Teardown of 12" MacBook with Retina display reveals tiny logic board, massive battery [u]

Posted:
in Current Mac Hardware edited April 2015
After it debuted last week to mixed reviews, Apple's all new 12-inch MacBook was dissected by a Chinese owner on Tuesday, who subsequently posted images of the teardown online.

MBP
Source: Feng.com


Photos of what appears to be a fairly comprehensive disassembly process were posted to Chinese website Feng.com, with user "lilin7591" chronicling everything from OS X setup to close-up shots of individual components.

As seen in the images above and below, Apple didn't have much space to work with in the new MacBook's ultra-slim chassis. Due to physical constraints, Apple moves away from previous unibody designs, instead shoehorning the logic board on the bottom cover between a huge array of terraced battery cells. Virtually every nook and cranny is stuffed with a component, battery or cable.

MBP


Without fans there are few moving parts in Apple's MacBook. The keyboard, redesigned with butterfly switches to achieve maximum thinness, can be considered MacBook's single largest part. Situated just beneath is Apple's new Force Touch trackpad, which sports a haptic feedback motor to simulate clicks.

MBP


Impressively, Apple was able to shrink down the MacBook's logic board to a size nearly as small as the Force Touch trackpad. Looking closely at individual components, it appears Apple went with parts from the usual players including Elpida, Toshiba, Texas Instruments and others.

MBP


Other odds and ends include small upward-firing speakers attached to wireless antennas, an all-metal display hinge with integrated clutch, a tiny headphone module, connectors, ribbon cables and more.

MBP


With such radical internal changes -- and the concessions made to get there -- it's clear that the new MacBook is Apple's next step toward "reinventing" the laptop.

Update: Repair site iFixit posted its own teardown late Tuesday night, replete with the usual high resolution photos, chip identification and commentary. Unfortunately, copious amounts of glue, specialized screws, brackets and other engineering trickery afforded a repairability score of 1 out of 10.


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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 34
    adrayvenadrayven Posts: 460member
    Skylake will be where Apple, and other OEMS, can fully realize this type of design's true potential. Thats once it's combined with Skylake's wireless device connectivity and charging technology. Making the USB-C port(s) used only occasionally and truly realizing a nearly wireless existence.
  • Reply 2 of 34
    usb-usb- Posts: 22member

    I wonder how hot this thing will run

  • Reply 3 of 34
    cash907cash907 Posts: 893member
    This is going to be a great laptop. Next year.
  • Reply 4 of 34
    fallenjtfallenjt Posts: 3,976member
    Did we see this logic board somewhere a few weeks ago?
  • Reply 5 of 34
    zozmanzozman Posts: 391member

    The keynote 'revealed' all this stuff :P

  • Reply 6 of 34
    sflocalsflocal Posts: 4,537member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Adrayven View Post



    Skylake will be where Apple, and other OEMS, can fully realize this type of design's true potential. Thats once it's combined with Skylake's wireless device connectivity and charging technology. Making the USB-C port(s) used only occasionally and truly realizing a nearly wireless existence.



    I agree.  I'm waiting for a Skylake iMac.  The 5K iMac almost got me, but couldn't press the "buy" button because of that.  I think Apple is going to go through another serious product lineup by end of this year, or 1Q next year.

  • Reply 7 of 34
    fallenjtfallenjt Posts: 3,976member
    Seriously I don't know why the F fandroids are so denial about Apple products such as this MacBook. From the design to technologies put into this laptop, it blows the sh.t other laptops out of water. Apple always set the bar so high. I feel sorry for fandroids who never had any real user experience like Apple users.
  • Reply 8 of 34
    singularitysingularity Posts: 1,329member
    fallenjt wrote: »
    Seriously I don't know why the F fandroids are so denial about Apple products such as this MacBook. From the design to technologies put into this laptop, it blows the sh.t other laptops out of water. Apple always set the bar so high. I feel sorry for fandroids who never had any real user experience like Apple users.
    I feel sorry for those who put themselves in a self imposed ghetto and can't see usefulness in anything outside.
  • Reply 9 of 34
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by sflocal View Post

     



    I agree.  I'm waiting for a Skylake iMac.  The 5K iMac almost got me, but couldn't press the "buy" button because of that.  I think Apple is going to go through another serious product lineup by end of this year, or 1Q next year.




