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Teardown of Retina MacBook Pro finds soldered RAM, proprietary SSD - Page 2

post #41 of 193

"RAM is soldered onto the logic board and cannot be upgraded, and that the proprietary solid-state drive memory was supplied by Samsung."

 

RAM = memory

drive = storage

post #42 of 193
Quote:
Originally Posted by pjapk View Post

Glad I went for the 16Gb option. Debated 8Gb until I saw the (comparitively to previous costs) cheaper upgrade option and went for it without knowing it was soldered on. Had I ordered the 8Gb and then found about the soldering I'd definitely have cancelled & reordered 16.

 

I chose not to bother with SSD premium as I'd rather spend the £400 difference on Thunderbolt options (the seagate adapter rocks!) When it boils down to it, the difference between 512Gb & 768Gb is a couple of decent CF memory cards capacity only so I simply won't be storing huge amounts of data locally, only a "working set".

Actually, Apple has lowered the RAM upgrade prices on the old-style 13 and 15 MBPs as well.  Upgrade to 8GB from 4GB is now $100.  It used to be $200.  The old-style MBP's can be upgraded to 16GB if you want, although Apple does not say that 16GB is supported and it is not a BTO option.

post #43 of 193
Quote:
Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post

I'll have to go back and check but I assume the SSD is replaceable in the future as higher capacities arrive and priced fall?

Quote:
Originally Posted by s4mb4 View Post

i dont see that option in the pics above....

The problem is that Apple Care only covers issues caused (during the performance of repairs) by Apple Authorized Service Providers. I see quite a few shops that aren't Apple Authorized Service Providers though which is unfortunate for the average consumer who may not know better. I should further add that Apple is not accepting applications for Apple Authorized Service Providers nor have they for some time. Essentially, Apple is cornering the market on Apple Authorized Service.

I should further add that the Samsung SSD used in the MacBook Pro is proprietary although the controller is standard.

The reduction in RAM prices from Apple is an excellent move. Thank you, Apple.
Edited by MacBook Pro - 6/13/12 at 7:41am
post #44 of 193
Quote:
Originally Posted by Neo42 View Post

Ouch, soldered ram.  I much prefer the 4 slots/32GB in my asus bricktop.

And you are in the ittsy-bittsy, teeny-weeny, yellow polka dot minority. Thank god Apple ignores this insignificant market of know-it-all tech wannabes who go on and on about this and that spec. I can't even imagine how bad a device designed by this crowd would be.
post #45 of 193
Quote:
Originally Posted by mcarling View Post

When I predicted here that the next MacBook Pro would have RAM soldered directly onto the motherboard, no one believed me.  This means lower cost, higher reliability, better performance, and a more compact design.  All manufacturers will follow Apple's lead on this.

really?  who was that.  I think it was a vast minority that thought they could make a macbook Air thin style Pro without having soldered in parts... you may think no one believed you, but you were in the majority.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Neo42 View Post

 

I put 32GB of DDR3 in my laptop for less than the cost of the 16GB upgrade for the RMBP.  If you want to look at 8gb as a "gift from apple due to lower prices", well then, enjoy the blinders.

really, and your laptop is what... 4 or 5 times bigger than this thing?

Quote:
Originally Posted by sleepy3 View Post

EWWWWWWWWW

 

SAMSUNG PARTS???!!!

 

NOT GONNA BUY!!!

You must not own any Macs... or most other brands of computers?  Samsung parts are in almost everything.

Quote:
Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post


Not sure about this ... but even if you waited till the last day of the 1 year coverage wouldn't the three years of the extended be dated from date of purchase still?

its always 2 years added to the original 1 year.  The savings comes from the fact you keep the money in the bank and get some interest on it?  or just you get to keep the money in pocket for an extra year.  You do lose the 1 year of extra phone support you get when purchasing it within the first 90 days.

post #46 of 193

The 2013 Mac Pro will also have soldered RAM.

post #47 of 193

The view of the insides Apple put on their site and into their video is much more beautiful without all those labels an stuff.

The SSD looks different in iFixits machine, maybe because of the 512 GB.

 

See for comparison (mouse over):   http://thtouch.leberwurstsaft.de/mbp/

post #48 of 193
Quote:
Originally Posted by lkrupp View Post

I can't even imagine how bad a device designed by this crowd would be.

