iMac Pro teardown reveals modular, replaceable RAM, CPU, and dual SSDs

“We dropped $4,999 to get our hands on the hot new space gray Magic Mouse and Magic Keyboard — and Apple was generous enough to throw in a brand-new iMac Pro for no extra charge!” iFixit writes. “Let’s take it apart and see what makes it tick.”

“Higher-end configurations with up to 18 processor cores will be available in a few weeks’ time — if you’re looking to spend $13,000 USD or more, that is,” iFixit writes. “[Inside is] one GPU, which sadly is BGA-soldered in place. And at the opposite side, one workstation-class Xeon processor—not soldered in place. It’s too early to say how feasible a CPU upgrade might be—the chip appears to be custom-made for Apple by Intel. But upgrades seem at least theoretically possible.”

“Hovering near the SSD slots, we have two custom Apple chips: Apple T2 339S00467 layered over SK Hynix H9HKNNNBRUMUVR-NLH LPDDR4; Apple 338S00268 — this chip’s a bit of a mystery,” iFixit writes. “In our initial excitement we thought it was the rumored A10 Fusion coprocessor, first seen in the iPhone 7, but the package size is too small (roughly 7.4 mm each side).”

Apple's all new iMac Pro staring at $4999, available in December 2017
Apple’s all new iMac Pro staring at $4999, available in December 2017

 
Apple's all new iMac Pro with rear case removed
Apple’s all new iMac Pro with rear case removed

 
“Best guess: this is an Apple/Dialog Semi power management IC,” iFixit writes. “The successor to the T1 chip introduced in 2016’s MacBook Pro with Touch Bar, the T2 is tasked here with all the functions of the SMC, image signal processing for the camera, audio control, and SSD controller, and Secure Enclave, and a hardware encryption engine.”

Tons more to read and see in the full illustrated article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Plus the beast goes back together, too!

SEE ALSO:
Apple’s low-end 8-core iMac Pro benchmarked running pro apps – December 29, 2017
iMac Pro teardown reveals upgradable RAM and SSD – December 28, 2017
The best professional-level apps for iMac Pro users – December 27, 2017
Low End iMac Pro versus two Mac Pros and one iMac 5K – December 27, 2017
Apple’s sealed, non-upgradable iMac Pro is not as crazy as it seems – December 15, 2017
Apple tries again to sell professionals an all-in-one Mac – December 15, 2017
Apple’s monstrously potent iMac Pro is for these professional computer users – December 14, 2017
How pros are already using Apple’s powerful iMac Pro – December 14, 2017
Apple’s iMac Pro, the most powerful Mac ever made, is now available starting at $4,999 – December 14, 2017

10 Comments

  1. The display assembly is held by a seal that had to be cut out. This is not like a standard iMac with a glass front separated from the actual display that is bolted to the chassis. Also does this seal around the display have anything to do with keeping the iMac Pro cool?

    Taking it apart is straight forward but reassembly of the display assembly will be an tricky without the proper seal for the display. Time will tell.

    1. … all iMacs since at least 2012 have the glass and display assembly glued in place – $25 in tools and adhesives from iFxit did my 2012 iMac just fine, just make sure you have a clean safe place to put the display unit.

  2. A GPU soldered into place is like saying “Wait for the Mac Pro” for many. Paying this amount of dough there’s no way, personally, I would opt for anything Mac related that didn’t allow for upgrades. Godspeed Apple on that new Mac Pro! I anticipate it being shown at WWDC and then the inevitable “Available by the end of 2018, eh heh.” D’Oh! (And that’s the optimistic view.)

      1. So you think I want to buy a $5k + iMac and then spend more money for an external GPU to drive my existing two 30″ displays?

        No thanks.

        iFixit rates the new iMac Pro as 3/10 for repairability. That is stupid of Apple to affix a Pro label to this. it proves Apple is more interested in fashion than making great, versatile, Professional computers. There is no reason in the world that any desktop machine should be glued shut or that the GPU should be soldered in place. One wonders what Apple fashionistas will fuck up in their promised upcoming Mac Pro. Another proprietary connector?

        1. I get what you want in a pro computer, but where is the rule that pro hardware has to be user serviceable and upgradeable? You can’t upgrade a Fluke multimeter. You can’t upgrade anything in a pro monitor. The fact is, few high-end pro products have internally upgradeable hardware although, in some cases, the option exists for software/firmware upgrades or to switch new functions on that are included, but inhibited until purchased.

          Don’t get me wrong – I like user upgradeable computers, too. But neither I nor Apple is required to work according to your definition of what a pro machine should be. Otherwise, I would make some rules about the use of “homemade.”

          1. Bad analogy. A Mac is not a multimeter. It is a considerable investment that, to be economically viable to performance users, needs to be adaptable. To some people that means plugging in external boxes as needed. You completely miss the point. By making all Macs thin and sealed, Apple is being less green and is choking performance with thermal constraints. It makes every failed component unnecessary costly to repair. The difference between a pro and a consumer good is most consumer junk is designed to go to a landfill quickly, like an iPhone. A professional tools is made to last a decade or more AND STAY CURRENT ITS ENTIRE LIFE WITHOUT CLAPTRAP ADD ONS. Just because you don’t ever want to enhance your Mac’s capabilities in the future doesn’t mean that it isn’t the preferred way pros want to maintain their machines.

            I have never owned a Mac in which I did not upgrade the hard drive (both due to hard drive failure and to add new capacity) and add RAM over time (to run new software more effectively). The fact that Apple designs their Macs to require a visit to a service center, or at the very least a kit with adhesives or special tools etc. tells us that Apple doesn’t give a shit about convenience or economics for users.

            By the way: internal PCI connections are and always will be faster than Thunderbolt. It has to be so, since Thunderbolt is a variant of PCI that relies on a longer cable.

            1. Well said …

              And to add to these points, there’s some initial reports that are pointing to de-rated components, which means that this $5K “PRO” tool is being held back from running at its full potential.

              Yeah, “thermally limited” again, because they refused to design the enclosure to suit the capability need (again!), and tried to compensate with extra fancy engineering elegance on thermal management (again!!), which means that whichever Apple “Leader” approved this strategy (again!!!) needs to be publicly identified so that he can be shunned for the rest of his lame life.

              As Digital Lloyd concluded in his “Downclocked CPUs” review:

              “Compromising the fundamental purpose of a tool is not elegance, and never can be.”

        2. The Apple website says the iMac pro can drive 2 external 5k displays or 4 external displays. That’s a lot of pixels.

          Given the bandwidth of TB3, those who need enormous amounts of GPU compute power, an external box would do well.

          One thing the $5 to $13k iMac Pro isn’t is a game machine for 20 year old hackers. The Pro is made for serious professionals that work on their Macs 40 hours a week. If the iMac can save professionals 2 hours a month, that’s big money.

      2. Even though Thunderbolt 3 is pretty fast even that standard will eventually go by the wayside. It’s why I prefer PCIe 3 (and maybe 4?) slots. Everyone’s case varies and if an iMac with an eGPU is affordable and work for you then by all means go ahead. I believe you can hook up a couple hefty monitors with the iMac Pro anyway.

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