Welcome to the MacNN Forums.

If this is your first visit, be sure to check out the FAQ by clicking the link above. You may have to register before you can post: click the register link above to proceed. To start viewing messages, select the forum that you want to visit from the selection below.

You are here: MacNN Forums > News > Tech News > Retina iMac teardown by iFixit demonstrates moderate repairability

Retina iMac teardown by iFixit demonstrates moderate repairability
Thread Tools
NewsPoster
MacNN Staff
Join Date: Jul 2012
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Oct 18, 2014, 01:09 PM
 
Apple repair purveyors iFixit have given their regular disassembly treatment to Apple's new 27-inch 5K iMac. As the machine has re-used the chassis from the last generation of iMac, and has only minor changes to the internals apart from the display, the repairability score remains the same at a five out of 10. Notably, the company has found a larger display data connector, with the fused LCD and taped-down display hindering repair efforts.

The company found that the CPU is socketed which would allow for replacement, as opposed to computers like the refreshed Mac mini, that have a processor soldered to the board. RAM is user-replaceable, through a rear-access door, as with all the 27-inch iMacs.

The Airport and Bluetooth card is the same model as in the previous 27-inch iMac. The hard drive inside the computer is also replaceable, assuming that the user is fine with cracking the case and cutting double-sided adhesive to get to it.

The display board uses predominantly Texas Instrument controllers, with a single Parade Techologies Timing Controller which iFixit assumes is a modified version of the controller used in older iMacs.

( Last edited by NewsPoster; Oct 20, 2014 at 03:27 AM. )
     
Inkling
Grizzled Veteran
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Seattle
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Oct 18, 2014, 02:21 PM
 
Every time I read about the problems cracking open an iMac, I'm again glad that I've got an easily repaired Mac mini. Apple needs to apply its much trumpeted design skills to make repair easier. That's of a lot more value to users than knocking 0.05" off the thickness.
Author of Untangling Tolkien and Chesterton on War and Peace
     
Charles Martin
Mac Elite
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Maitland, FL
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Oct 19, 2014, 02:24 PM
 
The reality, though, is that about two percent of computer owners (if that) do "repairs," so I can kind of see where Apple is coming from on this. I'd like it if you could upgrade RAM easily across the board, and make HDs/SSDs a little more accessible, but minor upgrades are really all Mac owners ever do to their machines, and even then we're talking about a tiny percentage of owners.

The truth is that after four years or so, it's no longer worth the money (from an ROI perspective) to spend much upgrading most computers (Mac or Windows), and only a very tiny percentage of people are even remotely interested in getting into that, just as most people these days don't do their own car tune-ups or oil changes. For a variety of reasons (most of which are outside Apple's control), after the third year it becomes difficult to justify the expense of upgrading, never mind doing actual serious "repairs."

Sites like ifixit.com have a certain agenda in rating the "repairablility" of a machine, but the truth of the matter is that most people feel the bug to replace, not rebuild, their computers after four or five years. That reality is IMO what Apple builds and designs the machines to address -- run pretty much like new for about five years. Apart from being (again IMO) a bit shortsighted on the amount of RAM they put in their machines for future-proofing purposes, Apple tends to design to the reality of the marketplace rather than the largely-imaginary worldview of power nerds who think Grandma is comfortable swapping out hard drives.
Charles Martin
MacNN Editor
     
Mike Wuerthele
Managing Editor
Join Date: Jul 2012
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Oct 19, 2014, 04:15 PM
 
One thing we ALL have to adjust to, is WE are not the market anymore for Apple's hardware, and haven't been for some time. An iMac is designed to be perfectly iMac like, and to sit on a desk like an appliance, not like a tinkerable piece of hardware.

Tinkerers and upgraders? There's no value in that for Apple anymore. Do you think that Apple doesn't hear the cry for a Mac mini pro with slots and whatnot? They just don't care.

