Mac Pro demonstrates 'masterclass in repairability' in teardown

Posted:
in Current Mac Hardware
iFixit has performed a complete teardown of the new 2019 Mac Pro, highlighting how easy it is to access various components when the time comes to repair or replace them.

Image credit: iFixit
Image credit: iFixit


A few key things uncovered by iFixit have shown that Apple has truly tried to make the Mac Pro a reparable, upgradable, and sustainable machine.

The case quickly lifts off with no proprietary screws or adhesive. Upon removal, power to the machine is cut off for safety.

The RAM requires no tools to replace | Image Credit: iFixit
The RAM requires no tools to replace | Image Credit: iFixit


iFixit has also uncovered just how easy it is to replace the RAM, and the process requires no tools. Additionally, the repair firm praises the handy diagram that showcases which DIMM slots can be populated with different amounts of memory.

Inside the machine, it turns out many of the parts are labeled with numbers, indicating in what order they should be repaired.

Image credit: iFixit
Image credit: iFixit


Due to the nature of the Mac Pro's modular design, iFixit has given it an extremely high repairability score - a 9 out of 10. For many repairs and upgrades, users won't need any tools, and for the repairs that do, a basic repair kit is all that is needed.

The only major deduction to the repair score came with the solid-state drives. The SSD are slotted and modular, but they're also linked to the T2 security chip. In the event an Apple-provided SSD needs to be removed and replaced, users need to get it done at an Apple Authorized Service Provider.

Mac Pro prices start at $5,999 and can climb to up to $53,000 -- but the entire lineup is competitively priced with Windows workstations.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 54
    rob53rob53 Posts: 2,986member
    "The SSD are slotted and modular, but they're also linked to the T2 security chip." Very nice and secure feature. This should make it more difficult for people to steal just the SSD or replace it with a malware-laden SSD. This is a feature Apple should advertise. Of course iFixit sees it as an issue.

    As far as their stupid video showing them grate cheese against the case, iFixit has finally gone too far and should be banned from any AI reporting. They used to be a very good repair site but now they've turned into a website that constantly criticizes every thing Apple does just because they're losing business because Apple is making products that don't fall apart and require repair like the other products they review.
    cornchiph2pSpamSandwichStrangeDayspscooter63caladanianviclauyycJWSCmacpluspluschasm
  • Reply 2 of 54
    This MacPro sounds truly awesome. If only I had a real use for something this powerful.

    What I could really use is a 14" MBP with 32GB RAM for around $2000.
    cy_starkmansmack416gatorguywatto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 54
    avon b7avon b7 Posts: 6,290member
    This is definitely a step in the right direction. Now they need to give the same thinking to other Macs. It can be done.
    MplsPsansdysamoriaGeorgeBMacmuthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 4 of 54
    DRBDRB Posts: 34member
    Avon B7. I agree. Time will tell. the only issue is that their Laptops are thin and it's difficult to make them easy to upgrade and maintain their thinness. Some iMacs can have user upgradeable RAM, some can't. The issue is over the T2 chips with SSDs because their SSD's are specially tied to the T2 chip and it's for security purposes mainly. Do you want someone being able to take your SSD's out and hack into them? That's why they have to be tied to the T2 chip, it's to prevent hacking. It's just one of those situations where Apple's putting security as a priority over upgradeability since I don't think third party SSD's will work with theT2 chip, unless you know otherwise..
    caladaniantmaywatto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 54
    and the big question in my mind, is the CPU replaceable, or does the motherboard firmware tie it to a specific clock rate etc?
  • Reply 6 of 54
    DRBDRB Posts: 34member
    rob53 said:
    "The SSD are slotted and modular, but they're also linked to the T2 security chip." Very nice and secure feature. This should make it more difficult for people to steal just the SSD or replace it with a malware-laden SSD. This is a feature Apple should advertise. Of course iFixit sees it as an issue.

