Battery, RAM, and HD access on new 17-inch Macbook Pro

Posted:
in Current Mac Hardware edited January 2014
Apple's new unibody 17-inch MacBook Pro began shipping earlier this week and a new tear-down of the high-end notebook reveals the steps needed to access the system's internal memory, hard drive, and battery components.



Unlike its smaller cousins in the 13-inch MacBook and 15-inch MacBook Pro, the new 17-inch model lacks a user-replaceable battery and pop-up compartment that provides access to the hard drive. Therefore, users wishing to perform their own upgrades on the system will need a series of screwdrivers to access the various components.



iFixIt has posted a disassembly guide, which notes that there are ten Phillips screws of varying length that sit around the perimeter of the MacBook Pro's lower case and must first be removed to access the internals. Once the bottom case is rotated off, another three tri-wing screws hold the thin but long battery to the notebooks chassis.



The tri-wing screws can apparently be removed with a small flathead screw driver, even though Apple has placed a warning on the battery advising users against its removal. The Mac maker plans to offer $179 battery replacements through its retail stores and repair depots, though iFixIt claims it will soon be amongst a list of solutions providers who will sell their own do-it-yourself replacement kits.



The battery, which is similar to the MacBook Air's, is Apple model #A1309, 7.3V 95Wh (12000 mAh) and weighs 20.1 ounces, or 20% of the notebook's entire weight.



To the right of the battery is the MacBook Pro's hard disk drive, which can be removed by unscrewing two small Phillips screws holding its black plastic bracket to the chassis and then carefully disconnecting the Serial ATA cable.







Meanwhile, the memory slots sit centered above the battery and are generally easy to access once the bottom case of the MacBook Pro is unscrewed. Each of the two slots comes pre-loaded with a 2 GB DDR3 1067 MHz RAM chip.







It's also noted that Apple is now using wide, thin black rubber bumpers on its unibody notebooks, marking a departure from the small stubby bumpers on the Aluminum revisions. The Bluetooth board has also been relocated away from the display assembly.



iFixIt tells AppleInsider that its disassembly is ongoing and promises additional updates in the near future. Readers with questions may want to post them in our forums.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 40
    Am I to understand therefore that the hard drive on the 17" model is not 'user serviceable' without voiding warranty?
  • Reply 2 of 40
    irnchrizirnchriz Posts: 1,605member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by sausage&Onion View Post


    Am I to understand therefore that the hard drive on the 17" model is not 'user serviceable' without voiding warranty?



    You don't need to remove the battery to replace the HDD.
  • Reply 3 of 40
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by irnchriz View Post


    You don't need to remove the battery to replace the HDD.



    True, but you have to wonder why they wouldn't include the 'hatch' on the 15" and 13" models. opening the case at all may void warranty.
  • Reply 4 of 40
    takeotakeo Posts: 433member
    What is a "bumper". Where? I have a unibody MacBook Pro 15".
  • Reply 5 of 40
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by sausage&Onion View Post


    True, but you have to wonder why they wouldn't include the 'hatch' on the 15" and 13" models. opening the case at all may void warranty.



    As noted in the MacBook Pro 17" User Guide at http://manuals.info.apple.com/en_US/..._Early2009.pdf, the hard drive and memory are considered user replaceable parts. So, no, opening the case won't void your warranty.
  • Reply 6 of 40
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by palter View Post


    As noted in the MacBook Pro 17" User Guide at http://manuals.info.apple.com/en_US/..._Early2009.pdf, the hard drive and memory are considered user replaceable parts. So, no, opening the case won't void your warranty.



    I recant my bitching
  • Reply 7 of 40
    macxpressmacxpress Posts: 5,258member
    You can open the case and take it apart and put it back together all day long without voiding the warranty. Its not until YOU break something is the warranty void. You can void the warranty by changing the RAM if you damage something while doing it. Just because its a user serviceable part doesn't mean you can't void the warranty while changing that part out.
  • Reply 8 of 40
    I thought one large reason for the non-removable battery was that it was an irregular size designed to use as much case space as possible. It looks like a typical rectangular array to me.
  • Reply 9 of 40
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    The battery, which is similar to the MacBook Air's, is Apple model #A1309, 7.3V 95Wh (12000 mAh) and weighs 20.1 ounces, or 20% of the notebook's entire weight.



