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Inside the new MacBooks: LSI, Battery, HD, and RAM

post #1 of 53
Thread Starter 
Apple's new MacBook and MacBook Pro models contain more innovation than just their case design and graphics. Here's a look at other details, from LSIs to battery, hard drive and RAM features.

Inside the new MacBooks series

Apple details new MacBook manufacturing process
A closer look at Apple's move to NVIDIA chipsets, DisplayPort

Keyboard, battery and indicator

All models can accommodate a backlit keyboard, although it comes standard only on the MacBook Pro and the higher end MacBook model.

The MacBooks use a 45 Watt hour, Li-Poly battery and a 60 Watt power supply, while the MacBook Pro uses a 6 cell, 50.4 Watt hour Li-Poly battery and an 85 Watt power supply. Both use Magsafe connectors and can be alternatively powered by the new Magsafe-equipped power feed from the new 24" Cinema Display. Both are rated for 5 hours of "wireless productivity."

The batteries expose their charge status through an integrated display on the front corner of the left side of the unit, as the batteries are now covered by a back panel rather than being exposed as in earlier MacBook models. This also allows Apple to lock the battery in place on unattended laptops, as an attached locking cable will prevent the back panel from opening.

Liquid submersion indicators

As with the iPhone and MacBook models release earlier this year, the new MacBooks contain "liquid submersion indicators" or LSI, small patches affixed internally around the keyboard bay that change from white to red when subjected to moisture. These are in place "to help discover accidental damage to the computer," according to sources familiar with Apple's phrasing, but are clearly in place to prevent users from demanding that Apple fix damages caused by liquid spills.

The 13-inch MacBook's 4 LSI are indicated by red dots in this diagram passed on by sources.

Some users in humid climates have complained that the sensors may indicate accidental liquid spill damage when in fact there has been none. In such a case, a user with a bad logic board might find it difficult to get it repaired under warranty without being forced to prove they they did not cause the failure themselves. The location of the LSIs are noted in by the four small round red dots in the graphic below top. An additional four LSIs are located on the bottom section of the case, as shown below bottom.

The 15-inch MacBook Pro's 4 LSI are indicated by red dots in this diagram also passed on by sources.

Hard Disk

Also hidden behind the lockable panel is the hard drive and RAM. The hard drive is held in place under the removable panel with a simple bracket attached with a single screw. Unscrew the strip and the drive pulls out for easy access and replacement.

This is a slight improvement over the original MacBooks, which put the hard drive behind a plate with three screws, and a vast improvement over the MacBook Pros, which required removing a handful of screws to detach the entire back cover in order to access the hard drive.

Any standard SATA laptop disk drives or solid state drives can be used. Apple offers a 128GB ($500 option) solid state drive as build to order options on the high end MacBook Pro. It also references a 256GB SSD option in internal documentation, although that isn't currently presented as a build to order option.

RAM

The new machines all ship with 2GB of RAM, apart from the high end MacBook Pro model which ships with 4GB of RAM. For best performance the RAM must be installed in matching pairs, and the system only supports 1GB or 2GB parts for a total of either the 2GB minimum configuration or the 4GB maximum.

There are no 4GB parts available yet in the 1066 MHz, "PC-8500" specification, but the MacBooks only support a total of 4GB of RAM anyway. It appears, but is not definitely confirmed, that the new machines will not ever be able to support 4GB parts for a total of 8GB. In the past, Apple has sometimes listed maximum RAM limits that were later extended as newer RAM densities became available. As post Santa Rosa-style architectures, the new MacBooks can fully address all 4GB of RAM, but there is no reason for believing that they could address more than 4GB.

The two RAM slots are only accessible after removing the battery bay cover, the battery, and then taking off the back cover which is held in place by 8 screws. This is more work than the RAM slots that were accessible from inside the battery bay on the MacBooks, and slightly more complicated than removing the partial cover on the previous-generation MacBook Pro.
post #2 of 53
Am I the only one not too super excited for these?

