 4 tries, the "cross shape" is damaged, so I don't know how to get rid of those two screws... Anyone has a solution ?

    zeaenarion - Antwoord

    • The only "funky" bit we came across in the MacBook Pro was a Y0 Tri-point screw holding down the battery. Luckily, we were prepared and had our 54-Bit Driver Kit on hand.

    • Our faithful spudger helps us disconnect the battery, which you should always do when performing repairs or maintenance on your MacBook Pro.

    • Apple's battery warning labels haven't stopped us before, and they're not stopping us now.

    • The battery is exactly the same as last year's model—77.5 Wh at 10.95 V.

    • In case you missed it last year, this battery is 13.8 mm thick and weighs 450 g.

    • By comparison, the battery in the MacBook Pro with Retina display has cells that vary in thickness from 5.25 mm to 8.60 mm.

  4. MacBook Pro 15" Unibody Mid 2012 Teardown: stap 5, afbeelding 1 van 2 MacBook Pro 15" Unibody Mid 2012 Teardown: stap 5, afbeelding 2 van 2
    • Standard Phillips screws secure the 500 GB Toshiba hard drive, meaning upgrading to a larger drive will be easy after you decide to start shooting RAW.

    • 2.5" profile and a spinning platter? This hard drive is old news still perfectly good for most users' needs.

    • We were curious about Apple's choice to use a proprietary SSD in the MacBook Pro with Retina display rather than the standard 2.5" SATA drive. Disregarding the speed difference—after all, SSDs have been around for a while—the choice of the proprietary SSD is motivated by size.

    • The 2.5" SATA drive in this MacBook Pro is almost three times as thick as the proprietary SSD in the MacBook Pro with Retina display: 9.45 mm compared to 3.16 mm, respectively.

    • The drive has 4 mounting posts/screws that can be removed using a T6 torx bit.

    • Round two with the spudger frees the AirPort/Bluetooth board and unearths the optical drive.

    • Hot chips on the wireless card:

    • Broadcom BCM4331KML1G 802.11n wireless solution

    • Broadcom BCM20702 Bluetooth processor

    • Skyworks SE5503A 802.11a/b/g/n Wireless LAN

  5. MacBook Pro 15" Unibody Mid 2012 Teardown: stap 7, afbeelding 1 van 2 MacBook Pro 15" Unibody Mid 2012 Teardown: stap 7, afbeelding 2 van 2
    • The optical drive is held in place with more standard Phillips screws.

    • A sigh of relief for anyone who wants to replace their optical drive with an SSD enclosure for more storage with enough room for all 736 episodes of Power Rangers and to install all 36 GB of Age of Conan.

    • It seems likely that this will be Apple's last laptop with an optical drive.

  6. MacBook Pro 15" Unibody Mid 2012 Teardown: stap 8, afbeelding 1 van 1
  7. MacBook Pro 15" Unibody Mid 2012 Teardown: stap 9, afbeelding 1 van 1
    • Next we pulled out our favorite flavor of RAM: user-serviceable.

    • While you can only configure your MacBook Pro with up to 8 GB of RAM from Apple, you can install up to 16 GB yourself with no issues.

    • This is another sigh of relief from those DIYers who want need to upgrade their RAM on an annual basis.

    • While the individual RAM modules here are thin (~3.15 mm), the "stacked" RAM slot is a whopping 9.15 mm thick.

    • When your entire device is only 18 mm thick, allocating half of that dimension to RAM slots can be too much of a sacrifice, as we have witnessed in the MacBook Air and now in the MacBook Pro with Retina display.

    • Don't lose hope! An individual RAM slot is only 4.27 mm thick. If the design of the logic board would feature the RAM slots side by side, we could still see user-replaceable RAM for years to come.

    Yes, but compare the area of two side-by-side DIMM sockets & modules vs. that of just the chips, and you'll see why the Air doesn't use DIMMs. (And compare that area to that of the entire motherboard.)

    cityzen - Antwoord

    I wish we did see more user-upgradeable ram

    BeanMan56 - Antwoord

    • The spudger is back out as we remove the fan.

    • Three standard Phillips screws and a connector are all it takes to remove the fan for dust bunny extermination.

    • Just in case you didn't know, dust can be a real threat to electronics by clogging air passages. Without enough air to cool heat sinks, internal temperatures can soar, severely shortening the life of electronics. Dust bunnies may also be hazardous to humans as they may contain toxins, mites, and parasites.

    • Unlike its cousins, the 2012 MacBook Pro does not have irregularly-spaced fan blades. Just boring old fans in here.

  8. MacBook Pro 15" Unibody Mid 2012 Teardown: stap 11, afbeelding 1 van 2 MacBook Pro 15" Unibody Mid 2012 Teardown: stap 11, afbeelding 2 van 2
    • It doesn't take a genius to figure out how to remove the last few Torx screws securing the logic board to the upper case.

