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I have an early 2011 17" Macbook Pro which is giving me issues related to SATA 6.0gbps; these issues were apparently consistent with the first machines off the line but some of the later machines have been better. I bought my first in March but fed up with the issue I went this week and bought another - alas - same issue.

How can I determine the manufacturing date of the machine?

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Try the official support page at Apple for determining your MacBook model. Hope this helps.

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should be the accepted answer – emmby Feb 28 '13 at 22:31
@emmby I disagree; the OP wanted the date that it was manufactured, not the model number. – Anonymous Penguin Nov 6 '13 at 22:32
The support page referenced used to give you the date of manufacture. However, you are correct, it no longer appears to do so. – emmby Nov 7 '13 at 17:00

This web service can give you information about the date your Mac was manufactured. You just input your serial number. You can find the serial number by going to the Apple menu > About this Mac. The Serial Number is the bottom of the list.

About This Mac Screenshot (OS X El Capitan) also has an interesting article about the information encoded in Mac serial numbers.

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As at Jan 2016, chipmunk no longer works, & The Mac serial number is now in 'About this Mac' though in itself will not provide a manufacture date. – Tetsujin Jan 10 at 11:28
I just tried the Chipmunk service and it still works with my Macs serial. I edited the answer to reflect OS X 10.11. Thanks. – Nate Bird Jan 11 at 14:43

I've had good luck asking at the genius bar or Apple Care online. They've been able to help me determine manufacture date.

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