    I bit the bullet and bought the new 5K iMac. My late 2009 27" became dead slow after I updated the OS to Yosemite. So I'm hoping they don't release an 8K iMac soon! Performance improvements on the next iteration, I can live with though!

  • Reply 10 of 34
    staticx57staticx57 Posts: 399member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by fallenjt View Post



    Seriously I don't know why the F fandroids are so denial about Apple products such as this MacBook. From the design to technologies put into this laptop, it blows the sh.t other laptops out of water. Apple always set the bar so high. I feel sorry for fandroids who never had any real user experience like Apple users.

    Not seeing how a smartphone OS and a desktop/laptop OS are related.

  • Reply 11 of 34
    sflocalsflocal Posts: 4,537member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by BestKeptSecret View Post

     



    I bit the bullet and bought the new 5K iMac. My late 2009 27" became dead slow after I updated the OS to Yosemite. So I'm hoping they don't release an 8K iMac soon! Performance improvements on the next iteration, I can live with though!




    I also have the late 2009 27" iMac as well - Quad i7.  It's been my trusty workhorse all these years.  I too am running Yosemite on it as well, but I've had zero problems with it.  What configuration is yours?



    Only issue is one of the fans makes a very subtle ticking-noise that I got used to.  I installed a 1TB SSD drive about a 18 months ago which breathed new life to it.  Even with that, it's showing its age... I do some serious work on it, at times running several virtual machines on it concurrently... It's time.  Even with the 16TB of RAM, I'm finding I need even more than that more often.



    That 5K was very tempting... went to see it, loved the display... but then that "Skylake" whisper got to be a bit loud. :)  I am hoping that 8K iMac rumor is true.  I'd jump on it with certainty.



    Upgraded Thunderbolt, USB-C, 5K (or 8K) display, superfast NVM SSD drives... it's sounding better and better. :)

  • Reply 12 of 34
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 14,213moderator
    usb- wrote: »
    I wonder how hot this thing will run

    Anandtech has an in-depth review:

    http://www.anandtech.com/show/9136/the-2015-macbook-review/9

    Under gaming and heavy benchmarking, they found the base temperature reached 43 degrees Celsius. Body temperature is 37. They say these temperatures would be uncomfortable to touch but shouldn't be a problem. The CPU is in the middle at the back so the hot spot is probably more isolated like in the iPads.
  • Reply 13 of 34
    lightknightlightknight Posts: 2,312member


     

     

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

    Amazing new information, not.


     


     


    ?

    Hey Ai... That's not much of a "reveal", the Apple "macbook" page shows it already, as well the event you covered, (before getting drunk at the idea that you had to wait before you could buy?)

    Jus' sayin.


     

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Marvin View Post





    Anandtech has an in-depth review:



    http://www.anandtech.com/show/9136/the-2015-macbook-review/9



    Under gaming and heavy benchmarking, they found the base temperature reached 43 degrees Celsius. Body temperature is 37. They say these temperatures would be uncomfortable to touch but shouldn't be a problem. The CPU is in the middle at the back so the hot spot is probably more isolated like in the iPads.

     

    That's much more interesting, why put it in the comments?

  • Reply 14 of 34
    lightknightlightknight Posts: 2,312member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by sflocal View Post

     



    I also have the late 2009 27" iMac as well - Quad i7.  It's been my trusty workhorse all these years.  I too am running Yosemite on it as well, but I've had zero problems with it.  What configuration is yours?



     




    That's a weird issue he has, my 2009 iMacs run pretty fast too (even though the lower-RAM ones are slower, understandably). Maybe he needs to do a clean install? I find "plist cruft" can really cause weird and hard to debug issues, so I usually do a clean reinstall when upgrading my OS.

