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Mid 2006 / model number A1181 / black or white case / 1.83 or 2.0 GHz Intel Core Duo processor.

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Core Duo to Core 2 Duo Board Conversion

I have a 2006 Macbook1,1 Core Duo, and I was thinking about upgrading or switching the motherboard to a 64-Bit or a Core 2 Duo motherboard. Is it possible? Currently running Snow Leopard.

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@danj I have found the more desirable 13" 2012 for less on eBay then that one. They average in the $230-350 range if you look around.

Granted you are taking a chance on these machines in the sense they have issues with things like the hard drive cable (failure prone; patch and replace the cable if you have performance issues) and ignored maintenance like the thermal paste, high mileage batteries and worse then expected cosmetics but eBay has a solid return policy if you get a bum that can’t be saved.

I got my 2011 to replace a dead end Merom A1181 for sub $200 over cosmetics. The worst I found on it is 2 barely visible dents I would probably need to point out to someone unaware and a few scratches on the LCD assembly. I don’t care about a few blemishes at that price point since it’s ~6 generations newer.

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@nick - I didn't look that hard ;-} Good find!

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@danj I risked it with a cosmetic '11 and got it for sub $200 - 2 minor dents and bag scratches. I basically won the lottery, but it can be done. You usually need to dump the knockoff charger eBay loves, but that's expected and may not be an issue for the OP if they have a genuine 60W unit and get a 13". It's going to have cosmetic issues at the lower end, but that should be expected - just find one with damage you can live with. I went with the 85W to have wiggle room to get a 15" since it's not much more or the same cost.

My plan with my next upgrade when I'm ready is to wait until money permits and grab a 2014 15" rMBP with the 16/512 configuration* when I'm more ready financially - I can't see them depreciating anytime soon because of the USB-C rMBP, so I'm prepared to pay top dollar. Option #2 is the HR Matte 15" 2012 if I can get it at the right price due to the age.

*I'm not opposed to 16/256 but I'd rather start with the 512GB SSD.

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Maybe it would be cheaper looking for a used system that is at least a i5 chip than making such a small improvement the Core 2 Duo chip’ed system would offer over your current Core Duo.

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So in short, get a later model macbook instead of switching motherboards with a later one. I'm not talking about switching processors. Am I correct?

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You can't change the CPU chip, you need to swap out the full logic board.

While you can do that are you willing to invest $400 in a new logic board Vs getting a newer MacBook Pro for a $100 more. As an example: 13" MacBook Pro i7-2620M 2.70GHz A big jump in performance and can run a much newer macOS to boot!

Which would be a better investment?

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@danj I was talking about switching the motherboard, not the CPU itself. I don't know if the boards are interchangeable with other A1181 models. If so, maybe I would probably do a 2007 or 2008 motherboard.

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@jonesdavid14 What we are saying is it isn't worth it. I came from a Merom A1181 to that A1278 Late '11 and it has multiple generations of improvements you will not get with this retrofit.

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@nick Alright. So a later macbook it is. Might as well start looking.

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