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A look inside Apple's new 27-inch iMac (teardown photos)

post #1 of 85
Thread Starter 
Just days after its unveiling, Apple's newest Mac desktop hardware has been disassembled, revealing the tightly-packed innards of the 27-inch iMac hidden behind its 11-pound screen.

The new 27-inch iMac features a large 2560 by 1440 pixel LED-backlit display. The model disassembled by iFixit sports a 3.06GHz Core 2 Duo processor. The high-end model can be outfitted with a quad-core processor i5 or i7 processor, which uses a different socket.

The LG-manufactured screen weighs in at nearly 11 pounds, with a horizontal resolution identical to a 30-inch Apple Cinema Display. It was noted that the panel is very glossy.

The new hardware features edge-to-edge glass, which is a change from the 4mm aluminum bezel that surrounded the screen of the previous iMac. In their disassembly of the hardware, iFixit said that they noticed the glass was slightly out of alignment on one side after upgrading the system's RAM. Like on earlier hardware, the slots are accessed through a door at the bottom of the system.

"Hopefully Apple's got some pretty strong magnets in there to keep the glass where it belongs," they said.

The new hardware is also designed to work as an external display. However, the Mini DisplayPort connector signal goes through the hardware's logic board, so the iMac must be powered on to play video from an external source.



Behind the 27-inch screen is a tightly packed machine. Among the details iFixit discovered:

With the weight of the screen removed, the normal neutral buoyancy of the pivoted stand is lost and the system tilts upward.

Though there is no room for a second hard drive, users could install a SSD.

The main Wi-Fi chip on this model is an Atheros AR9280, with SiGe Semiconductor 2593A20 antenna power amplifiers.


The new power supply is the biggest yet in an iMac, capable of putting out 25.8 amps at 12 volts, or 310 watts.

Though Blu-ray options were said to be forthcoming, the high definition format was reportedly pulled from the new iMacs just before production. The final hardware includes a 12.4mm slimline 8X SuperDrive. iFixit said the hardware could fit a Panasonic UJ-135 Blu-ray drive.


The CPU and GPU are spread out on the motherboard with separate heat sinks, which allowed Apple to upgrade the hardware to use Intel's hotter desktop processors. Heat is a major concern, with six temperature sensors, three fans and two "gigantic" heat sinks.

The new hardware features big speakers, increased in proportion to the screen size.

Because the new iMac features an aluminum back, the AirPort antenna had to be relocated to the only plastic area on the back of the hardware: the Apple logo. Otherwise, the metal would have blocked Wi-Fi reception.

"After such a tedious teardown, you can't blame us for piling everything up into one ginormous heap of parts," they said. "However, curse our guilty conscience, being the nice and awesome professionals we are, we felt an urge and a sense of responsibility to do it right."


For more, take a look at the full process at iFixit. And for another look at the inside of the new iMac, check out the disassembly from Kodawarisan.
post #2 of 85
I may be mistaken, but doesn't that look like a 2.5" hard drive in there? If so, what company out there is currently making a 1TB drive, let alone a 2TB drive? Just curious, as I haven't seen any out in the wild yet.
post #3 of 85
That is one huge piece of machinery. A monster.
Now give us the test of the Magic mouse.
post #4 of 85
Looks a lot like the insides of my old iMac Core Duo from '06. Well, the layout is reminiscent.
post #5 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by hittrj01 View Post

I may be mistaken, but doesn't that look like a 2.5" hard drive in there? If so, what company out there is currently making a 1TB drive, let alone a 2TB drive? Just curious, as I haven't seen any out in the wild yet.

The article stated that you could fit an SSD into it. I haven't heard of any 3.5" ssds so its probably a 2.5" disk.
post #6 of 85
Even if a blu-ray drive had been offered as an option. How would it have played if it's not built into the OS? Snow Leopard would have to be updated -correct? Wouldn't that be a major update- size wise? Do you think that was the reason. Also does the Display Port adaptor carry the audio signal from the HDMI or is Video only? Thanks.