Come on, now. Don't be ridiculous. I have some of their paperweights and doorstops, exceptional although grossly overpriced. I should admit that I will probably just go outside and find a rock next time though. I can't imagine the market is huge since customer retention is exceptionally low.
post #49 of 193

I have purchased my last Macbook. RAM soldered onto the logic board with no way to upgrade later on? I guess I will buy a couple of refurbs or nice used systems for the near future.

post #50 of 193
Quote:
Originally Posted by mausz View Post

Cost : Why would it be lower ? Support/replacement is more expensive

Reliability : Maybe, because you won't have badly seated ram, but wat happens when at QC you find a bad memory chip....

Performance : No difference between soldered/non-soldered

Compact design : The only plausible reasong in my opinion.

Cost: will be lower because there are fewer parts and fewer assembly steps.

Reliability: One QCs memory chips before soldering them to the motherboard.

Performance: Future JEDEC specs will support higher bandwidth and lower latency ONLY for directly soldered RAM.

Compact design: At least one out of four benefits was obvious.

Mac user since August 1983.
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Mac user since August 1983.
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post #51 of 193
Quote:
Originally Posted by Neo42 View Post

 

While I'd love to have one for the cool factor, I am having trouble understanding the practicality of retina display on a notebook.  Right now i'm sitting about 32" from a 17" 1920x1080 display and there's no way to see individual pixels.  It makes a little more sense for a phone or a tablet (since you hold those much closer to your eyes), not so much otherwise.  

 

you normally sit much closer than that to a notebook, otherwise you can't type on it. People used to say the same thing about the 'new' iPhone 4 when it was announced, thought the 3GS screen was good enough.

 

Aside from the pixel density, the biggest improvement is the screen is IPS so won't have the contrast/colour shift issues of the existing MBP screens.

post #52 of 193

Apple now has the power to go proprietary, and consumers will back them all the way. 

post #53 of 193
Quote:
Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post


Not sure about this ... but even if you waited till the last day of the 1 year coverage wouldn't the three years of the extended be dated from date of purchase still?

That used to be the case with the iPhone and iPad. How long until Apple requires the purchase of AppleCare for their computers within the first 30 days of purchase? I give it a year.

post #54 of 193
Quote:
Originally Posted by davesmall View Post

Moral of the story: Get AppleCare if you're going to keep the laptop beyond the one year warranty period. You can wait until the year is almost up to purchase AppleCare. There isn't any real benefit to buying it when you buy the Mac.

Last I checked you get one call to Apple Care in the first thirty days and then they charge or phone support. With Apple Care you get all you need/want for free. For one that is reason enough to buy right away

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post #55 of 193
Quote:
Originally Posted by lamewing View Post

That used to be the case with the iPhone and iPad. How long until Apple requires the purchase of AppleCare for their computers within the first 30 days of purchase? I give it a year.

If they decide to put some kind of damage coverage in there, they will reduce the time. But I don't see them doing that any time soon

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post #56 of 193

My question is do the NON-Retina Display Macbooks (new 2012 Models) have upgradeable RAM or do they also have the RAM soldered to the mobo?

post #57 of 193

I'm sticking with my 2011 MacBook Pro for right now for several reasons:

 

1 - Lack of app support for the Retina Display - This will obviously increase over time, but there's no point in rushing out to buy the latest and the greatest if there's little support (unless you're a media professional using Aperture or Final Cut).

 

2 - Retina will be included with more models in future updates - I'd like to have the choice to get a 13" Retina Display model, or an Air with a Retina Display.

 

3 - Spensive - Hopefully the 13" models mentioned previously will lead to lower prices.

 

4 - Current "legacy" MBP models still have the same form factor, so I don't feel like I'm behind the times too much. 

 

:)

 

Love,

 

Tom

post #58 of 193
Quote:
Originally Posted by lamewing View Post

My question is do the NON-Retina Display Macbooks (new 2012 Models) have upgradeable RAM or do they also have the RAM soldered to the mobo?

 

 

Legacy MBP models still allow upgradeable RAM.  Up to 16 GB, I believe...

post #59 of 193
Quote:
Originally Posted by ttollerton View Post

Legacy MBP models still allow upgradeable RAM.  Up to 16 GB, I believe...