Maybe it's because I already a fairly new computer...
post #3 of 53
"A backlit keyboard can be ordered as a custom option on the lower end new MacBook"

How do I order this as a custom option? I didn't see it when I ordered it, neither do I browsing the configure the page now.
post #4 of 53
Anyone knows if the Nvidia chipset supports DDR2 RAM? I've two sticks of 2gb DDR2 that would be going to waste if the new MacBook doesn't support them.
post #5 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

The two RAM slots are only accessible after removing the battery bay cover, the battery, and then taking off the back cover which is held in place by 8 screws. This is more work than the RAM slots that were accessible from inside the battery bay on the MacBooks, and slightly more complicated than removing the partial cover on the previous-generation MacBook Pro.

However now that Apple supplies a workable amount of RAM (2GB) to start with, and charges a price we can at least live with for the bump (4GB total for another $150), installation isn't really that important an issue. Even if you do it yourself it'll be a one time thing.
post #6 of 53
"A backlit keyboard can be ordered as a custom option on the lower end new MacBook."

How can this be ordered and from whom? It isn't one of the options that are selectable when you add the 2.0Ghz model to the cart.
post #7 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by epiphany View Post

Anyone knows if the Nvidia chipset supports DDR2 RAM? I've two sticks of 2gb DDR2 that would be going to waste if the new MacBook doesn't support them.

The chipset might, but the Macbooks certainly don't. Different physical pinout for DDR3 vs DDR2.

/Adrian
post #8 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

A backlit keyboard can be ordered as a custom option on the lower end new MacBook

Not true.
post #9 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by BrettInLJ View Post

"A backlit keyboard can be ordered as a custom option on the lower end new MacBook."

How can this be ordered and from whom? It isn't one of the options that are selectable when you add the 2.0Ghz model to the cart.

This is what I was looking for too. The memory & HD I'll probably upgrade myself as it's so simple, and Apple's prices are so !

That's the only upgrade I was miffed about on the £949 model (I'm in the UK) .
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post #10 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by BrettInLJ View Post

"A backlit keyboard can be ordered as a custom option on the lower end new MacBook."

How can this be ordered and from whom? It isn't one of the options that are selectable when you add the 2.0Ghz model to the cart.

I'm not sure where Price got this information. I've removed that line of text until I can get some clarification from him. Sorry guys.

K
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post #11 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by BrettInLJ View Post

"A backlit keyboard can be ordered as a custom option on the lower end new MacBook."

How can this be ordered and from whom? It isn't one of the options that are selectable when you add the 2.0Ghz model to the cart.

Yesterday's page for the 2.0Ghz model said that the backlit keyboard was standard. Today, when I checked the page, the error had been corrected. As far as I know, the backlit keyboard is not an option for the $1299 MacBook.
post #12 of 53
But my money is on the next iMac upgrade which will be early next year will be able to handle 8GB and why wouldn't you with Snow Leopard on the way.
post #13 of 53
I was also under the impression the backlit keyboards were standard on all Apple's new laptops.
post #14 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by DCJ001 View Post

Yesterday's page for the 2.0Ghz model said that the backlit keyboard was standard. Today, when I checked the page, the error had been corrected. As far as I know, the backlit keyboard is not an option for the $1299 MacBook.

OK it appears Apple made some last minute changes and hasn't updated all their documentation properly. We have source material that listed this as an option (Prince should have double checked the online store). And as you mention, Apple also listed a similar error on its public pages.

Sorry again for the false alarm, guys.

K
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post #15 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Keyboard...

All models can accommodate a backlit keyboard, although it comes standard only on the MacBook Pro and the higher end MacBook model.

Not true: It cannot be added on, in any way, shape or form, to the 13" 2.0GHz (aluminum) MacBook. It's simply not an option.