Ps: One of the best changes IMHO is the change of the Dell black plastic back to the new metal. The iMac is looking good again.
post #7 of 85
LG? Who knew?
post #8 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by hittrj01 View Post

I may be mistaken, but doesn't that look like a 2.5" hard drive in there? If so, what company out there is currently making a 1TB drive, let alone a 2TB drive? Just curious, as I haven't seen any out in the wild yet.

The iMac has a 2TB BTO option, so it can't be a 2.5" HD.
post #9 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by kiwee View Post

The article stated that you could fit an SSD into it. I haven't heard of any 3.5" ssds so its probably a 2.5" disk.

Looks like a 3.5" HDD to me.
post #10 of 85
Damn look at those "gigantic" heat sinks. Next iMac I want liquid cooling
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--SHEFFmachine out
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post #11 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

... with a resolution identical to a 30-inch Apple Cinema Display.

This isn't correct - the iFixit page says it has an identical horizontal resolution, but the vertical is shorter in order to make it 16:9 (1440 instead of the 30" ACD's 1600).

... just so nobody is confused. =)
post #12 of 85
It's absolutely ridiculous they never offered an SSD option. My MacBook Air starts up and shuts down faster than my 2.8GHz iMac, thanks to SSD. The difference with hard drive latency is night and day.
Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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post #13 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by teckstud View Post

Even if a blu-ray drive had been offered as an option. How would it have played if it's not built into the OS? Snow Leopard would have to be updated -correct? Wouldn't that be a major update- size wise? Do you think that was the reason. Also does the Display Port adaptor carry the audio signal from the HDMI or is Video only? Thanks.

Ps: One of the best changes IMHO is the change of the Dell black plastic back to the new metal. The iMac is looking good again.

iFixit comment on of the exclusion of a Blu-ray drive and referencing Job's declaration that "Blu-ray is a bag of hurt", suggests that, "The good news is, it's a standard 12.5 mm, slimline SATA optical drive. The drive Apple should have included is this Panasonic UJ-135 Blu-ray drive*."

This drive retails at $199, but it is a player only. And Job's problem is with the 'writer'†. As he embellished, "It's great to watch the movies, but the licensing of the tech (for writing) is so complex, we're waiting till things settle down….

* http://www.panasonic.com/industrial/...ls/UJ-135A.asp
http://www.engadgethd.com/2008/10/14...a-bag-of-hurt/
post #14 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by Abster2core View Post

This drive retails at $199, but it is a player only. And Job's problem is with the 'writer'. As he embellished, "It's great to watch the movies, but the licensing of the tech (for writing) is so complex , we're waiting till things settle down.[/url]

Yet they decided to include the capability to write to BR in FC7 and C3.5. Apparently not too complex that I can't solve it with a $349 external BR burner from OWC.
post #15 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ireland View Post

It's absolutely ridiculous they never offered an SSD option. My MacBook Air starts up and shuts down faster than my 2.8GHz iMac, thanks to SSD. The difference with hard drive latency is night and day.

Difference in storage capacity is night and day too.
post #16 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by Abster2core View Post

iFixit comment on of the exclusion of a Blu-ray drive and referencing Job's declaration that "Blu-ray is a bag of hurt", suggests that, "The good news is, it's a standard 12.5 mm, slimline SATA optical drive. The drive Apple should have included is this Panasonic UJ-135 Blu-ray drive*."

This drive retails at $199, but it is a player only. And Job's problem is with the 'writer'. As he embellished, "It's great to watch the movies, but the licensing of the tech (for writing) is so complex, we're waiting till things settle down.

* http://www.panasonic.com/industrial/...ls/UJ-135A.asp
http://www.engadgethd.com/2008/10/14...a-bag-of-hurt/

Its a burner also.

Just a DVD burner that is..
post #17 of 85
The 2 TB is a 3.5" hard drive. They always make room for that size. Plus, there is no 2 TB 2.5" HDD. Biggest one on the market is 640 GB.