The new Ivy Bridge ones should allow 32GB.

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post #60 of 193

Eh.  No thanks.  I'll go ahead with one of the new 15" models with the anti-glare display.  I like my 2011 model, but the 2012 with the better GPU / USB 3 is worth it.  Gaining retina display isn't really worth the loss of being able to upgrade my laptop as I see fit.

15" MB Pro Early 2011 (2.0 i7 8GB RAM 240 SSD); ATV 3; iPad 3 (32GB, VZW Black); iPhone 4S (16GB AT&T Black); Airport Extreme (2011)

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15" MB Pro Early 2011 (2.0 i7 8GB RAM 240 SSD); ATV 3; iPad 3 (32GB, VZW Black); iPhone 4S (16GB AT&T Black); Airport Extreme (2011)

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post #61 of 193
Quote:
Originally Posted by ttollerton View Post

 

 

Legacy MBP models still allow upgradeable RAM.  Up to 16 GB, I believe...

Then I might sell my 2011 and upgrade to the 2012...before Apple redesigns it as well...:/

post #62 of 193
Quote:
Originally Posted by Constable Odo View Post

I have a 2009 MacBook Pro and even though the RAM is easily upgradeable, I'm still using just 2GB after all these years.  I don't find it a problem at all running Snow Leopard and the applications I use.  I believe that in order for Apple to make this new MacBook Pro as thin as it is, there is going to be a tradeoff of component accessability and as long as I know it beforehand, I'll buy a model with more RAM and hope I can get four years comfortable use out of it.  I'm not mourning the loss of upgradeable RAM at all but then again I'm not a power user.  I don't know if I'm the typical user or not but I don't think most consumers will bother to upgrade RAM at all.  I make sure I always get AppleCare so I'm also not concerned about user-friendly replacement parts.  Soldered RAM will not stop me from buying an Apple MacBook Pro.
 


Are you running 64 bit kernel? On my macs 64 bit kernel is using anywhere from 450 to 1.5 GB. On 17'' MBP it's 450 MB on iMac 762 MB and on Mac Pro 1.5 GB right after boot.

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 #63 of 193
Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post


Ultimately, it comes down to how many people actually bother with upgrading their RAM. If the number is small enough, soldered RAM isn't a problem. If a significant number of people want to upgrade their RAM, there could be some backlash.
However, given the modest price for the upgrade to 16 GB, I would simply get the higher RAM from the start and it should be sufficient for most people for the life of the computer. Heck, I'm currently still stuck at 3 GB and lots of people are using even less.

3 GB RAM isn't nearly enough for serious work.  On a Mini with 3 GB RAM I can't even use Safari and Lightroom at the same time.  

 

8GB standard RAM isn't bad for the $2200 MacBook, but it's pathetic on the $2800 model given that it cannot be upgraded.  Apple's pulling a fast one on consumers here, building in obsolescence far beyond what most computer makers do.  It's disgusting.  

 

I'll take more HD bays and RAM slots over thinness, but if a person want's portability they will prefer the reverse.  Apple is stupid to convert their whole laptop line to MacBook Air designs, which is what it looks like they're about to do.  It's like they don't want professionals using their gear anymore.

post #64 of 193
As a former digital hardware engineer, I have a strong negative feeling about this. Soldered RAM means a a complex operation if just one circuit fails or the connexion on a single pin floats, etc., which happens sometimes with reflow soldering.

Glued battery cells? Tell me that’s a nightmare! You guys will have to cuddle your battery because changing it will be rather expensive…

In my opinion, this is an engineering prototype actually industrialized without any further refinements. Maybe they were constrained by time and had no opportunity to work out a cleaner design, but it looks half-finished. They could not afford a WWDC without a real announcement, so it seems Apple released this machine in emergency… Next iteration will be cleaner I hope.

PS : Contrarily to what most people state here, I own a 2 GB model (late-2008 Unibody MacBook with upgradable HD, Ram and easy access battery), do some heavy development with it, and I never hit the point where the machine would go so sluggish it would be unusable…
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post #65 of 193
Quote:
Originally Posted by mausz View Post

Cost : Why would it be lower ? Support/replacement is more expensive

Reliability : Maybe, because you won't have badly seated ram, but wat happens when at QC you find a bad memory chip....

