Teardown of 27" Retina iMac reveals identical parts, construction as last-gen model

Posted:
in Current Mac Hardware edited October 2014
The team at iFixit recently completed a teardown of Apple's new iMac with 5K Retina display and found the all-in-one to be nearly identical to previous models, save for the ultra high-resolution screen.


Source:iFixit


Images of the teardown process were posted to iFixit's website on Friday, showing the internal components and overall construction of Apple's latest iMac are virtually the same as last year's revision.

The one big change, as made obvious by the computer's name, is the 27-inch 5,120-by-2,880 pixel 5K Retina panel that Apple managed to squeeze into the slim aluminum chassis. In this case, the screen was made by LG, a known Apple supplier that provides Retina displays for other products like the Retina MacBook Pro and certain iPad models.

When Apple revealed the new iMac on Thursday, it touted a slew of new technologies created just for the huge Retina display, including a specialized timing controller iFixit found attached to a long, thin circuit board running the length of the panel. Other chips found on the display board:
  • Texas Instruments NH245 8-Bit Dual-Supply Bus Transceiver
  • Texas Instruments BUF16821 Programmable Gamma-Voltage Generator and Vcom Calibrator
  • Parade Technologies DP665 LCD Timing Controller (possibly an Apple modified version of the DP663 LCD Timing Controller)
  • Texas Instruments TPS65270 Monolithic Dual Synchronous Buck Regulator
  • Texas Instruments TPS65168 High Resolution Fully Programmable LCD Bias IC for TV
The data cable running between the logic board and display is wider in the Retina iMac to support additional bandwidth requirements. The remainder of the build is almost exactly the same as the non-Retina 27-inch iMac.

Apple did take the opportunity to refresh the iMac's processor and GPU, however, and the new models come with next-generation Intel Core i5 and i7 processors, as well as AMD Radeon 290X and 295X graphics units.

The new iMac with Retina 5K display is currently available for order from the Online Apple Store and MacMall.com ($2,494.00), with MacMall offering the added benefit of only collecting sales tax in a handful of states. More resellers are expected to start carrying the product over the next few weeks and those in the market can check AppleInsider's Price Guides for the latest stock information.

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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 58
    ibeamibeam Posts: 322member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post



     

    • Texas Instruments NH245 8-Bit Dual-Supply Bus Transceiver

    • Texas Instruments BUF16821 Programmable Gamma-Voltage Generator and Vcom Calibrator

    • Parade Technologies DP665 LCD Timing Controller (possibly an Apple modified version of the DP663 LCD Timing Controller)

    • Texas Instruments TPS65270 Monolithic Dual Synchronous Buck Regulator

    • Texas Instruments TPS65168 High Resolution Fully Programmable LCD Bias IC for TV


    Texas Instruments is one great company. Right up there with Apple in terms history and ethical business practices. They actually invented the integrated circuit and still hard at work perfecting it.

  • Reply 2 of 58
    bdkennedy1bdkennedy1 Posts: 1,459member
    They didn't upgrade any of the non-retina iMacs either, which means it's going to be another year. Damn you, Intel!
  • Reply 3 of 58
    bobschlobbobschlob Posts: 1,074member

    Goddammit! Every single time these guys come out with a "New" Mac it has the same identical parts as the previous model did (with the exception of the parts that are new, that is)

  • Reply 4 of 58
    Those who can, do.
    Those who can't, tear things down.
  • Reply 5 of 58
    gilly33gilly33 Posts: 442member
    Great info but sickening how these guys tear down stuff. Gee
  • Reply 6 of 58
    Quote:


    Apple did take the opportunity to refresh the iMac's processor and GPU, however, and the new models come with next-generation Intel Core i5 and i7 processors, as well as AMD Radeon 290X and 295X graphics units.


     

    That's a pretty crappy title considering Apple DID update some of the important things like processor and graphics.  Unless I'm just misunderstanding the quoted sentence above, the author ought to be ashamed of himself.

  • Reply 7 of 58
    jakebjakeb Posts: 563member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by gilly33 View Post



    Great info but sickening how these guys tear down stuff. Gee



    It's ok, these guys are experts. I'm sure they managed to put it all back together. 

  • Reply 8 of 58
    sflocalsflocal Posts: 6,105member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by bdkennedy1 View Post



    They didn't upgrade any of the non-retina iMacs either, which means it's going to be another year. Damn you, Intel!



