Apple TV 4K teardown demonstrates new cooling system for A10X processor

Posted:
in iPod + iTunes + AppleTV edited October 2017
A disassembly of the new Apple TV 4K shows not only the improved processor in the device, but a completely redesigned cooling solution complete with "serious thermal venting" plus a fan.




The fan in the device is the first of its kind in any Apple TV. The new thermal solution in the Apple TV 4K combines the fairly large fan with the heat sink and EMI shield combination from the fourth generation device.

Chips inside the device include a Broadcom Thunderbolt to Gigabit Ethernet chip, 3GB of SK Hynix RAM, a custom memory controller, a Murata wi-fi and Bluetooth module, Toshiba flash memory, and a Megachips DisplayPort 1.4 to HDMI 2.0 converter.

Regular disassembly guide and repair part purveyors iFixit gave the Apple TV 4K an eight out of 10 on its repairability scale during Tuesday's breakdown of the device.




Positives include no glue, modular components, a modular power supply, and standard Torx screws holding the device together. As with nearly every other piece of electronics produced in the last five years, all major components are soldered to the logic board, necessitating board-level soldering or a full-board replacement if there are any issues.

The new Apple TV 4K was announced during the Sept. 12 iPhone 8 and iPhone X release event. The device can play back 4K content at 60 frames per second, and supports Dolby Vision and HDR10. Apple has said that streaming 4K content from iTunes requires a 25 megabit per second broadband connection as there is at present no way to download the movie prior to watching it.





AppleInsider is working on an in-depth examination of the device.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 31
    Sounds like this device is prepared for a lot of potential, very interesting indeed.
    longpathRacerhomieXjahbladewatto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 31
    I wonder if Apple has tried running macOS on it? I could picture a A-Series based Mac mini being this small. 
    longpathGG1RacerhomieXjahbladewatto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 31
    It seems future proof with more usage in mind. Why anyone wants set-top streaming living room hub other than Apple TV 4k.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 31
    no glue! yes!
    longpath
  • Reply 5 of 31
    nhtnht Posts: 4,388member
    Hmm thunderbolt?
  • Reply 6 of 31
    Cool -- do we know what clock speed the A10X is running at here?
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 31
    slurpyslurpy Posts: 5,103member
    Good. The 4th gen can get really hot, and so does this one actually.
  • Reply 8 of 31
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 6,686member
    But it doesn’t support VP9 or Atmos so it’s worthless and unusable. Color me disappointed. My Amazon Firestick is superior in every way.
    edited September 2017 williamlondon
  • Reply 9 of 31
    A Thunderbolt port in a non-Intel product? How can it be?
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 31
    tipootipoo Posts: 1,016member
    That is one beefy fan! 

    I wonder how high A10X can clock in here. An actively cooled high end SoC from Apple in the ATV is what I wanted last time, this looks like it. I hope they really push developers for game support. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 31
    mac_128mac_128 Posts: 3,376member
    It's too bad it doesn't automatically switch between video formats, and there's no easy way to switch between them manually. It takes a minimum of 10 steps -- and that's with Siri! -- just to switch from 4K 60Hz HDR to 1080p 60Hz SDR, and back again. I really don't like the idea of TV applying fake HDR and upscaling the majority of the available streaming content to 4K, bypassing the superior capabilities of my Sony 900E. I can't imagine why Apple won't allow the customer to bypass Apples video processing, and simply allow native signal output if desired.

    How long is the return window for Apple products?
    edited September 2017
  • Reply 12 of 31
    I hope Apple builds the next MacMini like that with removable memory and storage components. That's a very clean design. Its modularity reminds me somewhat of the how the classic iPods used to be.
  • Reply 13 of 31
    tipoo said:
    That is one beefy fan! 

    I wonder how high A10X can clock in here. An actively cooled high end SoC from Apple in the ATV is what I wanted last time, this looks like it. I hope they really push developers for game support. 
    A thought occurs to me... 

    Maybe Apple should do some internal game development. Make games exclusive to Apple platforms that work across all Apple platforms. 
    edredwilliamlondontipoowatto_cobra
  • Reply 14 of 31
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 4,192administrator
    I hope Apple builds the next MacMini like that with removable memory and storage components. That's a very clean design. Its modularity reminds me somewhat of the how the classic iPods used to be.
    I presume you're talking about ADDING removable memory and storage to any Mac mini, rather than sticking with this design. The RAM and flash are soldered in the Apple TV -- as I expect the next mini will have as well.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 15 of 31
    lkrupp said:
    But it doesn’t support VP9 or Atmos so it’s worthless and unusable. Color me disappointed. My Amazon Firestick is superior in every way.
    It's up to Google to add VP9 support to their apps. But since they are evil and cripple their apps on iOS platform, I prefers getting my Hi-Def media in a superior format elsewhere
    edited September 2017 edredjahbladewilliamlondonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 16 of 31
    lkrupp said:
    But it doesn’t support VP9 or Atmos so it’s worthless and unusable. Color me disappointed. My Amazon Firestick is superior in every way.
    Sarcasm?
    StrangeDaysanton zuykovmacky the mackywilliamlondonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 17 of 31
    I hope Apple builds the next MacMini like that with removable memory and storage components. That's a very clean design. Its modularity reminds me somewhat of the how the classic iPods used to be.
    Don't count on it...Apple is going the other way. It seriously doubt it will go backwards with design. The days of changing out RAM, storage, etc on any Mac are numbered beyond maybe the MacPro. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 18 of 31
    jbdragonjbdragon Posts: 1,990member
    There's no need to glue stuff down on a device that sits in place it's whole life. I'm not really surprised it came apart easily. It's not a mobile device you're carrying around, getting banged up on.
    pscooter63watto_cobra
  • Reply 19 of 31

    Positives include no glue, modular components, a modular power supply, and standard Torx screws holding the device together. As with nearly every other piece of electronics produced in the last five years, all major components are soldered to the logic board, necessitating board-level soldering or a full-board replacement if there are any issues.

    Not sure what world you been living in, I have not see a product since the 80's where socket component were common, Since then all electronics have been solid to the board, in the last 15 yrs with BGA parts, you can not even rework a part without highly specialized equipment. We basically been in a remove and replace boards for the last 10 yrs.
    edited September 2017 StrangeDays
  • Reply 20 of 31
    lkrupp said:
    But it doesn’t support VP9 or Atmos so it’s worthless and unusable. Color me disappointed. My Amazon Firestick is superior in every way.

    I guess you like watch all that free 4K content on Google praise Youtube has which is produced Internet idiot looking for their 5 second of glory.
    watto_cobra
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