Performance : No difference between soldered/non-soldered

Compact design : The only plausible reasong in my opinion.

 

Cost: fewer components (with associated failure modes/rates).

Reliability: Cut out socket-related failure modes (admittedly small factor, but...) You test memory before assembly, don't you?

Performance: See above; speed not sole performance criterion.

Compact design: Exactly; packaging is as much art as science.

 

Cons: You give up easy upgrade and trade off repairability, which is partly offset by increased reliability.

 

It's a juggling game, always has been.

post #66 of 193

So the low end Retina MBP is actually $2400 unless you only need the 8GB for email and internet stuff.

 

A $2000+ laptop without upgradable RAM?  A sh!t ton of bullsh!t!

post #67 of 193
Quote:
Originally Posted by nvidia2008 View Post

I must say this is the most snarky teardown (pun unintended) of a Mac by iFixit. 

 

They've been mortally offended by pentalobe screws right from the beginning. Maybe they see them as a threat to their income.
post #68 of 193
Quote:
Originally Posted by Neo42 View Post

 

I put 32GB of DDR3 in my laptop for less than the cost of the 16GB upgrade for the RMBP.  If you want to look at 8gb as a "gift from apple due to lower prices", well then, enjoy the blinders.

 

Your DDR3 RAM isn't the same as what goes in the MBPr, is it?

post #69 of 193

Well if soldered RAM is so great then maybe the Mac Pro replacement can use it.  

 

The truth is, Apple pulled this stunt because they care more about marketing to computer-illiterate consumers than they do about pros.  

post #70 of 193
Quote:
Originally Posted by Constable Odo View Post

I have a 2009 MacBook Pro and even though the RAM is easily upgradeable, I'm still using just 2GB after all these years.  I don't find it a problem at all running Snow Leopard and the applications I use.  I believe that in order for Apple to make this new MacBook Pro as thin as it is, there is going to be a tradeoff of component accessability and as long as I know it beforehand, I'll buy a model with more RAM and hope I can get four years comfortable use out of it.  I'm not mourning the loss of upgradeable RAM at all but then again I'm not a power user.  I don't know if I'm the typical user or not but I don't think most consumers will bother to upgrade RAM at all.  I make sure I always get AppleCare so I'm also not concerned about user-friendly replacement parts.  Soldered RAM will not stop me from buying an Apple MacBook Pro.

 

The amount of RAM required is really dependent on the use the MBP is put to. You would find running CS6 or editing HD video for a living a pain with 2 Gigs but for iWorks or MS Office for example it would suffice. That said 4 GIGS would be far better.
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post #71 of 193
Soldering RAM to the computer's motherboard? Apple hasn't done that since the "Fat Mac" Macintosh 512k! That model was replaced by the Macintosh Plus in January 1986 which had memory slots. This has been the case for every Mac model up until now. (The iDevices are a different class and don't count.) There's a good reason why soldering memory to the motherboard only lasted for the very first 2 Macintosh models.

It seems that memory usage isn't expanding as fast as it once did. But still, I have to think that this is probably a mistake.
post #72 of 193
Quote:
Originally Posted by EauVive View Post


PS : Contrarily to what most people state here, I own a 2 GB model (late-2008 Unibody MacBook with upgradable HD, Ram and easy access battery), do some heavy development with it, and I never hit the point where the machine would go so sluggish it would be unusable…

 

Try running Mail, Safari, Lightroom, and Photoshop on 2 GB RAM and you'll change your tune.

post #73 of 193
Quote:
Originally Posted by EWTHeckman View Post

Soldering RAM to the computer's motherboard? Apple hasn't done that since the "Fat Mac" Macintosh 512k! That model was replaced by the Macintosh Plus in January 1986 which had memory slots. This has been the case for every Mac model up until now. (The iDevices are a different class and don't count.) There's a good reason why soldering memory to the motherboard only lasted for the very first 2 Macintosh models.
It seems that memory usage isn't expanding as fast as it once did. But still, I have to think that this is probably a mistake.

That is incorrect. The MacBook Air has soldered RAM. In addition. a number of previous systems (such as my old IIsi) had a combination of soldered and socketed RAM.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Junkyard Dawg View Post

Well if soldered RAM is so great then maybe the Mac Pro replacement can use it.  

The truth is, Apple pulled this stunt because they care more about marketing to computer-illiterate consumers than they do about pros.  

