M2 MacBook Pro teardown reveals memory & storage changes

in Current Mac Hardware edited January 2023
Repair website iFixit has posted a teardown of the 2023 14-inch MacBook Pro with help from an Apple repair manual, and found a few changes to the new model besides the M2 Pro chip.

14-inch MacBook Pro
14-inch MacBook Pro

Apple has an official guide for the 14-inch MacBook Pro with an M1 Pro chip, and iFixit said it also works for the new models. The main reason is that Apple used similar manufacturing processes for the M1 Pro and M2 Pro MacBook Pros.

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The iFixit teardown discovered that the M2 Pro has a smaller heatsink than the previous generation. The 2021 MacBook Pro used an 8GB Samsung LPDDR5 module, versus two SK Hynix 4GB LPDDR5 on either side of the M2 Pro chip.

To find out the reason for the change, iFixit turned to Dylan Patel, Chief Analyst at SemiAnalysis.

"ABF substrates were in very short supply when Apple made the design choice, he said. "By using four smaller modules rather than two larger ones, they can decrease routing complexity within the substrate from the memory to the SoC, leading to fewer layers on the substrate. This allows them to stretch the limited substrate supply further."

Patel also said that 128GB storage models are becoming harder to find and more expensive to purchase as the smaller dies get phased out. As a result, Apple went from four smaller 128GB modules on the 14-inch M1 MacBook Pro up to two larger 256GB modules on the 14-inch M2 MacBook Pro.

In the YouTube repair video, iFixit gave the 14-inch MacBook Pro model a "tentative" repairability score of five out of ten, based on the assumption that Apple will release new repair guides in the future. If the company does so -- or does not -- iFixit will likely revise its score for the device.

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