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Can I upgrade the processor for this model?

Nothing at all has been upgraded on my MacBookPro1,1 since I first bought it, aside from replacing the adapter cord and (very recently) a new battery.

I want to get replacement parts to upgrade to as new of OS as I can, and from what I had read before it sounded like I could upgrade the hard drive and RAM in order to run OS much newer than what I have on there (which is OS 10.4.11) but what I had read was that with the processor this model came with, I would be unable to run the latest OS (and unable to run current versions of many programs, including adobe creative suite) due to the processor being 32-bit instead of 64, even though it is a Intel chip with 2 cores.

I looked for more information about the processor, and in some places people were saying you can't replace the processor because apparently it would require removing it from the board and soldering in a new one with an awful lot of leads.

But then I found a thread where people were talking about getting new processors for this model of mac, discussing which specific ones they were upgrading to with some details that went over my head because there's so much I still need to learn about this sort of stuff. And all the people who were talking about it in the thread never said anything about HOW a person would go about replacing the processor, and the thread was a couple of years old so I don't think it would do much good to try and revive that discussion by adding on a request for more information. Besides, from what I've seen, there's not much how-to information around there anyway.

In looking at the ifixit guides for this laptop, I don't see one that mentions processors or CPUs, I'm wondering if the guide for replacement of the logic board is what I would need for replacing the processor... but if the logic boards that would physically fit into this laptop were never made with processors that were 64-bit, then I suppose I'd be out of luck in any case because it would mean that I wouldn't be able to find a replacement that would match what I'm looking for.

Am I just confusing myself, or what? Please someone explain this to me, or at least let me know whether it's possible for me to find what I'd need.

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OK, lets try to unscramble things here a bit:

Different types of systems have different options, in the case of Desktop systems where room is plentiful, removable processors (CPU's) are possible as there is room for the extra thickness of the carrier to house the CPU. In the case of laptops space is a premium! so the extra hardware for a removable CPU is just not there. In the case of All Apple Intel based laptops Apple uses soldered down CPU chips. Checkout this image of your systems logic board: Main board with Graphics, CPU & Controller chips soldered (under the gray thermal paste). So unless you have the very specialized equipment to unsolder and re-solder down a new CPU chip it's just not possible. Even then your choices of what to put in to replace it is very limited. So lets take this out of the discussion.

The next option here is replacing the complete logic board:

This has some merit when you have a logic board failure of some sort. But, even this is limited as the hardware housing and other components that connect to the logic board need to be compatible. So in your case these are the possible choices: MacBookPro1,1 Series. As you can see all of these logic boards are Core 2 Duo and on the most part offer much the same options. The only real difference is the CPU's clock rate. If you want you can look up the different CPU's from this web site: Intel ARK. Here's the Core 2 Duo listing: Core 2 Duo CPU's. Can other series systems logic board fit instead? Sadly this series has a different case design than the newer Unibody cased systems so the answer here is no.

OK, you're raining on my parade here Dan! Is there any options then?

Well you can boost the RAM to the max and you can put in a SSHD hybrid drive both of which will add some zip. I would do that much if you plan to stay with your system.

Sadly, OS-X Snow Leopard (10.6.8) is the highest OS you can run on this system which also limits you to 32bit apps and Apple has stopped offering security fixes so you will need to be careful in your web surfing.

The last option here is making a big jump off of OS-X onto Linux there you have better OS support as any security issues are still being fixed but it is different than OS-X so you may want to think hard on that.

I still have one of these my self and still have OS9 on it with some old apps & games I still enjoy. It's not connected to the internet as I don't want to risk downloading anything dangerous onto it.

So if your system still has value to you keep it running. But, if you are thinking of making the big leap to Mavericks or Yosemite OS's it's time for a new system. You know you don't need the newest model, there some nice used systems out there just be careful on how you buy it online and make sure you have some means of getting it repaired under warranty if something fails right away. Check Apple's refurbished systems as well online.

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Thank you so much for taking the time to respond to my issue! I also appreciate the links; however, if the difference between 32-bit and 64-bit is so critical (which clearly it is) why is it that these lists don't seem to have anything included in the specifications to say if the processors are 32-bit or 64-bit?

I don't get how I would be able to find out whether any of the logic boards for this series were made with a 64-bit processor instead of a 32-bit one without someone more knowledgeable like you having to tell me. Does everyone who uses these lists already know which processors are 64 and which are 32 and if all the processors for a series are the same in that respect? I get they have different speeds and other specs, but as for whether they are 32- or 64-bit I am sure there must be some kind of general rule of thumb or guideline that it would be helpful to know. Is there something about the specs that would clue me in, if I knew how to interpret the data? I really want to learn about these things.


It gets complicated ;-} There is the inner-world of the chip and then there is the outer-world where the chip communicates to the rest of the logic board. Then there is the memory controller and how many address lines it has. Even then you could have other parts of the system which holds the ability to 32bit as in the case of the systems firmware.


In your case all of the CPU's in the series your system is part of are 64bit but the systems controller chip & firmware is only 32bit so your system can only run 32bit.


Thank you for explaining further. Ah, I wish I could afford to just build my own computer from parts like my brother did with his. For now, the best I could do is the upgrades already mentioned and I probably will try to convert the laptop to a Linux machine but also set it up to run a newer Mac OS like Snow Leopard. Kind of what I was planning to do already, but then I had hoped maybe there could be a way to upgrade to 64-bit capability as well.


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