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Teardown of new 1080p Apple TV finds cooler single-core A5 CPU

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
The new single-core A5 processor in the new Apple TV does not have a thermal pad, suggesting it runs even cooler than its predecessor despite offering high-definition 1080p video.

Though the previous, second-generation Apple TV featured a thermal pad with its A4 processor, the new 1080p-capable Apple TV does not have a thermal pad, marking one of the few major differences in the design of the new set-top box. The lack of a thermal pad was discovered in a teardown of the new Apple TV conducted by iFixit on Monday.

The design of the components in the new Apple TV suggests the custom single-core processor found in the set-top box puts off less heat than its predecessor. The device still has the same power supply, though, providing 3.4V at 1.57A.

Even though it apparently runs cooler, the new CPU is more capable and allows users to output 1080p high-definition video content.

And though it doesn't have a thermal pad, it does feature a metal heat sink that rests atop a small thermal plate, a design identical to the previous Apple TV.




Previous uses of the A5 chip in the iPad 2 and iPhone 4S featured a dual-core CPU design. The A5X chip in the new iPad also features a dual-core CPU, accompanied by a quad-core graphics processor.

An earlier disassembly of the new Apple TV discovered that the updated set-top box features the same 8 gigabytes of storage as its predecessor, but the system RAM has been doubled to 512 megabytes.




And supporting what was previously discovered, Monday's latest peek inside the Apple TV also found two antennae inside the device. The addition is presumed to boost signal strength in the latest Apple TV.

"We're suspecting that this Apple TV is preserving the 2.4GHz shared antenna, but has also added a second antenna for 5 GHz connectivity," the solutions provider wrote.

iFixit's teardown of the Apple TV declared the device "significantly easier to crack open" than the iPad 3. The diminutive size of the device aids in its repairability, as it has few components within its case.




Chips featured on the bottom side of the logic board are:

Apple A5 single-core processor

Toshiba THGVX1G6D2HLA01 8GB NAND Flash

Broadcomm BCM4330 (appears to be the same chip in the iPad 3rd Generation)

Apple 343S0479

Apple 338S1040




And on the back of the logic board, the following chips can also be found:

SMSC LAN9730 standalone USB to ethernet controller

V301

DELTA 8456E-R

54418

TXC Mn40 25.000

[ View article on AppleInsider ]
post #2 of 13
Very happy with mine! 1080p well worth it.
I'm not a pessimist. I'm an optimist, with experience.
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I'm not a pessimist. I'm an optimist, with experience.
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post #3 of 13
Is it possible that these are regular A5 rejects?
post #4 of 13
can you image what the sales of this thing would be if it could gain access to the App Store????

AirVideo, Hulu+, iMovie.......

Not that i am sending mine back anytime soon.
post #5 of 13
Mine just cleared the Oregon border on the way to New Mexico. Impatience is not a virtue.
post #6 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by jmmx View Post

Is it possible that these are regular A5 rejects?

Absolutely. In fact that's probably what they are.
I'm not a pessimist. I'm an optimist, with experience.
Reply
I'm not a pessimist. I'm an optimist, with experience.
Reply
post #7 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by thataveragejoe View Post

Absolutely. In fact that's probably what they are.

Well, Apple does like to recycle

I think you are spot on. If one of the cores come out with issues, they could simply disable it and throw it in this device.
post #8 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by mitchell_pgh View Post

Well, Apple does like to recycle

I think you are spot on. If one of the cores come out with issues, they could simply disable it and throw it in this device.

Precisely. Given the yield of A5s they need, they would have more than enough. The practice is common in all corners of the tech industry.
I'm not a pessimist. I'm an optimist, with experience.
Reply
I'm not a pessimist. I'm an optimist, with experience.
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post #9 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by thataveragejoe View Post

Precisely. Given the yield of A5s they need, they would have more than enough. The practice is common in all corners of the tech industry.

I guess those Apple guys are smart Cook-ies!



OI-VEY!
post #10 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by s4mb4 View Post

can you image what the sales of this thing would be if it could gain access to the App Store????

AirVideo, Hulu+, iMovie.......

Not that i am sending mine back anytime soon.

We'll find out soon enough. Its inevitable that this is where it is headed- particularly with the new UI. I'm curious if it'll only work for the A5 people or A4 will get it too. I am also curious how many apps you could get- particularly since you only have 8gb (although if a movie is at max- 4gb for buffering, that should leave a little room- maybe 2gb or so?)

2014 27" Retina iMac i5, 2012 27" iMac i7, 2011 Mac Mini i5
iPad Air 2, iPad Mini Retina, iPhone 6, iPhone 5S, iPod Touch 5
Time Capsule 5, (3) AirPort Express 2, (2) Apple TV 3

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2014 27" Retina iMac i5, 2012 27" iMac i7, 2011 Mac Mini i5
iPad Air 2, iPad Mini Retina, iPhone 6, iPhone 5S, iPod Touch 5
Time Capsule 5, (3) AirPort Express 2, (2) Apple TV 3

Reply
post #11 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Andysol View Post

We'll find out soon enough. Its inevitable that this is where it is headed- particularly with the new UI. I'm curious if it'll only work for the A5 people or A4 will get it too. I am also curious how many apps you could get- particularly since you only have 8gb (although if a movie is at max- 4gb for buffering, that should leave a little room- maybe 2gb or so?)

I think apps would be more for display apps only - like the ones you suggested. Most others are require input. So you just have the app on you iPad and AirPlay over to the ATV.
post #12 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by s4mb4 View Post

can you image what the sales of this thing would be if it could gain access to the App Store????

AirVideo, Hulu+, iMovie.......

Not that i am sending mine back anytime soon.

An app store would make a bigger difference outside the US. Here in the UK our video on demand options are spread out all over the place, so to get what most would consider the bare minimum, or the essentials, a device needs to support half a dozen services.

The Xbox is the closest to supporting these core services, but the ATV isn't even close. The lack in particular of the UK's most popular streaming service by a mile - the BBC iPlayer, makes the ATV next to useless. BBC iPlayer support is standard issue in most TVs and blu-ray players, as well as the Roku, TiVo, Wii, PS3, and within a week, the Xbox 360. (it was delayed for many months on the Xbox due to Microsoft's attempt to charge to access to free BBC services - they argued, and the BBC won)

I read that as the BBC are rolling the iPlayer out to international markets now (as a paid service outside the UK) they are apparently talking to Apple about making part of ATV's microscopic little selection of apps. If it happens, it will be a first step in the right direction.
post #13 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by kotatsu View Post

An app store would make a bigger difference outside the US. Here in the UK our video on demand options are spread out all over the place, so to get what most would consider the bare minimum, or the essentials, a device needs to support half a dozen services.

The Xbox is the closest to supporting these core services, but the ATV isn't even close. The lack in particular of the UK's most popular streaming service by a mile - the BBC iPlayer, makes the ATV next to useless. BBC iPlayer support is standard issue in most TVs and blu-ray players, as well as the Roku, TiVo, Wii, PS3, and within a week, the Xbox 360. (it was delayed for many months on the Xbox due to Microsoft's attempt to charge to access to free BBC services - they argued, and the BBC won)

I read that as the BBC are rolling the iPlayer out to international markets now (as a paid service outside the UK) they are apparently talking to Apple about making part of ATV's microscopic little selection of apps. If it happens, it will be a first step in the right direction.

I understand from sources the BBC are speaking to Apple about putting the iplayer on apple tv box. the new gui now makes it easier for third party apps.
the bbc iplayer interface on the xbox will work well on the apple tv box.
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