However, according to the context, it's saying that there is no second hard drive. I'm assuming meaning another 3.5" hard drive, which people might think because there is a bigger chassis. However, according to iFixIt, an SSD is possible to fit.

That would be nice, have a bootable Intel X-25M SSD 160 GB and keep your 1 TB or 2 TB as just a scratch disk.
post #18 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by sheff View Post

Damn look at those "gigantic" heat sinks. Next iMac I want liquid cooling

No! Liquid systems leak! Haven't you seen the issues on XLR8yourmac.com regarding all the leaking LCed G5 power macs? Just be happy with the quad core!
post #19 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob55 View Post

Yet they decided to include the capability to write to BR in FC7 and C3.5. Apparently not too complex that I can't solve it with a $349 external BR burner from OWC.

No choice there. Final Cut is for Movie studio's, producers, etc. Your in that biz your doing BR. Your also paying for the license with the software purchase which I'm sure profit margins took a hit to not throw the price out of whack. But when your trying to keep the computer price low you need to adjust accordingly.

Honestly though what really is the market for BR on a computer? Those of us who use the mac for a HT that's one thing but how many do you think are really sitting down in front of a computer to watch a full length movie? Not counting convenience. Most people who are watching BR movies (myself included) are doing it on a big screen where we can take in the depth of the video and audio.

That's mere speculation not being a twit. I know PC companies put BR in everything but with a 1hr battery on that laptop and those sh*tty speakers on that horrid screen your not really taking it in are you.
post #20 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by teckstud View Post

Even if a blu-ray drive had been offered as an option.

yeah I caught that bit. frankly I don't think it was ever going to be in there at this point (too much focus on digital through the store right now). but hey the rumor sources have to look good so "pulled at the last minute" is a CYA for them

Quote:
How would it have played if it's not built into the OS? Snow Leopard would have to be updated -correct? Wouldn't that be a major update- size wise?

not that big probably. not when you break it up over several components.

A non tech's thoughts on Apple stuff 

(She's family so I'm a little biased)

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A non tech's thoughts on Apple stuff 

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post #21 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by hittrj01 View Post

I may be mistaken, but doesn't that look like a 2.5" hard drive in there? If so, what company out there is currently making a 1TB drive, let alone a 2TB drive? Just curious, as I haven't seen any out in the wild yet.

If you look at the final disassembly picture with everything lying there together you can see because of it's proportion that it's got to be a 3.5" disk.
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post #22 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by NarutoSasuke View Post

The 2 TB is a 3.5" hard drive. They always make room for that size. Plus, there is no 2 TB 2.5" HDD. Biggest one on the market is 640 GB.

However, according to the context, it's saying that there is no second hard drive. I'm assuming meaning another 3.5" hard drive, which people might think because there is a bigger chassis. However, according to iFixIt, an SSD is possible to fit.

That would be nice, have a bootable Intel X-25M SSD 160 GB and keep your 1 TB or 2 TB as just a scratch disk.

Ahem... WD 750gb 12.5mm 2.5" HD... It's in my Mini's...

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16822136414
post #23 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by hittrj01 View Post

I may be mistaken, but doesn't that look like a 2.5" hard drive in there? If so, what company out there is currently making a 1TB drive, let alone a 2TB drive? Just curious, as I haven't seen any out in the wild yet.

No, you can see it's a 3.5" Western Digital 2TB, but which one it look like a Black 2TB that has 7200RPM with 64MB Cache if it's the one.
post #24 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by NarutoSasuke View Post

The 2 TB is a 3.5" hard drive. They always make room for that size. Plus, there is no 2 TB 2.5" HDD. Biggest one on the market is 640 GB.

They make a 1TB 2.5" drive but it is 12.5mm thick, not 9mm, the size most thin notebooks use.
post #25 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by hittrj01 View Post

I may be mistaken, but doesn't that look like a 2.5" hard drive in there? If so, what company out there is currently making a 1TB drive, let alone a 2TB drive? Just curious, as I haven't seen any out in the wild yet.