In fact, I know this isn't merely a mistake on the website cause Steve mentions it in the stream of the event. To get a backlit keyboard in a 13" model you have no choice but to choose the 2.4GHz one.

EDIT: Just saw your post above this one Kasp.
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 #16 of 53
Yesterday when I attempted to place my order for the $1299 MacBook, the backlit keyboard option was already checked, meaning that it came as a standard feature. Remembering that Jobs' slide clearly showed it was only a feature of the $1599 model, I called Apple. After the tech went off to check on this (twice), he finally stated that the website was in error. No backlight is available for the $1299 model, period. To ease my disappointment he offered a $50 discount on the $1599 model. I took it.
post #17 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wings View Post

Yesterday when I attempted to place my order for the $1299 MacBook, the backlit keyboard option was already checked, meaning that it came as a standard feature. Remembering that Jobs' slide clearly showed it was only a feature of the $1599 model, I called Apple. After the tech went off to check on this (twice), he finally stated that the website was in error. No backlight is available for the $1299 model, period. To ease my disappointment he offered a $50 discount on the $1599 model. I took it.

That's good service. Though a big disappointment.
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 #18 of 53
Is this keyboard backlighting?



I know the [oval highlight] is the sleep light, but what is that thing I highlighted with the rectangle?

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 #19 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ireland View Post

Is this keyboard backlighting?



I know the [oval highlight] is the sleep light, but what is that thing I highlighted with the rectangle?


Yes, those are the keyboard brightness controls. That rectangle next to the sleep light is most likely the infrared window for the Apple Remote.
post #20 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by Haggar View Post

Yes, those are the keyboard brightness controls. That rectangle next to the sleep light is most likely the infrared window for the Apple Remote.

Thanking you.
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 #21 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by DCJ001 View Post

Yesterday's page for the 2.0Ghz model said that the backlit keyboard was standard. Today, when I checked the page, the error had been corrected. As far as I know, the backlit keyboard is not an option for the $1299 MacBook.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kasper View Post

OK it appears Apple made some last minute changes and hasn't updated all their documentation properly. We have source material that listed this as an option (Prince should have double checked the online store). And as you mention, Apple also listed a similar error on its public pages.

Sorry again for the false alarm, guys.

K

I remember seeing it as standard on the $1299 model yesterday also. However, Jobs said that it would only be on the pricier model. That being said, you're correct in that it was on the $1299 version yesterday but not today!
post #22 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

...Also hidden behind the lockable panel is the hard drive and RAM. The hard drive is held in place under the removable panel with a simple bracket attached with a single screw. Unscrew the strip and the drive pulls out for easy access and replacement...

Hallelujah!

It's about time a laptop have a drive as easy to remove as from a Dell!
Corporate America has needed this for discoveries and Sarbanes-Oxley.
Thank you Apple!
post #23 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ireland View Post

That's good service. Though a big disappointment.

Apple should make the backlit keyboard an option for the $1,299 model. It's such a great feature I wish they'd make it standard across the board. Maybe it's another fix in the works for the store website ?

And how about a full size backlit USB keyboard for my iMac ? I'd give up my full sized wireless keyboard for that and pay nicely for it too.

eliotw
post #24 of 53
Today I purchased two Macbook 2.4Ghz machines with backlighting. Overall I am impressed with these machines but was surprised to find a remote was not included. My iMac remote works fine with the MacBook.
post #25 of 53
The stuff about the memory is totally information free. Yes we know that they say that Apple say 4GB max for both MB and MBP. The question is does the hardware support it? I would think there is no OS limitation because MacPros already support greater than 4GBs memory.

Does anyone have any solid information. Put aside the fact that there are no 4G SIMMs, they will come.
post #26 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by djsincla View Post

Today I purchased two Macbook 2.4Ghz machines with backlighting. Overall I am impressed with these machines but was surprised to find a remote was not included. My iMac remote works fine with the MacBook.