    • Every time we remove a logic board from an Apple device, we like to pretend that we are more logical than the computer. For now, at least.

    This skips over a fairly important step of removing the small metal cover and disconnecting the keyboard and trackpad cables. These should be included, as the keyboard connector and the trackpad ribbon cable are very fragile and easily damaged.

    In addition, the logic board can stick to the case via a bit of adhesive underneath the speaker. Luckily the spudger does the trick and can wedge underneath.

    Paul M Osborne - Antwoord

    Yep, I tore through one of those ribbon cables underneath the metal cover because I didn’t notice it was even there.

    Sudhir Desai -

    Because this isn’t a repair guide

    Duck -

  9. MacBook Pro 15" Unibody Mid 2012 Teardown: stap 12, afbeelding 1 van 1
    • Front side of the logic board:

    • NVIDIA GeForce GT 650M GPU

    • Intel Core i7-3615QM 2.30 GHz quad-core processor with Turbo Boost (labeled as Intel C208A046 SR0MP)

    • What appears to be an Intel E2088369 Platform Controller Hub

    • Intel L206IA58

    • Broadcom BCM57765B0KMLG Integrated Gigabit Ethernet and Memory Card Reader Controller

    • Parade PS8301

    • Texas Instruments Stellaris LM4FS1AH microcontroller with integrated ARM core

    I'm pretty sure your color coded labeling for which chip is the Nivida and which one is the Intel i7 chip is switched around.

    Nick Muncy - Antwoord

    Pretty sure your color coded label for the Nivida GPU chip and Intel's i7 is switched around.

    Nick Muncy - Antwoord

    The colors are correctly labeled. Recently I changed the thermal compound on mine and it's clearly marked with the nvidia brand name.

    James Mills - Antwoord

  10. MacBook Pro 15" Unibody Mid 2012 Teardown: stap 13, afbeelding 1 van 1
    • Back side of the logic board:

    • Hynix H5GQ1H24BFR 1 Gb GDDR5 SDRAM (Total of 4 Gb = 512 MB)

    • Maxim MAX15119 Apple-specific IMVP7 CPU/GPU power controller

    • Cirrus Logic 4206BCNZ Audio Controller

    • SMSC USB25138 USB controller

    • Lattice Semiconductor LFXP2-5E Low-Cost Non-Volatile FPGA

    • Cypress Semiconductor CY8C24794-24L - a Programmable SoC

    • Infineon 62882C

  11. MacBook Pro 15" Unibody Mid 2012 Teardown: stap 14, afbeelding 1 van 1
    • The hinges are the last thing securing the display assembly to the case.

    • While the display may not be a Retina, a damaged LCD will still be the most expensive—besides the logic board—repair on this machine. Display replacement is arguably the most difficult MacBook Pro repair, as even the most experienced technician risks shattering the glass panel during removal.

    Might be a silly question, but could you install a retina display on this? or have apple done some proprietary magic to stop this?

    Peter - Antwoord

    I second that request!! Can you do a retina conversion?!!!

    Matt the IT Guy

    Matt -

    You can’t incompatible.

    Duck -

    Hi all,

    Tks for your web site, Just try to upgrade my old macbook pro 2.7G 15" 2012 as following:

    1.RAM from 8G to 16G (done)

    2. old harddisk to 256G SSD (done)

    3. replace the superdrive with the original harddisk (have problem!)

    When I try to take the superdrive out from the mount, I have that two of the screw have been stripped , How can I fix it?

    Tks all,

    slauhk05 - Antwoord


    My hinge (black part between the display and keyboard) is broke and I bought a replacement but I just can't find a tutorial to change it.

    I don't know if there is anything to unscrew once the Mac open. I pull on it but it won't go easily.

    Anyone has the same problem ? :)

    Peter - Antwoord

    • There you have it, all the screws from the MacBook Pro Mid 2012, on our fancy magnetic project mat. As you can see there are no pesky pentalobe screws, just Phillips, Torx, and Tri-Wing.

    • By the way, we don't just make awesome teardowns—we sell parts. And tools! Lots and lots of tools.

    • Like this handy-dandy electronics tool kit that we used to take apart the new iPad. You know you want one. It'll pay for itself the first time you use it!

    • We sell Mac parts & upgrades, parts for iPhone screen repair, kits for fixing the infamous Xbox Red Ring of Death, and tons more.

    • We need your support to continue building the free repair manual for everything in the world.

  12. MacBook Pro 15" Unibody Mid 2012 Teardown: stap 16, afbeelding 1 van 2 MacBook Pro 15" Unibody Mid 2012 Teardown: stap 16, afbeelding 2 van 2
    • MacBook Pro 15" Unibody Mid 2012 Repairability Score: 7 out of 10 (10 is easiest to repair).

    • Easily removable bottom panel and readily accessible battery, optical drive, hard drive, fans, and RAM.

    • Standard screws were used for all components, save for the battery.