    Wait wait wait! Wasn't it a new super battery with 1000 charge cicle and 8h of charge? How come it's the same as the Macbook Air?
  • Reply 10 of 40
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Soybean View Post


    I thought one large reason for the non-removable battery was that it was an irregular size designed to use as much case space as possible. It looks like a typical rectangular array to me.



    It is, but it's thinner and longer, not some standard size manufactured by 1000 other companies. And INSIDE the casting, the cells are shaped differently. Apple wanted their laptop design to dictate the battery size, not the other way around. And it makes sense.



    I give it under a year before this "non-removable" battery has replacements on the market — to say nothing of MagSafe-compatible external battery packs that are just as big as the spare batteries you would have had to lug around anyway.



    I don't get the big fuss about having to pull out a screwdriver to get inside your laptop. When I was a kid, I needed to whip out a screwdriver to get inside my frickin' desktop computer. Now we need latches? FEH. Kids these days...



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by KawazoeMasahiro View Post


    Wait wait wait! Wasn't it a new super battery with 1000 charge cicle and 8h of charge? How come it's the same as the Macbook Air?



    "Similar" is not "the same."
  • Reply 11 of 40
    I hope somebody can answer this question:



    Is it viable to replace only ONE of the two 2GB RAM boards on the new 17" MBP with a 4GB board, giving one 6MB of memory?



    I know Apple says the two boards should be of the same configuration, but--damn!--$700+ is a bit hard on my budget right now. $360+ I can probably swing if I give up this month's Twinkie ration.



    Opinions?
  • Reply 12 of 40
    haggarhaggar Posts: 1,568member
    Is that sticker on the battery some kind of tamper indicator which shows if the battery was removed? Does removing the battery void the entire warranty? It should also be noted buying an AppleCare warranty does not extend warranty coverage for the battery. So even with AppleCare, the battery is still covered for only 1 year.
  • Reply 13 of 40
    dimmokdimmok Posts: 359member
    Just like the title....you need Batter(ing) Ram to go inside....



    I know.
  • Reply 14 of 40
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by gmcalpin View Post


    "Similar" is not "the same."



    Got me on that one
  • Reply 15 of 40
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by VinitaBoy View Post


    Is it viable to replace only ONE of the two 2GB RAM boards on the new 17" MBP with a 4GB board, giving one 6MB of memory?



    Everything I've read about OTHER MacBook Pros says that by having different-sized boards, you'll take a small performance hit — but that that hit may or may not be outweighed by the additional overall RAM — and there is no reason that it should be different on this machine. How big that performance hit is depends on what you're doing (graphics applications benefit more from matched/interleaved pairs, for instance), your system configuration, etc.



    In short, it will work. If you're just doing it temporarily, I wouldn't be too concerned about the performance hit. For most things, 6GB of unmatched RAM will undoubtedly still be faster than 4GB of matched RAM.



    EDIT: Found a source for you, so you don't need to just take my word for it: http://lowendmac.com/musings/07/0525.html
  • Reply 16 of 40
    Quote:

    I know Apple says the two boards should be of the same configuration, but--damn!--$700+ is a bit hard on my budget right now. $360+ I can probably swing if I give up this month's Twinkie ration.



    Check out RAM from other suppliers Apple always over charge for there memory..



    you will be able to go to 8Gb for less than Apple want for a 4GB sodim
  • Reply 17 of 40
    The first thing that came to my mind was how similar this is to the desktop tower situation.



    People are always going on about how Mac's are not user serviceable, and this one is supposed to be the most sealed one of the lot. In reality however, when I used to build my own Windows computers, there were usually about 10 or 15 screws to get under the cover, and screws to undo before you fiddle out the HD. One often had to remove three or four other components to reach the memory chips also, and then put it all back together.



    So I guess what I'm saying is that it's kind of ironic that Apple's most sealed and supposedly "user-unfriendly" product to date, is actually as easily serviceable as a standard desktop computer when you think of it. People will whine about anything I guess.
  • Reply 17 of 40
    haggarhaggar Posts: 1,568member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by gmcalpin View Post


    It is, but it's thinner and longer, not some standard size manufactured by 1000 other companies. And INSIDE the casting, the cells are shaped differently. Apple wanted their laptop design to dictate the battery size, not the other way around. And it makes sense.



