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Upgrading 2009 Dual Core MacBook Pro


I have a 2009 15” Dual Core 3.0 gz MacBook Pro with 8GB DRAM, and a 1TB Samsung SSD, running OS X 10.11.6.

It runs fine, but,
i. it can’t upgrade to the latest OS from Apple, which leaves me vulnerable to security gaps,
ii. 8GB DRAM is no longer adequate for my needs,
iii. the latest software I use requires at least 10.12.

Is it possible to replace the motherboard within my MacBookPro with a refurbished quad core board that has either 16GB DRAM or 32 GB DRAM and upgrade the OS?
If not, do you sell any refurbished quad-core MacBook Pros with 16-32GB DRAM that can run ?


  • Hi David! Thanks for the post!

    Unfortunately your 2009 machine is not capable of housing a quad-core board, so an upgrade is not an option.

    If you are looking for a similar form-factor machine with upgradeable HD and RAM (so that you can use your current HD), then the mid 2012 is the only real choice -- it is the only expandable laptop that can go to the current OS (Mojave) and beyond. Technically you could use a quad-core 2011, but those only take up to High Sierra, and I would highly advise against 2011s because they have notoriously bad GPUs and they are therefore very risky to use.

    A 2012 will take 16GB RAM, but not 32GB. In fact, only in 2017 or so did Apple start offering 32GB configurations. And you have to buy them with 32GB, because newer MacBooks are not expandable.

    If I were in your shoes, I'd recommend the mid 2015 15" Pro, which comes with up to a 2.8GHZ quad i7, 16GB RAM, and 1TB SSD (this is actually what I use as my personal laptop). You can get these for $700-$800, and they represent a HUGE performance boost over a mid 2012, which will run you about $500. The mid 2015 is the final MacBook before Apple moved to the USB-C form-factor and removed all the other ports.

    Unfortunately I don't often get machines this new, but is a great refurbisher that has newer material.

    Hope that helps!


  • Understood. Can either the 2012 or mid-2015's you describe take an eGPU with Thunderbolt 3?

  • I'm not very familiar with those, but I don't think either will. 2012 has Thunderbolt 1, and mid 2015 has Thunderbolt 2. I believe it's only machines produced in the last couple years that can handle those.

  • FYI

    Apple recalls older 15-inch MacBook Pros because the batteries could catch fire

  • Only if they show symptoms. I think the recall was 2015-2017

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