    As far as their stupid video showing them grate cheese against the case, iFixit has finally gone too far and should be banned from any AI reporting. They used to be a very good repair site but now they've turned into a website that constantly criticizes every thing Apple does just because they're losing business because Apple is making products that don't fall apart and require repair like the other products they review.
    I was always not thrilled with iFixIt because of a repair that IFixIt gave wrong information and it took me longer to repair and they instructed to purchase the wrong Optical Drive for the computer model I had.. I actually ended up spending too much time and money and I could have just had Apple do it for about the same price, less time and less headache with a warranty for the repair. So I'm not exactly thrilled with iFixIt. Plus the tools they sold me are cheap and low quality. But I agree, those women that did the cheese grating was stupid. At least they should have grated from the inside as it might done a better job. /s Plus neither of them have comedic appeal other than to laugh at them and not with them.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 54
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 9,991member
    and the big question in my mind, is the CPU replaceable, or does the motherboard firmware tie it to a specific clock rate etc?
    That question is answered in the hands on review on AI in the comments. The answer is yes. Keep in mind, though, the market this machine is targeted at doesn’t swap out CPUs or much else either. Same goes for RAM. They buy this machine configured the way they want for the task at hand. A movie studio doesn’t have time to fiddle with the hardware. Neither does a number crunching lab. Stop thinking of this machine as a consumer, tinkerer, “prosumer” machine that enthusiasts platywith. It’s not anything of the sort. 
    edited December 2019 h2pMacProsansmwhitepscooter63MisterKitgatorguymac_dogviclauyycmacplusplus
  • Reply 8 of 54
    lkrupp said:
    and the big question in my mind, is the CPU replaceable, or does the motherboard firmware tie it to a specific clock rate etc?
    That question is answered in the hands on review on AI in the comments. The answer is yes. Keep in mind, though, the market this machine is targeted at doesn’t swap out CPUs or much else either. Same goes for RAM. They buy this machine configured the way they want for the task at hand. A movie studio doesn’t have time to fiddle with the hardware. Neither does a number crunching lab. Stop thinking of this machine as a consumer, tinkerer, “prosumer” machine that enthusiasts platywith. It’s not anything of the sort. 
    Wow, kinda of a jerk answer. I would love to know about this as well regardless or your propensity to deride a question with telling others how they should think. 
    dysamoriamuthuk_vanalingamphilboogiewatto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 54
    avon b7 said:
    This is definitely a step in the right direction. Now they need to give the same thinking to other Macs. It can be done.
    Not necessarily. It was doable here because the MP is an entirely different form factor and use case than the MBPs, where lightness and portability are the prime use cases, not upgradability. One of the things I love about my MBPs and why I much prefer them to HPs or Dells is their thin, light form. It makes traveling with a MBP so much more pleasant than my bulky work-issued Windows machines. 

    I don't expect that to change. I don't expect to see upgradable RAM or SSD on MBPs, and I'm ok with that. I'm not alone, and we vote with our wallets.
    edited December 2019 pscooter63cornchiprandominternetpersonmacplusplustmaywatto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 54
    zimmiezimmie Posts: 605member
    lkrupp said:
    and the big question in my mind, is the CPU replaceable, or does the motherboard firmware tie it to a specific clock rate etc?
    That question is answered in the hands on review on AI in the comments. The answer is yes. Keep in mind, though, the market this machine is targeted at doesn’t swap out CPUs or much else either. Same goes for RAM. They buy this machine configured the way they want for the task at hand. A movie studio doesn’t have time to fiddle with the hardware. Neither does a number crunching lab. Stop thinking of this machine as a consumer, tinkerer, “prosumer” machine that enthusiasts platywith. It’s not anything of the sort. 
    Sure, but upgradable CPUs will matter for the second-hand market in five or six years. It's nice to know they can be upgraded when they are no longer doing the job they were originally hired to do.
    marklarkdysamoriacy_starkmanwatto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 54
    rob53 said:
    As far as their stupid video showing them grate cheese against the case, iFixit has finally gone too far and should be banned from any AI reporting.
    That pattern for the case is hideously ugly and will prove to be a trap for dust as the air drawn in by the fans will go through. The simple pinhole. design of the Cheesegrater Mac Pros looked better and had to feed up to 9 fans.