    This applies to every laptop manufacturer, so there is no need for Apple cheerleading. There is no standard size for a laptop battery like there is for AA batteries. Just about every laptop from every manufacturer uses a different shaped battery.



    Quote:

    I give it under a year before this "non-removable" battery has replacements on the market — to say nothing of MagSafe-compatible external battery packs that are just as big as the spare batteries you would have had to lug around anyway.



    Apple still does not license the Magsafe connector to third parties. Do you know how some of those third parties have managed to create Magsafe compatible products like car chargers? They can't make the connector themselves. Instead, they have to buy a Magsafe power adapter and then cut the end off so they can solder it onto their own product. You can be sure that the cost of the wasted power adapter is passed onto the customer.



    Having to "lug around" a spare battery does not mean it has to be tethered outside of the laptop as well. Apple should have made the DVD drive hot swappable to people can slide out the DVD drive and slide in a second battery. That way, everything is kept inside the laptop instead of dangling off it. Having a removable DVD drive also makes perfect sense, since so many Mac users are proclaiming the death of DVDs. Any Mac user who claims that they don't need a DVD drive should fully support the idea of a hot swappable drive bay and secondary internal batteries.
  • Reply 19 of 40
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Haggar View Post


    This applies to every laptop manufacturer, so there is no need for Apple cheerleading. There is no standard size for a laptop battery like there is for AA batteries. Just about every laptop from every manufacturer uses a different shaped battery.



    I would hardly call my comment "cheerleading," so there is no need for douchebaggery. Anyway, I stand partly corrected, but the point stands: the 17" MBP battery is built differently (not necessarily "better," just slimmer) from other batteries in that it gets rid of the housing, a connector (contacts, whatever) between the casing and the battery, the dead space between the battery and the housing, etc. They can make the battery bigger by getting rid of the other shit.



    Battery Geek does make MagSafe compatible external batteries — that AREN'T just cut off from an official MagSafe connector. They get around the patent infringement by not making it charge the internal battery. By most accounts they're pieces of shit, too, but their existence proves that it can be done without a license from Apple.
  • Reply 20 of 40
    haggarhaggar Posts: 1,568member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Virgil-TB2 View Post


    The first thing that came to my mind was how similar this is to the desktop tower situation.



    People are always going on about how Mac's are not user serviceable, and this one is supposed to be the most sealed one of the lot. In reality however, when I used to build my own Windows computers, there were usually about 10 or 15 screws to get under the cover, and screws to undo before you fiddle out the HD. One often had to remove three or four other components to reach the memory chips also, and then put it all back together.



    So I guess what I'm saying is that it's kind of ironic that Apple's most sealed and supposedly "user-unfriendly" product to date, is actually as easily serviceable as a standard desktop computer when you think of it. People will whine about anything I guess.



    The comments about the user serviceability of the new 17 inch MBP comes from the observation that the memory and hard drive are located right next to the battery which Apple says is not user serviceable. However, gaining access to the user serviceable memory and hard drive requires the same procedure as gaining access to the battery, which is removing the bottom cover of the laptop. This is the same procedure that is required for the MacBook Air. But Apple does not consider the hard drive in the MacBook Air to be user serviceable. So it is understandable why some people would be concerned that the memory and hard drive in the 17 inch MBP might not be user serviceable.



    Your comments about taking apart Windows PCs were true 10 years ago. Back then, Mac desktops and towers such as the Beige G3 were much more easy to service than comparable PCs at the time. But now the tables have been turned. Many newer PC towers are even more easy to service than the Mac Pro. Not only do the hard drives and DVD drives come on trays, but even the motherboards on some PCs come on a removable tray.



    But of course, Apple wants everybody to buy an iMac. Apple wants their iMac to be the most popular Mac. Apple wants everyone to think iMac whenever they think of Apple. So don't blame people when their comments about Mac serviceability are based on the iMac. And the current iMac has the worst serviceability of any computer currently on the market.
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