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

Posted:
in Current Mac Hardware edited January 2014
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.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 84
    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.
  • Reply 2 of 84
    kiweekiwee Posts: 102member
    That is one huge piece of machinery. A monster.

    Now give us the test of the Magic mouse.
  • Reply 3 of 84
    quadra 610quadra 610 Posts: 6,743member
    Looks a lot like the insides of my old iMac Core Duo from '06. Well, the layout is reminiscent.
  • Reply 4 of 84
    kiweekiwee Posts: 102member
    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.
  • Reply 5 of 84
    teckstudteckstud Posts: 6,476member
    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.
  • Reply 6 of 84
    teckstudteckstud Posts: 6,476member
    LG? Who knew?
  • Reply 7 of 84
    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.
  • Reply 8 of 84
    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.
  • Reply 9 of 84
    sheffsheff Posts: 1,407member
    Damn look at those "gigantic" heat sinks. Next iMac I want liquid cooling
  • Reply 10 of 84
    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. =)
  • Reply 11 of 84
    irelandireland Posts: 17,584member
    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.
  • Reply 12 of 84
    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/
  • Reply 13 of 84
    rob55rob55 Posts: 1,255member
    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.
  • Reply 14 of 84
    msanttimsantti Posts: 1,377member
    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.
  • Reply 15 of 84
    msanttimsantti Posts: 1,377member
    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..
  • Reply 16 of 84
    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.
  • Reply 17 of 84
    eriamjheriamjh Posts: 1,121member
    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!
  • Reply 18 of 84
    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.
  • Reply 19 of 84
    charlitunacharlituna Posts: 7,215member
    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.
  • Reply 20 of 84
    eckingecking Posts: 1,588member
    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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