    The rest of the design seems fine and the T2 chip security for the SSDs seems reasonable as long as Apple does not go overboard on markup.

    As to iFixIt, any product is going to get critical comments regardless of who they are- including Apple. The face of this otherwise nice workstation is Pontiac Aztec ugly.
  • Reply 12 of 54

    lkrupp said:
    . Keep in mind, though, the market this machine is targeted at doesn’t swap out CPUs or much else either. Same goes for RAM. They buy this machine configured the way they want for the task at hand. A movie studio doesn’t have time to fiddle with the hardware. Neither does a number crunching lab. Stop thinking of this machine as a consumer, tinkerer, “prosumer” machine that enthusiasts play with. It’s not anything of the sort. 
    Sometimes the swap out is to keep going when a part goes stupid- not everyone is a “tinkerer”.

    When my Mac Pro power supply went south I was easily and quickly able to replace it and put it back in service. If a CPU went down, OWC can ship you a CPU that you can swap out in a couple of minutes without tools.

    I can see the creative, medical or engineering markets seeing value in that. Time is money. I work in Medical Imaging where workstation grade machines are tools of the trade, so this is not speculation.

    As top Pro vs Prosumer it is a Pro Spec machine. I will be buying one because I want a Mac that can be repaired easily, maintained easily, internally expanded uses a discrete monitor and has the power to last the better part of a decade as a useful machine. I have the money and will order one after I have a chance to see/inspect one in the flesh. As a Veteran I get 10% off from Apple and if I use an Apple Card I can get 6% through the holiday season- that is a nice discount.

    I can finally retire the old Mac Pro that has been kept around for heavy lifting. The  i7 Mac Mini on my desktop can go to backup/standby duty.
    dysamoriamuthuk_vanalingamwatto_cobra
  • Reply 13 of 54
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 13,377member
    rob53 said:
    "The SSD are slotted and modular, but they're also linked to the T2 security chip." Very nice and secure feature. This should make it more difficult for people to steal just the SSD or replace it with a malware-laden SSD. This is a feature Apple should advertise. Of course iFixit sees it as an issue.

    As far as their stupid video showing them grate cheese against the case, iFixit has finally gone too far and should be banned from any AI reporting. They used to be a very good repair site but now they've turned into a website that constantly criticizes every thing Apple does just because they're losing business because Apple is making products that don't fall apart and require repair like the other products they review.

    replaceable storage devices are very important.   Of course one shouldn’t be wearing out the system drive and professionals are likely to have separated drives for data.   The fact remains a difficult to replace drive creates issues that shouldn’t exist.   

    I’m sitting in a new pizza shop right now so grated cheese makes me happy.   Honestly the world needs a bit more humor.   

    canukstormmuthuk_vanalingamphilboogie
  • Reply 14 of 54
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 13,377member
    avon b7 said:
    This is definitely a step in the right direction. Now they need to give the same thinking to other Macs. It can be done.
    Exactly!    They really need a midrange desktop with a bit more capability than the Mini.    Imagine a Mini in a taller case with a GPU card and a couple of SSD slots.  Then against n maybe AMDs new APUs next year might have the GPU performance to upgrade the Mini.   By the way the goal for the GPU is compute capability.   I only mention that because bozzos immediately try to imply that I want a gaming machine.  This isn’t the case at all but rather it is to leverage the growing adoption of GPU compute in applications.  
    caladanianmuthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 15 of 54
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 13,377member
    zimmie said:
    lkrupp said:
    and the big question in my mind, is the CPU replaceable, or does the motherboard firmware tie it to a specific clock rate etc?
    That question is answered in the hands on review on AI in the comments. The answer is yes. Keep in mind, though, the market this machine is targeted at doesn’t swap out CPUs or much else either. Same goes for RAM. They buy this machine configured the way they want for the task at hand. A movie studio doesn’t have time to fiddle with the hardware. Neither does a number crunching lab. Stop thinking of this machine as a consumer, tinkerer, “prosumer” machine that enthusiasts platywith. It’s not anything of the sort. 
    Sure, but upgradable CPUs will matter for the second-hand market in five or six years. It's nice to know they can be upgraded when they are no longer doing the job they were originally hired to do.
    Actually this is pretty misinformed!   All of these HEDT machine are impacted by memory bandwidth and as such in 5 years whole new architectures to address that will be online.  One shouldn’t expect higher performance  chips that far into the future.  In fact AMDs low end socket gets phased out in 2020 and thread ripper is dramatically different for a desktop chip.  

