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2011 MacBookPro8,3 add Ivy Bridge CPU support
I've got quite an interesting one for you all... I'm looking to add Ivy Bridge support to the system BIOS of a 2011 17" MacBook Pro (MacBookPro8,3), in order to get it booting with a Core i7 3720QM CPU installed.

Now, before anything, I know that the PCH this machine comes with, an Intel HM65 (SLJ4P), does not have any support for Ivy Bridge CPUs. As such, I have replaced the PCH with an Intel HM77 PCH (SLJ8C), taken from a comparable Ivy Bridge-based MacBook Pro model (2012 15", MacBookPro9,1). I also installed the i7-3720QM CPU from this MacBook onto the 2011 model as well.

With that done, I thought I'd have a chance of it working if I simply flashed the system BIOS from the 2012 MacBookPro9,1 onto the upgraded MacBookPro8,3 board. While it DID actually POST and boot an OS just fine, a lot of the system's hardware did not work properly or at all (including integrated video). This is because a good portion of the PCH GPIO pins were repurposed on the MacBookPro9,1 board. For example, PCH pin T13 is used as the LAN enable pin on the MacBookPro8,3, whereas on the MacBookPro9,1, pin C4 is used for this function. There are many other swapped pin functions like this.

At this point, I believe the easiest solution here would be to add Ivy Bridge support to the MacBookPro8,3's stock BIOS, that way all the PCH GPIO mappings would remain correct. I suppose one could also somehow port the GPIO mapping and implementation from the MacBookPro8,3 BIOS into the MacBookPro9,1 BIOS, but I'd assume that would be more difficult.

When booting with the stock MacBookPro8,3 BIOS as it is, it actually seems to do something (it turns the optical drive on, which is another PCH GPIO function, indicating at least some of the PCH initialization code is being executed and working with the HM77), but it does not POST or boot.

The last thing I want to mention is I have a couple QM67 PCH chipsets (SLJ4M, which should also support Ivy Bridge) on the way that I can install if you all think the jump from HM65 to HM77 is part of the issue.

I have attached a copy of the stock, unmodified BIOS dumped from the MacBookPro8,3, as well as from the MacBookPro9,1, along with a picture of the upgraded MacBookPro8,3 board running and booted using the MacBookPro9,1 BIOS (viewed via Remote Desktop due to iGPU not working). I appreciate any insight you all may have, and of course let me know any extra information you may need.


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