This was all made clear when the slab-side aluminum tower was put out to pasture.
     
chimaera
Dedicated MacNNer
Join Date: Apr 2007
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Oct 19, 2014, 04:21 PM
 
If Apple had handled the Mac Pro like the Cube - updated both form factors - it would have followed the same pattern. Most buyers would have bought the expandable version, and the compact version would have suffered.

I disagree on RAM / drive upgrades. Grandma doesn't change her drive, she gets us to do it after she fills up her space with amateur video. RAM needs keep going up, and drives are in transition from HDs to SSDs. Both upgrades should be readily accessible.
     
azrich
Forum Regular
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Prescott, AZ
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Oct 19, 2014, 05:04 PM
 
I believe Apple sees the DIY crowd market, or whatever you would call that group that builds something from the ground up, as another 'race to the bottom.' Apple 'can't' create a box to compete, and I can't imagine the support headaches associated with a super customizable machine. Hack-intoches, that's what I'm thinking of.

Maybe a way to deal with this would be to SELL the OS for something like $10, completely unsupported. BYO Hardware, with some minimum requirements. Then again, since people who are willing to go this route are probably already savvy and already installing OS X without buying it.

This is all speculation on my part. By not entering this market they are forcing people like ME to buy minis or iMacs as I'm not willing to have a new hobby- keeping a hackie running.

That's just how I suspect Apple sees the computer market.
     
just a poster
Forum Regular
Join Date: Jun 2004
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Oct 19, 2014, 07:21 PM
 
Some of Apple's products may have lifespans of 3-5 years, not all. A 2008 Mac Pro has performance greater than a top-of-the-line MacBook Pro, especially so if the graphics cards and hard drives are upgraded, which means its practical lifespan is 8-10 years.

There is little consumer good in creating computers with artificially limited lifespans or lack of upgradeability just to run a particular OS version. Highly customized professional workflows cannot practically follow the 3-year upgrade cycle of consumer machines used only for email and web consumption.
     
Spheric Harlot
Clinically Insane
Join Date: Nov 1999
Location: 888500128, C3, 2nd soft.
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Oct 20, 2014, 07:21 AM
 
Originally Posted by just a poster View Post
Some of Apple's products may have lifespans of 3-5 years, not all. A 2008 Mac Pro has performance greater than a top-of-the-line MacBook Pro, especially so if the graphics cards and hard drives are upgraded, which means its practical lifespan is 8-10 years.

There is little consumer good in creating computers with artificially limited lifespans or lack of upgradeability just to run a particular OS version. Highly customized professional workflows cannot practically follow the 3-year upgrade cycle of consumer machines used only for email and web consumption.
In my world, professional equipment is written off after three years, while consumer gear is used until it's no longer fit for purpose or gets annoying.

Pro users buy their gear in two possible modes: dispose of after three years, or run into the ground. My approach varies, depending upon the piece.

My production MacBook Pro is now 3 1/2 years old, and Apple extended its useful life by another year and a half at least by introducing memory compression in Mavericks - the effect was amazing.
My previous MacBook lasted four years before getting upgraded, but still sits in the cupboard as backup machine.
I bought a "test" iPad 2 very cheap two years ago that proved its usefulness for work but is reaching its limit in terms of responsiveness on the job, so it's getting replaced in a few days by a new iPad Air 2.
     
Charles Martin
Mac Elite
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Maitland, FL
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Oct 20, 2014, 06:57 PM
 
My general experience in the Mac world -- and as a former Apple consultant -- was that most consumers would simply replace the machine when it started needed upgrading and repairs. It was mostly the "budget" consumers that could be persuaded to tease out the useful lifetime a bit longer by doing or paying for upgrades. Apple customers, on the whole however, tend not to be "budget" consumers, so as a class of computer user they tend to hold onto their Macs far longer than PC users, but replace outright rather than upgrade.
Charles Martin
MacNN Editor
     
   
Thread Tools
 
Forum Links
Forum Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts
BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Top
Privacy Policy
All times are GMT -4. The time now is 05:23 AM.
All contents of these forums © 1995-2017 MacNN. All rights reserved.
Branding + Design: www.gesamtbild.com
vBulletin v.3.8.8 © 2000-2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.,