updated 11:31 am EDT, Wed June 20, 2012
Shows specific decisions made for Retina hardware
iFixit has published another teardown, this time of the non-Retina version of the MacBook Pro. The repair firm notes that the non-Retina hardware remains far more repairable; whereas the Retina machine was given a 1/10 score for repairs, the regular one gets a 7/10 rating. Several differences are responsible for the scores.
The regular Pro uses conventional screws, for example, versus the special pentalobe screws in the Retina computer, which means that the former can be opened up without buying a new screwdriver. The Retina system's battery is spread out and glued into the case, making it impossible to remove as a single unit, whereas the standard Pro uses the same size and capacity of battery as last year's model.
Both the Retina and non-Retina notebooks are said to have removable SSDs, even though the Retina drive is a much slimmer 3.16mm versus the the non-Retina's 9.45mm. For some reason, however, the former uses a proprietary connector, which means users still can't swap it out for a third-party drive.
The stacked RAM slots in the regular Pro are 9.15mm thick; iFixit notes that the Retina Pro as a whole is just 18mm thick, which would make using the regular system's memory design impractical. The company suggests, though, that it the logic board was designed with RAM slots side-by-side, as in older MacBooks, people could replace their RAM instead of having to buy as much as they might ever need when ordering the computer.
Although the LCD is said to be the most expensive repair for either notebook, iFixit comments that the regular Pro allows replacing just the LCD, whereas the Retina Pro demands replacing the entire display assembly. Adding a removable LCD to the Retina model would increase thickness by less than a millimeter, the firm says.
Removing the optical drive, lastly, is said to be one of the biggest contributions to weight reduction in the Retina system, but at a cost. In the regular Pro the optical drive can be swapped out by a third party for a second hard drive, substantially expanding storage.