Teardown of 2012 MacBook Air finds revised flash memory connector

Posted:
in Current Mac Hardware edited January 2014
Apple's new Ivy Bridge-equipped MacBook Air features a design largely the same as its predecessor, though a few minor tweaks have been implemented, most significantly a redesigned connector for the flash memory module.

The new MacBook Air was disassembled for a closer look on Tuesday by iFixit. They found a Toshiba flash memory module with a completely new design based on a SandForce SATA-III controller chip.

Other changes to the MacBook Air are much smaller. For example, symbols identifying the ports on the side of the thin-and-light notebook have been moved from the right side of the ports t the left.

The new 13-inch MacBook Air, model A1466, also features the new, smaller MagSafe 2 power adapter on its left side, along with a USB 3.0 port and the headphone jack. Also included along the left side is a new microphone.

Even though the new MacBook Airs features Intel Ivy Bridge chips, the notebook's thermal management is the same as last year. The solutions provider said the diminutive heat sink used on the ultra-low voltage chip is "a testament to modern processor efficiency."

Teardown 1


The 2012 MacBook Air also features the same Broadcom BCM4322 Intesifi Single-Chip 802.11n Wi-Fi Transceiver, and Broadcom BCM20702 Single-Chip Bluetooth 4.0 Processor with Bluetooth Low Energy support. The stereo speaker design is also identical to models released in 2011 and 2010.

The similarities between the new and previous MacBook Air are so numerous that iFixit began to take note of various stickers on certain components that have been rotated from their previous positions.

Teardown 2


Teardown 3


Teardown 4

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 17
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 12,667member
    Nice but where is the 15" retina tear down?
  • Reply 2 of 17
    eriamjheriamjh Posts: 1,098member
    Not available, yet. Patience.
  • Reply 3 of 17
    ramkramk Posts: 13member


    I was expecting Samsung SSD in the new MacBook Air. 

  • Reply 4 of 17
    jamesjpnjamesjpn Posts: 31member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by RAMK View Post


    I was expecting Samsung SSD in the new MacBook Air. 





    I would agree RAMK.  Last year a bit of a deal was made out of the speed difference between the Toshiba SSD and Samsung's, with Samsung coming out on top.

  • Reply 5 of 17
    palegolaspalegolas Posts: 1,273member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post



    Nice but where is the 15" retina tear down?


    It's the wholy ark.. untearable. ;-)

  • Reply 6 of 17
    isaidsoisaidso Posts: 750member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by JamesJpn View Post




    I would agree RAMK.  Last year a bit of a deal was made out of the speed difference between the Toshiba SSD and Samsung's, with Samsung coming out on top.



    I too was going to ask about this issue.


    Does anyone know yet, if the speed of this new(er) Toshiba is same as the one in the various older MBAs? Any difference?


    Also, how about between what's in the 11" and what's in the 13"; any difference?

  • Reply 7 of 17
    ronboronbo Posts: 669member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post



    Nice but where is the 15" retina tear down?


     


    No one could bear to part with it.

  • Reply 8 of 17
    myapplelovemyapplelove Posts: 1,515member


    The burning questions are:


     


    Is it user replaceable or does it void the warranty?


     


    Are toshi allowed to sell these babies to us separately or not?


     


    In other words and what with the soldered ram, has the flagship pro notebook become an ipod or not?

  • Reply 9 of 17
    tylerk36tylerk36 Posts: 1,037member


    I think the miniaturization of components is fascinating.  The fact that micro board and how machines create them is incredible.  I bet some day Apple will have a Macbook air main board the size of actual processor chip.  Now that would be cool.

  • Reply 10 of 17
    paulmjohnsonpaulmjohnson Posts: 1,380member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by tylerk36 View Post


    I think the miniaturization of components is fascinating.  The fact that micro board and how machines create them is incredible.  I bet some day Apple will have a Macbook air main board the size of actual processor chip.  Now that would be cool.



     


    Systems on chip exist now (mobile phone processors for the most part are), so that kind of already exists.


     


    The additional cost per power benefit of manufacturing components separately will mean this won't be used a lot for some time yet though.

  • Reply 11 of 17


    I can't believe Apple came out with this. I just bought the previous model. I want the Retina MBP =)

  • Reply 12 of 17
    bsenkabsenka Posts: 799member


    RAM still soldered on. :(


     


    I understand why it is from a space perspective, doesn't mean I like it. I've had RAM go bad on me enough times that not being able to quickly swap it out and keep working makes me really nervous.

  • Reply 13 of 17
    ksecksec Posts: 1,545member


    Well the Sandforce controller is much faster then Samsung. Although it seems to be performing slower with Apple's firmware. I would have expected the new Toshiba Controller though, top notch performance with ultra low stand by power.

  • Reply 14 of 17
    jragostajragosta Posts: 10,473member
    From the iFixit pictures, it looks like the SSD is not interchangeable between the MBA and MBP. That's unfortunate.
  • Reply 15 of 17
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by jragosta View Post

    From the iFixit pictures, it looks like the SSD is not interchangeable between the MBA and MBP. That's unfortunate.


     


    It's also not interchangeable between any previous Air and the current Air.

  • Reply 16 of 17
    jragostajragosta Posts: 10,473member
    bsenka wrote: »
    RAM still soldered on. :(

    I understand why it is from a space perspective, doesn't mean I like it. I've had RAM go bad on me enough times that not being able to quickly swap it out and keep working makes me really nervous.

    I think you have it backwards. RAM is far, far more likely to fail with a DIMM than if it's soldered to the motherboard. Most of the RAM failures you saw are likely due to one of two things:
    1. Selection of cheap third party RAM
    2. Improper insertion or DIMM worked its way loose over time.

    Apple's soldering of RAM which meets their specs solves both of those problems - so it's more likely that you'll never have a bad RAM problem again. Not impossible, but probable.
  • Reply 17 of 17
    aquaticaquatic Posts: 5,602member


    Does the SD Card still stick out of the case?  

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