Apple stopped including remotes with MacBooks at the last MacBook product update. They're listed as an option when a MacBook is bought online at the Apple Store for only $19 more.

Not including them makes sense to me. If someone has more than one Mac, why would they need more than one remote? If another one is needed, it can be purchased. Plus, not including them with new MacBooks reduces costs - increases profits somewhat.
post #27 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Liquid submersion indicators

would've been cool if they somehow utilized these indicators to protect the computer.
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post #28 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by merdhead View Post

The stuff about the memory is totally information free. Yes we know that they say that Apple say 4GB max for both MB and MBP. The question is does the hardware support it? I would think there is no OS limitation because MacPros already support greater than 4GBs memory.

Does anyone have any solid information. Put aside the fact that there are no 4G SIMMs, they will come.

They're available now. They're just not priced where the average mortal can afford them.

http://www.crucial.com/store/partspe...=CT51264BC1067
post #29 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by JimDreamworx View Post

Hallelujah!

It's about time a laptop have a drive as easy to remove as from a Dell!
Corporate America has needed this for discoveries and Sarbanes-Oxley.
Thank you Apple!

Don't you mean a hard drive as easy to STEAL, just like a Dell? Not sure if this is such a great idea. Now the hard drive can be stolen within seconds, rather than having to remove the entire back cover and series of mounting screws. Even the prior MacBook required slightly extra effort to remove the drive. Now a system with confidential data can be compromised in seconds.
post #30 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by merdhead View Post

The stuff about the memory is totally information free. Yes we know that they say that Apple say 4GB max for both MB and MBP. The question is does the hardware support it? I would think there is no OS limitation because MacPros already support greater than 4GBs memory.

Does anyone have any solid information. Put aside the fact that there are no 4G SIMMs, they will come.

There can be two limitations:

1. The OS limits the amount of RAM accessible. This is unlikely, since Leopard is a 64-bit OS that has been purpously developed to overcome the 4GiB limit that plagues the 32-bits OS. Yet, that limitation might be enforced in the BIOS and not overcome by Leopard. In this case, an other OS might give different results.

2. The hardware limits it, that is to say there is no spare address lines on the RAM connector. Might be. In which case there is simply nothing that can be done. A few years ago, this was simple to test with a plain ohmmeter. Now, you cannot access chipset pins with those BGA packages, so you have to put an oscilloscope or a logic analyser to capture any transition happening eg. on the A32 or A33 signal. That's the only way to be sure the pin is connected to the chipset, apart from, of course, connecting 4 GiB modules.
post #31 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


The two RAM slots are only accessible after removing the battery bay cover, the battery, and then taking off the back cover which is held in place by 8 screws. This is more work than the RAM slots that were accessible from inside the battery bay on the MacBooks, and slightly more complicated than removing the partial cover on the previous-generation MacBook Pro.

And you can do this without voiding the warranty, right?
post #32 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by EauVive View Post

There can be two limitations:

1. The OS limits the amount of RAM accessible. This is unlikely, since Leopard is a 64-bit OS that has been purpously developed to overcome the 4GiB limit that plagues the 32-bits OS. Yet, that limitation might be enforced in the BIOS and not overcome by Leopard. In this case, an other OS might give different results.

2. The hardware limits it, that is to say there is no spare address lines on the RAM connector. Might be. In which case there is simply nothing that can be done. A few years ago, this was simple to test with a plain ohmmeter. Now, you cannot access chipset pins with those BGA packages, so you have to put an oscilloscope or a logic analyser to capture any transition happening eg. on the A32 or A33 signal. That's the only way to be sure the pin is connected to the chipset, apart from, of course, connecting 4 GiB modules.

Well actually the 4GB modules are here
http://www.crucial.com/store/partspe...=ya08&cpe=ya08

The question is will they work. My guess is that you can install them but the chipset will only recognize 6.8GB (8GB minus chipset and graphics addresses) That is my hope. I just don't want to spend the money before I know it is true.
post #33 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rasmoose View Post

And you can do this without voiding the warranty, right?

