MacBook teardown highlights improved battery tech, new SSD controller

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in Current Mac Hardware
A teardown of Apple's 2016 12-inch MacBook suggests that the computer's better battery life stems from a mix of optimizations and a slightly larger battery, while its improved SSD speeds are linked to an updated proprietary controller.




The new MacBook has a 4 percent greater battery capacity, rated 41.41 watt-hours at 7.56 volts, repair firm iFixit said on Monday. The rest of the computer's improved battery life -- an hour longer than the 2015 model -- is allegedly tied to the latest power-efficient Intel Core M processors, and possibly some hidden changes on Apple's part.

The system's SSD speeds, which include 80 to 90 percent faster writes, are said to originate from a new generation of Apple controller (manufactured by TSMC). This is distinguishable by a new model number, 338S00066, and the fact that the updated part sits separately instead of under SDRAM, as in the 2015 design. Apple has promoted the use of PCIe in the computer, but not offered any direct claims of its own about performance.




Separately, iFixit noted that the MacBook is about as difficult to repair as ever, with many core components soldered, glued, or otherwise fused together. The one improvement is the replacement of tri-wing screws with standard Phillips screws, but there are also "tamper-evident" hinge screws that will make it obvious if someone had unofficial repairs done, voiding Apple's warranty.

The new MacBook launched last week in a surprise announcement. Benchmarks put CPU performance about 20 percent faster, and graphics some 25 percent faster. RAM is likewise clocked higher at 1,866 megahertz.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 8
    iFixIt: the most prolific Luddite group on the internet. They are constantly advocating that we go back to honkin' huge gadgets with ZIF sockets for everything and everything to be replaceable with only an outdated Philips screwdriver. Get rid of the bums.
  • Reply 2 of 8
    rob53rob53 Posts: 1,879member
    iFixIt: the most prolific Luddite group on the internet. They are constantly advocating that we go back to honkin' huge gadgets with ZIF sockets for everything and everything to be replaceable with only an outdated Philips screwdriver. Get rid of the bums.
    I understand your consternation with this group but they do serve a great purpose. I just bought a replacement iPhone 6 LCD assembly with their iSclack opening tool and it wasn't a cheap knockoff screen. Their fixit guides are also great. I just look past their constant griping about Apple's use of glue and hard to repair items.
  • Reply 3 of 8
    1st1st Posts: 260member
    interesting,  very compact design of the board.  almost fit in to a  phone.  
  • Reply 4 of 8
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 12,466member
    1st said:
    interesting,  very compact design of the board.  almost fit in to a  phone.  

    A lot of people simply don't grasp how dense modern computer systems can be. Once RAM gets packaged into the APU chip and possibly the SSD controller a decent computer will in fact be phone sized. IPad in fact highlights just how close we are today to such compact computer technology. The age of motherboards with a bunch of sockets for various functionalities is long gone.
  • Reply 5 of 8
    appexappex Posts: 687member
    SSD as RAID 0? That is the best way to lose data if one of the disks fails or the controller. Check out:

    Retina MacBook 2016 Teardown
    Toshiba TH58TFT0DFKLAVF 128 GB MLC NAND Flash (+ 128 GB on the reverse side for a total of 256 GB)
  • Reply 6 of 8
    toddzrxtoddzrx Posts: 193member
    iFixIt: the most prolific Luddite group on the internet. They are constantly advocating that we go back to honkin' huge gadgets with ZIF sockets for everything and everything to be replaceable with only an outdated Philips screwdriver. Get rid of the bums.
    Could you overstate your view some more?

    I for one am thankful for iFixit and the free guides they provide.  I've fixed or modified many of my Apple devices exclusively from their website, sometimes with their parts and sometimes not.  Calling them "bums" is pretty low, considering that they provide a quality service and employ people.
  • Reply 7 of 8
    1st1st Posts: 260member

    A lot of people simply don't grasp how dense modern computer systems can be. Once RAM gets packaged into the APU chip and possibly the SSD controller a decent computer will in fact be phone sized. IPad in fact highlights just how close we are today to such compact computer technology. The age of motherboards with a bunch of sockets for various functionalities is long gone.
    ney, compact design is excellent for solve delay problem (off chip delay impact performance).  i was impressed with the heat dissipation (thermal management).  I guess the large surface area of the Mac can be utilized.  a phone size,may still not ready to put into the phone (hot potato ;-). 
  • Reply 8 of 8
    appexappex Posts: 687member
    Here is a shocking (RAID) example:

    OWC’s Aura SSDs are a good way to add storage to newer MacBooks, with caveats
    From a hardware perspective, the 1TB Aura drive is actually two SSD controllers RAIDed together with a Marvell 9230 RAID controller.
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