  • Reply 15 of 34
    Re: bestkeptsecret's comment: "My late 2009 27" became dead slow after I updated the OS to Yosemite."

    I had a similar experience with slowness after OS-upgrade of 2009 MacBook Pro.

    Can anyone explain this slowdown? I understand that each new OS version has additional features that potentially add some incremental drag, but the performance becomes SO slow that something must be going on under the covers. Has anyone used a performance-profiling tool on Apple hardware that is 5 years old -- but running a current Mac OS -- to identify the bottleneck?

    (And please don't say that Apple intentionally makes it run slower on older hardware in order to spur refresh sales; I'm not cynical enough to believe Apple would do that intentionally.)
  • Reply 16 of 34
    lightknightlightknight Posts: 2,312member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Slprescott View Post



    Re: bestkeptsecret's comment: "My late 2009 27" became dead slow after I updated the OS to Yosemite."



    I had a similar experience with slowness after OS-upgrade of 2009 MacBook Pro.



    Can anyone explain this slowdown? I understand that each new OS version has additional features that potentially add some incremental drag, but the performance becomes SO slow that something must be going on under the covers. Has anyone used a performance-profiling tool on Apple hardware that is 5 years old -- but running a current Mac OS -- to identify the bottleneck?



    (And please don't say that Apple intentionally makes it run slower on older hardware in order to spur refresh sales; I'm not cynical enough to believe Apple would do that intentionally.)

    From what I've understood after hanging around in the AppleInsider forums for a little bit:

    Apple optimizes (logically) for the new hardware releases, while being nice enough to provide the systems for free for a lot of older hardware.

    It is indeed quite different from "intentionally making software slower to spur sales of new hardware", which is likely to backfire after a few years.

  • Reply 17 of 34
    Lightnight: thanks for that answer.

    Regarding your earlier note on doing a clean install... 2 questions:

    1. Do you first purge / reformat your drive, or do you simply install a new OS on top of the existing image?

    2. To restore my files and apps after the clean OS install, can I restore them from a Time Machine image, or would that undermine the "clean"-ness by perpetuating any inefficiencies of the old config?

    Thanks.
  • Reply 18 of 34
    lightknightlightknight Posts: 2,312member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Slprescott View Post



    Lightnight: thanks for that answer.



    Regarding your earlier note on doing a clean install... 2 questions:



    1. Do you first purge / reformat your drive, or do you simply install a new OS on top of the existing image?



    2. To restore my files and apps after the clean OS install, can I restore them from a Time Machine image, or would that undermine the "clean"-ness by perpetuating any inefficiencies of the old config?



    Thanks.

    1- I purge and reformat, and I use a USB key (I have 5 macs to reinstall everytime, so it is much easier), but I use a NAS and a lot of the files are stored there, what is not is in Time Capsule, so it is much easier for me. The annoying part is redownloading the software (App Store helps, but things like Espresso mean I have to go and find my MacRabbit key etc).

    2- It depends a lot on your Time Machine settings. I only keep my Documents and things like iPhoto libraries, but the base config saves everything, which indeed undermines the cleanness in my opinion (while, however, simplifying the process).

     

    One simple option is to have the base Time Machine settings, do a reformat + USB install after manually saving the files you care about (iPhoto, iTunes library, Documents, I'd wager) and in case of unforeseen issue (forgot to save a folder?) do a Time Machine restore. Obviously don't erase the Time Capsule until you have certainty you haven't suffered any data loss.

     

    Note: I believe you can make a complete save to a hard disk of a Time Capsule using the back USB port, but I never actually tried. This might be a wise idea if you're slightly paranoid about data loss ;)

  • Reply 19 of 34
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    And here's what the insides of Windows PCs look like...fugly.

    Lenovo-ThinkPad-S3-Yoga-Disassembly-5.jpg

    surfacepro3teardown089.png
  • Reply 20 of 34
    irelandireland Posts: 17,568member

    Waiting for a 14" version with 2 USBc ports.

     

    Also waiting for the price to reduce a bit and the baseline processor speed to improve. It's a good first step, but not there yet for me. I'll jump on board in two years.

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