No it is a 3.5" drive. It just looks small inside that 27" enclosure.

3.5" and 2.5" SATA drives use the exact same connector so you could easily replace a 3.5" SATA drive with a 2.5" SSD SATA drive.
post #26 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by Eriamjh View Post

No! Liquid systems leak! Haven't you seen the issues on XLR8yourmac.com regarding all the leaking LCed G5 power macs? Just be happy with the quad core!

I was "cool" with it because Apple replaced my damaged G5 with a Mac Pro.
post #27 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by sheff View Post

Damn look at those "gigantic" heat sinks. Next iMac I want liquid cooling

if it fits within Apple's profit margin and environmental program, you might just get it

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ireland View Post

It's absolutely ridiculous they never offered an SSD option

price would keep the option at such a low size that it would never sell. in another 6-12 months when you can get an SSD at a profitable size, it will happen

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob55 View Post

Yet they decided to include the capability to write to BR in FC7 and C3.5. Apparently not too complex that I can't solve it with a $349 external BR burner from OWC.

much of that support is merely having FCP work in higher resolutions. also, as you note there are externals and probably even internals for the Mac Pro (which is the machine they are pushing at the folks doing such things)

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A non tech's thoughts on Apple stuff 

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post #28 of 85
Instead of tearing it apart, why couldn't iFixit figure out how the new mini Displayport feature actually works.

I still haven't seen a definitive answer.
Is the source switching done in software or hardware?
Do I have to reboot and hold down "V" or something?

Inquiring minds want to know!
post #29 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by msantti View Post

Difference in storage capacity is night and day too.

Stop downloading all that porn and you'll be fine. Anyway, it's called "optional".
Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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post #30 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by charlituna View Post

Price would keep the option at such a low size that it would never sell. in another 6-12 months when you can get an SSD at a profitable size, it will happen.

You're right that it will happen, but I don't think 250GB is too low personally. It's plenty big for most people. It's totally ridiculous.
Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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post #31 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by charlituna View Post

much of that support is merely having FCP work in higher resolutions.

What? FCP has been handling Blu-ray resolutions since long before Blu-ray.
post #32 of 85
What parts are behind the chin? Is the chin necessary?
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post #33 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by teckstud View Post

Even if a blu-ray drive had been offered as an option. How would it have played if it's not built into the OS? Snow Leopard would have to be updated -correct? Wouldn't that be a major update- size wise? Do you think that was the reason. Also does the Display Port adaptor carry the audio signal from the HDMI or is Video only? Thanks.

Ps: One of the best changes IMHO is the change of the Dell black plastic back to the new metal. The iMac is looking good again.

What's the reason was it a last minute change for Apple not to put the Panasonic Blu-Ray Drive in? I think Apple didn't do it because like I said in earlier post if Apple is going to pay fees to Sony and Microsoft for licensing their codecs to have that Panasonic Drive in. This would have added cost to the Mac pricing well as if the studios wasn't going to put ALL their movies to 720p HD Movies in iTunes. That's not a wide choice for consumers that just Apple helping Blu-Ray! Apple probably say to Hell with Blu-Ray. I think their might be some going on with the studios to put the 1080p Movies on SD Cards because technologically it can do that with Dolby TrueHD and DTS HD Master Audio plus it wouldn't be Blu-Ray so there wouldn't be no licensing fees to utilize HD Movies and yes I'm sure the codec will be MPEG-4 DRM like the iTunes 480p and 720p! Blu-Ray is truly dead. the fact that copy protection is non-existent and the proof in the pudding is go to torrent sites there are over 5,248 movies ripped from Blu-Ray in 720p and 1080p both with either Dolby Digital @ 640Kbps or DTS @ 1.5Mbps utilizing the Matroska Video File Format (MKV). George Lucas and others probably aware of this since day one if not I will let him know later today! Studios want something more reliable to maximize profits. You can't do that with optical medium so digital copy its best shot!
post #34 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by emerge3d View Post

Looks like a 3.5" HDD to me.