That's a ridiculous argument. Do you really think that the usage pattern of a 12 core Xeon system with 64 GB of RAM and 8 TB of internal storage is the same as a laptop with 4 cores and a single drive?
Quote:
Originally Posted by steveH View Post

They've been mortally offended by pentalobe screws right from the beginning. Maybe they see them as a threat to their income.

Or maybe they got tired of people demanding that Apple fix problems caused by incompetents mucking about inside of the computer or choosing junky RAM.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Junkyard Dawg View Post

So the low end Retina MBP is actually $2400 unless you only need the 8GB for email and internet stuff.

A $2000+ laptop without upgradable RAM?  A sh!t ton of bullsh!t!

Then don't buy one.

And arguing that the base is $2400 is ridiculous. 8 GB is plenty for lots and lots of people. Personally, I'll get 16, but there are hundreds of millions of people who are currently using 2 GB or less - so 8 GB is more than enough.
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post #74 of 193
Quote:
Originally Posted by Junkyard Dawg View Post

Well if soldered RAM is so great then maybe the Mac Pro replacement can use it.  

 

The truth is, Apple pulled this stunt because they care more about marketing to computer-illiterate consumers than they do about pros.  

 

1: Completely different operating constraints between the two machines.

 

2: You need to think about things like packaging constraints (the whole physical package), EMI, thermal management, ...

 

Pros don't want to be mucking about inside their tools, they just want to get work done. They're not generally hobbyists.

post #75 of 193
Quote:
Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post


I agree with you, It's really the HD video and high end photoshop users that needs the big memories. We crave it it like a drug addict! I suddenly had a flash back to my Mac II fx and lovingly looking at the 8 MB of RAM (when most folks thought 512K or 1MB was rocking) and thinking OMG I'll never need more that this! / smile
The SSD is my main concern. I was really hoping Apple would come up with dual drives in the flagship model. An HD and an SSD with easy access to upgrade the HD to SSD when prices fall. The bench mark on my early 2010 MBP i7 is pathetic next to current models so I want to upgrade but my user folder is over 750 GIGS so I need a TB at least in drive space! Yes i have the ability to off load stuff to externals but that would be a pain. Even now I have to put up with a slow drive as no 7200 RPM 2.5 TB drives existed when I upgraded it, not even sure they exist now. So 1TB of SSD is out of the question at present and that's not going to be affordable for a year or two I suspect. I could modify a 2012 MBP by removing the optical and adding SSD but no Retina that way. No easy answer other than returning to a next gen Mac Pro, oh that means waiting till 2013... . /sigh
I guess I will start off loading 50% that user folder today ...

Maybe one (or two) of these? http://www.lacie.com/products/product.htm?id=10549

post #76 of 193
Quote:
Originally Posted by Junkyard Dawg View Post

So the low end Retina MBP is actually $2400 unless you only need the 8GB for email and internet stuff.

 

A $2000+ laptop without upgradable RAM?  A sh!t ton of bullsh!t!

You forget, the Retina MBP is for Pros... like Jamie Dimon.

post #77 of 193
Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by steveH View Post

They've been mortally offended by pentalobe screws right from the beginning. Maybe they see them as a threat to their income.

Or maybe they got tired of people demanding that Apple fix problems caused by incompetents mucking about inside of the computer or choosing junky RAM.

 

Yoo hoo, context warning: "They've" refers to iFixit, not Apple. Why in the world would iFixit be demanding that Apple fix problems caused by ham-handed hobbyists?

post #78 of 193

I don't mind that the RAM is soldered and non-upgradable.  I don't mind that the SSD is proprietary.  But it really puts me out that the 256GB SSD is the only option on the base model.  Anyone know why that is?

post #79 of 193

You can’t make it thin, light, portable and user upgradable. Doesn’t work that way … at least in 2012.

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post #80 of 193
Quote:
Originally Posted by BigBillyGoatGruff View Post

I don't mind that the RAM is soldered and non-upgradable.  I don't mind that the SSD is proprietary.  But it really puts me out that the 256GB SSD is the only option on the base model.  Anyone know why that is?

I don't mind that 256GB is the only option on the base model.

 

Of all things, why is the SSD socketed? It doesn't work this way in 2012, with thin, light and portable.

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