MacBook Pro Logic Board replacement options.

eric2006

iMovie Professional
A friend has a MacBook Pro (Mid 2009, A1286, 3.06 C2D) that is in need of a new logic board. It will intermittently freeze, not boot up, not recognize RAM, and once did the 3-beep ram failure signal (Obviously, have tried swapping the RAM, even got a new battery).
I found a replacement identical board online, but noticed that the i7 MBP's have the same model #. Brief inspection of iFixit's photos of the respective logic boards shows that they have similar shapes, and screw holes seem to line up. The heatsinks are different, but they seem to screw to the board.
Am I missing something here? It would be great to get an essentially brand-new MBP for half the price but I imagine there's something to prevent users from doing this.

Thanks for any insight.

2011 Heatsink
http://www.ifixit.com/Guide/Installing-MacBook-Pro-15-Inch-Unibody-Late-2011-Heat-Sink/7515/1

2009 Heatsink
http://www.ifixit.com/Guide/Installing-MacBook-Pro-15-Inch-Unibody-Mid-2009-Heat-Sink/1733/10

Edit: Further research seems to show that the LCD has a different connector, and the battery is a different model as well. The cost/time of replacing an LCD along with the logic board makes such an upgrade less viable as you approach the price of a new MBP. Still wondering if there's anything else that would be incompatible.
 
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djackmac

ACMT
The cheapest option is going to be through the Apple store or an Apple authorized service provider. When we get in machines that need out of warranty logic board replacements, the cheapest option in an Apple depot mail in. Even though we are Apple authorized it would cost twice as much for us to order in the board and replace it in the shop as opposed to mail it to the repair depot. Apple makes it like this on purpose.

Of course, the catch is there can't be any accidental damage (liquid or drop damage) to the machine. If the machine has any signs of abuse beyond normal wear and tear the price goes up significantly.
 

eric2006

iMovie Professional
Based on what I've seen, I could pick up a logic board on eBay for around $500. There's no water damage on the machine, but I would have thought the part alone from Apple would be ~$1000. Is there a flat-rate service for a machine like this out of AppleCare? Thanks.
 

djackmac

ACMT
Based on what I've seen, I could pick up a logic board on eBay for around $500. There's no water damage on the machine, but I would have thought the part alone from Apple would be ~$1000. Is there a flat-rate service for a machine like this out of AppleCare? Thanks.
Yes, the part alone would be around $1000 even for an Apple authorized shop. That's why our hands are tied in these situations. Apple wants it that way.

Yes, the depot option is a flat rate mail in repair. Its usually always cheaper than $500 and if happens to need more than a logic board, other things will be fixed also. The repair has a 90 day warranty. But like I said the machine must be in decent condition and the parts must be exchangeable (meaning no damage of any sort).
 

eric2006

iMovie Professional
Thanks, did not know about the flat-rate program. I can't find any mention of it on Apple's site so I'll have to see what they say on the phone or in the store. There's an AASP near me that may know something about it too. Would be great to get the new part + installed for less than the part alone doing it myself.

Would there be any issue with this being an intermittent problem? I do not know how to duplicate the issue, it just happens after it has been sleeping for a while, randomly freezes while in use, or has issues booting up.
 

eric2006

iMovie Professional
Just to update -
Got a quote from a local apple repair shop for a $440 flat rate. At an Apple store, they quoted $310, so the repair shop was probably just charging a markup on that. The genius said this option is available for Macs that are less than 5 years old. There's different tiers of repair as well, the highest tier for a 15" MBP being around $1200, in the case of cosmetic + spill damage. The problem is intermittent, but it sounds like they will put a new logic board in anyways and see if it's working, because that is the suspected component. Also, they knocked off ~120 on the flat rate because they had replaced the battery a few weeks ago, thinking it was the problem.
 
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