These older A1398 Retina MacBook Pros remind me how old I am every time I work on them. They were the latest and greatest yesterday in my mind, so to have them be 8 years old now is just crazy. Both the 2014 and 2015 of this A1398 series were my favorite machines for years. I am not alone, quite a few clients like them enough to repair them when they break, like this unit with a cracked screen.
Cracked Screen Repair Options
The Late 2012 through 2015 models of MacBook Pro were known as the Retina MacBook Pro series. The 2012 A1398 model had an issue with a chip that would come loose over time causing graphics issues, but other than that issue, the A1398 series was really a pretty good model overall. They have built-in RAM chips and a proprietary drive connection but compared to the next 2016 model they were quite repairable.
One of the parts of the computer that has always been abnormally expensive is the display. Even at 8 years old, the price on the display is in the hundreds of dollars. Sometimes you can purchase an entire unit on the used market for close to the same price as a Grade A screen. Due to the price fluctuations on these screens, they are a special order item.
For most MacBook Pros I can offer an LCD-only replacement. By replacing just the LCD you are able to save money over the cost of replacing the entire display assembly. But this A1398 model LCD panels have run out. There just aren’t any more LCD panels on the market, probably due to the fact that Apple hasn’t had them produced in 8 years.
Because I am not able to get the LCD panels any longer, the option I am able to offer is to replace the entire display assembly with a used display. I can usually source a few different grades, but Grade B is my most popular option. Grade B displays have signs of use like scratches and minor dents, but they are fully operational. Many of my clients are pleased to get their favorite laptops back up and running and don’t mind the replacement part having some wear and tear.
Repair or Upgrade, the difficult choice
One of the questions I get a lot from clients looking to repair these older MacBook Pros is if they should spend the money on repairing the machine, or if they should put that money towards buying a new computer.
My answer to this question requires me to discuss what they are using the computer for, what they like about the computer, and what programs they use on the machine. Normally, I do end up recommending a replacement machine if it is in the budget. The newer Macs have their own set of issues for sure, but some of the features that people like about the older machines are even better on the newer MacBook Pros. Battery life is a great example of the newer machines being a lot better than this older model.
What about the new OS?
With Ventura, Apple has officially dropped support for the 2015 MacBook Pro which was the last model that was able to run Monterey. But you still can get the latest OS to run on your machine. It would require the use of a patch, but in my experience, that patch has been extremely well made and I have had 0 issues with it thus far. I am using the OpenCore Legacy Patcher on my personal 2013 iMac, and love that it allows me to run the newest OS.
The Repaired A1398 MacBook Pro Screen
Remember that 2014 Macbook Pro in the picture at the top of this article with the broken screen? Well, that client loved their 2014 MacBook Pro enough that they decided to get the screen replaced instead of upgrading to a newer model. Here are the after photos showing the used screen installed and working great.
Get a repair quote for your 2014 MacBook Pro
If you have an older MacBook Pro and are looking for a repair quote, just fill out the form linked below. I will take a look at what you have and let you know the cost of replacing the screen with what I am able to source at the time. Hopefully, the cost will come down on these screens and make them worth repairing every time.