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MacBook teardown reveals 'beautiful' internals

updated 12:25 pm EDT, Thu October 16, 2008

New MacBook teardown

A teardown of Apple's new aluminum MacBook and MacBook Pro systems reveals a "beautiful" layout, according to iFixit. Both computers are said to have extremely well-arranged interiors, which in the case of the Pro is said to be "cleaner" and with much better flow than previous versions. Regarding the basic MacBook, iFixit claims that Apple may be right to promote the workers involved in its new manufacturing process.

Part of this stems from the relative ease of accessing components such as the hard drive and RAM, although technicians needing to service the keyboard may have a difficult time reaching it. It is in fact suggested that Apple is treating the upper case as an individual part, meaning that damage to the keyboard may necessitate substantial and/or expensive work. It is, however, possible to fix the keyboard at home.

Investigation of the regular MacBook reveals components from a relative handful of identifiable companies, primarily Intel, Cypress and Realtek. Speakers on the system are said to have been substantially improved, and the display is said to weigh less than that of earlier MacBooks, despite moving to a nominally heavier aluminum and glass arrangement.

The MacBook Pro is a more complex disassembly due to additional parts, but shows touches such as subtler speaker grills, and many-bladed fans, which enable slower fan speeds and thus less noise. Internally, the major difference over the MacBook is the presence of the GeForce 9600M GT graphics chip, which dominates its section of the logic board.

[MacBook]







[MacBook Pro]






by MacNN Staff

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Comments

  1. phillymjs

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +11

    Not as beautiful...

    ...as it would be with a Firewire port!

    And I just know that if I give in and buy one and try to make do without Firewire, they'll admit they were wrong and add one to Rev B.

  1. Flying Meat

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +3

    2 things are clear.

    Don't break your display face (requires entire display and housing replacement), and don't spill on your keyboard (56 screws!!?!!?!).

    jeepers! Oh well. It does look pretty nice to service otherwise.

  1. unity@mac.com

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Wow

    Still in awe over the size of the motherboard, mainly on the pro.

    Of course the complexity of the Pro mobo versus the non-pro does "prove" that FireWire was not removed for space sake. :(

  1. Constable Odo

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +5

    I like that processor...

    cooling manifold on the MacBook Pro. Not sure how efficient it is, but it does look neat short of being a "shaker" hood scoop. Too bad Apple doesn't get points for having an extremely clean interior design. Apple is really thinking different on this manufacturing process and I hope it pays off.

    I can't wait to see if other manufacturers will follow suit and get rid of all those plasticy bits and pieces that low-end notebooks are made up of. These new Mac notebooks have really cut down on the parts count.

    As for the loss of the FW port on the MacBook, Apple must be clearly trying to delineate their product line. I guess they think potential buyers can afford to move up to the next level if they need a FW port. It's a harsh move, indeed.

  1. slider

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +4

    Firewire

    You know, it is odd. I can't believe cost was an issue. So I have a feeling it was to differentiate between the two products, but not so much to motivate would-be MacBook customers to upgrade to a pro, but rather to keep would be MacBook Pro users from downgrading to a MacBook. I'd further guess that Apple's surveys probably found that most MacBook buyers rarely, if ever, used their firewire port, where as the pro models probably get lots of use.

    I have no idea what the added cost of firewire would have been, but as far as I can see the exclusion could only have been to keep Pro users in the "pro-line", if you well. I have to admit, while I'm not ready to replace my PowerBook, the price of the MacBook Pro was tempting me, BUT, no firewire, no way, not for me. But at the same time, I'm totally fine with recommending the MacBook to several family members whom I know don't use firewire at all.

    One thing I've been wondering about though is transferring your data to a new machine, can you do this over USB?

  1. dimmer

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +3

    Yes

    USB, Ethernet, or WiFi all work.

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