iFixit’s 21.5″ iMac teardown

Sections: Desktop Macs, iMac, Macintosh/Apple Hardware

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The engineers at iFixit got their hands on Apple’s new 21.5″ iMac, and performed a full analysis of the unit’s internal components to determine it’s repairability versus previous iMacs.

iFixit confirmed while opening the iMac’s slim shell that Apple continues to utilize adhesive when building their products, negatively affecting overall device repairability). The LCD panel and front glass are glued together. Although likely necessary to slim down the body of the new iMac, iFixit noted it “… could make repairs more expensive if any component of the display needs to be replaced in the future.”

After the iFixit team removed the iMac’s display, they discovered the innards have been shrunken down to allow Apple to conserve space and fit pieces together into a sleeker profile. Previous iMacs had larger 3.5″ internal hard drive, but now sport a smaller 2.5″ drive. The logic board contains both the Ivy Bridge i5 processor and GPU cramped together, saving real-estate. According to iFixit, the internal components are so tightly packed together that the 2.5″ hard drive is encased in rubber housing to prevent small vibrations from carrying through the major components of the iMac that could cause any damage to them.

Highlights of the iMac Teardown:

  • The 21.5″ iMac display was built by the same manufacturer used in previous generation of iMacs. However, the new LCD display appears to be 5mm thinner than older iMacs.
  • The new iMac models have two built in microphones within body of the computer, which iFixit concludes could assist noise reduction during a FaceTime call.
  • Apple has simplified the iMac’s interior design, removing other internal cooling fans. Instead, it uses a single centralized fan.
  • The iMac’s RAM, hard drive and CPU are all user-replaceable. The bad news is that you might have to take apart the machine to upgrade RAM or internal storage.

For those who might be concerned over its repairability, the iFixit gave the new iMac a scored of 3 out of 10 (10 being the easiest to repair). For comparison, the previous generation managed to get a 7 out of 10.

Via [iFixit]

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