    Agree... had Broadwell come with this new iMac, I'd be ordering one right now.  My 2009 iMac is beginning to show its age... albeit slowly.



    When Broadwell comes out, it's time to buy. :)

  • Reply 9 of 58
    ibeam wrote: »
    Texas Instruments is one great company. Right up there with Apple in terms history and ethical business practices. They actually invented the integrated circuit and still hard at work perfecting it.

    Yep. Even though they got out of mobile SOC design they still do good stuff. Like IBM these days.
  • Reply 10 of 58
    rob53rob53 Posts: 3,263member

    Upgraded CPUs and GPUs, Thunderbolt 2 plus the 5K display all for only a few hundred dollars more than the old version makes for a great upgrade. iFixit mentioned finding a lot the same but I see the similar/identical items (flash storage, RAM, cooling system, etc.) to simply be stock items that don't need upgrading at this time. The skeleton of the iMac doesn't have to change either, it's fine how it is (except for those who want to open them up all the time). Except for the use of double-sided tape to hold the display to the frame, there isn't that much inside to mess with. Apple has really reduced the complexity of the construction, circuit boards and everything else providing fewer things to break.

  • Reply 11 of 58
    asciiascii Posts: 5,936member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by BobSchlob View Post

     

    Goddammit! Every single time these guys come out with a "New" Mac it has the same identical parts as the previous model did (with the exception of the parts that are new, that is)




    I know. It's bloody ridiculous. A new CPU, GPU and world leading screen. When are they going to upgrade something significant? It's just the same identical parts year after year. :)

  • Reply 12 of 58
    gtrgtr Posts: 3,231member
    bobschlob wrote: »
    Goddammit! Every single time these guys come out with a "New" Mac it has the same identical parts as the previous model did (with the exception of the parts that are new, that is)

    When you take the time to do it right, why change?

    Reminds me of the saying:

    "Of course I don't look busy - I did it right the first time."

    ????
  • Reply 13 of 58
    slurpyslurpy Posts: 5,385member

    The arrangement of internal components is only a year old, in which they completely redesigned the iMac. No need to rebuild the iMac from the ground up again. 

  • Reply 15 of 58
    bugsnwbugsnw Posts: 717member

    I bet Apple wanted Broadwell in this new iMac in the worst way. Is it just me or did Schiller seem a little under enthused during his presentation? It's like he took a Xanax.

     

    If that's iFixit's take, that its all the same inside the new iMac except the monitor, that's a bit disingenuous. I'm a couple years from updating my iMac anyhow so I'm sure the innards will be up to iFixit's standards by then.

  • Reply 16 of 58
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 13,377member
    thetorrey wrote: »
    That's a pretty crappy title considering Apple DID update some of the important things like processor and graphics.  Unless I'm just misunderstanding the quoted sentence above, the author ought to be ashamed of himself.

    The title borders on being unethical if you ask me. Apple is delivering very significant updates to the hardware that is most important for supporting the new panel. This should be considered a major update. Yeah it sucks that Broadwell isn't there but let's be honest it might never ship.
  • Reply 17 of 58
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 13,377member
    sflocal wrote: »

    Agree... had Broadwell come with this new iMac, I'd be ordering one right now.  My 2009 iMac is beginning to show its age... albeit slowly.
    Broadwell might never come out in an iMac. By the time this machine is ready for a refresh SkyLake or whatever it is called should be ready. That would be a nice upgrade, a new architecture with DDR 4 support.

    When Broadwell comes out, it's time to buy. :)

    Not "when" but rather if. I can honestly see Apple saying screw it to Intel and telling them to get SkyLake on line or get lost. If Broadwell ships in early 2015 (doubtful) and they wait until this time next year to refresh then they might as well demand SkyLake from Intel.

    It is sad that Intel is screwing up so badly here but at least they aren't as bad off as AMD. I have this feeling though that if Broadwell does come it will be after mid year 2015. At least In a desktop form. Further I hope I'm wrong.
  • Reply 18 of 58
    Title: latest iMac identical to last gen

    Footnote at end of article: with updated screen, CPU, graphics, and thunderbolt 2
  • Reply 19 of 58
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 10,557member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post



    Those who can, do.

    Those who can't, tear things down.



    And then bitch about how it was made.

  • Reply 20 of 58
    Just wait until Broadwell! The iMac battery will last for 10 hours¡
    So disappointed this still has Thunderbolt 2. That was so last year. Thunderbolt is getting stale¡
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