    It is just a really hard time to be justifying a purchase on upgrade capability 5 years down the road.   Maybe in a year or two when the new architectures come online but that isn’t a certainty.  
    cornchiptmay
  • Reply 16 of 54
    All seems looks great excpt I would have deducted 3 full stars for the SSD and T2 situation. Being able to exchange SSDs is important. The T2 shackles are utter nonsense - fine for newbies who need to be protected from malware but for the Mac Pro line and most of their users this is only a nuisance.
    To have security is good as long as it does not interfere with legitimate customizations. This one goes overboard and probably serves ulterior motives that I don't even want to know about.
    dysamoriacroprphilboogie
  • Reply 17 of 54
    wizard69 said:
    avon b7 said:
    This is definitely a step in the right direction. Now they need to give the same thinking to other Macs. It can be done.
    Exactly!    They really need a midrange desktop with a bit more capability than the Mini.    Imagine a Mini in a taller case with a GPU card and a couple of SSD slots.  Then against n maybe AMDs new APUs next year might have the GPU performance to upgrade the Mini.   By the way the goal for the GPU is compute capability.   I only mention that because bozzos immediately try to imply that I want a gaming machine.  This isn’t the case at all but rather it is to leverage the growing adoption of GPU compute in applications.  
    So essentially an iMac 5K but without the screen.  Plus, there's nothing wrong with wanting a gaming machine.  It's one of the fastest growing segments in the desktop space.
    edited December 2019 dysamoriawatto_cobra
  • Reply 18 of 54
    All seems looks great excpt I would have deducted 3 full stars for the SSD and T2 situation. Being able to exchange SSDs is important. The T2 shackles are utter nonsense - fine for newbies who need to be protected from malware but for the Mac Pro line and most of their users this is only a nuisance.
    To have security is good as long as it does not interfere with legitimate customizations. This one goes overboard and probably serves ulterior motives that I don't even want to know about.
    What ulterior motives?
    tmaywatto_cobra
  • Reply 19 of 54
    hexclockhexclock Posts: 1,065member
    rob53 said:
    "The SSD are slotted and modular, but they're also linked to the T2 security chip." Very nice and secure feature. This should make it more difficult for people to steal just the SSD or replace it with a malware-laden SSD. This is a feature Apple should advertise. Of course iFixit sees it as an issue.

    As far as their stupid video showing them grate cheese against the case, iFixit has finally gone too far and should be banned from any AI reporting. They used to be a very good repair site but now they've turned into a website that constantly criticizes every thing Apple does just because they're losing business because Apple is making products that don't fall apart and require repair like the other products they review.
    Yeah, acting like the cheese grater design is novel, when it goes back the the G5. It’s old news. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 20 of 54
    netroxnetrox Posts: 1,192member
    All seems looks great excpt I would have deducted 3 full stars for the SSD and T2 situation. Being able to exchange SSDs is important. The T2 shackles are utter nonsense - fine for newbies who need to be protected from malware but for the Mac Pro line and most of their users this is only a nuisance.
    To have security is good as long as it does not interfere with legitimate customizations. This one goes overboard and probably serves ulterior motives that I don't even want to know about.
    Data security cannot be downplayed in corporate/professional fields. It should be secure from the beginning to the end. It does not matter if a pro knows how to make it secure, a lot don't.  

    caladanianrandominternetpersoncommentzillawatto_cobra
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