    • Significant amounts of thermal paste may be a pain in later repairs.

    • Tri-wing screws on the battery require a specialty driver that an average user may not have.

    • LCD replacement is still the most difficult repair. Inexperienced (and even experienced) technicians may shatter the glass during repair.

    Are you going to attempt to tear down the screen assembly?

    cityzen - Antwoord

    I am wondering is the screen upgradeable to 1600 x 1050 on the 2012 model? If the part is available, I am all over it!

    William - Antwoord

    Through the Apple website/store you can still upgrade this new mid 2012 None-retina model, with a 1680 x 1050 screen ---either a glossy one or a ani-glare one.

    rkamstra77 -

Brittany McCrigler

Lid sinds: 05-03-12

87.324 Reputatie

132 handleidingen geschreven

19 Opmerkingen

On the logic board:

Hynix H5GQ1H24BFR 1 Gb GDDR5 SDRAM (Total of 4 Gb = 512 MB)

4Gb = 512 Mb??. Isn't 4Gb, you know = to 4Gb? Or does Gb mean something different in this context. There must be something here I'm not following

Geoduck - Antwoord

"Gb" is actually Gigabits, not Gigabytes. The difference is in the capitalization of the "b."

GB = Gigabytes

Gb = Gigabits

MB = Megabytes

Mb = Megabits

Eight bits in a byte, so 8 Gb = 1 GB... And 4Gb = 512 MB.

Miroslav Djuric -

Thank you that clarifies it.

Geoduck - Antwoord

Out of curiosity: would it be possible to swap my 2011 15 MBP's logic board with the new one? everything looks pretty much the same...

Francesco - Antwoord

una duda... se podría sustituir la logic board del un MBP mediados 2010 por la logic del 2012 ?y asi disfrutar de los usb 3 y demás.. seria compatible la carcasa? he buscado info pero no veo en español...

un saludo

akoram - Antwoord

I don't find the firewire chip. Any clue?

Fred CHAUNIER - Antwoord

ok found it, it's still the LSI chip (pci-express+ohci) "L-FW643E-2", just between the Broadcom and the Parade chips. Won't be good for my old FW400 audio interface, the Mac mini is still the last Mac having a true TI chipset.


Can anyone tell me what the little cable in the uppermost left hand side is? It's the fourth connection to the airport card, but is independent of the rest of the airport / wifi assembly. I damaged the very fragile connector and need to replace it, but I don't know what the component is, what it does or what to look for when sourcing a new one. Or, indeed, the method for replacing it. Any help very gratefully received.

Ditkoman - Antwoord

Can anyone please tell me what part I would need to fix the keyboard core? All of my keys work fine aside from my up and down arrow key. I've taken the caps off and pushed to rubber key sensor and it still didn't work so I believe it's something internal. Thanks in advance.

lime_green_x - Antwoord

What part do I need to replace the black plastic strip that covers the back hinges? Is that the monitor, the case, or something else entirely?

wolfdavis - Antwoord

Can a matte screen be used instead of the glossy one?

Cfreak - Antwoord

Can I put an 512 GB SSD drive in the hard drive location to speed up my 15” mid-2012 MacBook Pro? If yes, could someone recommend an SSD that fits? TIA…

pejohns2000 - Antwoord

Yes, replacing the hard drive in the 2012 MBP is one of the easiest… and most rewarding projects you can do on this model. The speed improvement is amazing. We have 10 of these 2012 MBP’s in the family and have upgraded all of them from rotating drives to Solid State Hard Drives (SSD). Any standard 2 1/2” SATA SSD should work. We’ve been using Samsung’s and been very happy, currently at the 860 EVO model, available in a wide range of capacities from around 256gb to 4tb. 4 caveats: 1. Samsung recently introduced a similar sounding QVO model but stick with the slightly more expensive EVO version. 2. If you’re a Mac user like our family, do not use Samsung’s firmware updater, just leave the firmware alone as it comes from the factory. 3. Make sure that TRIM is enabled after installation. 4. Transferring your software, user settings and data from the old hard drive to your newly installed SSD is easier if you buy a device to hold, power and mount the old hard drive. I like Other World Computing OWC’s.

BilMcKelvy -

I did a screen replacement for the A1286, was much easier than I thought, because I “had to” bypass much of the tear down as it was not necessary.

cngdoon - Antwoord

How about keyboard replacement

cngdoon - Antwoord

Hello, do you know how the sleep mode light works please ? Does the LED diffuses directly into the holes ?

Thibaud Tellier - Antwoord

Where's the instructions for the keyboard removal/replacement?

Richard Morrow - Antwoord

Hey guys, i know this an old article but if you could share the exact name and model of the internal screws for the fan, I know they are phillips but which size is my question, thanks.

Ricardo Rodriguez - Antwoord

is there a BIOS battery, if yes, where can I find it?

Christian Rieckmann - Antwoord

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