According to the teardown photo it is a HDL (Hitachi LG Data Storage) Multi DVD Rewriter Model: GA11N, which is a "HLDS GA11N 12.7mm SATA Slotload 8X DVDRW". http://translate.google.com/translat...ari%26rls%3Den
post #35 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by sequitur View Post

What parts are behind the chin? Is the chin necessary?

Speakers, memory slots are located in the "chin".

Mac Pro, 8 Core, 32 GB RAM, nVidia GTX 285 1 GB, 2 TB storage, 240 GB OWC Mercury Extreme SSD, 30'' Cinema Display, 27'' iMac, 24'' iMac, 17'' MBP, 13'' MBP, 32 GB iPhone 4, 64 GB iPad 3

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Mac Pro, 8 Core, 32 GB RAM, nVidia GTX 285 1 GB, 2 TB storage, 240 GB OWC Mercury Extreme SSD, 30'' Cinema Display, 27'' iMac, 24'' iMac, 17'' MBP, 13'' MBP, 32 GB iPhone 4, 64 GB iPad 3

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post #36 of 85
According to iFixit, the LCD panel itself is glossy yet the photo shows no reflections (more like a matte finish) unlike like the photo where the highly reflective glass is removed.

But then again, there are no reflections on the picture before the glass was removed neither.

So taking their word for it, that the LCD panel is glossy, is confirming what I suspected. It's the LCD panel makers that are opting for glossy finishes, as it saves them a step of applying a matte finish to their panels. So basically glossy LCD's are "cheaper" in the respect of cheaper quality. (in case you hear "cheap" in reference to glossy screens)

The LCD panel makers started with HP, who was new to the computer game having bought Compaq and most likely suckered them in (why take a extra step and apply glass when it wasn't needed?), and the rest of the industry fell like dominoes, including Apple.


It's a shame a another generation of computer users are going to learn the drawbacks of glossy screens on their eyes and health.

It's also a shame it's been delegated to end users to apply a solution to a problem that wasn't a problem before in the name of suckering people into buying flashy objects.

Apple also now has to apply a glass across the entire surface of the viewing area, where before they could just frame the matte LCD panel. So I wonder what is up with that? Are glossy LCD panels themselves more vulnerable to damage?

Interesting questions...


Ok I'm done
The danger is that we sleepwalk into a world where cabals of corporations control not only the mainstream devices and the software on them, but also the entire ecosystem of online services around...
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The danger is that we sleepwalk into a world where cabals of corporations control not only the mainstream devices and the software on them, but also the entire ecosystem of online services around...
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post #37 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by Eriamjh View Post

No! Liquid systems leak! Haven't you seen the issues on XLR8yourmac.com regarding all the leaking LCed G5 power macs? Just be happy with the quad core!

Those heat sinks actually do have liquid in them. As do 90% of all laptop heatsinks.
post #38 of 85
NOKIA SUE-ING APPLE OVER GSM/WIRELESS LAN PATENTS!!


Just came over CNBC right this exact second!!


You heard it from me! WOOO HOOO!!
The danger is that we sleepwalk into a world where cabals of corporations control not only the mainstream devices and the software on them, but also the entire ecosystem of online services around...
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The danger is that we sleepwalk into a world where cabals of corporations control not only the mainstream devices and the software on them, but also the entire ecosystem of online services around...
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post #39 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacTripper View Post

NOKIA SUE-ING APPLE OVER GSM/WIRELESS LAN PATENTS!!


Just came over CNBC right this exact second!!


You heard it from me! WOOO HOOO!!

OMG!

http://www.reuters.com/article/press...09+PRN20091022
post #40 of 85
I wonder if you could force a 27" non-glossy screen into it? Think that would void the warranty?
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