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Released October 24, 2011 / 2.2, 2.4, or 2.5 GHz Quad-core Intel Core i7 Processor

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Can I removed my DVD Drive and replace into a MXM in a 15"MacBook Pro?

Hi everyone,

So one day I noticed that my friend's dented and old 13" MacBook Pro was lightning fast doing all these everyday tasked. Then I asked him why it's so fast and he told my he upgraded his laptop by removing his DVD Drive and adding 2 250GB SSD's in his laptop and boosted up from 4GB of ram to 8GB. I'm already planning to buy a Samsung 500GB SSD and 8GB of Ram. But I don't really need 2 SSD's as 500GB is way more then enough for me. So I wondered what else can I do with removing the DVD Drive as frankly, it's quite a lot of space to work with. Then I did my homework and found things called MXM's. I kept searching around and found this person doing exactly what I'm doing but in a PC Laptop and was successful.

(The Forum he posted)

(This Image is how I found about this person doing exactly what I'm doing. Found it in Google Images.)

Then I started searching around if anyone else has done this in a MacBook Pro or iMac and nothing was found (Except in Mac Pro's but they don't really count in my opinion as they're so customisable) .

But then I found this Forum and one person respond with "I don't think there would be space for an MXM slot in a MacBook Pro". But the person which asked the question didn't say he's removing his DVD Drive like myself. So does that mean I can fit a MXM in my Laptop with the DVD Drive fully removed and replicate like what the person did with his PC Laptop?

The only problem is I'm not 100% sure is if my laptop has a PCI or PCI-E Slot for the MXM. But I found this website:

Additionally, if there is no PCI or PCI-E Slot (hopefully not) I can maybe add one because eGPU's make a PCI or PCI-E Slot through the Thunderbolt and it's maybe possible to make one.

Even if there is a PCI or PCI-E Slot and it's in a weird location I can just use a Ribbon Cable to help me with that.

Lastly, to cool the MXM down when it gets hot. I can fit this fan into my laptop on top of the MXM as MXM's are very thin:

I know it's not the best fan. But I know it can do the job. But if it does get very hot, I'll put a warning signal in my computer to warm me about my MXM getting to hot and I'll turn my Laptop off to give it time to cool down.


By the way, I live in Hong Kong where there a ton of shops with Professional Soldering Equipment. Also another one of my Friends have a Soldering Iron and Oven and he says he knows how to solder. So if there's any Soldering necessary there are those 2 options to help me.

I will do anything it takes to make this successful! So if any really difficult is needed to be done to make this a success. I will do it! So please don't hesitate to reply even if it's a difficult process to do.

Any replies would be very highly appreciated!

Répondre à cette question J'ai le même problème

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While removing the optical drive can offer you some room. You would need to find a SATA to MXM interface adapter (PCI) which I've never seen. Keep in mind the SATA interface is only SATA II (3.0 Gb/s) so the it won't be very good for anything heavy graphic.

Then you need to have room for cooling of the MXM card the MacBook Pro's are designed to be thin so you would end up needing to create a new bottom cover to house the cooling system and fan. Then you still have a power issue the MXM card & fan will likely draw to much power.

And lastly, you would need an iMac MXM card as Apple uses custom firmware on their cards.

By the time you designed and had built the needed pieces it would cost more that buying a newer model with better onboard graphics.

Bottomline this is a very long reach!!

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Thanks for the replies for my last 2 posts.

I found out that any SATA will work in my MacBook Pro:

I've also found these found these 2 adaptors which you said you've never seen before. Will they work?



(I found the smallest form factor possible for both Adaptors so it could fit in my Laptop)

Lastly, I've found this iFixIt post which a person upgraded his iMac with a GTX 880M MXM (from an Alienware Laptop) and worked successfully:

I'd like a bit more powerful MXM like a GTX 980M. Which they do sell with Upgrade Kits. Plus, they're also from Alienware Laptops like the person with the iFixIt iMac Upgrade:


Your first link is showing how you can see what your SATA port speed is. In this example they where showing its SATA II (3.0 Gb/s) for their HD drive. Not helpful.

Your SATA to PCI-E is a power cable not a data interconnection adapter. and the PCI-E to PCI is for a desktop. Neither of these offer any means to connect from a SATA interface to MXM interface.

The IFIXIT story is about an iMac desktop which I stated was designed for a MXM adapter.

The Alienware link is selling MXM boards which is fine but they are not workable in the iMac as they don't have Apples custom firmware. In no way will they work in a iMac desktop. And forget the idea for your grand experiment.

Lets put it this way... You have the desire to use gasoline in your diesel car/truck. But you fail to understand the engine and everything else would need to be changed out to achieve that! And in the end of all of the swapping out you could have bought a new car!

Trust me! This is just not possible!

Unlike my example above a laptop is a lot different than a car or truck! They have room under the hood and often the car/truck maker has two vehicles in his line up one being gasoline and the other diesel. Here Apple does not offer its laptops one with and without a MXM card, they never did! They did offer in their older 2011 and back desktop systems (iMac's) with MXM cards as it made sense back then and there is plenty of room for it. Here we are taking about a very tight spaced laptop which has no space.


Thanks for the reply. I'm very thankful for all your help. Sucks that this is not possible, but hey, at least I learn't a lot along the way. Researching about my idea was very fun and interesting and I learn't a crap ton more about Computers. So it was a Win Lose situation. Thanks again!


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Nope not possible. The SSD and Ram upgrade is the only option to speeding up your system.

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Oh sorry. I’ll change my answer.


No, you didn't need to change your answer ;-} I was commenting you are just saying the same thing!


Well my answer was almost a complete duplicate of yours. Also I forgot that we’re here to repair and speed up our older devices not suggest buying a new one only if it’s the only option.


@paperboypaddy The Macs past mid 2012 are retinas using SSD blades. Repair costs on these machines is sky high and parts almost impossible to get. Apple is getting rid of third party repair people and components. They are putting us all out of business and just building machines that they totally control the parts and repair. They want to force you to go out and buy a new machine, not repair anymore. Thus total lack of support for machines over six years old. They want a total monopoly.


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