Right!
post #34 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by gonzo2 View Post

Well actually the 4GB modules are here
http://www.crucial.com/store/partspe...=ya08&cpe=ya08

The question is will they work. My guess is that you can install them but the chipset will only recognize 6.8GB (8GB minus chipset and graphics addresses) That is my hope. I just don't want to spend the money before I know it is true.

As has been mentioned, the lines on the sockets mat not be there.

Apple could have limited this for the reason of power. 8 Gb will get hotter than 4 GB, and shorten the battery run time.
post #35 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

As has been mentioned, the lines on the sockets mat not be there.
Apple could have limited this for the reason of power. 8 Gb will get hotter than 4 GB, and shorten the battery run time.

This might be true at first, when higher capacities are achieved by stuffing more chips on the module. Now, when the next generation of RAM comes out, the capacity is multiplied by 4 without any significant increase in consumption, because the transistor size is diminished and the leakage also.

At that, note that Apple pretends that battery life is the same regardless of the amount of RAM installed (2 or 4).
post #36 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by EauVive View Post

This might be true at first, when higher capacities are achieved by stuffing more chips on the module. Now, when the next generation of RAM comes out, the capacity is multiplied by 4 without any significant increase in consumption, because the transistor size is diminished and the leakage also.

At that, note that Apple pretends that battery life is the same regardless of the amount of RAM installed (2 or 4).

Regardless, going from 4 to 8 will result in more power being used, as well as more heat.
post #37 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

Regardless, going from 4 to 8 will result in more power being used, as well as more heat.

Well, I've just checked on the Micron inc. website: they offer 2 as well as 4 GB SODIMM PC-1033. The 2 GB module sucks at most 3.2 A (3.2 A × 1.5 V is 4.8 W), whereas the 4 GB consumption is 3.6 A (3.6 A × 1.5 V is 5.4 W). The net difference is 600 mW. Twice that is 1.2 W.

On a 5-hour use, it means 4 Ah net difference (2 × 0.4 A × 5 h). I guess it will not hamper the autonomy that much. Given that the typical figures are going to be much less than those overpessimistic estimations.
post #38 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by eliotw View Post

Apple should make the backlit keyboard an option for the $1,299 model. It's such a great feature I wish they'd make it standard across the board. Maybe it's another fix in the works for the store website ?

And how about a full size backlit USB keyboard for my iMac ? I'd give up my full sized wireless keyboard for that and pay nicely for it too.

eliotw

I would love to see it being an option for the $1,299 model, too, but people will hardly go for their higher model if they do so. Speed bump etc. don't justify that $300.
post #39 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by DCJ001 View Post

Apple stopped including remotes with MacBooks at the last MacBook product update. They're listed as an option when a MacBook is bought online at the Apple Store for only $19 more.

Not including them makes sense to me. If someone has more than one Mac, why would they need more than one remote? If another one is needed, it can be purchased. Plus, not including them with new MacBooks reduces costs - increases profits somewhat.

Kind of like how some airlines now make you every single piece of checked luggage. You can justify it just like the airlines do, but in reality it's just plain shitty.

Incidentally, if you've got more than one Mac, wouldn't pairing the same remote with both of them be a bad idea? Unless you like both of your computers to play music/movies simultaneously...
post #40 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by hillstones View Post

Don't you mean a hard drive as easy to STEAL, just like a Dell? Not sure if this is such a great idea. Now the hard drive can be stolen within seconds, rather than having to remove the entire back cover and series of mounting screws. Even the prior MacBook required slightly extra effort to remove the drive. Now a system with confidential data can be compromised in seconds.

The article mentions that the entire panel can be locked, i think. A friend of mine works at an apple store, and says that 4-5 MBPro batteries would get stolen from display models every week over the past couple years. The new ones are behind a cover, which apparently will be locked somehow in the store.
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